Words from a Second Husband

Wedding_rings_photo_by_Litho_PrintersGraham knows I started this blog. He hasn’t read it, but we talk about what I write. A couple of weeks ago I asked him if he wanted to write about being a second husband. He said ok, if I thought anyone would be interested, and if I promised to help him with some of the writing… So here is Graham’s post: 🙂

I fell in love with a wonderful woman. She was strong, funny, intelligent, mysterious, witty, beautiful – and married.

I have never had a relationship with a married woman. I could not envision myself having an affair. But I couldn’t help falling in love with Fiona. She was everything I had hoped for an dreamed of.

When she told me her husband was a polygamous muslim, I was shocked. I couldn’t understand why a woman like her would stay in such a marriage. But as I got to know her more and more I started to understand. Fiona is extremely loyal, and extremely monogamous. Even now, she’s simply monogamous in two marriages.. She would simply never leave when she has promised that she never would. We are very similar in that respect, Fiona and me. It made me love her even more. It also made me see my chance! Why couldn’t we just “marry” too.

At first, I couldn’t really believe I had actually come up with that idea! But, it made sense. We would be able to live together, share a life, commit to each other, have a family, and at the same time I could retain my own life and personal space and I would respect Fiona, her existing marriage and commitments.

So we became common law husband and wife, committed to each other, before we started a relationship. It felt kind of solemn. It was beautiful.

What did it feel like to become polygamous? Well, I didn’t know much about polygamy in islam, except that it was allowed. So I tried to study the rules to find out what I could expect, and what my “rights” were. Since Fiona’s husband is muslim, we were going to have to try and follow muslim rules regarding polygamy, but applied to polandry. Sort of absurd really, thinking about it.. Her husband had established a schedule, and we decided to stick to it. As to money, me and Fiona share all expenses. She has made her husband pay for her maintenance, the same amount of money he spends on his second wife. But me and her share all expenses since we became polygamous on an equal basis. So that’s just fine with me.

Sharing her love, and to know that she was having sex with her other husband too – those were tricky parts. I thought that I had accepted the idea, but the first time she left me, when we had made love and started our life together, and she went back to be with her husband, then it all changed. I had known it would happen, but that’s not the same thing as really going through it. It really is excruciating. I have read other blogs about polygamy and the women there, yeah, only women, talk about this and how painful it is to share your loved one intimately with another spouse. It sure is humbling. And still, I was the one who suggested this in the first place! I have had to quelch my jealousy, my possessiveness and my imagination. A lot of women talk about how this makes you a better person, and in a way I agree. I have had to put Fiona’s best before my own and I have had to learn to suppress negative emotions like jealousy and possessiveness. It really has made me stronger, more self reliant and more able to see things from new perspectives. So now I agree with people who say that polygamy can be good for you even though it’s sometimes complete agony. I find it very strange though that these women in other blogs only find it good for women to be forced to overcome all these negative feelings and learn to share. Being a man I know that our need to come to terms with these emotions is just as great, if not greater since we are generally brought up being even more selfish than women! But I still can’t really think about her being intimate with her other husband, I try to shut down whenever my mind goes off in that direction…

Another thing that’s been hard is that she sometimes brings problems from her other marriage here. She might be in a bad mood when she comes home, sad, upset or angry because of the situation with her other husband. Sometimes, I try not to let her know I notice, just give her time to come around. Sometimes I have asked, and we have talked about things that have happened. But, and I find it difficult to write this here on her blog, I really don’t want to talk about her other marriage. I want to be her best friend, I want to be able to be there for her, but I’m simply not strong enough to help her solve her problems with her other husband. I haven’t been able to suppress my own needs enough to be able to do that. I don’t want her other marriage to be a part of ours. You can call me a bastard for not being there for her in everything, but I just can’t cope with this. I can’t be expected to help make her relationship with another man better, that’s how I see it.

