Archive for August, 2008

This was not intended to be a Polygyny blog. But it seems like thats all I talk about lately. I guess it does kind of consume you. There is life outside of polygyny. So what else am I doing you ask?

1.  I got a job. I figured sitting around the house “waiting for my turn,” was a bit destructive for the mind so I got a job. I haven’t worked in about 7 or 8 years. But I figure I can soak my sorrows in frappucinos and shopping sprees and it will make me feel better. Newsflash…. Working sucks! I miss my kids, I am tired when I get home and the caffeine prevents me from sleeping.

2. I am doing this extremely cool class that a brother in NY posted on youtube. He is so energized! He has a class on arabic and another on tafseer qur’an. If you are an arabic addict like me, you will thoroughly enjoy it. Just go to youtube.com and type in ABU TAUBAH. The bomb!

3.  Preparing for Ramadhan. This weekend, we will be going over fasting and the rulings pertaining to Ramadhan with the kids. I look forward to the iftars with my co-wife and doing things as a family. Despite the fitnah, I enjoy having the big family. I enjoy seeing all the kids play together. I enjoy seeing my husband make sure we both are doing well and have what we need. Oops, Polygyny again. I plan to, insha’allah…

  • Read the Qur’an more, (english and arabic).
  • De-stress, relax and increase my prayers.
  • make istighfar (seek forgiveness for my sins) daily or hourly if I can.
  • feed the people, this is an important aspect of Ramadhan few people take advantage of.

4. Getting ready for school. The kids go back next week. So much to do, still have to get last minute school supplies.

See I do have a life.  TQ and her siblings think I am going crazy. She reads my blog sometimes and she just shakes her head. She suggested we all get Ruqya done (it’s hard for her to understand the emotional ups and downs and changes). I don’t understand it either. But I’m getting the hang of it all I think.

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I have a question. Who says that just because my husband takes another wife, I have to change MY relationship with him. Why do I have to act like he doesn’t exist when he leaves my house? Why do I have to pretend that I am only married to him every other two days and alternate Saturday’s?

This is not what polygyny is about. He is my husband, too (and was for a long time before you came along). If I need him, I will call. I will laugh at his jokes, send him a plate of food and ask you if he is well, in case you answer the phone.

You, dear co-wife are an ADDITION to our humble family. You knew he had a wife and kids. My relationship with him doesn’t have to change, you have to establish whatever you and he will have together.

And that doesn’t mean that I disappear.

I’m fair. I am kind. I am generous. I am your sister-in-Islam.

And I am still his wife.

I am doing this.

I am commited to it.

I will see it through, Insha’allah.

Why?

1.  It’s the right thing to do. All of the reasons I can think of not to do polygyny are selfish. (who will tread upon the path that is steep?) I want him to myself. I don’t want to open up my life to a stranger. I like things how they used to be. All selfish. But what about giving comfort and security to my sister? Something that Allah has blessed me with. As if to say, once i was hungry and Allah blessed me with food and now I don’t want to share my plate.

2. I want this for my husband. He is a man’s man. And he enjoys striving and being responsible. This has been such a wake up call for him. It has shaken him out of his comfort zone. And he wants to do this fisibilillah. Our situation is not about nafs (desires) but about the needs of others. I pray that Allah will accept his effort and give him Jannah because of it.

3. I love my huband and my family. I don’t want my weaknesses to be the destroyer of it all. I have always been a runner. I run away from anything that makes me feel uncomfortable. To run now, would mean I am basically a chump. Running from the proverbial kitchen because the heat is unbearable.

4. I want this for myself. I want to prove my salt. I am not better than the Mother’s of the Believers (wives of the Prophet) I want to be rewarded for doing the hard work as well. I draw closer to Allah through this. and the focus is no longer on the passion of my marriage (although that is stronger than ever) but more on attaining the pleasure of Allah by not allowing the shaitan to win.

5. I want this for her. She is a good, generous and kind sister. She has had to rely upon herself and Allah for a long time, while maintaining her Islam. She has so many good qualities. How far am I from being in her shoes? And who would help me if the shoe were on someone else’s foot.

I am resolved.

I pray for success.

I’m taking off my gloves and I’m not running away, insha’allah.

Make du’a for us.

Revelations keep on coming. It’s amazing, this process of living and learning. It’s been a month in Polygyny and it’s not just difficult for me. It’s difficult for everyone involved.

