Being in polygamy has brought to mind the idea of loving someone too much. From the woman’s side, her loving her husband so much that she can never share him, and the devastation she feels when her husband takes another wife makes me question the concept of love – at least about the extreme nature love can reach.
If she ends up getting a divorce, where has the love gone? What about compersion, the opposite of jealousy where you love someone so much their happiness makes you happy? (I wrote about it here) Would it be fair to say that accepting your husband’s marriage to someone else shows a different kind of, unselfish love – the type that isn’t possessive and brings positivity all round?
But all this is easy to write, but not so easy in the real world. When the reality of polygamy hits a common question comes up:
‘Why is my husband doing this, marrying another, if he knows it will hurt me? How can he say he loves me?’
The echoes of dissonance are loud and clear here for many a woman, and some men do abandon the idea of remarrying because of their wives’ potential reaction; polygamy would be more commonplace if it weren’t so.
And I think sometimes it’s easy to think we are showing someone love, by giving in to their desires. With our children, we may think we are showing love by letting them have all the cookies they want, but long-term their health will most likely be affected.
But maybe a man sees the long term benefits of polygamy, not just to himself, but to the incoming wife as well as the current relationship with his first wife. Maybe he doesn’t even realize, but there is potential for the relationship between cowives to be amazing, and I would say look for families like this to inspire you. And you might not believe it, but the relationship between a man and his first wife will blossom like a sudden heatwave in Spring has hit Winter.
So what are theses long-term benefits?
- Helping a fellow sister, and gaining rewards for akhirah.
- Coming closer to your Lord when asking Him to help you.
- Passing tests of sabr, and what rewards, long-term that will hold.
- Practical benefits, such as sharing burdens of childcare, companionship of another like-minded woman, more time to oneself.
- Improved marital relationship, first wife and her husband, in all areas.
Although the hurt will still be there, it may be softened a little, and eventually healed, by thinking about and eventually experiencing the benefits.
If polygamy is done in the right way, not purely for lusts and and no responsibility, it is showing the wisdom of Allah’s words permitting polygamy, and insha Allah also real love.
Real love is where you want what is best in the end for them, for the long term. If you love your brother or sister you will warn them against the bad – even if they may react negatively towards you – and encourage in doing good things that will bring them closer to Allah (SWT). Real love doesn’t chain people up, expecting them to be happy that way.
Are spouses sometimes loving each other too much, or not enough? Or are they just not loving them in the right way?