It is difficult.
I have to be much more careful with my time, I have very little time to myself if I am to make sure that I nurture my relationships and meet the needs of my spouses. I have to compartmentalize and make sure I don’t bring either the love for or the conflicts with one husband to the other. They must both be able to live their lives with me in peace, feeling they both have a unique and valuable marriage. I have to be extremely sensitive to the feelings, reactions and needs of each husband in order to nurture my marriages. It means trying to read what’s is said between the lines, and even more difficult – that which is not said at all. I work hard to understand what they feel and why. I try to pick up subtle messages conveyed through body language and male stuttering verbality. I believe it is my duty, since I am the reason my husbands sometimes suffer, to do anything I can, any sacrifice, that might compensate this suffering and make things easier for them in any way.
Polygamy is also extremely demanding when it comes to communication. You must be able to be honest, put words to your feelings, verbalize your concerns, your love and your hurt. Clamming up is not an option since you only have half the time compared to monogamous couples. Being polygamous also means that you must be extremely empathic. You must be able to feel and understand the hurt, tensions, grief and jealousy of your partner.
This all means that women are much better than men at being polygamous. Women are much better at communication and talking about feelings. Women are better trained at verbal communication but they are also more receptive and can better care for the emotional needs of their spouses. Women are far more empathic than men which means they are more sensitive to the feelings, needs and desires of their partners. Women can better cater for the emotional and intellectual needs of plural men than a man can ever dream of.
Among the many islamic sites defending polygyny most claim that men are better polygamists than women because they are better at loving plural spouses. This of course is a lie. One can better understand the islamic way of looking at this by reading this quote from al-islam.org:
For a man, as long as he has the person of the woman under his control attaches no importance to the matter of whether the heart of woman is with him or not. This is the reason why, in polygyny, he attaches little importance to matters of the heart and the subtleties of delicate feelings. But for a woman the heart and love of a man is the real thing. If she is bereaved of that she loses all.
And please, note that this is supposed to be an argument in defense of polygyny! Men are better polygamists because they are oppressors who only want control over women, they don’t want the love of women! Thus men can fuck and impregnate four women and be happy as long as the women are under their control! Women on the other hand would not be good polygamists, since polygamy is bound to be suffocatingly and excruciatingly painful to the partner on the receiving end and women would not be able to do that to their husbands. Men on the other hand don’t care about the pain and suffering they cause, hence they are better polygamists.
This is the islamic argument!!!!!!
This might seem logical to those who don’t care about the feelings, needs and pain of women. This might seem like a good argument to people who believe it is far better for a woman to be forced into polygyny, raped, defiled at the age of 9, bereft of 75% of a husband than for a man to be forced to give up sex a couple of days each month when his wife is menstruating. To them, polygamy is successful if the polygamist controls his wives while being totally oblivious to their pain and suffering.
Islamic scholars understand that polygamy is devastating and causes extreme suffering but they claim that is ok, since men can live with doing this to their wife.
For me, it’s the other way around. To me, this explains why men can never succeed in polygamy. I believe the polygamist must be empathic, communicative, loving, sensitive and receptive. This is where I and islam differ.
I believe in love. I do not believe in control.
I do not believe in pain and suffering.