I attended a literary forum last weekend and the question of polygamy came up. What do you think this relationship is like for the other woman? I was asked.
I had no idea. I have a pretty clear picture of what it is like for an observer or the woman who realises, often years into a relationship, that her man prefers to have the company of multiple females.
I know that for her, there is anger, disappointment and feelings of betrayal. I know that sometimes, even after the big reveal, this woman will stay not because she likes sharing a man but because she is afraid of starting over.
So what is it like for the other woman in a polygamous marriage? I imagine that no woman sets out to play second fiddle.
If you stop a young woman in her late teens on the streets today and ask her what she thinks of the other woman, she will tell you that only women with low self-esteem and who do not value marriage become mistresses.
Only a few women intentionally set their sights on a man knowing he is married. For many, it starts with a friendship, then romantic feelings and then before you know it, lines have been crossed.
Others are entrapped by these very men who they trust. I met a woman one time who only found out that the man she was engaged to was already married when he took her home to meet his parents and his children met them at the gate. She was expectant at the time. This woman could easily be you or me.
THERE IS NO VALID LIE
I have a friend who is polygamous. He is in his early 30s. While he dates only one woman at a time, he is sure that once he settles down, he will not stop at one wife.
His father was a polygamous man. My friend’s mother is the youngest of three wives. He remembers having a happy childhood; this arrangement worked for the children.
But as he is growing older, he is realising how deeply unhappy his mother is, how unhappy she has always been. My point is that, no matter how well put together a polygamous relationship seems, it is not possible for one man to satisfactorily meet all the needs of multiple women.
If you get into this relationship, there will be a gap. If you already haven’t been caught up in this mess, the best decision you can make is to steer clear of it to begin with. How? Beware of the lies that married men tell.
A man who already has a wife back home will tell you many things. He will tell you about how he only married her because his family forced him after she fell pregnant, how they haven’t been intimate for years, how he wishes he had met someone like you – and then the mother of all of them: how he is planning to leave her for you!
Some of these things that married men tell are true, some are not. Instead of wasting time trying to gauge whether he will truly leave her for you or not, how about not entertaining him in the first place?
If a married man claims to be in love with you, if he swears that you are the woman of his dreams, tell him to go and get a divorce first. Tell him that you like your men single.