How to Deal with being a Secret Second Wife Q&A

Depression-loss_of_loved_oneQuestion: I am a second wife with a 2 years old baby and my husbands first and immediate family never know about me and our baby. My husband is living in his country with his first wife with their 3 children and i am living with my parents in my own country, we have four hours times difference and it is 8hours straight by plane. At first i accepted it because he always make an effort to call me in skype everyday. Long distance call every friday and he use to travel and come to me every 6-8 months of the year and spend his 15 days with us. He never failed to send us allowance every month and extra if i asked him to. He says it is only for the meantime because it is very hard for him to find a place for us to stay if ever he will bring me and our baby to his country. It is now my 3rd time spending ramadhan alone as i am the only revert muslim in my family. And in times like this, i honestly dont feel ok, his ramadhan schedule is different, he calls me over skype only every other day and in very short time too..i am not feeling happy the fact that i can imagine he is actually spending happy iftars and suhoors with his first wife and jealousy starts to eat my heart out, i feel hurt and i cannot concentrate in my fasting. I love my husband so much but i feel the need to let him go, let him stay forever with his first wife and live my life alone as a single mom.
I start to switch off my phone and not signing in in skype just to try to avoid him, the more i am not hearing his voice the more i am not missing him, the more im getting myself used to be being alone without him in my life. I am fed up from all his promises that he will bring us to his country sooner, i almost want to give up. What can i do? Do i have to divorce him? In what ground? Im afraid if i ever do that, i will not get my child rights. Please kindly advice.

Answer: Hello Destinedtobeapart,

I am sorry to hear of your situation. Sadly, I don’t really see it altering in the near or distant future. According to islam, you can make stipulations when you marry, add conditions, as long as these aren’t opposed to sharia law. A wife e.g. has a right to give up on some of her marital rights, like equal share of her husband’s time and money. If you did this, verbally or in writing, when you got married, it might be considered a part of your nuptial agreements, and your husband may never have planned on changing anything. That is very likely, the way I see it. Had he ever wanted to change your situation he would have done so when your child was born, especially since the child is a son.

According to most sunni scholars, secret marriages aren’t accepted at all. Were your represented by a wali? Did you have witnesses? Was your marriage made public? If not, most sunni muslims would not consider your marriage legal at all, and your husband is probably well aware. “Society has a share in marriage in the sense that people should know that both of you are married so that they do not suspect you of maintaining an illicit relationship. According to the teachings of Islam, we are under obligation to do whatever we can to safeguard our religion, honor, and dignity; and as such we should stay away not only from that which is considered as strictly haram or forbidden but also from all that is doubtful and dubious.”

Has your husband signed forms to officially assume fatherhood for your child?

Well anyway. As I see it you have a choice. You can either live with things as they are, and accept that he will never spend more time with you, probably less as time goes by. Or you can try to force his hand. You could contact his family and let them know of your existence, your and your child’s. You can contact an imam who can visit you next time your husband stays with you and the imam can tell your husband that you have an absolute right to be accepted publicly, and have an equal share of time and money.

This might lead to a divorce, as you probably understand. But maybe, you’re already thinking about leaving him? It sounds a bit like it in your post. But why stay single? Why not find somebody who actually deserves you, cherishes you?

Being a first wife, I find it a bit difficult to understand why anybody would go behind another woman’s back like this and marry her husband. Sorry. Especially a woman in the West, who is free to make her own choices. 😦

On a personal note I’d say: Girl, you are worth something better! Why sit around waiting for a man who has another family, one he obviously prefers to you? Why settle for being a fortnight-a-year-concubine to somebody who treats you like this?

Is this the kind of father you want your son to have as a role model?

This husband of yours only exists in your dreams, the way you imagine him. In real life, he’s not there.

Good luck!

62 thoughts on “How to Deal with being a Secret Second Wife Q&A

  1. I stand corrected. The age is right. I didn’t realize they married just 4 years ago! Anyway, my Google skills are slipping, I assumed she went by a pseudonym so never bothered with the name 😛 My bad. Okay it’s them. But….he isn’t Muslim? Never was? They don’t mention his father, only his mother, and Pakistan.

  2. I think that when the author, Michael Keller, says that Ifthikar is Pakistani, he means Pakistani and Muslim, and that despite his mother being Jewish, he grew up in a Muslim environment, and they live in a Pakistani Muslim neighborhood in NYC.

