Meeting my “co-wife” – My story Part 4


Source:Wikimedia Commons

Source:Wikimedia Commons

My main battle has been with trying to understand WHY my husband chose to stray outside our marriage to begin with. His explanation, that I’ve already posted about, simply didn’t make me understand anything.

My husband introduced me to his new “wife” by having us meet a few times at cafés, and meeting her only made me more baffled. She was 18, or so I was told, when she hooked up with my husband, he then was 45. I didn’t know at first what she looks like since she wears niqab but I suppose youth always holds it’s special beauty. She didn’t speak unless spoken to and she didn’t speak English besides a couple of greeting phrases. When we’ve met my husband has been there also, so it’s been somewhat strained. I’ve asked her a couple of things about the weather and the like and he has translated her answers – they have been of the “fine, thank you”-kind. She has no education. I simply don’t get what my husband sees in her. He says he enjoys being looked up to, that she is dependant on him. Ok, fine I can see that that might be nice. But he also says, and has always shown, that what he loves about me is my intelligence, erudition and independence. Well, I simply don’t know.

My partner is an engineer, and when we’re together we read, talk about books, politics, we go to museums and lectures. What could my husband be doing with his so called second wife? It’s beyond me

98 thoughts on “Meeting my “co-wife” – My story Part 4

  1. Now Fiona has allowed us to go off topic so i am making most of it 🙂
    Your question about Muslims in Punjab made searching for demographics for India vs Pakistan. Its interesting that Muslims may not be majority in India but in terms of numbers India and Pakistan are very close in Muslim population
    Muslim population in Pakistan=178,097,000
    Muslim population in India = 177,286,000
    I am pretty sure India will soon have more number of Muslims than Pakistan 🙂
    I hope the Modi guy doesn’t win majority in these elections otherwise its going to be a nightmare for a democratic India
    Thankfully a new party came into existence Aam Aadmi Party. I have high hopes from them like you said you have hopes from Imran Khan’s PPP. We also have a PPP (Peoples Party of Punjab)
    Pakistani Punjabi music and stage plays, comedians are very popular not only in Punjab but all over North india. Bollywood have a good number of Muslim artists as you might already know.
    I feel like India and Pakistan are like two brothers with property dispute 🙂 (How i wish it was that simple!) Almost like the two sons of a farmer who would go to the extent of killing each others family for a piece of land and the whole village enjoys the drama rather other people use their rivalry for their own ulterior motives.
    I mean we need to understand that we were once ONE country, we have a lot in common the languages, culture, music, cinema. Its ok that we divided our country into two but lets move on and live peacefully now (to be more accurate Britishers and our power hungry leaders divided the country). It doesn’t make much sense to me that a new country was created based on Muslim Religion and India still has equal number of Muslims as Pakistan!
    Its time that we move forward and focus on our economic growth. All the efforts from india to build a friendly relation like the peace talks, friendly bus service or train starts and then something crazy like Kargil war or Mumbai terrorist attack happens and all peace talks go waste. People need to wake up and stop voting for politicians who use religion and Kashmir issue to get votes and keep people divided, poor, illiterate … . Well i hope PPP wins majority in Pakistan and AAP in India. India is also guilty of mishandling communal and separatist movements. There are non-secular, undemocratic elements in India too who keep disrupting the peace within the country but overall situation is a lot more hopeful and positive than our dear neighbor. No offense please we don’t want to start an online Indo-Pak war here 🙂
    Oh this blog is about polygamy. Indian Muslims are allowed religious freedom so polygamy is allowed (very undemocratic and sad). I think there should be one law for all Indians.

