A Message

I’m Mark.

I know what many of you must think of me, and I understand why. I accept it if you consider me a bad muslim, a bad husband even a bad father. Honestly I have tried hard to be the best I can be. But just like most people, I stumble now and again and sometimes I fall.

Right now, parts of my life are a mess. But still I’m kind of happy. My life isn’t what I thought it would be, but it’s not bad. Yes, we have issues, yes I have regrets. But I have a lot of good things too.

Right now my main worry is Fiona.

She has been through so much. Polygamy, her brother’s death, the drama of our lives, her extremely demanding work. Now she has become a mother. And recently she went through surgery.

I have asked her to stay away from the blog for a while. It hurts her to stay away, but it hurts her to be here too because she feels great pain every time she reads about other people’s pain. Every time she shares the hurt of somebody else’s polygamy, she relives her own pain.

She has promised me to stay off the blog for a while.

I have promised her to keep it going. Publish your comments and maybe answer a few questions. And sometimes I can pass messages along.

We have agreed to try and keep it like this until Guy Fawkes, a special day for us.

I hope you understand.

I

120 thoughts on “A Message

  1. Ok I just want to share that when I said what I said about the grammar etc, it wasn’t the common “I’m typing quickly so I misspelt something” type of variety (like the kind Mark pointed out lol), but there was one post where she consistently wrote the word “lose” as loose. I even remember doublechecking to make sure I understood it right. I thought that was a bit strange. But clearly if it mattered to me I would’ve commented about it months ago when I first noted it. Not really that big a deal, just saying that several people seem to be getting suspicious albeit from different ‘triggers’.

  2. No,actually Fi is the nickname she goes by in the family and always has. Her name isn’t Fiona though.

  3. @ Jamylah

    From what I understand from your story your marriage was unhealthy because your husband was abusive… but it has got nothing to do with polygamy right?

    also you separated from him as soon as your youngest was born?

    No matter what you are truly a very strong woman and your daughter is lucky to have a mother like you!!

  4. Ever heard of autocorrect? My new phone had American spelling preprogr and reinvented my messages with great imagination- gave me some nasty shocks when I saw the texts I had sent!

  5. Actually Successful it does have to do with polygamy also. And cheating. And having a threesome. But as far as the polygamy, I actually asked him for a divorce in late 2012. I thought my iddah was over, but to make a long story short it was invalidated and he remarried. When I found out I went nuts, then we discovered I was still married to him anyway. So hence we were in polygamy for a while last year. He divorced the other wife after I became pregnant. But the moral of THAT story is, if I was not so sick myself, I wouldn’t have 1. done the things with him that invalidated my iddah and 2. Had a fit to such an extent I went crawling back to him in hysterics when he moved on with the other wife.

    We divorced by khula this April, when the baby was about 5 months old. We still have a civil marriage, though.

  6. * just saying that several people seem to be getting suspicious albeit from different ‘triggers’.*

    As for me, Graham’s character seemed too good to be true. It was difficult for me to imagine how an educated modern western man would share his wife. Anyways It’s a big world out there so any thing is possible. i have always taken Fiona’s writings at face value. In fact i was more busy having discussions with her on different topics.

  7. It baffles me that it would somehow be unimaginable that a western man would share his wife while lots of people accept that western women share their husbands, actually not only accept but expect them to.

  8. //It baffles me that it would somehow be unimaginable that a western man would share his wife while lots of people accept that western women share their husbands, actually not only accept but expect them to.//
    In case it is in response to my above post (which i think it is)…. I don’t *Expect* western women to share their husbands either. Just saying

  9. This is islam 4u. This is how women’s right versus men’s rights are set against one another. Men are allowed to have 4 wives. Islam says they don’t need the approval or consent of their wife. They don’t even need to tell her. Where’s the compassion or love in that? Youre married but your spouse doesn’t even need to tell you he has married three other women? Could anybody please, a muslim, a believer like jamylah, tell me: even if you believe polygyny to be ok since it’s allowed, how can any god say it’s ok to marry another, three even, WITHOUT EVEN TELLING YOUR WIFE??? How can such an idea be anything but sick?? http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/09/27/world/africa/27reuters-somalia-stoning.html?_r=0