    However, as I’m sure you know, according to Jewish law, if the mother is Jewish, then he is Jewish. (I assume he can take the shahada and become Muslim in practice.) None of this really matters of course. But I do feel that single fact about his mother colors the story of their cross faith marriage quite a bit, and as much as Jenni has talked, and seemed totally out there, you’d think she would have mentioned it.

    The anonymous internet is one bizarre world.

  3. Her surname is Ahmed. I’m completely confused. The only explanation is this article is trying to obfuscate his being Muslim. But she never once said his mother is a Jewess, and in fact on the blog it sounded to me like dear MIL is your typical Pakistani Muslim MIL; a little TOO stereotypical for my taste, but whatever.

    Another inconsistency. She goes on about how she and her husband lived in a flat the size of a postage stamp when they first married, she worked 24/7 and invested money into hubby’s business while cousin co-wife sat on her ass in Pakistan, which was a big bone of contention, that she worked so hard and built her empire from nothing. Four years ago. Broke. WTF? Yet also said she inherited a shit-ton of $$$ from dear old dad BEFORE she married Mr. Pakistan. So which is it?

  4. Given her disdainful attitude over there a conspiracy theorist would think she actually hates muslims as she does try to rub their noses in it?

    Maybe thats it. She hates his muslim past, and muslim ex cousin wife and thats why shes on the blog. Any opportunity to put down muslim women in polygamy? While pretending to be one of them. Smart.

  5. @lifeisgood

    Im not trying to convince anyone here to believe me when i said i dont care about my husband’s family, i am living with my baby away from his family, he used to come and stay with us every other day, whenever he’s not with us, he always calls and check on us so what i want more? My family are all here now as well, so during occasions like Eids i am not really lonely as i have my father and family to celebrate special occasions too. And he celebrates Eid with his family only on the first day, at night of the first day until he finished his off he is staying with me.
    I want the benefits from his country for my baby not mine, my point here is that why deprived my baby for anything his children’s has?! Why? Just because im a secret second wife doesnt mean my baby doesnt have any right for us specially to the father the way, i never met my husband through online, those days when we first met, there’s no such thing as facebook, instagram or twitter..or whatever online dating site. It’s not my plan to be like my sister too..see? When i went to my home country he followed me and married me, how was that?! Letting him marry me is not by force, nobody force him to do that, that alone is the proof that he really loves me because if he don’t then i will not be where i am right now.
    He makes us secret from his family because he is trying to protect us from them, the more they know about me and our baby, the more they can make problems between us that may result in separation.
    His family knows he have me and our baby, they just cannot accept it, thats why he have to keep us away from i think that is not “secret” anymore..

  6. I can see that you are worried, and I understand. Especially regarding your baby. But, why did you agree to the secrecy in the first place? Was there no other alternative?

  7. According to the taxi business information, they started it together in 2009. She has college age children and a divorce behind her as well as her having moved to one of the most expensive cities in the country. That probably sucked up a LOT of money.
    Jews claim religion is inherited through the mother, muslims through the father. (Christians through whoever can dunk you in the water first, lol 😉 ) So it’s very possible that he’s “both.” His mother being jewish would explain why a jewish woman would be willing to marry outside her religion. As far as she’s concerned, he’s Jewish.

  8. I can see that but:
    1. Jenny has made it extremely clear that MIL is Muslim, in fact as I said, has painted a portrait of the stereotypical South Asian MIL. Not once has she even hinted around at the fact that her MIL is a Jewess. I’m wondering if this article is making this up, or if Jenny told them this story to avoid issues in her Jewish community?

    2. She has said repeatedly her husband is Muslim. Jenny herself converted briefly to Islam and was posting on the blog early on as a Muslim.

    IDK, something’s weird there.

  9. Unchained,

    The only sensible explanation is her and husband are both jewish.

    No man that calls himself muslim would be comfortable raising his kids strictly jewish. Never. Even a non practising muslim man would Never give his kids jewish names, education like they have.

    That tells me he does not consider himself muslim.

    Second, I dont think she would marry a muslim. Period. She seems to dislike it alot.

    So, why is she on the blog? Jewish woman married to jewish man who has an ex cousin muslim wife. I gathet his father was prob muslim and as soon as he could escape Pakistan he did. Escaped pakistan and islam.

    She lies to fit in there. In reality her situation is very different.

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