  2. I think i should have said there should be one law for all human beings (not Indians alone).

  3. you are right punjabi is not taught in Pakistan however rest of the languages like sindhi and pashto are taught in sindh and KPK.
    i was reading the history of Punjab from an independent source some time back and i realized the history we are taught at schools/colleges is an adulterated&biased version of it. We have been taught that ghaznavis ghouris abdalis etc came to attack india for ISLAMIC CAUSE but now i have realized it was all for the booty of war.(my own ancestors came with ghouri from persia/iran).

    i being a pakistani like AAP, atleast in india common people are stepping forward to take their fate in their own hands. where as in Pakistan i feel really frustrated, having two high profile families exchanging terms with each other,they are billionaires and supposed to be representing poor people of Pakistan.
    laborers have problems but industrialists are representing them, farmers have problems but feudal lords are representing them.

    we would have been lucky if we had a party of common people in Pakistan, who would be able to FEEL the pain of masses.

    i have a friend from assam/aizwal. he tells me that Modi is going to win these elections. And we have an evil image of Modi in Pakistan. what about your side of Punjab? do people support Modi?

    As far as online Indo-pak war is concerned trust me i am way over it. 😉

  4. wow i did not know you people like our punjbai music. i do know about Atif and rahat being popular in india though 😉
    well there cannot be one law for all human beings laila because i guess there is no objective sense of right and wrong upon which all human beings would agree our cultural differences transcend our moral values.

  5. It’s sad that Punjabi is not taught in Pakistan but I am wondering why? Saad, If you know please share. I can understand why Hindi or Sanskrit is not taught but when people speak Punjabi at home, there is a lot of literature, music etc in Punjabi why nobody demanded that this language is needed in schools?
    Yes we love Punjabi music. I am a big fan of Coke studio music

  6. Also Urdu language is not banned from teaching in schools. It’s just that every school doesn’t have an Urdu teacher or Urdu as available language. Urdu is however taught in many schools and colleges. Why would a democratic country not let the language of Majority of people to be taught in schools? Another human rights violation right there. It makes me very sad 😦

  7. Let me be clear. I am saying that Urdu is taught in many Indian schools and colleges. I wonder why Pakistan wouldn’t let the language if the majority to be taught in schools 😦
    I think we as people fail when we accept such tyrannical rules. I know there is descrimination against minorities in India and language politics etc but if an area have people with large majority of certain language that language is taught in schools.

  8. Please no offense intended. I havnt talked to a Pakistani person directly. You seem like As reasonable person so I thought I will ask these questions. Saad, I like that you mentioned distorted history being taught to you. I agree main motive was to loot the wealth and collect taxes etc (same what Britishers did). However many of those invaders also tried to force Islam on Hindus and Sikhs. Sikh Gurus have great history related to not bowing down to this oppressive rule.
    We also get taught our share of propaganda in India e.g. about the likes of Bapu Gandhi and Chacha Nehrus. They were all elite Indians or I can say Brown skinned English men that started ruling us after the white ones left. I don’t accept Gandhi as father of nation because of the questionable behavior related to women. He himself accepted his use of young women including his grand niece for his so called experiments of truth.

  9. hahah
    No1 reason is Punjabis don’t care much about Punjabi language. it is not taught at schools like sindhi and pashto is taught in sindh and KPK but i have heard Punjab university (Lahore) has a department of punjabi. but i have never come across anybody who has studied punjabi.
    we have ethnic tensions with in Pakistan among Pathans,balochs, sindhis, urdu speaking and punjabis and majority of them don’t like punjabis and see them as oppressors. (only their love for pakistan is uniting them).
    anyways you know urdu is our national language. right after independence, there was a big issue since no province was agreeing on urdu because it was spoken by minority and every other province was clamoring for their language including Bengal (former east pakistan), at that time Punjabis took stand and owned Urdu language thats how it became our national language. and until now they are more eager to teach there children urdu. (they learn punjabi at home as it is there mother tongue). and it helps in bringing harmony among all the ethnicities of pakistan.
    (for the record i am a Pahari/Punjabi.)

  10. No offence taken 😉 i like talking to people from different ethnicities and i ask them about their culture etc.
    yeah i have even heard that golden temple was destroyed by muslim invaders? that made me feel sick, how come we complain about babri mosque incident if we revere those who destroyed temple of somnat.

  11. I’m fascinated by this discussion and wish I hadn’t come in late to it. My ex is from the Indian controlled part of Kashmir and I lived there for a time. I was there in 2010 when the Indian army went crazy on the street protesters and dozens were killed. I hated India after that for awhile.

