When Polygamy Only Gets Worse – What Can a Good Wife do?

921ce-keep-calm-and-you-can-do-it-13Assalam alaykum Fiona and blogfriends

I am Maya. I am first wife I have two cowives. I agreed when my husband wished to marry again because it is law where I live that the wife must agree. I agreed because i saw it as my duty and also I wanted to make hubby happy and also I found some pride in thinking I could sacrifice myself in polygamy and share with my sisters in islam.

You know the pain I don’t need to tell you. It truly is the worse pain ever. But I lived through that al-ḥamdu lillāh. The pain that cuts like knifes is gone now.

But it is strange. Even when the pain was when it was the worse, I didn’t think I want divorce. I never wanted it then. But now I am thinking maybe I will have to divorce. My husband was patient when I was hurting and crying and he helped me pray and was caring of my feelings and also I think feeling guilty for making the pain. But now I have a so empty feeling. My home is like a revolving door to my hubby. He runs between families and never really has time to be only to run between. I feel many times like a widow or something and I dont long for his return any more it is only disruptive and I feel like a part time servant to him and a 100% single mummy. It would be easier even because then I would not have to text him for opinion or permission about things! He is even sometimes sleeping at his brothers house because he is tired of all families, children and wives. I would have been angry with that earlier because I was all about my rights and afraid of to loose him to another wife but now I am more better and calm without him.

I loved him much and maybe still would have loved him but I do not love a man who is here one minute and gone 2000 and never is ALL here but always in a part somewhere else.

So my question is now what I should do. I have had advice that polygamy is worse in the start it gets better. But for me is it simply not true. I want real advice. I am a religious woman but I believe one can be good without to be religious. So I ask of you who are wise and have experience – what can I expect? What will my life be? What should I do?

Allah ar rahman ar raheem wa barokatuh

27 thoughts on “When Polygamy Only Gets Worse – What Can a Good Wife do?

  1. Hie Maya!!

    One Thing which I didn’t understand in your case – When your Husband saw the pain and hurt he has caused you and was considerate about your feelings, undoubtedly after engaging in polygamy you can never be friends and partners no matter how hard everyone tries to make it work, and ofcourse you cannot spend time with him as you two used to be then Why He went to take a third wife??

    Undoubtedly Polygamy is for those who are selfish and their own top priority, he must be knowing you would be immensely hurt but he only cared about his lust or irrational desires. Also after going through many many stories I have concluded Even if Husband feels guilty then its not because of his actions or your pain but because of things and comfort that he lost in your marriage like complete love, trust, blind support…. But if at all He would have felt guilty or cared about your feelings, wanted to spend time with you or being with you, then he would have changed for better and might have tried to show you much love and care, and spend more time with you instead of adding 1 more wife……..

    Remember We all have got only one life and so if there’s no one else to take care of your feelings then you should stand up for yourself and do what makes you happy that’s everyone’s right.

    Well deep inside you also must be knowing how much your husband loves and cares for you and his actions are clearly showing how much you mean to him and he is worth all pain and sacrifices. You loved him wholeheartedly and always wanted to be with him then now if you are feeling as such then these feelings must be natural and genuine. So please don’t be hard on yourself.If someone’s Presence in your life makes you feel empty then you know very well what should be done and you are right in feeling all that you are feeling…

    If you are religious then you can think in a way you have paid enough for your wrong doings via all hurt, pain…. and successfully cleared all tests of being religious, what if now Allah wants you to be happy??

    Also don’t forget if you won’t be happy and unable to take care of your feelings, how will you take care of your children who are already deprived of dad’s love and care. Being a role model to them what lesson you are giving them and that too for a man for whom you are a mere source of comfort. Probably you already know the answer and trust your instincts you could never be wrong!!

    I wish you all the happiness in the World.
    Warm regards

  2. Also Maya Could you share with us what schedule is he following between you all then how its tackled when He is at his brother’s home??

    already the time is being divided b/w three of you, so when he is with you then too is he on phone with other wives??

    Please share with us if you won’t be offended or mind us telling…

  3. Salaam.
    I wish I would have good advice for you, but I am sure you shouldn’t suffer for the sake of somebody else.
    Sister take care of you.

