For the past few days, I have been muling over this. I have calmed down, but I do suspect my blood pressure rose significantly the first 3 days after this incident. I will start off by saying that I am not against polygyny. I see it’s merits, but I also see where it can go wrong. I am not one of the pro-polygyny sisters who actively seek spouses for their husbands (although I have a bleeding heart and every time I read of some single struggling sister who is just looking for a good brother to marry, I feel guilty that I haven’t offered up mine. So guilty that I will inform him of the case), nor am I one of the anti-polygyny sisters who draw up iron clad prenuptial contracts. I am more of the practical-realist type of sister. Who realizes the nature of men and believe that if the circumstances are right, all involved are sincere, then it can be doable.

The first step to being doable, in my book is by having respect and consideration for the woman he is already married to. Since coming to Saudi, my husband has become somewhat of a chick magnet…masha’Allah. However, it’s like nobody gives a darn about me or his children – except him! It appears that people think that he will just drop us and run with the new offer. Now as much as my husband and I drive each other up the wall and stark raving mad at times – that man is nothing without me…rofl! He knows that..fact! So why are these people so rude, disrespectful, and inconsiderate? I’m trying really hard not to pull the race card on this one.

Once, he ran into a Turkistani-Saudi man. The man invited us over for dinner and we came and met his family. After, that my husband started getting strange phone calls from women and they would hang up the phone on me whenever he would pass it to me. He found out that the man had given out his number, and he had not even expressed a desire to marry another wife (well at least not a serious one, who knows what the man may have thought if my husband told him what he told me about wanting 4 wives and 2 slave girls…yeah right!).

After that, a female matchmaker contacted him. She was divorced herself and also wanted to get married. She asked him if they could meet at the beach and he said Okay. He excitedly, told me about it and asked me to go with him. I was less than thrilled, but I always have my husband’s back (that’s what he loves about me…lol) and I’m nosey – so I went. The woman was shocked, that he brought his family. I was told by a Saudi friend (who is currently interested in marrying my husband), that this is because they are not use to Saudi men being open about polygyny. It is usually done in secret (frequent business trips) or the man will tell the second wife that he is miserable in the first marriage but staying with her because of the children. So, I sat with this matchmaker woman – while my husband played with the children in the park and would occasionally come over and sit separate from us with his back to her (even though she was covered), to answer her questions. When he would leave, she would call different women to tell them all about him, again she is one who mistakenly believes that if you do not speak Arabic, you don’t understand it. I understood everything and my nephew would clarify some things. To me it was rude, because she spoke of us as if we weren’t there and she would laugh at whatever the other women would say. At the conclusion of the gathering, she informed my husband that she had several interested women, but that he could only marry them if he relocated me and the children for one to two years, until her heart softened and she could accept us! The audacity of these people and she actually said this in front of me! Did she actually think that my husband would even consider such a proposal? Did I not say that he is lost without me? ROFL!!!

Another time a good friend of mine and her husband came up with some genius idea to help a friend. The friend is married to a Saudi man, but was stuck in another country awaiting Saudi Government permission to have a Saudi recognised marriage and then be granted a visa to join her husband in Saudi. Well my friend and her husband were getting a little fed up with the wait and thought that maybe the husband was not doing all that he could do to get her over here. So one day the husband calls and tells (not ask) my husband that he and his wife want my friend (who they have not discussed this with) to divorce her husband and for my husband to marry her and bring her over here. Now, I have put up with a lot of crap when it comes to people coming to my husband about marriage and I never say anything. My husband always tells me and values my opinion but I tell him he will not blame me one way or the other and that he needs to make his own decisions. I’ve put up with the man who offered him his jinni possessed sister. Or this same family in this case, asking him to marry the Filipino maid of their relative who took her shahadah the day before. But, to ask my husband to consider marrying an already married woman! That took the cake. I blew up on that one. That was inconsiderate of everybody. That woman loves her husband to death and he adores her…why would they try and do such a thing? Not to mention these were friends of ours…how awkward!

However, the other night topped them all! Maybe it was because I am extremely hormonal. Or perhaps it was because I was already in a bad mood for having unwanted guest. I had a neighbor and her too live crew over. I then got a long distance phone call from a friend in the States. I will admit that I was rude and was on the phone for a very long time. While on the phone, the neighbor wrote a note and sent it to my husband via my daughter. I saw this (and I saw how her daughter kept looking at me and looking at the note to see if I was paying attention and then whispering to her mother…typical Arab behaviour). I thought to myself, “how inappropriate to pass a note to my husband without consulting me.” I didn’t think anything malice about it, other than it being inappropriate, and even thought that it was her asking him the meaning of a word (which she has done before, but through me). Then the note came back and their were a few more exchanges and all the while I’m on the phone checking this all out and getting pissed off! Still, I did not suspect anything. I only thought that she was maybe getting translations from him, but I thought that and knew that she would not be doing this if I were anybody else and that is what was getting me so upset!

