Friday, August 17, 2012

When should a woman stop fighting for her man?

While some women might be well aware of their husbands’ opinions concerning polygamy maybe because they are Muslims or traditionalists or just a person who believes it’s only natural for a man to have more than one wife, some are not until it hits them square in the face. 

I have watched two women I know go through the terrible ordeal of finding out, fighting to keep their men, and then sadly living with the fact that their husbands are married to other [younger] women.

Woman A: Martha’s husband was her college sweetheart. He found it difficult to pay school fees at the time because his father had three wives and his mum was the first wife. The man who was just a farmer couldn’t take care of his children. Martha’s parents were doing well so she began to support Ahmed. She helped him with school fees, feeding and buying books. He promised her he would never marry two wives even though he was a Muslim because he didn’t want his children to ever go through what he went through plus of course, he wouldn’t betray her in that manner. Martha believed him because her father was a Muslim and her mother a Christian and he didn’t marry another wife.

After 15 years of marriage that produced 2 boys and a girl, Ahmed who was now doing very well, decided to take another wife; a girl in the vicinity who was in her early twenties. Martha nearly went mad. As I narrate this, she isn’t still very stable mentally. There was nothing she didn’t do. She confronted the girl and her family, fought for her man for several months and of course took the matter to their families. Ahmed’s family of course told her it wasn’t wrong according to their faith. After 5years of marriage, that produced two kids, the girl just left the man. He went back to Martha who forgave him. Less than two years later, he married again, this time to a divorcee. I don’t know how she’s getting by right now.

Woman B: Laura married this police man [before he became the head of a district] when she was 20years old. When she had a first child through C section, the husband’s family was outraged. They told their son that she had bad luck and wouldn’t have more than one child. This woman risked her life, went against doctor’s orders and had 3 more kids. This shocked the family of her husband and they were forced to accept her. Everything was going very well until the policeman all of a sudden rented an apartment for another woman. When Laura found out, she took the woman’s phone number from her husband’s phone and began to call her every minute to threaten, beg sometimes and curse her.

 She resorted to waking up in the middle of the night to check her husband’s phone, making trips to his office to see if she would ‘catch him red handed’ and then the one that shocked me I must say, is that she got pregnant again because she felt that would make him stop. She had a very painful miscarriage.  She is convinced that her husband has married the other woman traditionally  because according to her, she had her informants. Laura I must say is now one restless and unhappy woman. She manages to take care of herself and kids but not as well as before. 


I have heard some people say that a man whose father is a polygamist would be one. But I have also seen men who proved them wrong. And not all Muslim men practice polygamy. A woman who finds herself in a situation where a man she believed was hers forever, decided to take another woman must be the most miserable woman on earth. Unless of course, she was expecting it.

The question here is when should a woman quit the fight for her man? Is it something she must continue doing even after the man has married the woman with hopes of making the other woman as miserable as she is? Or should she give up the moment she finds out? 

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Lily Johnson
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  1. I don't think it will ever stop. women are very possessive and get very jealous at times. It's natural for a woman to keep fighting because they always love attention. No woman would want to see her man ignore her at any point in time giving attention to a new comer or someone who wasn't there during the hard times.

    1. I don't think women fight when they do only because 'they love the attention' or because they are very possessive and jealous. Any man would do the same if his wife decides to take another husband.If it is a marriage, then it is natural for you to wonder why your man is marrying someone else and you put a lot into consideration especially your kids. The stories are about women who didn't expect their husbands to take another wife but were grossly disappointed.

  2. Compelling stories. often true in these parts of the globe. Sad, but i must be blunt to say...she has no power to fight for him!! 1ce dat man has already brought the other woman in...only prayers (the likes Daniel and Elijah in the bible prayed) can save and help her. I know dis cos im from that family.

  3. I am American so I apologize if any of my comments are taken in offense. I understand that culture and faith play a big part of what people believe are acceptable, so I hope my comments are not misunderstood.

    To respond to the first commenter, if any of these situations were reversed and the woman took up with another man do you not think that their husbands would not get "possessive and get very jealous". Furthermore, in these days and times, I do not understand polygamy, what exactly is the value for the woman nor the man. So one could logically assume that a man pursues multiple wives "because they always love attention" (in so many words).

    It is natural for any person, male or female, to be jealous if the person they love and is faithfully committed to go seek someone else. In male dominated societies where polygamy is accepted, I feel it is abused. The whole point to polygamist relationships in the past was, the man could provide a better lifestyle for the women involved-FINANCIALLY. So if you can not afford more than one wife, you were not getting more than one.

    I know I am crossing boundaries of culture and tradition, however, until women stop allowing men to either be unfaithful or pursue other wives; women and their children will always suffer. And until other women stop agreeing to be second or third wives (especially if the man doesn't have any money!! or ENOUGH money) women will always be mistreated. I know of countless African children who when their fathers died, their mothers became destitute trying to fight the first and/or second wife for the fathers inheritance. Since there is little recourse legally, especially since polygamy in the eyes of most nations is illegal, the wives usually suffer as well as their children.

    Again, I am American so I have a different perspective than those in countries were polygamy is common, however, until some one can explain to me logically how it benefits the woman and her children, I will always be against it. Unless of course, it becomes common for women to marry more than one man, because as the first commenter said, "women love attention".

    By the way, I am married legally to a Ghanaian.

    1. You are so right Mocha. Everything you said just hit the nail on the head. These situations have done more harm than good really. Unless the woman already knew that her husband is a polygamist and accepted it wholeheartedly, there would be no peace as hearts would be broken..
      Thanks for your comment.

  4. You stop fighting when you realise he isn't as committed as you are. If it is pre-marriage of course you quit while the going is good. In marriage, well, children always make it a bit more difficult..but like Mocha, i do agree that good finances can make the bitter pill easier to swallow if she chooses to remain in the marriage. There are man like those above because women allow it..both the first wives that stay and the second wife that doesnt mind marrying another's husband. Sad and annoying.

    1. There are man like those above because women allow it..both the first wives that stay and the second wife that doesnt mind marrying another's husband. Sad and annoying.

      I so agree with you. It's indeed sad and annoying.

  5. My daughter is Muslim. I don't think her husband would have more than one wife. He's from Iran and in that country it's legal. Here it is not. I think it would be heartbreaking to feel "replaced". This topic of discussion should occur before marriage and the decisions there should stand. If it is not agreeable to the woman, a man should stick with one wife.

    1. Sadly, some men just wake up one morning and decide their wives aint enough and marry another. It should indeed occur before marriage and the man should respect his wife's feelings about the issue.

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