Journaling through Polygamy

When I first found out I was in polygamy, I really needed someone to talk to besides my husband. I needed to express myself, release what was inside of me, find out if what I was feeling was justified. It didn’t feel right to reveal everything to friends and certainly not relatives who would have been horrified. I didn’t know a counselor I could trust at the time and my only hope was Facebook where masha Allah I found a lot of support. But there’s only so much you can say to what are essentially strangers and who have their own lives to lead. So I began journaling my thoughts. And I am so glad I did. This is why…

By writing regularly in my journal, I vented all my woes and heartache to the keyboard (a pen and paper would have been just as good, if not better). This helped me get to the crux of my current emotions and my focus that day.  And in doing so, I gave my future self a good deal of material for self-reflection. Now I can look back and see that what I was feeling so intensely at that point in time will die down, that prayers for relief have been answered, and that possibly future thorny paths will be surmountable.

Journal the good and the bad

I didn’t journal every day, but mostly when I was particularly upset about an issue. I wish I had written more about the good days; there’s things to learn there too, so that is a future goal of mine.

Reading back over the issues I had written about, I can see patterns and whether there is anything I can do about certain issues or if I need to just have acceptance. For example, I can see that it was the breaking of trust that really hurt me, not entirely polygamy itself.

So I would recommend regular journaling to anyone, whether struggling in polygamy or not – here’s a link to get started. Give yourself that time for self-reflection. Just write what first comes into your mind, how you feel, and why you think you’re feeling that way. You’ll feel the weight lift off your shoulders, a least a little, from this simple act insha Allah.

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Justice, Jealousy and Polygamy

What is it that gets most women down when it comes to polygamy? Jealousy and injustice. These two are tightly interlinked, feeding each other; they tease or even bleed out negativity from anyone afflicted.

Injustice (on the man’s part) throws fuel on the fires of jealousy whereas the opposite, justice, will act as cooling water. If a husband spends more time with one wife than the other for no apparent reason, is it not to be expected the wife with less time will feel hurt and jealous?

One just way to vent your jealousy, if that’s your thing…

And jealousy is a natural feeling for most women in polygamy, whether there is fairness or not; there is no house cleaner than when occupied by a jealous woman! Don’t be ashamed or feel bad for feeling jealous – it’s how you react that matters. Being jealous and then being unjust yourself cannot be – sorry – justified.

A woman found out her husband had married again and poured boiling water on her husband’s back. She had her moment of revenge and satisfaction, but to gain what? A ticket to hell fire perhaps.

This is not a post to say accept any injustice done to you – that would be oppression. Accept your initial feelings of jealousy and anger and betrayal or whatever is urging your fists to smack the wall, eyes to cry a thousand tears or tongue to scream profanities. Breathe. And then work out a plan of action (not involving boiling water or burying anyone under the patio!)  Keep repeating to yourself Allah is the Just and he promises you Justice.

You will find a way, insha Allah, to regain peace in your heart. Right now it may look impossible and you have no obvious path to follow, but keep having tawwakul (reliance on  Allah (SWT).)

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Don’t Lose Yourself in Polygamy

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. There are no exciting nor interesting reasons for this, just me having a bad cold. In fact polygamy is featuring less and less in my radar as I realize I have to confront the negative thoughts about the past and worries about the future, replace them with good ones, and enjoy each day as it is.

So much appreciation is due to the author of the following article, Polygyny101, who is my guest this week on the blog, providing us with some excellent advice. Be sure to check out the blog for some more inspiration!

Living in the Light

Accept & Appreciate Yourself

by Polygyny101

Sometimes, it’s easy to lose yourself in the shadow of your co-wife. Whether you’re the first, second, third, or fourth wife, and whether you’ve been married for years or days, making comparisons between yourself and your co-wife is common. But there’s a better way to live: in the warm light of self-acceptance and self-appreciation.

When you devote your time and attention to what you’re good at, you won’t be discouraged by what you’re not. 

Overcoming the June Cleaver Syndrome

Almost every society around the world has a cultural reference to that perfect woman. You know, the unattainable woman who always looks and acts like a front page model, whose house is always immaculate, whose children are well-behaved and clean and kempt, and whose food is always complex and delicious. (In America, this woman is June Cleaver.) Buying into such unrealistic expectations is a sure recipe for making yourself feel inadequate. You may see things in your co-wife that stir up these cultural expectations. Fight Shaytan and remember that no one is perfect. We are all blessed with strengths and weaknesses. Appreciate the good in people because this is a gift from Allah (SWT). Focus on yourself and your strengths. By doing so, you’ll form a closer connection with Allah (SWT) by being grateful for His blessings to you.  

Look in the Mirror instead of out the Window

As women, we tend to compare ourselves to pretty much anyone around us. It’s not just limited to our co-wives. ‘My mother in law’s cake is always prettier and moister than mine. My neighbor’s lawn looks like a photo from a home decor magazine. My cousin’s house is so organized and clean.’

By always looking at others, you’re distracting yourself. Step away from the window, and embrace the mirror. When you devote your time and attention to what you’re good at, you won’t be discouraged by what you’re not. If there is something you feel you’re really lacking or fall short in, do your best to improve in that area. Self-improvement is always better than self-loathing and pity.

Avoid Assumptions

In those weak moments every wife has, it’s all too easy to assume that our co-wives are living a better, more harmonious life. We assume they’re happier, make our husband happier, and their marriage is better. Don’t sell yourself short and fall into this trap. Every marriage has ups and downs. What happens behind closed doors is private, and in sha Allah you will never know if/when your husband and your co-wife have issues or struggles. As a result, it can be too simple to believe their marriage is almost perfect. Remind yourself that’s impossible. Just as you and your husband go through marital rough spots, so do they. Focus on yourself, your own marriage, and how in increase the highs with your husband and decrease the lows.

As a creation of Allah (SWT), you are full of good, beneficial characteristics and manners. Remember them, be grateful for them and thank Allah (SWT) for them. Likewise, appreciate the good in others without belittling yourself.

May Allah (SWT) bless you in your journey to self-appreciation.

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