  12. unchained
    india, pakistan bangladesh are all 3rd world countries. same things happen in bangladesh, Pakistan is suffering from terrorism(70000 civilians have died in Pakistan) and is believed to be the epicenter of terrorism. we all are suffering from extremism.

    you are lucky to born in a civilized western world. thanks to your great fore fathers. 😉

  13. Hello to all..
    I found your blog searching for advice on a polygamous marriage. Im an American married to a Indian man. I converted to Islam before we married. I am very sad because after 4 years of marriage and happy life ,my husband goes to visit India while I remained here and worked,and came back 2 months later and told me he had gotten married to his cousin. I was in shock.. full of pain and felt betrayed. I did my best to accept the situation. The problem is he never told his mother he was married here to me..
    He had a son a year later by his wife in india.. another 4 years past and his cousin family got angry he did not apply for her visa to come here because she knows nothing of me. They have forbid him to see his son .. they want him in india with cousin or to bring her here..
    He asked for legal divorce so he could apply for her visa.. we have islamic marriage also..we still are together in same home as still married.. He says if she comes she will only stay 1 month but I said if she comes he needs to tell her about me.. or I will leave.. we dont have any children togethet because of my health issues .. I dont know what to do.. im very sad most of the time.. im feeling i might be left behind. We have been married now nikkah for 9 years

  14. Hello Rain,
    When I was very young, I became anorexic. At my height, which is 5feet 5inches, I weighed 85 pounds for 2 years, which is 38.6 kilos. I outgrew it, and later did a lot of reading about eating disorders. A psychiatrist wrote: “These young women come into my office, they all think they are so unique, and each one of them has a story just like the next. They have no idea how alike they all sound. It is pathetic.” It is true. When certain problems take over our lives, we lose our individuality to the problem. There is only one path out of a problem, and that is facing yourself.

    Your story Rain, is just like every other story here. I get that you felt shock, pain and betrayal, 4 years ago. I am not going to repeat back to you what that man you call your husband is, you’ve already said it. And saying now “i don’t know what to do, im (sic) very sad most of the time.” ? You know very well what to do. And being sad is an escape from facing facts.

  15. Hi Rain, This is a lie that if his cousin comes here she will only stay for a month. It’s his attempt on getting her here and then convincing both to live polygamy. He might have married you to get US citizenship. What was the reason that you agreed to marry him without any introduction to his family.

  16. Indeed. Rain’s story is remarkably similar to Fatima’s at 411. And many others as well. Sorry to hear about your anorexia history, Dale. But I think that psychiatrist isn’t worthy of the practice. To see his/her clients as all the same (while understandable) and “pathetic” (not so understandable) doesn’t sound like someone who I’d want to see or bring my daughter to see 😦

  17. Oops. I replied to you Dale and it ended up being a reply to Laila. I need more coffee this morning :/

  18. I wouldn’t call it luck. I’d call it circumstances.

    You know, last night I was at my town’s Independence Day celebration, which is one of the big holidays to be all patriotic. It was nice, sitting with family and friends, having a beer and watching the fireworks. Very “Americana”, what with all the USA themed t-shirts people were wearing, the USA themed music going (except Toby Keith, cannot stand him). They sang the national anthem at dusk and then the fireworks show, which was really impressive for this unknown little valley town in the middle of Wisconsin.

    But I don’t know. I don’t like this sense of American exceptionalism, that we’re above all the rules and laws we want to enforce and espouse on the rest of the world. I don’t like the insular bubble we keep ourselves in. I didn’t realize it existed until several years ago when I left the US and went to Kashmir, and when I did, I got a completely different view. I saw that people are people wherever I go, they’re no different than I am, except….

    One time we went on a fishing trip near Pahalgam, which is a district outside the city. Pahalgam itself is a tourist attraction, but where we went was where tourists never go. Here we were among the people as they live, and have lived for an untold period of time. Centuries. Sheep herders, farmers, living without electricity and in mud huts. It was incredible, like stepping into a National Geographic magazine, taking tea and lunch with a man – who, it turned out, was our fishing guide – and his wife and kids in the center of their hut while their water-buffalo looking herd (not sure if that’s what they were but they looked like them) grazed just outside the curtained door of their home.

