“I Mourn the Life I Lost” – Polygamy Pain

Heart-beatMy first husband has had his ups and downs in polygamy to say the least. Nowadays, he’s mostly accepting of life as it is. I know he has come to enjoy having time to himself, I know he loves Tamsin, my daughter with my second husband, and I know that he has even come to appreciate having Graham in our lives.

He is however still struggling with jealousy, a feeling of being left out, and most of all he hates the fact that the children haven’t been able to forgive his initial, giant betrayal.

The other day, I found him sitting in the conservatory looking through old photo albums. We started talking about all the fun we had with the children when they were small, about wonderful holidays in Scotland, about our first dogs… We really had a very nice talk, it felt wonderful to share those memories, that love. Then suddenly, tears came to his eyes. I asked if he missed the children, our son who refuses to talk to him. He nodded.

“But most of all I just mourn the life I lost” – he said.

It sort of says it all, doesn’t it?

To me, the men in polygyny who are completely happy, are the men who have no ability to mourn what they lost.

17 thoughts on ““I Mourn the Life I Lost” – Polygamy Pain

  1. I’m sure Mark does mourn the life he had with you before all of the nonsense. Each step takes us to the next. And sometimes we end up in places we never imagined we’d be. In my opinion, Mark is living proof that Karma can hit within a lifetime, and he got it returned to him several times over, which in my belief system, is exactly how the Universe works.

    He’s fortunate he still has you, Fiona, and if I could have a sit-down with Mark, that’s exactly what I’d tell him. He needs to stop mourning what he gave up (not lost, gave up, there’s a difference), and take a look at how lucky he is to still have what he does.

  2. I actually that’s what makes it even harder for Mark. He is entirely responsible for creating his own misery.

    Unchained, I think that’s why your ex husband and mine are finding it harder than us to move. Their own foolish actions lost them something they didn’t truly appreciate until they no longer had it. That must be harder to accept, than someone else being to blame for one’s own misery.

  3. What fascinates me with your situation Fiona is how Mark didn’t realise what would happen.

    How could he think your late-teen children could ever accept him bring another woman into their parents marriage?

    How could he think you would ever get used to it. From the little I know of you from this blog I can’t fathom how he thought you would ever accept it.

    It must be a form of insanity. Like the perfect storm where a variety of factors created the event and if just one factor wasn’t present it may never have happened.

  4. Mark must be a really interesting person. His story is a long one. I still believe his children will reconnect with him. But not until sufficient awareness develops for both parties.

  5. He is interesting. And lovable. And sooo charming. My daughter has reconnected, but she’s struggling with trust issues. And from time to time, her pain surfaces. But my son has simply chosen to live his life as if his father’s dead. And he says it allows him to love the dad he had, in stead of hating what he became.

  6. What are your observations about Mark’s relationship with the male entourage who encouraged him to pursue polygamy? Has the role of Islam in his life been altered by this experience? It sounded to me for awhile that despite this experience, which can only be described as catastrophic, (what else is losing one’s wife and children?) his involvement with Islam had grown deeper.?

  7. Mark has left the groups he belonged to when he became polygamous. Not really because he wanted to disassociate himself from them, but because he was afraid they might find out about his failure in polygamy – and my success 😉 He’s still muslim though, and attends a local masjid sometimes. He believes my second marriage was a punishment from god. So he believes he must simply take it. He now firmly believes polygyny is forbidden, and god will punish all polygynists in this life or in next. So, he’s hoping that by taking his punishment in this life, he might be forgiven in the hereafter…

  8. I’m scratching my head. I assumed Mark would recognize his current painful loss as a logical consequence of his own choices. The following is a question, it is not a criticism. How is a person who now believes that polygyny is forbidden by God, any different from a person who formerly believed it was permitted by God?

  9. I agree with you, it makes no sense. I have given up on religion and sense as a combo.

  10. Well, I do think it is different. To merit punishment (severe punishment through misery), one must have done severe wrong. So it is an odd admission of guilt. How this fits with a possible lack of regret on a personal level, I don’t quite know. In Islamic theology, sins are seen as compensated by pain and misery (example: a woman stoned for adultery according to the hadith might be in much higher status in paradise as a non-adulterer, because the terrible physical punishment has “purified” her). Also, suffering of any kind – even if it is a cold – is believed to be “booked” to one’s account (diminishing the bad). In that sense, there is no need for repentance as in Christianity, where to sincerely repent promises forgiveness. Simply acceptance of the misery and submission to God and his will. For me, this is an odd way of dealing with one’s sins, but there again I am of course not a believer.

    When I read your lines, Fiona, I must say I found Mark’s behaviour the closest to admission of guilt of his I have so far read on your blog. There is the odd naivete of a believer going simply by the literal meaning of the word, there is the opportunism of the believer who does certain (good) things only to be compensated in the Hereafter (which in my opinion a just God would have to reject for the selfish nature).. there is of course the self-pity. But as I said, the closest resemblance of regret so far. He is quite self-centered, though – at least when one does not know the personal charm, but only reads about him here.

  11. Interesting conversation. Mark’s behavior strikes odd to me as well. But then, as Chris said, it is the closest resemblance of regret.

  12. Regarding lifeisgood’s earlier comment on Fiona gping through a perfect storm, and the insanity of the situation created by Mark, I would add though that despite the deep hurts caused through Mark’s actions, there have been a number of positive results too, as we have witnessed through reading this blog. Fiona being a non-Muslim, a strong and independent lady, and one who lived in a free country, and has been grounded and practical in her living, she saw first hand through her life experience what a religious doctrine can contain, and how religious brainwashing impacts people.

    I myself doubt I would have been on this particular spiritual path if it weren’t for Fiona. Of course that doesn’t mean I would wish for anybody to go through what Fiona did, and her family members. But then it’s just exceedingly rare a person like Fiona would be smacked by such religious and cultural ideas the way many other women do. So her perspectives have been immensely eye-opening, enlightening and unique. Also in her effort to see through this sudden storm that fell on her, she managed to scratch the surface of age-old misogynistic ideas and mindsets that are prevalent in this world even today. It made the rest of us readers better understand them and their presence. I honestly feel if I spend years on seeking wisdom and female empowerment, and spend money on it too, I would not have come near to the kind of start I have gained from reading this blog by itself.

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