Question:Hello, and thank you for an interesting blog. I am muslim and I do not agree with a lot of the things you state here, but I learn from your story anyway. I agree with you that polygamy should be consensual. That’s the thing I do not like about polygamy in islam. If only it is consensual I am fine with it. I can not understand how anyone would do polygamy to his wife if it almost kills her the way many women describe. So I wanted to ask you, since you are in the rare position to have experienced both muslim polygamy and your own polygamy – who do you think hurts the most? Was the hurt worse for you, when your husband suddenly after so many years landed you in polygamy against your will, and against your culture? Or was the hurt worse for your husband when you landed him in polygamy against his will and against his culture? Thank you
Answer: Hello, and welcome to Polygamy 911. Thank you for a very interesting, and difficult, question.
I do believe, having reflected on it after recieving your question, that the hurt was just as bad for both of us. For me it was a bomb, a devastating, humiliating pain. My life was in ruins, and the rest of my life turned into a vision of neverending pain, humiliation, disgust and anger. I had never, ever, considered that polygamy would enter my life, before my husband just dropped it on me. I can’t begin to describe the pain. And knowing that the pain would never ever go away – on a four day schedule I would have to live with making love with a husband who just came from another woman’s bed. I would have to say goodbye every four days, for the rest of my life, knowing he would go to her, share secrets with her, rest with her, laugh with her, make love to her… I can’t explain just how painful it is.
But I do believe it was just as painful to my husband. the thought of MY becoming polygamous had surely NEVER entered his mind, so he was equally devastated, hurt, humiliated and shocked. The realization that he would spend the rest of his life making love to a wife who just came from another man’s bed, that he would be saying goodbye every four days, for the rest of his life, knowing I would go to him, share secrets with him, rest with him, laugh with him, make love to him – the hurt was exactly the same, the pain was the same.
One of the bogus claims one encounters reading about polygamy is that men and women would be different when it comes to possessiveness, jealousy, sexual behaviour and ability to compartmentalize. That is all crap! I can tell you! The only real difference is that culture allows men to behave in a way that causes women to experience all these negative feelings, while women are not allowed anything but being obediant, chaste and submissive.
I can tell you – if all the men of the world were chaste, obedient and submissive we would have more happy marriages and no more war…. 😉
So, the answer is: Both hurt the most.