The length of time it takes a woman to maneuver through the emotional quagmire is truly dependent upon her trust, faith and fear of Allah. In the end what most muslim women will have to do is mentally change their ideology on marriage and what a husband means in islam. The benefits of doing so will be felt by the woman, husband, children, family and friends. The benefit for the woman might include a sense of freedom, being able to practice her religion without having negative feelings about one part of islam. For the husband the benefits might be more obvious, a calm and peaceful household. The children would benefit in general by seeing the practice of polygyny as normal. Girls specifically would benefit by being able to draw upon the behaviour of their mother as a guide in years to come, Inshallah. Family and friends might benefit by seeing polygamy in a positive light and be influenced to change their erroneous views, if they exist. And most importantly, the benefit of correcting the heart and steering it to the way of Allah can earn Allah’s love, forgiveness and other rewards both in this life and in the hereafter. (By Umm AbdurRahman )
Emotion: Moving on – In this final stage the woman will proceed to the state or condition of acceptance.
Effect: This stage is usually clear, the woman’s attitude and behavior (sic) will change to one of acceptance. She will often begin the education process, trying to understand islamically why her husband desires polygyny. Her iman is evidently increased and she is again open and accepting of her husband’s attention.
Role: This stage has many intricate levels. The woman’s acceptance will probably first be based on the pure desire to move past pain. Then it will advance to a more complex understanding and acceptance of the male vs. female nature. Many women find themselves being able to joke with their husband about having another wife/wives somewhere in this stage.
Verbal Manifestations: Allah knows what is best for me. Allah will not give me a burden I cannot bear. This is just a test. My main goal is to get to Jannah and I don’t want to mess that up by acting undignified because of something halal my husband wants to do.
Physical Manifestations: Return to normal behavior or better behavior, increased iman, renewed desire for husband. (Source: Coping with Polygamy – From Monogamy to Polygamy By Umm AbdurRahman)
Fiona: Honestly, this is such bullshit. Sorry, but this kind of crap just makes me want to puke. Following the logic this woman is offering we should all go around raping each other, or killing each other’s children since these are the kinds of experiences that will hurt so immensely that they will put us through a soul searching journey bound to make us try to find meaning in suffering. This is disgusting and abhorrent. And it becomes even more repulsive since she claims that husband’s have a right to cause their wives this bottomless pain, and in return women should be thankful and loving and enjoy having sex on command with a husband she has to share with other women. This is physical and mental rape, committed over and over again without end, by somebody who claims to love you. This is a crime against humanity. And what this Umm AbdurRahman is doing is justifying this crime against humanity, claiming that some kind of god wants this for women, and that women should regard it as beneficial. Actually, I’ve seen exactly the same arguments coming from pedophiles, old men who have raped 3-4 year old toddlers and say it’s beneficial for them to learn love and sex from an experienced man and that the pain has a soul cleansing effect. And as you see, Umm AbdurRahman claims that mothers should submit to the abuse to show their daughters that this is normal, and in future they must submit too. It’s horrid beyond words. And every time somebody gets away with selling this shit, men will find justification to go on doing this to women. As I see it, Umm AbdurRahman and everybody else who is peddling this crap should be tried and convicted for crimes against humanity.
I was able to move on, and actually find happiness in polygamy, when my husband admitted my equal rights, our absolute equality, and I was allowed to build a whole life for myself. That’s what saved me. Equality and equal rights and value. That’s the answer.
Husband: When I became polygamous I considered it halal, I wanted to be a good husband to a young woman, make her life better, and I wanted to grow as a person and become a better husband to you by it. I really expected it to work that way. I know you find it hard to believe, but I did. And yes, I was excited by the thought of being in love again, having a new relationship, and yes sex. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to be a better person and husband too. I just never saw it as a two way street. I thought you would be hurt and angry, but get over it and see the good in it, the way Umm AbdurRahman describes it. I forgot, or didn’t consider, that the premise is that the woman must accept that men have rights that women don’t, that men and women have different needs, different emotions, and of course you would never accept these premises. And now, neither do I. I know that I experienced exactly the same emotions, exactly the same reactions you did. This “male vs female nature” talk is pure bullshit, yes I recognize that now. I fought against it though, because admitting that equalled admitting I have done an enormous wrong against both you and my second wife. I have come to terms with that now, and I’m trying to atone. I’ll have to live with the guilt though, since I have created a situation where people are still hurting, and there’s no way back.
Husband: I had to escape the pain somehow. I was hurting so bad, I knew I had to find a way to get past it. Divorce was impossible. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing you, I couldn’t do it to my new wife, I couldn’t change what I had done. So, I had to find a way through. What you did was so against everything I believed in, everything I thought was possible. I had my arguments with Allah, I wondered why he had allowed this to happen to me, what I had done wrong to have this punishment doled out. And finally I realized that the problem was me, my beliefs and attitude. If i just accepted my wife’s emotions, needs and rights as equal to mine, as no different to mine, I would be able to get past the pain and move on. It was as simple as that. Actually doing it was darned difficult, because I am still jealous, still hurt, but realizing that we are equal and the same, and telling my wife that I accept that, was what made a real difference.
Fiona: One day, before I was to leave and go to Graham, you said you hoped I would have a good time and that you wished me happiness in my new marriage. It felt a bit like heaven fell down and hit me in the head. Another time, you sang The Man in the iron Mask in the kitchen before I left and laughed a bit and said something about fighting jealousy. The way you managed to overcome your prejudice, the way you rose to the challenge made me love you again. And it enabled me to wish you happiness too, even with your new woman. Things still hurt though, we both still struggle, and sadly we make our other spouses struggle too.