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Introduction: Polygamy is commonly referred to as the union of a man with multiple women or the practice of having more than one wife at a time. In Ethiopia, polygamy has practiced in all regions. In particular, the stress of polygamous family life predisposes mothers to psychological problems. Being a serious public health issue, the stressful experience among polygamous women was not known in Ethiopia. Aim: To explore a stressful life experience among first married polygamous women in Gedeo Zone, South Ethiopia, 2021. Methods: This study was conducted using a phenomenological study approach from February 20–30, 2021. A purposive sampling method was used and an in-depth interview was conducted. Data were collected from 13 first married women from polygamous. Findings: Three themes emerged from the study including reaction to polygamy, socio-economic challenges in polygamy, and bonds of families in polygamy families. The finding indicated that the status of life experience among first married women in a polygamous family was stressful. They experienced various degrees of psychological difficulties including anger, mistrustfulness, emotional distress, loneliness, emptiness, unhappiness, and lack of intimacy with their husbands. Conclusion and recommendations: This study highlighted how polygamy is a complex issue and common practice in the Gedeo zone. There has to be a mechanism for serious follow-up to educate women properly. A long-lasting measure to empower women in the economy, social, political, and creating a level of consciousness to resist polygamy is important.
Mengistu, N., Shumye, S., Tesfaye, T. S., Haile, S., Bayisa, Y., Yimer, S., … Duko, B. (2022). Stressful life experience of the first married women in polygamous families in Gedeo zone, South Ethiopia: a qualitative study, 2021. BMC Psychology, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-022-00753-4
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