Should First Wife Help Husband Select Second Wife (Polygamy)

polygamy 411

When a husband has decided that he will exercise his right and engage in polygamy (in Islam), should his first wife help him select a second wife? I have read material in which people have recommended that a first wife participate in the decision making process of selecting a second wife for her husband.

Regarding me, I think I should not be privy to participate in the selection. First of all, I am not the person that would be marrying the woman. My husband is the one that has to be attracted to her. He is the one that will have to live with her, love her, and have sexual relations with her, have intimate conversations with her, and spend his wealth on her, and more. 

I contemplated the reasons that a first wife would want to be part of the selection process, and whether there is a valid reason for her participation, in Islam. Does it really matter whether the first wife likes the potential second wife or not?  What does the first wife’s likes and dislikes regarding the potential second wife really have to do with her husband liking the woman?  Does the first wife have to do any of the above mentioned acts with the second wife?

A first wife’s need for involvement in selecting her husband’s second wife could serve a primary purpose that I could see; it would be control. She could prolong the process by not being able to agree on a suitable person. She could select someone that her husband entirely does not want, and wouldn’t be happy with. She could attempt to sabotage the marriage to someone her husband does have a sincere interest in and desire to marry. I know this for a fact; I wanted to meet my husband Alex’s prospective second wife so I could attempt to influence the relationship in some negative way. 

I see a benefit in a current wife not getting involved in the selection. If the marriage to the second wife is not successful, the husband cannot look to the first wife to blame if he doesn’t like the new wife. After all, it was his decision.

Please do not misunderstand me.  I am not talking about mutual consultation. I believe firmly that a husband should consult his first wife about his decision to engage in polygamy and if he is “kind” give her some time to adjust to the decision before he rushes off into it.

I think a husband should introduce his first wife to the potential second wife, as well, so first wife and potential second wife could communicate if they choose to do so. But I think the selection process as to whom he marries should be entirely the husband’s decision. There is nothing wrong if a husband requests his first wife’s assistance, but to say it should be a right of a first wife, I beg to differ. 

What do you think the benefits would be for a first wife assisting her husband in choosing his second wife?

This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

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136 Comments

  • muslimah

    April 6, 2014

    @Aishah2014 @maryam
    sisters my hubby’s first wife is alive.She has been terminally ill for many years.She allowed him to marry.My hubby told me that his first wife is unable to fulfill his marital rights.I took it as she cant have sex.Later after our marriage i discoverd that she can(my hubby has written qs on a paper to ask from mufti.i read that.there was a qs about equality in intercourse)I confronted him and he said that marital rights includes many other things too.U should have asked me explicitly.I was so hurt but he didnot care.He said that it means i have no place for him in my heart thats why i am hurt.HE has two kids from first wife and one from me.I have no issue bringing up his kids.they live with their mother who lives with my inlaws.
    @Gail
    i have told him many times and he knows this very well how much emotionally dependent i am on him.If i pretend to be careless then he will tell me that i dont love him.He always tells me that i dont love him and i am making myself fool.
    When i shared that bad incident with him.He didnot become rude at once.He was so kind to me till many months and started loving me more.HE asked me many times about what exactly happened.I refused to discuss but he somehow managed to make me talk.and even after few months when he started ignoring me he had sex with me many times.He told me that he is rude to me intentionally because he wants to be distant from me and he is helping me to hate him.
    He also tells me that he has the right to divorce me for not being truthful at the time of marriage but he is so nice to keep me as his wife and support me financially.
    @jenny i didnot have sex with that man so i was virgin when i got married.

  • ana

    April 6, 2014

    I’m on my phone.

  • ana

    April 6, 2014

    Dear Jenny,

    After Alex and I married and had intimacy, he askrf if I was a virgin thinking Go figure. Maybe a male who never had a virgin before don’t know what onr is like. I suppose. He asked if my boobs were real too.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Jenny

    April 6, 2014

    @ Muslimah,

    I may be out of decor saying this, but I’m not one to keep opinions to myself. happy With that said, on your wedding night, wouldn’t your husband have realized you were not a virgin???? Did you REALLY need to tell him what was blatantly obvious?

  • Gail

    April 6, 2014

    Muslima,
    I agree with what Aisha told u about your husband 100%.It is really wrong for him to say he hates u for not telling him u were not a virgin when u married him.If that is all u r worth for to him then seems to me he has some kind of mental issue.Do not and I repeat do not show him that u can’t live without him.If he sees your weakness he will use it to torment u now.Show zero weakness.Also if he wants to talk about your sexual escapade with other guy cut him off and tell him hell no.You trusted him and he $hit all over you.Do not give him more info u will be just slicing your own throat if u do.Also u need to tell him straight he was no virgin when u married his ass either so like it or lump it and as far as u picking out his next wife tell him to kiss it where the sun don’t shine if u have no desire to help him find a new wife is my advice

  • maryam

    April 6, 2014

    Salam alaikum muslima

    Sounds like emotional blackmail. Find me another wife and I’ll start treating you well again?!

    What a pity he isn’t more concerned about giving time to his terminally ill wife. Do they have children? Will you take on responsibility of raising them? Yes, Aisha may Allah grant her Jannah.

    Muslima you married him knowing he wanted lots of wives and you agreed to be his second. How did he meet you? Can’t he meet another wife the same way? Islam does not require you to help him find a wife, but i guess it gives you the chance to find someone compatible maybe?

    Can I ask, what is different that you were ok marrying as his second wife but you don’t want him to marry a third? You mentioned time, but if the first wife is terminal it is likely time will only be split 2-ways?

    Maybe he’s asking you to find one because he doesn’t want to look like a selfish immature spoilt uncaring husband looking for a wife when his first is dying.

  • Aishah2014

    April 6, 2014

    Salaams welcome Muslimah come over to Anas current thread.your husband is making excuses to cover his desire to have another wife.dont buy into it.u repented to Allah not to ur husband.maybe start with speaking w Imam.dont take bullying,dont take responsibility for what he does.and ask him if he takes a 3rd how is he giving rights to “terminally ill” first wife,who may at some point,and may Allah grant her Jannah when its her time,require more of his time? Selfishness abounds!

  • muslimah

    April 6, 2014

    i actually want an advice.i am the second wife of my husband.i have been married for just 2 and half years and during all these years i have shared my husband and i havenot find enough room to fulfill my dreams or to live with my husband in a way i wanted to be.my husband always wanted to have many wives.so he has desire to marry again.his first wife is terminally ill.i am healthy alhumdolillah and young(only 25).i have a kid from my husband..i love my husband so much.i have made a mistake in my teenage.i havent lost my virginity but piety.later i realized what i have done .I repented and i started practising deen.after 2 years of our married life i told my husband this believing that he loves me.i havent shared this with anyone before.my husband’s attitude was good until few months.then he started being rude and telling me that he hates me for not telling him this before getting married.he wants me to arrange another marriage for him.only this will make him happy and reunite us.i am very much in love with my husband.i dont want to lose him but idea of another woman in his life sounds very horrible to me too.i dont know what to do.i cannot live without him.plz advice me.

  • ana

    April 1, 2014

    SarahB, As Salaamu Alaikum,
    Alhumdulliah, you are here with us at polygamy 411 happy. I see you have met two of our blog sisters (marie and ummof4) here. I thank them much for their warm welcome to you and advice.

    We are all talking on the most recent thread and the link is below. We kindly welcome you to join us there, so we don’t lose track of you. It gets confusing when we run more than one thread concurrent. I can no longer close older threads without losing all the comments/posts that accompany the threads.

    The most recent thread that we’d like you to join us on is:

    http://polygamy411.com/how-marriage-may-enrich-the-lives-of-spouses/

    ummof4 referenced a thread that should be helpful to you and your husband in his quest for another wife. The thread is:

    http://polygamy411.com/advice-on-how-a-muslim-man-should-approach-a-polygamous-marriage/

    Once again, welcome happy

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • ummof4

    April 1, 2014

    As-salaamu alaikum Sarah B,

    Please join us at the other thread that was suggested. Ana will also have links to other threads that may be helpful. One of them is how to approach a polygynous marriage.

    I agree that you should not help your husband pick a wife. However if you have been married for twenty years and have a healthy marriage based on Islaam, you are probably his sincere advisor. If that is the case and he asks you for advice, give it to him, but only if he asks. And make sure he knows that it is just your advice, you are not making decisions for him.

    When my husband married his present wife I gave sincere advice to both of them. Of course, this only will work if all of the people involved are trying their best to earn the pleasure and blessings from Allah and are all trying to get to Jannah.

    So welcome, and join us on the other thread.

  • marie

    April 1, 2014

    Wa alaykum asalaam SarahB

    Welcome to the blog. I’m glad you found the blog useful. I’m currently going through the ups and downs of my husband taking another wife. He has already choose the woman and are currently in discussions. My husband said if wanted to know the content on the discussion he would tell me. At first I said yes, then asked the advice of out loverly sisters on the blog. The replys will have @Marie at the beginning.

    I can tell you this, for me, the more I know the worst I feel. if I was in your situation I would as you have done and voice that it should be a woman who has a strong deen. I would then try to stay out of it. Let home find his own 2nd wife. Concentrate on your marriage. I know it’s hard but try not to let the prospect of your husband re marrying consume you.

    Once he has found the woman, maybe then, if you feel strong enough you could have a sit down with the intended and your husband.

    You may feel like you want to know everything and be involved at some point. But be prepared to hear things that may upset you.

    There’s quite a few sisters here with all kinds of experience, Insha’allah there will give their opinion on the matter

    Pray much and remember Allah

    Lastly were all over on another thread “how marriage can enrich the lives of spouses” please do come join us over there Ana may provide a link on this thread for you

    Much salaams.

  • SarahB

    April 1, 2014

    Salaam Alejkum,

    Jazakallahu Khairan for the important advice that you have written and for the useful links. I am currently going through this and like every woman I am full of feelings of hurt. My husband has discussed me being a part of choosing a second wife and I do not think I will be able to go through with this mentally but also I would be afraid that if anything were to go wrong I would then be to blame. My only advise to him if he chooses to go ahead with this is to choose a woman of Deen.
    There is a point I would like to make regarding the statement below regarding Muslims travelling to the west and changing their views. Islam is the true religion of Allah give to us to guide us throughout time until the day of judgement and abiding by it will keep one on the straight path to Allah Subhan wa taila and therefore we must stay true to our Deen where ever we go. We must not change it to suit ourselves or our situations. I myself am a British revert to Islam and I know the the hardships of this struggle both from family and from living in a non muslim country. I have been married to my husband for 20 years and only Allah knows my torment and it is to Allah I turn and I believe that if Allah has allowed a man to take more than one wife then he knows best and I belive that it is on ly by the blessings and guidance of Allah I can pass this test and I pray I will be granted Jenna.

  • Abbas

    March 27, 2014

    Hi Susan,

    You have very rightly put about Prophet Muhammad (saw).
    It is a long discussion and one should neutrally and thoroughly analyze it. But, Let me just comment on couple of points here.

    First of all, even marrying first wife JUST for the sexual pleasure is not right, let alone marrying more than one. But, many people still do it (marry only one but only for the SEX) to abuse the law and doesn’t grasp and bigger purpose and philosophy behind marriage. Though, no one can deny that sex is part of it.

    Second, it is so clear that Marital sex is not a forced sex (like in rape). But, it is done with the consent and for the pleasure of both man and woman. Now, a woman is woman. First wife or second wife, they have equal rights and rights of pleasure and family life. So,by looking from this angle of sexual pleasure only in case of more than 2 wives, man is not only questionable and but woman is also in question.

    Third, Polygamy was not started by Islam but it was existed way before Islam was formally revealed. Besides polygyny in a wrong way and form, There were so many other things also existed before Islam came. Islam stopped the practice of polyandry, prostitution, sexual communism etc but didn’t stop polygyny. What Islam did, was, it actually put restriction in polygyny and reform it from its wrong form. There are many reasons and philosophy behind it for the social health and for the betterment of mankind. As per Islam, The real goal of human in this world is actually much beyond the sensual pleasure of sex. It is to attain the nearness to the divine reality. But, at the end, we are human and we need basic laws and way of life, code and conduct to make our society in proper shape in order to be able to attain the path of spiritual progress, ultimately.

    Please read this book by Aytuallah Shaheed Murtadha Mutahhari (ha) for details on the reason and correct format of polygyny. Unfortunately, there are some muslims and previously also there were some kings who practiced and are practicing something like polygyny but it is not exactly how Islam defines and teaches about the allowed form of polygyny. So, we shouldn’t be mistaken.

    Here is the link to the book… You will surely like it.
    “The Rights of Women in Islam”
    http://www.al-islam.org/rights-women-islam-ayatullah-murtadha-mutahhari

    http://www.al-islam.org/rights-women-islam-ayatullah-murtadha-mutahhari/part-eleven-polygyny

    Thanks.

  • ana

    January 27, 2014

    susan, Welcome

    Thank you for voicing your views and opinions about Islam. I agree with the statement you made about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). You stated, “Mohamed did not take more than one wife in order to satisfy his desires for sexual variety but rather to protect woman in a time wherein a single woman could not protect herself or provide for herself.”

    I don’t expect any person who is not Muslim to understand Islam. If they did, I think they’d be Muslim. I don’t believe in trying to convince anyone of our way of life either. I believe anyone who has an interest in Islam who Allah has decide to be Muslim would seek out the information whether by approaching people and speaking with them or doing research. I only anticipate that Muslims will hear and understand anything I say.

    Again, thank you for imputing.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • susan wallace

    January 27, 2014

    As a Canadian woman and retired school principal I have views so different from the people on this site that I am sure my opinions will be dismissed out of hand. For me any religion that accepts that God intended women and men to have different rights in any area from marriage, to careers, to how they gather together for worship is a religion that will not survive over the long haul. As Islamists move from the middle east and parts of Africa and other undeveloped areas of the world to England the US, Canada and other developed countries it takes only a generation or two for the views of women and men to radically change.
    The idea that the ways of living together as men and woman that were suitable for the conditions that existed over a thousand years ago would be appropriate for today seems ludicrous.
    True I am not a Muslim nor married to one but I do have a legitimate interest in speaking out against any way of life that does not value and expand on the hard earned rights that woman in Canada have worked so hard to achieve.
    Marriage is difficult and hard work for anyone male or female that take commitment to another person seriously.
    Mohamed,s life which is given by some Muslims as proof that God approved of polygamy is a false premise. Mohamed did not take more than one wife in order to satisfy his desires for sexual variety but rather to protect woman in a time wherein a single woman could not protect herself or provide for herself. In the developed nations of the world a single woman does not need the physical protection of men nor to provide for their economic needs.

  • ana

    November 17, 2012

    @Amber,
    Apparently you are not Muslim, and are not in a relationship with anyone who is Muslim, so you wouldn’t be able to understand our way of life or the concept. We don’t want more than one husband and Allah didn’t permit us to have more than one. Maybe it’s the way you roll, but we don’t roll that way. Thank you for imputing though. I get where you’re coming from. We got it! So there is no need to belabor the issue with you. Goodbye!!!!
    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Amber

    November 17, 2012

    If a man marries more than one woman everyone suffers. The children lose time with their father. The women suffer from feelings of lonliness ,, little or no intimacy, and feelings of jelousy. Women deserve a man that will give as much as she gives which is impossible in polygamy. If he can bring a new wife home to fill in what you’re not doing you should be able to do the same in bringing a new husband home to take over his slack. This is stupid if you have a problem in the marrige you turn towards it not away from it.

  • Zahrah

    February 17, 2011

    Dear Umm Fatima,
    Looking for somebody whom you can get along well is important for the cordiality of the polygamous marriage. However, sometimes we feel we know a person well but actually we don’t. Or we get information from others about a particular person and the opinion of the would-be wife will be that of ‘others’ and not yours first hand.

