I wrote ‘Confessions of a Reluctant Cowife’, which you can read here, about three months after finding out I was in polygamy. Thereafter was a strange, twilight hour time of being in a polygamous relationship but at the same time, not. I’ll explain: I had a visit from my co and their baby, and I tried my best to be friendly and accommodating, but I think the meet up brought home the reality of the situation to her too – and this released a couple of issues from her side which were already brewing. To cut a long story short, the main issue was she had doubts about Islam, the mainstream Islam that we as a family were following, and she had found her own way. So over the next few months of her being away from my husband a lot due to her own family issues, and because the daw’ah my husband gave her was getting nowhere, it became clear that the marriage was not going to work. So this could have been the end of the story, but there was another chapter already in its first draft.
In the background, there had been another person wanting to get into what many would see as this weird setup. A coworker of my husband had wanted to marry him for a long time. She was very young and not practising Islam properly but was accepting of polygamy and had started to be interested in practising. I always thought this was all wishful thinking from both her and my husband’s sides; she was not moving forward much with her religion and our situation, really, who would want this complication when you could easily find a husband being so young and pretty? But as cowife #1 was disappearing into the horizon, #2 was getting more impatient and was apparently trying to practice more, and so my husband started discussing more seriously about marrying her. Of course, I was not happy – I was still trying to mend a broken heart. But to cut the story short again, I did feel obliged to help this sister practise, and she was always trying to help me and my kids – it was very different to the first scenario – so I tried to make the best of it.
Now I said in my last post, I still wanted my husband to hide something from me. He was now being upfront with everything, which in itself was actually difficult. When you’re not wanting to be in polygamy, most of the time the feeling is you just wanted this all to go away! But I did ask one thing. That I did not be informed of the exact wedding date. I just had that biting dread of if I had to be at home alone, knowing what was going on, I would completely lose the plot. So he respected my wishes – this was possible because he worked away a lot so it could be any time he was away – but when he did tell me they had married, a few days later, I was still devastated. But somehow, with a lot of du’a, and a lot of mental work I’d done on issues due to my first experience (which I plan to write on in the future), I turned myself around and started to come to terms with what I thought was the new normal.
But within a couple of weeks, all this transformation was turned on its head. I’ll let you know exactly how in the next post, inshaAllah.