  4. Maya, I completely understand what you’re going through. And I’m afraid I know what the problem is – it’s the same one I had to face after the pain and anguish of early polygamy wore off – I woke up and realized I just did not love this man like I had before he took a second wife and put me and the kids through hell. Too much damage had beeen done and the only reasons I endured polygyny as long as I did was 1. I am fiercely independent and do my own thing on my own terms and 2. Because the raw pain I forced myself to quell was covered up first with religion (ugh…sorry as I know you are religious Maya…for me it was just another coping tool) and when it all came down, that hurt killed everything that had made our marriage what it used to be. In its place was a whole lot of bitterness and anger and yes, hatred. I could not envision living like this for the rest of my life. A revolving door is exactly right.

    So I divorced him. We are on good terms, though I think he has some insane notion he will win me back. Cold day in hell….she can have him.

    I am not encouraging you to divorce him, but it is an option I hope…not sure where you live and Ii know some countries it isn’t so easy to do…

  5. Assalam alaykum Successful, jazakAllahu khair

    Thank you for your answer mash’Allah. SInce my hubby took third wife we have a schedule with two nights each but my hubs travels sometimes for work and comes home very late and early mornings so the night is only for sleep, often when he comes I am asleep already and the children most of the time. His second wife lives in the same city but the third lives a four hour drive away. His work is in between so he spends much time driving. 😦 When he told me he wanted polygamy he said he wanted three maybe four wives. He had not told me before marriage when I asked he said he never thought of polygamy. But when he told me he said it was for his deen and he knew a sister who needed a husband and he was willing and he felt he wanted four wives for his deen and sunnah and he felt it was for him. But after the third wife ha has never said anything about a a fourth instead he is complaining he has no life and he snaps when I tell him he is loosing his childrens childhood. ALso sometimes he is angry because I will not help with money. I know his second and third pay somethings but I refuse and he is irritated with that. He says he knows it is my right but he says a true wife would want to help her husband. He also is on the phone with his other wifes because since we all have children it is always something that he must answer or give opinion or permission… He is another man now. This has ruined his deen is my opinion and I have even said and he looks like I hit him in the face 😦 Maybe my marriage is over astaghfirullah

    We can not even talk. And when I try he says I must have sabr and he says that any complaint from me is only jealousy or greed for not wanting to share. We get nowhere.. 😦

    All advice is great value to me!

    Fi Amanullah

  6. I feel bad for you and your children. Your husband has brought this upon himself without sufficiently consulting with people who will give answer based on reality and what the Quran says. Nowhere it is mentioned about multiple wives being a gateway to increasing one’s deen, particularly if they don’t fulfil the conditions to actually take extra and are not capable to do so. More Muslim scholars need to talk openly about the reality of polygamy, instead of just rights and responsibilities. A marriage shouldn’t be just about rights and responsibilities, otherwise it is nothing more than a marriage based on survival like it was several generations ago. His responses mean he is basically telling you to keep coping the way you are and not complain much, since he is already drowned n his own problems. Otherwise trust your feelings and instincts when you feel them, they are real and probably anyone in your place would feel them too. I am not sure what else to tell you though.

  7. Thank you Maya for taking the time out to answer my Question…

    Lots of Love and Care

  8. Dear Maya,

    You’ve received some excellent advice here. I understand exactly how you feel. I’m so sorry you have to go through this.
    There’s a huge problem with muslim men being told that polygamy adds to their deen. I am yet to meet a polygamous man who hasn’t deep down been driven by his wish to feel macho. The thought of having more than one woman, to rule over more than one woman, to have sex with more than one woman combined with a slight intoxicating touch of sexual sadism has ALWAYS been there. I have met many polygamous men due to my research and they ALL agree. And they ALL say they would never ever admit this to their wives. Ever. So there you have it. The thing is however, the intoxication wears off and the man finds himself juggling more stress and more hard work than he ever imagined, and also plural disillusioned women, scorning him maybe even hating him, or just not caring for him at all. Tough luck. It really is tragic that muslim men aren’t told about this before they jump, but they are left to find out on their own – at the expense of their wives, their children. It is a tragedy.
    I think you know you should probably divorce this man. I can hear it in your question – you know the answer, don’t you? Lots of love, F

  9. Hello Fiona, great reply you gave. By the way I have a question, did you try to discuss with these polygamous men about the conditions to actually take a second (or more) wife/wives? And how did they feel about causing such unnatural pain to the woman they claim to love and their children, before actually marrying the other woman or after marriage? Not just unnatural pain, also the woman ends up becoming a part-time widow/single mother, raising children half of the time or more on her own. And how it may seriously affect the free-flowing natural love between a husband and a wife? Do they all just get busy talking about rights and responsibilities? Because it is difficult to imagine a man actually behaving this way while being human, unless he is strongly influenced by the people or his environment or deep in selfishness. Or having marital/family problems he is not willing to face directly but instead start new with another person to keep the problems at bay or so. I know you have answered several of the questions in your earlier posts, still when you actually asked them, what reply did they give? Do they get defensive, dodge a particular topic, get uncomfortable, or so? Or are they more honest?

