Do you feel Guilty about Hurting you Spouse by being Polygamous? Part 2

Wedding_rings_photo_by_Litho_PrintersI asked my first husband to answer the same question – Do you feel Guilty about Hurting you Spouse by being Polygamous? This is what he says:

Yes I feel guilty. I have always felt guilty.

I felt guilty when I started thinking about polygyny. I felt like a creep for even considering it. When I started to understand that I wanted it, that I felt I needed it, the guilt hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s difficult to explain but the thought, the desire, once established is like a drug like an addiction. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, wanting it. I felt I wanted to be needed again, I wanted to have somebody dependent on me, somebody to love and care for. And yes, I wanted to experience the thrill of infatuation again. The thought of two women, two different women was intoxicating. The desire was like a drug. I couldn’t give it up. I looked at my wife and I knew it would almost kill her and I felt extremely guilty. But my desire was so great, I made myself believe what many of my brothers told me, that she would come around and accept it, that she would come to appreciate her time off, that polygamy could add new spice to our relationship. I believed it because I wanted to believe it.

But I did it behind her back because the guilt was agonizing.

And when I told her, my world fell apart just as hers did. I was shocked by the violence of her reaction. If I could have undone everything I would have. But I was already married again, responsible for a young woman’s life and happiness. There was no turning back. If there are any men out there reading this, considering polygamy – please believe me – there is nothing as awful as doing it behind your first wife’s back Her pain, my guilt – we both went through hell. I’m no monster. I don’t know how many times I took the car out to the first exit off M6 and parked and sat there screaming and crying with the pain and guilt of having left Fiona silently shivering, staring at the wall in our dark bedroom with a bucket beside the bed in case she wouldn’t make it to the bathroom.

The time I came home and found she had cut herself and was bleeding all over, I would have done anything to turn back time and be rid of my second marriage. But I couldn’t divorce #2. I was in love with my second wife. She needed me. She loved me. I had promised to care for her. She is so young, so vulnerable, so lovely – I still can’t stand the thought of losing her. And I couldn’t live without Fiona.

So I live with the guilt. I’m somehow glad Fi’s second marriage has given me a chance to atone for what I’ve done, I think it’s a test I deserve.

27 thoughts on “Do you feel Guilty about Hurting you Spouse by being Polygamous? Part 2

  1. Ahum Fiona don’t you feel he is being just a bit too submissive here? Is this actually what he feels? Or is he painting a picture? Gutsy to talk about how lovely #2 is on your blog, I give him credit for that.

  2. I don’t know what to say! I am sickened! I wish I had not read this!!! This is just plain betrayal – betrayal of love, trust, friendship, loyalty – in the deepest, darkest, most gut wrenching purest form! A woman gives her heart, her love, her loyalty, her youth, her faith – and allows herself to become vulnerable – opening herself up to him in every way – yet trusting that the man who holds her heart and KNOWS her vulnerability will NEVER betray her, will NEVER knowingly hurt her – because he loves back in the same way she loves him! Believing she is safe, that her heart is safe – one earth shattering day she finds it is not! The man who holds her heart betrays her in the worst way possible – not because he could not help it – not because he did not know he was betraying her – not because of fate – but simply because he could… and what he wanted mattered more than protecting her heart!!!

  3. I am sorry Fiona – I don’t mean to add to your pain! But he is still f….g. betraying you! Listen to this sentence – his words… “I would have done anything to turn back time and be rid of my second marriage. But I couldn’t divorce #2. I was in love with my second wife. She needed me. She loved me. I had promised to care for her. She is so young, so vulnerable, so lovely – I still can’t stand the thought of losing her.” His promises to her, his love for her, his desire for her mean more than his promises to you, more than his love for you, more than his desire for you, more than the pain and guilt of seeing you laying there bleeding, more than YOUR pain! Be careful – I know you love him – but his betrayal continues! Your heart is not safe with him and never will be!

