How can I Compensate my First Wife for Becoming Polygamous? Q&A

ThreeringsQuestion: Dear Fiona


Thank you for allowing men too on your website. I have looked many times for blogs for men but I haven’t found any welcoming places where all views are welcome.

I want to ask a question and I know many of you will be angry with me and it is allright I can understand but I still need advice.

I married a second wife a little over a year ago. My first wife was very upset and sad but she accepted it finally because I explained how important it was to me to have a large family and I promised I would never love her less. I don’t love her less, I love her more. But the reality is that two families takes a lot of time. I have not been able to keep all my promises to my first wife. I promised I would never take time from her half and give to second but I have had to do that many times because I little daughter has a hear condition and is often ill and in hospital and our son is too young to be alone. My children by my first wife are all healthy. So I have been spending a lot more time with my second wife and family. Now my first wife has stopped complaining about it and that makes me nervous. I am afraid she will stop loving me because I can not give her her time and maybe she believes I love my second wife more. The truth is that all the time I have to spend with my second family makes me love and miss my first wife more. My first wife is definitely my favorite and I am very afraid of losing her.

All you women with experience of us men and our shortcomings, how can I compensate my wife? How can I make her feel better and how can I pay her back for her patience? What would be a woman’s secret wish? I would do anything except leave my second family because I love them very much and my children need me.

Thank you very much, Peace


Dear OP,

Why not ask her? There’s usually nothing a wife appreciates more than honesty from her husband. Tell her what you have said here. That you know you have let her down, that you know that you haven’t been able to be fair, that you love her very much. That she is your favourite. Ask her if there is anything you can do.

To be perfectly frank with you, you must be prepared for an unwelcome answer. She might say that the only thing you can give her that she really wants is a divorce. Should that be the case, you must give it to her. You can’t force a woman to live with a polygamous husband unless it’s her free choice.

Maybe that’s the best thing you can give her. Her freedom. Might be the best thing for the sick child too. Why should her mother be alone with all that responsibility while you are off making love to your first wife, trying to compensate her for spending too much time with your sick child?

I know I’m being harsh, but you asked for my opinion. This is it.

Maybe somebody else has better advice to offer?

18 thoughts on “How can I Compensate my First Wife for Becoming Polygamous? Q&A

  1. Women take great Pains to carry out their relationship. Her Brain, Heart and Soul has accepted so hard to become one’s woman that she doesn’t ever want to belong to another man and so has heaps of Expectations and hopes from her man and relationship they share.
    A woman stops complaining only when she gives up all hopes in that relationship as her love repeatedly receives wounds, she packs the suitcase in her Heart, buys the ticket in her Mind and even if her body stands there she has already gone off the relationship. Actually need not to be afraid of a woman’s quarrels and complains because her departure is silent and noble. It basically proves that there’s nothing left from her side to sustain and nurture your relationship.
    Undoubtedly talking to her about it all is the easiest option for you but trusting words of a polygamous Husband when your actions reveal something different after you let her down and that too by choice is one of the toughest things for your wife….. So be prepared to face the answer!!

  2. Yes, as long as there is screaming and crying there is hope. Silence is another matter. So young and so wise, Succesfull! 🙂

  3. Dear OP:
    You said the following things:
    “I am afraid she will stop loving me …My first wife is definitely my favorite and I am very afraid of losing her….how can I compensate my wife? … I would do anything except leave my second family…”

    It sounds like your anxieties concern your own losses, which losing your first wife would amount to. I am quite sure that she once assumed she would be your wife, not your “favorite.” So whatever positive virtue that word holds for you, I imagine she views it differently. I doubt that when your wife married you, she expected to be “compensated.” So I think that your attempt to add weight onto her side of the scale is mainly to lighten your own load, not to enlighten hers.

    I can understand that you are not willing to leave a wife and children, and I imagine that such a moral and physical abandonment would only add to your first wife’s problems at this point in time.

    I don’t think that there is anything you can do to address your first wife’s needs at this time, because everything you write conveys to me that you are still trying to get your own needs met.

    Go to your wife and ask her what she needs. If she needs her freedom, give it to her. But that offer will have no meaning unless you’ve accepted it as a potential consequence of your choices as a mature adult man.

  4. The second marriage was a little over a year ago but already there are 2 small children? Unless they are twins, this doesn’t make sense?

