Monday, February 14, 2011

Polygyny Update: Just Taking it Easy

Bism Illah wa as salaam alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

Well, here we are about six weeks into the polygyny. How's it going, you ask? All's well, al hamdul'Illah. We have had three Family Friday's now, the second meeting we went to a restaurant for lunch which just wasn't  a good atmosphere for getting acquainted. This past Friday we went to the park with a picnic. Hubby left us all to get set up and left for about 20 minutes to pick something up. That gave us some time to talk and, as it centered around the food, it was an easy conversation to have and quite comfortable. Certainly, once we started playing a game with our poof football, everyone was laughing and having fun.

I had set my mind to be very careful not to be overly familiar with hubby around Zainab, to show respect for her and not make her uncomfortable. I even made mental notes not to call him "habibi" or touch him when we are all together. However, Zainab was far more relaxed about it all, running for the ball and holding him around the waist to stabilize herself, even blowing him a kiss when we dropped her off at work. That has taken some pressure off me, as having more comfortable boundaries and less restrictions will make for a more natural relationship between us all.

The children are all benefiting from this set up. Our daughters have more one-on-one time with me, which is important now as they are developing their personalities and need more connections, more guidance, more course correction, and more love and nurturing. They spend more quality time with their father now, and I pray that continues - ameen. The step children are really enjoying the different atmosphere and lifestyle at Zainab's home, mashaa'Allah. It gives them a chance to express themselves differently as well, as they only speak in Arabic to Zainab and is a fresh ear for their interests and banter. My step-daughter is thrilled to have a step-mother and friend all of her own. This is, although temporary until Zainab has babies, a very important thing for her, as in our home she is always one of three girls and of four children with little personal attention - something she craves. Who's left? Hubby, of course...and he is very happy, wa al hamdul'Illah. Everyone has a piece of contentment and some needs filled with this situation, so it's really just a matter of us all striving to increase our knowledge and please Allah. 

I am so happy with the arrangement that I don't want to ever go  back to monogamy! I must say though that the pace is quick and I barely feel the benefits of my night off before it's my night again. I'm starting to think that a third wife would give me that extra time to really get well-rested well, LOL ;P


  1. salaam alaikum dear mai

    Alhamdulillah this arrangement is working for you, zainab and your husband and family. May Allah (swt) keep everyone content and at peace. Ameen.
    Do you think it would be better for your husband to spend 3 to 4 days with each wife, instead of every other night/day? That way you both will get more time to yourself for a few days?
    Im curious how you would feel if you werent interested in spending time with the co-wife, how would that effect your relationship with your husband? Would he still have family friday even if one wife was struggling with being a co-wife?

  2. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Rene my sweet sister!

    Ameen to your dua' wa jazaaki Allahu khayran. If our husband spent 2 or more days with each wife, then the other would be left for longer without him. Also, the children have the right to his daily presence. In alternating nights, we see him every single day and he can ensure everything is fine in each home. Nobody has much chance to miss him much, mashaa'Allah. Like this, I barely notice the time division, except for a nice early night or extra time to study. I understand that Zainab originally suggested two days with each wife, but now she is seeing the benefits of alternate nights, she agrees it is much better.

    We would have family friday regardless of how each wife feels. If one is struggling, inshaa'Allah the others will help get her through. As I said after the first meeting, we didn't "click" and we are not what I call "kindred spirits." That, however, doesn't mean we cannot get on just fine, find some common ground, and have a good connection. In honesty, as long as sincerity, taqwa, and respect are there, then I believe it will be fine for us both. Regardless of how Zainab and I get on, I think it is important for us all to spend family time together. The more time together, the more positive influence and better acquainted with how our family works. It truly wasn't going well the first two times, so we changed the environment to somewhere more relaxed. The homemade food opened up a topic of conversation and the ball game broke the ice. It will take time to see how the relationship develops, however.

  3. MashaAllah, it seems your husband has really found the 'right co-wife' which i take from the past experiences werent as you hoped.
    InshaAllah y'all can continue in this way and only get stronger as a family!
    I think its great you both have your own space but can also get together and be civil.

  4. Sweetlikeschocolate...indeed, if she fulfills her role as a wife and steers clear of fitna then most surely she's "right" in my book!

    I never got to enjoy polygyny our first time around because with the problems and disobedience, I ended up with all the children, a stressed husband, and very few nights off. For it to be positive and beneficial for all, everyone has to do their part. One weak link effects everyone else.

    Yes, inshaa'Allah we are heading in the right direction, wa al hamdul'Illah. Jazaaki Allahu khayran, ukhti.

  5. MashaAllah. Your situation makes me smile :)

  6. Khadija, as salaamu alaykum and welcome!

    Mashaa'Allah, it makes me smile too...all day long! Al hamdul'Illahi Rabb il aal ameen!