    My husband’s second cousin (Mohamed) has a wife (Mona). I’ve met her and she seems a very nice lady, knowledgeable in Islam (based on our conversations) and she wears niqob. Mohamed himself, according to hubby is a devout, practicing Muslim too, sporting a beard and wearing male galabiah all the time. After almost 10 years of marriage, Mona suggested to Mohamed to take another wife. She knows of a lady (not sure from work or from her circle of friends) whom she said is a nice lady and wants her husband (Mohamed) to marry her because she supports polygamy and would like the lady to enjoy the benefits of marriage. After much persuasion Mohamed finally relented though he doesn’t really have any aching needs to a second marriage.

    The marriage was ok for a while but after the second had a baby, things turned upside down. My husband doesn’t know the detailed story but according to him, Mona and the second had a big fall-out, constantly arguing and fighting. Finally, Mohamed divorced the second one.

    It was not known whether it was Mona who caused it or the other one. However, what I can say is that sometimes we think we know a person but actually we don’t and that’s where the problem will start. You may be able to suggest to your husband a particular person but do you know her well enough or do the people who recommended her to you know her well enough?

    There is a hadith which said something like you won’t know a person truly well until you do 3 things:-
    1) you’ve lived as neighbours with him for many years,
    2) you’ve travelled for more than 3 days with him
    3) you’ve given him a ‘trust’ and he has taken care of it

    These 3 things can tell you whether a person is really of good character and can be trusted or no. The 3 things can reveal bad behaviours of any persons.
    (I’m sorry – I’m still trying to find the hadith but can’t remember where I’ve read it).

    So, if you do want to suggest to your husband, do ensure that you have sufficient information about the person (to the best of your knowledge). Or, the best that you could do is to give him 3 choices (also you have sufficient information about them) and tell him to make istikharah himself. insyaAllah, Allah will reveal the one he should take. In this way, you won’t be accused should anything happens in the marriage.

    I know you do support polygamy but do make sure you are prepared for the bumpy road ahead. Not physical preparations but mental, emotional and iman.

    Salam

  • Haji Rafiq

    February 17, 2011

    A comment regarding the remarks above “it is not practicable today because it is illegal”. Come on, it will be practiced legally or illegally. Today the majority of the couples in fact live without any marriage certificate, therefore our second and subsequent wives are in good company.

  • Haji Rafiq

    February 17, 2011

    I think it would make life much easier in the future when the senior wife would help in choosing the next wife. Hopefully they will then have better relations. Of course the husband has to make sure that finally it is his choice as well, otherwise he will soon look for the third one!

  • Nura

    February 16, 2011

    If the problems are physical that can be overcome, I’d do my darnest to overcome them. If they are mental/emotional, this marriage will not be helped by another. If this is a physical need that you CANNOT meet you have to consider your husband’s real needs and reality in general. I’d rather have a woman around that I had some say in, rather than a woman that my husband is sneaking off to because he has physical needs that he can’t meet at home. If your illness keeps you from being physical with him, then it is a real concern to not live in a fantasy that your love will hold everything together. Because all told, a normal healthy man cannot really live like that.
    I hope all is well with you. Men and women are different about sex-not PC, but he can love more than one at a time. My husband asked his first before he brought up the idea to me, and I think it sure beats him showing up with a pregnant gf/wife that is some big secret. But you need to work this through for yourself after praying istikara and speaking to someone who can advice you soundly and who knows the full story. Maybe speaking to your husband about your doubts/concerns would be a good idea-you sound almost ready to do this-get the fears and qualms out of the way-or at least address them so he knows how to be more sensistive to you as this plays out, if indeed it does.

  • Khadijah Z

    February 16, 2011

    @ umm fatima sad im sorry sister but if there are already problems between you and he
    i think and its my thoughts alone he should look for himself as to me the thought of picking out a woman to satisfy my husbands needs would take a great toll on me Allah knows best in me for this, May Allah help and guide you always, Ameen

  • umm fatima

    February 15, 2011

    i have already asked him and of course likes the idea well he asked me to look for him. we have issues with our marriage that i choose not to disclose here but they are with in reason for wanting a second and i am also not well enough to keep my husband satisfied as a wife should due to sickness and yes we have an 18 month old daughter

  • Khadijah Z

    February 15, 2011

    I would ask him 1st if i were you he may not want you to do this and want to do it him self, better to ask and discuss to him then take it upon your self.

    I would worry my husband may think im trying to set him up with some he would not like and then if it did not work get angry at em and blame me for the failure in a type of person i chose

    Also if i may ask if your only married for 3yrs why are you wanting to look for him another wife when you have not yet lived a part of your lives together, do you have children yet?

  • umm fatima

    February 15, 2011

    salam walaikum i am considering a second wife for my husband i am happy for him to have a second with all my heart would you think it permissible for me to find a wife for him or does he need a say in who i look for we have been married for 3 years i no his likes and dislikes so is it ok for me to do all the searching

  • Ana

    August 22, 2010

    ssss,

    Yes, it can be very stressful for a wife to know her husband wants to marry someone else. In fact, “stressful” may be an understatement.

    I don’t think many of us women fully understand the dynamics of polygamy. Allah made polygamy permissible for men so there is good in it. It very well could be that some men are naturally inclined to be with more than one woman. Since Allah made polygamy permissible, there has to be women that would marry men that already have wife/wives. This is where the 2nd, 3rd and 4th wives come into play. Men are not very emotional creatures, unlike women. Therefore, men are not going to identify with the emotional effects that their action of marrying another woman imposes on the first wife or other wives. Hence, men appear to be selfish, unfeeling and uncaring.

    To best understand and accept polygamy we need to consider “Taqdeer”, which commentator Elliot previously brought to our attention. I’ll mention again that “Taqdeer” is, “The belief that everything which happened, is happening and will happen is according to the knowledge, will and command of Allah Ta’ala”…Belief in taqdeer is compulsory.”

    So, if a wife believes in Taqdeer, which is compulsory in Islam, and Allah keeps her in the polygamous marriage she would learn to deal with the hardship in a way that we are instructed to. For further clarification of Taqdeer and how one should cope with a hardship, I’d recommend one read about it at: http://books.themajlis.net/node/427

    This has all been a very helpful discussion for me and I hope for others as well.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • ssss

    August 21, 2010

    it is really stressful knowing that your husband wants to marry again although in islam its not haram,but mostly of the man thinking for thier own happiness and erness only they dont care how thier wife feels.nevermine if the wife unhappy as long as he is happy.cant be the husband be considerated about their wife? not only thinking about thier joyfulness.

  • grettel

    June 16, 2010

    I think humans, mortals, and polygamy do not really go well, it is an oxymoron. We lie, cheat, have secrets, wants and desires, envy, jealousy and all the rest; these things and sharing a husband do not mix. Never did, never will. Nobody wins, it is truly a lose – lose situation, pretty close to being utopic. Not even the man is happy, for there is a lot of hustle and demands to keep up with…ya, he is getting laid and his male pride is tickled…but that is about it my friends; so bottom line, no matter how you look at it, here, in the western world, polygamy is about sex.

  • Khadijah Z

    June 13, 2010

    Asalaam Alaykum, okhti. What your saying is true. I no many try to be so but never get close, yet think this will help them and it dose not it only creates more problems in there as well as the lives of the wives. I no of several sisters say well they grew up with it and had no problems in the life of it, but after marriage and there husbands took other wives they began to see the problems that there mothers hid from them. In my life the mothers do not hide if from the children and it is effecting them even towards there siblings of the other wives.

  • Ana

    June 11, 2010

    Hi there, Grettel,

    I can only speak about Alex, regarding any attempt he may have to make polygamy good. I agree with you that Alex probably WILL NEVER get close to living the life that was the Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), regarding polygamy.” Alex in no way, has a inkling of the character, faith and belief of that of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). A man that considers engaging in polygamy may want to ask himself how close his character, faith and belief are to that of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

    Men should consider the DAY OF JUDGEMENT before they begin desiring polygamy.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • grettel

    June 11, 2010

    Morning to you Ana,

    I understand your endorsement of polygamy is based on your religious beliefs, and I absolutely respect that. However, the thing is that Alex, and no other man for that matter will ever get even close to living the life that be”The Prophet Muhammad did(Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him)”, so any attempt he/they will have to make polygamy a good thing, is really futile.

  • Ana

    June 10, 2010

    Hi Grettel,

    I think in order for anyone to truly understand polygamy they’d have to be exposed to it based on a religious belief – in my case Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) engaged in polygamy and it was for good. He did something that was permitted and ordered by Allah for him to do. If done the way the Prophet Muhammad did it and for the reasons that he did, there is no way for it to be an excuse for adultery.

    Now, on the other hand, the way some Muslims approach polygamy, it in essence could be perceived, as you stated, as “an excuse for adultery.” In the case of Alex and me, Alex is not, as I stated, very much interested in Islam. Carolinah accepted Islam right before she married Alex so she could marry him. Their situation could fit in the category of those that use polygamy as an excuse for adultery.

    Now some may ask how Alex could have married another and engaged in polygamy in the cause of Islam. An example would be Alex determining that it was time for him to have another wife. He would then discuss it with me. He then would seek out a Muslim woman who he thought would be an asset to our family, preferably a woman in need, with children, or a widowed woman, or a divorced woman, or even a new convert to Islam – someone who had already converted because she believe in the teachings, a woman striving to be a good Muslim and follow the dictates of Quran, not someone he’d lusted after, who converted Islam to be with him. That’s the difference.

    So, I must agree with you that sometimes polygamy is used as “an excuse for adultery.”

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in

  • grettel

    June 10, 2010

    Hello again Ana,

    women shouldn’t have to accept anything. That is like signing up for heart break. It is an ugly truth, that men cheat, but so it goes the other way. We are all human; men and women, with wants, need and desire, some with more, some with less control over certain parts of our grey matter. That is why, I think marriage is an endangered status, and I wouldn’t be surprised if 15 years down the road, wedding gowns will be a thing of the past…but I also do not envision polygamy as the thing to do. It is only an excuse for adultery.

  • Ana

    June 9, 2010

    What’s amazing to me is that with all the media publicity about men cheating on their wives, having mistresses, frequenting prostitutes and the like, we women just can’t seem to get it. We can’t comprehend it – men like women; they like having sex with women. One woman is not always good enough for them. Every where we go, it’s in our faces. It’s in all the movies, and on TV. It’s man’s nature, what he is and what he does. We women can’t change that and refuse to accept it. For most women, it’s the ugly truth.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    June 9, 2010

    I think what I’m hearing from most men is that primarily they want sex with more than one woman and they want to be loved. It appears they are capable of performing that act often and with more than one woman without being deeply in love with all of them. Magic Power Coffee and Viagra seems to be enhancing that ability, as well.

    I don’t think men try to curb that want, as no one says they should except women who don’t like what men are permitted to do. Many women that don’t like the advantage that men have over women in that arena, try to be like men. They go out and have sex with multiple partners. They can’t be happy; although they’ll never admit it. Women weren’t created to be that way. But regarding “base emotions”, we all, male and female, are required to bring them under control, spiritually speaking.

    Grettel, don’t be mistaken. I’m with you when it comes to sharing a man. I HATE sharing a man – HATE, HATE, HATE…I hate it with a passion. I’m good when it comes to sharing most anything else. Selfishness and greed are sins so I must try not to succumb to them.

    Regarding Carolinah, she can have my husband part-time, but that’s all she’ll get from me, as far as I can see.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Judith

    June 9, 2010

    OK. So why aren’t men required to address their “base emotions”, like for example, wanting stuff? If a wife wants something, it is interpreted as a base emotion, needing to be purified, and if a husband wants something, it is viewed as being inherently “able” to “love more than one woman at a time.” ??

  • grettel

    June 9, 2010

    Ana, I do commend you for what you stand; in a perfect world, you are the ideal wife. Stand by your man and the choices that he makes and try to understand his rationale. Truly,I think I need to exhibit some more of that behavior. Fun aside, I think a lot of me not accepting the idea of polygamy stems from my inability and unwillingness to share. I can only give my heart, and myself, to one man only. And, I EXPECT and DEMAND the same in return. What is mine is mine.Period.
    Also, the excuse with taking another wife so that one can have kids, bears no weight. There are other options for infertile couples.

  • Ana

    June 9, 2010

    Hi Grettel, you didn’t offend me; I don’t know about anyone else. I’m glad you are here and have commented. It’s always good to hear a new voice and what it says. Welcome to polygamy 411!

    I just want to say I don’t see polygamy as a cure for divorce. The people that stay married in polygamy usually still love each other. The ones that don’t still love each other, get divorced. As men can love more than one woman at a time, of course in varying degrees (we know one will be the favorite), the man isn’t forced to choose between which woman he will keep and which he would let go or he’s not subjected to “cheating” – committing adultery.

    There’s a lot of good in polygamy for me, which I’ve mentioned throughout the blog. It’s good for purifying one’s heart. It helps me identify the base emotions in me that need addressing. It helps me to understand the concept of sharing and wanting for one’s brother what you want for yourself. It give me time off so I don’t have to rock my husband’s world all the time, some one else can share in that duty. There’s a lot to it. This world is just a probationary period for Muslims. So of course we’re going to meet with situations that we don’t like and are going to cause us a tremedous amount of pain and suffering. That is part of what this life is all about. I’m far from getting it right, but I’m still trying.

    It’s nice reading your comment and I’m very glad you joined us.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • grettel

    June 9, 2010

    Hello everyone,

    Interesting comments and points of view.
    I would only like to address one, that seemed to suggest that polygamy is a cure for divorce. It actually makes me laugh. I can only imagine many men using this as an excuse and rushing to embrace this chauvinistic venue. What is there to gain for a woman? Nothing, Nada, Niente!!!!! Sacrifice,compromise, acceptance and misery.That to me, reeks of OBEDIENCE. And that is a form of slavery, serving one man, just because he decided his heart is so big, and his love so grand, that he can share some of it.
    While I know, from some religious stand points, is permisible and encouraged, I personally think is rooten. Again, I do not want to offend anyone, and I appologize if my comment did.

  • Ana

    May 31, 2010

    Wa Alaikum As Salaam Madinah! Welcome to polygamy 411 and thank you for sharing with us.

    Based on what you’ve said you have a caring, thoughtful, loving husband/friend and he has a thoughtful, loving wife in you. Your situation is a prime example of how polygamy works for the betterment of all parties involved – you, your husband, and whomever joins your family as his other wife and your sister in faith.

    You’re right; your husband could divorce you and seek a wife that would have a child for him, but why should he when he loves you. That was very sweet of him to request you help him in the selection process. You certainly aren’t a selfish person and neither is your husband. He didn’t come home one day and say he wanted a child and had already married someone else or had someone already in mind that he’d been lusting after, nor did he begin a secret family on the side. He’s not looking to marry another woman only for lustful reasons.

    You said: “Trust in Allah for whatever comes your way with patience for we all belong to Allah and will return to Him one day.” Thank you for the reminder, Madinah. It came at a time I very much needed to hear it.

    I pray Allah continues to bless you, your husband, and your marriage. I pray He blesses you and your husband with a righteous, pious, devout sister to join your family. Stay strong and stay with us.

    Salaam!