  5. I think also your wife is not just hurting for herself, but she will also be hurting because her children are not being treated fairly by you. She must feel like you have betrayed her and the children you have with her. That must be terribly painful. I think her heart is becoming cold to you and when that happens it almost impossible to turn around. I really wish more men would think about these consequences before going into polygamy. For some reason they seem to think the first marriage won’t change. I don’t think you can make it up to her, your best hope is with time she will suffer less and tolerate you, but I think you have lost the marriage you used to have with her. The inherent problem with polygamy, what was the point of having a second family if you destroy the first in the process? It may not end in divorce but you have destroyed what you had.

  6. Michelle I know I have lost the marriage I had with her our marriage is something different now and it is very difficult for me to watch the unhappiness of my first wife. I feel trapped because I keep hurting her because I am with my other family and even when I am with my first wife because she knows I will be thinking about my other children and my second wife. So I hurt her when I am with her and I hurt her when I am away. It’s a trap. And my second wife hurts too. As you probably understood I had zina with my second wife before we married because we fell in love and I wanted to have a halal relationship and I wanted many children and naturally I wanted them to be legitimate. So I have betrayed my first wife very badly.
    I was afraid I would get these answers but I also knew this would be the answer and I did as you suggested and offered my wife talaq. She accepted. I am very depressed now and I haven’t decided yet how to get my life together. I haven’t told my second wife but she knows something happened since I have stopped going to my first wife. I don’t want to talk to her about it because I hope my first wife will have a change of heart and we can find a solution. If you could find it in your heart to make dua for me I would be grateful.

  7. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your first wife who lost her marriage to your selfishness. I’m sorry for your children who have been deprived of a stable home with a mum and dad. I’m sorry for you too. Have you read my post about the honey trap? Islamic polygyny is a curse on men too!

  8. @ ossian
    I am sorry for your First wife and children from your First marriage. You stated first wife is your favorite and you can do anything for her other than leaving second family because you love them very much and your children need them…
    But I don’t think that you love your first wife and children from her that much as you do in your second marriage and their being healthy no way justifies your feelings.
    Do you think children from #1 doesn’t need you but its ok with you but its not the same for you with #2. Do you have any idea your wife stayed after your betrayal firstly as a Husband and then as a person how much she must have loved you?? You can lose your 1st marriage but not 2nd even though the main problem has been raised from #2. It clearly gives a glance about how are you as a person and how your 1st wife is as a person and undoubtedly morals of your #2 wife as gathered from your situation. I can bet and even in your Heart you must be knowing no matter what you do no one else can love you more and the way your First wife loved you. But you have chosen to provide for your second marriage and yourself at the cost of first marriage and then destroying your first marriage to protect your second marriage. Its truly by choice because you can do otherwise also.
    Surely you don’t deserve a woman of such morals when your priority is to provide for W*ores.
    You would surely regret it later.

    Imagine for a moment if you would have done with your #2 what you did with your #1, whether she would have stayed for you, loved you and served you the way your First wife did.??
    At the moment you have no idea what you have lost at that too to gain what everyone and anyone can gain anytime because world is overpopulated with people like your #2 but people like your #1 are rarely found!!! I think this decision reveals your height of Bad luck that you will realise later..
    Sorry can’t feel sorry for you!!

  9. I’m so sad reading this. Why should your first wife and children be the ones to live with divorce? Just because those children are healthy, they still need their father as much as your other two children. Beg your first wife to take you back, promise her it will be 50/50 everything from now on, mean it, and then tell your second wife if SHE doesnt’t like it she can have a divorce?

    It was you and your second wife who did wrong, but you expected your wife to pay the price for it by forcing her into polygamy and now divorce. I just can’t believe how cruel you have been to your first wife.

    How can you even trust your second wife? What if she “falls in love” with someone else? How do you know she won’t commit zina with someone else, she did it with you?

    Ossian, I didn’t advise you to offer her your first wife a divorce. I think this may be the biggest mistake you have made. By offering her a divorce is like saying, if I have to choose I choose the second wife. Offering her a divorce is like saying you can live without her. And this is probably what your second wife wanted all along although she will deny that.

    Actually I do think you need to say to your second wife that you have to split your time 50/50 and if SHE is not happy with that she can have a divorce?

    I’m sure your second wife has some other support people around her to help when you are not there. Can’t they hep babysit your younger child? I think your second wife has been playing games with you, maybe she has wanted you to divorce the first all along.