    Sure we’re “modern”, with our trains running on time and infrastructure we can without fail rely on (except when something like a hurricane Katrina hits, I suppose). But therein lies the problem; we have modernized our ancestral survival skills out of existence. We think our chicken and roast beef grows in the local Walmart, and peas come from a can or a bag in the freezer. We wouldn’t know how to find fresh water if we needed to, ours comes from a faucet, filtered and chemically treated and ready to drink, or from a bottle. If we lose power for a day or two, we lose our freaking minds here. If a calamity of any kind struck here, most of us would be unable to function. Over there, people know how to survive under ANY conditions. So while I have the luxuries and comforts of a fully-functioning society to enjoy, and thus may be considered “lucky”, I wonder how well that good fortune will serve me if it all fell apart someday. I dare say I’d prefer to be in the Himalayas with that fishing guide and his family than here.

  19. Unchained, I can’t agree more on some of the things you said. It’s also true that people here has seen what it’s like to reach the height of materialism. You need to give credit to your country about already starting to work on the issues you stated. School gardens and all kinds of programs are already happening and expanding to educate and connect children with gardening, nature so I believe future US generations are being prepared who will know very well where the food comes from and how important it is to have strong local food systems. Community gardens and school gardens are becoming very popular. Many people here are converting part of their lawns into vegetable gardens. The people you mentioned will never live like that If they had options to have electricity and better housing. Majority of lower middle class and middle class Indians may not have survival skills that many Americans have. Sports and outdoor activities are not as popular back home. I and many Indian friends have often discuss this. We used to suspect it’s the high protein diet but the food alone cannot help much. Of course there are probla like obesity and in general the day to day life is easy but I think kids and adults have much better opportunities to exercise and stay active and people choose to bike etc inspire of all the comforts.

  20. Laila, I think you missed my point. Saad said I’m lucky to be born in the west, and I’m saying its circumstances.

    I have no doubt our fishing guide friend would love to live like I do. What I’m saying is if something happens to wipe away all this convenience we have here in the west, thus leveling the playing field with the indigenous people of the Himalayas like him, the folks who already live off the grid as a norm have a much better chance of surviving and not going crazy than those of us who live in this automatic, push-a-button society of ours here in the US. At that point in time I’m not sure I’d consider myself lucky.

  21. And yeah I know lots of people garden here, but they don’t look at their garden as a means of putting food on the table; that’s what walmart is for. Gardening is a hobby here, NOT a way of obtaining sustenance.

    In Kashmir, when things were really bad with the security situation and there was a week-long shoot-on-sight curfew imposed in some parts of the city, it was tough. really tough. I wasn’t subject to it where I lived but our movements were certainly restricted; in my case restricted to our colony. If we didn’t have well-tended huge gardens and if we didn’t buy our rice by the 100kilo bags, if we didn’t know how to preserve our food by canning and drying, we’d have been screwed if we lived in the area that were kept completely off the streets. No one could go to market. They lived on the provisions they kept in the home such as rice and sabzi from their own gardens, canned food, dried Ahl (bottle gourd) perhaps a chicken or two they were raising for eggs, and the eggs themselves. This was reality for rich and poor alike in some parts of Srinagar and outlying areas. They took it all in stride and did what they could with what they had. I went without a few things I was used to buying all the time and thought I’d go mad, and my restriction of movement was nowhere near as bad as people in Old City and outlying areas.

    I’m trying to imagine people here coping under those conditions and cannot do it. The average American city-dweller or suburbanite, left without electricity, running water, no way of going down to the walmart for groceries without risking being shot or detained? For a week, 10 days, 2 weeks? There’d be a complete breakdown going on. That’s what I mean about people there having much better survival skills than most of us in the US do.