  4. Hello First Husband (FIona can you please give first husband a name?),
    From what I understand, you are Muslim by culture, but were not observant. Correct? But, while not fulfilling Islamic religious duties, you decided that you had the “right” to have a second wife? You and Fiona have already explained that your understanding of this “right” came from your male colleagues and friends, Muslims, correct? Replicating the behavior of others in the matter of right and wrong is appropriate to a 13 year old, not a middle aged man in his 40s.

    While my primary allegiance is with Fiona, not with you or wife #2, I wish to state that your treatment of wife #2 is immoral. She would be better off divorced than stuck in someone else’s house, childless for the rest of her life. That she goes along with this is infuriating, but that you go along with it shows just how cowardly you truely are.

    EIther that, or this entire story is made up.


  5. I hadn’t planned on giving my first husband a blog name. But your’re right, it might be simpler to be able to refer to him by name. We can call him Mark. Mark as in Flambards 🙂 His real name is Arabic, but in the family he has always had an English nickname. Mark will be fine.

    I have been wrestling with exactly the issues you raise, ever since this hell began. I have never been able to understand how he could be so deluded, so out of this world stupid. I still can’t get my head around it.

    Mark (hm, I need to get used to calling him by name) tells me he has had some serious talks with #2 and they have arrived and some kind of understanding. I will tell you more about it later.

    I don’t believe Mark is being deliberately dishonest when he describes his point of view. I don’t believe he’s telling the whole story either. I know he’s behaved cowardly. It seems to be a trait among polygynous men…

  6. And furthermore.
    While everyone else here was praising Fiona for paying for your trip to visit wife#2, I was disgusted. Fiona is falling into the same self-adulating trap that every polygamous wife falls into; paying for the lifestyle she hates so she can view herself as a compassionate and practical person.

    If you are going to keep this “child” as a second wife, then bring her into your daily life, and go out and get a second job to pay for it. If you can’t do this, then you don’t have a shred of manhood.

    I also went back and read your narrative more closely. You sound like a pedophile. I’m sure you are not. But there is a difference between a person who has these desires, and a person who acts on them and can’t separate right choices from fun choices.

  7. Thanks Fiona. And I apologize to you, and to a certain extent to Mark but not really, for my harsh words. I do lots of crappy things too, and half the time I don’t even want to live. I actualy sent out my “furthermore” post before reading your response. Reading your blog has meant a lot to me, even though I sound deranged half the time.

  8. Oh Dale, I welcome even your harsh words! I need truths and wake up sirens, so so many times. I value your opinions, and I am so happy to have you here – I am truly grateful for your presence. I’ll write again soon, I’m in a hurry now!

  9. No matter what lame excuses people give one thing is for sure that one who chooses to become Polygamous Values his needs and desires more than anything else and that is why they are ready to gain satisfaction at any cost. A Polygamous person is himself his top priority- the thing that matters him most!!
    Those people who state that they have been fooled by brothers and if they would have known women better, would have never done this!!- you people believed them because you wanted to, Even if you get addicted to any drug, you can’t deny the fact that you yourself willingly went to the drugstore and in no manner you can justify that by blaming the shopkeeper out there!!
    I must state that if you would have been a bit rational and concern about your first wife you would have better consulted women who have been through this hell not your brothers who forced them!!
    Also you are feeling guilty not because of your wife’s pain but because of lack of comfort that she had been providing you for years, merely for the things that you lost with regard to your first marriage and and are never meant to be gained in second marriages like trust, complete love, devotion etc. Your feeling of being a looser too is basically responsible for driving you in the path of guilt more than anything!!

  10. I really wanted to know one thing from polygamous men -“Does your first wife’s immense pain and misery ever affected your happiness in second marriage or your feeling of loving, caring and making your second wife happy knowing your first wife is so greatly hurt because of all this.
    Have you ever felt guilty about it”??

