Polygamy and Trust

Double loyalties equal no loyalties.

Double loyalties equal no loyalties.

Trust in most marriages is based on exclusiveness. You know you can trust your partner to prioritize you and your children because you both have your life and your future invested in your family. You know that you have an equal interest in protecting, providing for and investing emotionally in your own family. Trust is also based on the promise to forsake all others. Even though islamic websites like to point out that cheating on your spouse is common in the west and in monogamous marriages, the truth is that most married people stay faithful to their spouse, and love their partner through better and worse.

In polygamy, this is not the case. A husband with two families only invests half his time, half his money and half his interests in your children and your marriage. He has a back up plan and a way out. So if you should leave him, he’s not losing his life investments, he’s just given the opportunity to move all his chips to red. No loss. So you can never trust him to be equally protective of your family, to be equally committed to you and your children. Because he isn’t.

He has also chosen not to forsake all others. Not only has he chosen to follow his lust and have sex with somebody else. He has chosen to move half of the love-chips, money-chips, time-chips, children-chips, to her side of the table. He is investing in her, the same amount he is investing in you. So you can never trust him.

If he did this by lying to you, behind your back or against your will, of course there is really no trust left. You may still find advantages to staying with him, you may still love him – god knows love is not rational! – but you will never trust him again. Simply because he has proven himself not to be trusted.

If you stay with him, he will probably believe you still love him like before, that you will be able to trust him again. He will probably drown you in sweet nothings to build this love and trust again. “You are still my first love” “I love you more” “She can never take anything from our love” – and so on. You know none of this is true. The love you had and the trust is gone, never to be refound. You can learn to love again, should you want to, but the trust will be gone forever. Simply because he’s no longer investing his loyalty in your family and marriage, he never will again.

If a man bets 50£ on Man U to win and 50£ on Arsenal, every game for the rest of his life, you would not say that he is loyal to Man U! No Man U fan would anyway… 😉

You simply can not trust a polygamous partner.

You can not trust a polygamous partner, because they are not on your team.

Every polygamous person is working both sides of the fence, every polygamous person is a double-agent. In islam, this is very much true, since your husband may be on the other team without even telling you about it, a marital Kim Philby.

I suppose this is why most people despise polygamists. Not because they are lustful or selfish but because a polygamist is never to be trusted, because a polygamist is by necessity a double-agent, a traitor to his first family.

18 thoughts on “Polygamy and Trust

  1. This should be part of a handbook for all husbands and wives before polygamy. It is a very sad and painful truth.

  2. If only husbands could understand that they are losers too. So many believe they will be able to have all the excitement of a new wife, more sex and feeling macho, and at the same time be able to keep what they had. I have been looking for a blog where a husband in polygamy blogs about what it is really like, that is how I found your blog. i believe men don’t blog about this because they don’t want to tell how they regret it and what losers they are…

    I think it is significant that on blogs where women support polygamy you will find almost no men. But here where you tell a different story a lot of men are commenting, both for and against. Why do you think that is?

  3. Hello, and welcome!

    Good question!

    I have also noticed that we get a lot of male traffic here. I suppose, as long as women are simply cheering them on they feel no need to participate in the conversation. Here they have an opportunity to actually debate, to explain and to learn! I’m hoping that’s why they choose to comment here. Also I think, men aren’t used to being challenged on this publicly. When they are, they want to defend themselves. But I do believe a lot of men come here to actually learn about different perspectives to polygamy, and I do believe they find that they can learn things here that they can’t anywhere else. I get a lot of confidential posts from men too. I am glad! I think they know they’ll get an honest answer and that’s why they ask questions they wouldn’t dare ask anybody else. And I welcome everybody! Even islamist fanatical pro-polygynists are welcome! As long as they can take an open debate and keep honest and fair!

  4. Salam

    I married my second wife two years ago and I am happy to have a good first wife and I am happy in both my marriages. But it is true that it is can not be the same. My wifes have the prioroty of their own marriage and their children. I must have priority for both families and must always give to one at the price of the other. Every time this happens my one wife trusts a little less and I can not do otherwise. I can not be a devoted husband I can only be a pragmatic husband. We must be just. A wise man will know that this is meaning that we will give up love the way it was because romantic love is not just. So maybe you can trust husband to be just, but can not trust him to love you or love you more?

  5. Erdahin:
    “I can not be a devoted husband I can only be a pragmatic husband”

    That is a very profound thing for you to say. Thank you.

    With regard to your experience of your wife’s loss of trust. For me, when a person that I loved and needed caused me so much incessant pain, a piece of me died in relation to them, and never grew back. I adjusted to the loss. I still carried on, but it was never the same.

  6. Salam,

    I just wanted to know do you expect them to be in love with you with their complete hearts,and be loyal to you? I am baffled by the idea that men in polygamous expect the loyality and love of their wives,but are giving them half of what a man in monogamous marriage does.


  7. I read a lot from many people who have polygamy marriages. It is not something men talk about with eachother and understanably I can not talk to my wifes about troubles and feelings I have regarding being married also to somebody else. I write here because I find here things talked about open that is not talked about in normal, and I learn things my wifes also will not say to me. I thank you Dale for what you write. I know what you say is true I have lost something important as with regards my first wife. I knew soemthings would be different when I married again but I didnt know what. Now I know many differents and one is she is not trusting me anymore and is right in doing. I thought I would be same husband to her only half the time but it is not so. Can not be same husband because I have more feelings and responisbilites. Fiona write ” Double loyalties equal no loyalties.”. I understand this is true from wifes view and admit is a bit true.
    Salam Souamaya. I love my wifes and I know they love me. Sometimes peoples say you can love two wifes just as you can love many children. That I find is a lie. Is not same. I love my mother but is not same as love for wife and love for mother is not same as a love for a stepmother. All loves are differents. Love with intimacy and romantic love is special. I have learned now the complete love can never be in polygamy. Not me, not wifes. I have love with intimacy but not intimate love. So we have all not what would be complete. I expected maybe my wifes to love me complete with their hearts when I married. I know now that can never be so. It is a very sad know.