  10. Good questions! Some of them dodged these questions. But you must remember, the men who have talked to me have chosen to, so they obviously are more willing to analyze their behaviour, and try to be objective about it. The real islamic rednecks of course don’t talk to me! I would sum up their answers thus: “I know I caused her/them unbearable pain, but sexdrive and the lust for power/domination are simply too forceful drives to defeat when I knew I was allowed to do what I did. I chose my needs before the needs of my wife/children simply because I could”.

  11. “And how it may seriously affect the free-flowing natural love between a husband and a wife?”

    Mariam, you struck on something huge with this question. I can tell you that the effect is that the free-flowing natural love is killed. It’s gone. The heart and soul of the relationship is utterly violated and destroyed and in its place is doubt, self-doubt, rules and regulations and self-censorship in communicating and fear and what-if’s colouring every thought and action.

  12. You named it Fiona. Sexual sadism. And covering it all up with the male genius with words: religion.

    Your blog has freed me from confusion and self doubt in ways I can never thank you enough for. I have a lot of work to do. I just had to say it now.

  13. Oh my goodness 😦 Thank you Fiona for your reply, and Unchained for your reply. Women sure seem to be different from men in this regard! No wonder many women have a harder time understanding the motives behind some men’s actions and take the sweeter route of understanding. Also no wonder we have laws in society to govern people’s actions, to minimize selfish actions of people which are harmful for people in society. Yes we women are very human too, have struggles with regards to selfishness and fulfilling our regular needs, sometimes in expense of someone else. Women do play manipulative games and all other stuff that we know about, which can be very painful. But I am not sure about something as huge as taking another spouse against the will of the first, and then proceeding to write lengthy documents and explanations why it was good and healthy or so. I am not sure though if the world was matriarchal from the beginning instead of patriarchal how things would have been. Our mindsets would have been more different then. Still women are more heart-based and better at communicating and understanding communication. I guess that is a clue for us, to choose men who are more heart-based and are better at communication, and see how much their environment had an influence on them and the type of influence. I guess these men would be less likely to play the ‘rights’ card and understand things better from the woman’s perspective.

    By the way I wanted to say, romantic love is a real human need. Yes sometimes society and people who like to talk about rules and regulations like to make fun of romantic love, and say it is a concept mostly got from movies and songs. But the need for romantic love is deep in our psyche, and movies and songs remind us about and make us feel this need. It should be honored. Factors which encourage romantic love to develop and sustain are trust, faithfulness, sense of security, feeling heard and understood, feeling taken care of, etc. When a man (or woman) becomes polygamous against the will of their spouse, trust and faithfulness is apparently broken. When the polygamous spouse talk about their rights, or teach the other how to react or so, the other spouse don’t feel heard and understood. Their needs don’t feel taken care of. Another person or persons being added to the mix having the same rights as them doesn’t help either. So romantic love and genuine love for the other diminishes or gets killed entirely, like Unchained said. Now this side of reality needs to be talked about by these people who promote polygamy in general or worse, one-sided polygamy, as Fiona said.

  14. It seems to me that if he is spending his time with you on the phone with his other wives and other wives’ children, that if he isn’t spending your time with you and your children, and if he isn’t giving you a full third share of his income (as I understand Islam requires him to do), then he isn’t abiding by his duties as a true husband. If he’s not properly caring for you and your children and you don’t love him anymore, divorce him. He can’t complain. Not if he hasn’t done his duty by you.

    At least that’s the way I see it, but I’m neither Muslim nor am I involved in a poly-anything relationship. I’m just thinking you deserve better.

  15. Assalamu alaikum

    You know sister you are only hurt by your husbands choice to marry a second wife because you allow to focus on him instead of on Allah who brings peace. If you concentrate on your deen and your gratefulness that Allah has given you children and a safe home it will bring you joy. Make duaa for peace. It is not for your husband to bring you inner peace for yourself. If he is unfair he will pay the price. But you must focus on your own and rememebr that your husband is your paradise and your hell. Maybe by being your hell on earth he will be your way to Jannah.

  16. Another person encouraging oppression of women through religion. Know that in this blog at least people can see through this kind of advice given. From your advice not getting married at all seems like the better solution, provided you can support yourself, then you can be grateful for all the pain you have been saved from.

