Do you feel Guilty about Hurting you Spouse by being Polygamous? Part 1

S%C3%A9pulcre_Arc-en-Barrois_111008_12Do I feel guilty about hurting my spouses?

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?

28 thoughts on “Do you feel Guilty about Hurting you Spouse by being Polygamous? Part 1

  1. I once heard or read somewhere – “guilt is a useless emotion, unless it spurs change!” HHmm, I wonder if that could apply here?

  2. Salam alaykum

    No husband wants to hurt his wife if he loves her. This is why so many men marry a second wife without telling the first. I did this. I was afraid if she would leave me or scare my intended wife away and I was also not eager to face her anger and maybe tears. I regret this afterwards because I now know that this made the second marriage worse to my first wife. I have felt guilty for this and especially when I see how that hurt her. But I am very happy with my second wife even if I love my first wife. I can not feel guilty for my love for second. And I make her happy and I am not guilty for that. I am happy to be blessed with my wives. I wish it could have been done without the hurt to my first wife. But I have done anything I can to make everything better for my first wife sometimes even at the cost of being just to my second wife. So I don’t feel guilty for that. But when I see my first wife become sad or when I know she is thinking about that I will leave to go to my second wife I feel guilty for that. But I don’t feel guilty for the happiness in my second marriage. I am thankful to Allah for what he has given and so is my second wife. Hope this is a helpful explaination.

  3. Marfuz,
    Yes I get it. You could be the completion of the first dozen men to come here and say this, but it doesn’t matter, because you all sound alike. Jesus. Do you guys ever bore yourselves? No of course not, you are endlessly self absorbed.

  4. Aww – I see! Your happiness is what matters – right? It trumps your 1st wife’s happiness!

    There is a word for this – it’s called narcissism!

  5. I am sorry if I offended you it was unintentional I assure you. You must try to react with understanding that there is more to win than to loose in polygamy. Your reaction is the natural jealousy of a woman and I respect that. But this is why polygamy is in the hands of the man and not on permission from his wife. We would have many more alone women and less children and smaller ummah if women were allowed to say no. 😉 Of course we must respect the feelings of our wife. I regret that I lied and admit I feel guilty it was wrong. But my happiness is not the only happiness you must count my second wife too who is happy, Now I’m doing anything I can to make my first wife happy too. I love her and treat her always just and as good as I can. I am hoping in the end polygamy will mean 3 happy people. So I don’t understand why you are so upset. If you could explain?

  6. “Now I’m doing anything I can to make my first wife happy too. I love her and treat her always just and as good as I can???????”

    BARF!

    Think of it like this:
    You’ve cut off both of someone’s legs and one of their arms, but then you ‘treat them soooo nice’ by buying a pretty bangle for them to hang on the one arm you left them. Aren’t they the lucky one, you were so nice to them as to buy them a pretty bangle!

    I’m being overly dramatic here, but one needs to point out to polygamous men that being gang raped one time (think Egypt here) by a dozen monsters is LESS agony than the torment you’ve inflicted on your wife. Why? Because she thought you were the one person in the world who would never, ever, ever hurt her. Boy, was she wrong! You’ve carved out her insides IN THE WORST WAY POSSIBLE!
    Are you so full of yourself that you can’t see that?

    And while I’m on this rant (sorry Fiona), why is everyone stymied by the phrase ‘want for your sister what you want for yourself’? My answer to that phrase is”yes, I want for my sister what I want for myself. I want her to have a full time husband of her own, same as me!”

    And. one more thing, why do some men sell polygamy to their wives as saying the wives are lucky to enjoy a break from the husbands and won’t have to work so hard? Are those polygamous men a big drain on their families when they’re present? Aren’t the husbands useful and helpful? How is it easy when one half of the adults ‘minding the store’ decides to go AWOL leaving the first one holding the bag?

    Arrrrgggg!

  7. Marfiz, stop lying about this deen. You said “…polygamy is in the hands of the man and not on the permission of the wife” You are lying.

    Go here to http://www.zawaj.com/askbilqis/husbands-family-doesnt-know-married/
    and see Ruqayya_25’s comments. You will see how you have Islamically violated your first wife’s rights by marrying a second wife WITHOUT your first wife’s permission. Read all of Ruqayya’s comments and see her explanation.

