Polygamy – What are we Sharing?

ThreeringsI have two husbands.

I love them both dearly. Not in the exact same way, but equally.

I try to be fair in all my dealings with my husbands. I try to keep my marriages separate. I don’t want to flaunt my life with one husband in front of the other. I don’t want one husband to fear an invasion of his integrity by knowing I might share our secrets or intimate bonds with the other. I want both my husbands to feel safe in my love and friendship.

True, polygamy sets boundaries to our lives together. I must be very careful so as not to hurt their feelings by comparing, being unfair or taking from one to give to the other. I must be very careful so as not to accidentally divulge details from one marriage to the other. So, I keep secrets. I cut some discussions short. I know my husbands find this painful, because they both know that when they run into the wall of silence, my love for the other husband is on the other side.

I love making love to my husbands. I love the strong bond that develops from making love, the moments of total seclusion and extreme intimacy. I also know that both my husbands suffer because even in our most intimate moments the image of me with my other husband might invade their minds, their hearts. I can’t help that. It’s just the truth of polygamy.

I love sharing moments of joy with our daughter with both my husbands. They have managed to find a way to share their love for her, and I love them for it. She calls her father papi, and my other husband athair, as she has heard her second cousins do. It’s all good. If you could see my daughter and the way she loves her two fathers Β you would understand why islam allows polyandry!

We share our lives, our love, our pain. If you listen to male polygamists they often claim that what you share is not a husband’s love, but his time. This is not true. You can not share a spouse and say it’s only about sharing time. No, that’s a blatant lie!

In polygamy we share love, lives, body-fluids, mistakes – all of it.

We can not however share secrets or dreams. That’s the brutal truth.

I’m still happy I found two loves.

I didn’t choose polygamy. Now, I can’t see myself living any other way.

40 thoughts on “Polygamy – What are we Sharing?

  1. so your first husband who has a second wife has excepted you having a second husband….& now you say that his children(between you & your first husband) love “both their daddys”……i thought they hated their father for adding a second wife……for breaking that original bond of a family? i find that hard to believe but who knows…..anything can happen……people change & now your children when they grow up will think anything goes because they lived it

  2. My first husband no longer has a second wife, they are divorced. No, I’m sad to say my children from my first husband have never forgiven my first husband for throwing us into polygamy. My eldest daughter tries to have some kind of relationship with her father, but it’s shaky. My son has completely deleted his father from his life. No, I’m talking about my youngest daughter. Tamsin is Graham’s daughter but she is also a daughter of polygamy – my polygamy not Mark’s, since he has divorced #2. I think Tamsin will grow up realizing polygamy is difficult, but also rewarding when done properly. I hope so.

  3. I am not sharing anything but time. I have a complete marriage with love and respect that belongs to me alone. I share my husband’s time, and his income. Material things only.

  4. Yeah. The whole framework of islamic polygyny is based on quicksand – cruel lies about the nature of man and woman, and god.

  5. Well, thats the different when a man has 2 wives with a woman has 2 husbands. Well said Fiona. I love you.. πŸ˜‰
    Ohh… btw, i gave birth to a boy. He’s 1 month old now. It feels sooooo good now. No more drama.

  6. Congrats Andrea!!!!
    I feel horrible, but I’m trying to remember your story….ugh, old brain πŸ˜›

  7. Unchained,

    still trying? Just wanna let u know that i can smile now.
    Well.. im smiling πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  8. Fiona, this is a very fascinating and calm entry. I believe your daughter will grow up to have a very special family. She will grow up having more than usually, that is only an advantage for her. Your children, on the contrary, were robbed of something they had needed to take for granted. So I understand them very well, and respect them, for drawing consequences from that.

    But as I said, Tamsin is lucky to have a very special family. And you are lucky and deserve to have two loves. It must be special!