  17. Umm Ali, Thats the most twisted reasoning. Husband is allowed to give in to his desires and follow his instincts. If husband does something wrong he will pay the price (when? in the afterlife!). If woman follows her instincts or desires or express jealousy and unwilling share her husband why can’t husband just agree and think that wife will pay the price for being unfair for not letting him exercise his Islamic right. Why can’t the husband focus on Allah and that way overcome his desire to sleep with women other that his first wife.

  18. It sounds Umm Ali, like you believe that the act of focussing on Allah is what gets you into Jannah. And so if misery in your life helps you focus on Allah, then it is a good thing. This is why people put up with being treated like they don’t count. You yourself said: “Maybe by being your hell on earth he will be your way to Jannah.”

    Our condition in the afterlife may be related to our morality, it may not, we don’t know. But I do know that no one who allows themselves to be abused knows how to treat others. And I find it ironic that the very people who believe there is an afterlife, and who believe that their voluntary victimhood will assist their admission to Jannah may actually jeopardize their own everlasting souls by the incompetant and ignorant way they treat others.

  19. I was also thinking about this one-sided patience and facing tests. It should be both ways. Polygamy411 website’s foundation seems to be on this one-sided patience and facing trials. I haven’t met many of such people in real life though. So far the men in my life seem to either not raise this polygamy topic at all and are happy to find one wife or if they do bring it up and see the reaction of the woman they are talking to, they usually understand it and become quiet. In my very occasional replies I give I ask them within my response to swap the genders and how they would feel if they faced it. One man said he would never marry in such a case lol. Although he is surprised how the women in Saudi Arabia seem so cool about it. Media has a part in fooling people on polygamy as well.

  20. “You Need To Get Up And Leave The Table When Love Or Respect Is No Longer Being Served”!!

  21. Good Evening!!

    Exactly what I never understand….
    When Wife is irrevocably hurt, angry and in immense pain then this is not because of Husband’s actions and decisions to pursue his irrational desires instead because of her greed and jealous for not wanting to share and shaitan is making her feel as such and she is not patient enough, not religious, lacks faith, its a test from Allah….

    But when Husbands wants to marry another and is unable to control his lust and desires even at the cost of first marriage, then its Allah who wants him to pursue his desires and he has no choice, why is this not a test for him??

    Also is after being polygamous he is not at peace in both the Households, then Everyone advises him to take #3 wife to teach and punish them, why should he not be patient, pray hard, try his best to provide & consider it as a test from Allah??

    I think undoubtedly Pillars of Polygamy are utter selfishness, lack of compassion, Sexual sadism and just reaping the comfort and benefits that a marriage has to offer leaving the drawbacks for wife to struggle with without any complaint While at the same time enjoying Leadership….

    but The BEAUTY OF POLYGAMY lies in the fact that Husband has to never be accountable for his actions and accept the damage that it does to the marriage, wife and children as the result of his actions instead its because wife must be lacking in someway or the other and His sole duty is to just either figure it out or simply blame everything on her as all rights are his and duties are hers ,there’s no one to judge him and if at any moment she is unable to provide him comfort in a way he wants then she should not forget that she is just an option for him but not the only option!!

  22. Oh boy. here we go again.
    Now, I’m no believer in the Christian/Muslim/Jewish concept of God or Satan for that matter, though at one time I was. This clip from The Devil’s Advocate really says loud and clear what you’re demanding people swallow, umm Ali. The same one I tried to swallow when my husband decided to screw me over.

  23. Asalaamu Alaykum

    I am married to my husband for 10 years. I was a divorcee with 3 kids and he was a widower with 4 kids. I married him and we raised a beautiful family together with 7 kids and now 2 grandkids later. I love him dearly.

    Two months ago, he got married to another woman. Also a divorcee with 2 small kids. I am absolutely devastated. I dont want to be in this marriage with him anymore. I am hurt and angry. He wont divorce me. I am going through a depression and feel like i am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I have been rude to this woman and even threatened her. I am becoming a monster, which Im not. I feel the best solution is to just move on with my life. But HOW? I need help someone.. please. I cant spend 90% of my days crying over this. I cant get over it. I am broken at the thought of him giving all his love and affection to another woman.

  24. Dear Heartbroken,
    Could you explain what you mean when you say “he won’t divorce me.” I’d like to respond to your post, but I need to understand what this means. Thanks, and do know that we are all with you.

  25. What country do you live in? Check the resources in your area for what you can do. If he’s forcing you to stay in a marriage against your will that is ABUSE. Are there any women’s organizations in your area that you can speak with for assistance?

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