Navigating Polygamy in the USA: A Comprehensive Guide

Taking the road that is less traveled.


Polygamy, the practice of having multiple spouses, remains illegal in the United States. While there have been some discussions and fluctuations in the laws surrounding polygamy, the majority of states still prohibit it. However, with evolving societal perspectives and changing legal landscapes, the future of polygamy in America is uncertain. In this comprehensive guide, we shed light on the current state of polygamy in the USA, offer insights into the polygamous community, and provide essential information for those navigating this alternative lifestyle.

Polygamists in America: Numbers and Legal Challenges

Estimates suggest that between 50,000 and 60,000 polygamists are residing in the United States today. Despite its legal status, the presence of polygamy continues to persist. While not every polygamist faces prosecution, it is crucial to exercise caution and discretion to ensure the safety and freedom of oneself and one’s family. Though change is possible, as demonstrated by the shifting landscape of marriage equality, it is important to acknowledge the challenges and complexities surrounding the recognition of polygamous relationships.

Legal Terminology and Alternative Structures

Given the illegality of being married to multiple individuals simultaneously, some polygamous relationships adopt alternative terminologies to conform to legal frameworks. For instance, a polygamist may consider themselves spiritually married to multiple partners, while being legally married to only one. In other cases, individuals may form group relationships, cohabiting with multiple partners without legal marriage. While these arrangements may not be legally recognized, certain Supreme Court rulings have affirmed the autonomy of individuals in expressing their intimate conduct.

Variety of Polygamous Relationships

Polygamous relationships encompass a diverse range of configurations. Traditionally, polygamy has referred to one husband with multiple wives. However, contemporary polygamy also includes polyandry, where one woman has multiple husbands. Additionally, there are group relationships that can consist of individuals of any gender or sexual orientation, including heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual individuals. The rules and practices of a polygamous relationship should be determined through open and respectful communication among all parties involved, as each relationship is unique.

Challenges and Coming Out

Similar to individuals with diverse sexual preferences, many polygamists face challenges and fear coming out about their lifestyle due to potential prejudice, persecution, and abuse. Despite the changing attitudes towards alternative relationships, the legal ramifications and societal biases surrounding polygamy create a climate of secrecy and caution. Ultimately, the decision to disclose one’s involvement in a polygamous relationship rests solely with the individuals involved, weighing the potential risks and rewards.


Polygamy remains illegal in the United States, yet the presence of polygamists within the country persists. As societal perspectives continue to evolve, the future of polygamy remains uncertain. This comprehensive guide has shed light on the current state of polygamy in the USA, the challenges faced by polygamists, and the importance of discretion. For individuals navigating the complexities of polygamy, we invite you to explore the courses we offer on our website, which provide valuable insights and guidance for those embracing this alternative lifestyle.


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