The Wall of Silence

Wall_1My first husband is in Oman.

He took off with a load of gifts and a guilty smile on his face. We kissed good bye like two strangers with a wall of unasked questions, untold fears and undivulged feelings between us.

Last night he called me on Skype. They are in a hotel because his parents won’t allow #2 in their house and my first husband can’t stay at his aunt’s with #2 since she has an elderly friend living there who can’t be expected to be bothered by the inconvenience of a strange man in the house.

So my husband called from their hotel room. #2 was having her hair done so he was free to talk to me for a while. I asked him if everything was alright with his family and yes, his mom and dad and siblings are fine and his aunt is fine and is enjoying having a young woman in the house. So I had to ask about #2, and he said she’s ok. And that’s when the talking became difficult.

This is my husband. We used to be able to talk about everything. We could always be honest about our feelings and when I was afraid or angry or sad my husband was always my greatest support. Now, there’s a wall of silence between us.

I know he wants to talk to me. I know he needs somebody to talk openly with, somebody who can listen to his worries and advice him. He’s got nobody. He can’t talk to his parents because they are still very angry about #2. He can’t talk to his children of course. And he can’t talk to me. I could tell from his look and his evasive answers that #2 isn’t at all ok. She is probably angry and sad and afraid. I can understand that. But my husband can’t talk about it because he knows I don’t want #2 to be a part of my life, and he knows #2 would hate it if he told me private things about her, just like I would hate it if he discussed me with her.

Things are happening right now that might alter his life forever. And he can’t talk about it with his wife. He is making decisions that will affect both him and me, maybe irrevocably but we can’t discuss it.

I know there are women out there who won’t even let their husband’s tell the other wife that they are having a baby, or already have one. So a wife might not even know when her husband becomes a father. This is real life polygyny, these are the ethics of polygyny.

We are best friends. We love each other. We share a life. But we can’t talk about the things that matter most.

Polygamy means living behind a wall of silence.

12 thoughts on “The Wall of Silence

  1. 😦 stay strong Fiona x

    What do you mean making decisions? I thought he was just going to visit for a week

  2. And when you are gone to the U.S., he’s going to have a really tough time and lots of thinking to do! I hope your blogging about it prevents another man from doing this. This blog really is so important.

  3. Hello S,

    Before my first husband left he promised me he would tell #2 that he will never divorce me so she must give up all hope of ever being legally married to him. This means she can not nourish any hope of ever coming to the UK as his wife. He also promised me he would tell her he can not father children. This means she might be able to file for divorce, but he says he would offer her talaq if that is what she wants. I’m hoping he will keep his promises this time. I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip, but there is so much riding on this – I must admit it is rather difficult.

  4. Hi Mimi!

    If my blog prevents a single man from becoming polygynous, I’ll die a happy woman. Nothing could be more important to me than helping other women escape from the horrid, degrading, disgusting practice of islamic polygyny. And your support means the world to me!

  5. What if they divorce? What will happen with you and Graham? I’m guessing you would not end things with him, as he has found such a special place in your heart, and he was there when you needed someone so badly. Do you think your first husband would take another wife? What a mess he’s gotten himself into! And her too! I bet she will not divorce him. Hmm. Serves them both right for doing this in secret behind your back!

  6. Ahh ok I see, did he make those promises on his own or did you ask him to make it? I think even for her sake he should tell her, clarity is always best.

    I think you are doing pretty well, hope you’re ok

  7. I didn’t ask for these promises – I know by now asking for promises is asking to get let down…

  8. Firstly u don’t have to be upset and feel sorry for what your Husband has done to both of you, your relation,trust,and everything you and your relation is facing.His #2 never wanted to be his wife,mother of his children or his love but only the status and privilege of being married to an Englishman, so she will never divorce him and also she prefers Oman than Yemen not because of her love for him but soperiority complex among her sisters. Before he left did u openly talked about ur feelings regarding this trip and ur trip to USA??
    Stay strong!! You have not done any wrong to him and yoyr relation but just found a means to survive what he has done to your relation and a means of keeping your relation alive…
    Lots of Love!!

  9. I hope he is finally honest with the 2nd about these important issues. No-one deserves to be lied too, especially about such huge issues that affect their life so much! It’s going to be one heart wrenching talk for the both of them! I am thinking that he will tell her about the no-divorcing you issue, but he won’t tell her about his not being able to father a child!! He’ll say he couldn’t drop both bombs at one time!

    Do you think Graham has these same feelings as you describe in this post – as he sits there and knows you are worried about some serious issues that you can’t talk to him about, ones that will also affect his life too? Or do you talk to him about these kinds of issues that are going on with your 1st husband and his 2nd wife. It just seems like this just gets so complicated with all the dos and don’ts walls one has to build up between each other – how does one keep it all straight? Who in their right mind would sign up for this kind of stress??? lol

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