  22. I agree with you but what you are mentioning is not about people’s survival skills it about the system, lifestyle of society as a whole. There is no doubt that if all the amenities are suddenly gone then it’s harder here

  23. Hi Unchained, I think we have very different experiences of US. Of course you being the native and older than me have more experience. The area where I live not only people but regional Govts, cities etc are approaching gardening and growing food as much more than a hobby. It’s relatively new but resilient food systems and learning to grow part of your own food as a means of emergency preparedness is being given a lot of attention not only by people/community leaders but also by planners, researchers etc.
    If you look up Uttrakhand flood and the large number of lives lost over there you will clearly see how peoples inability to swim, poor survival skills and lack of preparedness caused huge loss of lives. Of course this comes after the biggest factor i.e. Our rescue operations aren’t anywhere close to US. Most of the people only travel to those area for religious pilgrimage and their routine life does not involve any outdoor activities or interest in fitness. Of course because they have other priorities and are doing things that are needed for developing world. So I was looking at survival skills from that point of view

  24. The conversation that Laila and Unchained are having about residential gardening practices in the United States is interesting. I would say that home gardening here is still largely “hobby.” Although home gardens have existed in England without interruption, home gardening in the United States declined after the War. Now, everywhere you look people are converting their lawns into gardens for edible produce, and I think it is a wholly positive development, for individuals, families, and communities. But it is also having an impact on corporate food production, which is slightly threatened by the potential economic impact on their business and is having to think about their packing and production methods in a new light.

  25. I get what you’re saying Laila, it’s just hard to explain properly I think. Oh, I know about natural disasters and how they claim lives, especially in places like India where, as you said, rescue apparatus can be slow, lacking, or nonexistent at all.

    Something like 1800 lives were lost during Katrina and that’s here in the US, and the New Orleans area isn’t as densely populated as, say, New York City or Chicago. Imagine if it happened there instead. They were well prepared, we’ve got the National Guard and FEMA and the Red Cross etc etc etc but shit just happens. I get that. I was in Kashmir when Ladakh got hit with flash floods and we had family up there at the time. Then we cannot forget that huge quake about a decade ago….that was horrible. These are natural disasters and everyone gets hit with them from time to time. The US is lucky we have all these govt agencies to rescue us in these events but what if we didn’t have them? That’s what my point is. We’re a nation of dependents.

    My son is a bit of a doomsday prepper, and he and I have had LOTS of conversations about this and the what-ifs, and where/how to “bug out” should the need arise. He’s been doing all sorts of survivalist training himself for years and he even said he’d rather be in the Himalayas than here if an apocalyptic type event that breaks down our government and basic society were to take place. An event like a “2012” type of global catastrophe, where only a few survive kind of thing, or perhaps a plague where only a few are immune and survive, or man-made such as war that is fought here in America (think the book “The Stand, or movie “Red Dawn” for great examples of what I mean). Talk about unprepared? That’s us, my friend.

    I mean only recently have ordinary everyday people started taking interest in generators here, and I’ve yet to meet an American who hasn’t traveled that knows what an Inverter is, much less how to hook one up.

  26. Hello Dale.. thankyou for your response and all who responded.
    You said I know what to do.. perhaps your thinking I should walk away from my marriage? I dont see myself as pathetic.. but perhaps a hurt person.. but many of us are finding betral and lies and secrets. . But I am willing to meet my cowife .. I have no problem having a cowife ..My husband did not marry me for citizenship because he already had that years before we met…
    I have a good job as an Rn and my husband is an engineer..

  27. I love gardening. In the Chilterns, I’m planning on having a huge kitchen garden, in London I’m content with flowers and a lawn. When I grew up, we were almost self-sufficient and my mother said a lady must make sure never to serve store bought preserves 🙂

  28. How do you think would your husband react to you having a second husband? I believe, nobody should have to share a partner, if the partner isn’t fully prepared to share as well. Even if you are not so inclined, would he accept it?

