Heading Towards a New Year in Polygamy

ThreeringsWe had a very nice Christmas. Graham is an excellent cook, my daughter in law to be proved to be an expert pastry chef. It was wonderful to have all my children staying, and I am still the unvanquished Scrabble champion.

Mark spent Christmas with an old friend. Graham didn’t want him to come to the Chilterns, and I needed to respect his wish since he has so little privacy in the annexe. Our house in the Chilterns is Graham’s home and mine, not Mark’s. And of course, my son didn’t want his father there either. He has told his fiancée that he’s actually still alive anyway, which is a giant leap forward.

We agreed Mark would get an extended vacation with me in June instead. I’m looking forward to it, both to go away with him and to get off the rotating schedule for a while. It can be rather tiresome to keep altering homes every three days…

I’ll be going back to London tomorrow. To Mark ❤

71 thoughts on “Heading Towards a New Year in Polygamy

  1. Yeah, I’ve never quite gotten a straight answer from a Muslim man, including my ex, about that “protector and maintainer” bit when it comes to polygyny. It’s the stupidest, most nonsensical thing about it.

  2. Hi Aminah, thank you for joining the discussion here. If possible, can you please share which part of the world you are from and how your husband became polygamous. Was it something that was discussed when you got married. Did your husband consult with you about the decision to marry again and what kind of person you prefer as your co wife. Did he meet your cowife in a “haram” way (observing Muslim men should lower their gaze and not mix with other women) or was this marriage arranged through a “wali”
    Also before judging Fiona, please understand that she is not a Muslim and even her husband is not a practicing Muslim. Do you think its right to ignore all the “required” Islamic practices but adopt this optional practice of polygyny for lust or midlife crisis escape etc?

  3. Great points Chris and Dale! I hope Aminah at least will give these some thought. I often wonder how hard it is to see the contradiction between man being a protector and being absent half or 3/4th of the time. It is clearly all about power and control. Aminah you should look into polyandry practiced in himalayas. I think more than one husband is a much better system than polygyny. More men can earn more the and provide better for the family. Wife can get more help with the housework and hence can focus on her natural child caring duties! and one of the husbands can be there to lead the prayers (another important role of a Muslim man). Isn’t this system more suited for men to play a role of protector and provider?
    Enjoy this story http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2295380/The-wife-married-FIVE-brothers-Rajo-21-follows-tradition-Indian-villages-allows-families-hold-farmland.html

  4. //Chris,
    If it is a religious precept that the husband is the protector and guide for his wife, then this concept is impossible to implement in a polygynous situation due to the division of time. Thank you. I had not thought of that until you articulated it so well. The accumulation of multiple wives does not provide protection for many instead of one. It is an assignment of rank.//

    Me too, I didn’t think of it till Chris articulated it so well. I learned a lot as well. And yes, thanks for that.

    //Your posts are really written for the outside market. The person that it is addressed to, Aminah, will never understand what you are saying.//

    Yes that’s true. But then once I was also part of the inside market as well one time. To an extent I still am. It took me time and seeing similar ideas as Chris and others to come to more of where I am now. But I agree though it requires at least some amount of willingness to make the changes, otherwise if a person shuts off even a small gap to allow their conscience through from all the conditioning, it really is impossible.

    Religious conditioning is one of the hardest conditioning to see through, possibly because our sense of faith to a higher power and our moral system is tied to it. After that also acceptance from other people, including our own family, relatives and friends, in order to have a smoother life and feel comfortable from their acceptance. But I wouldn’t say the negative religious conditioning is impossible to overcome, at least partially, with time. Such a person may also have a unique insight from their experiences once they glimpse more of the light and broaden some of their horizons.

  5. Mariam,
    What you say is true. I think of the self as being like a mansion with many rooms. As we get older we discover yet another room that we didn’t know was there. When we go in that room, we see out the window a vista that we didn’t know was there. It’s not that we change, but soon we become a person with many rooms, and many vistas. Those vistas, the fact of the many of them, have a unifying and pacifying affect on the mind. We tolerate people who argue vehemently that the only vista is the one they see. Not because we feel superior, but because we were once in just one room, and we know what it is like to see just one thing, and to feel how beautiful and precious it is, and how much it needs defending against anything that might shut the window which would shut out the light.

    The most practical way to tolerate someone who is protecting their vista, which is where I think Aminah is, is to find things in common with them, and discuss from common ground. In this way, they don’t feel the need to make sure no one is trying to shut their window, and are free to make contributions.

  6. I am not trying to pile on, but these sentences kind of stood out to me.

    Amima said:
    “You all seem to forget that many women manage to accept polygyny. ”

    Manage to accept? Or discover they have no choice in the matter?

    “I for one don’t need a man to make my life complete!”

    If that is true, then why is your husband “on call” every time you need something from him? In fact, if this is true, why are you even still married? Especially as you did seem to comment on how much his polygamy hurt you. (Or maybe I misread that part).