After, I got off the phone, I went in the room with my husband and asked him what was this all about. He was shocked, because he thought I knew. I told him I was on the phone and knew nothing. He said, ” Well, I’m not hiding anything so here are all the notes, read them.” I snapped! I was like, “they are all in Arabic!” So he started translating all the notes. The first one from her was her telling him that she has a 19 year old niece (they are Arab but not Saudi), who she wanted to find a good religious husband for and to bring her to Saudi. She said that she did not mind being the second wife. My husband claims that he actually had a few other brothers in mind for her and not him, but I’m not stupid…the thought of a 19 year old virgin would make any middle aged man think twice! Not to mention his response in the note he sent back was, “is she literate?” Like he was really asking that question for another brother! He told me to give him husnan thun (benefit of doubt) and that he was not interested. I told him how disrespected I felt and how I didn’t appreciate her trying to be slick and that she knew she was wrong (obviously she knew because while I was in the room with my husband she packed her crew up and left!). He again advised me to have husnan thun for her. I did have some husnan thun. I knew that her motives was because she is from an improvised country and she saw opportunity for a relative and jumped on it.That was not my complaint, my complaint was that she had done it not only behind my back (not that you need ask the wife permission to marry the husband but as a woman she had no business approaching my husband, she could have told me or had her husband ask) but in a shameful way by sending the letter directly to my husband. Again he brought up husnan thun and said that maybe she is from a society that intermingles. This woman has been in Saudi for 20 years! Even a kafir would never stoop so low as to send secret letters to a friends husband about another woman, so the whole cultural intermingling excuse did not fly with me. I asked him how he would feel if he were on the phone and I sent a note to his guest – even an innocent note saying, “please give your wife my greetings.” Would that be appropriate or would it be better if I asked my husband to tell him? It would even be better if I said it directly, but a private note!

I then pulled out the race card. I told him what I thought and what I think every time people disregard me in our marriage. I’m not saying that I am right, but I can’t help to think that they do this because I am black and they feel I am not worthy of a white man. I hate thinking that, but it is how I feel. I am not an insecure person and I am the last person to play the race card, if anything I sometimes can not relate to direct racism.

The conversation at the picnic, further validates my feelings. You see, this is a conformist society. They do not believe in individualism. Everything is group think. So if one man finds white/light women attractive in their mind all men prefer white/light women over black women. Not only that, but because she herself was a sought after white Arab married to a Afro-Arab, she knows first hand of the epidemic. So in their minds, the white man – the best of God’s Creation, should only naturally prefer someone his equal. Now, what reason or explanation they have for why my husband is married to me is beyond me, but it’s obvious that they think he needs saved or if they are trying to improve the life of someone they know it’s obvious that they think my husband does not care about me and would do anything to have a white/light woman.

Think about it. Many of these women would not have married a black man if they were not desparate and he was a meal ticket for them. So again, I wonder what benefit they see in my husband being married to me? Surely, I am not his meal ticket. My husband absolutely refuses for me to work! I even suggested that once all the children are in school I can get a job at one of the Universities and start saving for our old age, bi’ithnillah. He finally admitted that other than wanting his children properly cared for, and other than his male ego of being the provider, he secretly thought that having my own money would be a fitnah for me and that I would want to leave him! Who would have thought he was insecure about his blackie wife leaving him?! So he didn’t marry me for the money. Obviously, not for my beauty, because we all know that black women are ugly. Religion does not even enter in their minds and I’m not sure if they are aware of the stereotypical wanton behavior (myth) that black women carry, for that to factor into their thought process. Truth be told, they don’t think about why he is married to me, all they think about is how they can get him away from me!

I know there are many other women of all colors and nationalities who have had people be inconsiderate of them when it comes to polygyny and that perhaps I am wrong for assuming it is race related, but the proof is in the pudding. I have read trifling things other black women have done to get a black man. I know about the trophy white wives, being mistreated by their Arab husbands and their families. I know this croses all the color divides, but I can not shake the feeling that because he is white and I am black that they either feel that I don’t deserve him, he deserves better, or that if he will settle for a black woman than surely he will desire someone better.

Nuff said…