  8. @Marfus.

    Before I comment, I feel that I should come clean, ie. be open and honest.

    I am from Scotland. I am male and married 25yrs to my dear wife. I am Christian. I am here, because I believe that the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK will lead to Polygamy being legalised. I oppose both.

    I am not Islamophobic. I actually see Islam as an ally in the fight against sweeping militant secularism.

    I want to learn about polygamy.

    However as a man, I find your arguments to be self serving and, I believe, disingenuous.

    You speak of “natural jealousy” as if it this should simply be ignored. You admit that you lied in the beginning. Why did you lie?

    I imagine your first wife must feel jealousy, yes, and deep hurt and anger. All of which I consider are the correct response.

    I could never do this to my wife and life partner.

    It is not that I do not find other woman attractive. I am a man. Woman are warm, loving and pretty human beings. I also believe that some woman have found me attractive, but I simply cannot open romantic or sexual relationship with them. At a base level of my personality, I want to. However, I love my wife too much. She can trust me implicitly. While we are married, which I think is for life, other woman are off limits.

    You say, “We would have many more alone women and less children and smaller ummah if women were allowed to say no. ;)”

    This is to me patently false. The natural birth rate for male to female is about 50:50. In some societies, where the male is valued above the female and which allow abortion, the numbers of males is much greater.

    Few woman, and men, need to be alone. In fact for every polygamous male with 2 wives, in a jealous, hurt, anger and guilty relationship . There is roughly one other male with none. Unless you are prepared to share one or two of your wives?

    Are you willing to share your wives? Would your jealousy be so easily waved aside and should you be denied the right to say “No!”?

    (BTW In China, for example, the number of females is approximately half the males in young children. I predict that in about 15years the laws of supply and demand will kick in and families with girls will find that, paradoxically, the females will become very high value. I also predict an exodus of males from China seeking women, and a growth of homosexuality among the male population. See if I am wrong, simple maths.)

  9. Hi Fiona,

    I stumbled on this web site last night and I have spent some time reading several of your posts. I understand much of your choices. You had polygamy forced on you. I understand your pain. I think the feelings are correct. Your children’s reaction, I think are correct.

    You have responded by taking up a second spouse. I almost applaud the “getting even” approach.

    I am sorry if you have explained this elsewhere, but I wonder about spouse #2. Incredible to me that he would accept this half relationship you offer, but I understand that he entered into this relationship with eyes open.

    What if he adopted a spouse#2

    Don’t you think that will bring more pain? Perhaps less guilt?

    It seems to me that the current arrangement is still very young. Less than a year. Do you believe it can be sustained?

    I think that the guilt, hurt and jealousy will never really end in such an open relationship. Would it not be fairer to #2 (and perhaps #1) to divorce #1. Healing can then follow.

    You had polygamy forced on you. You wanted monogamy. You can have monogamy again.

  10. @ Marfuz
    When a person marries second, He gains a means to satisfy his lust, Second wife gains Husband, home,and everything only at the cost of Causing pain to your first wife!! Then u expect her to be happy and make u happy too- Just disgusting!! If a person is happy at the cost of someones pain and finds right in doing that – “He never felt guilty, Its not love u feel for your first wife,its pity because men like u can never feel compassion and if u are unhappy in your first marriage not because of your wife’s hurt but because if lack of comfort she has being providing u for years!!”
    I just don’t understand why first wife stay in marriage that too with Husband of mentality like you??

  11. Hi Tony, welcome!

    You’re right, I had polygamy forced on me. It’s a violation beyond words, mental and physical rape. I regained my sanity by claiming my right to happiness and love in my life, the half of it my husband had abandoned.

    My second husband was a widower. His first wife died and it was unbelievably painful for Graham. He started his own business in order to force himself to get going with his life again. So did I. That’s how we met. As soon as I realized there were feelings between us I told him I was married – to a polygamous muslim. Graham was gobsmacked. But then he said that after his wife died he never thought he could find a woman to love again. Even half a woman was more than he had dared hope for.. 🙂

    Graham is ultra monogamous (thank god!). He knows now what polygamy means for real and he says it is completely beyond him how any man can be stupid and naive enough to want polygamy! 😉 He says he’d rather catch the plague.

