BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh
Women are flowers: all different with varying smells, colors, shapes, and properties.
All are beautiful; all are uniquely special.
Men like bouquets.
What would you prefer? A peaceful life with a pleasant, loving husband who is satisfied and happy, or a life with a man who is dissatisfied and looking at women surreptitiously with yearning? Even worse, perhaps taking out his resentment and frustrations on you and the family?
Seven years ago, when my husband told me he wanted to marry because he couldn't lower his gaze, I was disgusted. I didn't want to know that he was such a weak person and I felt it a personal hurt, because I had just had our first baby. He explained that he wasn't trying to hurt me; that it was all about him. I went through a whole self-critique, acknowledging my faults and my strengths and in the end I acknowledged that it really was his own issue. This past year, I finally wrote a post about not taking it personally, which puts that into perspective.
After that, I picked up on his glances in the rearview mirror at uncovered women we passed on the street. They didn't have anything different from me, aside from the fact that their bodies were on display for all to see and mine was under an abaya. I knew, without a doubt that it doesn't matter if you are a supermodel, most men will never be satisfied. Allah told us in Suran Ali Imran:
(Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, vaulted hoards of gold...) [3:14].
How true Allah's words are! So, my viewpoint became one of "let him covet."
When I thought about it more, I realized that there were three things that are much more important to me than the life adjustments that polygyny entails.
One: I would rather he do something halal than bring haram into our home and lives. That would just be a spiral to hell, literally. I won't invite shaytaan into my home, and to keep him away I have to strive to get rid of all fitna. If that means encouraging him to take another wife so he will not be inclined to commit zina, then so be it.That is what I call Real Love.
Two: I cannot stand living with someone who is unhappy, resentful, and unsatisfied. That equates to moodiness, nit-picking, and fitna-filled atmospheres that thrill shaytaan. That has a negative effect on our whole family and the peace in our home. If taking on another wife, household, set of bills, and marital communications would make him a pleasure to be with on a daily basis, then "Wife number 2, come on down!" Of course, this also means praying for a good one, so we won't face fitnah. It also means praying for it to happen in a halal way, pleasing to Allah, so the union will be blessed and there won't be a drawn out waiting period or the fitna and haraam elements of searching.
Three: If I support my husband in getting what he wants in a halal way, while trusting in Allah and aiming to please him, I will be a better wife and he will appreciate me more.
In a nutshell, I want him to go ahead and "fulfill his dream" if it is necessary for the children and I to continue to have a peaceful, happy life pleasing to Allah, not shaytaan.
As for the confidence aspect, although it does tend to make us feel like there is something wrong with us, I know that it isn't me. I have confidence in myself, in regards to obeying my Rabb and in my person. In that regard, I wrote the post "Where does our confidence come from?" My husband does not define my worth, nor is he able to make me happy. Only Allah (subhaana wa taala) and I, through my actions, can do those things. Do I feel worthless or insignificant in his life? No. We have gone through this past 8 years, accomplishing a great deal and growing closer to Allah and each other through our struggles. We have established something that won't simply disappear if, or when, he gets a different model.
As for worrying about whether the subsequent wife will be a source of goodness or fitnah, truly if I am obedient to my Rabb and put all my trust in Him, I will never worry about such things. If a prospect comes up and I'm informed about it, I say alhamdul'Illah. I know that if it is good for us, Allah will facilitate it and if it isn't, He won't. Currently, we are monogamous again. We have come a long way, and much has changed due to our past experiences and spiritual growth, Qadr Allah. But if polygyny comes along again, it will simply be part of Allah's Perfect Plan. Something to draw us closer to Him, and to trust in Him totally about.
No Backbiting Disclaimer: I talked with my husband prior to writing this post. He knows what I am disclosing about him, has confirmed it is fine, and is not offended. He also reads my blog ; D