Polygamy is Good for Me, Bad for You

1013483_354648064665525_279483948_nWe attended a social function yesterday, together with some friends of Mark’s. A business acquaintance of his was there, and he introduced us to his wife – his second wife. Apparently this man has a wife in Oman, but has also married here in the UK. He lives and works here but travels to Oman quite often since his firm’s HQ is there. Anyway.

The second wife was pregnant with their third child. Somebody asked if they had been able to register their marriage. The husband laughed and answered that since the UK is such a backward nation we don’t recognize second wives, but he was ok with that since it means that his wife receives maintenance benefits, being a “single parent”.

I couldn’t help myself but commented that even though the law doesn’t recognize my second husband as my legal spouse, he for one has enough sense of honour never to deceive society to claim benefits wrongfully. The Omani husband looked like he was going to have a heart attack. Afterwards, Mark was furious. He felt humiliated, and says that people (read: his muslim friends) despise him for accepting polyandry. He says it hurts his career.

Fine. I felt like telling him it hurt me when he chose to make our marriage polygamous, but I didn’t. Don’t want to go there again.

I will however never understand the morals of some people. To have the nerve to find me immoral for taking the half of my life that my husband gave up, to give it to somebody who loves me, while claiming benefits to support a secret second family – disgusting.

24 thoughts on “Polygamy is Good for Me, Bad for You

  1. Agreed…..people justify their own wrong doing (him using the government to support his family) while judging you for having a second husband , I’m glad you shamed him. He should’nt be bragging on how he rips off the government. He is Double standard & a hypocrite…..PS does’nt the Koran say that husbands have to take care of their OWN family & can’t have a second wife UNLESS they can support her & the children? His bragging reminds me of the Mormons who practice polygamy in the USA ….when they suck off the government to support all their wives & children ……..they call it “Bleeding the Beast”. Plus they are allowed & incouraged to have as many wives & children as they can …….disgusting…..i hate polygamy

  2. If they have laws in the UK……this guy should be turned in. In California……the welfare law put a limit on how many children they will support in the family….Plus they go after the fathers & even the mothers (if that is the case) for child support…..If they are working their wages are attached …..when not working……they take their drivers licence away from them .The Beast fights back

  3. Oh God. This man. Fiona, I am sorry that you are seeing such kind of cases happening. These people haven’t been taught regarding being actually spiritual, but more on following rules and rituals most likely. I fully agree with your observation. I am glad for your retort, despite his reaction that time it did shake his world to an extent, believe me.

    I am so relieved you live in the UK, and can be the free independent woman that you are, able to express her mind and her chosen lifestyle without fear from the government or country. God bless these Western countries.

  4. When I think about how good and decent people are being vilified for being beneficiaries- even severely disabled people, this is breath taking.

    The war veteran who died with an empty stomach, the wheelchair user who had his benefit cut on CHRISTMAS DAY.

    Its because of people like this.

    Fiona, please report this person.

    He is robbing good and honest people.

    People are going hungry because of him.

    He is the reason for benefits being slashed.

    Please do the right thing, report him….

  5. I agree with everything said. I would be very surprised if the UK had no clause in their benefits for single mothers placing the burden first on the biological father, and only then on the state. In most welfare system, if a father exists and is not willing to pay, the state will jump in for the single mother and child to avoid them being in jeopardy because of an unwilling father. They will, however, take that money back from the father later.

    The only way I can imagine this social benefits crook could have gone about this was to have the second wife declare “father unknown/unavailable”.

    Also religiously, as everyone said, this dishonourable thief is required to provide himself for his wives as head of the household. Pathetic. And yes, I thought of this heartbreaking story of fall last year, where a good modest man died in dire poverty and hunger, too proud to call for help, despite having served his country Great Britain well for decades, by military service and work for decades. It is heartbreakingly sad that it is a. such people who bring about negative changes in our probed social welfare state provisions for all, b. of course this plays into the hands of the far right. A Muslim businessman with his main operations in the Gulf, ripping off welfare benefits for his second wife as single mother. A feast for racists.

  6. I think, Fiona, the thing to do in this situation is humiliate the Omani husband, not Mark. (Mark will probably still be angry that you humiliated the other guy, but so what, at least you will know that what you did was right.)