    It seems to me (from my time as a single woman) that not needing a man to make one’s life complete usually means not looking for a relationship or being in a relationship that does not require a woman to sacrifice her identity and needs for the sake of the other participants. My life is complete, and was before I met my significant other. When he fell into my life, my life wasn’t completed so much as it was enhanced and I didn’t have to sacrifice a single meaningful thing in order to hold onto this relationship.

  7. Mariam, //But then once I was also part of the inside market as well one time. To an extent I still am//
    I understand this feeling very well

  8. I live in Belgium.When my husband told me he was to marry again he was very honest about it. I don’t know anything about how they met or about their life together he keeps his marriages apart as is correct. I could just as well be living in a monogamous marriage with a travelling husband for as much as she or their marriage affects me. We had never discussed polygamy until he told me about his intention. I went through the emotional havoc I admit but my husband helped me through it and now I am perfectly content. And your views on ghusl and cleanliness are incorrect. A man can clean his private parts perfectly while a woman can never clean internally to the same degree. This is just one proof that polygamy is biologically suited for men.

  9. Dale:

    You wrote some beautiful points. And it’s so true, the comparison of the self with a mansion and vistas. And also I understand the part regarding being in one room, seeing how beautiful and precious it is seeing the one thing, and how much it needs defending against anything that might shut the window which would shut out the light. For us though it required honesty, a truth seeking side and wanting to experience more freedom and light to force through that conditioning and get to more rooms and vistas. The good thing is it made us more expansive, gave additional freedom (of the mind at least, and in living too) and understanding more of the self. The cons are that it may have opened up some more problems, and increased frustration in dealing with the large majority who may not even believe in the additional rooms and vistas, and may make us repeatedly doubt ourselves and in our inner vision, especially sometimes when we can’t express ourselves the way we want to. Those people may be quite defensive and even try to suppress other voices who have seen more of multiple vistas and rooms.

    And there is also that side of us which wishes to crawl back to the earlier stage, where it was so much more comfortable and simpler being in that one room and seeing how beautiful and precious that one thing is. For you Dale you have also learned how to deal with others of lower vision. For me I am still learning (which gets difficult at times despite also being interesting), and to a large extent still way behind, so I struggle in both still having my old conditioning with me, which reflects in my day-to-day behaviour, and also to an extent with having the newer insights and vision. Anyway, thanks for sharing your words, I learn from you this way.

  10. Catadmin:

    Thank you for sharing your words regarding your points on regarding needing a man to make one’s life complete.

    Laila:

    Thanks for your comment on my post. By the way you wrote some good points regarding polyandry. And I do admit it makes a lot more sense if the points on protector and guardian figure is taken into consideration, lol. By the way interesting story you posted regarding the woman living polyandry. Although the part on the woman sharing one room with all five brothers made me cringe quite hard.

    Amima:

    I am happy to know you are doing well in your polygyny, which is good to hear. Although I am very surprised that you don’t know anything about how your husband and his wife-to-be that time met, especially so since you never discussed on polygyny before. I thought as a legal wife that time you have every right to know how your husband gets to meet other women besides his wife? That’s a perfectly eligible right for you. If you yourself had no interest to know about that’s your choice. Otherwise it is not something “Islamically correct” at all, and even promotes the idea that husband cheating and doing such behaviours is more excusable than the wife doing the same.

  11. Amina,
    “A man can clean his private parts perfectly while a woman can never clean internally to the same degree. This is just one proof that polygamy is biologically suited for men”

    Thank you Amina. I always knew that polygyny really was all about sex, and not all that pycho-spiritual stuff that advocates like to talk about. It’s just that you proved the point better than I would be able to.

    I think this discussion about how dirty male semen is is pretty funny, given how powerful and precious men seem to think it is.

    Your English reads like a native speaker, so I assume French is not your first language.? Are you a revert who married a born Muslim from a mid-eastern culture? You obviously can ignore that question, I think we all try to figure out who the other readers are.

  12. I wish somebody would tell this girl that this would be the perfect time for the woman to take on two husbands: http://www.zawaj.com/askbilqis/my-moms-in-love-with-another-man/ 🙂 If the story had been about a man, everybody would have adviced him to marry both! It’s so disgusting the way these people condemn her and the man and pity the poor husband, while had it been the other way around everybody would have said to make the relationship halal and not hurting the marriage by simply adding a second….

  13. //Thank you Amina. I always knew that polygyny really was all about sex, and not all that pycho-spiritual stuff that advocates like to talk about. It’s just that you proved the point better than I would be able to.//

    Yeah people repeatedly bringing up matters of sex when talking on comparison of polygyny and polyandry does show that polygyny being practised is indeed about sex at the end. I still wonder why so much sugar-coating is done on it, and why people like several of Muslims and the Mormons are in the shadows regarding the moral picture of polygyny.

