This is an important question. Many women wonder a lot about the way men hurt their first wives, families in order to have a second wife. We ask ourselves how it’s possible to live with yourself having hurt somebody you love so immensely. I have decided to write a three part post on this since it is such a major aspect of polygamy. Guilt. Hurt and guilt.
When I first became polygamous I did experience some guilt. But it was mostly some kind of cultural guilt. I felt that polygamy was somehow shameful and I was afraid about how my children would react. As soon as I knew my children were perfectly fine with it, I was able to get past it.
I didn’t feel guilty about hurting my husband. He had chosen to become polygamous behind my back, deceiving me brutally – he had turned our monogamous marriage into a polygamous one, not I. He had spent months going to another woman, fucking another woman, leaving me crying, shivering, screaming and vomiting. I felt no guilt whatsoever. I never took anything from my husband, I only used the half of my life he had given up to love again and be happy again with somebody else. No, I felt no guilt.
I did pity him though. I pitied him because I saw his extreme pain and I knew how he felt. I believe a lot of polygamous men can’t even do that since they don’t know the pain, they don’t know how it feels. So I felt compassion. But not guilt. He of course tried to guilt me, using his cultural and religious norms to do it. Doesn’t work on me. I didn’t do anything he hadn’t already done to me. He had proven that he thought it ok for a person to do this to a spouse.
Today, I do feel guilty sometimes. Since my husband’s #2 had to move, I have been feeling guilty over the pain I’m causing because my first husband is so vulnerable now and when I leave to go to Graham, #1 is all alone. When I’m falling asleep next to Graham, I know that #1 is alone next door. I feel guilty about the pain now. Before, my first husband was always with his #2 when I was with Graham so I didn’t feel guilty. I do now. Taking leave can be excruciating. Watching him pretending to be busy with something, finding an excuse to leave the house before me so he can be the one to leave. Sometimes he just holds me as if he never wants to let me go. Trying to keep his voice steady when he says good bye, I love you. Yes, I feel guilty.
So guilt has become a part of my marriage now. What happened with #2 wasn’t my fault, but I feel guilty about making my first husband hurt when he has nobody else but me.
I do feel guilty about Graham too. He hurts sometimes too. But he chose this willingly and always tells me I have nothing to feel guilty about. His choosing this makes all the difference.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my husband’s answer to the question: Do you feel guilty about hurting your spouse by being polygamous?