    If you want your first wife back, do some hard work. Tell her from today everything will change. Time will be split 50/50 and then Stick with it. Tell her everything you have written here. I guarantee you she is feeling sick, unloved, her confidence will be ruined. You are meant to protect her, but you have destroyed her. Tell her you can’t live without her. But you have to change. And your second wife has to accept that too. You have to stand up and manage these 2 families equally.

    I actually do feel sorry for you now because you have learnt the hard way that polygamy is not to be taken lightly and definitely not to be used to make an affair halal. And if you are a practising man then you also know the punishments you may get for the zina and the unfair treatment of your wives.

    Your first wife needs to be treated like a princess by you, dont’t stop telling her how important she is, Tell her how much you love her. Tell her you really regret all the mistakes and if you could turn time back you would never have made the same mistakes. Work to get her love, trust and respect back. Offering her a divorce just makes it all worse. That’s how I would feel anyone if I was in her situation.

    I will make dua for you all because it’s such a sad situation that could have been avoided and at least you seem to recognise your mistakes. Your only hope is to give your first family half of your time and if your second wife complains and uses the sick child to get more time, be strong, you chose polygamy so live up to your responsibilities.

  10. Do you understand the impact on the children when their mothers are depressed? Women talk about not being able to move, being physically paralysed through intense hurt that becomes physical, they can’t concentrate, they can’t cook or function properly, thye feel they are going crazy with grief, they can’t think or talk properly. How can someone in that condition give your children nurturing, love, happiness, laughter?

    One of your reasons for polygamy was because you wanted alot of children. Maybe it’s about quality not quantity? Instead of wanting lots of children being raised in awfully depressing situations, maybe fewer children raised in a loving, happy family home would have been more rewarding for you?

    Ossian, as a practising man you know on the Day of Judgement you will not be asked HOW MANY wives or children you had. But you will be asked HOW YOU TREATED the ones you did have.

    Maybe make amends as well by advising other men before t hey jump into polygamy the problems that can arise. that would be a good thing to come out of this.

  11. michelle, i agree with you….it’s unimagineable what he has done to his first wife….if she asked first for a divorce, then that’s one thing, but if he just went and offered it, omg….that poor woman…talk about hitting someone when they’re down….although in the long run, it’s probably for the best and the 2 remaining deserve each other as they shall live in misery together now….you cant build happiness by walking over others….made children in secret….omg i wish the best for the first wife….and she even stayed afterwards….unbelieveably strong woman….i wish we could help her….and he just walks away with the 2nd. omg ossain, you better be on your knees praying 24/7 for what you have done!!!

  12. I honestly think the worst thing you could have done was OFFER your wife divorce! Unless she sought it herself or asked you for it you have just shown her that you don’t really care to have her by your side, you just want the easy way out. Fact of the matter is your wives WILL hurt in polygamy, both of them. There will be times you cannot see your kids even though they miss you, but then again some fathers in monogamy cannot see their kids all the time. You will be stressed and feel stretched to the max trying to fulfill everyone’s NEEDS let alone their wants and desires (yes your wives had wants and desires, your first wife built dreams upon your marriage with her which due to your second marriage, which she accepted, could no longer go ahead).

    The better way, than to desert the wife who stood by your side in all this and who waited patiently for her love and affection that she desired from you, would have been to dedicate a day to her, that no matter what happened in the other family was hers. Take her on a vacation and buy her gifts etc. Gifts do not have to be equal so long as it does not take away from the standard of living towards the other family. Pay her back her days whenever possible (if the children are healthy and do not need you then take that day from the second wife as she already has a surplus of days she has right to and give it to your first wife and her children). If the other family really needs you on your first wife’s days offer to take her with you, let her know always that her getting her rights is of utmost importance, but the children need you. Ask her if she can bring your children with you sometimes to her house so that they have a mothers love (even if its the step mother) and their father with them, but you also get the night with her. Ask her how she would prefer you to compensate her, nothing makes us feel better more than hearing our husbands when they have screwed up and hurt actually admit it, ask how to fix it and FOLLOW THROUGH. Nothing hurts more than them saying, sorry I hurt you, want a divorce, I don’t really want to fix it but I want MY OWN PAIN AND GUILT TO CEASE! If she sought a divorce then yes give it to her, but she may have just accepted the offer because she felt you no longer wanted her and why bother with a man who doesn’t even care about you and your children anymore?