  29. Hi Rain, if you have no problem having a cowife then you should try to help your husband bringing his wife and kid to US. That way the woman doesn’t have to live in India with stigma of being abandoned by husband and her kid will get both parents’ love. The problem is that your husband has really messed up by living a double life and not telling his parents and family about you. I am sure the other woman would have never married him if she knew about you (doesn’t matter if she is a believing Muslim or not). I don’t think the other wife will be willing to be your cowife and anyway It doesn’t look like your husband has any intention of telling her and his Indian family about you. If he tells now all hell will break loose and his wife’s parents will take her and the kid back and will never let your husband ever see them again unless he agrees to divorce you. In case your husband agrees to tell her about you and somehow convince her to come here then you will have to divorce him legally. The other wife might come here and will demand that he doesn’t get back with you. She may stay silent for sometime to get US citizenship for her and son but will eventually either demand him to stay separated from you or she will eventually leave your husband. This is what i can share based on my experience being Indian. Also, its easy for you to say now that you are ok with polygamy because you are the one living with him and the favored wife so far. You too may not like the idea when it actually starts happening i.e. your husband bringing her to US and being physically intimate with her on regular basis.
    I asked you what was the reason for you to have to marry him without even getting introduced to his family.

  30. and like Fiona said try asking your husband if he will be ok with sharing you with another man unless you believe in men’s divine right to polygamy and women’s divine responsibility to stay loyal to husband.

  31. I ❤ gardening too! I am waiting for tomatoes to ripe. My potatoes will soon be ready to harvest! Just the other day i shelled and froze a lot of peas other than these i grow peppers, eggplants, okras, onions, beans, squash, corn, cucumbers, sunflowers, carrots, turnips, cantaloupes, blueberries, strawberries, greens, herbs and many many pollinator attracting plants growing in my urban garden. My husband and I love tending our garden. I am also into composting and have a worm bin in my garage which converts all my kitchen waste into beautiful organic plant food!

  32. Rain,
    Was I thinking that you should walk away from your marriage? Not exactly. I was reacting to the fact of your husband’s lying, and saying that I think you should face the fact of who he is. I agree with Laila that the idea your husband’s second wife will only stay one month is ludicrous. How can an intelligent person such as yourself repeat this with a straight face? And his asking you for a divorce so as to make his despicable behavior possible? It takes two for a lie to work, and you have just demonstrated how it is done. When I said that you “know” what to do, I meant just that, and only that. Your sadness (and fear, which is permitting the sadness to linger on) is separating you from your knowledge.

    You are now part of an extended family where cousins marry known cousins. That is a categorically bad practice, and Its cultural acceptability doesn’t put it right. For a nurse and an engineer to be doing this, and talking this way is ridiculous.

    I don’t view you as pathetic Rain. I get irritated by the accomodation of hurtful stuff, meanwhile talking like one is being acted on. What is pathetic is the numbers of women that do this. Believe me Rain, I’ve been where you are, and I know how deep the problem goes.

    Fiona, that was a very sweet comment about your mother and the preserves. You must really miss her.

  33. Rain,
    If you want to see an example of “ridiculous-pathetic” go over to polygamy411 and scroll down to first post on July 4th made by Lina Loly. “I am the collateral damage to the mess Mohammed made for us all. Now he wants to divorce me and I didn’t do anything, and I don’t know what to do.”

    Not knowing what to do is a choice, and I’m sure she started making those choices a long time ago. At this point the mess is so big, and the pain is just so great…

  34. Dale, I like that you mentioned corporate food production feeling threatened by local food movement. This shows how strong this local food movement is and how gardening is now becoming much more than just a hobby. People who are well off economically do it for hobby as well as for many other reasons like teaching their kids about growing food, spending quality family time outdoors (than kids playing video games), donating home grown produce to food pantries/banks, staying active, providing native vegetation and habitat for birds, pollinators and much more. I was house hunting recently. Even some of the smallest urban backyards had a raised bed or two and sometimes fruit trees and these were mentioned among main property features.

