Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Defined by numbers

Today I spent some time reading through different blogs, mainly the ones dealing with plural marriages. And it made me wonder why I am actually making myself be defined by the fact that I am in a polygynous marriage?

Shouldn’t I just decide to be a lady instead of 3rdlady? 3rd might be a fact but not a defining fact.


What is our defining fact?


At work I ask all the female colleagues I meet how they would feel about being a stay at home mom and all of them say they could never do it. And when I ask why they answer: I think I would become so dull, I would go nuts, what would I do with my time? To put it in other words: who would I actually be? They are defined by their work. If someone asks them who they are, they will tell them what kind of job they do. And isn’t that kind of sad?!

Or is just the way we are made, and am I spending time thinking about irrelevant stuff?

10 comments:

Safa said...

No, you aren't thinking about irrelevent stuff.....I think at one point the P factor takes up our entire focus.

I have a friend who met some people for the first time and immediately told them she's in a P marriage.....and I asked her if she really thought that was important? She is such a great person that the P factor somehow keeps HER out of the focus......

Perhaps if you are asking yourself about these things you are starting to wonder WHO you are? Similar to what stay at home mom's do....just like you so rightly pointed out.......

So let me ask you, 3rd......

Who are you?

The Pastoral Princess said...

I feel like we as women are compelled (perhaps taught) to identify ourselves in generic ways with clear numbers and definitions. I think Safa is right on here! I am a SAHM, and I feel like I have to explain to people how busy my days are and how hard of a job it really is, and that I definitely want a career, I just chose this as my career for now, till they are older. I always feel compelled to add that in, as if the ‘potential’ career in the future gives me some kind of credibility. Then I kick myself later for feeling and presenting myself as an undervalued member of society. I am what I am, a Mom is one of those things, and right now it’s the top job. Shouldn’t that be enough? Why do I always feel like I have to justify my choice by explaining that I will go back to work someday?? Heck this is the hardest job I have ever had….I feel like I should get raises, sick days, bonus pay and vacations…oh wait, that’s right… I don’t get paid…but anyway, my point is that we as women always seem compelled to define ourselves in certain descriptions. I wonder too, at this very moment if Safa asked me the same question, what would I say?

3rd... said...

Yeah, I think its quite hard to answer that question really. We very quickly respond with factual things like age, nationality, occupation, family situation..

I know what I wish to be: I wish I was a sincere and true believer, with certainty of faith. Maybe I can define myself like that - someone who wishes to attain certainty in her faith.. ?

What else really matters anyways? The other things flow from there

UmmAbdur-Rahmaan said...

Well I suppose it is about time I happened upon your blog considering my BFF didn't tell me....Thanks alot Safa.
So anyway Hello 3rd its nice to meet you I am 2nd. I am wondering how you cope with those littel jealousy things that creep up and make you want to rip your heart out and throw it at her or him whoever is closer. I have been married for 6 years and for the majority of those years Cw and I lived in different countries. I just recently moved to live like 3 blocks away from her. In the beginnign hubby was here and things were soo stressful and like a rollercoaster...but now he is gone and she and I have become fairly close...but I am so afraid of what will happen when he comes back....And who am I? Well, i do not think there is one answer to that but right now if you ask anyone in this country I am the white girl who doesn't belong.....

Solace said...

It is not irrelevant at all. It is simply easier to define ourselves by the overriding factor in our lives... How many of us really know ourselves well enough to answer that question?

TheAngryMuslimah said...

Salaam,

Speaking as a second wife........I must say.......your ramblings and thoughts aren't irrelevant..........I feel the same and think the same things as you do most of the time...

3rd... said...

@UmmAbdur-Rahmaan - I've had my share of jealousy things..definitely! LOL
nr1 thing is that you feel safe with hubby. That the relationship between the two of you is warm, healthy, fulfilling. And the second thing is that you trust the co-wife. Mr.Hubby used to be with a 4th which I didn't trust and it made it hard. She left though - couldn't cope. New 4th is a good hearted person. We try to be honest about what bothers us. Its still a journey, but I do not have half as much problems with sharing as I did in the beginning.

@Solace - Hi! Could you invite me to ur blog, would love to read more about your journey into faith!

@TheAngryMuslimah -Welcome, hope you'll share your point of view more often here. Its nice to meet people who are in the same situation.

Safiyyah said...

I am not in plural marriage anymore, but when I was I didn't define myself by p. Maybe it was because my cowife and I were far apart in age and had totally different lives and interests. We each did our own thing - separately.

Now I am retired. When I left my job, people were always asking me what I was going to "do" now. I used to answer "nothing" just for grins. Actually, I did do nothing for 3-4 months, but now my life is full. It's like people think one doesn't have a life outside of marriage or career. God forbid we have interests and hobbies, etc.!

gr8fultohimswt said...

The fact is that you are the 3rd Wife that your Husband has married...BUT why resort/settle for the title of such? You are not any less his Wife then those before you or even after your union of your relations permits of such..some Women(not all) will take this 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so forth to another level to almost belittle another without even sayin as much..

3rd... said...

@gr8ful - thanks for commenting.. I just sometimes wonder whether I am occupying my mind too much with the fact that I live like 3rd. No wife would start a blog about monogamy.. Sometimes I wonder whether I am limiting myself. Why not spend the time I spend thinking about polygyny on thinking about life, politics, science, art.. But at the end, this is the life God put me in, and I am supposed to do something with it. The bottom line is, I am 3rd and I have to try and be 3rd in the way it would be most pleasing to God, thus it deserves my time and attention..