The grass is always greener


Some men just want more. And when they do get it, it’s not at all what they had expected. My friend Yaseen is currently facing such a dilemma. One that he himself created over a year ago. You see Yaseen is a married man...but now he has two wives!

Some time ago, Yaseen, a married man with four children, decided that there was some element missing from his life. After some soul searching, he came to the conclusion that the fulfillment he was yearning for would only be satisfied by the addition of another partner. He claimed that he had met someone who elevated his spirits to the wild blue yonder

At the time, he bounced this idea back and forth among his friends. Most were encouraging, although surprisingly enough, none within that close-knit group had been married twice. Yaseen was to be the point man in the fulfillment of their fantasies. Their encouragement was very evident then, as long as they did not have to make the first move.

At the time, I cautioned him. This was not like buying a car or a stereo. This was a commitment for life. There was a wife and children to think about, children alive and others yet to be born. It was indeed a serious matter that one should not decide on a whim. Even though he kept telling me that his wife quietly agreed with his decision to re-marry, I urged him not to believe it. A woman’s vanity historically can turn into fire and scorn that can cut through stone.

Well into middle age, Yaseen felt reassured enough by his peers to test the waters of matrimony all over again. The first step was to find a convincing approach to the young woman’s parents. That was not so easy a task, as his marketable skills were severely burdened by the inclusion of a wife and four children. He had announced that they were to remain an active part of his life. This was not the case of someone marrying again to break away from the present situation.

After several approaches where he was turned down time and again, Yaseen was finally by the family although very reluctantly. It was through the insistence and incessant demands of the young woman that her family finally gave in. The family had a social status that they felt would be severely impaired by the addition of this kind of a son-in-law. The marriage celebration would be a very low-key and private affair.

With the passage of time, those initial euphoric days of song and dance became less and less frequent. A year into his new marriage, and Yaseen has now had enough time to reflect on his judgment. He has had a child born by his first wife and another one from his new union within this period.

When I ran into him recently I asked him how life had changed. Well, to begin with, he was no closer to his new wife’s family than before. Their acceptance of him was still no warmer than before. They remained distant and aloof, and only showed signs of excitement around their married daughter when he was not around.

His first wife, who had been outwardly agreeable to his marriage, was now bitter and full of venom. His children were resentful of their father’s broken presence at home, sensing desertion. His second wife, who was initially gracious in allowing him to spend more time with his first family, had begun to be increasingly demanding.

He puts in longer hours at work, avoiding the increasing conflicts that have become a part of his life. He looked haggard and puzzled, and asked me where the fantasy had gone wrong. It was, and should have remained, but a fantasy, I answered gently.

— The author can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena