Do You Know the Difference between Polygamy and Polyamory?

Polygamy and polyamory are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two distinct types of relationships. While both involve multiple partners, there are important differences between the two that should be understood.

Often polygamy sites are considered illegal in many countries.


It is a type of marriage in which one person has multiple spouses. This can take the form of either polygyny, where one man has multiple wives, or polyandry, where one woman has multiple husbands. 

In some cultures, polygamy is an accepted and even encouraged practice. However, in many other parts of the world, it is considered illegal or taboo.


On the other hand, polyamory is a relationship style that involves multiple consensual partners. Unlike polygamy, which typically involves a hierarchical structure with one person at the top, polyamorous relationships are usually non-hierarchical and everyone is considered equal. 

Polyamory is not limited to romantic relationships, as it can also involve close friendships with multiple people.

What is the difference?

One of the biggest differences between polygamy and polyamory is the level of consent involved. 

  • In polygamy, one person often has more power and control over their multiple spouses. 
  • In contrast, polyamorous relationships are based on mutual respect and consent among all partners. 

Polyamorous relationships often involve a high level of communication and negotiation to ensure that everyone’s needs and boundaries are being respected.

Another key difference is the legal status of these relationships. While polygamy is illegal in many countries, polyamory is not necessarily recognized or protected under the law. 

This can create issues related to custody, inheritance, and other legal matters that are typically associated with traditional marriages.


It is important to understand the differences between polygamy and polyamory. While both involve multiple partners, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. 

Polygamy involves one person having multiple spouses, often with a hierarchical structure, while polyamory is based on mutual respect and consent among all partners. 

Additionally, polygamy is often illegal, while polyamory is not necessarily recognized or protected under the law. By understanding these differences, we can better appreciate the nuances of these relationship styles and how they can impact the individuals involved.