  11. Hello and thnx 4 sharing.
    My husband knw I would cope he talkd about polygamy and he knew I was not happy and worried abt how he would be just and if he could aford it but he knew I believe in everything that is in the Qúran. He was a bit nervos and he askd if I could be happy and I said would you be happy to share me with some1 else he said no and askd if I’d be fine, ya know like wanting to be reassured by me. I’ve had ups and downs but its ok most of the time.But he hadnt reckend on the children.My hubz travels 4 work and spends 2 weeks with co 2 weeks with me.2 weeks is a long time 4 the kidz, they scream and cry when he leaves and the little un doesn’t recognize him when he comes back.This is MAJOR guilt to my hubz!!! Cant begin to tell you how it hurts him. Hadnt thought of that.. Men sure R stupid sometimes!

  12. Aye – that’s the rub! You know what, I’ll pass your question along to Mark. I’d like to hear the answer too.

  13. Hello, Zanya and welcome.

    Men can be really stupid! It’s amazing how many men seem to believe the only problem is the first wife and her reactions – they forget about the children completely. My first husband found out that polygamy cost him his son, and it almost cost him his daughter too. 😦

  14. Salams sisters,

    I want to ask you to help me and give me advices what to say to my husband who says he wants maybe to have polygamy. I can not say to him no because I am a believer and I no it is allowed but I find no help in forums where they only say to be patient and trust Allah will make my life good even if I must share my husband. I will not share my husband, forgive me much for this but I can’t so please don’t tell me to pray for patience I dont want patIence I want help with what to say to my husband to make him give up polygamy. Please sisters this is why I come here and ask for your help.

  15. Walaikumussalam
    Sister, go to this website and read Ruqayya_25’s comments and show them to your husband. It’ll make him realise that he has NO right to practise polygamy without your consent (I say this assuming you come from a culture where monogamy is the norm and this Islamic legal ruling which Ruqayya speaks about applies specifically on societies where monogamy is the norm).

  16. Sheikh Ahmed Kutty

    Question: Salamu aleykom Shiekh Ahmad Thank you for your efforts to spread the knowledge.I have small question about polygamy. Is is required for husband to have his first wife permission to marry second time?Jazaka Allah
    If you married your wife in a culture where monogamy was the norm, and you never mentioned to her about your option to marry a second wife, then you owe it to her to seek her permission to do so. For as the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us, we are bound by the terms of our marriage contracts. Since there is no reason to limit such terms to the written ones, they should also include those which are simply assumed or taken for granted in a particular milieu or society. If, therefore, your wife would not have married you–if she had the prior knowledge that you would exercise the option to take a second wife– then it was a tacit agreement you had agreed to with her; as such you are bound by it.

  17. Say to him – “I will NOT live in Polygamy. You have your choice and I have mine! It is your choice if you want to live in it or not – but if you choose it, I WILL divorce you! That will be my choice! There are many men who are perfectly happy in monogamy – and I will find one who is happy with only me!”

    Just understand that saying something does not always stop them from doing it anyways. If you are serious about never sharing your husband then you better mean what you say, and show him you mean it by starting to get yourself independent financially. Keep your money separate and do not give him access to it. If he knows you can support yourself and will kick him out if necessary, it may stop him. But if you don’t mean it and are wishy washy and he knows it – you WILL be sharing your husband some day!

  18. Thank you much for answers from sheik, I show my husband and he took much impression but was also shocked he did not know and now is angry says he should have known to have in marriage contract he is now taking the question to local masjid. Please pray they will help me.

  19. Hi Fiona!
    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and I want to thank you, it’s very interesting. Us men don’t talk a lot about our feelings. When we do, it’s with our wives. But when it comes to polygamy obviously we can’t talk to them. So we end up alone with nobody to talk to. Men need to talk too even if many women dont think we do 🙂 It’s not easy but most men have a couple of intimate friends to talk to but not about love and fears that kind of thing. It’s too close to home. I could always talk to my wife about everything but not after my second marriage. My wife agreed to my marriage, we couldn’t have kids and we both thought polygamy was the best solution. So I never forced her or even coerced her. But the things you describe about a wall of silence in polygamy are oh so true. I love my first wife very much and I am extremely impressed by the way she copes with polygamy. I married my second wife through her wali and I expected to be able to have a good marriage with her. I didn’t expect the weird feeling of being split in half I experienced when I fell in love with my second wife. I hadn’t expected to fall in love. I thought we could have a good marriage built on respect and family. But once I got intimate with her I couldn’t help myself. And that’s when the guilt set in. I felt like I was betraying my first wife. Is this normal? I started to feel like I was having an affair because I lusted after my second wife. Sounds odd. When I first talked about polygamy with my first wife we both kind of assumed that our love would be special and my second marriage would be something different. And I thought I would have been able to do the same thing for my wife. But now I know that my second marriage is just as special and I feel so guilty because of it. And I know now that I would never be able to stand it if either of my wives felt for another man what I feel for them. So I experience a lot of guilt. I get a lot of help from your blog. I can see most ladies are against your first husband, but I can sort of relate to him. Thank him from me for sharing.

