Friday, March 29, 2013

LIFE AS A CO-WIFE: update

Just a few updates about life as a co-wife. When I wrote about my co-wife before she lived in her ancestral village and now she lives in the same city as me. This has improved life immeansely. We tend to be on better terms and fight way less because fights always always always happen because of miscommuncation or Shaytaan whispering over the distance of what one doesn't know but imagines. Being closer to one another, visiting eachother's houses, lessens the space to imagine injustice ect.. Now, though I wouldn't have figured it, the two of us like to take lunch together as a family on some days [and I love that she cooks and I don't have to even when it is my day with husband because I HATE cooking sometimes hehehe], and we take the kids to the park. Anything family orientated we like to do together, and we're friends. We like to talk about stuff, and it's nice you know? I think it is only awkward for our husband because he doesn't know how to act since he has two cultures in two different homes, and when we mix all together he doesn't know which culture to speak to us with. Omanis don't say 'please' or 'thank you' to loved ones for example, whereas, for Canadians, this is an absolute must or I ignore him for being rude.
Being closer also means emergancies are easier to deal with. Plumbing explodes? Husband can come and co-wife is okay. Her car gets a flat (and God forbid an Arab woman knows how to put air into her own tires lol) and I am ok.  Kids also are happier, because their "Baba" sees them more. He doesn't spend his time driving back and forth. For this reason we are actually looking to move. To move into the same house or two houses facing the same lot (but with split and seperate levels). Which is what I always wanted (but co-wife's family previously objected to) and is the Sunnah anyways. That way husband can come every night to either wife for 15 minutes or so to make sure she's ok, has everything she needs, and kids can come anytime they need something from their father, you know. My husband spending enough time with my co-wife's kids is important. They need a father-figure, especially since there are two boys!
Also, something major for us, is my husband is looking to adopt. In Oman alot of children get abandoned. Usually these babies are left in Masjids, or at centers, by parents who probably concieved the children without being married. Many parents believe, due to the stigma attached to a person who committs this sin in Omani culture, that their children are better growing up without "a whore" as a mother. Most of the children are never adopted and grow up only with volunteer "mothers" at centers, and have no father beyond the state of the Sultanate. My husband (and I) strongly believe that the purposes of polygamy is to take care of orphans, widows, and divorcees. Also, he dislikes that Omani married couples who cannot concieve are pressured into polygamy by inlaws, instead of fostering an orphan, since polygany in the sunnah was never for the purpose of the husband getting more children from his own means. We have a few couples like this in our "tribe" [lol that still sounds funny to me] and sadly, they feel alienated by the desire for children, but that the only acceptable means to this culturally is polygamy when the wife is barren. These young couples would be much better suited to fostering, which is why my husband would like to set an example in the tribe for this since no one else really will. The stigma of "zinna" babies, alothough Islam preaches no inheritence of the sins of one's forefathers, is rampant. So we are currently looking into that. Though I am not a highly maternal woman in the slightest, and that, along with the conditions set by the state regarding adoption, are things we are looking into. Sometimes one baby is enough for me. OK, so most of the time.So who knows what the future will bring. That's all the updates about us all for now.

For posts I have authored (or co-authored) on polygyny:
http://ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/polygyny-guide-for-muslims-from-pixies.html
http://ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/polygyny-guide-for-muslims-from-pixies.html
http://howtolivelikeanomaniprincess.blogspot.com/2012/02/confessions-of-co-wife.html

12 comments:

Maryam said...

assalamualaikum. i found that your post here is quite interesting.

you see, most women in Malaysia are reluctant to be a co-wife or live with co-wife. and maybe under the influence of culture, i myself feel a bit reluctant too. i know it is a sunnah, but when it comes to open my heart to accept this matter at maximum level, i would say, it is hard and still no achievable. how do you accept it?

and are you a native canadian?

Classy & Fabulous said...

as salaam alaikum wa rahmatullaah,

I felt something in my heart when reading this post. I'm glad there are people who try their best to hold onto the sunnah and also set a beautiful example to one's tribe and society. And it's no wonder that most women (and even some men) feel reluctant to accept polygamy when people have strayed far away from the sunnah of the prophet and the example of sahaba. We've seen many bad examples of how the sunnah was neglected or people tried to make something a sunnah that was never a part of it. Also many sunnah practices have become mixed with our worldly desires, me, myself and i-thinking or our cultures.

I'm Farsilla said...

hi pixie

well eventho im not yet married n i know polygamy is halal but im against it. i dont think i can share my husband with any woman.im hadramiya (STINGY) what is mine will always mine :P i even discuss about this with my fiance n i clearly said if he wants another woman , i prefer to b divorce rather than suffer n become an evil wife n might kill both of them T____T

n this is my feelings, nothing to do with u. n i agree with maryam. most malaysians wont accept sharing men or sharing the same house. if they do, i say they have strong hearts :)

Silla

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Aww I'm so glad you're striking up a balance with your co-wife. I absolutely love the fact that your family is looking to care for some of the abandoned children in Oman. You can't change a society all at once, but you can change those lives that become a part of yours.

Umm Ahmad said...

Salam alaikum sister!

For about a week or so I have been following your blog.

I find it very interesting. After reading your post before this one, and you mentioning that you had a co-wife, I was like wow, masha'allah.

I think it is so interesting and insha'allah, Allah will bless you because it takes a special woman to have the patience and kindness for this kind of arrangement.