  35. Unchained,
    I understand your point was mainly about the tern ‘lucky’ used for you by Saad and i agree ‘lucky’ is relative. You might consider people living in Himalayas ‘lucky’ and they will consider you lucky 🙂
    I will agree with Saad here. You are actually lucky to have options/freedom. if you want luxuries you can have those and be dependent on those at the same time you have this opportunity to realize that its not good to be too much dependent on modern life. You can CHOOSE to be lavish city person, a homesteader, a minimalist, or go live totally off grid. Corporations are working against some of these choices but overall people have options, a lot of options! You mentioned people in Kashmir surviving long curfews easily and canning, food preservation being very common in Kashmir. I think its done out of need because of severe winters and security issues causing many areas being cut off from roads for long time. I am from Punjab and i have never seen my mom or anyone i know doing any canning or food preservation in general. We do prepare some spicy pickles, use a lot of dry beans and grains and sometimes dry some herbs. Canning and making jams, jellies and even baking isn’t part of regular households. Most homes do not have electric ovens or Tandoors (earthen ovens). All the famous Punjabi tandoori dishes are made in restaurants or roadside food places. Home cooking generally involves stove top cooking of curries, dried bean soups (dal), flat breads (roti/chapati). I haven’t even seen canned food being sold in regular grocery stores in Punjab. Jams, jellies, and baked products are mainly bought from stores and barely made at home. Fresh vegetables and milk are available to buy all year round. Sometimes vegetable vendors come outside your door and most of milk is delivered daily at your door. If a curfew happens in Punjab, people will soon be out of fresh produce, milk, ghee and they hardly preserve any food except small amounts of dry beans and wheat flour. We have to get cooking gas cylinders delivered or picked up every month so even for cooking most households will run out of cooking gas. Most houses in densely populated Indian cities will be out of drinking water in about 2-3 days without electricity. So when we are talking about India/US we might be talking about entirely different places/people/experiences 🙂
    My experience in US is limited to big cities and university campuses and my friends are generally university educated, liberal, nature lover kind of people.

    All of the above was about system, infrastructure but if we see physical abilities of people that too doesn’t look very hopeful for my fellow countrymen/women 🙂 I and my Indian friends have camped/hiked with many of our US friends on multiple occasions. I have seen that US friends did much better surviving outdoors, many were ok with walking around barefoot, knew how to make a fire (believe me many of my fellow Indian friends have never made a fire), i see people here doing fine while soaking wet in rain/sweat or being in wilderness in freezing cold. It took us a long time to even come close to being 50-70 percent as good as my US friends to survive out in wilderness.

  36. Hi Fiona, my reply to you got lost somewhere. I just shared how I love gardening too. I grow a lot of vegetable in my urban garden. I have yet to go into food preservation.

  37. My husband would laugh if I told him I was getting another husband. I remember asking him how he would feel if I got another husband.. fair is fair I said.. ohh he did not like that ideal at all. He said he would not stay with me.. see? They fail to see it like that.. of course I never imagined doing anything like that.. but the thought was interesting….

  38. In that case, there is no way I think you should stay with him since he obviously does not regard you as a human of equal worth and rights.

  39. Hello Fiona. I guess you can tell I am new on your blog but I am finding it very interesting. I am trying to read all the past posts on here and correct me if Im wrong but do you have 2 husbands? If so, tell me how that works for you.. This is very interesting because if my husband wants to spend time away with his other wife then I am feeling why cant I have another husband to be with me while he is away with her? Am I wrong to think this? How many men would do this? I mean he will have to share.. Just wondering.
    I like your blog and find it interesting and I am seeing things more differently as I read here.. Hope you have a good evening..

  40. If you want to stay married to him don’t give up your rights as legal wife. All you are doing is turning yourself into a mistress.

    He made these choices not you. Why should you bear the burden of that?

    Will the cousin work if she migrates? If not, he’s going to be supporting her and kids and you’ll be supporting yourself.

    Do you have kids?

    Sounds to me like he has no intention of ever telling the family about you. He will live with the cousin and you will be relegated to mistress status.

    Sounds like you have accommodated him alot and because of that he will keep expecting you to give in so he can keep the peace with his family.

  41. Sorry I just read your post properly Rain.

    So after 4yrs of marriage and no children with you he married the cousin and they have 1 child together.

    He must have known when he married her that she couldnt come to your country due to your legal marriage.

    I think you’d be crazy to divorce legally, depending where you live there are many benefits to being a legal wife. Look into this first.

    He’s taking advantage of your understanding nature.

    You say you dont mind a co wife, but would she mind? Will her and both his/her families cause problems for you?

    What indication do you have he will tell them about you?

    My suggestion is arrange a Skype chat with the family BEFORE any legal divorce. Get your marriage out into the open BEFORE.