  8. Salam
    @ Er
    I was just wondering ,if you knew that it would hurt your wife this much,why did you disregard her feelings.It seems like your are an over all rational person,who expected a rational result from an irrational action.How did you tell your wife?What was her reaction?and why ,why did you do this? and what you do it again with the third wife? I now this seems all personal but I just do not understand ” I love my wife,but will hurt her this much”
    Sorry for being forward ,but please just answer if you are up to it.

  9. Salam Souamaya

    I am not any way offended by you asking. It is like I say good to find a place I can talk about this things as it is not possibly to speak with anybody.

    I knew I hurt my first wife. But I was made belief that women learn to accept polygamy and find it benefits. people I trusted made this belief and I believed it was TRUTH. They say “Jallah – women are differents. She will scream a time but will only be afraid you will leave her. Women want attractives men and when she sees you are attractive to second wife she will want you more again. Women are differents and not care about intimacy but love so if you love her she will not hurt when she stops be angry” My first wife was very angry when I told her I will marry another wife and it was like the brothers said she screamed I did not love her but I knew I did so I think she is wrong and when she see she is wrong it will be all good. You understand? It all seemed truth what brothers told me.
    I think if I had known women better I would not have been made fool. I know my wife as person now before I married second I only knew her as wife. You understand? No I would not get three wifes. Sometimes I wish I had no wife so I can choose to have a complete wife.

  10. Hello Erdahin!

    You know, I must compliment you on your honesty! I bet there are thousands of men out there who share your feelings and experience, but aren’t able to say so. Thank you very much for sharing. I hope you stay and talk to us more!

  11. Salam,
    Thank you for answering why the question that mystified me after seeing men stating that they love their wife,but want another.It makes complete sense that yo would think that way,because on lectures,articles,and Islam qa(I hate that site) all tell the men that women are different creatures,that some how they do not feel what men feel,but the fact is we are worst.Men need to stop believing that women do not value sex ,and that money or love is important,because if that was the case I would have sex with everyone,since I do not contact the two.I love my husband of 8 years ,with everything I have but if he even says I want another women in a joke,i will ask him to reconsider or think about my feelings but I would just leave,i do not need anything from him at that point. Even if he says he would not do it anymore, but to take him back, it will be the day hell freezes over,because you see the trust is no longer there.I am not saying that men do not look at other women,but women also look at other men,this is why Allah says to bothe genders to Lower the gaze.Let tell you something my brother,image what you have done to your wife,and place yourself there,that is how she feels.I am muslim,but cultural our women are very strong,a man would not dare do this ,without frist divorcing his wife,because the women would do the same thing because that is how balls we are,so for that reason to protect the relgion of the women,our community do not play with that.I hope you peace in your marriage,because I know from a women’s persective,it feels wonderful to know that my husband comes home to me alone,loves me alone,and is intimate with me alone,and with that sense of security I make him feel like he can conquer the world.I have realized how blessed I am after reading so many women and men in pain,Alhamdiuallah ,I hope the best for all the slaves of Allah,but I wish women would speak up more and demand more an expect more.


  12. @ Erdahin
    I just wanted to know what do you exactly mean by this “We will give up on love as it was because Romantic love is not just”. Do you love your first wife like the way you use to do or love her less or more?? Also Regarding trust issues what differences you noticed in your wife’s behavior? Is there anything more she used to do for you but now she doesn’t? Obviously you would be attracted more towards your second wife but whose behavior, tears and Happiness affects you more? Do you feel guilty for what have you done to your first wife and your Relation to her then too she stayed and even loves you? Are your wives working, are they jealous of each other and who actually feels more jeaoulsy?
    Sorry for asking so many Questions but i really wanted to know??
    Please reply if it doesn’t troubles you….

  13. Funny you wrote this now – I have just asked my first husband to write a post on guilt, since I got a question from a man who asked for a polygynous man’s view on guilt in polygyny. Coming up!

  14. @ Fiona
    I really want to understand what it means- “We give up love as it used to be because Romantic love is not just”.
    I’ll be grateful if anyone will spare some time to explain this…… Please!!

  15. Erdahin would be the best person to express what he meant, but I’m guessing he’s no longer here. I assume he meant the following. By “romantic love” he’s talking about a relationship in which you develop knowledge of your spouse’s unique qualities over time, and your knowledge of her individuality conditions your response to her. In these situations, it would be absurd to base your understanding of your wife on your concept of someone else.

    The Islamic concept of polygamy, for the male, entails the obvious perogative for multiple spouses, along with a justifying concept of equal treatment of the 4 wives. This means the husband treats each wife not in terms of her individuality, and the needs and agenda that derive from it, but in terms of the needs of 3 other women. So pragmatism becomes the rule in order to accomplish the ideal of justice.

    Polygamous men would assert that the Islamic model preserves the dignity of each wife by treating each wife with equal attention to her unique needs. In fact, most of the male contributors to this site talk almost exclusively about their rights as males, and only talk about women in terms of what actions women should take to accommodate them, and how women should be HAPPY doing it. (Their insistence that women be happy and content in this arrangement is the only clue that men have even a vestige of conscience.) It is obvious to any reader that they really don’t know their wives. As such their theory about treating the wives according to their needs is impossible since those needs remain largely unknown.

  16. I believe you’re absolutely right. I’m not sure Erdahin, or any muslim, polygynous male, would have agreed with you however. 😉

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