  20. @ GAZ
    If you don’t feel offended, Just wanted to know what differences you notice in your Personality traits with regard to treatment of your First wife and hers towards you??
    Just curious to know what where the things that earlier you used to do for her but now don’t or feel like doing even if you do??

  21. Hi Successfull!

    I dont feel offended I think your question is reasonable 🙂 I have read here about the wall of silence as Fiona calls it and it was a great relief to me to read since I thought we were the only ones experiencing it! I had never found anybody else talking about it maybe it’s too personal and difficult I dont know. My first wife used to be closer to me than anybody else, or the only one really close to actually, the only person I could ever talk to about everything. That stopped. I think the wall of silence is built partly out of neccessity and not wanting to hurt your partner but the other part is built out of shame. I am ashamed of betraying my first wife emotionally and physically. I thought my second marriage would be built on respect and companionship and very different from my first so it didn’t feel like betrayal. But I fell in love with my second wife and I feel shamed because my second marriage is as romantic and physical as the first and I dont ever want my fist wife to fins this out but I sense that she already knows. And it makes me feel ashamed and guilty. I treat my wife as if she was a porcelain doll now because I am so afraid she will break and it will be my doing.

  22. Hie Gaz!

    Thank you so much for answering my Question.
    You overall seem a very loving, caring, dutiful and rational person and I am really glad to know that men like you also exist in the World of polygamy!!
    Though you can never be the same person with more emotions and Responsibilities involved but Please take special care of your first wife because life is far easy for your #2 as compared to her.
    Sometimes Heart needs time to accept what mind already knows, please give her time and special attention because you can’t even imagine how difficult it is for a woman to spend time alone and lie awake knowing that You are with another woman, spending time and falling in love with her especially when you have always been Best of friends, companion and a special world when together!!
    Whatever you and your #2 has gained is totally at the cost of her. Please do remember for you to have a complete and perfect family she has sacrificed the only thing that she valued(YOU)!!


  23. @ Fiona and everyone!!

    Those men who love their First wife very much but cannot have kids with her,take second wife even if they never thought about it fall in love with their second wife. At the moment they feel that they love both their wives very much, both are equally special for him, can’t live without them and cannot decide whom they love more .
    But once they have family with their second wife for what they married and matters most for them can still be just regarding their feelings and treatment for wives?? Then too both the marriages will be equally important for him??Even If they love their first wife more or both the wives on an equal basis (quiet impossible) will ever give priority to their first wife or marriage at the cost of #2??

  24. Uhmm, she does have a second husband now so I think they are on equal footing here… Or Fiona would also be betraying the first husband now.

  25. Gaz, it sounds to me you lost your confidante, your best friend. I will never be able to understand why people will not consider adoption, a trully good deed for someone orphaned, but cause pain to their first wives every day of their lives. I know adoption is not allowed in Islam, but caring for orphans is encouraged. Why not see the positive about it? Do good deeds for the rest of your life by providing care for someone with no one to care for.

    Instead people think it would be more pleasing to God to make their first partners sad and “unwhole” for the rest of theirs lives. Bad deeds every other day, for the rest of your life.

    For someone able to feel empathy and humanity, the two life choices are two worlds apart in the good one causes, and the bad the other effects.

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