  7. Assalamu alykum dearest Mai

    I'm so happy that everything is going so well for you,algamdulillah.Like sistet Khadija says"your situation makes me smile".May Almighty Allah always keep you in His protection and may you continue being an inspiration to everyone.

    Question:What are you rules and boundaries regarding showing affection when you're altogether?I hope I'm not being too personal.

    Loves and Hugs

  8. Alhamdulillah ALLAHU AKBAR. btw anytime I come across a sister struggling with polygamy I send them RIGHT here. mashaAllah. May Allah swt reward you with the highest jannah for you and your family and may the love, sakeenah and understanding between all in this family continue to increase as you grow closer to Allah swt and His deen. ameen

  9. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Bilqees my beautiful orchid.

    Ameen, thumma ameen to your dua'! May Allah reward you with FAR greater than that in your own life - ameen!

    As for the rules and boundaries regarding shows of affection, I don't know exactly. However, I've just told hubby and he says he'll do a post about it on his blog. As his is all about polygyny and its practice, and he is the one who sets those boundaries, I'll leave it to him. Stay tuned, inshaa'allah, lol.

    Much love and big, fat hugs to you too.

  10. Tuttie my sweetie, I love you. May Allah reward you richly for all your efforts - ameen. To you dua' - ameen, ameen, ameen...with you and your family right next to us - ameen!

  11. LOLQ, your last comment made me do just that Laugh Out Loud Quietly. Subhan Allah your husband has just taken a 2nd and now you are thinking of lining up a 3rd.LOL

    May Allah continue to bless your beautiful family. ameen ameen ameen.

    I had to go anon, this opera browser is playing up.


  12. ???? Wow i am quite speechless. If you like it/enjoy it then i am happy for you. The work schedule, and setup is much different than many American polygamy situations I am familiar with. The PDA would be annoying, i would really want to spaz out if i saw his #2 all up on him in front of me. Its interesting how you plan ahead to be respectful to her and her feelings by not displaying affection in front of her,yet she can care less it seems about your feelings in the same matter. Not trying to be mean but that is true iqraam you have for her, yet she obviously still needs to develop that. Perhaps your stronger in deen, or more considerate than her to know in advance about being sensitive to others. I wish you the best. But dont wish for something (the 3rd wife) that you cant handle. We do every 2 days and I hate it. It was every other day an this was more normal, but he soon got burned out by this arrangement. Perhaps if i had children to tire me out id feel differently.May Allah continue to give you strength and patience, and happiness in all of this.

  13. Wow! I guess I was a bit blown away how she is so affectionate towards him in front of you. Does she come from a conservative family? Would she have shown that same affection in front of her mother or brothers? I understand you being alright with it, but to me its not necessary. We know that you are not jealous, but she doesn't know that. So if you were, wouldn't that fuel the fire of jealousy? I was thinking maybe she was unaware of what she was doing.

  14. My laughing twin, Umm Abdul Karim, ameen to your dua'. You know me, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! I'm still hoping for the same page, kindred spirit co-wife who I will feel comfortable to have my children around, or raise my children if I die.

    However, I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. last night, so I'm feeling much better this morning, lol. We have just changed the timings for the night to start so dinner will be earlier and the girls' bedtime can get back to normal. Inshaa'Allah, that will get things more in sync.

    As for number 3, only if I met her/knew her and was sure about her.

  15. @Jaiyana, I agree that every 2 days stinks. Frankly, if the man is tired, that's more his problem and he needs to just suck it up and keep on the schedule. It's really a case of: you asked for it, you got live with it! I think it is important to minimize the impact on all involved - especially the existing family. I hope your schedule returns to alternate days, inshaa'Allah.

    As for the PDA, she's young and, from my perception, hanging on to her belief that she is secretly his most desired prize. Often women convince themselves that they are the one hubby prefers, they are the one he finds the most desirable, and they may do these public things to show their connection and relationship with him. I couldn't give a flying pancake! I know what I have and I know much of what he wants from her. If she were to take it further, I think I'd probably laugh out loud. For me, it won't change a thing. If he initiates hand holding or something, then fine, but I'm not getting into any competition about it and I'm not changing my approach...with the exception that I will now call him habibi, lol.

    PDAs have a find line that mustn't be crossed in Islam, so it can't go too far. I'm just sitting back and watching how things go. I always said there would be a year for me to just watch and assess what I was dealing with in the co-wife and then see what kind of relationship we would have. This is the observation year.

    There is a very big difference in not having children, Jaiyana. In your case, perhaps it is a protection in case you exit the whole "terrific threesome." However, it's harder to share when you have children. When you are pregnant, you will appreciate the time to rest. However, once you have the's a different story.

