We have all experienced it to some level whether directly or indirectly, some have taken a part in it, many will come to know of it in the future and very few (too few) will go through life never having to contend with it. We fear it; thoughts of it are sickening to the core and defile our hope in it never surfacing. In fleeting moments that we labour to suppress, we allow ourselves to ponder the possibility and what our reaction would be were it to happen to us.
This is how it happens.
You meet someone who you grow to love. They give you what you can never achieve as a lone person, the warmth and security of being loved. None who have known real love can deny the quiet assurance that comes with knowing that you have a witness to your life, an ally when life gets tough and someone who believes in all your exploits when others don’t. Gradually you open up your entire life and soul to them, you share an intimacy that manifests in the physical and beyond. This assurance leads to the unavoidable state of comfort and trust in the relationship, affirming the decision to trust with the notion of, who would deny themselves the novelty when it is so rare? So you carry on in the fallacy of bliss, not ever wanting to believe that this love is, in any way tarnished by the loins of an unsatisfied spouse or the inequity of a lonely soul. So we exist in this way, some for weeks, months even years.
With no fore warning or invitation, the unthinkable happens. We learn the crippling truth. Suddenly with one unpredictable event we stumble on the evidence of the infidelity that we so fervently push from our suspicious minds. In one breath taking moment the hope we held on to so dearly is undone, and we are faced with the flood of all the signs we ignored and explained away. In a single second the plethora of telling moments, from the touch that changed, the love making that lost its heat, the extra seconds spent attending to texts at the dinner table, the wondering eyes, the unfamiliar scent on the clothes, the admiration that ran its course, the weight gain, and the lost respect all race vividly in the mind.
The desolation and pain that results is more profound than one can describe in words. It is at this phase where turmoil consumes us and all attempts to reason with the adulterer or rationalize the act only culminate in rage! This is the rage that drives vengeance; the kind of vengeance that transcends physical violence, for this vengeance is the kind that has to do with a deep internal resolve. In the resolve of “never again” we vow to never open the door to love, whore ourselves with the ultimate level of obscenity as if to defeat the pain and fury, even the one who deceived us. That resolve gives rise to a phenomenon where prostitution thrives, porn becomes a thrilling escape and worse of all cheating/adultery a regular occurrence.
How is this related to polygamy?
Polygamy is defined as “the custom or practice of having more than one wife at the same time”. The obvious similarity between cheating or adultery and polygamy is seeing more than one person at the same time. The major difference, aside from participants in polygamy being aware of the other wives involved, is the fact that polygamy is legitimised by religion and culture. According to the Quran for example, males are permitted to marry to up to 4 wives (The Women 4:3). While there is no specific law explicitly relating to polygamy in the Bible, Solomon was favoured by God wives and all (1 Kings 11, 1-6).
If the concept of cheating or adultery is so utterly despicable, how is it that polygamy is somehow more acceptable? Would cheating/adultery be somehow purified simply by it being practiced honestly? More importantly how is polygamy born, does it not have its roots in the treachery that is now our way of life? With so many of the opinion and even declaring “if he is gonna cheat I would rather know” and the cheating/adultery that takes place, surely we are all polygamists and have just yet to come to admit to it?
Hypocrisy clouds our judgement and stupidity is our crutch. As a society we are so quick to take the moral high ground by sneering at and casting judgement at the thought and practice of polyandry (which is practiced among the Bari people in Venezuela, Eskimos and parts of Asia) , yet many willingly and knowingly partake in “sugar daddy trends”. The truth is that we already accept the practice (polyandry) and yet again are hiding behind the false sense of morality that holds us back from admitting to it.
In essence we share our private parts with mere strangers, but won’t share toothbrushes?! We convince ourselves that cheating/adultery is filthy, yet we accept polygamy?! The lies we tell ourselves are our freedom and our prison.
Written by: Zama Mzulwini from SensAttude