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • madinah

    May 30, 2010

    asalaam alaikum
    I have been asked recently by my husband how would i feel about him having a second wife i obliged simply because i can no longer have anymore children and he dosen’t have any and i would love for him to experience the joy as i have he also asked me to participate in finding his soon to be wife and that comforted me in a very secure way we have a friendship as well and i think that is important when polygamy is involved i feel if you have a bond nothing can ever get in the way unless Allah wills it and He wants good for us so why would there be any harm I feel my husband could have divorced me for this matter instead he shows me mercy and is willing to work on this journey towards a second wife im fine with it because i am blessed to still have my friend as my loving husband and i want for my sister and brother what i want for myself so trust in Allah for whatever comes your way with patience for we all belong to Allah and will return to Him one day

  • Donald

    February 24, 2010

    Yes, getting back to the original question, I agree with Sentinel that the first wife should be a central part of the process. But I think that has a lot to do with how we believe polygamy should be lived out. Like Sentinel, I would see it more as ‘building a family’, rather than managing separate families. If you want a harmonious family where the wives love each other and enjoy being together (rather than competing with each other), it would seem like madness not to involve them in the decision. But if everyone is content to live separate family lives, then perhaps it doesn’t matter so much.

  • Ana

    February 24, 2010

    Haji Rafiq,

    I’m tracking. I initially thought it would be quite easy for me to help find a wife to replace Carolinah. I guess it was the mood I was in at the time. After conversing about it with my friend, and giving it further thought, I realized it best to have Alex stick with Carolinah, as I know quite a bit about her and she is less challenging. She’s only a “challenge” now in that she’s still here. The thought of him having a young, pretty wife with a desire to sincerely serve Allah would probably eat at me. At the same time, I would probably feel guilty seeking a lesser caliber wife for him.

    I agree your best bet may be to let your wives continue to select your material gifts that you use or not use at will and you select your 3rd wife that you have mandatory obligations too happy .

    I’m very curious to know why men would want more than two wives. I can understand a man wanting variety, and not wanting to be stuck with just one wife. I thought the second wife would quench that desire, but I see it doesn’t. Why would you say that is? Why isn’t two enough? I ask you Haji Rafiq simply because I know you desire a third wife. No pressure to answer.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    February 24, 2010

    Hi everybody. I think Donald has moved the discussion about the legalization of polygamy over to the newest post “Thoughts on the Legalization of Polygamy”, which makes sense happy . We may want to continue the discussion over there to avoid confusion. Thank you. I’m enjoying the discussion.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • u235sentinel

    February 24, 2010

    @Donald – “u235sentinel, if you’re waiting for the law to recognize polygamous marriages in the same way it currently recognize monogamous ones, I think you might be waiting forever.”

    Perhaps, however personally the way things are going I don’t expect the US government to survive unless they turn away from their current direction. I believe it will happen quickly and people will be in shock.

    I believe shortly after that their laws will not mean much and we can rejoin reality (no I don’t believe the government is rooted in reality but that’s just me).

    What I’m waiting for is the LDS Church to bring it back. I know I know. But that’s my guide book and I’m sticking with it happy

    @Haji – I believe the first wife should be part of that process IMO. And here’s why. I believe we’re building a family and when it’s a large family like this, then it needs to be more closely held together than just a monogamous marriage. Otherwise if there is contention then it has a greater chance of falling apart.

    Plus from the LDS polygamy perspective, if I remember correctly there has to be permission from the first wife before taking another. I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen if the second (or third) wife is someone they really don’t like happy

  • Haji Rafiq

    February 24, 2010

    Going back to the actual question: Should the first wife help the husband find another wife? Well, theoretically the first wife should know what the husband likes. Consequently instead of another shirt and tie on my birthday I would not mind if my wife would give me as a birthday present wife Nr.3. However, practically, knowing that jealousy unfortunately does exist I would worry a bit about her choice. It could just be that she might choose someone whom she thought would not be much of a challenge, and consequently I might prefer the additional shirt … just a thought.

  • Donald

    February 24, 2010

    I just got the message, ‘You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.’ LOL! Gosh, I’ve been slapped on the hand by Ana’s web server. dont tell anyone

  • Donald

    February 24, 2010

    I just noticed that Ana has started a new topic about this, which is probably a better place to discuss it: http://polygamy411.com/thoughts-on-the-legalization-of-polygamy/

    I’ve pasted my above comment there.

  • Donald

    February 23, 2010

    That’s pretty much how I look at it too Ana. As people of faith, who desire to live good lives, I think we should seek to obey the law, since the law is really essential in maintaining order and protecting the rights of everyone. But I don’t see why the legal definition of ‘marriage’ need interfere with our choice to engage in a mutually loving and committed relationship.

    Sadly, human rights abuses like the ones you mentioned can and do happen within polygamous families, but they also happen outside of them, and there are laws equipped to deal with it.

    u235sentinel, if you’re waiting for the law to recognize polygamous marriages in the same way it currently recognize monogamous ones, I think you might be waiting forever. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen and here’s why:

    1. There’s no incentive for political parties to put forward the idea in a democratic system, since polygamy is, and looks like remaining, an unpopular concept for the vast majority of westerners.

    2. It’s just too messy. The legal concept of marriage (at least in my country) is just too entangled with laws surrounding taxation, family benefits, divorce settlement, etc. Adding multiple partners would just complicate things even further.

    I’m not sure what the answer is. Stop trying to legislate marriage altogether? If the law continues to regulate marriage, then perhaps it should at least be updated to acknowledge the existence of committed polygamous relationships (not legally married) and remove the ambiguous criminal status many associate with it — in other words, not legalize polygamy but unambiguously decriminalze it. What do you guys think?

  • Ana

    February 23, 2010

    What most people don’t realize is that there is no law on the books regarding polygamy in the USA. Has anyone ever heard of someone in the USA being charged with polygamy? It’s because there’s no law. The courts will say polygamy is illegal, but there is no legal statue for it.

    As I’ve stated numerous time throughout this blog, people are charged in criminal court with bigamy, child abuse, violation of domestic violence laws etc. and in civil (Divorce/Family) court, with adultery, extreme mental cruelty etc. in connection with polygamy.

    I believe immigrants are thrown out of the country for having a marriage license in another country and one in the USA, as well. Immigrants need to be careful, as they can be thrown out of the country as a result of not knowing the laws.

    Again, everyone should be mindful, I’m only speaking of the laws in the USA, not other countries. I hope I don’t sound like a broken record.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    February 23, 2010

    Here is my two cents about it: A marriage contract with God is most important. A marriage license is just an added contract that includes state/government benefits for couples that want to include it.

    Some people say we should obey the laws of the land, the country in which we reside; if the country forbids polygamy we shouldn’t engage in it. I strongly disagree. A marriage contract between man and God in no way is violating any law of the land. Countries don’t care diddly squat about marriage contracts between people and God.

    The country only cares about people violating the law of the land/country when man has more than one legal marriage license secured from the government. That amounts to Bigamy and will be prosecuted.

    As long as the persons don’t take their personal contracts between them and God to the court to have them enforced, there’s no problem. Even if that were to happen, the court would most likely throw the case out citing polygamy is illegal.

    People fail to realize that publicity about polygamy only arise when there’s allegations of child abuse, domestic violence etc., laws of the land have been violated, or if there’s allegations of bigamy (having more than one marriage license-one in this country and one in another, or more than one in one country).

    Of course all of what I’ve said depends on the country. I can only speak regarding America.

    This is where I ask: Do you fear God or the Government (man)?

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • u235sentinel

    February 23, 2010

    @Donald

    “Yes, I agree it’s crazy. That’s kind of what I’m getting at… What does the law call ‘marriage’? What does God call ‘marriage’? Are they the same thing, or can you have one without the other? You didn’t really answer that question.”

    I guess I missed getting around to that point happy

    No I don’t believe it’s the same thing. I believe God’s definition of marriage widely differs from that of the government. I don’t have much respect for the government. IMO they don’t represent the people and haven’t for a VERY long time.

    I believe God’s definition of marriage is very different IMO.

  • Donald

    February 23, 2010

    Rebeckah, I never thought you were ‘whining’ or trying to draw attention to yourself for a moment, and I understand it was a long time ago. Nonetheless, my heart goes out to you and anyone who has suffered through and witnessed such horrific things, and is now forced to carry those memories through life. We’re each here on Ana’s blog representing different faiths, different genders, and different views about polygamy, but more importantly, we’re all human — and I guess a hug just seemed like a very human thing to do.

    So, as one human to another… the biggest, warmest hug for you!

  • Rebeckah

    February 23, 2010

    Donald and Ana, thank you so much for your kind words. Please don’t feel that I am whining or in pain or anything. I’m just in touch enough with myself to realize that I have a bias towards men being abusive because of my past experiences and, because I value both honesty and fairness, I work a little harder at trying to see when I’m being unfair and influenced by past pain. I’m a very happy person today, though, and I even have a somewhat limping relationship with my father. happy

    Donald, yes virtual hugs are fine and thank you for wishing to give comfort. I have known many fine and nurturing men in my lives (my son is one of them) and they help to keep me from being a bitter angry man hater. (Most of the time, at least.)

    Ana, no I don’t think that my experiences with men have caused me not to have faith in a god. I was a devoted, born-again Christian for 25 years. They were good years and my faith got me through some very tough times. I just came to a point where I looked at the claims of Christianity with logic and realized that there was no evidence and not even any consistency. The god of Christianity is proclaimed to be a loving god — proclaimed to be love itself — and yet this same god is responsible for atrocities and teachings that hurt women and children and homosexuals and this same god of love declares that most of the world will be condemned to an eternity of torment in fire because they don’t believe in him the right way. Logic told me that either this god wasn’t real or this god wasn’t worth worshipping.

    But I rather suspect having Asperger’s influences me to an extent. People with Asperger’s are more prone to black and white thinking.

    Also, let me reiterate, I respect people of faith. Having lived by faith, I know that it is a committment to both yourself and your god. The fact that I don’t believe doesn’t detract from the respect I feel as I watch you try to live your faith to the best of your ability. And I have no interest or desire in attempting to dissuade anyone from their faith. I call myself an agnostic because, while I don’t believe there is a god, I cannot say with any assurance that I am right. I am simply making a call based on the evidence at hand, just as you do, Ana, with your faith in Allah.

  • Donald

    February 23, 2010

    u235sentinel said: ‘Funny huh? I can have relations with women and it’s not illegal to cheat, even if I am in a lifelong relationship with them. But call one of them my wife then it’s against the law. How screwed up is that???’

    Yes, I agree it’s crazy. That’s kind of what I’m getting at… What does the law call ‘marriage’? What does God call ‘marriage’? Are they the same thing, or can you have one without the other? You didn’t really answer that question.

    If you believe in submitting to the authority of the LDS church, that is a different matter. My very strong personal belief is that no single organisation represents God’s authority on earth, but this is not the place to argue that topic. You’ll have to follow your own conscience on that one.

  • Ana

    February 22, 2010

    Haji Rafiq,

    Someone put your name in the search engine again, looking for you. Are you famous and we don’t know about it? happy

    For those wondering why comments sometimes seem out of order, this is what happens. Sometimes I’m over here writing a comment, which usually takes a long, long time. I sometimes begin to write and leave to do other things and come back and finish. In the interim some of you may have left comments over on the other side awaiting moderation that I’m not aware of. I finish my comment, and send it. I then go to the otherside only to find a few comments had been awaiting approval for a while. I then approve the comments. Anyway, that’s how the order may seem questionable at times. I hope you understand.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    February 22, 2010

    Rebeckah, Lot and Lots of hugs to you from all of us! SmileyCentral.com

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    February 22, 2010

    Rebeckah,

    Sharing more about youself helped me to understand you much better. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through so much. I guess we all have in our own way.

    This life is not as easy as we grew up thinking it would be. I used to see all the problems other people had as I was growing up and I just thought that was them. I thought my life would be smooth sailing. Smooth sailing it’s not, as you can see. No one ever told me the truth.

    We all experience pain and suffering in this world. It’s a given. We just need to be able to acknowledge and accept that it’s part of living; I suppose.

    Has what you’ve seen and experienced influenced the position you hold regarding God? Please don’t answer if you prefer not to; I’d understand. It was real nice hearing about your dinosaur SmileyCentral.com family LOL

    Judith,

    Please let me know if I slam someone disrespectfully. I like constructive criticism that’s not hate motivated. I can get a little carried away myself sometimes. Just slap some sense back into me. Thank you! happy

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Donald

    February 22, 2010

    Rebeckah, the desire for sexual variety is a temptation, that is true. But it’s not the only reason one considers polygamy, I promise you. I can almost guarantee there would be men who upon getting to know you, would do anything to love you and make up for all the pain you’ve suffered in your life — even if that meant marrying you as a second wife, and even if you provided no sexual ‘variety’. That might be completely egotistical and naive of a man to think he can do that, and the very idea might seem offensive to you, but I’m just saying — men can and do think like that.

    I really do agree with you that polygamy is wrong if it’s done to indulge the man’s appetite at the expense of a woman’s wants and needs. A husband is supposed to build up his wife’s ‘esteem and spirit’, not break it.

    Rebeckah, thank you for sharing so openly with us. I know that isn’t easy.

    I’d send you a big virtual hug if I knew how to do it without it sounding flippant. (That’s my way of asking if it would be okay to send you a hug.)

  • u235sentinel

    February 22, 2010

    @Donald, just realized I missed a post from you…

    “So is it only the legal considerations that are preventing you and your wife from going ahead? Have you considered that a legal marriage licence (covenant between man, woman and state) and a Biblical marriage (covenant between man, woman and God) might be two different things?”

    There are two reasons holding me back here.

    First, Even if my wife gave me permission to live polygamy (which she hasn’t yet and I haven’t asked), It’s against the law of the land (no matter what I think about it) and it’s prohibited at this time by my Church.

    Yes at some future point it will come back. In reading the book “Mormon Doctrine” I’ve learned the expectation is it will be brought back during the millennium. That book was written by an LDS Apostle btw. I’m sure it’s brought the LDS leaders some heart burn now and then. It’s NOT official doctrine but I have yet to find something in it that doesn’t look right.

    Being against the law of the land, I’m in a situation where if I went through with it then I’m a criminal. Funny huh? I can have relations with women and it’s not illegal to cheat, even if I am in a lifelong relationship with them. But call one of them my wife then it’s against the law. How screwed up is that???

    Anyway, that’s where I’m at.

    Oh and I’ve come across some interesting statements by John Taylor about polygamy (the LDS Prophet during the 1880′s). I can’t confirm any of it even when I worked at the Church downtown. I am aware that today it will come at a price and I don’t think I’m ready to pay it just yet.

    But we’ll see. A lot’s changed for me this last year. The future will be… interesting happy

  • ibnu adam

    February 22, 2010

    Haji Rafiq wrote :

    The reason why some (mainly western) women argue that “why can we not have several husbands” are different to the reasons why men want to marry several wives. We men “need you”. The reasons of the ladies are mostly “if we can we want to also” = gender equality. Leave the gender equality topic to the UN guys… It has nothing to do with reality. Equal in value, yes, of course, equal in function? Only Arnold Schwarzenegger had a baby, as far as I know…

    I’d love it if you can share some insights/details on why men are polygamous in nature. Considering that you are practising it, your opinion would be most welcome.

    The relevent topic would be here : http://polygamy411.com/is-it-mans-nature-to-be-polygamous-or-to-cheat/

  • Rebeckah

    February 22, 2010

    “Out of curiosity, Judith and Rebeckah, do you feel you can relate to that feeling? What is it about polygamy that would turn you off — not from an intellectual perspective, but in terms of your heart and your emotions. Jealousy? Feeling like his love is divided? Disgust at the sexual aspect of sharing a man?”

    Yes, Donald, that is a real part of it. I am not even remotely homosexual and find the thought of being intimate with a woman extremely revolting. But for me the main things are the inherent inequality in religious polgyny (which I believe deeply hurts a woman’s esteem and spirit) and the dismissal of a woman’s wants and needs for stability and exclusivity to indulge a man’s desire for variety. (And I really believe that’s what the desire for polygyny boils down to.)