  16. Umm Salwaa...I don't have any impression of conservatism from her, and Allah knows best. Yes, perhaps she was unaware and if I were a jealous person it would have been something I would have taken issue with. However, as I said, I'm just observing these days...and there is a lot to observe. It's much more important to know what you are dealing with, and leaving everything without comment or reaction will keep those doors open.

  17. As-salaam alaikum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuhu

    I agree about how different it is with children, it can make a marriage stronger, we exist and may think as individuals "me" and "he" but when it comes to the children things are dealt of as "we". (OFcourse the father is the Aamir of the family, but the mother can be considered the Vazir)Hope you can understand that.

    Still going through roller coaster emotions, i just keep reminding myself that Allah (SWT) won't give me more than I can bare.... so maybe i'm a lot stronger than i think? LOL.

    Really like the idea of a year of observation, Masha'Allah. Sister could you explain it a bit more, i'm wondering how it could be applied - i mean when in such a relationship, how to speak little (if the language is the same) without seeming cold? I assume that a co wife would be observing me and expecting to be the "prize" of my husband - expecting that i must be lacking in some way for her to be there (even though he may say he is only marrying again to help someone in need).

    Pls be patient with my queries, this is not not norm in the society i live in, i realize i will be looked upon as an example so i fear saying anything to anyone i know, I don't want people to use me an an example to critize what Allah (SWT) has made Halal.

    (Thus defying the reason my husband wishes to do this - to follow a sunnah which is abandoned and even in some cases disliked (Astagfirullah), to help one in need, to set an example in our society)

  18. Sorry for sounding naive but what does PDA stand for?


  19. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Shudah.

    The difference between successful, intelligent, and well-grounded children lies in the mother. We are the home, we are the nurturing, we are the strongest influence and model that our children have. If the mother is weak in deen, doesn't take Islam in every aspect of her life seriously, is poorly educated, or not actively striving to increase beneficial knowledge continuously, then the children are the biggest reflection of that.

    As for the year of observation, I will try to explain. I told my husband after the first polygynous experience that I would be very cautious in future and not get either myself of my children much involved with the other wife for at least a year to see how things settle, or not. Even if I knew the sister and loved her to bits, I would still keep my distance for that period. It gives everyone time to settle into their own new lives. It also means that whatever realities and difficulties that often arise in the early stages are all theirs, not any part of my or my children's lives. That said, if I did know her and we were on the same page, it would not be the same as an unknown entity.

    During the observation year the relationship will be based on respect, friendliness, sisterly concern, and neutral topics of conversation, as one would with any new acquaintance. There will be no one-on-one meetings, only family meetings with hubby present. Also, no trespassing in each others' space - so she's not coming to my home and vice versa. No photos are permitted to be shown of me to her, without my consent - unless I'm in my niqab. Certainly not photos of me without a hijab.

    As for observation, I simply take in the behavior, the nuances, the actions, and the words of the other wife. I pay attention to the vibe I get from her, my gut feeling, and see how she unfolds in front of me. It is kind of like a science experiment, lol. We learn more by just observing and listening, rather than talking. Sometimes you are told things about a person, but the reality just doesn't gel with it. There will be a general tolerance of behavior, whether considered acceptable or not, just to facilitate a real picture of the person.

    It's a little different for someone with me as a co-wife, lol, because I have this blog. If a co-wife wants to know about me, and can speak English or has a good translation program, she can pretty much sum me up by my blog. That means what you see and read, is what you get!

  20. PDA means public displays of affection, lol. No problem Umm Shudah, there are plenty of abbreviations I am totally lost about!

  21. Was-salaam alaikum

    Jazakullah khair for the insight.

    I agree about the motherhood, we surely have our work cut out for us. As my sons approach their teens there is much i put their father fwd to do/answer and model. I desire their ultimate role models to be Rasul Allah (SAW) and his comapnions and a live example their father, so i do steer them and make myself available to them but i also feel boys need the influence of good men. Alhumdulillah my husband and his companions run a program with fun activites for boys which include lectures and discussions on Deen and Duniyah and i find it reinforces the values i set when they are addressed by men as well Alhumdulillah.

    My daughter came later in my life and she is now developing her personality - Subhan Allah the differences in genders and dealing with them!

    I kept writing here but deleted it for fear of rambling: smile! Children and homeschooling are things i'm often questioned about so once started! Yikes! Somebody stop me! grin


  22. As salaamu alaykum Umm Shudah,

    Yes, I can totally understand your passion about homeschooling and child raising. I think that too much emphasis has been placed on children spending time with their peers and the peers end up being role models. The role model for every one of us is our beloved Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and his companions. Modern day role models are those people who based their life, actions, and goals on the Quran and Sunnah.It is good to hear that there is such a positive program for the youth in your area, mashaa'Allah.

