How to Cope With Polygamy

5758f-moveA lot of people who come to this blog do so after googling “How to cope in polygamy”. I get like 10 people every day who google coping with polygamy in my stats. It breaks my heart.

So here’s a post to all of you copers out there:

If you are looking for a way to cope with polygamy, that in itself proves to me that you should get the hell out of that polygamous marriage! Leave! Now!

Marriage should never be about coping.

Marriage should be about living life to the full, about love and trust, equality and happiness. Marriage should be about friendship, laughter, caring for each other, honesty, about being that one person to each other who is always there for you who is always ready to put your happiness above his or her own.

Marriage should never be about coping.

So if you came here looking for advice about how to cope with polygamy, here it is:

Don’t.

Leave, and allow yourself the opportunity to find a real marriage. A real relationship.

Don’t ever let anybody force you into believing you are worth anything less.

21 thoughts on “How to Cope With Polygamy

  1. Well said Fiona.

    I was looking at photos of me before and after M. Omg….the aging in my face is undeniable and I have no doubt much of it was due to the constant stress and emotional overload day in and day out. It took one hell of a toll. So yep….don’t bother coping….the hell with coping. Get out.

  2. I have thrown the clothes I bought during polygyny away. I was a size 0!! Thank god, now I’m back wearing a size 6, and I never ever want to look and feel like a skeleton again! Forced polygyny took all the flesh off my bones and all the blood from my veins. It took the air out of my lungs.

  3. I love this. You are absolutely right!! We promote LOVE not FORCE — don’t be forced, don’t force YOURSELF — no FORCE.
    It’s never happy and real and good and righteous if it’s forced.

    Take care, love!

  4. Hi Fiona, I like what you said about marriage “living life to the full, about love and trust, equality and happiness. Marriage should be about friendship, laughter, caring for each other, honesty, about being that one person to each other who is always there for you who is always ready to put your happiness above his or her own”.
    Now before someone comes in to lecture that we are being unrealistic talking only about happiness and laughter. Let me add that what Fiona said about marriage is what BOTH partners should aspire for. Ofcourse life brings both happy and hard times and we are all humans with our own flaws. What matters is that the room to make mistakes or making compromises shouldn’t be gender based. It should be mutual.

  5. But what if its your father who is polygamus?
    You can not leave or divorce your father!!!

    So how do a daughter cope? And how cope with the pain of your mother?

  6. Oh Mireille, that must be so painful. Fiona can tell you how her children experienced it.

    If it was me I’d love my father less, and over time he will hopefully realise how selfish he is. Polygamist men think their 1st wife and children will just keep loving them the same as before, but they are wrong.

    True you can’t divorce your father, but can you calmly tell him you have lost love and respect for him and that you feel you have to look after your mum because he has devastated her. He will reply “its halal, it’s halal” because that’s their only defense. Tell him while it may be halal, it is not compulsory or even recommended so he has chosen to cause you pain. He didn’t have to, he chose to. Ask him to take responsibility for that. And then I’d avoid him, let him feel the pain of losing your love and affection.

  7. Mireille

    Take it from me, there is no way of coping if you want to stay sane.

    I know we’re not supposed to sever the ties of kinship. But when your father becomes polygamous, it’s HE who severs the ties!! He takes half your father away, or more since he is likely to spend more time with the new family.

    So in stead of years in agonizing pain, leave now. Pretend he died. And take your mum with you.

  8. Well, in a way the projection most children nourish of their father – a hero, a role model to look up to, a strong and kind-hearted man who the child believes will never deceive him/her – is shattered to irrecognizable pieces.

    For most people, the real person cannot live up to the projection either, but in this case the projection they cherished trully died, I imagine it must be as if the person they once loved had died and left forever (little matter the person their father has become, the outer shell of the person that once was, is still walking and breathing).

  9. These have been some really interesting responses to Mireille. None of us, I assume, know who you are, how old you are, or what your cultural constraints are. And responding to a blog entry like yours has more to do with clarifying one’s own thoughts, than giving some one else “advice”, although you did literally ask for it.

    I doubt that any reader here has any difficulty understanding your statement ” you can not leave or divorce your father.” But, as Olivia pointed out, your father left already, on his own. So where are his constraints? IMO, people who do what your father did, should be convicted of domestic abuse.

    All polygynous men, who assert their right to polygyny, are depending upon their conviction that no wife, (daughter or son,) can leave the relationship. By repeating that statement, as you have, your are reinforcing your father’s beliefs, and repairing the foundation of your own prison.

    It’s up to you to figure how to position yourself in relation to a person who has brought this type of poison into your life. I can tell from your writing that you have a long way to go.

    I don’t know who all reads this blog, but among the contributors, most have been in difficult situations, and had to build their own road, and they have done so, and survived. That is your task.

