I knew a second chance with Bashir would be pretty much impossible in light of the fact that he was now married to someone else. Having a chance to be a better wife to him would essentially mean remarrying him, and I have to admit I had already done so much work on becoming independent of him I was not exactly eager to thrust myself back into such a big commitment. Not only that, but unless he divorced his new wife for me, remarrying Bashir would mean I would be coming to him as a second wife in polygamy. Very few women willingly choose to be polygamous, and I certainly was not one of them.
Allah knows best what we need, all the time. He plans our life perfectly, and nothing He does is a mistake. Allah takes our folly and creates purpose, and fashions strength from weakness. Sometimes, he breaks the proud to create a beautiful humility.
So when it came out that my iddah with Bashir never completed, and that we were essentially already still married, all the shattered pieces of my being re-assembled strictly to be ground again to a pulp.
That’s right. Bashir and I never completed our divorce. That’s right. I was now in polygamy, whether I liked it or not.
For those of you who want the details, it went like this: I went a little crazy. I bled all my insanity out to Bashir, with no regard to the fact that it was his honeymoon. That was bad of me to do, and so poor Bashir was now in the position to try to clean up a mess he had partially created (we won’t get into why or how, that’s really irrelevant at this point). He contacted an imam and the first question he asked -to my surprise- was whether our divorce was valid, and cited a technicality which might have been the reason it was invalid. The imam confirmed that the iddah did not complete because of that technicality. BOOM.
Bashir clearly told me right then and there that he would absolutely not give me a divorce again, even if I begged for it. He was not going to let me go twice, when he didn’t even want to let me go the first time. So being with him, remaining with him in marriage, was no longer a choice. And at that point, things were getting so upside down I was terrified to fool with any more big changes.
The second question was asking advice what to do with his new wife. He was advised to tell her everything and give her the choice, and he did. She decided she wanted to remain married to him as well. BOOM.
Two realities that were at once shackles on my wrists and demolitions of any walls or defenses I could’ve possibly had. This was Allah’s will for me, and there was nothing I could or was willing to try to do about it. It was as though the blows grabbed my nafs by its scruff and forced it to prostrate and recognize the power of Allah to do anything He likes with me. All this time Allah knew I thought I was walking away, but in reality I was going nowhere. I never went anywhere as far as being apart from Bashir. We were linked in marriage in Allah’s sight the whole time, and everything else that took place He allowed in His perfect wisdom as well. This was meant to be for all of us.
But that’s the thing, it wasn’t just me that was getting this supernatural shakeup. Bashir’s new bride, who I will call Coco (short for co-wife), was thrown for a loop as well. She came down to marry a man she had never even met face to face before, thinking they were going to be monogamous ever after. She wasn’t planning on getting into polygamy either, and has said that if she had known she wouldn’t have given him the time of day. Even though she had experience with polygamy, this was not her dream come true.
And Bashir, he never wanted polygamy either. He married Coco thinking they were going to live happily ever after. My recent dealings with him had been crystal clear to that effect, and he and I were both convinced we were divorced. I’m not sure what convicted him to ask the imam about that technicality, but Allah knows best. He was not ready to take on two wives, but he was going to have to whether he liked it or not.
Could it be that Allah was correcting the flaws in all of us but putting us into this press? Were the issues I had with Bashir before finding their remedy by him being thrust into a position of having to be twice as responsible a husband? Yes, I think that’s what exactly happened.
And so the three of us began this new polygamous journey, wide-eyed, wounded, frightened and scarred.
….to be continued…