    The reason I have to fight so hard against very harsh feelings towards men is simply personal experience. My father was physically and emotionally abusive to me growing up. (I was removed from his care when I was 10 with bruises on 70% of my body and returned to his care a mere 5 days later.) My best friend was brutally murdered by her abusive husband when she decided to end the marriage and the abuse. I’ve worked with a lot of women with abusive husbands. So I’m negative because I’ve seen too much. However, I try to keep my negativity in mind as I go through life because I’ve seen and known wonderful, loving, caring and fantastic men too. My human tendency is to want to generalize all men as nasty, selfish creatures but my common sense says that not all, or even most, are like that.

  • u235sentinel

    February 22, 2010

    @Judith

    I hope it helps. I’m not suggesting polygamy is right for everybody. I am suggesting that it should be an option and not illegal for those who do want to live it.

    I know I’m repeating myself here but I really do believe it would open up options for those women who are single and want to find a mate.

    Plus looking at countries in Europe that do allow for it (at least the UK does and a couple others I understand), it doesn’t seem to have harmed their society IMO.

  • Haji Rafiq

    February 22, 2010

    The reason why some (mainly western) women argue that “why can we not have several husbands” are different to the reasons why men want to marry several wives. We men “need you”. The reasons of the ladies are mostly “if we can we want to also” = gender equality. Leave the gender equality topic to the UN guys… It has nothing to do with reality. Equal in value, yes, of course, equal in function? Only Arnold Schwarzenegger had a baby, as far as I know…

  • Haji Rafiq

    February 22, 2010

    u235. Just because there are so many divorces that is why with polygamy we try to limit them. I am aware that the practice of polygamy cannot eliminate divorces altogether, however, we can reduce them.

  • Ana

    February 22, 2010

    Salaam Ibnu Adam,

    I like the hypothetical scenario that you depicted about how you would react if your wife was permitted to have another husband. I think it’s a good example for women who find themselves placed in polygamous relationship that they never wanted, but would like to embrace. It was reinforcement for me. Thank you!

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Judith

    February 21, 2010

    Donald,
    OK I get it. The way you explained the “men are jerks” argument; it’s about women having more options, not about jerks collecting more wives.

    As for this question: “What is it about polygamy that would turn you off.” My answer is simple; everything. I prefer not to explain why. The reason I am here, is to try to understand why others want it, or at least follow it. It would not be helpful to that purpose to explain my own point of view about it, and it would not be helpful to others for whom it is a fact of lifel. But I do appreciate your question, and in other circumstances I would have responded freely.

    u235,
    I know you didn’t mean “all men” and I’m not offended either. There are just some things I feel called to respond to. I always enjoy your posts.

  • u235sentinel

    February 21, 2010

    Judith, I’m not suggesting ALL men are jerks. Otherwise it would really limit the gene pool winking

    What I am suggesting however is that most guys are jerks. It’s not a blanket opinion of all men. But most are not striving for their full potential and considering the divorce rate in America (for example) I think I have a reasonable assurance this is the case.

    In that statement I’m not suggesting it’s never the women who’s responsible for the divorce. But in my personal experience, I have seen one women be the reason for a divorce and dozens of men who are the cause. Plus, I was nearly one of them until last year when I began to wake up.

    I am suggesting that those who are jerks would find themselves in a rather difficult position if polygamy was legalized. No longer would women be limited to single men but they could choose to marry a man who is a good man. And since he’s already married, a second or third wife (or whatever) would be able to ask the first wife if he’s a jerk and just being nice to her happy

    I’m sorry if that is a statement that offends you or anyone else. But it’s my opinion based on what I’ve personally seen and reading between the lines with divorce reports I’ve read.

  • ibnu adam

    February 21, 2010

    History have shown us that men have been polygynous ever since so long ago. Polygyny was prevalent among all the nations of antiquity, not excluding the Hindus and Buddhists. The great king Dasarata, the father of Sri Rama, was polygamous. The Christian monarchs of Europe could not help themselves against having wives more than one. Henry the VIII of England had as many as eight wives. Even some of the well-known prophets (other than Muhammad s.a.w) have more than 1 wife, i.e. Ibrahim a.s. (also known as Abraham) & Sulaiman a.s. (a.k.a. King Solomon) to name a few.

    If Allah s.w.t. ever prohibited polygyny, He would’ve have mentioned it the Al-Qur’an, yet He just restricts us men to only 4 wives. And He should know best as He creates us all.

    From some of my reading, I’ve come to an opinion that monogomy was invented by unscrupulous people for so many reasons. One of it is to restrict men from their fitrah (biological nature). When this happens, men will lose focus from what they are suppose to be doing, which is increasing on their ibadah, as they will be thinking more of their other biological needs which have been restricted. Some men will survive, yet some men will falter and have extra-marital relationships which will lead them into hell. Na’uzubillah min zalik.

    I’d like to refrain myself from smearing other beliefs, but the 3 early revelation of Allah s.w.t. before Al-Qur’an has been distorted by these unscrupulous people to benefit themselves.

    Monogamy was invented by the churches as early as the Roman empire to maintain control of their follower and their wealth. Here’s one link which explain a little bit on the history (though some points are not verified): patriarchywebsite.com/monogamy/mono-history.htm

  • Donald

    February 21, 2010

    Judith, to me it’s fairly clear what u235sentinel is saying. It reads more like this:

    Many (not all) men are jerks.
    The good men get married, leaving a women with no choice but to marry a jerk or remain single.
    Therefore, in order to marry a good man, she will marry one who already has a wife.
    The jerks miss out.

    Well, something like that. happy

  • Donald

    February 21, 2010

    Judith, correct. Thinking some more about this, I realize it’s more than jealousy. The idea of being that close to another man is something I just couldn’t stomach. I have no problem hugging male friends and showing affection in that way, but the idea of being linked sexually is something I find truly repulsive. I’m not wanting to get into an argument here about homosexuality — I’m just trying to share what turns me off the idea (aside from religious convictions). Out of curiosity, Judith and Rebeckah, do you feel you can relate to that feeling? What is it about polygamy that would turn you off — not from an intellectual perspective, but in terms of your heart and your emotions. Jealousy? Feeling like his love is divided? Disgust at the sexual aspect of sharing a man?

    Rebeckah, thanks for the book references. I’d be interested in reading more if they’re concisely written. I have too many half-finished books already.

    I can understand you thinking poorly of men. We can be selfish bastards, it is true — just like women can be manipulative b*tches. Humans generally are really good at using and hurting each other. We can’t give up on relationships though — if we do, we forfeit the most meaningful and enriching part of life. God too makes himself known through other people — the perfectly divine through the flawed and mortal. In Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf, the main character comes face to face with a resurrected Mozart, and is absolutely horrified to find him setting up a radio in order to listen to a masterpiece of classical music (at a time when methods of recording and playing back music were decidedly primitive). Mozart responds:

    ‘Just listen, you poor creature, listen without either pathos or mockery, while far away behind the veil of this hopelessly idiotic and ridiculous apparatus the form of this divine music passes by. Pay attention and you will learn something. Observe what this crazy speaking-trumpet, apparently the most stupid, the most useless and the most damnable thing that the world contains, contrives to do. It takes hold of some music played where you please, without distinction or discretion, lamentably distorted, to boot, and chucks it into space to land where it has no business to be; and yet after all this it cannot destroy the original spirit of the music; it can only, however it may meddle and mar, lay its senseless mechanism at its feet. Listen you poor thing. Listen well. You have need of it. And now you hear not only a Handel who disfigured by radio, is, all the same, in this most ghastly of disguises still divine; you hear as well as you observe, most worthy sir, a most admirable symbol of all life. When you listen to radio you are a witness of the everlasting war between idea and appearance, between time and eternity, between the human and the divine. Exactly, my dear sir, as the radio for ten minutes together projects the most lovely music without regard into the most impossible places, into snug drawing rooms and attics and into the midst of chattering, guzzling, yawning and sleeping listeners, and exactly as it strips this music of its sensuous beauty, spoils and scratches and beslimes it and yet cannot altogether destroy its spirit, just so does life, the so-called reality, deal with the sublime picture-play of the world and make a hurly-burly of it. It makes its unappetizing tone — slime of the most magic orchestral music.’ — Hermann Hesse

  • ibnu adam

    February 21, 2010

    Thanks Ana for putting my name into the hat, haha big grin

    Rebeckah posted :
    Again I have to wonder at this whole justification of men having multiple partners. Sure, they can love more than one person — but so can (and do) women. I wonder Donald, Ted and u235sentinal, how any of you would feel if your wife told you that she was falling in love with another man (or even another woman)?

    For the first question, I’ve posted a simple, yet good & logical explanation on “Why were women forbidden to marry more than one husband at a time?” here : http://polygamy411.com/is-it-mans-nature-to-be-polygamous-or-to-cheat/#comment-3302

    For the second question, if it was ever permitted in Islam for my wife to take more husband(s), I would’ve been heart broken at first. I’d cried my heart out, but then I’d remember what Allah said about the reason for us men & women are here on this earth : to be a good servant of His & work (do ibadah) for a better place in the hereafter.

    I’d then start to pick up the pieces and patch it up knowing that whatever decreed by Him would’ve been for the better of us all, as Allah, the Almighty knows best, for He created us all.

    I’d work harder to make sure my wife knows how much I love her still, and how much I’ll be working harder to ensure that our love will not ever fade. I’d cherish when my turn to be with her comes on every other day. I’d pamper her so much that she’ll miss me when she goes away again the next day. For every other day that she is not with me, I’d be preparing myself eagerly for our next schedule.

    I hope my simple statement answers Rebeckah’s question, for the time being.

  • Judith

    February 21, 2010

    u235sentinel, this is about your comment:

    “Guys generally are jerks and without polygamy they are severely limited in who they can marry.”

    I am so puzzled by this statement, that I don’t know quite how to respond.

    First, I don’t share the assessment about men. I admire the male approach, and often solve problems by asking myself ‘what would a man would do in this situation.’ As a reader of this blog, I prefer not to read comments which slam a whole category of people, and certainly didn’t appreciate it when Dr. Omar took that privilege, many times actually, for various groups, including women. However, I’ve had enough communications with you to know that you are a very thoughtful and complex person, and not completely represented by any one statement.

    Second, the statement strikes me as illogical. Here is how it reads to me, as a hypothetical:

    A man is a jerk.
    Women don’t like to marry jerks.
    So, the man-jerk is not likely to find a wife.
    Therefore, in order to be married, he will instead find 4 wives.

    Is this what you meant?

  • u235sentinel

    February 21, 2010

    “I need to save up some money so I can buy myself some. Basically, however, patriarchy, polygyny and a dominant masculine god are creations of warfare and didn’t really exist until around the bronze age. I tend to believe that boils down to men being selfish bastards but I do have a tendency to think poorly of men.”

    Which is why I know of several women who have never married despite their deepest desire to have a husband and family. Guys generally are jerks and without polygamy they are severely limited in who they can marry.

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with these women. They have high standards by which they expect their future husband to live by and I agree. They deserve it.

  • Rebeckah

    February 21, 2010

    “However, just because you and I don’t wish to share a partner, should we assume everyone feels the same? We may be in the majority, but that doesn’t mean we represent everyone.”

    You are absolutely right there, Donald. I hope I don’t come across as declaring what is right or wrong for people. Another confession I should probably make is that people kind of make me crazy. I found living on the east coast to be extremely stressful because there are too many people too close together. Obviously polgamy with a bunch of people in the same house would be EXTREMELY stressful for me. Obviously it would not necessarily be extremely stressful for other people. (I have Asperger’s but not everyone does.)

    The funny thing is that polygynous situations where each woman has her own household would probably suit me quite well. I loved being a mother, I was lousy at a wife. Having a man show up for a couple of days a week (or even less) probably would have suited me just fine. But I don’t for a moment believe that most women feel that way.

    Donald, there’s an interesting couple of books written by a woman who studied the rise of patriarchy (and the polgyny that went along with it) that you might find VERY interesting. They are by Dr. Gerda Lerner:

    The Creation of Patriarchy (1986)
    The Creation of Feminine Consciousness (1993)

    I need to save up some money so I can buy myself some. Basically, however, patriarchy, polygyny and a dominant masculine god are creations of warfare and didn’t really exist until around the bronze age. I tend to believe that boils down to men being selfish bastards but I do have a tendency to think poorly of men.

  • Judith

    February 21, 2010

    Donald, you said:
    “The only model I would ever be interested in is one where everyone loves each other and loves being with each other.”

    Earlier in the same post, you also said: “I would never choose to share a woman with another man.”

    With that in mind, wouldn’t this be a more completely true statement for you:

    “The only model I would ever be interested in is one where there are multiple wives but not multiple husbands, and the plural wives all love each other and love me.”

    ?

  • Donald

    February 21, 2010

    Rebeckah said: “I wonder Donald, Ted and u235sentinal, how any of you would feel if your wife told you that she was falling in love with another man…”

    I’d be heartbroken. I would never choose to share a woman with another man. So of course I understand why a woman would not want to share her husband, and it’s my view that no woman should have to (regardless of her religion).

    However, just because you and I don’t wish to share a partner, should we assume everyone feels the same? We may be in the majority, but that doesn’t mean we represent everyone.

    Rebeckah said: “the more adults you bring into a family dynamic, the more complicated and stressful it is. Let’s face it, just living with one person is difficult, when you add more it increases the difficulty geometrically. And hurt feelings are bound to occur when one feels left out, as they will whether they are actually being left out or not.”

    Maintaining a close friendship can be difficult too, but most of us are very happy to have more than one friend. Having more than one child adds additional stress too, and if you have more than two children you have the same risk of one feeling ‘left out’. Let’s face it, relationships are just one headache after another when you think about it! But gosh Rebeckah, what is life really all about if not relationships?

    For some years now (long before my interest in polygamy) I’ve been fascinated by a style of community living called Cohousing . (Google it if you’ve never heard of it.) When I talk to some people about it they say the same sort of things: ‘Oh, it would be too difficult’, ‘Living in each other’s pockets would be awful’, ‘What if you don’t get along with someone?’, etc. It’s a radical concept for many people, because they’ve grown accustomed to a society which values private ownership and individual achievement, over community living and cooperation. Cohousing, in my opinion, is not really that radical an idea — but simply a recognition that the richness of human relationships is what life is really all about, and an intentional effort to shift the balance back towards community. It’s not for everyone though. The only way you’re going to go to all the extra effort of dealing with more people is if you have a very strong belief in the benefits of living in close community.

    The way I see it, a polygamous family could have similar benefits — community on an even smaller and more intimate scale. Let me be honest here: I don’t see any real benefits to Alex’s style of polygamy (apart from Ana having some private time perhaps, if she sees that as a benefit). The only model I would ever be interested in is one where everyone loves each other and loves being with each other.

    But here’s the problem in a word: jealousy. For polygamy to really work, I think everyone involved would need to really be on top of this emotion. Once you take jealousy out of the equation, I can see it working.

    Okay, on to the question about religion. Why do the world’s major religious texts support polygyny and not polyandry? I don’t know. But it’s not just religious texts… Polygamy has been commonly practiced by many cultures (some say it’s more common than strict monogamy) and it’s almost always polygyny. Because men are selfish bastards and can get their way through physical dominance? I don’t know… you tell me.

  • Rebeckah

    February 20, 2010

    Wow, so many questions at once. I’m going to do my best to respond to them all but if I miss one please just ask again – I’m not trying to ignore anything or anyone.