  13. Not to mention the impact on your other children, I suggest you watch My Sisters Keeper and see how “favouring” the sick children makes the other children feel. It makes them feel that they were not good enough for your love and attention because they weren’t sick. I’m not saying desert your sick children, but when there is an appointment or emergency then of course the child in need is your priority. But if it’s just that the second is struggling day to day then so what? Your healthy children and first wife have to miss out? She knew she was only getting half a husband, offer to visit both families every day. Help each wife out every day as was the sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him, but do not take from one family unless there is an emergency in order to give to the other. I do not understand how hearing difficulties are such an emergency that one wife and family always have to miss out, I understand appointments etc may get in the way of the other families time, but I fail to see why this time cannot be made up to the other family? It’s not like if the child had cancer (astafirullah I hope that is not the case for anyone) and you had to rush back all the time because she was being taken to the emergency room or anything like that. Even in that case, if it does not happen all the time I fail to see why you cannot be fair with your time even if it means paying one wife back later on?

    I hope brother, you have seen the wisdom behind the order to lower your gaze, not talk to non related women that aren’t your wife, and not falling into zina. You have caused a situation where your first wife loses, you may not have had the time in the first place to practice polygamy, follow the advise from now on. Lower your gaze and pray you do not fall into zina again. Wives can do without the man, children can prosper when the father is not around all the time. But that’s when he is a good man, loving, caring, fulfilling their rights, needs, desires. You have a lot of work to do but your family can be happy again without you needing to desert anyone.

  14. Hello Maya and welcome,

    I agree with you – in this situation the husband is obliged to make sure the needs of the first wife and their children are met. There are no excuses, and equal treatment should be a priority to a husband who has forced polygyny on his wife. Offering to give talaq is just a coward’s way out. If she sks for it – of course he should offer. Otherwise, he just has to get a grip and make sure the first wife gets her rights in this marriage.

  15. Real stories like this make me wonder has God provided all of us with hearts? Are all hearts made up of same materials?!?

    Firstly a man betrayed his #1 wife as a husband and married #2. Then he betrayed her as a person by not giving her, her time then even though he knows the main problem is caused by his 2nd marriage, he chooses to divorce his first wife!!
    on the other hand his wife chooses to stay with him even after this all happened to her and that too by her husband’s choice, how much she must have loved him??

    Also there’s clearly a lot of difference in their morals since she willingly slept with other woman’s man( his #2) and his #1 stayed just for him?
    And in his heart he might be knowing what would have happened if he would have done with his #2 what he exactly did with his #1 wife, how much his #2 wife would be loving him??

  16. Assalamualikum. I actually felt the need to comment and hopefully offer some valuable advice. First of all offering your wife divorce was probably one of the most unwisest thing you done. What you have done is told her in other words she’s not important enough and losing her won’t be such a big heartache for you. She is probably thinking that you now want to give ALL your time to this other woman and her children.
    Ossian, I applaud your wife for all the heartache she endured, she honestly is a great woman. You should’ve understand polgyny before taking up this huge responsibility and consequently were not able to live up to the requirements. Fairness and equality is a must and there is no excuse whatsoever for you to take your first wife’s time and give it to the other even if it means the other has a sick child. When the second wife married you, she KNEW she was going to get half a husband and having HALF a husband means that. NOW the best thing you can do is make up the time you took away from her by giving the second wife less time until you can fairly judge things are equal. Both children from the first wife and second wife need you despite how healthy they are, and right now the children from the first wife probably feel abandoned.
    Tell your wife you love her and she means the world to you, tell her you want her to be part of your life and that you ONLY offered her divorce because you thought that’s what SHE wanted. Be generous with your spending on her and remind her of the qualities you love about her. You can win her back with a lot of effort. It’s not fair for you to divorce her since she was the FIRST wife who endured the most hardship for you.
    Be FAIR with them both, time and money but you will always love one. Fairness does not get effected because of the situation and am sure you don’t want to be raised on the day of judgement with half your body paralyzed. Both women will feel pain but your first wife will feel the most as she did not choose to be in this situation.
    I am sure your first wife loves/loved you otherwise she would’ve of not stayed with you. However, this love has probably decreased a lot over the years as she probably feels there is no point anymore and has switched herself off. Make the effort and make dua. Court her as you did prior to marriage.
    Next time ignore Fiona when she tells you to offer your wife a divorce as she herself stayed with her husband even though he became polygamous. (sorry to put it like that)

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