  10. //It baffles me that it would somehow be unimaginable that a western man would share his wife while lots of people accept that western women share their husbands, actually not only accept but expect them to.//

    This is why I am sincerely glad this blog has come to exist. Through Fiona’s story we have come to see how society, Western or Eastern, even though knows cheating is wrong, still may silently expect women to be somehow submissive in this matter to husbands cheating on them versus the other way around. Hence if a man stays with a wife who may be involved with another man comes as a bigger shock than if a woman stays with a husband who may be involved with another woman (even if the woman may not need to stay as the man’s wife to keep being supported financially).

    Jamylah, thank you for your posts, and explaining your part of the story. As Successful said, you truly are a very strong woman and your daughter is very lucky to have a mother like you.

    Thank you everyone for providing me various answers to the question that I posted earlier, they helped me understand such situations much better.

    One thing stands out, in real life, one of the very worst things that can happen to a woman is her husband having a free-hand right to take another woman as wife, an example such as without her permission and without having a very very strong and utmost required reason for taking such a step, which would affect everyone’s lives included. I don’t even see a point of polygamy in today’s world, whether male or female, seeing the consequences. Unless both the man and woman are okay embracing a polyamorous lifestyle.

  11. //As for me, Graham’s character seemed too good to be true.//

    I think the lack of misogyny and unfair level of patriarchy in Graham, found in such rarity in men, came as a shock for a lot of people, not just you Saad 🙂 Clears again some of the levels of misogyny that has become invisible to us because of them being accepted without question worldwide for centuries. Not that a man is supposed to be okay sharing his wife this way, but more so that the typical male ego did not manifest in several ways due to hurt male pride. Again stemming mainly from the patriarchal setup.

    However, the perfectionism in Graham has always somewhat caused me some suspicion as well. His character overall seems too good to be true in general. I wonder why he doesn’t do something about the mental and emotional abuse that Fiona seems to be under a lot of the time. Perhaps he feels it’s not for him to interfere in the other marriage? And that he knew exactly how things were going to be, had the discussion with Fiona beforehand on what to expect, and moved forth with his marriage with Fiona after that? Not much idea.

    Mark, I appreciate the fact that you did not turn away from the blog and stop posting comments once things turned sour for you. I don’t think it is easy for you to keep seeing comments talking negatively on you.

  12. Thank you Mariam for your kind words. Fiona made me promise, as a condition for giving the blog up for a while, that I would keep publishing posts, no matter how bad or how hurtful as long as they aren’t illegal. Some have sent private messages – I would recommend you use the email adress. Fiona is on a break from the blog, not from email.

  13. Mark,

    well as you are here with us for quite sometime and have a great experience about almost all kind of tastes that Life has to offer, I would like to utilize Your presence and experiences as an opportunity to learn few things about men, how they think, man’s perspective on few things….

    I just want to learn and it has got nothing to do with polygamy but your experience as a Man…

    If you could allow me, here we go-

    Once a Man stated- “MEN WANT AND LOVE ATTENTION JUST LIKE WOMEN, IT’S JUST THAT WE WANT A DIFFERENT KIND OF ATTENTION”.

    can you please let me understand what kind of attention matters for a man and how is it different than that of a woman’s choice of receiving attention??

    warm Regards

  14. It’s interesting that many of us have felt Graham is a character hard to grasp. Why would he be *so* good seems to be a question many of us have asked ourselves. That moment when you suppressed a thought, and realize most people on the table have had it too!