Me…

I love my husband when he is here and I hate him am confused when he leaves. I don’t want our relationship to change. I got offended the other day when he said I looked beautiful. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. This is not his pattern of behaviour. If I dress up and put on a little makeup he usually doesn’t notice. But this particular time, he looked at me with this intense, amazed look and was like “Subhana’allah, masha’allah, you are really beautiful.” WHAT?! Excuse me? Now you want to spread compliments? Now you want to appreciate me? His answer? “Don’t belittle the good I do. This situation makes you really appreciate what you have. I want to honor you and express what I should have expressed all the time, but that I possibly, like an idiot, took for granted before. Do you mind?” O.K.

Him…

“I feel like a yoyo,” he says. It’s hard work juggling the emotions of two women. My husband’s conviction is not to marry to divorce, he feels that what he is doing is necessary to his islamic growth as a man, handling the responsibilities of another wife and her children. Her kids love him, so know he has more than her feelings to think about if things sour. The honeymoon is over so now he has her insecurities (see below) to deal with. And of course, there’s me. We already discussed my feelings here.

Newsflash: The newness of the marriage wears off quickly and you are left realizing that you don’t know this person. You have nothing established, no real ties like children or history so there’s nothing to fall back on except the knowledge that Allah rewards and punishes. For a man, it’s difficult being in a new environment after you have established a well worked out system at home. And after going through all of your crap for years, it’s really hard to go through crap all over again with someone else. That’s a privilege that has to be earned.

Sister-Wife…

“How do I compete with 10 plus years of marriage?” She feels intimidated by the fact that my husband and I know each other like a twin knows it’s sibling. She feels (in my opinion) that he expects her to basically be me in a different body. “Khair would never do something like that, she knows this and that about me, we normally do things like this..” She hates when i call him while he’s there. If he is late by minutes she assumes that I kept him away. She’s afraid to trust either of us and she swears we don’t understand what she is going through, cuz in the end we have each other to fall back on.

On a more positive note, I have taken off my running shoes (they are still sitting by the door, though) and have decided to roll up my sleeves, be a big girl and handle it. This could be such a beautiful thing if it could work. We cut down the days from 3 to 2 which feel better for me. I have free range to call him as much as I like. We make a pretty big tribe. The kids all love each other and she and I can relax enough to raise them as he is in charge of the bills. I still stand by everything I said before about Polygyny being a societal cure. Now, I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

Okay, I know that last post needs some explanation. I know everyone is like “What? Not the Polygyny champion! Able to leap 3 co-wives in a single bound.” “Not Miss Handle-Your-Business, Miss Real-Men-Have-Four Wives….” Blah, Blah, Blah…

Smart men have only one because us females are crazy.

Who in their right minds would want to take two PMS’ing, emotionally unstable, I will gouge your eyes out if you look at my husband or ask him the time, type women and combine them in one relationship?

Somebody who is either self-righteously delusional, a serious nympho or just plain psycho. (Except Prophet Muhammad who had nine. That’s different. He had the strength of 30 men and well, he was the Prophet for goodness sake.)

I have had some epiphanies about polygyny after surviving almost 3 weeks in the institution.

1.  I am not suited to polygynous relationships. I don’t have the commitment values needed to sustain a polygynous marriage. I am a runner. I don’t know how to stick it out.

2. I don’t like women. I never really did. I always felt that my species were prone to pettiness. I have never had more than two female friends at a time in my days as a non-muslim and avoided the rest. I always preferred men for company, much nicer more meaningful conversation. So it makes it hard to accept a woman that I may not care for into my family and my life.

3. Polygyny is a wonderful institution when properly done. It should not be indulged by couples who have been married for years and genuinely love each other. Separation anxiety alone can ruin the relationship. But if a couple is having some issues, have been able to keep the feelings they share in perspective and don’t mind spending time apart, it would definitely be less painful. 12 years is a long time to get set in your ways and suddenly have to change them to fit in someone else.

4.  Dealing with polygyny takes seriously strong emaan because shaitan is seriously on the scene. Every second he is away, shaitan is whispering and causing fitnah, in both houses. Audho’billahi minhu.

I am being honest with you guys, it’s really hard. Some days you just want to say “You do you and I’ll do me and later for the rest of this.” Some days it’s hard to see the benefit. I have days when I see how it benefits him and her but I can’t see how it benefits me. Some days I just want my mind to be at peace. There are plenty of sister’s who need a good husband (my commitment issues again here) so why don’t I just go off to some Mideastern country and bury my head in a book while you save the world.

Sounds pretty good to me…