    That will be a true test if he’s willing to tell them about you. Remember this guy went overseas for 2mths to a planned wedding and didnt tell you till later. He has lied when it suited. Whats to stop him doing it again.

  42. Fiona, I would love to get your family recipes. Anything recipes using vegetables or dairy are welcome. I will have to create a an anonymous email to communicate through email. Another option is you can create a section where any info not related to blog topic can be shared with you and vice versa. Not that we especially I stay on the topic anyway 🙂 but sharing recipes will be way off topic 🙂
    How is Tamsin doing. Do share new pics if you are ok with that

  43. Dale, You asked me a question is another topic/comment that how i reached to my current understanding of Islam. Its had to sum it up in writing or one comment but i will try. I started as someone who didn’t know much about Islam except what i heard in popular media and from family, friends. That was mainly the things like men are allowed to marry unto 4 women, muslim women must cover up their entire body with burqa (Hijab is something i learned about after coming to US), marrying your cousin is allowed or is preferred and it leads to many children with birth defects, women cannot marry non-muslims, men can marry non-muslim only if she agrees to convert, Gentle/light wife beating is ok, women must obey their father/husband and Muslims are cruel and have been historically known to spread religion by force, killing Kaffirs is ok and so on… I grew up in a religious household where parents practices religion but didn’t force it on us and encouraged us to make our own decisions and treat all equally irrespective of color, economic status caste, religion, nationality. There were hints that its ok to choose your own partner but it came up in talks that it will be worst choice to ever consider marrying a Muslim. My grandfather and uncles have Muslim friends. I personally never had a chance to be close friends with a Muslim man/woman. A few Muslim men in my college were known as players who would have relationships with women but eventually go back to their town, state (often Kashmir) and marry a nice Muslim girl!
    After marrying outside my religion and watching my inlaws practice a different religion i became interested in learning and thinking about different religious beliefs. With limited knowledge i reached a conclusion that we often just hear about controversial stuff about other religions and thats the reason behind misunderstandings and hating other religions. Basically i started believing that all religions were started with good intentions to give people a good way of life. All religions teach similar basic values the messages might look different based on the Era they were founded and messages also get changed or modified by clever people/priest or ruling classes to use religion as a means of crowd control. So I was very happy with that kind of understanding and thought if everyone starts having this same understanding we won’t have all the bloodshed in the name of religion. Then as i studied more and more especially about Islam and the life of Muhamad. The messages from God addressing his wives! the graphic description of hellfire in Quran. Special privileges Muhamad claimed that God granted him. The killings, looting, marrying the widows after killing opponents. This is just too much to consider him a messenger of God. I did want to believe that maybe the stories are not authentic but was surprised to know that all Muslims stress that everything written in Quran is THE TRUTH and worship Muhamad an an ideal man a messenger of God. More i read about how Islam originated, what kind of life Muhamad lead and whats written in Quran more i questioned my belief about all religions being good and originated with a good motive to show people an ideal way of life. Most disturbing to me is that Muhamad sounds like an opportunist man hungry of money, power, control. I wanted to go with more progressive interpretations of Quran but all that is of no use if the same moderate Muslims consider Muhamad as their ideal. He married a wealthy widow and didn’t dare to live polygamy while she was alive and then went crazy marrying many women and didn’t spare a child of his lust. I wouldn’t trust any word such a man says.

  44. Yes, I have two husbands. My muslim husband married a second wife without asking me or telling me about it until after the fact. You can read all about it in the category “My story”. When a husband becomes polygamous, a wife will live half her life alone. She will be a widow for half of the rest of her life. It’s worse really, but basically this is what happens. My husband threw half of our life together away, and gave it to another woman. I refused to be a half time widow. I met a man, fell in love with him and married him. Then I told my first husband. You can read all of this too under My story.

  45. Yeah, an off topic topic sounds good! 🙂 Tamsin is having some stomach aches, so we’re not getting much sleep just now 😦 Hope it will soon be better!

  46. I miss my mother immensely. She was full of life and strength, and had a wonderful sense of humour. I have needed her many times, and I find myself thinking “What would mama have done?” whenever I’m afraid or sad.

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