    There have been times when I have wanted to divorce #1. I couldn’t when things hit rock bottom, I wouldn’t be able to now. Not as things stand right now, anyway. I love him, you see.

    It doesn’t mean I know what will happen tomorrow.

    Thank you very much for these very good questions. Come again! 🙂

  12. I agree with you Successfull. The second post of Marfuz was more delusional than the first. These guys, after doing what they do, ought to really quit talking about it, because every time they open their mouths they show their emptyheadedness. Unfortunately, the problem is not the delusions themselves but how contagious they are. .

  13. @ Dale Arthur
    Well I don’t think these guys are empty headed instead I find that their minds are so damn Preoccupied with selfishness, lust, greed that they can go to any extent to satisfy that!! And then they are able to enjoy with the other wife knowing they are the reason behind the misery and immense pain of first wife And at the same time claiming to love her and feeling guilty is really hateful and truly reveals that they lack compassion, empathy, sympathy and morals of being human other than Husband as well!!
    They also prove that they don’t deserve to be respected, trusted.and loved wholeheartedly because how a person preoccupied with just one feeling that is lust can treat a woman of class capable of devoting herself, sacrificing anything and everything, also losing love for herself and her life in the process of loving you and valuing you more than you ever deserved. so they are very happy with second wife-someone having mental wavelength that matches their own due to selfishness, greed and lack of principles a human must posses!!
    I am not waiting for these men to stop making women a martyr at the cost of their lust But I do have hope and expectations from women that they will stand for their right as a wife and if not as a wife at least as a human, I want them to know that their worth as a woman is more than being raped physically, mentally, emotionally and getting replaced by a mere whore!!
    I don’t know why they do not want to understand- ÜNDOUBTEDLY PAIN IS INEVITABLE BUT THE SUFFERING IS”.
    Lots of love dear!!

  14. I sometimes feel guilty for hurting my coco. I know I did nothing wrong, it is my right to marry a man who makes an honorable offer the way my husband did. We didn’t need her permission. It makes me angry when she says things that sound like I stole something from her. She didn’t own him, she had no right to make decisions for him or begrudge him something Allah has allowed. He was not her property so I had every right to marry him. But I feel guilt too, or even more as you say Fiona compassion. I understand how hurt she must be. He is a wonderful man and if he had been my husband first I maybe would have wanted him all to myself also. But I think first wives have no right to play blamegames with seconds. He is my husband just as much as hers and she must respect that. I would have felt more guilty I think if she had been good about it. I was willing to try to be a family and reach out to her but she rebuffed me. Sometimes my husband is so frustrated when he has been with her because she keeps harping on how he “betrayed her”. She could ask for a divorce if she feels betrayed. He didn’t betray her he only used his right. He loves me and she is vicious about it. He has been awfully patient and forgiving and that bugs me sometimes. But her being so nasty makes things easier because I don’t have to feel guilty as much.

  15. Fiona,
    I don’t see a question in what LS has said, so probably, no “answer” is needed? LS: I think your words simply describe your world, exactly as you perceive it to be.

  16. You’re right Dale, of course. LS:s post just sort of left me at a loss for words. But I can’t help but feel sorry for her too.