    It is very difficult to find the right words when someone in power throws a demeaning and infuriating remark at you. So do it back. It is especially difficult for women, who have all been raised to be girl scouts, and play nice.

    I have learned over the years, as a result of glossing over all these insults, and then being furious for days, to start practicing what I could have said, so the vocabulary is closer to the surface next time around. These are my rules.
    1. It has to be said in one simple sentence with few words.
    2. It has to be intelligent.
    3. It has to be humorous.
    4. It has to be said in a calm voice, and with no anger.
    5. What is said has to be true.
    6. it has to be a truth that cuts the predator down.

    So for example, here are some possibilities.
    “Yeah, we love social leeches here in the UK.”
    “Yeah, we love children who rarely see their fathers, it helps keep Social Workers employed.”
    “Yeah, we love guys who spread their sperm, the genetically related offspring who marry each other provide material for Genetic Research.”

    You get the idea. I know you’ll be good at it Fiona, it just takes practice. So view that dingbat as having given you the opportunity to learn how to deal with his type.

  7. Thanks Dale for your comment. I can only imagine how Fiona felt when listening to that Omani husband speak that time. We readers here itself are angered and annoyed at him and his behaviour. For me hearing or reading on such cases gets me pissed off, when I see them in real life it gets even worse.

    By the way this idea of spreading one’s sperm and having as many children as one can handle, where one or both parents cannot even fully care for and give attention to each individual child, is one of the worst ideas ever created in this world. Hopefully with more enlightened people this idea’s foothold can reduce with time in societies.

    Regarding the above idea, polyandry sounds much more civilized than polygyny in this way.

  8. Back when I was brainwashed and utterly out of my mind insane, I belonged to some polygyny facebook groups where the second wives were all going on about their section 8 housing, foodstamps, and how they claimed their babydaddies were “unknown”. They also lamented the fact that under Welfare Reform, cash assistance has work requirements, has a time limit and it also prevented them from getting more cash assistance for subsequent children. Lamented it because it went against Islam, against what they’re commanded to do as Muslimahs, which was to stay home and rattle pots and pans while popping out babies to increase the Ummah. These were not immigrant women, they were born and raised American Muslim converts. It was truly appalling. Lots and lots of money is going out to support these “single” mothers.
    I have been on the system myself, wayyyyy back when, and I don’t disparage those who truly need help, but when people are deliberately ripping off the system, it pisses me off to no end.

    One group seemed to be made up overwhelmingly by one city’s community, the Germantown Masjid in Philadelphia.

  9. Unchained, are you serious? Oh God. This is bad. These women are not even immigrants, and yet due to their religious teachings are being brainwashed as such. This line is especially creepy:

    “They also lamented the fact that under Welfare Reform, cash assistance has work requirements, has a time limit and it also prevented them from getting more cash assistance for subsequent children.”

    Like really, they expect the rest of the population of the country to support them in their family breeding and being “good” Muslimahs, whatever that may be. And they have no issue in registering that their babydaddies were “unknown”? In other words expect the rest of the world to suck up to their chosen lifestyle.

    These people have no idea how reality works. Their religious teachings clouded their idea on reality. The “Islamist” religion they are practising is a parasitic one. Their example is one example of how human beings can be “worldly/fleshly”, versus actually coming from a spiritual viewpoint.

  10. OK. I think I figured out the retort that will really sting.

    “We love those dudes who view themselves as providers and religioius protectors and then dump the welfare of their so called wives onto the kufr state.”

  11. Are you writing this solely to discredit islamic polygamy? You will not succeed. Polygamy in islam is about caring for those in need, about respect and generosity and wanting good for each other while being just. What you describe is about the opposite. There are bad apples in every basket!

  12. Amima, you are right there are bad apples in every basket but is this all you have to say on this widespread misuse of taxpayers money by Muslim men. Why are you all Muslims, your organizations, Mosques not doing anything to curb this practice.

  13. Now you are saying Polygamy in Islam is about caring for those in need…… blah blah. From your previous comments it looked like it is all about sex and men being better suited to it because their private parts can be easily cleaned. Also do you have something to say about spread of viruses, HIV etc. where no washing can take these out of a man’s body.
    Just curious is your husband paying your co and kids from her?

  14. Hi Amina. Glad to see you are still here. Please share with us a few of the positive things polygamy has brought into your life.