Most of the time she doesn’t want to talk about it anyway, so that’s good. I have told her I’d rather not have her talk about her other marriage with me. I think that’s best for all of us. I wouldn’t really like it if we had issues, and I knew she was discussing it with her other husband…We have all agreed to keep our marriages apart and respect each other’s privacy. I think this is really important if you want polygamy to work. Sometimes I get really angry when she does things like put sugar in my coffee. I don’t take sugar, but her other husband does… Or when she talks about something we did, and suddenly she realizes she didn’t do it with me but with him.. Or when she gets texts from him and reads them while she’s sitting with my arms around her in the sofa… She tries not to do that kind of thing, I know, but sometimes it just happens and it still gets to me. I think it’s important to talk about it, and I know she tries to respect the way I feel and she does everything she can not to hurt me or make me jealous.

I don’t know her other husband. We have met a couple of times, and mostly we have been civil but we have kept our distance. A couple of times we have had to clear up some misunderstandings between us, but I really just want to keep him out of my life, and the life I have with Fiona. Nothing good seems to come out of us interacting, so we have settled in to not communicating except when necessary. When their marriage disturbs mine, I talk to Fiona about it. She’s the one who’s married to him – not me! I have to admit, I don’t really like him. We are very different, and he’s not the kind I would take to had I met him under different circumstances either…

When Fiona’s coming home I feel happy. I always miss her, and I try to show her that. I like to be a bit romantic, make her feel welcome home. I don’t jump all over her the way the dogs do, but not far from it. I think polygamy keeps the romance in a relationship. We get to miss each other and long for each other, we still have an element of chase and competition in the marriage, I feel like I’m still in a way courting her. Polygamy keeps you a bit on edge, maybe that’s why people find it stressful and exciting at the same time.

Would I want Fiona all to my self? Yeah. I would. But I think we would have a different kind of marriage then, and maybe some of the excitement, some of the romance would be lost? I don’t know.

I know I love her now, I know we are happy now.

9 thoughts on “Words from a Second Husband

  1. I just read this post over and over…To read something like this written by a man feels overwhelming. I am sort of shocked by it. Shocked by the way he is willing to share his wife. But also shocked the way he feels and understands, I feel like it’s a friend talking.It could have been another co-wife. But it’s a co-husband… It’s a bit confusing. I must ask, does being a second husband make you feel less of a man? The men I know would rather die than share their wives!! And from a man’s perspective, do you feel lonely too? That she is taking time from you and giving it to the other husband, that you get less of a life because you have to share? Thank you for this post!

  2. interesting post… nice to hear from a man perspective about sharing his wife… very unusual but it is possible and it’s all about the mind setting of a person…thanks for posting your message.

  3. Very interesting.

    What is a common law marriage, btw? Is it the Anglican church’s religious wedding? or is it a UK civil wedding, which then I do not understand – did you not (civil union) marry Mark, Fiona?

  4. Graham is an extremely interesting man. My question is – is he exclusive for you, Fiona? Because I do get a lot of what you said on you and Mark being happy only since you got “equal” in polygamy. So is Graham monogamous? Or does he have the right to be with someone else, too?

  5. A common law marriage is difficult to define since it has meant different things in different times and cultures. In early modern England a Common law marriage was deemed to exist as soon as a couple had agreed to be married, and consummated that marriage. This is why e.g. Francis Dereham claimed to have married Katherine Howard. In the late 16’th century a new Act stated that marriage had to be confirmed by a priest and at least two witnesses. Common Law marriages could still be recognized legally, if the couple declared themselves married, cohabited and had had sexual relations. (Sexual relations were deemed a kind of common law marriage until the 16 th century – this is why Henry VIII needed papal dispensation to marry Anne Boleyn, since he had had sex with her sister Mary). In the UK, common law marriages are no longer recognized as legal, but in some states in the US they still are.
    I am legally married to Mark. Graham and I had a common law marriage ceremony.

  6. Graham was a widower when I met him, his first wife died from uterine cancer. They didn’t have any children.
    Yes, he’s exclusive to me. He doesn’t want anything else. I have told him I would completely understand if he chose to leave me for a full time wife, or to have a part time relationship. He says there is no way in Hell he would ever choose to be polygamous. He says he’d rather be castrated, or run for parliament for the Labour Party! 🙂

  7. He is interesting. Most socially progressive I have ever heard of – yet does not like leftists? or is he far more left than Labour (which is centre to me 🙂 )?

  8. He defines himself as liberal, but votes tory. He’s allergic to Ed M! 😀

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