  9. Salaam

    I have been reading and reading and now have read every post. You must be a strong woman! I have never heard the sura An NisaΒ΄read the way you read it but I see how it can be done. Maybe you are right.
    I came here looking for guidance. I am a young divorced woman. I have a small girl who has Down’s syndrome. I will not write “suffers from” because I don’t see it as suffering, she is the happiest child I know. I have however not been able for five years to find another husband. My first divorced me because he said Down’s was my fault and he did not want sick children. And no man will marry me when they know I have a girl with Down’s because they fear to have children like her. Now however Allah has sent me an offer of marriage from a good man. He has spoken to me and my wali many times and is willing to see my daughter as his. He seems so kind and looking to take care of her and me. I feel I could really love him for his kindness and his religion. But, and it is a big but, he wants me as his second wife. He has a wife and he says they are happy and he has 3 kids by her. He is in no need of more children but he says if Allah grants them he will welcome them, Down’s or no. He says his wife is very sad and upset. He had been pointed to my situation by the leadership of our masjid. He has talked many times to his wife and given her time to adjust to the idea but he says she can not. He has decided he is willing to marry me anyway. Now I don’t know what to do. I can see my life with him, a happy life for me and my daughter. I have prayed istikhara and have received only favorable answers. I know the life of my daughter would become sooooo much better. But I can’t get around the question of his wife. Can I do this? Is her feelings my responsibility? Can I give up on my daughter’s happiness to safeguard his wife’s happiness? Please, you seem like the most honest ladies I have seen about polygamy. What should I do?

  10. Hello Khadija,

    I cannot see kindness in a man who will force polygamy on his first wife, force her to be alone half of her life, while he enjoys another love and family at the time. I know there is religious bias surrounding this for Muslims, but for someone unblinded by religious bias, no man doing this is kind in his heart. A man who, with the blessing of his first wife, would do so and take care of you and your lovely daughter, yes. But not if it is against her will.

    Personally, I do not believe good comes from taking away from others what is “theirs”. What she signed up for was an exclusive relationship. So in a sense, taking exclusivity from her against her will is stealing from her. As I said, I believe no good comes from such actions. If I were you, I would search for a partner where either the wife is trully consenting, or he is single. Maybe divorced or widowed with children of his own?

  11. Hello Dear Khadija,
    “Is her feelings my responsibility?”

    Yes. If you think you can undertake this marriage, and put the hurt you have caused in a box with a lid, you are wrong. The hurt you have caused will hurt you.

    That you are WILLING to marry a man who sets aside the meaning and fact of his own wife’s hurt to marry you, says more about you than it does about him.

    There are certain realities that cannot be painted over. Yes, being a single mother with a Down’s child will make it harder to find a husband. That has no bearing. You deserve a husband of your own; a good man, who avoids hurting others, especially loved ones. He is out there. Do the work it takes to find him.

  12. I have been following this blog for a long time and some of your posts make me teary.. like this one! You make one realize how sometimes in life, we are faced with the unimaginable and can find our self in unimaginable situations .

    @ Khadijah .. Its extremely sad to hear, your husband accused and divorced you because of your daughters Down syndrome. It disgusts me that people have such a mentality, that they tell you Stay strong and do not settle for something because of pressure or you feel that you have no other choice
    Please do not dismiss the fact that this man’s first wife is very upset and he still plans to marry against her wishes.
    I wish you all the best.

  13. that they tell you no one will marry you for such reasons **

    sorry , I did not complete my sentence

  14. Khadijaa,

    Find a man of ur own. A single honest man. This man is just gonna hurt u n ur daughter in the end cos you will see he can’t be fair to u n his wive. He’d go back to his family. And i wud say that this kind of man is a liar. U just can’t see it now but u will when u marry him.

    Tbh, be a second wive wud make u even more hurt than Before. N i do believe u dont want ppl accuse u as a home wrecker. I was married n became a second wive. Life was like a hell eventho i never been to hell o_o n thank God now i divorced. Life is soooo much better now.

    Delete him from ur life.