  17. In this UNIVERSE the only thing that is constant is “CHANGE” and things, situations, persons, views and our outlook on things also changes with respect to that whether we want it or not. The time period when prophet would have given right to become polygamous cannot be compared with the current time period. Earlier marriage was a matter of sharing responsibilities and duties but in today’s world its moreover a matter of passion, fulfillment, priority, and commitment for lifetime. Earlier Husband used to gain wife through marriage and wife used to get husband but in today’s world they gain best of lovers, best friend, partners, companion or we can say a different world in himself!!
    I belong to HINDUISM and in our religion earlier when wives become widow as we burn dead bodies so along with Husbands body wives were burn alive according to a custom because they were not capable of surviving on their own but as the time changed, position of women and so as customs. Now women are respected for who they are and admired about their strength even if the Husband dies and the idea of widow remarriage is also very common. Many other views like treatment of people on the basis of their caste, opposition in inter caste marriages etc. changed with time because everything needs change and on the basis of past you can never justify future.
    We always take something in reference with regard to justice and that is why criminals are punished on the basis of laws prevailing currently and not because it was considered a crime when life on this Earth started!! Even in our holy book there’s written that earlier many of our goddess underwent burning themselves alive to prove their purity to their Husband and because they were pure fire didn’t harm them but if a Husband now claims that its his right to burn his wife alive to check her purity even though he loves her and we have facilities like DNA test to do the same, is he Justified?? Without taking condition in account you can never do justice”The most wealthy man of a village can be even poorer than the poorest man of a town”So without reference we cannot judge anyone. In India 100 years back with 100000 INR you would be able to buy a bungalow but now its difficult to survive 1 month with this much money.But if even today you claim that its your right to own a bungalow since you have this much money and your Grandfather bought was able to do so and command people to respect your feelings, do you think they will??
    Earlier life was even easy for those who are illiterate but do you think its the same today??
    In todays World of perfection Everything is either perfect or suffering and same goes with RELATIONSHIPS!! With so much advancement in every field regarding our Education, Cinema, Business, Jobs along with which has changed peoples outlook, their mentality, needs…… then how someone can claim that needs of relationships and women hasn’t changed??
    Earlier women wanted to be protected and provided for but now its a matter of partnership, Give and take account alongwith equality. Even in one generation gap taste and everything that has changed over time cannot be neglected.
    Most of the Islamic countries like pakistan, Bangladesh… were people are living their old thinking and believes about life can be seen easily as how they are lagging behind in every respect in comparison to nations that are marching ahead with time no matter what and the difference in developed, developing and underdeveloped countries lies there!!

  18. I personally found these words that LS used very interesting…
    It is my right …
    She has no right…
    I had every right ..
    First wives have no right…
    he only used his right…

    Hhmm… Written this way – it kind of sums up the problem and shows the true attitude behind forced polygamy, doesn’t it??? (I am pretty sure that attitude is NOT compassion!!)

    LS does not see that the true issue here is not polygamy per say, but instead the issue is forcing polygamy on someone who does not want it, someone who is not choosing it and would never choose it, and someone who will never be really happy living it! I don’t feel sad for LS, but I do feel sad there are women like LS – who believe their rights to be happy trump other women’s rights to be happy!!! As long as there are women like LS, forced polygamy will continue!!!

  19. Thank you for putting up that list Mary. I was also very jarred by the bald ranking of her rights, and the devalueing of the obvious distress that has been engendered by her choices.

  20. This is an aspect of islam that is often stressed by imams and sheiks – it is the religion of justice, to each his rights. (Most of the time it’s about his rights, not hers). Not to each what they deserve or what they have earned or what they need. No, his godgiven rights, whatever the cost. This is what happens when people are afforded different rights – there is no balance, no consideration. LS is not being uniquely selfish – she is just being a representative of an ideology where some people have rights over other people, and where the people with power use that power to promote their own desires, and people without power use their diminutive rights to try to win enough space to be able to stand up – preferably on top of somebody with even less power.. 😦

  21. I can understand poor women in countries where there are no options, no means of survival without a husband. I can never understand how women in the west can accept polygyny, claiming it is a man’s right no matter how devastating and painful it is to his family.

  22. Fiona, I’m so proud of you for starting this blog and discussing Islamic polygamy. Your solution, to take a second partner yourself, was totally brilliant!! It absolutely turned the tables on the lies that your husband had believed so selfishly.

    As for the comments from lonelysecond, I agree with Mary. There is absolutely nothing in LS’s comments that makes sense. As far as I am concerned, any woman who seduces a married man is plain stupid. If he cheats on his wife with you, he will never be faithful to you. You will never be able to trust him. If you chase after married men you deserve all the karma that’s coming. And it’s very serious business. Polygamy is a nightmare for all the women concerned. Nobody has the right to covet another woman’s husband. It’s in the Old Testament. It’s in the Ten Commandments. Muslims are supposed to believe this because they accept the OT.

