This is the second post by Sister H in our Polygyny Series following on from her first: What would you want to know?
Sexual Reality of a First Wife
Regardless of how you enter into polygyny, the fact is that once you are there, there are going to be adjustments, and lots of them for any first wife. The one which most people have the biggest problem accepting and getting accustomed to is that your husband’s body no longer belongs to only you, and that you are no longer the only woman who he is sexually intimate with. There are many psychological issues which go along with this, but those are obvious, and every woman copes with them differently. This post is not about those. Rather, today we are going to discuss some of the less openly talked about realities which accompany this transition from a monogamous to polygynous marriage.
More likely that not, a first wife is going to notice a change in her husband’s sexual behaviour once he takes on another wife. He may do things which he has never done before, or even encourage his first wife to try something new. How would you embrace this change?
A husband’s body odour is likely to be different when he comes to you from his other wife’s home. A first wife may be used to him using certain products which she likes (deodorant, body milk, perfume, etc.), however he is obliged to adorn himself and please all of his other wives too. It can happen that another wife enjoys different masculine scents on him to those which you do, so he uses what she likes, and after having showered, dressed and left at hers in the morning, and then come over to yours in the evening, he will smell different to what you are used to. Not only that, but it is possible that what she likes him to smell like is an odour which you cannot stand. How would you deal with that?
Another wife embracing a shared husband means that he may also carry traces of her body odour and perfume on his clothes. She may use different skin care and cosmetic products to you, making it very obvious that he’s coming in from hers, however, it is also possible that she may use the same products which you do. In either case, how would you handle smelling her on him?
Many first wives worry about STD’s, and rightly so. If your husband was kind enough to inform you of his desire or plan to remarry, and you request that the sister coming in get tested for all STD’s, then it is only natural to expect that she would also ask for your husband to get tested as well. But what if she requests that you, the first wife, get tested? Would you be willing to do that? Do you think that his test results speak for you as well, as if you had anything it would show up on his. And him being clean automatically means that you are clean also?
What if your hubby only informed you that your marriage is polygynous after the fact, and no testing was done, or he refuses to tell you if any testing was done. What would your reaction be?
There is one particular STD which is not checked along with the others, and that is HPV. Cervical cancer is caused by HPV. Anyone who gets cervical cancer, got it because they caught some strain of HPV. On the flip side, not every woman with HPV will get cervical cancer, as not all strains of HPV cause it. As men don’t have cervices, HPV does not adversely affect them (unless they engage in oral sex with someone infected, in which case some strains can cause some types of oral cancers). This means that men can be silent carriers of HPV and catch it from one woman and then pass it on to another, without it every affecting them. HPV is something which, you may want to look into requesting be checked out before a new marriage contract occurs, however bear in mind that not all women are aware of HPV or know that it can cause cervical cancer. However, there may be some people out there who would not be willing to go through invasive testing for this just to appease a first wife. Be aware of this and think about how you’d deal with it if this was to be the cause for you.
Lastly, be aware that it happens within many polygynous marriages that the first wife goes through a series of candida and bacterial vaginosis infections after her husband consummates his marriage with another wife. We all have healthy bacteria living within us, however we are all different, therefore don’t all have the same things. When you husband starts sharing fluids with another woman, and then shares his fluids with you, he is introducing some of the natural bacteria found in that woman’s body, to yours. Some first wive’s bodies have no adverse reactions to this, however many do, and they keep on getting feminine infections for weeks or months as their bodies get used to and adjust to this woman’s bacteria into their system. Though usually a temporary adjustment, it rarely but can happen that such changes become a permanent issue for some fist wives. Additionally, it is normal for women to get an increased number of yeast infections whilst pregnant. If a co-wife is pregnant, then chances are that you may be going through and experiencing each and every one of those infections along with her. Prepare yourself for it!
Ma Shaa Allah excellent post and alot for women to think about … for me i place my trust in allah….and whatever happens is the qadar of allah … even if you go through the list and do all the checks before hand … it is the qadar of allah as to what will happen after that