    Ali, whenever any human being does as he or she pleases at the expense of another person’s pain they should certainly be answering to someone, even if it is only their own conscience. Polygyny hurts women. It hurts their heart, their esteem and their spirit. Whether you want to accept that or not, it is a simple truth. It is not sinful of a woman to feel that pain any more than it is sinful to feel pain when you get cut or burned, it is simply a fact of life. Any man who chooses to have another spouse (or woman, should she choose to divorce or commit adultery or whatever) is telling his (or her) partner that they just aren’t good enough to measure up for him (or her). That causes pain. Causing pain should always be answered for, even when it seems to be unavoidable.

    Ana, ALL people making a lifetime commitment to each other should definitely discuss their goals, needs and desires in a marriage. Even with a firm religious faith there is room for misunderstanding and miscommunication. Every person reading religious works will have the potential to have somewhat different interpretations of them.

    My issue with polygyny is that is creates inequality. So yes, the fact that women aren’t free to seek out their own partners is part of it. Frankly if one man has four (or more) wives then these women are getting their personal and physical needs met very little. It is wrong to expect them to do without just because some God said a man’s desires trump a woman’s desires.

    Ana, you desire Alex’s whole heart. You desire his time, commitment and attention. WHY is your desire less important than his desire for variety? The fact that it seems that way says that you do not believe your wants, needs and desires are as important as his. Therefore, you feel inferior to him. I don’t believe that men and women should ever be inferior to each other. People who commit to each other should be partners.

    (Although I realize the main reason you seem to be going along with everything is because of what you believe your God wants from you and I respect that commitment to your God, even though I don’t share that type of belief.)

    I don’t know about jealousy or envy about multiple partners. Personally, I’m a very private person and find the growing attitude of promiscuity very uncomfortable. (Not to mention scary with all of the STD out there.) I look for equality and believe men and women should be faithful to their partner and changes should be made with equal privileges for both. So that is the core of the issue for me. I do have to wonder why a woman is trashy and immoral to have multiple partners when a man is not. I firmly believe that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If a woman must be monogamous then so should a man, and the same goes for polygamy.

    I agree to a certain extent that there is a dearth of good men (and, to be honest, women) nowadays. People seem to have become lazy and don’t seem to want to work on relationships anymore. Love, faithfulness, growing together, those all take work, argument, compromise, etc. Too many people seem to just want to go with a warm fuzzy feeling and then want to quit when the endorphins quit.

    I believe, Ana, that it is shoddy treatment for a man to take a second partner and divide his time and attention from the woman he promised to partner with. And it is selling herself short for a woman to accept it. Now, it is certainly that woman’s right to make that choice for herself, and I do not question your right to make your own choices at all. However, I think you are allowing yourself to be hurt, and without a God who “allows” it, I don’t think you’d allow that.

    As for a woman allowing a man to have sex with her whenever they both choose to do so – well, I’ve never been in that sort of situation. I wouldn’t be comfortable with it and I certainly wouldn’t choose it for myself, but if the woman is happy with it and feels her needs are being met then I have no more right to criticize her anymore than I would have a right to criticize you for your choices. It would all really depend on why she is making that choice and whether or not SHE feels hurt or demeaned by it.

    Did I answer everything or did I miss something?

    And please, I’m not trying to criticize or demean or start a fight. Ana, I think you are a strong person with a huge heart for serving your God to the best of your ability. That is something to respect and I do. Making a commitment and sticking to it is an honorable and dedicated choice. So if you feel I am being disrespectful or divisive just say so and I’ll try to back up some. Thanks again for this forum and please forgive me if I’ve offended.

    Oh, and sorry it’s so long. I wanted to respond to everyone. happy

  • Ana

    February 20, 2010

    U235Sentinel,

    Thank you very much for the link regarding Oprah. I just added a post and included the link. Thank you for continuing to comment and share your thoughts, views, and beliefs. It is all most interesting happy

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • u235sentinel

    February 20, 2010

    I know I’ve said this before but I’ll risk saying it again. If people look at polygamy and think it’s just more sex then they have completely misunderstood what polygamy provides.

    Yes there are PLENTY of examples where women are treated even worse under polygamy. And there are some example of where it’s practiced correctly (hopefully people won’t forget there are even MORE cases where monogamy is practiced incorrectly).

    oprah.com/relationships/Polygamy-in-America

    The report by Lisa Ling was very insightful where she interviews Valerie, Ali and Vicki and speaks later with the husband Richard.

    Here is one of the interviews if interested

    youtube.com/watch?v=7OEaRn3uHsc

    And in the lower right corner there are more parts to the interview. Check it out if interested. It was very inspirational big grin

  • Ana

    February 20, 2010

    Rebeckah, You said: ” Women who put up with such shoddy treatment probably have self esteem issues and just don’t think they deserve better. That makes me really sad.” Are you saying it is “shoddy treatment” of a woman when the woman agrees to polygamy and has a man that she can call her husband, that is required to be there with her routinely and provide for her financially and give her love and support? Is that “shoddy treatment?” Or is it “shoddy treatment” of a woman when she allows any man or men to have sex with her whenever he/they want to and she gets nothing in return other than a few moments of gratification and she may not even be getting that? Is that good treatment? Does that woman have high self-esteem and self worth?

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • u235sentinel

    February 20, 2010

    @rebeckha “But I think that’s the crux of it. Women who put up with such shoddy treatment probably have self esteem issues and just don’t think they deserve better. That makes me really sad.”

    IMO women put up with such shoddy treatment because most of the good ones are taken and jerks are left. Otherwise America wouldn’t have such a high divorce rate.

    If polygamy was allowed then guys would have to get their act together and stop being jerks. Women would have a wider field of men to select for as a mate.

    But that’s just my perspective.

  • Ana

    February 20, 2010

    I think there are some women out there that are jealous and envious that God has permitted man to marry more than one woman and they rebel by having sex with more than one man or multiple men. It’s often referred to as “Payback P***Y” Please excuse my French. And then there are just some trashy women out there with no morals and scruples that would lay down with anyone.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    February 20, 2010

    Rebeckah, I would have to ask the same question that u235sentinel asked. He asked “Is your issue with the practice of polygamy because it doesn’t allow for women to have multiple partners or something else? Of course if you don’t believe in God you won’t believe in anything with respect to Him. If you believe there is a God, but don’t like him, you won’t like anything that you think is associated with Him either.

    A decent woman that TRULY BELIEVES IN GOD AND ACCEPTS THAT HE PERMITS POLYGAMY will have a deep amount of respect for herself, and would have good moral character. She won’t want to have sexual relations with anyone but her husband. Such a woman is going to want for her brother (mankind) what she wants for herself. She’s going to be unselfish, generous, chaste, righteous, pious, devout etc. She’s going to make every effort to obey God. God never granted women permission to have multiple partners.

    Even a self proclaim atheist actually worships the idea of denying there is a God. The atheist has faith in “concrete facts” derived from sensory experience. A person can worship thoughts, ideas and fantasies.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    February 20, 2010

    Donald, I agree with what you said and the examples you gave; we all have certain expectations that are not unreasonable.

    You also said, “I’m talking about things like honesty, integrity, faithfulness, love and respect.” I agree those things, at least in some degree, need to exist in a marriage for a marriage to be happy and healthy. However, again I must say the parties have to be on the same page, and want the same things.

    From an Islamic perspective, I think if a husband and wife are on the same page spiritually, and are trying to obey Allah by living by the dictates of Quran, THEY DON’T HAVE TO DEFINE what they expect from one another in a marriage. They should be aware from their knowledge of Quran that they should be honest, have integrity, be faithful (not commit adultery) etc. Good moral character, which it boils down to, is laid out in the Quran for the Believer-not just in marital relations, but in life in general.

    I can’t say a man and a wife should promise and trust that they will always love each other. Although they may start out wanting to do that and believing they can. Man, as in mankind, has no control over what he feels in his heart.

    What gets me is when a person gets all bent out of shape and, for instance, say, “I TRUSTED YOU. HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?” Again, I’m just saying in Islam we put our faith and trust in Allah. If a person does something wrong, he didn’t wrong the other person, he wrong his own soul and will be answerable to Allah for it. Therefore, a Believing Muslim isn’t going to mouth off the same rhetoric as others such as, “I TRUSTED YOU. HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?” It’s not about “Me.” It’s about serving and worshiping Allah. If he’s doing that, he’ll do right by individuals. If he’s not doing it and harms others, he’s accountable to Allah. Allah is a JUST God, and is JUST to everybody.

    I think people that say they don’t believe in God, or those who decide to have “open marriages”, or homosexuals would have a need to define what they expect from a relationship, as they make up their own rules. Someone who truly believes in God would have no need to define anything, as what is expected of them has already been determined by God.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ali

    February 20, 2010

    Although not directed to me, I’d like to respond too. Rebeckah you said,” I have to wonder at this whole justification of men having multiple partners” and “I’d be a lot more willing to respect men with the whole polygamy issue if it wasn’t a gender exclusive principle. The fact that they’re supposed to get a free pass and women aren’t, tells me there is no reason for it except selfishness.”

    Our Creator, the one true God, created Adam and Eve (man and woman) distinct and different from each other, yet with a sole purpose-to worship and serve Him and Him alone. He did not create Adam to be like Eve, nor Eve to be like Adam. He created all the Prophets as OUR EXAMPLES. Many of the Prophets were polygamous-our example for those persons on earth that are polygamous.

    It is not for us to question why our Creator created us as he did, nor is it for us to defy and rebel against Him, which women do when they decide they want to be like a man and have multiple partners. Women and men alike experience immense suffering and pain for one mere reason; they fail to worship and serve their Creator as they are commanded.

    A man should not have to justify to man (human being) what his reason is for wanting to live the way his Creator said he could live. He should not have to answer to woman as to why he wants to be polygamous. Man should only answer to his/her Creator. A person would have to believe in his/her Creator and His Prophets to understand polygamy and that his Creator has given man more than woman; although they are equal human beings and equal in many respects.

    Rebeckah said, “I think another issue that many ignore is the fact that the more adults you bring into a family dynamic, the more complicated and stressful it is.” Polygamous men and women on earth would live in peace, harmony and tranquility together only if they have the same goal and purpose-to serve and worship their Creator.

    Ali

  • Rebeckah

    February 20, 2010

    lol, yes, Ana, them too.

    But who is really on the hook, in my mind, is the women who put up with it. I just can’t see polygyny as anything but a slap in the face for women. Any God who allows it or mandates it just doesn’t like women, in my book, so why would any self respecting woman follow such a God?

    But I think that’s the crux of it. Women who put up with such shoddy treatment probably have self esteem issues and just don’t think they deserve better. That makes me really sad.

    No offense or judgement intended, though. It’s just me trying to make sense of it.

  • u235sentinel

    February 20, 2010

    Just had another thought. There are people in this world (men and women) who don’t share the same issues/concerns with regards to polygamy. It’s something they want and desire (both sides). So why make it illegal?

    After all, they want it and who does it hurt? The issues I’ve heard so far have little to do with the practice of polygamy and are more like side issues surrounding it.

    No offense but it was just a thought. Again I cite the ophra interview with the Utah polygamist family. And those three women are very intelligent and all said they wanted to live it.

  • u235sentinel

    February 20, 2010

    @Rebeckah Is your issue with the practice of polygamy because it doesn’t allow for women to have multiple partners or something else?

    It is the LDS perspective (though not widely spoken) that God has multiple partners. It’s a pattern he has set.

    “The fact that they’re supposed to get a free pass and women aren’t, tells me there is no reason for it except selfishness.”

    Is it selfishness to want to marry a single women who has so much to offer? This sister will be turning 40 soon. She wants a family and has dated quite a bit. But guys are generally jerks (do you agree or disagree with that statement??).

    Not to beat up on you but seriously, selfishness? She is a wonderful woman and deserves her hearts desires to be fulfilled.

    IMO it’s selfishness for polygamy to be illegal and leave people like her with fewer choices for a family. She’s forced to find a man who is a jerk if she lowers her standards or get really lucky and find a man who fulfills her.

  • Ana

    February 20, 2010

    Don’t leave out Haji Rafiq and Ibnu Adam. Don’t let them off the hook. What you got to say? Yes Haji Rafiq and Ibnu Adam – I threw you under the bus…LOL

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Rebeckah

    February 19, 2010

    Again I have to wonder at this whole justification of men having multiple partners. Sure, they can love more than one person — but so can (and do) women. I wonder Donald, Ted and u235sentinal, how any of you would feel if your wife told you that she was falling in love with another man (or even another woman)?

    I think another issue that many ignore is the fact that the more adults you bring into a family dynamic, the more complicated and stressful it is. Let’s face it, just living with one person is difficult, when you add more it increases the difficulty geometrically. And hurt feelings are bound to occur when one feels left out, as they will whether they are actually being left out or not.

    I’d be a lot more willing to respect men with the whole polygamy issue if it wasn’t a gender exclusive principle. The fact that they’re supposed to get a free pass and women aren’t, tells me there is no reason for it except selfishness.

  • Donald

    February 19, 2010

    So is it only the legal considerations that are preventing you and your wife from going ahead? Have you considered that a legal marriage licence (covenant between man, woman and state) and a Biblical marriage (covenant between man, woman and God) might be two different things?

  • u235sentinel

    February 19, 2010

    Initially she wasn’t happy with it. She thought that she didn’t have my whole heart and that bothered her. After talking about it and understanding me better she is realizing that it’s not a portion of my heart she doesn’t have. She never lost any portion of it. She believes that now and understands it.

    Several times over the last few years she’s even stated she wouldn’t mind if it was the right person. There are of course people she definitely wouldn’t want me to have in my life. But this sister in particular she mentioned she wouldn’t mind. She has a great relationship with her.

    What started as disturbing to her has changed to a desire to live it depending on who it was. I couldn’t agree more. I think they need to get a I’ve told my wife it would be a challenge. No question about it. Still I am willing as long as it was agreeable to all.long for it to work.

  • Donald

    February 19, 2010

    Ted, it’s possible to love more than one person — no question. The real question is, how will this affect your wife? Will she embrace it and benefit from it, or will it break her heart? Right now, she is your only wife and she is the one you must love above all others. If you talk to her about polygamy and she accepts it: okay, then you can work towards inviting another woman into your home and loving her too. But until that happens, don’t get any closer to this other woman — the closer you get to her now, the more pain and heartache you will have to deal with later.

    u235sentinel, thanks for sharing more of your story. How does your wife currently feel about polygamy, or more specifically the thought of you marrying her sister?

  • u235sentinel

    February 18, 2010

    Ted, I’m afraid I can’t guide you very well on how you should act however I do have an opinion on things. I ‘think’ by explaining my situation that it might help you with yours.

    I’ve been married 19 years now and am a little older than you. I was raised in the Catholic Church before switching to the LDS faith a couple years after graduating from High School. What’s interesting is before I joined I heard about the polygamy thing and had problems with the idea originally. I’ve also been told you can’t love more than one woman even though many prophets (such as Moses Issac and Jacob) have and it was ok.

    Also would a loving God really love his daughters less than his sons? At the time I thought I didn’t understand something. I thought “So what’s the point with polygamy?”. So I decided to learn more.

    The issues I come across these days have nothing to do with the practice itself and are with outside issues like divorce and child custody. Yeah, I’ve gone deep in my study of it though I don’t consider myself an expert.

    In learning how it works I started by looking at many of the groups in the world today which practice polygamy, I kept thinking there was something wrong with how many of them practice it. Reading the scriptures and watching their actions just didn’t jive. It’s not how I pictured it. Some groups even treat women like subhumans and that really didn’t sit well with me. I was offended when I saw that happening.

