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In Bad Financial Situation: Why Having a Second Wife?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jul 03, 2016

Question

As-Salamu Aleykum. I have been married for almost 14 years and have kids. My husband is not a well-off person in terms of money. I used to work and help around the house, but now that I am not, my family helps me and my kids a lot. My husband married his deceased friend's wife who was very close to me. Actually, I am the reason he went to see her first, because I used to tell him not to forget his deceased friends' family and to show them support. Since he started visiting her, he never stopped. Every now and then he goes to see her. After a while I told him that his visiting was too much, but he told me that he's trying to get her marry her husband's brother so to keep the kids in their father's house as they do in my culture. Anyway, one day he came home after visiting her and told me that he was going to marry her. At that time, I was 8 months pregnant and my mum was visiting us. I laughed and told him that the lady will laugh at him, and said to him to think about all the financial problems we're going through. But he told me that it's in God's hands. Little did I know that they had already agreed on the marriage. l can't say for sure that they had an affair, but I know that he used to visit her all the time. They got married after 3 days. It was a shock to me and to everyone since I was very close to her, and everybody was expecting her to marry her husband's brother. I wanted to end my marriage, but my family refused, especially my father. I couldn't take it, because they betrayed my trust. Let alone the financial reason. They defended themselves saying that they didn't do anything wrong. I know he has a right to marry up to four, but I also know that there are conditions and men don't care about those conditions. For example, in my case he doesn't buy me clothes nor for the kids. It happens only once in a while. The money for food is never enough. He doesn't pay the phone, the internet or the cable. I have to pay all and when I ask him, he says those are not necessary. He pays the necessary ones which are the renting cost and the electricity bill. Whenever we ask him for anything, he says he doesn't have it, and that's why I used to help him when I was working. We had a lot of fights, because I am always in pain. He even hit me once when I was pregnant. Whenever I ask him for something, the usual response of him is that he doesn't have money. I asked him that how he can take care of another family when he can't take care of his own family. Although she's a widow and her kids are orphans, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged the people to take care of them, I don't think he meant those who can't take care of their family the way they should. I always tell him that charity begins at home and that I will never forgive him all the things he has failed in regarding me and my kids. On so many occasions when we start arguing, he would leave the house and go to sleep at that woman's house - even if it's my night. My question is: are you allowed to marry multiple wives when you know that you cannot fulfill the rights of your family financially, nor you spend enough time with them? He's never at home. About the nights he would leave, he justifies them by saying that he is just trying to prevent a fight, and that's why he leaves. Isn't he creating actually more problems by this? Betrayal was too much on me besides the financial problems. This incident has really strained our marriage because we are always fighting. I am always mad at him, because he's not taking care of us and has no time for us. Most of the time, I am alone with my kids, because he always travels due to his trading business. Can a man marry other wives when he knows that he can't afford, and he goes to sleep at the other wife's house when it's my night? On one occasion, he went to sleep at her house on my night, and they both said that they forgot it. Is that possible?

Counselor

Answer


In Bad Financial Situation: Why Having a Second Wife?

Answer: 

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Sister,

Thank you for sending us your question. I am sorry to hear about the situation you are going through with your husband. I ask Allah to help the both of you overcome the challenges you face and keep the wellbeing of your family intact.

I am not an Islamic scholar, and I have noticed that your questions are meant to be answered by what the Quran and Sunnah state about having multiple wives and being fair amongst them. You certainly ask important questions, and I would like to refer you to our site’s “Ask the Scholar” section. However, I will answer to the best of my ability as a Muslim mental health professional.

You bring up several reasonable points that you feel need to be resolved within your marriage. The first issue appears to be your feelings of shock, hurt, and betrayal after your husband and friend got married so suddenly. Your feelings are legitimate and real. It is normal to feel the way you do, and I am sorry that you have to experience this. I’m sure it is very difficult in many ways. Please do not feel ashamed or guilty about your feelings. Know how you feel and face your feelings in order to better handle the situation, and to make better decisions regarding your situation.

My suggestion to you would be to sit with your husband and to start talking about your feelings, and not about what he did wrong. Since you have mentioned in your question that you and he constantly fight now due to his second marriage and the financial difficulties you face, it would be imperative to change the way you communicate in order to attain better results during your conversations. One of the reasons people fight and argue is because they feel threatened by the other person. When a person feels threatened, he automatically either feels the need to defend himself or to make up for “lost” power by putting down the other person. The other person usually does the same, thus arguments continue on and on for years with no solution. To attempt to stop this chain reaction from happening again, appeal to your husband’s emotions by talking about yours. Start your conversation by saying “I feel hurt because …” or “our children feel………..because…………” Continuing to mention his faults and demanding things from him will most likely lead to more arguments and fights.

I would also suggest that you seek counseling for yourself. Counseling will help you deal with your feelings and emotions, and help you find a solution for yourself. I would also highly suggest marriage counseling for both you and your husband. Marriage counseling will help the both of you verbalize what you want out of your marriage, and bring everything out in the open honestly and professionally. Counseling is certainly an important step that you can take to help you through this difficulty.

I ask Allah to help you and your family, and to give you strength and wisdom to make the right decisions.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

 

 




About Aliah F. Azmeh

Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.

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