Is a Polygamous Husband a Different Husband to Every Wife? Q&A

ThreeringsWhen my husband told me he had taken a second “wife” I was shocked and devastated. One of the things that appalled me was that the other girl was so young – younger than our daughter even. I was also totally gobsmacked by the kind of girl he had chosen, a girl with no education, no intellectual interests or abilities, no artistic talent – nothing. She was the opposite of everything my husband thitherto had shown a liking to in women. So, he chose two extremely different women, two different kinds of marriage.

The question I have been asking myself is, has he also been two different husbands?

I know he set out to be just and equal in his treatment of us, but that has turned out IRL to be far from the case! Yesterday, I received this question:


 …interestingly, while he may have let his respect for democracy, human rights and equality overcome his cultural influences where YOU and your situation is concerned, he has not done the same where his 2nd marriage is concerned. For her and their marriage he has no respect for democracy, human rights and equality and is allowing his cultural influences to totally dictate how he treats her – or should I say mistreats her! Almost everything you are ranting against in other men’s behavior concerning polygamy on this blog, YOUR husband is doing to his 2nd wife.

Does that not cause you some concern about the man he really is? There is NO kind of moderate Islam-based religion of liberalism and equality being shown in their marriage!

The observation is quite correct. So, today I asked my husband: Are you the same husband to me that you are to her? Are you the same husband to her that you are to me?

Answer: No I am definitely not! I have always done my best to share my time and money equally. I think I have managed to do that. But I have never loved you equally and Allah has told us that he understands that and forgives it. I have been very infatuated with my second wife, a feeling I could not share equally. I loved you more than her, and that has not been equal either. These are matters of the heart and beyond my control. I courted her as my new wife, while I was feeling bad and frustrated around you because I felt guilty and you were in such pain.

With you I have felt like an equal, or sometimes like an underdog. With her, I am the head and she looks up to me. Ok I admit – I love being admired. She made me feel strong and manly. With you, I feel proud to have a wife like you, I know you so well I trust you.

And I treat you differently.

I suppose in a way, you both get the husband you want. She never wanted respect, equality or anything like it! She wanted a strong husband and protector, a provider. With you I always try to treat you like a partner, a friend, lover and companion. I want you to love me. With her, I treat her like somebody who needs protection, guidance and comforting. I want her to respect me and need me.

I am never the same husband to you that I am to her, I have never been. I never wanted to be. And as I see it, it’s because you have different needs, and you are fulfilling different needs of mine. So I really am just trying to be just.

I think my husband found the question very uncomfortable. Methinks the man doth protest too much.. I need to think about this a bit and I will definitely talk some more about it with my first husband. Right now however, I need to get back to Graham.


11 thoughts on “Is a Polygamous Husband a Different Husband to Every Wife? Q&A

  1. HHmm, I wonder if #2 feels he is meeting her needs and that she has the husband she wants and is being treated fairly and justly! I would really love to hear her opinion on this matter. I suspect we would hear quite a different tale!

    I do understand that 2 wives would be different, that their needs are different and thus the marriages and relationships would also be different. But sorry – I think he is doing a whole lot of rationalizing to make himself feel better about what he has done to this young girl! Quite frankly he sounds like some of your Muslim male commentators – she is getting what she wants and what she needs, this arrangement, is for her own good, I know what is best for her because I am the man in charge of her, etc. etc

    What need is fulfilling of hers when he lies to her about his inability to have children and lets her think something is wrong with her? What need of her is being fulfilled as she lives a lonely and secluded life locked up with his Aunt and kept from making friends and acquaintances? I am guessing she probably does need a lot of comforting right now given her horrible situation. I also have a hard time believing she does not desire respect. But its clear he is not giving her any at all.

    It sounds like to me – he is fulfilling his needs – his different needs that you don’t fulfill, more than he is fulfilling her needs that are different than yours! I do really wonder if he truly believes he is being just with her! I honestly do not see very much just or fair treatment – do you?

    He SHOULD feel very uncomfortable with the questions and even more uncomfortable with his treatment of her!