  14. Amimah, I will try to rephrase the basic biological aspect we talked about again:

    If a woman cannot cleanse herself internally perfectly, to put together one man and several women and have them have unprotected sex is a maximization of bacteria and diseases among the women. Hardly a divinity pleasing project I’d say. Whereas if you pair together one woman as the individual with the more sensitive genitalia and several men with the less vulnerable private parts (talking about bacteria – obviously women’s private parts can stand amazing strain in child birth, so they are not vulnerable in all respects at all), you have a system where everyone is safer from disease.

    Which means – religious reasoning has hardly ever made less biological sense than here.

    Even better, pair together people who are monogamous (at all times) and practice unsafe sex, or people who are promiscuos but practice safe sex (at all times).

    Biologically, hard-core Christians in their monogamy and, ironically, hard-core swingers who protect themselves make a lot more sense than Islamic polygyny. Talking about reason of course, not belief.

    If we are talking about biology, nature actually has males get aroused more quickly and females more slowly, but durably to allow for females to mate with several males in one go, which maximizes contraception chances. Again, religions talk a lot about nature and biology, but only when it suits their narrow agenda. Biologically and by our nature, females would have to mate only with the physically fittest, and with several of them in one reproductive cycle. Somehow not the picture-perfect image of nature the world’s big religions paint for us, am I right?

  15. I guess Summers Eve and Massengil aren’t sold in Europe…..

    In any event, soap and water aside, you completely ignore the point about STDs. You can pretend hubby is on a business trip if you like…until you discover he brought home something besides a dozen roses. I ended up with HPV.

    You don’t know where or how he met her, so it stands to reason you don’t know a thing about her past and what she is bringing to your husband and subsequently you.

  16. Great points, Chris and Unchained. So much for nature and biology. In reality the religions’ concept of science, nature and biology are only there to serve their purpose and agenda. That’s why people need to do additional research beyond what they have been taught by otherwise quite narrow-minded people who have limited vision of the real world. For their own sake and the sake of others.

  17. Amima

    We all have to live the lives we have been awarded. We all have to find strategies. My husband is a good man. He has nothing but good intentions. I knew he would find polygamy difficult because he would love. He would not simply try to find happiness in polygyny, he would try to give happiness. And this is what is slowly grinding my soul to pieces. My painfully won understanding is that bad men hurt their wives in polygyny, good men hurt themselves. I believe from what you tell us that your husband is a good man. That’s what worries me. Most women who come here tell stories of bad men in polygyny. They are easy to see through, the pain is all out there in the open, the wound is breathing and will not become lethal. The good men are the killers. A good husband makes polygyny a slow death.

  18. @JennOJenn

    Would these good men let their wives find happiness with other men during the half time (or more) that they spend with their other wife/wives? Why on earth would they do this in the first place? When a man is with a woman, he must know from the love and living as one family how natural it all is, in being monogamous. So why would such a man get another woman, cause pain to his first wife, create disruption in the natural monogamous living, and then try to play good men?

    Sometimes I think it may be largely because people are confused regarding gender identity. A lot of us have grown up with a more cut-and-dry approach regarding genders, and their differences. Many of us pretend to an extent to keep up the image of the societal conditioned expected identities. I was reading on Emma Watson’s feminist words recently, and she brought some of these matters up in a very well-spoken and beautiful way.

  19. Amina,,,,,,Men are biologically suited for polygamy because they can clean their sex organs more complete than woman? Are you kidding me? what kind of logic is that? LOL! That is the most stupidest conclusions in favor of men having a stamp of approval of their socalled “right” to go out on their wife…….yeah the logic to them is “god made me this way”…..that is a BS lie

  20. @ Unchained I would not know how the products you mentioned work tbh but I’d rather hope women were not to wash themselves with antibacterial and antimycotic treatments every day. This is not to say women are in any way “dirtier” than men. Their flora is by itself quite a miraculous biological function. Where it becomes problematic is when they are exposed to agents their flora has not been able to adapt to, hence coming from the outside, be it in a pool especially in a foreign country with bacteria their system has not been able to adapt to (hence the more frequent problems for many women on vacation – this is not always a case of a foreign country being “dirtier” than the home country), in sauna or spa – or via an intimate partner who’s intimate or been intimate with other women without protection. Objectively, women face greater risks of transmission of STDs to them by a man who is intimate with other women than a man because in man-woman intercourse, the woman is more at risk of sustaining even minuscule injuries, perhaps unnoticed, but a way of virus or bacteria to enter her system, and as a risk of her own flora getting out of balance by agents from the outside. Men carry these agents frequently, but they often do not develop symptoms. This is especially the case for urinary tract infections. One woman’s bacteria might well be transmitted by a man who knows nothing about it, because the male urinary tract is so long that most bacteria will never reach his bladder. For women, through intercourse, the bacteria come close to her bladder already and easily lead to painful infections.

    Safe sex objectively is a major interest for women regarding dangerous and less dangerous, but painful infections with a partner they only have the slightest risk he might be intimate with someone else without protection.

    I am sorry to hear about your own experience with this. Can HPV be treated well to minimize or eradicate the risk of cervical cancer it is sometimes associated with? I wish you the best of health.

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