    I also married a Muslim and even lived in Bangladesh with him and his extended family. I was accepted into my husband’s family with no requirement to convert to Islam. They accepted me as a person of the Book, ie the Old Testament. That’s the Book that says not to chase married people.

    Two of my husband’s sisters were in polygamous marriages. They lived separately from their husbands and the other wives. I saw that there was a lot of heartbreak, loneliness and fear in this situation. Since my husband’s family were wealthy, these women didn’t suffer the extreme poverty and exploitation that plural wives in Fundamentalist Mormonism suffer. Their husbands did their duty. They treated all their wives exactly the same. If one wife got a new sari, every wife got one. If one wife got a new car, every wife got a new car. That’s why, in Bangladesh (at least while I was there, 30 years ago), only the very rich and the very poor had more than one wife. The rich could afford it. The poor put their wives out to work as domestic servants and basically drank all their wages.

    My marriage broke down after we left Bangladesh. The man I married, and the man I returned from Bangladesh with, were not the same person. He had adopted all the arrogance of the entitled classes in Bangladesh, and he had lost the Western values of women having rights. I didn’t put up with his criticism. I especially didn’t put up with it when he would tell our friends at dinner all sorts of humiliating things about me. These were things a husband shares with his wife and should never be divulged, especially in public!! I was more upset with the “friends”, because they were Western, and yet not a single one of them commented when he was so disgusting in his treatment of me. One Saturday, I finally convinced him it was his turn to clean the bathroom. He screamed at me, “You’re trying to kill me with this hard work!!” That was the end for me. Before we went to Bangladesh, he did his share of the housework. After we returned, he refused to lift a finger AND he criticised my housekeeping skills to guests. He also claimed (falsely) that he had done ALL the preparation for dinner, when actually I had done everything; he just stirred the pot when it was warming up for five minutes before serving.

    It was ten years out of the marriage before I realised that it had been a domestic violence situation.

    One day, long after the divorce, my former husband took me out to dinner at an expensive restaurant. He formally asked my permission, as Wife number 1, to take a second wife. I was stunned. We had been divorced for years. I would never ask his permission to remarry. (I never re married. I learned enough about men to avoid living with them!). I formally gave my permission. His family were horrified that he wanted to remarry. When he was in Bangladesh getting married again, one of his aunts phoned me and said, “As long as we are alive on this Earth, you have a home here with us.” Nobody has ever said such kind words to me, before or since.

    I would never have agreed to my husband taking a second wife if I was still married to him. Even though we were divorced, when his new wife arrived from Bangladesh I started getting a lot of hang up calls. If my partner at the time answered the phone, she would ask to speak to me. If I answered, she would hang up. My partner said she sounded foreign. I phoned my former husband and asked if it could be his second wife. He said, probably. We had managed to get along after the divorce. After all, to have been married in the first place, we had a lot in common. His second wife put an end to that. She threw massive tantrums every time she heard he had even seen me. He moved to London with her because she didn’t want him to be anywhere near me. I even phoned her one day. I introduced myself to her. I told her that I wished all the best to her and my former husband. I said that I had no romantic interest in him. She was welcome to him. I would not be in her way. Even with all that, she adamantly refused to allow him to have any contact with me or with people who had known me. That meant that he retreated back into the Bengali ghetto, having less and less contact with outsiders. I think it’s sad. But that’s not surprising given what a nightmare it is to think you have to share your husband with someone else.

    Your solution absolutely nailed the whole issue. It forced him to experience the pain that he had inflicted on you. Personally, I would have left the marriage. If my husband had eyes for any other woman I would not trust him. You had a good marriage before this happened. Your husband wasn’t humiliating you in public. Given that you love him still, I think your solution was pure genius. Good on you!!

  23. Thank you Fiona once again for starting your blog and opening people’s eyes to the reality of polygamy and deep rooted sexism which exists even today in modern society. Your decision to marry your other husband also unrooted many ancient made up gender differences and how empowered we women can actually be. Also your authenticity and daring to speak the truth about real feelings and emotions helped other people, especially us women, to feel relieved. This is why having women in public blogs and out in the world helps so much; they are a voice for many. Thank you once again 🙂

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