Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A sugercoated alternate reality

I stumbled upon this blog - it's more of a research type of blog - on the merits and disadvantages of a polygynous lifestyle. The last post dealt with the relationship between sisterwives and what the advantages are according to a certain research:

“The significance of kinship among sisterwives is that women who live near female relations reinforce each other and protect each other’s interests, whether emotional, economic, or religious” (Bennion, 1998, pg. 91).

The writer goes on saying:
“I have always thought of the negative, demeaning, aspects of polygyny, but I truly believe that sisterwife relationships are an important positive part of polygyny. This relationship is something that these women do in order to make polygyny work.”

I can’t really say that I feel this strongly about my sisterswives. I like them and admire them in many ways, but to say that having sisterwives around is an advantage of polygyny.. ? In my particular situation I can’t share my issues with my girlfriends since they don’t know about my lifestyle. – Yes, you are all surrogate girlfriends, even the male readers… LOL! – But, if all was in the open, why would one depend on co-wives for friendship?

I’ve noticed that I find it very hard to really open up and form a tight bond with my sisterwives. Somehow I feel like having this tight friendship would be na├»ve, like we would not be real. I’ve read about sisterwives relationships being really tight, best friend type of thing. It sounds often a bit like the elementary school type of best friend thing, where you think your friend will be your friend forever and ever, and you walk around the school yard hand in hand. Every time I read that, I just get huge question marks… Am I a skeptic or do these women live in some alternate sugarcoated reality of which I am not aware?

I like my sisterwives. Somewhere deep down inside I also love them as good women, even good friends. Each of them, even Baby Boss, have admirable qualities. However each of them also have less admirable qualities, including yours truly. The truth of the matter is that all of us can be selfish and that all of us can be forgetful of each other, which causes us to hurt one another. Can we then be close and trusting if one’s happiness often results in another one’s pain? Can you trust a person when you know that they will hurt you? Can I really look at Baby Boss and say, I know she will start squeaking again and acting all childish and bossy – on my day, thus hurting me since she is depriving me of my needed quality time - and then still consider her my best friend and confide in her, just because I know it is one of her flaws..?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sometimes it takes so little

The text below is an excerpt of American Muslima Writer's latest post. I found it to be perfect.. enjoy.
The next time I ran into a Jewish person I was then Muslim, wore hijab, and knew a bit more about the differences between our faiths. I was riding the local Tucson bus at sunset to a Hotel where the Muslim community had gathered to raise money to build a new Masjid in town. I got on and sat down in the middle of the bus and sitting opposite from me was a young black man around my age of 18. He was dressed in a classy suit mostly white, and on top of his head wore the traditional Jewish cap. Our eyes met and then glanced off quickly.
We both sat there not quite staring at each other because we were the only traditionally religious people apparent on the bus. I'm sure if a nun had been present there would have been a three way stare. I felt I wanted to start up a religious conversation with this guy and from his furtive glances he did too. Yet we both held back afraid of the same thing... causing a religious public. I saw many of the other passengers looking between us both waiting for something to happen and a silent tension practically hummed through the bus.
I saw my stop and pressed the cord button, it chimed and we both stood. We were standing face to face and the temptation to talk grew...."Salaam," he said smiling."Shalom," I replied quickly smiling too. He let me off first and as we stepped off in different directions we were both still smiling. Two simple words conveyed a hope for the future where people could indeed understand the other's beliefs and live in Shalom, in Salaam, in Peace.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lies and Polygyny

My feet are killing me today. I am wearing my new heels to work and it might just be that they will die off before the end of the day.
Besides this very interesting news, I am doing great. I saw a beautiful autumn landscape. Trees with deep red, yellow and green colors, combined in such a wonderful fashion with a light blue sky at the background, it just made my heart melt. Were it not for a few buildings popping up in between, your usual electricity lines, it would have been perfect, absolutely perfect. Man built structures just mess up the scenery if you ask me..

I posted about my issues with secrecy and how it makes me sad when I think of having kids. It made me think about what’s the hardest thing about polygyny. Polygyny issues are really not that much about jealousy at the end I’d say. I mean, ok, so Mr.Hubby sleeps with three other women. Do I think about this? No, I don’t.
I did in the beginning. I wondered how it was possible for him to love more than one woman at the same time. I wondered how he could share such intimacies and not be a liar to someone. I wondered if he compared us to one another. But I noticed that he actually really doesn’t have these issues - when he’s with me, he’s with me. It was me who was concerned with the other wives, he was genuinely concerned with me. Once I understood that his feelings were true, and that he had good intentions, the whole intimacy thing wasn’t on my mind anymore.

A big problem in polygyny is lies. Husbands that lie to their wives. Mr.Hubby and 2nd lied to 1st. As I wrote before, 1st came with the idea of 2nd marrying Mr.Huby, but had a lot of difficulties once it actually happened. So often they lied about whether or not they saw each other, how often Mr.Hubby came by, whether or not 2nd bought nice clothes, whether or not she bought Mr.Hubby presents.
Even though they got past that point now, it’s still something 1st can become upset about when she thinks of it. She told me once that she surprised 2nd by coming to her home with a cake – as a girlfriend thing – let’s have a chocolate rush and watch a soap together – then she found that there were candles lit up everywhere and 2nd was acting all nervous. This while Mr.Hubby said he was going to visit a male friend of his.

It’s painful to have to deal with lies. However, had 1st been truly accepting of 2nd having a relationship with Mr.Hubby there would have been no need to lie at the first place. 1st would demand from 2nd to give up her rights on time because they were close friends and because 2nd knew 1st needed Mr.Hubby and the kids needed their dad. If 2nd dressed up 1st would blame her for trying to attract the attention of Mr.Hubby while he needed to keep his focus on his family. It was no way of living life would 2nd and Mr.Hubby have done everything 1st had demanded. So can one blame Mr.Hubby and 2nd? I don’t know. Maybe they lied too often at times, maybe 2nd wasn’t considerate enough of 1st and was at times just plain selfish at wanting time with Mr.Hubby and then lied to make it possible. Blame is surely on both sides..

I think lies make it hard to make polygyny work. Any polygny blog you read – lies is what most often results in problems. Once lies are not an issue, as I’d say they are not anymore in our family, it’s gets easier.. So at first all need to be on board, truly on board, with a new wife. Then there needs to be honesty.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Summer storms... :)

I've been visiting my brother for a few days - it's so strange how you can know each other so well but still find out something new about one another when you spend some time together.
We were driving around the city and somehow we started talking about his girlfriend and how they met etc. He's been with her for about two years now. He then wanted to show me how once in the middle of the night, while he was going out with a friend of his, he decided that he loved her so much that he needed to put it in writing. So we drove to her old home and there it still was, his message, sprayed on a wall which was visible from her bedroom window. It said "one soul, one heart".
It was very sweet, it made me smile. She's his first love. I think you do such things only for your first love. I asked him what she thought of it when she saw it, and he said that she was so happy that she cried for hours and she hugged him the whole next day... First love - sweet isn't it? I wondered if Mr.Hubby would all of a sudden spray something on a wall outside my bedroom window - what would I feel? I'd probably think it's hilarious. Laugh my socks off..
In some way I think it's sad that we become older, wiser, and thus more rational. My first love when I was sixteen was without any consideration for myself or my surrounding, it was foolish and intense. It was like a summer storm. Now love is more like spring, it's full of changes, growth, it's deep, it's more real.
Talking with my brother made me smile inside about my own foolish summer storm. It's like a small jewel I take with me, sometimes I look at it and it radiates a bit of its funny memories my way.