Talking about polygamy, I remember two women I know. One of them is an old friend of mine. We used to go to the same junior high school. The other one, I just knew her some months ago virtually.
My old friend, T, divorced her first husband who worked as a seaman in 2000. I don’t really know the main reason why she did it. She just told me that her first husband was a sex maniac. When he was at home (two months every year—he spent 10 months a year at sea), She told me that her husband asked her to serve him in bed for more than 10 times a night, without caring whether his wife, T, enjoyed it or not. One risk to be a woman—your body no longer belongs to you after you get married—is a popular belief in my country. T couldn’t refuse her husband of course due to that belief. Probably traumatic coz of something, T told me she never enjoyed having sex.
Some years later, T told me that she had married another man. She said she “got trapped” by his pathetic story—that he was only an unhappy man with an authoritarian wife; controlling him now and again; and he also promised her to divorce his first wife as soon as they got married. The reality? Five years has passed and my friend is still looking forward to the time when his half-time husband divorces the first wife. My friend doesn’t have a steady job but she can earn enough money from doing some business—such as selling clothes, making some cookies and then selling them, etc. One thing she told me why she remarried—she needed to have a status. FYI, in Indonesia, to be married for women especially is a highly appreciated status more than single status, moreover a widow/divorcee. Besides that, she also always dreams to involve herself with some womanly activities done by wives at their husbands’ office. Unfortunately she cannot do it coz she didn’t marry her second husband lawfully—using the country law. They got married only using religion’s law. It means that my friend doesn’t get legal document from the country to show that she is married.
Right now, my friend lives in Semarang, my hometown, with her two children from her first husband. Her second husband is infertile so that she cannot have babies from him. Her husband lives in Jakarta with his first wife and the children she got from her first husband. My friend graduated from senior high school only, showing that she is not really well-educated. NOTE: being not well-educated, she is easily made to be “blind” when Ulama (Islamic scholar) says that men are allowed to have more than one wife by citing Surah An-Nisa number 3 in Al-Quran, forgetting that there is the MAIN REQUIREMENT to have more than one wife, that is to treat and love the wives fairly. Still in the same Surah, it is also stated that human beings will not be able to be fair. This is taken by many feministic (or humanist) Ulama to say that polygamy is not allowed in Islam.
The second woman, S, has a bit similar experience. I myself never meet her in person yet. One thing that made me not understand why she was willing to be the second wife is that she graduated from a Master’s Degree. She is supposed to be able to use her common sense (well, of course this is only my point of view) that in practice of polygamy (especially polygyny) women always become victims. She lives in a different city from her part-time husband.
She lives with her only son (from her first husband) in Yogyakarta, while her husband lives in Jakarta with his first wife and their child.
Since the first time she told me that she is the second wife of a man—that I dubbed as a player coz he often has affair with other women outside the marriage—I have never understood what made her marry him.
Status? In her friendster profile, she wrote that she is single. In her blog, once in a while she wrote in her posts of looking for a husband who loves God first and loves her second. (Reading her post made me question myself, what number she is in her part-time husband’s priority, coz he has one wife and one kid from this first wife. LOL) Of course not “married” status she was looking for when marrying her part-time husband.
Money? She has got a steady job so I believe that she is financially secure. Her income is more than enough to provide for herself and her only son.
Companionship? What kind of companionship does she get from such a relationship? Only by phone is enough? Yogyakarta-Jakarta needs around two hours by plane, remembering that Jakarta is the city always full with traffic jam problem that will take him some hours to come to the airport to go to Yogyakarta.
Love? How sure is she that her part-time husband loves her knowing that he also has some affairs with other women outside marriage? That kind of man really underestimates women, doesn’t it? Even, to one of those women he dated, this irresponsible man “killed” this second wife by saying, “Oh, my girlfriend died in a car accident some years ago.”
I still don’t get any idea what made this woman marry this rubbish man. Blind love? She has been blinded by her love to this man so that she cannot think clearly?
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