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
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.
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.
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.