    Anyway, the choice is urs.
    wish u ALL the best

  15. Assalaamu Alaykum Khadija,

    You asked, are you responsible for this man’s wife’s feelings. My immediate thought was that her husband is more responsible for her feelings than you, but you still have obligations on that islamically that I will get to in a minute. But first and foremost, her husband is to protect her- not just from physical harm, but even emotional harm. She sees polygamy as an emotional harm, and she has a right not live it. Her husband should be protecting and taking responsibility for that right and her feelings about it. That’s first.

    As far as you’re concerned, as muslims we are obligated to not be a source of pain to one another. We are not to harm one another in word or deed. We are to clear out from one another’s path anything that is challenging, or seen as harmful. That is a basic duty and right we have over one another, even over non muslims. If you feel convicted that you going forward with this polygamous marriage will hurt this sister, then you should reconsider it. I understand you’ve had positive istikhara results, but sometimes Allah gives us a green light not because it’s the only choice, or that we have to do it. Sometimes He gives us permission so that we can make a free choice of our own. In the end, even situations with positive istikhara are not necessarily part of His will, if it doesn’t happen in the end. A matter has to actually transpire before we can truly say Allah willed it. Since you haven’t married yet, I think it would be prudent for you to take more time considering all the implications of this arrangement and then make istikhara again. See what you feel then, because even when making istikhara we are told that if at any point we feel to go in a different direction, we should take that as guidance from Allah.

    I feel the same as other posters here, who advise you to be patient and trust that Allah could have a single or divorced/widowed man who is just as willing and generous as this man seems to be. Sometimes we see things on the surface, and judge it to be possible or not based on what we see coupled with past experience. But Allah is not limited, and certainly when we trust Him and continue to ask Him for what we need and want, He hears and He answers. There are so many “unmarriageable” women who are able to find good spouses after a long search. Don’t let the naysayers persuade you that yours is a hopeless case. It’s not.

  16. The others here couldn’t have said it better.
    The problem as I see it is being Muslim, you’re limited by Shariah law to only marrying another Muslim. That makes the pool considerably more shallow for prospective husbands. The other problem is, by marrying another Muslim, even if he’s single, doesn’t guarantee he won’t take a second wife after you. It’s really too bad Muslim women don’t have more options for marriage, but that’s one way the men can secure multiple women for themselves, I suppose. Just like the FLDS boots out the “excess” boys so the old men can take their pick of the girls, so too the Muslim men declare non-Muslim men off-limits for Muslim women.

    I think your ex needs to read up on Down Syndrome. Sheesh, the ignorance.

  17. ” Allah gives us a green light not because it’s the only choice, or that we have to do it. Sometimes He gives us permission so that we can make a free choice of our own.” – I read this to Mark. He agrees!

  18. The people here gave some excellent responses. I am grateful for them too. And I agree with Unchained, women are made more limited in their choices to marry than what is possible for them. Interestingly, from a Quranist viewpoint, women have the same right to marry non-Muslim men as Muslim men for non-Muslim women. It is reading the Quran’s verses on marriageable partners from an ancient cultural and patriarchal viewpoint that created more limitations for women.

  19. Irshad Manji, a reformist Muslim (who is also a Quranist), discussed with Imam Khaleel Mohammed, holder of Ph.D. in Islamic law, on interfaith marriage and on re-interpreting the Quran’s verses to suit today’s modern and evolving society. He wrote the following document in support of it, which later ended up being translated to over a dozen different languages for Muslim women to convince their parents to marry non-Muslim men:


    I am having trouble locating the original Irshad Manji webpage though, where I had seen the document in all the different languages a few months ago.

