The other morning something very interesting happened. It’s interesting now but I was super pissed off when it happened. My husband called me by my cowife’s name. I crack up now remembering the look on his face. He was telling me to wake up for Fajr but said her name on accident. I know it was not intentional, because his whole demeanor completely changed. His voice, his facial expression, everything. “Wrong wife”, I snapped and threw my side of the covers on top of him, stormed out of bed slamming the door to the restroom behind me. Dramatic exit complete. I was furious! How dare he! Many, many, MANY other nasty thoughts occupied my mind but unbelievably in the midst of my anger I was able to ask myself how important was this to me. Was this important enough to start a war so early in the morning and spend the rest of the day miserable? Was it important enough to utter ugly and hurtful words? Was it important enough to lose my sanity? Would I regret the war later? I was confused and upset and didn’t know how the hell I was going to handle this situation. I started to reason with my nafs, who had already declared war the moment her name was mentioned, and pleaded that it put the weapons down and walk away. I cannot be the only one this has happened to and in reality it’s not that big of a deal right? I mean, the man has been with her for many years and it is possible that his brain was on autopilot. It could have happened to anyone. It could have happened at a worse time. I’ve heard stories about couples being intimate with each other and someone saying a wrong name (and they are not even practicing polygyny!). If that could be forgiven surely this could be. I kept on negotiating until I came to the conclusion that it was an honest mistake and I
could had to be rational and forgive him. It was the right thing to do.
Our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, taught us that “Not one of you can truly believe if you do not want for your brother what you want for yourself.” (Sahih Bukhari) If I was in his place I would have wanted him to forgive me. Taking a step even further, Do I not wish for Allah to forgive me for my mistakes and have mercy on me? I have to be merciful to others If I want Allah subhanhu wa ta’ala to be merciful to me. I decided that I would not make a big deal about it, I wouldn’t start a war. My nafs was UPSET I chose that route. It took everything I had to face him and smile and tell him that it was ok., that I loved him and that he didn’t have to keep apologizing. He made a mistake plain and simple. This is my husband. He’s not out to get me or do things on purpose to hurt me. It was so hard to remember this in that moment but somehow Allah allowed me to remember.
I still think about what happened. I keep thinking about men who practice polygamy and they way they live separate lives that have all of their own details and happenings. How do they do it? How do they keep everything separated? What about those who have 4 wives? 4 different lives being lived all at the same time. Is there a switch for each wife that is constantly being turned on or off? How do these men not develop mental disorders like multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia? It’s just too much if you really start to think about it. It kind of makes me want to cut my husband a little more slack, kind of but not really because at the end of the day it was still a choice that he made. Men are not forced to practice polygyny, they choose to. I chose to. My cowife…(that’s another story for another post). Anyways, I’m curious to see if any studies have been done about it or at least if anyone has wondered the same thing. Rightly so, a lot of focus is placed on the women involved in polygyny, especially the first wife. I haven’t really came across anything that focuses on the psychological effects of polygyny on the man. It’s times like this I wish people who practice would speak up and share their stories…what better way to learn?