I am discovering some interesting side-effects to the polygyny experience. I thought once the relationship ended, things just spring back to normal….not! So look out for these side-effects that might take you by surprise.
Relationship Changes: After a husband who has been married for many years enters into polygyny, that relationship is changed forever. Depending upon how your wife looked at you from the begining, it may make her see you in a whole new light. If you were idolized (and I don’t mean shirk people so calm down) she may not look at you so naively ever again. Polygyny highlights your faults and thinking of you as “not as great” as she thought you were may have been the means by which she coped with her hurt feelings.
New Love Awaits: Women who have been involved in a long term relationship may suddenly get the “If he can do it, I can, too” effect. This means that she now feels that she can enjoy a new relationship just like he is doing and may want a divorce even if his relationship in polygyny doesn’t work.
Bye-Bye Baby Blues- Both spouses may go through a semi-depression even if it wasn’t working out for either party. This depression doesn’t stem from lost love or un-returned sentiments. It comes from being on an emotional rollercoaster ride for whatever length of time the relationship lasted and just being physically and mentally (and emotionally) exhausted from the effort it took to try to make it all work out without losing your sanity. This depression can be expressed by either spouse by impatience, frequent arguments, moodiness and other nasty behaviour.
These side effects can be minimized or avoided altogether by men being very careful who they choose as wives, first and any subsequent wife for that matter. A woman who is grounded in her faith will understand the trials that she is going through are from Allah and try to be patient in her test. A woman who is selfish (nafsie) will take it out on her spouse and whoever else is in earshot.
Also, men have to rekindle the relationship with the first wife as well. I liked feeling like my relationship was just as new to me as it was for him and his new wife. My husband did extra special things for me during that time, which made me feel like a newlywed, too. He would take me out to dinner, buy me gifts and just tell me how much he appreciated me and loved me and thought I was sexy and beautiful. And our relationship did not fizzle in the bedroom, it sizzled (sorry for the bluntness) so this made the polygyny aspect not as hard to accept for me. There was no resentment or sense of loss or maltreatment. If a brother wants to have more than one he has to be able to physically and mentally support both relationships.
And a word to first wives: Don’t go feeling sad and down on yourself because your husband has taken another wife. Use that energy (and frustration) and channel it into fixing up your home, taking care of your looks and letting your husband know how great you really are. I never let a day go by that I didn’t look good for my husband. I would make sure the house was clean and smelling nice when came home and that the kids looked nice and were well behaved and gave him something to think about until he came back home on my day.
Polygyny is not the end …. It can be a great begining if the parties involved make it that way.