  10. Fiona,

    I know this is neither here nor there when it comes to the reality of your life but how do you think your life would be today had you never met Graham? Do you think you would still be with Mark? I remember you saying it was important for you to keep your word as far as respecting his religion but do you think you would have eventually left? I also remember you saying you took classes to help cope with your situation but you were not truly happy until you married Graham. Ironic your coping mechanism is what led you to true happiness. I don’t think it’s ever easy to just leave when you truly love a person, even when they are hurting you. That’s why women stay in domestic violence situations for years and man stay with women who emasculated them. Sometimes these situations have to play themselves out until you’re completely indifferent to the person. I know my “hubby’s” ex told me she can be friends with him and coparent but she never could be with him anymore because he had done to much to the point of no return. Period. As far as the father Mireille, well I struggle with that daily because I love my father but he has a mistress now I’m sure, and kids said he doesn’t claim from one of his past mistresses. Some days I look at him with complete disgust. Others I can’t help but love him because he was such a good father to me. So when you figure that out, let me know!

  11. I hate my father.
    It almost hurt to write usch a thing to feel it is not almost bearable. I hate what he done to my mother and my family. Is all about he wants this his rights is this. Its never about our rights. Its all about what is ahhal never about what is right. I hate him so much now and my mother is becoming so so sick. And deep in my heart I also hate that this can be allowed. Forgive me but I hate that it is allowed.

  12. I have asked myself many times. I just don’t know what would have happened. I mean, Bimbo could still have ended up divorced and going off to Oman. But you know, if Mark hadn’t accepted polyandry, and gone through the “purification” of understanding himself what pain he had caused me, I don’t think I could ever have forgiven him.

  13. Dear Mireille,
    When one is younger, every painful thing feels like the end of the road. It’s not, it’s an episode, a chapter. What do you want in the next chapter?

  14. Mireille, you have identified the root of the problem: “Its all about what is halal never about what is right.” You already understand that “right” and “halal” are not always the same. Why not honour and love your mother by doing what is right? It is the only thing that will bring you both peace and save her from this brokenness. Hurting someone in this way can never be permitted. And it sounds like this is the truth that you know in your heart. Does jannah not lie at the feet of your mother? I don’t know about you, my dear, but I would commit a thousand sins to protect mine.

  15. Salaam

    To me polygamy is about coping and it is not a bad thing.

    We mature and develop as we are put through tests. We go through different kinds of hardships and even pain. It is part of life. We lose friends and family and we learn that we are ultimately alone with Allah.
    Even in the West there is a saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
    Polygamy makes women stronger. Women become self reliant. Women learn to cope and because of it they learn to trust themselves not others, and they know that their best friend is Allah, not their husband.

  16. They should change the phrase from there is no compulsion in Islam to there is no compassion in Islam. It’s unbelievable to me how people can see how much women are hurting from polygamy and say that God wants this. What a crock of BS! Losing a friend or husband/father in this case to polygamy is COMPLETELY different than losing them to death. How can you compare the two? I thought the point of being married is so you don’t have to be self reliant. There is also a saying in the West…. I can do bad all by myself!

  17. And for the record… GOD does not cause these trials… Either we put ourselves in crazy situations or other humans cause us suffering and God helps us through them. He takes screw ups and makes good from them. Case in point, he took Fiona situation and whether she believes in God or not I believe he led her to start this blog to help thousands if not millions of women across the world. Now that’s the power of God. These men follow their lusts and you women supporters of polygamy encourage them to do so! Unbelievable!

  18. “Polygamy makes women stronger. Women become self reliant.”

    So being alone when the husband is gone teaches a woman she can rely on herself? Hear hear.

    If she were slightly less brainwashed, she’d realize she never needed one in the first place, and Islamic gender ideology works the way it does only because of make-believe from childhood on.

  19. Nothing makes me sicker than women advocating for the misery of their sisters. Look – marriage shouldn’t be about “coping”. It’s supposed to be about love, trust, support, companionship, building a life together and raising a family if you desire. Not about “coping” and “trials” and “tests”. If one finds herself looking at her marriage thus, there’s something terribly wrong.

    As a non-Muslim, and a wife in polygyny in the past, I look at it from the outside in as well as reflect on my own experience both with polygyny and Islam, and wonder how on earth any woman can view this as a good thing, this “coping”, this “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. A good thing….it nearly did kill me, but only because I was strong to begin with did I survive it, and eventually leave a sick and dysfunctional situation. All of this “gets you closer to Allah” is crap. Pure, unadulterated CRAP. In order to open yourself in a healthy way to a relationship with anyone, including God, you have to be healthy inside. Happy inside. Just as in human relationships, you can’t be happy in a relationship until and unless you’re happy with yourself. Anything else is panacea….a bandage covering a wound, but that wound is still there, festering away. A relationship based on dependency and desperation is no relationship at all, and is destined to fail. That includes a relationship with God, whomever/whatever you perceive your higher power to be.

    Polygyny didn’t make me self-reliant. I was self-reliant LONG before that jackass I married made me prove it again. What polygyny DID make me was hard, cold, bitter, and completely out of love with that piece of dirt I was dumb enough to marry. It also made me second-guess my own worth as a woman and a wife. It also made me second-guess any man I’ve dated since (there’ve been 2 and both were disasters, either directly or indirectly as a result of the internal damage I’m trying to come to terms with thanks to what polygyny did to me). My chances of a normal relationship now seem to be slipping away. So it’s a good thing I AM self-reliant, because I probably have no choice anymore.

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