When I first found out that my husband had taken another “wife” my reaction was to leave him – asap. The concept of polygamy simply didn’t exist in my world. I can tell you honestly that all through our marriage up to that moment I had never looked at another man, never thought of wanting anyone but my husband, never lent a thought to being able to feel anything for anybody but my husband. I was a monogamous person, flesh and bone. As I told you, I went totally berserk when my husband told me he had “married” again, that he claimed it was his “right” and that he actually expected me to suck it up. The day when he left for work and told me he wouldn’t be coming home but start a 4 day schedule, I told him I wouldn’t be there when he got back. He said he loved me, that nothing could change that, that we still had everything that was precious – our life together, our kids, our shared experiences, and that he didn’t want to give that up and he thought I didn’t want that either.
Ok, so I cried my heart out, had fits all by myself, packed and unpacked. I so didn’t want to give up on my marriage, I thought maybe it’s just a midlife-crisis, maybe everything will go back to normal. But as time passed I started to realize that wasn’t going to happen. When he came back, the screaming and crying started again, he slept in one of the spare rooms, the pain was unbelievable. I forced him to tell our children. They just couldn’t believe it at first. Then they told him they hated him, that he wasn’t their dad any more. They refused to meet his girlfriend. They still haven’t forgiven him. I think I have, most of the time, but it still hurts to think about this.
Anyway, I tried to find something meaningful to do with the half of my life that he had rejected. One of the things I did was I started taking eveningclasses in business and management. And there I met a man.
He’s a couple of years younger than me. He’s a computer engineer and he was starting up his own business. It took a while before I realized he was attracted to me. Was I feeling vindictive? Did I want to get back at my husband? Well, maybe that was part of it at first, I’m not really sure. I do know that it took a lot of time connecting, talking and getting to know one another before I understood that I was getting emotionally involved with this man. When it dawned on me that I was falling in love, I told him all about my marriage, and the fact that I was still hoping my husband would decide to come back to me full time. He said he understood, but that he couldn’t help loving me.
So, it happened. And I felt a bit guilty, but not as guilty as I would have expected. I didn’t take anything from my husband. He had taken half the rest of my life, and thrown it away. He had stolen my life as I knew it from me. He had destroyed our monogamous love, and turned it into something else. He made me polygamous, not I. This man chose me, when my husband had chosen someone else. We took nothing from my husband. Actually, it was finding love again that brought me back to my husband. By feeling fulfilled, by getting back my sense of self, by being happy again, I was able to forgive my husband. A week after I first made love to my new partner was the first time I was able to let my husband back in my bedroom. I know it hurt my husband when he realized, but I think that now he has understood that our current happiness, or the existence of our marriage at all, is due to my becoming polygamous too. (When I told my husband about my partner I tried to remind him about all the times when he had told me that love is about sharing, one should want for ones neighbour what one wants for oneself, exclusiveness is selfishness et.c. and he screamed to me: “I meant YOU!! YOU should share, YOU shouldn’t be selfish, I wasn’t talking about ME!!!”)