Since I am new here, I do know you said you are pregnant, but do you have any other children?

Pixie said...

Maryam: Wa alaykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakato:).

IN answer to your question how do I acceot it? I don't just accept it, in many ways I wanted it. I believe it gives me more family (being I have no Muslim relatives) and is support for me as a wife having another woman who I can rely on to help my husband when I just can't. Also, I am a pretty independent person who likes ot have her own time, and traditional Arab-style marriages don't afford this really without polygamy lol, unless the husband leaves the wife for his friends which I don't tolerate very much. I wrote a post specifically why I am ok with it here: http://ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/polygyny-guide-for-muslims-from-pixies.html
and the post also mentions why I am not ok with it in circumstances as well.

Omani culture and Canadian culture are no different than Malayasian. Most Muslim women don't want their husband to have other wives and we face alot of prejudice form people who wouldn't want it for themselves here. That's one of the challenges.

Also, I do think it is a husband's right, but at the same time, it is a sunnah of exception, not a mustahaab sunnah ect... It is allowed if a man takes care of orphans, widows, divorcees ect... not just for his own personal fun.

KNowing that, as a Mulsim woman, makes it alot easier to accept when done right.

I am not a Native-American Canadian but I am Canadian citizen back as as Napoleanoic times:) with a Anglo-loving French background.

Pixie said...

Classy & Fabulous: Wa aalykom e salaam ramatullahi wa barakto, omigosh you sumnmed it up so perfectly: "sunnah practices have become mixed with our worldly desires, me, myself and i-thinking or our cultures" and I agree totally, that is spot on and why things have been so corrupted. Polygany is a big responsibility for a man. It won't make him into Rasoolulah, it is sacrifice from himself, of alot of his own time and goals and desires, to be fair to the needs of more than 1 woman, and should be for a noble purpose of taking care of those who are abandoned and left alone in society. As Muslim women, when we see men who have these noble self-sacrificing qualities, usually we admire them. But it is hard to be their wives lol. Like me, I am like, do I really want to adopt? Can I sacrifice my spare time to foster? But I think men like my husband, in the end, make me a better and stronger Muslim mashAllah. He is always honest, patient, treating others how he'd want to be treated even if they abuse him... And always aware of his own failings. LOl, i don't know, from what I've seen, usually when polygamy is according to sunnah it isn't the women who are making the sacrifices... it is the husband. Most men don't have the patience, the ability to see more than what is being spoken, what people want but more to what they need, and then, to what is right over what is easy. I knew when i met him (and his sisters told me as well) he's a rare one. So I think, kind of with men like him, if he thinks he can handle it, who am I to say that another woman shouldn't share in the benefit of some of that? If I am truly wanting for others what I am wanting for myself.

Pixie said...

Farsilla: hi Silla, omigosh lol, you shouldn't say you are against it:): say more specifically, you are against it done without a woman's rights in mind, and that you yourself don't want it for yourself:). That totally ok in Islam;).

Myself, my biggest pet peeve about men who marry more than one is if they marry a girl, and always intended to marry again or think there is a possibility to marry again, and don't care if that fits in with the life plans of their first wife. A MAN SHOULD FIGURE THIS OUT before he marries the first wife, so she can consider what way her life might go and if she is ok with everything her future spouse might do.

If men did that, we'd have a whole lot less of messes and people would stop being "against" marriage of more than one. They'd simply be against the abuses to it:)

I don't think any woman has to accpet it who doesn't want it. Islam totally gives a woman the right to divorce if she doesn't like it:)

But I don't think these days men should marry without figuring this out for themselves before they get married the first time. Alot of women can't handle or don't want to handle polygamy and they shouldn't be forced to or trapped into it because of their children ect...

Pixie said...

Stacy: Honestly, alhamdulilah, compared to toher places in the Arab world, zina babies are treated ok in Oman by the government. I kind fo wish it were easier to adopt the same kind of kids from Jordan or Morocco or Egypt or something though. Some of my friends married in those countries found day old babies just thrown into dumpsters there:'( which breaks my heart.

Whenever I think for a second, can I not handle sacrificing some of my personal time to raise another kid, I think of a dumpster baby and I am like, "I can handle it" lol.

Pixie said...

Um Ahmed: Wa alaykom e salaam and welcome to BM:)

I was pregnent but am not now---I alahmdulilah gave birth to one healthy baby girl mashaAllah. I only have one child currently. It is hard to have alot of children in a polygynous marriage to make sure all the kids get enough time with their father ect...

My co-wife has three previous children, one girl, and two boys mashaAllah.

Anonymous said...

You are a very strong woman for allowing your husband to re marry, just the thought of my man sharing a bed with another woman and naturally mus be human nature for him to compare both women,makes me sick.

Pixie said...

Anon: It is nothing about strength. Maybe about putting one's self in another woman's shoes more or less. It is always, do I want for others what I want for myself?

When a Muslim is thinking like that, she's going, do I want my husband to think I am attractive? Yes. So does any other woman deserve that from her husband? Yes.

So comparing body types doesn't become an issue.

Also, husband must think like this too. Before he marries, he should be thinking, am I the best husband for this woman, and for the wife I already have?

If he can't answer that, he has no business marrying again.

Sex is never where jealousy stems from for us. It is always over things other women would think are silly, like, "he fixed her TV faster than mine" lol. But I am serious, that's what WE get jealous over.