In this counseling answer:
• Attend counseling with your husband with an imam so that he can advise your husband correctly on the hadith that he is quoting as well as the responsibilities with polygamy.
• Consider all your options right now regarding whether to stay or go or if there are alternatives that fall in between.
• Make plenty of istikhara so Allah will guide you to make the best decision.
• Amongst all this, make sure to look after yourself.
Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh sister,
This certainly sounds like a stressful situation that needs resolving quickly due to your pregnancy. You had been happy in your marriage to a man who was knowledgeable in Islam until things turned upside down when you found out he had been intimate with someone else previously and got her pregnant which was aborted. Your husband now feels that he must take her on as a second wife and has even told her lies about your history with him to try and convince her.
Of course, as you know, a man is permitted to marry a second wife. However, there are conditions attached to this, such as being able to treat them fairly.
‘And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].’ (Qur’an, 4:3)
Many men abuse this right and do not give all their spouses their due right. There are many who conduct polygamy fairly, yet it is something that women have difficulty accepting as they do not want to share their husband.
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Regarding this matter, you might seek marital counseling either from a traditional counselor, or even your local imam. He will be able to advise you regarding this to ensure that your husband is fully aware of the responsibility he is taking on and understands the hadith and Qur’an that he keeps quoting you, as well as understanding that having a history with her does make it necessary for him to marry her. Your husband may be more receptive to hearing these things from a learned imam than you and it will also take the pressure of constant blame off you.
As well as being clear regarding second marriage, if you still feel that you want to divorce him, then seeking counseling will be good for you to at least try and make things work out first.
In Islam, marriage is very highly regarded for many reasons, including providing a source of comfort and protection.
‘…They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them…’ (Qur’an, 2:187)
Try everything to make it work first
Right now, you probably don’t feel like you are getting these benefits from marriage. Counseling may be a means to make things better between you that you can get these benefits. If things don’t change after this, then at least you can rest assured knowing that you have tried everything you can to make it work.
All too often people walk away from marriage when they enter difficulty, only to look back with regret. Trying everything to make it work first will make sure that you don’t live with this regret should you chose to walk away.
Consider all options
Walking away from your marriage without considering all of your options is not recommended. Instead, spend time considering your options and what could happen if you take these options.
Firstly, there are the 2 extremes; to stay without question, or to leave and divorce without question. Consider both these options and the consequences, both good and bad for you and your baby.
You might also consider options that take a middle ground, such as going away to stay with family for a few days to take a break from the situation and be in a better space to consider these things more clearly.
You can write these things down so you can look back at it over the days as your mind goes through different things. Reconsider the options again and add to the list as you think of other things, or your heart changes.
You could give yourself a certain time frame to make these decisions so that you don’t sit around considering them for so long that you never make a choice. During this time, make lots of istikhara and ask Allah to guide you to make the correct choice that is best for you all and most pleasing to Him.
Most importantly, right now, you are 9 months pregnant and need to take good care of yourself for the sake of your baby as well as yourself. You have been so focused on the issue with your husband that you have probably had little time to think of yourself and your baby, who will soon be joining you, in sha Allah.
You are correct that any stress you are going through will be affecting your baby. So, it is very important that you try to control this and remain physically as well as psychologically fit ready for their impending arrival.
At 9 months pregnant, you probably don’t much feel like moving around too much, but it is important to remain a little bit active as it will get you prepared for labor as well as keeping your muscles in shape. This can be achieved by taking a gentle stroll. This also has secondary effects in terms of psychological benefits also.
Exercise releases certain chemicals into the body that are known to boost feelings of happiness and positivity which is exactly what you need right now.
Of course, this is probably advice you have received from your doctor, but it is both important for your baby and for yourself and again, eating good foods is also good for your mind during stressful times.
Be with others
Make sure to spend time with family and friends as this is also good for your psychological wellbeing. This is not necessarily to talk about your situation, but it is a means to spend time away from the situation, doing something that makes you happy and provides you with some relief from the situation that is causing you so much trouble right now. These are the people who will be able to support you during pregnancy and with your baby once they are here too, which will be a big help to you.
Amongst all the difficulties you are facing, never neglect your duties to Allah. Continue to pray and find solace in His remembrance.
‘Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.’ (Qur’an, 13:28)
Finding comfort with Allah and taking your problems to Him will ease a huge burden as you have confidence that He will guide you to make the best decision; a decision that will be best for you and everyone in both this life and the next.
The situation you are faced with is very difficult, especially as you are heavily pregnant. It is recommended that you attend counseling with your husband with an imam so that he can advise your husband correctly on the hadith that he is quoting as well as the responsibilities with polygamy. This will also take the pressure of accusation off you.
Consider all your options right now regarding whether to stay or go or if there are alternatives that fall in between.
Make plenty of istikhara so Allah will guide you to make the best decision.
Amongst all this, make sure to look after yourself during this very important time, making sure to exercise, eat well, be with others, and most importantly, pray!
May Allah guide you to make the best decision. May He grant you happiness and success in this life and the next and grant you a safe delivery.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.