I am pretty open-minded and I try not to write off other lifestyles as bad just because I am not culturally conditioned to accept them.
I think polygamy is one of those things that can work for some people. An example of a happy polygamous family is Megan’s. She chose to join a polygamous family. The first wife and the husband decided together to go poly, and they all live in one big house. The “sister-wives” – at this point there are 4 of them – all love and support each other. It actually sounds pretty nice. There clearly must be something in it for these women who’ve chosen to live like that.
But I think there is nothing worse than a man going behind his wife’s back to take another wife, or point blank going against her wishes… and saying to everyone “it’s legal/permissible so I feel no guilt”.
Now, in the history of religions, the norms were different and men wouldn’t have thought there was an obligation to consult their wives about a decision like that. In fact I’m not sure the concept of “consent” even really existed. Sometimes girls were married off young, so young it was not possible for them to give genuine consent. And as for war captives, let’s not even go there.
So would all the prophets of the past have consulted their existing wives before adding a new one? I don’t think it would have been possible for them to think that way. Does that make them bad? I think they have to be judged according to the standard of their time. They weren’t perfect, they were human and it is unreasonable to expect that they could have measured up to our more progressed standards (although in other aspects of life I suspect our standards have slipped since their time). This only poses a problem when we think they were an example for all mankind and that they knew all there was to know about morality. Then we have to either accept their norms as our norms, or find a way of attributing our moral norms to them even though history tells another story.