It’s a common known fact by those who are close to me that I have a deep obsession with Lion king and more specifically Lions, today I discovered that the reason I am obsessed with Lions is because in a sub conscious way, it symbolizes polygamy in my mind. As I had this epiphany and shared it with the people around me many of them shuddered at the thought of being in my “situation.” What amazed me about this revelation is that I have always been against Polygamy and now making the positive connection between my family living and that of my obsessions with lions showed me that I am not really against this family setting at all.
To give those who don’t know or don’t understand how polygamy works it is where one man has more than one wife, in my situation which is governed by the law of Islam a man is given the limitation of up to four wives. My father has had seven wives in his lifetime but never more than four at the same time and currently is remaining with two. He has a program, he visits each house every single day and rotates the houses in which he sleeps and eats dinner in. I have a step mother and half siblings that are all important factions of my life, just as important as my “blood siblings.”
Why I was previously against this family setting I haven’t properly analysed and gotten to the root but what seems the most probable reason is the fact that I would see the way my colleagues live and often feel that “something was missing.” Seeing them, hearing them talk about having dinner every single night with their fathers made me feel that this was the way it was supposed to be and the way I had it was “abnormal.” Going even deeper into the root of my previous inclinations on the matter was the reaction I received once I shared this fact with other people. “How can you share your father?” “Do fight with your step siblings?” “Does your father love one wife more than he loves the other?” “Do your mothers fight?” Partnered with looks of either disgust or pity these are the reactions and questions that I have encountered my whole life.
To say that living in a polygamous family doesn’t come without its challenges is a plain lie, but then again which family setting even the most “conventional” ones don’t come with challenges? I say that the conventional setting of one wife and one husband has its challenges because of the fact that although we would like to believe that finding a happy ending is only a matter of time after you’ve gotten married it is never that simple. Sharing your whole and complete life with another human being is no easy task even if you love this person and this person is your reason for living. The same problems that plague polygamous families of such as managing expenses, boredom, frustrations, in-laws, exes etc are all relevant in the lives of those who have conventional families.
The question that disturbs many people about this situation is that of why should a man have more than one wife be acceptable while a woman having more than one husband is not acceptable. For me it is simple a man is better placed to manage the situation better than a woman; that is, emotionally, sexually, economically and physically. Furthermore men majority of the time even those who are “faithfully” married normally -especially in this ever growing immoral society- have a mistress in a dark corner somewhere. Doesn’t it make sense to the wife to be open to her husband making it more official? So as to avoid the sleepless nights knowing where he is and questioning where a chunk of his salary went to? It makes sense to me.
What resonates with me in relation to the lions and the polygamous family is that the fundamentals are exactly the same. The lion, the head of the pride is no different from my father in their roles of leading the family and ensuring that everyone is taken care of. The lionesses that look after their head of the pack his offspring are no different from my step mother and my mother in their strength. I think this is where my love for lions comes from. My mothers do suffer sharing their husband as this is the way that females were built as well as the influence that society plays, this is an obvious fact but they are brave in letting their husbands openly share his life with another woman. For this reason I admire them more than mere words will ever be able to express. The lionesses look after cubs that are not their own as their own the same way my mothers do.
As with every kind of marriage it can only work if the people engaged in that marriage are in agreement about things and have a general understanding about how things are going to work. Marriage is a choice, so is polygamy. It’s that simple. People often ask me having been raised in this situation whether I would permit my husband to marry a second wife or to be married as a second wife? If a clear set of rules was set up as to how the whole thing would work the way it is with the lions, I can’t say that I would completely be opposed to the idea as I have witnessed the benefits. Let me be clear, this is very different from having a boyfriend that has more than one girlfriend let us be sure. So Macharia, do not get any funny ideas.