  2. My husband told me I would never to be sad when he married again because he will always love me more and I am his special wife. It has be very painful and polygamy needs much patience but I have good husband and he makes me feel much loved when he with me. First time he wanted me to go with her and we would know eachother and have a familyout it was very painful and I was early to her home I was so nervos. She was very kind and also nervos and sweet. We sat in kitchen and talk when husband came home and she ran to meet him. I could hear him kiss her and say how he love and miss her and he say You are my special girl just like he says to me. I think I could die from pain. He was very sad when he know I hear that he say the same thing. I had thinking he was special with me and I was special but he was same with her and not special with me.

  3. I am sorry for you sister. Your husband didnt want you to hear this and didn’t want you to hurt. He was sad he hurt you. Think that sister. We are special to our husbands but sometimes men can be different and not understand how important are words and our feelings how we think about what they say. Does not mean you are not special.

  4. Salam,
    I being a muslim woman,still do not understand why a man would just get married to a second wife,and why a woman if she is finically stable would stay.Please can someone reasons men do this,cause my husbands says it is because the man does not love his first wife,but he does not want to lose the comfort he got use to ,but wants the sextually attractive from some where else.However,i wonder would men who get married to second wife’s cheat if polygamy was not allowed. Am not trying to hurt the sister who is going through this,but it might be important inorder to have closure ,one way or another.


  5. I am sorry. I understand how much that must have hurt! At least you seem to have a husband who understands your pain and is trying to minimize it. We all want to be special. We all want to be loved and cherished in a special way. This is natural. And this is why forced polygyny is unnatural. I hate it when I find e-mails my husband has sent to his #2 and I see that he writes the same kind of loving things to her that he says to me. I find it very difficult to accept that he has strong feelings towards her too. The funny thing is that I KNOW that I love both my husbands very much, but I still find it difficult to accept that my husband can do the same… So in a way I can understand why men find it so difficult to understand why their wives can’t accept that they love two women. The thing is, if these men had to live with sharing their wives, they would very quickly realize what it’s about! I hope you feel better now, and that you can find comfort in the love you husband obviously feels for you.

  6. Salam

    I married my second wife not because I was tired of my first wife. I love my first wife and she is very attractive and I will always find her attractive. I married second wife because polygamy was always what I wanted and I told first wife when I asked her to marry me that it is my calling to try polygamy inshallah. Maybe is the nature of some men. I do not want or love my first wife less she is a wonderful woman the best any man could wish. Alhamdulillah

  7. @Dh,
    The difference here ,his you at least told your wife before you married her,so she had the choice to stay or leave.Many men do not let their wife know,i fact they (wives)don’t find out until the 2nd wife has a child or so. One question DH,did you sit down to think what your wife is feeling ,even though she might not let you know.As a woman ,having your beloved husband with another woman will knock the sense out of you,am sure you would agree if your wife said she loves you and will stay with you ,but loves another man,she is not doing anything Haram ,but wouldn’t that hurt the same.I am arguing that polygamy is halal,but am just saying if it will destroy the family one has than why even bother,unless you really do not care about the first wife’s feelings.


  8. Salam,Dh

    Really you are saying am being selfish.Ok as a wife ,I clean ,cook,have babies,by the way that hurts a lot ,and not to add to the fact it dramatically changes your body.So you are telling me ,after all that I sacrifice for my husband,it would be just fine with if he wants to take nother new wife,because he just happen to find her attractive Too.Listen buddy it is men,who are ungrateful creatures,women are not the ones looking around around after someone has done all that for us. But you know what,I have no problem being selfish when it comes to my rights and happiness,why men do it all the time.By the way its your wife ,that gets half of everything,and you get double of it, who is selfish here my brother.

  9. Salam,BF

    Habibti You are allowed to speak like this and even worse,women are the ones that do not do it.Am not encourage ,however,if a woman is a afraid for her safety to speak so frankly ,but if there will be no physical harm than by all means scream and freak out.I was have raised in house hold that ,the only way to get your way was to argue your points,so I might be killed if I go to places like Saudi Arabia.Any how ,my poor husband knows when I do not like something,and when I do.

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