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.
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.