  20. Hi

    I live in the Kuala Lumpur area and from everything “Laila” has described on Anas blog I recognize her and know who she is. A friend pointed it to me and it was soon to see that it was the right person. She is a woman who could be respected due to what and who she is but in stead she is the talk of all neighbourhood because of what she has done. Everybody knows how she agree to marry this man who has a wife everybody respects and who has never seen a good day since Laila came into their lives. Laila is a liar and manipulates while at the same time destroying and making always arguments for husband and first wife and creating conflicts. Laila as a second wife behind first wifes back is a cultural “monster” in our culture and all women hate such as her. She was also in the beginning very young and stupid and I have heard second hand that she initialy told people that she gave the man more sex and bad sex (anal) to keep him from wife and make him divorce. This is also why such allegation made her so angry because many have heard it and is also why Laila becomes a big rage when everybody talks bad about second wives. She knows this. And all in her neighbourhood know exactly what she is. Now I see on Ana’s that she is venting again. I suppose she is hurt knowing it was not enough for her to spread her legs she had to spread her butt too…

  21. Hi Calista,
    I think that long time readers of this blog know that you are talking about Laila the Cupcake, (one of her former handles) not our Laila who is a regular contributor here.

    After reading your post Calista I had to go over to Ana’s blog to read Laila’s latest rant, and yes that’s Laila AKA Cupcake who used to post here until she left in a rage.

    The biography sounds the same, but whether that is the same person in Kuala Lumpur that you all know of course I have no idea. But I think it’s kind of cool Fiona that people in Kuala Lumpur are reading your blog!

  22. I think so too Dale πŸ™‚ And I have found that identifying “anonymous” people on the internet isn’t very hard, as long as you have a couple of facts to show you where to start looking… πŸ˜‰ Yes, I understood also that Calista was talking about Cupcake, not our Leila!

  23. Kind of picking up on the FLDS thing I spoke about (Since I’m writing a novel that centers on the FLDS, I’ve been researching it very in-depth, and have spoken to some former as well as current FLDS members, which has been enlightening, to say the least), something I’ve really noticed in all of this is the correlation between the FLDS and 411. I was reading 411 yesterday and had alarm bells going off every which way.

    They’re far more alike than I ever realized. Now when you take into account that the FLDS is considered the American Taliban and continues to be the subject of legal scrutiny as a result, that sure doesn’t speak well for Robin and her ilk.

  24. Calista, I am different Laila as Dale and Fiona mentioned above. Interestingly I too am of Indian Punjabi origin. How do you know that Laila from polygamy411 blog is the same person that you know? If you really know her i am curious to know what made a Punjabi Sikh girl to become a second wife to a Muslim man and why would she share such personal information with people in her neighborhood.

  25. You know Laila, those are 3 really great questions, and I for one don’t have a clue as to the answers. I have to say though that I burst out laughing when I read the last line of Calista’s post. It’s hard to describe why, but all these people think they are so religious, and they have no more religious goodness or perspicuity than any one else in the world, including all the untouchables. the unbelievers, the non converts, the lowest of low etc.. This is why I start laughing when Unchained says stuff like “what a mindfuck that was” . That happens to be exactly how I feel, I just use more words.

    I do a lot of reading about cults, what they are, and how people get involved with them through the induction of false ideas and false emotions. Personally I believe that polygamy is one huge cult. A former FLDS member, a male, said if for me when he said “polygamy is the biggest hoax ever foisted on women.”

  26. Hello all

    I am now divorced. My father made my husband give me talaq and I have now received nr 3 and am free again. After my Iddah I will be completely free Insha’Allah. My former husband has payed the remainder of the Mahr and I will put it away to save. I have had to agree to let my parents have the final say in my getting married again. It was a condition of my father I could not say no and somehow I feel safe knowing they will have a say next time I marry. I have a huge problem though that I am only allowed to marry a muslim man and my parents never liked muslims and after what now happened they dislike muslims more. My father says no decent woman with a head on her shoulders should ever marry a musim. So now I must think about my life as a whole, how I want to live it.
    I am grateful to all of you here, your support was very important to me in this! Thank you!