    As for Graham’s portrayal, firstly there is Fiona’s perspective. Her life was living hell in the months before Graham entered the picture. The way she described it, she must have felt at the lowest low, regarding her life, regarding her self-worth, regarding the worth her husband gave her, when she met Graham. The attention by a decent, maybe good-looking, from her characterizations maybe even slightly younger man must have had an extremely consoling and healing effect on her psyche. It would be only natural she would describe – and perceive! – Graham as a knight in shining armour. That ubergood portrayal is probably what set some readers radar off – few of us know the feeling of such a person, but how many of us know the feeling of being saved singlehandedly from despair and heartbreak by a person? Often the people entering our lives when we are at our lowest exploit our situation, and do more damage rather than rectifying the damage that was done by someone else.

    But when we look at Graham as we know him, independent of how Fiona must feel for him. What he actually does. He shares a love he could probably have had exclusively for himself had he wanted it in the beginning. He either is the knight in shining armour, who wants what is best for his partner more than what’s best for himself – or he might be someone who is not comfortable with close relationships. Who knows, maybe he accepted the polygamy deal because he can more readily accept a full-blown serious relationship for half the time, and be free and by himself the rest of the time. It’s not something bad necessarily, many people have issues with human closeness. That to me seems more likely. If I’m wrong, this dude trully is a white knight.

    I do wonder if the balance will shift at some point, though. Will Graham always be happy with the way things are? Will he ever want a full-time relationship, especially when Fiona, Tamsin and him are now a small family? Does he experience the situation with Mark as toxic for Fiona like someone suggested? Will he start doing so when for some reason the hurt will increase – or not start to decrease at some point – for Fiona? Will he at some point consider the relation unhealthy for his daughter?

    I hope this blog will keep us informed. It would be terrible to be left at such a cliffhanger! I for one know that this story would keep me wondering for decades if Fiona disappeared. Already now, her story has gotten me more engaged than I ever would have guessed I could become from “just” a blog. Trully feeling for – or more often, against – some of the proponents.

  15. Btw, stories by commenters on this blog are as interesting as the blog itself I find. Quite a unique stellar constellation that must have brought us together 😉

    @Jamylah I trully admire your strength. It is far too seldom that people suffering abuse whilst raising small children take on that immense burden to leave, lose “the relationship” – which likely carried a negative balance for the bystander, but carries worth and attraction only the insider can understand, face being alone with kids, and that for the sake of the children. You did the absolute right thing leaving for your daughter’s sake! Never let the voice in your head tell you otherwise. Not having your daughter witness an abused mother when growing up is the most precious gift you could give her. Else she would have grown thinking it normal mother – and with her all women – are abused by someone they “love”. The likelihood she would have lived the same later is far too high. Very likely, you spared her that fate. There is not enough respects in this world to give you even remotely the recognition you merit. I get it you have boys also. Not even to mention how important it is to raise them as respectful, loving men, not as abusers.

    @Dale You sound like there are things in motion for you. Do you see a good therapist? If not, have you considered doing so? Finding one that suits your personality and needs could do you much good. Not necessarily to pack your things and go. To see clearly where you are, what you want, what responsibilities you have and how you feel about them. Because in the end it is about what you want. Even when you have responsibilities for children, you can only leave once you want to fulfill these responsibilities more than you want anything else. We are often so caught up in our situations that what we think we want is very different from what we actually want. A good therapist is worth gold to see more clearly through the deceptions our own mind sets up, in part for fear, in part for denial, self-protection etc.

    @successful You’re like the sharp little sister I wished I had! I enjoy your posts so much. 19 is the best age. Stay as brave and uncompromising as you are! Oh, those years 🙂

  16. “Fiona made me promise, as a condition for giving the blog up for a while, that I would keep publishing posts, no matter how bad or how hurtful as long as they aren’t illegal. Some have sent private messages – I would recommend you use the email adress. Fiona is on a break from the blog, not from email”

    Dont you think now Fiona will be inundated with emails? Aren’t you here to give her a break? So why tell people to email her? Is it to reduce people posting?

    It strikes me that when the going gets tough you’ve put yourself first again by disappearing.

  17. Hi

    I’ve never posted here before but I used to read a blog called “polygamy411”. It seems to have disappeared in the last few months. Could anyone clue me in as to what happened?

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