  15. Islamic polygyny by definition discredits itself.
    Fiona doesn’t have to “succeed” at discrediting an already abhorrent practice. We who’ve lived it know it for what it is.
    Polygyny in Islam is about control (for men), about sexual satisfaction (for men), and about keeping women subjugated and oppressed. You’re right though…bad apples abound in every basket, and you know what happens when they’re not gotten rid of.

  16. Thanks Amima for your opinion. By the way I believe we need to uphold the only real tools we have to navigate the world; our conscience, reasoning and observance of real world evidence. If anything contradicts one or all three of these tools, we should check in and see if anything is amiss.

    So for deciding regarding Islamic polygyny, we should try to use these three tools to figure out on it’s position as well.

  17. Dale,

    Thank you for always being respectful and open to other views. You seem to be a fantastic human being.
    Positives sides to polygamy: I have learned to stand on my own two feet and be my own problem solver. I have leaned to trust myself in stead of expecting my husband to solve my problems for me. I have gained me-time that I can use to educate myself, or simply relax. I have also become strong enough to know that if I should lose my husband through an accident or such, I would be able to cope on my own. I know now that I love him but I don’t need him. If I felt my life would be richer without him I would be able to move on. My husband told me a while ago that he had noticed this strength in me, and it scares him because it makes him question whether I will choose to cope with polygamy or if I would rather leave him. He has become very aware of my independency and now he does everything he can to make me happy because he knows I have what it takes to move on otherwise. So I have a husband who is much more attentive, romantic and tries to please me more than he ever did before polygamy.

    The half a husband I have is twice the man he was!

  18. Hello Amima, thank you for sharing your points. By the way I wonder, if a woman chooses to have more than one husband as well, why would she be opposed? Dont you think in polyandry a number of similar benefits can be obtained as well? Not every woman would choose polyandry of course, just like not every man would choose polygyny, but the few that do, why oppose their decision? Is it mainly because, um, she can’t clean her private parts as well as a man can (although bacterial and virus infections could be lesser than in case of polygyny)?

  19. Thank you Amina for your kind words. It sounds as if you have acquired greater independence, increased ability to solve problems, trust in self, and the recognition that education is a personal responsibility. This is good Amina, and the achievement takes work and courage.

    From my standpoint, what you have described is part of the normal process of maturing. It should happen if we commit ourselves to it, no matter what our circumstances are, rich or poor, polygamous or not.

    You write, ” Polygamy in Islam is about caring for those in need, about respect and generosity and wanting good for each other while being just.”

    Amina, polygamy is not an abstraction, like the sky. It is exactly what it is in YOUR life. It is a different thing in someone else’s life. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my hunch is that you could exit your marriage and still make a pretty good life for yourself. This fact of choice does not exist for many. For many women, polygamy is bound up with lack of education, and restricted opportunities, and the infuriating use of religion to justify such lack of humanity.

    Your husband’s instinctive fear at your growing strength didn’t surprise me at all. His first reaction is not because he is a Muslim, and not because he is polygamous, but because he is a man. A woman would experience admiration at her husband’s accomplishments, including all those of a psychological nature. I can appreciate that he shared his fearful thoughts with you, and I appreciate that you shared it with us. But I am otherwise impatient with such reactions. Men want the status and rank of leaders, so they should quit acting like big babies, which is exactly what it sounds like to me when a man experiences fear rather than awe at the positive things that his wife accomplishes that are independent of him and his needs.

  20. Great response, Dale. I agree to it. Amima has faced positive changes in her life for polygamy, which is good for her and I am happy for her, but that is for her life, not for others, so this one-sided polygamy cannot be held as a banner universally, preaching as such being from God. Many others instead face incredible lack of humanity in such circumstances, which is also something we instinctively know thinking on it.

    //I can appreciate that he shared his fearful thoughts with you, and I appreciate that you shared it with us. But I am otherwise impatient with such reactions. Men want the status and rank of leaders, so they should quit acting like big babies, which is exactly what it sounds like to me when a man experiences fear rather than awe at the positive things that his wife accomplishes that are independent of him and his needs.//

    LOL. On the spot. I find it amazing how much alike us people’s thinking and mindset can be, despite other differences such as in culture, lifestyle and upbringing.

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