  27. Hello Fiona and all friends

    We have had a lot of turbulence. My husband has decided he want to start his own firm and leave his post where he has worked. I say fine to this but refuse to pay anything and this made him quite angry. But second is not paying anything either. In the end he went in partnership with his brother and they have now set up firm and I did offer some money with a contract. But this means that he will not travel any more and this upsets #2 since she lived where hubz used to go for his firm. Now he says she must move here. I say NOOOO! I do not want her strutting our small town making us targets of shame and ridicule and I say to hubz that would break the camel’s back and I will leave him. He and she are now arguing daily and I refuse to have anything with it. Yesterday they had a huge fight over phone and shame to say it makes me glad. Not that she is hurting because I pitty her but that this polygamy is not the paradise my husband thought but is making more like jahannam and his hair is falling out πŸ˜€ He saw me smile when he came in after screaming on the phone and he screamed at me “What are you smiling at”. And I said I was enjoying the thought of all the husbands I will have in Jannah who will obey all my whims and make love to me all the time in peace and harmony” πŸ™‚ He was so angry he threw the phone in the floor and it cracked πŸ˜€

  28. Hi Swami and Namaste,

    Congrats on your divorce. I might be overstepping here, but you might want to dig deep inside yourself and decide then if Islam is for you. Now, I’m not about to go tell anyone what religion to follow, but the fact is, you’re a convert from Hinduism, correct?

    Bear in mind that if you narrow your options to only Muslim men (you may want to read upthread a little where this was discussed) your options not only are limited, but you could end up right back where you were with your ex husband – any new Muslim husband you marry might well go ahead and take another wife, or already be married. I assume that isn’t what you want.

  29. Hi Swami,

    I am glad you got a divorce, although I am sure it wasn’t an easy decision. But I am sure you have more of mental peace for now at least. And it’s good your family is by your side in this. And by the way Unchained is right, do think over again regarding Islam. The religion choice is up to you of course.

    Regarding polygamy, I personally feel disgusted even by the concept of the woman having to add a condition to her marriage contract on her husband not being allowed to take another wife. And the husband gets an automatic right to faithfulness from his wife. It’s an unbalanced set of rights. And Muslims trying to logically explain why the rights are this way makes it worse. And a form of suffocation too. So yeah, I hope you make a good choice of a husband next time though, whether he is Muslim or not.

  30. Yesterday started out bad. My husband had promised to come with me to see my mother. It had been a long time and since family is so important to her now dad’s gone it really meant a lot to me to go there together. He just had to go to the office first, real quick he said. Then he called and said he couldn’t make it. I had to go without him. It made me so frustrated. I used to be able to cope with his job and all the overtime but polygamy has made every minute more valuable. Also, the lies and the broken promises seem to pile up when polygamy comes in the door. Anyway, I went without him. I came home late and he wasn’t there. Since he was due to go to nr 2 I just reckoned he had left. Then suddenly, he came home. Said nr 2 was livid because he was late and didn’t believe him when he said he had been working – and it was her bleeding birthday and he forgot. And then he says “I need a present for her. Like some jewelry, a trinket. Do you have something that would be suitable?” I just couldn’t believe it. He might as well have kicked me in the stomach. I took out a case with a pendant he gave me when our first child was born. I gave it to him thinking he would understand that it meant that he just broke my heart.

    He said thanks and left.

    Such a bad day.

  31. Aw Jenn, and he took that to girlfriend for her birthday gift. SMH…these guys are so freaking dumb, I swear. Utterly clueless.

    My ex did something similar with a beautiful jewelry set he’d given me for our anniversary. I fought him tooth and nail but eventually gave in. I DID get it back after they split, at least, though I’d never wear any of it again.

  32. Swami, I would think in the Hindu religion one is born Hindu. Would that not mean you are Hindu if you are willing to accept it again? Or do you feel you believe in Islam? Or will no Hindu man agree to marry a woman who was married outside of Hinduism before?

    As has been said, if you feel this is your religion, of course it is your choice. But it sounded like you converted for your husband. Would you have to remain restricted also after the marriage ends?

    All the best for you, and congratulations for being so remarkably strong and uncompromising.

  33. JennOJenn,

    I feel sorry for u. He took the pendant and left. Truly he has no heart.

  34. // I took out a case with a pendant he gave me when our first child was born. I gave it to him thinking he would understand that it meant that he just broke my heart.//

    That sounded extremely awful 😦 I feel very sorry for you. Hugs to you ❀

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