In this counseling answer:
“Consider if it would make things easier for your marriage if you discussed such things. Perhaps it might bring you closer, but it also might place a wedge between you as he may feel you are questioning his motives. However, whatever decision you make, you can continue to be a good role model to him by encouraging him to follow the right path and pray that he will act in a way that will please Allah.”
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
Polygamy always causes many debates for a number of reasons. Polygamy is permissible and this is made very clear. However, there are rulings in how it must be conducted that often aren’t adhered to.
Namely, all wives must be treated fairly and if he cannot do so, then he should marry only. The problem with this though is that a woman’s jealousy can often lead her to feel like she has not been treated fairly and is perhaps being treated less than the other co-wives. For polygamy to be successful for all parties, therefore, it is important for the man to treat women justly, and for the women not to get jealous. This is a difficult task for all parties involved and, therefore, the choice to enter a polygamous relationship, for both the husband and wife (s) is a very important one.
In order for it to work successfully for all parties, the most important thing is to fear Allah. If all parties fear Allah, then the man will be sure to treat his wives justly and the women will not get jealous for the sake of pleasing Allah.
You are correct that he should not be talking with potential new wives without her mahram present. Conversations between them should not happen alone. However, this other party does not have to be you. Perhaps he feels that you might feel hurt or uncomfortable if you were present during their meetings and is refraining from this due to caring for your emotions.
Furthermore, he does not have to inform you if he is going to marry again. Although you feel that you would prefer to know, knowing the often jealous nature of women he might feel reluctant to do so. However, understandably, you also want to look out for his best interests and make sure that he doesn’t fall into haram by having haram relations with other women as he seeks out another spouse. You are right to be concerned by this if you fear he is not conducting himself properly according to Islamic values.
It would be interesting to understand his desire to have all the 4 wives that he is permitted to have. This is a discussion that you could have with him to establish that his intentions are pure and for the sake of Allah. But this could also be a discussion that might cause discord between the two of you. This is something that you would need to consider very carefully, amongst the potential consequences.
Keep in mind that perhaps this would bring you peace of mind, but ask yourself if it necessary for you to know. You knowingly entered a polygamous relationship and so are aware of the potential difficulties that you could face. Thus, do consider if it would make things easier for your marriage if you discussed such things. Perhaps it might bring you closer, but it also might place a wedge between you as he may feel you are questioning his motives. However, whatever decision you make, you can continue to be a good role model to him by encouraging him to follow the right path and pray that he will act in a way that will please Allah.
If you want to know more about your rights in a polygamous marriage, please contact our Ask the Scholar section.
May Allah guide you and your husband and bring you happiness and contentment in your marriage in this life and the next.
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