    I believe the worldly understanding of polygamy is generally wrong. Very few are living the practice as God intended IMO. I’m not judging anyone or groups in particular but I’ve read enough stories to understand there are problems in need of correction. I don’t claim to have all the answers but I do have some idea of how it works.

    Also we need to be careful with traditions. They aren’t always right and some can destroy families and even bring down a society. One of the examples in the Book of Mormon is about a group called the Lamanites who followed the traditions of their fathers, some which were seriously a problem and caused issues. A student of the Book of Mormon notices that those traditions caused them to eventually become a fallen people.

    BTW, we see this happening in our culture here in America. IMO we’re doing it to ourselves again. We don’t seem to learn from history unfortunately. It’s another reason I’ve become a fan of American History especially around WWII (but that’s another story). There are so many gems of what worked and especially what didn’t work out there.

    The concept of monogamy is a new one. Polygamy is far older and far more accepted in most of the world. Even the UK accepts it to a degree (you have to be already living polygamy before moving there I believe).

    There is only one way I would consider divorcing my wife. If she didn’t love me then what’s the point of being married? Other than that I can’t think of any reason I would consider it. She’s my wife for all eternity and I married her because I love her and want to be with her. I really enjoy spending time with her.

    Years ago she and I were talking and somehow the topic changed and she asked me if I loved her younger sister (ok, it was a long conversation but that was the result). At first I honestly denied it. I liked her sister but at first it didn’t occur to me it was more.

    Over the years I’ve come to realize It’s much more. Her voice, her singing, how wonderfully she plays music, her poetry, her eyes … You get the point. At first it was easy to ignore those feelings. And I had the same thoughts you did as well. That it was wrong, that I dishonor my wife and her and so on.

    Over time however I began to notice a pattern in the scriptures when it came to marriage. I eventually expanded it to learn all I could about polygamy starting with the scriptures then moving to when history recorded about the prophets who lived it including LDS Prophets. I realized that monogamy wasn’t for everyone and that there were instances where God authorized polygamy.

    I’m not saying this made it easier. It made it more difficult to ignore my feelings for her. My wife and I have spoken many times about it over the years. She knows I would not approach and confess my feelings. This definitely would dishonor both of them IMO. That is a promise I’ve kept for nearly a decade. The last two years it’s been very difficult as those feelings have increased.

    For both her and my wife. I realized I’m deeply in love with two women who are very similar (and yet different) in ways I really appreciate. If I had the opportunity I would ask my wife for permission to court her sister (but why torture myself thinking about it…winking

    My wife once asked me if It was lust or love? I looked up the definition of both words to help ensure I didn’t have the wrong idea of either word. The dictionary suggests lust destroys and love builds. It was easy to understand it was love as I want only to have a relationship like the one I treasure with my wife. To care for her and let her know she is special.

    BTW, I’ve been close to many attractive women in my life. I even work with some who are very physically attractive and some were even a little too friendly IMO. With that said, do I feel lust to any of them? I was thinking this might be a good test to see what was going on with me. I can honestly say it’s not lust. I don’t see women in that light.

    Well, the dictionary I have says it’s “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.”, “a deep and enduring emotional regard, usually for another person”, “romantic feelings for another person, etc.”

    That pretty much describes how I felt about my wife before and after courting her. I’m mature enough to know know what it feels like, I’ve been through it once already. But to have those feelings again about another while still married? So I understand the conflict of the soul all too well.

    The ONLY way I would admit my feelings were if her sister were to ask. I’m not saying it’s that simple for me to admit it, but I wouldn’t lie to her about it either. I’ve struggled with this for years and my wife has been very patient with me. I’ve spoken with an EFT counselor about it also (it helped a little). It’s not something that’s going to go away.

    I’ve been told all sorts of things as to why polygamy is bad. That my love for my wife would weaken or we wouldn’t be close anymore. What’s interesting is I have 6 kids and have asked people in response which one do I love more or because I have more than one or two does that mean I don’t love the others? I’ve been told that’s different.

    Perhaps on some level it is however the question is still valid. I even have two kids who are very difficult to handle at times (they are strong willed). And so do I hate them and love the others (or love them less)? Is that love diluted because I have more than one or two kids? I love them all fiercely and do all I can for them.
    You get the point.

    So at this time I’m ‘stuck’ and not really sure how to handle this. Especially during the holidays as I will be around her. She’s single and I can see she really wants a family. I would be honored and greatly blessed if somehow she would decide and choose to be married to me. I would have two of the best women I know in my life. I wish I could declare my feelings and court her. But it’s forbidden at this time for me

    I believe I can financially and emotionally support another wife and children. I’m not saying I’m perfect either, however I do believe I have a lot to offer. I don’t believe it’s for everyone. Heck, many people can’t handle a single wife. Look at the divorce rate here in America. It’s crazy!

    The only advice I can give you is if it comes up with your wife you should be honest and sensitive to her feelings and needs. Do not pursue the other woman. Permission from those authorized to give it is a requirement IMO and continue to be your better self.

    Even though polygamy isn’t permissible at this time, if you should be called to live it then the first wife is in a great position to torpedo it if you are a jerk to her and others. If you can live peacefully with your wife then a second or third wouldn’t be as difficult to handle. But that’s my inexperienced opinion.

    I don’t feel shame about my feelings here (though at first I believe I did). I’m hopeful that someday God will authorize me to take another wife.

    Until then, I’m prayerful that she will be available and interested should that day come. I really care for her. I care so much that I’m willing to honor both my wife and her by waiting patiently.

    I don’t know if this has helped at all. It’s a difficult situation fraught with perils. There is a guy from youtube who is respectfully challenging my view on polygamy. He believes homosexual marriage should be allowed but not polygamy.

    He wants to talk to me about it (I guess my comments about polygamy struck a chord) and has sent this morning an email so we can directly discuss it. He has some great questions and opinions. I just skimmed through it quickly but again the same questions about divorce and who get the children and so on. Issues that are not with polygamy but outside of it if I remember correctly. It will be an interesting discussion happy

    One more note… Look on youtube for the Oprah on polygamy. There are several segments I found there where she was interviewing a guy and his three wives. It was inspiring. I kept thinking “Now there is a lucky guy”. The wives are all VERY bright women and have chosen that lifestyle. It should be allowed especially if we’re going to redefine marriage.

    Anyway, that’s about it. I’m trying to keep this as generic as possible to keep it as respectful as I can. Hope it helps and Good Luck!

  • Ana

    February 18, 2010

    Ted, I enjoyed reading your comment. There was so much beauty in your writing and it left me feeling really good and happy after I read it.

    I understand the dilemma you find yourself in. It seems you are torn between what you believe, what you feel, and what this society dictates for you (monogamy). In a sense this society has put man (in this particular case, you) in an un-natural state by telling him that he can’t engage in polygamy and yet he has needs that need fulfilling. What is he left to do?…cheat on his wife or live a life of sadness and discontent and perhaps end up disliking his wife (misplaced anger and resentment) for having to remain only with her although he desires another, or must he choose and leave his wife when he still loves his wife dearly? I believe many men desire or have a need for more than one woman and our Creator, who created man that way, has provided an avenue (polygamy) for man to fulfill this need or desire in a beautiful way.

    I love when you said, “Marrying another woman would not lessen, or weaken, my love for my current wife, but could in fact do just the opposite – increase and strengthen it…” I believe that is so true. If a woman accepts that her husband desires another woman (one of the most difficult, trying, painful thing that she can do) how could he not love and cherish her more? – That is beautiful and real. You still love your wife. Your love for her hasn’t changed. How could you not love her more for putting her selfishness aside, wanting you (her husband) to be happy and another woman to be happy, as well? Man doesn’t put love and affection in his own heart. Our Creator does.

    I say to Ted – go for it. Try to work it out with your wife and make sure she’s on board and can hang in there for the tough and rugged journey ahead. I wish you the very best.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ted

    February 11, 2010

    u235sentinel, thanks for your transparent comments. I would love to hear how your journey, your awakening, is coming along … I feel a kindred spirit to your dilemmas being 38 myself, married 10 years to a gorgeous woman I love dearly, but also have now begun to recognize room (and desire) in my heart for more wives to love, for more children.

    Tradition and culture have taught me to think I “should” or “could” only love 1 woman, and to love another woman means I would have to (or should) stop loving my current wife. But I sense that’s just not the case with me. I don’t want to stop loving my wife – I love her and always will. But, I’m also beginning to realize this doesn’t mean I may only love her. Very weird realization and experience for me – but true none the less.

    In fact, the catalyst to this awakening is that after 15 years of being together (10 in marriage), I’ve lately dealt with extreme guilt, shame, and anxiety over recently becoming seriously attracted to a single woman. Tradition would say I either cheat on my wife and bear the stigma of infidelity, divorce my wife and cause destruction to her, myself and our family, or attempt to ignore the reality of my strong affections for this new woman. Tradition tells me it’s “EITHER – OR”, but I’m now beginning to accept I’m not wrong for these new feelings towards this single woman, and the burden of guilt being lifted alone is fantastic. My heart, and the truth, are telling me it’s not “EITHER – OR”, but “BOTH”.

    This awakening to truth, and to my own heart in that marrying another woman would not lessen, or weaken, my love for my current wife, but could in fact do just the opposite – increase and strengthen it… well, this paradigm shift is both frightening and liberating at the same time. In fact, I’m sensing I not only shouldn’t be ashamed and anxious any longer, but should feel very, very blessed. The thought of another wife, loving two women dearly, humbles me, and calms me, and yet is quite empowering as well … it causes me to want to love and give more, not take. It’s very interesting and very different than I would have expected to feel (compared to what I previously what have expected to feel, where tradition would have left me feeling very chauvinistic and selfish to choose “EITHER – OR”).

    I would love to hear of your journey and any advice you might have for those about to go down the same path. Thanks.

  • Ana

    December 21, 2009

    Ibnuadam, Wa Alaikum As Salaam and greetings to you too! I’m glad you’ve been following us here at polygamy 411, and even happier that you’ve decided to leave such a nice comment.

    Who knows…maybe this New Year will be new for you indeed, as a new polygynous man. I pray the best for you and your wife. It’s beautiful that you don’t want to divorce her, but want to add to your family. It sounds like you’re approaching it in a good way, cautiously and with wisdom, learning as much about it as you can. As you know, it could be extremely difficult and painful for a woman to accept polygyny. Please be gentle, kind and loving with your wife and please always, always exercise an extreme amount of patience if she happens to freak out.

    You have a warm, friendly spirit. Again welcome…till we meet again happy

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • ibnuadam

    December 21, 2009

    Salam & greetings,

    I’ve been following this website for quite a while now. Just reading & reading. There were times when I wanted to make a comment but it did not come to that. Well, considering this is the new year, so it is a good time for new beginnings. So here goes my 1st comment/opinion. happy

    I’m not practising polygyny, yet (I even got to know the term here for the 1st time), but I’ve been thinking about it. Considering & weighing all the positives & negatives of practising. Actually, that’s how I stumbled upon this quite informative site in the 1st place

    Well, IMHO, when a husband intends to marry another wife, he must at any point of time before marrying the new wife discuss her with the current wife. I consider this is very important decision, as having 2 wives meant more effort in making sure they both get along to be able live a happy & fulfilling life together. To add to it, the 2nd wife must also get along with the kids or it will not work well either

    I myself could not imagine myself leaving my wife & family just to pursue another woman. That is why I’m looking into polygyny rather than divorce, which is currently quite a trend in the western nations and now is creeping over to other parts of the world. Even so, some men whom did not choose the way of divorce, will either have a mistress(es), practice open sex, or even worse frequent prostitutes. Na’uzubillah min zalik

    Well, that was quite a long opening. Till we meet again.

    Ma’a salam.

  • Omar Zaid, M.D.

    December 21, 2009

    Salaam Ali,

    Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear enough. Ana is accountable for her “complicity”, not for Alex. By not separating herself from a man who is obviously not following Islam and committing various forms of dishonesty and diesrespect for Ana’s position as his wife in Islam, let alone the pretense of his confession of shahadah,,, she is not helping him to desist from his sin but rather is passively granting him her permission by not taking a firm position in opposition to the crimes.

    Sure she has no right to demand him to divorce Carolinah, but if “he” wishes to remain her husband, she can make “that” the condition, otherwise she leaves. I wouldn’t expect him to do that, but he would remember the decision, and it just might affect him positively at a later date.

    As it is now, barring a miracle, i see no hope for this trinity… none whatsoever. And I fully beleive that Alex is doing his best in the midst of the mess he’s created.

    As for patience … well … to each his own, but in my opinion there are some things that patience don’t solve at all, and this is one of them, and that is due to the disrespect shown to Ana by both Alex and Carolinah, as well as the shame she bears as a result.

    I don’t believe any of the Mother’s of Islam would have put up with such nonsense as this, nor any of the Sahabah if it were their sisters or daughter in Ana’s place. All would have taken a stand to defend Islam by insisting on his behavior change or exile from the right to her he no longer desrves due to his own self-disqualification as her protector.

    This is not even hypocrisy … it pure anti-social sociopathy utilizing “religion” as an excuse for access to two vaginas. A real hypocrite would pull it off with much more finesse’…

    Thanks for the stimulating objection Ali. That’s what a forum like this ia all about. alham,duillah!

    Wasalaam,

    dr omar

  • Ali

    December 20, 2009

    Dr. Omar,

    I have to disagree with you when you say Ana will have to answer for her complicity in the matter of Alex. No one is accountable for anyone else. On the Day of Judgment everyone will stand before Allah and answer for him/herself. Allah guides whom He pleases. No one is answerable for anyone else.

    From what I’ve gathered in reading many of the posts, Ana has let Alex know she disapproves of his lack of interest in Islam. Still nothing has changed. Ana can’t make someone want Islam. Allah also states He will not change the condition of any of His servants unless they first change the condition of their hearts.

    Furthermore, I would have to disagree with you regarding Ana giving Alex and Carolinah ultimatums, consisting of divorce. Divorce him for what? Based on what I’ve read here, Alex doesn’t want Islam for himself, which is why he married a non-Muslim woman that he was involved with before he married Ana. No one can force Islam on another. Why would Alex divorce Carolinah when she is everything in THIS WORLD that he wants? His marriage to Carolinah wasn’t consummated for Islamic reasons. He didn’t seek his wife for that reason. Telling Ana to insist Alex and Carolinah get right with Islam is futile when neither one of them wanted Islam to begin with. I don’t know why Ana continues to live in the illusion thinking that Alex or Carolinah want Islam.

    How is Alex going to guide Carolinah and have her submit to him when, from what I’ve read in the posts, he doesn’t have any knowledge of Islam? The man needs guidance himself and only God can guide…God guides only those who seek HIS guidance. Alex doesn’t appear to be seeking any guidance.

    I’d suggest Ana distance herself from Alex as much as possible. I’d suggest also that she exercise patience with the situation that she is in and wait on Allah to remove her from it or bring about some other change.

  • Omar Zaid, M.D.

    December 20, 2009

    Salaam Naimah,

    Excellent query! First of all, one must understand the concept of piety, and when it is understood and then applied to the equation, the idea of an “Upper hand” has no place. Secondly, my wives never fought, it was more of a refusal to cooperate and submit to the family’s agenda. Ainah is not a woman who enters a “cat fight” … far from it.

    One wife refused to “visit” after three invitations, three acceptances and then three refusals, the last of which went unnanounced. The other wife refused to abandon her own ambitions after clearly stating she would “join” the family as a second wife, live with us, and then pursue her career from our base.

    So, it was not so much of an argument as it was a negation of our initial agreements. Essentially I nipped the trouble in the bud, so to speak. The ambitious lady was basically trying to use me, and Ainah thought as much, though I gave her the benefit of the doubt in the beginning. As for Ainah, she was not discontent, but was very dissappointed and perhaps more cautious than I. She actually cried when I divorced the wife who refused to visit, but that was my decision entirely.