    Jazaaki Allahu khayran for sharing...and please don't worry about your questions, because what you ask may benefit many others, inshaa'Allah.

  23. You said "That means what you see and read, is what you get!" In your blog you come across as a very strong, grounded and self confident person. I think if I were young and a new wife to your husband, I would definitely be somewhat intimidated by you. Perhaps it is a good thing - at least for now that her English is not very good. lol I wonder if some of the "PDA" you described by Zainab was just simply based on her insecurities and her looking for a little re-assurance from your husband.

    I liked the positive spin that you put on her behavior in this post - "That has taken some pressure off me, as having more comfortable boundaries and less restrictions will make for a more natural relationship between us all." I agree with this statement in that always having to watch what you say and how you touch while in the company of some-one else only makes getting to know each other that much harder. When people are relaxed enough to be themselves and not feel like they are being judged by everything they do or say, good natural relationships become so much easier to form. This two wife thing is complicated enough as it is!

  24. CM, well you made me laugh! After hubby read your comment he said I am intimidating, too! I guess we'd better keep Zainab well away from a translation program, LOL!

    I am SURE that the PDA was very much rooted in her trying to establish herself and seek re-assurance with hubby...and that's fine with me. Frankly, it's all part of the process when establishing confidence and security in a marriage. That's why I have no problem with it, and quite understand it. However, I am relieved that I don't have to behave like a physical stranger with my husband after all these years, lol. It does make the interactions much more natural and comfortable.

  25. LOL this made me laugh! I think it's wise to observe for now, feeling the situation out is I'm sure the wisest idea. if you find yourself really liking and caring for her do you think you won't really mind her being affectionate with your husband? Also I don't think there is anything wrong with saying habibe in front of the second wife, it seems more natural. Als you're not forcing yourself to say something you ordinarily say, (like calling your husband by his first name). LOL I might only call my husband by his name if I'm VERY upset with him. Even then it's so much a habit I really can't help to still use terms of endearment. If the second wife is still a lil insecure she may need do this to feel a lil better about her role. If I liked her I don't think I would mind either. If I didn't like her, lol then it would annoy me. But it sounds like the two of you are getting along well, so that's all good. Alhumdulilah

  26. salam aleikum dear sister. I am truly happy for you and I hope everything will be fine for all fo you inshAllah. I married for about 15 months ago and he still havent told the other wife about me. I am so sad over this and I realy would like to know her. So I am a secret and he is also not fair with the time at all. He is with me two nights a week and sometimes he visits me during the day and his children ofcourse dont know who i am. I also have small children from one earlier marriage and they also need a father in the house, and i need my husband. I am so alone and I do everything alone to. SubhanAllah its hard and I have never felt the love before that i have for him. It brakes my heart that he doesnt change and give me more time and take more responsibility. He give the other wife all care, shopping, yes everything. He says to me that he wants to live with me but cant. And why i dont know. I am trying to be strong but after while i always fall and brake apart as it feels so wrong. Cant stop the crying to come and my children tries to comfort me and it makes me even more sad. Should be my husband. I am thinking a lot of divorce now. If its meant to be that I should live the rest of my life alone then khair inshAllah. I am sorry for writing all this. I have no one to talk to here. Please if any have any suggestion what i can do plz write. with love your sister in islam

  27. Umm Assad,

    LOL, I definitely agree with you, it is very unnatural to suppress normal speech and terms of endearment! I will probably be able to talk more now I'm not thinking about my every word, LOL.

    I don't mind if she is affectionate with hubby...whether I like her or not. She needs to feel good in her marriage and build confidence in the relationship. It's okay and natural. As long as it is all within respectful bounds, then we are all good.

  28. @ Anonymous: As salaamu alaiki. If you want my advice and help, before I can properly comment on your situation, I need to know some information. You can email my wife the details if you like. However, here are my general comments. Sometimes it is better to endure a little struggle or unhappiness if it will avoid fitnah. I know this is hard, and I'm not being inconsiderate. You don't want to cause a bigger problem.

    What was the agreement before the marriage? Didn't you know your rights as a wife? Is his other wife against polygyny?

    Firstly, try to remind him that he will have to answer to Allah for his actions. Explain to him how you need a "true" husband. Obviously, there is a reason you married him, and vice versa. Never lose focus of that reason.

    I hope and pray everything gets better. Please email us if you need additional help or advice. The email address is as follows:

  29. Dear sister many words of wisdom,alhamdulillah...may Allah increase u with hikmah...and jazakillah 4 the homeschooling help!...a true inspiration u r!

  30. im so glad i read this post and to read youre happy about the situation, may Allaah reward you immensely my sister in islam/Asiya