    I am still ‘friends’ with both ladies by the way, after a fashion, but have nothing to do with their lives now. One would like to reconcile, but still refuses to enter our family. It’s just not for her, and I understand that now.

    Taqua is the primary consideration in all of my decisions, and Allah has made it very clear to me that Ainah is a kind of spiritual barameter. She is so gentle, sensitive and pious, and readily moved to tears with compassion, that I tread carefully when ever I approach her and am forced to weigh my words and thoughts for the sake of Allah.

    She prays 5 times daily, night prayers on occassion also, recites Koran, fasts and always approaches me humby and gently whenever she has a concern, and never ceases to remind me to pray if I’ve forgotten. I am so moved by her piety, that I’m afraid if i were to insult her, Allah would strike me dead on the spot.

    I call her my “moonlight” because she reflects the inspiration I think I’ve received after my own contemplations. we have long discussions over many things, including the people in our lives and what to do or how to react according to the sunnah. We are a unit and in harmony with allah’s guidance for us.

    So it is not a matter of Ainah becoming discontent. It is more a matter of her reflecting and thus confirming Allah’s discontent as i see it after my examinations. At times she is uneasy about something, but has no idea as to why. Later the cause for the unease is always uncovered and justified. So I have learned to respect my marriage to her out of the fear of allah, and this is an excellent place for a man to be in, and an excellent gift from Allah’s stores of mercy.

    This lady is, therefore, a much needed balance in my life and jihad. As I have studied marriage, I came to this conclusion even before I met her, because the gifts of a woman’s cognitions and sensitivities are different from those of a man’s, and the differences are complementary and therefore necesary for the completion of the whole. I concluded therefore, that Taqua cannot be complete without marriage and that it is of the utmost importance, and that sexual satisfaction is a secondary consideration even though it is a primal instinct. This is why the prophet said that piety is the best reason to marry.

    I hope that answers you question dear sister.

    Wasalaam,

    dr omar

  • Naimah

    December 20, 2009

    Salam

    Dr. Omar,

    I’m curious of your admittance that you divorced two other wives because of your first wife and that you prefer her piety over the others even though you loved them. Undoubtedly, she is very special. But divorce is a very serious action that can adversely affect a woman’s future. I cannot help but wonder, though, what if (hypothetically) a time will come that your wives get into a fight and the first wife becomes uncontented again with your other wife. Would you divorce her, too, like the others? Forgive me but I see a bit of contradiction- when you said that all parties must be equal in the decision-making process but I see from what you’ve been writing that your first wife always get the upper hand.

    Wassalam, shukran.

  • Haji Rafiq

    December 20, 2009

    SUGGESTION: Could we discuss the legal aspect of the second and subsequent families? I would be interested how others are solving these problems.

  • Omar Zaid, M.D.

    December 20, 2009

    Salaam JUlia and Ana,

    The ulitimatum is in defense of Ana’s dignity as a muslim, and only indirectly for the sake of Alex and/or Carolinah. Should Alex take her seriously, and then prefer to maintain that marriage; obviously, something has to change, and that would be his attitude towards Islam and it’s practice. Thie then leads to the next step as to what to do with Carolinah, because he cannot have both women.

    Therefore, the only logical solutions are: 1) Carolinah becomes a true Muslim under Alex’s guidance and in submission to him or 2) Alex divorces her in preference for his status as a Muslim husband with Ana, in which case she may offer to find him another wife more suitable to her as a companion.

    The present scenario has no future other than futility and further erosion and drifting away from Allah for all parties. And this is the primary consideration in view of Akhira.

    The early Muslims (first 3 generations) were very quick to ask for their elder’s opinion on these matters, and the latter were very quick to give judgment based on principles that preserved the dignity of all involved. Human dignity is paramount, and at present, Alex is eroding everyone’s dignity by allowing this situation to degenerate.

    I have to go give a seminar just now, so do not have time to go on.

    Please, I do appreciate criticism and all of your comments, so don’t hesitate to ask.

    wasalaam,

    dr omar

  • Judith

    December 19, 2009

    Dear Ana,
    There is almost no time that I can remember that I really regret what I said on your blog, but I do feel that way for my last entry, especially after reading your response to dr omar.

    It may have sounded, from my short response, that I supported a specific decision about divorcing Alex, or his divorcing Carolinah. Although I think you already know my opinion in that matter, I don’t really believe that anyone should ask someone else their opinion about these things, nor offer one when asked.

    Divorcing Alex, or asking Alex to divorce Carolinah, will not make Alex more Islamic, unless he chooses it. That is primarily what I was agreeing with in dr omar’s post. I also liked the practical way he laid out options.

    best,
    j

  • Ana

    December 19, 2009

    Thank you for your support Judith. It means very much coming from you. You’ve been by my side for a very, very long time and I value all that you say.

    I feel I definitely could easily do the ultimatum thing with Alex about him getting on the right track and us going forward that way. I’m a bit apprehensive about telling Alex to divorce Carolinah; however, which is weird. You’d think I’d be happy to tell him to” kick her to the curb” (there I go with my slang), but it’s not. I feel sad for her in a way. Maybe I’m just feeling that way now. Me and my feelings. That’s probably my problem like Dr. Omar was speaking of…feelings, feelings, feelings. How would I feel tomorrow?

    I’m wondering if giving Carolinah an ultimatum is an option as well. What do you think Dr. Omar?

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Ana

    December 19, 2009

    As Salaamu Alaikum, Dr. Omar,

    Insha Allah, I will give what you’ve said serious contemplation and consideration. Asking Alex to divorce Carolinah is huge. I need to give it all some serious thought and prayers.

    I’m delighted to hear your wife Ainah will be joining us. I look forward to us all meeting and communicating with one another. I believe it would truly be a blessing.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Judith

    December 19, 2009

    Ana,
    I agree with dr omar’s post, word for word. Life is short, and we are accountable for our actions, and any complicity we have shown towards the actions of those in our lives that we have taken responsibility for.

  • Omar Zaid, M.D.

    December 19, 2009

    Hmmmm….. Salaam Ana,

    This marriage you with Alex may be legal, but it is far from the “House of Prayer” of God’s intention. That being said, the priorities should be re-ordered and thought adjusted accordingly, and then action applied according to logic. What happens most of the time, is that people base decisions on “feelings” (here it’s Alex’s potential hate for you).

    What then should we base our decisions on? They should ideally be based on what God “feels” (thinks) about the matter, and not us. “I” would approach Alex with an ultimatum: #1 either he get right with God, or Ana’s history in his life… #2 attendent to the above is Carolinah …. same ultimatum… #3 Inform him that you are happy to help him choose another wife (other than her … meaning she’s to be divorced) a lady with whom both you and Islam are compatible, and some one who will add to your lives.

    Now, what’s the point here: #1 is God. Marrige is to honor God and serve Him and his Cause in the Earth. #2 You, as a Muslim, are obligated to help you brother and prevent him from sin. Alex is your closest brother, and thus you are responsible before God to confront him with the error of his ways; other wise you will answer for your complicity in the matter. That is; maintaining a laison as wife with him while he’s off with another woman dishonring God and the Prophet’s ummah.

    When viewed dispassionately, it’s quite simple to analyze and come to certain conclusions. It’s time to play hard ball Ana. Think of marriage as a business investment, and you’ll get the point. You’ve invested yourself in this business, and it’s really not showing a profit (think “Jannah” Ana i.e. Akhira).

    You have no children Ana. So just where is it your life is heading? In a polygamous marrige that supports you and another lady in harmony, you’ll have then numerous opportunities to acquire good deeds and improve the lot of your husband’s ability to do likewise. As it is now, I don’t see that happening.

    What’s more is what I call the “Jinn factor” … These creatures love mischief and disharmony, and do everything to bring that into play in a man’s life. Alex is being led down the garden path to hell, as i see it, and he’s been blinded. You, as his Muslimah wife, have an opportunity to offer him the “prophetic slap in the face” with truth in order to wake him up from the jinn induced stuper this lady’s influence has brought into his heart. Even if it means your divorce.

    As i said (because you asked me)… it’s time to play hard ball. No business man worth his salt will stay in a losing partnership.

    As for the hate factor. Let him hate you, what is that compared to Allah’s approval? That’s an immature response and a means for him to hold you hostage to the dictates of his own nafs. Your primary responsibility as a muslim is to God, not Alex’s nafs or immaturity.

    As I said in a previous post: There comes a time when you must cut your losses and get out before you lose you entire capital. Stand up and be counted in the front row of Jihad dear Sister and don’t put up with this jinn filled crap!

    Wasalaam,

    dr omar

    ps: my wife ainah will be joining the forum soon. She just returned froma month’s holiday with her family in Indonesia. I showed her the 411 forum, and eager to get started. Problem is, we only have one computer at the moment, and I tend to monpolize it with my other work.

  • Ana

    December 19, 2009

    Salaam to All,

    Dr. Omar, I thought what you said about your first wife was precious: You married her for her piety and for the sake of your own piety. I’m sure it added to her love for you when you divorced the other two as they weren’t able to sincerely accept her. I definitely see how terribly important it is for all parties to polygamy to be on the same page.

    My marriage is so problematic because my husband added to the equation the “intruder and subtracter” that you made reference to in your comment. Hence, that’s what I’m dealing with. In a previous post you advised me not to contact Carolinah, and leave the two of them to go their merry way. I’m trying to take heed.

    I’d like to ask you if you think it would be best for Alex to divorce Carolinah if she continues to refuse to communicate with me, and wants to maintain the “intruder”, “subtracter” status?

    In a previous post, “Polygamy vs. Divorce (I’ll Divorce Her)”, Chapter 3 of My Jouney in Polygamy, Alex said he’d divorce Carolinah if I asked him to, but he would hate me. Many of us spent much time trying to decipher what that meant. Would you please tell me, based on your expertise, what you believe it means?

    I also thought about what Haji Rafiq said about his first wife’s willingness to help in the selection process of his third wife. I recently thought about Alex marrying a third woman so Carolinah could experience what it’s like for someone to latch onto her husband…It was just a passing thought.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Omar Zaid, M.D.

    December 19, 2009

    Salaam To All,

    This is a very interesting stream because it represents several different perspectives, all of which have justification. Sister Mai has the keenest harmony with the truth of the matter, and those who agree that the first wife or wives should have input in the choice are right on the mark.

    The reason is that women are a better judge of other women than men are. (It takes one to know one as it were). And if a potential wife has ulterior motives, the pious wife will suss her out right away if not sooner, and she may not know why either … this is because women have a 6th sense for such things that only the spiritually advanced man has, and he has to acquire it … the woman has it naturally.

    Now … the man as “protector” of his wife or wives, must therefore be sensitive to any objection(s) she /they might have. There is absolutely no sense in bringing an intruder and subtracter into any marriage equation. The only sense that can have is gonadal, in my opinion, and that just doesn’t cut it. Only chauvenists think that way.

    I have divorced two wives on behalf of my first wife, because they were unable of accepting her as their sister with sincerity, and I love both of them more sexually than my first wife. But i married her for her piety and for my own piety’s sake — so i am very protective of that and for reasons that everything to do with God.

    Now my second wife has entered the marriage and all is well, and the two of them are now such close friends they joke about the bedroom and often make me blush. It’s great fun. But’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It must meet the needs of those involved, and meet them in peace and in such a way that the man and his standing in the community is enhanced, and with God approaches perfection. As for the women: well… they already know what they need, and if they’ve found it in him, then what’s more to say?

    Wasalaam for now.

    dr omar

  • Haji Rafiq

    December 18, 2009

    My first wife might even help me to find a third one. I hesitate a bit because her intention is not really all that wonderful (= let the second wife know how it feels). Although not sure if she would choose someone that I would be keen on.

  • Mai

    August 8, 2009

    As salaamu alaikum Ana,

    Masha’Allah, the beauty of the clean-hearted, sincere sister is that she fights when afflicted by shaytaan. I call my friends when I’m not thinking correctly or shaytaan just won’t leave me alone. Although we may do things we aren’t proud of due to weakness at some point in time, we make istighfar, we apologise, we keep on nurturing the sisterhood. I really feel that if the heart is right, all else is workable. It’s when there are black spots, then it’s just so much more.

    What I failed to add to the comment before is that when my husband took a second wife, he described her to me. My smile got bigger and wider as he spoke. Sadly, he hadn’t done his homework well enough and hadn’t given it enough time to see how stories and reactions stood the test of time. I didn’t meet her beforehand, and when I reached out and e-mailed, welcoming her it all seemed good. It was once a week or two had passed and I started talking to her on the phone and handling very erratic e-mail that I started to think we had a problem. I liked her, welcomed her, but I cannot tolerate lies, drama, and disobedience to Allah. That is beyond my bounds and I couldn’t discover those issues until she lived opposite and I had to deal with her firsthand. Meeting a sister face to face and taking a bit of time to get to know her is invaluable.

    My husband thinks that it isn’t completely necessary, although he sees the value and benefit in it in some cases. He believes that men need to be two people to handle two households. Whew! Glad that isn’t my role.

    I’m happy to be here, Ana. Somehow, insha’Allah, I pray we can work towards a much better approach and be more pleasing to Allah, subhaana wa taala, through this support network.

  • Ana

    August 7, 2009

    Mai, Wa Alaikum As Salaam and hello to you. I like the perspective that you presented. It got me wondering whether the woman you described would still be your “dear close friend with a kindred spirit and beautiful heart” once she marries your husband or whether she or you would turn into that “bitch” lol.

    I’m happy you joined us.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Mai

    August 7, 2009

    As salaamu alaikum and hello to all.

    This is always an interesting subject, because both sides can be understood regarding whether the first wife should help find or choose the next. However, while I don’t think the first wife should necessarily be out searching for the next, I do think that the first wife can be a HUGE help to the process. One of the biggest issues in polygyny is lack of unity and harmony between wives/homes. Much comes from the wives having very different personalities, views, and levels of faith and God-fearing-ness (well, we call it taqwa, but I’m trying to be universal, LOL). The woman I would love for my husband to marry is the woman who I love myself, a dear close friend who has a kindred spirit, a beautiful heart. For this woman, I wish her to have my husband’s love, to have her close to me, and feel glad to share. I do not have that feeling for someone who isn’t on the same page or has some disease of the heart that taints her intentions and actions. So, if only from the viewpoint of feeling the person out…woman’s intuition and all that…I would like to be involved. It is amazing how blind men can be to the reality of women. They cannot see the bitch (pardon that horrid expression, but I just cannot find anything better) until it is way too late. We, on the other hand, can get a feeling about other women almost instantly. We can spend a little while chatting, watch the body language, listen to the responses to certain issues and know, point blank, whether this is a person you will love as a sister and want in your life. Now tell me, if you are going to share your husband, isn’t it easier to be the best you can be to your co-wife if she is truly someone you like? Also, if you really do hit it off, doesn’t it make it much more likely that you will work together through the touchy emotional things?

    Oh well, that’s my take on it.

  • Ana

    August 2, 2009

    Judith, I agree with you-speaking of God should not be prohibited and I’m sorry for confusing you and others. What I am trying to avoid here is conflict about who God is, what He is etc and whether Islam or other religions are right or wrong. I don’t want this to be a forum to compare religions. There are many persons here that are of various religions that don’t call God Allah (SWT) and don’t follow the way of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). But we have something in common, an interest in polygamy, sharing husbands and having co-wives, sister wives, husband’s other wives or whatever we want to call them. There are men here that have more than one wife. That is what I’d like us to focus on.

    Here’s a real example: one commenter came here talking about the problems she was having living polygamy. She was devastated. In the comment, she made reference to this life being “insignificant.” I knew what she meant although she worded it the way you interpreted it. She meant, I feel safe in saying-a Muslim’s main goal should be Paradise. That part of her comment was not what I would have liked to have anyone place emphasis on. The commenter was in obvious, severe, pain, but got attacked for using the word “insignificant”, referencing this world and God. I don’t think that reply helped her. On another occasion, a different commenter started talking about Quran vs. Hadith. This blog is about polygamy, not Quran vs. Hadith.

    When I get questions like-if you believe your God says this then why do you feel that, it makes me wonder what the objective of the person is for being here, commenting on this blog.

    With regard the question about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), polygamy was prevalent when he was alive and lived in Saudi Arabia. My attorney advised me that Alex should go to Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, someplace where they practice polygamy, if he wants to live that way. Perhaps if I was living with Alex in one of those countries where polygamy is openly practiced, I wouldn’t feel humiliated about it. But, I live in the USA and no one practices it that I know. It’s not accepted in the USA. I didn’t grow up that way and I’m embarrassed about having a husband who has another wife.

    I believe polygamy is good. Allah permits polygamy; therefore, I want to accept it. That is what I’m trying to do. I want to accept polygamy with enthusiasm. I don’t want to accept Alex and Carolinah. I want to accept polygamy as a way of life that Allah has permitted for me. Monogamy is the way I know. So like others have said, I have to “die”-unlearn what I have learned (monogamy) over the last how many ever years. I grew up a Christian. My entire family is Christian. No one in my family is Muslim but me. Transitioning from Christianity to Islam doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly is not easy. It’s a jihad. It’s a personal struggle and an inner battle.

    Thank you, Judith, for taking time to re-read the blog and for your questions and feedback. If you have any suggestions for improvement here, I’d sincerely appreciate your input.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Judith

    August 2, 2009

    Ana,
    I have recently reread your blog posts from the beginning, and I think I am finally beginning to get a fuller picture of your situation at least as you have described it.

    It is not possible for me to not talk about God. I do not live in a world where such conversation is prohibited, and God is present in all that I think about and do. So what I have to say to you is what comes naturally to me, with all due respect to the comments you have made to me in the past, which I am nevertheless doing my best to comply with.

    I do believe that part of the burden you have talked comes from the embarrassment and subsequent secrecy that you have willingly shouldered. Do you believe that God, through His Prophet, would establish polygamy as a right for men, and then ordain secrecy and shame for women, for complying with His Will? I believe that shame is a correct reaction for wrong doing. If polygamy is right, then why would you be ashamed? It seems to me that you have willingly taken on shame, and that is wrong, and that is your burden, which you have added to the naturally difficult adjustment to polygamy.

    Feeling rather alone in one’s choices is difficult for all of us. And feeling public opprobrium is not fun. However, hiding one’s choices because one expects others to agree with them takes away from the value of personal choice. And feeling shame about complying with God’s will is psychologically wrong.

    If you believe that what you are doing is right, then I suggest living it openly, regardless of how others feel. If you believe that you are following God’s Will, then I suggest that you eschew shame, (except where it appropriately belongs) and don’t let it control you.

  • Ana

    August 2, 2009

    Hi Amanda,

    I’m happy you have joined us. You’re not an intruder at all. You are welcomed here, regardless of religion, nationality, race, creed, color happy I’m hoping this blog is helping others and I think it is. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. You help me to keep writing.

    I pray that one day I will be happy with my life, living polygamy. Most importantly I want to accept polygamy and like it as a way of life that is permissible in Islam. Acceptance of polygamy with enthusiasm is one of my most important goals that I want to achieve. I don’t see myself giving up. Sometimes it seems like I’m just not making progress or I do progress and then relapse, as if I’m starting all over again.

    You asked me about children. That part is a bit easier for me. I never wanted to have children (I had a terrible experience as a child, nine yrs old taking care of my younger siblings. It left me never, ever wanting children of my own). My husband Alex never wanted his own children. He has step-children and step-grandchildren. He raised his ex-wife’s children (one from the age 2). Carolinah can’t have any more children. She has a couple children from another or other relationship(s). Since Alex has been married to Carolinah, I’ve been asking him if he wants me to have children and he said not really unless I want one. I don’t.

    The role of a husband in Islam (my understanding-everyone is welcome to add or subtract here) is to be the maintainer and protector of women. If a man engages in polygamy, he is to be just and fair between his wives with what is in his control, which doesn’t include feeling in his heart.

    Many living polygamy could be doing it secretly for all the reasons you cited. I keep polygamy a big secret in my life due to embarrassment . I’m very humiliated by it, totally mortified. I live in the USA and I personally don’t know anyone who lives polygamy. I know a very young Muslim girl who got divorce shortly after her husband married another girl. She had three children by him. I haven’t seen her to speak with her about it since it happened.

    Ask as many questions, as you’d like of whomever you choose. I can’t guarantee everyone will answer. I’ll try to. Your questions and comments are welcomed here.

    This is an open house. No need to knock. Just come on in.

  • Amanda Wilsone

    August 2, 2009

    Hi Anna- First, I am not in Polygamy but I find the topic very fascinating. I think your blog is inspirational and gives many women in polygamy an outlet and lets them know they are not alone. It must feel very lonesome because it must be secret due to the law and, for some women it is not possible for them to talk to other people outside the home or the mosque. You go woman!

    I have a question for you. Do you picture how your life will be when you are old, whatever age that may be? Do you think you will come to terms with it and be happy, as you clearly are not happy with your husband’s marriages now? Do you think your children will have a relationship with their future half-siblings and possibly their step-mother?

    One more question, if you don’t mind. Sorry if I seem intrusive. What is a husband’s role towards his wife in your religion? It seems you the wife are asked for so much more than is asked of him, in the marriage at least.

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I really think you are doing a good thing with this blog, and I think you are giving women a lot to think about.

  • u235sentinel

    July 30, 2009

    @sage. I honestly appreciate your insights. Please let me clarify my statement about men and spirituality.

    I feel that there are men who are far more spiritual than the norm. God has called them to be prophets and examples to all and to teach us in his ways. Men and not women have been called to be prophets throughout history.

    I also believe that men in general do catch up over a longer period of time. I’m not suggesting one gender is superior over the other at all. I am suggesting that men, unless they break out of their slumber, are less likely to achieve the same level of spirituality of women.

    I was once such a man. I’m 42 and it’s only been this past year that I’ve realized how far I was falling away from God and how much my family was suffering for it. The last few months I’ve had some amazing experiences which have helped me ‘grow up’ (for lack of a better term).

    I understand the difficulty of remaining monogamous. In my awakening I’ve come to realize that polygamy is important to my spiritual progression. I’ve also come to realize that currently it’s not practiced in my faith but it’s still part of our doctrine. An interesting situation.

    I’ve been studying what polygamy is and why it is fundamental to my progression. Also why it’s not currently practiced (Edmund / Tucker act of 1880 I think it was called).

    I’m at the point where I’m writing letters to our politicians and president asking for polygamy to be decriminalized here in America. I’m not saying it should be legalized. Just not against the law. Also I’m looking at different groups that are pushing to legalize it here. I’m curious what response I’ll received happy

  • Sage

    July 30, 2009

    @u235Sentinel & @Umm Ibraheem,
    I agree with most of what you said, but not with “Men generally are not very spiritual and I feel many will not make it.”

    I believe men are far more spiritual than women, that is why Prophets that have tread this earth have always been men. The difference is, women are quicker to start treading the spiritual paths while men may take longer at first.

    As for polygny. It’s incredibly hard on some men to remain monogamous, it’s far more difficult than people care to admit. At what point does a person in a relationship put himself/herself first?

  • shireen

    July 29, 2009

    I feel the first wife should stay out of the selection process providing they dont share the same house. But the wives should try to be cordial with one another at least because after all its only what ALLAH SWT wills that happens. Wives should not hate one another and cause mischief because in the end you are hurting the man you profess to luv by making him miserable and giving him unnecessary problems. I realize polygamy is not easy whether u are the first wife or the 2nd but ALLAH SWT only puts u thru something that HE knows u can bear. HE SWT does not want to burden u with suffering and know that if u had not suffered there would be no depth to u as a human being, no humility, no compassion.

  • umm ibraheem

    July 29, 2009

    @u235Sentinel MashaAllah. May Allah swt protect your marriage ameen. I agree with everything you have said. Your wife seems to be blessed with a good husband and vise versa.

    I have the opinion that polygamy is Sunnah meaning that it is allowed in our religion under certain guidelines. I don’t believe FORCED polygamy is sunnah. Men who cite their right to practice polygamy and mention Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his later marriages as reasons. I think they also fail to mention that ALL of his wives came into a polygamous marriage knowing that there will be more. I have no proof for it but I feel that he was such a kind and loving husband he wouldn’t force something so traumatic on his beloved. I mean there were women proposing to him and he would turn them down.

    I also TOTALLY agree with this statement “Men generally are not very spiritual and I feel many will not make it” Obviously there are exceptions to everything but for the most part the men I have encountered who wanted to practice polygamy with the exception of 2 were less then religious. I am beginning to see that polygamy is not a walk in the park for either parties involved and that there is a certain maturity level that is needed to make it work.

  • u235sentinel

    July 28, 2009

    @sage. I understand what you are saying. I guess I have a different perspective on marriage.

    I live a monogamous marriage. If my wife said no to polygamy (presuming it becomes legal) then It’s no. I will not leave her in this or the next life. In the LDS Scriptures we learn that God does expect polygamy to be necessary.

    Men generally are not very spiritual and I feel many will not make it. We are prideful, egotistical, and many times insensitive to our spiritual side. When I don’t listen to inspiration I receive I regret it.

    For example, a couple times I’ve been in car accidents because I ‘thought’ at the time I was ok and any warnings were irrational. The last one could have killed me. I was blessed to walk away with minimal injuries. But if I had listened to the promptings I wouldn’t have been hurt at all (I believe).

    What I’m saying is I believe women are more likely to make it than men. But that’s just a hunch. That being the case, polygamy will be needed. I don’t know if I’ll be part of that crowd. I however am making my best effort to show my wife how much I love her.

    If there is a polygamous relationship for my future, she will be there and part of the selection process. I don’t feel she should be commanded in all things. She is after all more spiritually in tune than me and together hopefully we can figure it out with God’s help happy

    I hope I didn’t step on toes. I don’t mean to be insensitive. But theses are some of my thoughts on this.

  • Ana

    July 28, 2009

    Krystelle, it makes me very happy knowing you are enjoying the blog. Thank you for sharing and caring. It means a lot!

  • Ana

    July 28, 2009

    Sage, good question-???

  • Ana

    July 28, 2009

    Umm Ibraheem, As Salaamu Alaikum,

    We all have those very low days from time to time. We must do our best not to waddle in them. I hope you’re feeling much better. Did you realize you just help self diagnose and treat yourself with your last comment happy You said: for those that “experience the feeling of loss, anger, self esteem issues and depression”, “the feelings can still be addressed and her energy redirected towards productive things.” Let’s keep redirecting our energy towards positive things. You don’t want to sabotage yourself. Know that you deserve good things and happiness. If you don’t believe it, it won’t happen. Allah is to his servants what they perceive Him to be. You do believe Allah would give you good, right?

    About the “yuck” comment, Insha Allah, I’ll do a post on that next.

    Thank you for following me on twitter. I’m following you too. It’s an adorable hijab.

  • Sage

    July 28, 2009

    And if the wife doesn’t want another wife in the picture, what then? Should the husband leave her and the kids just so that he can marry someone OK with polgyny? Or should he stick around and deal with the inner frustrations/struggles he faces?

  • Umm Ibraheem

    July 28, 2009

    as salaamu aalaykum,
    I agree with you. However, the first wife will still experience the feeling of loss, anger, self esteem issues and depression. So the feelings can still be addressed and her energy redirected towards productive things. Any who I started following u on twitter, what is up with the yuck comment? I am in the dumps for the past couple of days. I have also been actively trying to sabotage myself again. It seems I am my own worst enemy.

  • u235sentinel

    July 28, 2009

    I feel it’s important to consider her feelings on something this important. It’s not just me that will have associations with another wife but her as well. If she’s not happy with it then nobody will be happy. From the LDS perspective, marriage is not just for this life but also for the eternities.

    There has been no official discussion among the LDS leaders about bringing it back as far as I know. While it’s not practiced today, it’s still doctrine and documented in section 132 of one of our Cannon scriptures called “The Doctrines and Covenants”.

    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/132

    It’s only not practiced today because it’s illegal. Plus I think it’s downplayed because people don’t understand it. They think of goofy groups like the FLDS Church which marries underage girls and abuses spouses. That’s not polygamy at all. I believe that’s a perversion of it.

    I could not in good conscience condone that junk.

  • Krystelle

    July 27, 2009

    Ana, I love this blog and the ideas that it brings up. I think it depends on what kind og polygamy the family practices as to if the wife should have interaction in the process or not. If the wives are going to have to live in the same house then I believe that the first wife should have a lot to do with choosing a potential wife. If they had to interact on a daily basis, share chores, and children, as well as their husband then yes I believe it is important for the first wife to be involved. They will be part of one whole family not two separate families and it is imporatant that the first wife can live and deal with her on a daily basis. If the husband is living basically two differnt lives,with his wives separate then I believe that it is not as important. Maybe they should be introduced but they do not have to like each other or even get along. I believe that a husband should respect his first wife enough to tell her that he is pursuing this lifestyle so that she can prepare herself. It should be an open disscussion prior to the new wife entering into their life. I don’t think that that huge life event should be thrust on anyone without some preparation. I really enjoy reading this blog it really helps me understand that we all struggle and can deal with these situations.

  • Ana

    July 27, 2009

    u235sentinel, you are kind and considerate to want your wife to be happy and will consider her when making your selection of another wife (hypothetically). You said LDS don’t practice polygamy at this time; has there been recent discussion amongst LDS about it possibly being permissible one day soon, to your knowledge?

  • u235sentinel

    July 27, 2009

    I’m LDS and while we don’t practice polygamy at this time, It was my understanding that the first wife is involved with the selection process. I’ve read stories where that’s not the case. I however do believe if the wives don’t get along then it’s not a good choice for the husband to move forward. The first wife has to be on board or it will cause friction and cause unnecessary pain.

    For example, my wife has suggested when it’s legal that I consider one of her unmarried sisters. She however wouldn’t be ok with one of my old girlfriends (for example). But the sister is one of her best friends. She said she would prefer her over other choices.

    For me it’s of course all hypothetical. The idea however she has to be happy with the selection.

    Personally I can’t see how the first wife can’t be part of the selection process. But that’s me I guess.

  • Ana

    July 27, 2009

    Umm Ibraheem, I think you and I are on the same page. The counseling is a bit questionable for me though, simply because I just don’t know who counsels women involved in polygamy. What would the counselor say other than “accept it; it is part of our way of life,” for example- if a Muslim counselor? A traditional psychiatrist would probably just try to medicate the woman for symptoms of depression or something. I really don’t know.

    Perhaps there’s someone out there who has been counseled and can let us know.

  • umm ibraheem

    July 27, 2009

    I think she should be told BEFORE he starts looking to get married again so as to allow her sometime to digest the situation. I also think that whoever he chooses he should introduce the two to each other. I don’t think she should choose the 2nd wife for the same reason you stated above. Who is going to shoulder the blame if things don’t work?

    I think that if a man is choosing to act on his right to have a second wife a woman should also be allowed to choose to stay or not. Because in the end polygamy is a sunnah not a fardh and she is not obligated to live like that IF she chooses not to. If she chooses to stay than the hubster should find counseling for her as this is no doubt traumatic.