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I Can’t Get Pregnant, so He Wants a Second Wife

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jan 21, 2018

Question

Salam Aleikom. I have been married for 3 years. My spouse and I are working in the same company where I met him. We were very happy. Last year the company decided to transfer him to another branch. It's two hours drive from our place. The company provides housing allowance there only to him. He doesn't have a choice. He accepted it. This has been going on for a year. Every week, we see each other when we get days off. Most of the time I'm the one visiting him to his place. I clean, arrange his things, and cook for him. Nothing has changed, our love has become stronger. But only one thing bothers us until now is that we don't have children. Then my husband decided that it was better I resigned and stayed at home. I was so happy. Now we have more time together. We decided to see a doctor to ask some help about for having a child. I have only one ovary because the one before they removed for some reason. This makes the process difficult. I am almost 10 years older than my husband, but he said it was not a problem for him. However, now I see some changing to my husband. He is not the same as before. He is not telling me sweet words anymore, come home late; if I ask him, he told me too much work that's why he is late. I kept quiet. Once he said he was not able to continue leaving with me. But I don't want to share my husband with another wife. It means he wants to divorce me and he will marry again. I feel shocked. I cry too much. He holds me and hugged me to stop crying. He told me he did not mean to hurt me but this is bothering him a lot. We did IVF. But again I did not get pregnant. My husband become so sad. I can see it on his face. One day he spoke to me he told me his family wanted him to marry again. They want him to have children. He cannot refuse this one. He told me they are his family. I cried. I really love my husband I don't have lots of friends only him. I consider him as my best friend. My whole life is around him since I met and married him. I know he has the right Islamically to marry another woman, but I just cannot accept it. Please help!

Counselor

Answer


I Can't Get Pregnant, so He Wants a Second Wife

In this counseling answer:

“Thinking long and hard about your future, decide what you want to do and think is best for you. Then pray Salatul Istikharah asking Allah to either facilitate for you what you’ve asked for or remove it for you and place in your heart contentment.”


As-Salamu ‘Aleikom,

I first want to begin by saying that I am sorry to hear how sad you have been and the level of uncertainty and grief you are going through. You have sacrificed a lot for your marriage; living apart from your husband, supporting you both with your income, looking after him on the day off you have together, and then quitting your job in order with the goal of becoming pregnant and having children. A lot has happened and in that time, with the inability to become pregnant, your husband has decided that he needs to marry another wife in order to have a chance at being a father.

This now leaves you possibly alone without a husband whom you have centered your life around and also alone in your grief of not becoming a mother without his support.

Right now the thing I want you to focus on the most are two:

1) Increasing your connection with Allah
2) Building yourself a solid support network

First, I want to encourage you to find ways to nurture your iman and take care of your spiritual state overall. When big tests come to some people, they struggle to keep doing the things they need the most.

Ask yourself what you need the most to help you nurture your iman and protect your heart from falling into despair. Then do it. For some people that means regular walks in nature. Others need doing dhikr using a specific name of Allah, or reading Qur’an or praying qiyam al-layl. Make your own soul care a priority for yourself.

Second, it’s important that you don’t continue to go through this feeling like you are alone.

I’d like to encourage you to reach out, whether to your family or to a trusted friend, teacher, or counselor so that someone else knows that you are currently going through a challenging time.

I imagine your husband feels terrible for hurting you, but if he chooses to separate from you in order to get married again, he will unfortunately not be able to be there for you as a spouse or a best friend.

A support network is a must. Especially if you can find a counselor in your area who specifically works with women who have struggled with infertility.

Consider the Facts on the Ground

Many men and women have been in similar circumstances as you and your husband, Muslim or not.

Some people encourage their partners to leave them when they are the infertile ones because, out of their love for their spouse, they want them to be happy. Some take the offer and go while others refuse and stay finding other ways to build a family like adopting a child.

Others leave their infertile spouse behind because one of the reasons they got married in the first place was to start their own family with a dream of having children. They aren’t able to accept a life without that as a possibility.

It’s important that you understand the reason why your husband is considering to leave or marry another woman and separate it from it is about how much he loves or cares about you.

Don’t Blame Yourself. Ever.

The knee-jerk question would be, “If he loves me then he wouldn’t leave me for someone else. He would stay and stick through this test with me and be here for me because I’m hurting too.”

The reality is that he likely cares about you very much, but either his dream of being a father is one he can’t imagine letting go of in his life or the pressure to please his family is outweighing the pressure to please you. Either way, it’s not your fault and it’s important you aren’t questioning if you’re worthy of being loved no matter what, or if you were ever loved or cared for at all. While the inability to become pregnant is happening inside your body, your husband isn’t considering leaving because of you.

It is the situation that is causing him to despair and considers different options. Not you. I say this so that you don’t find yourself blaming yourself for not being “enough” or thinking there was something else you could have done to change his mind and heart.

Be your beautiful loving self and know that you are being what Allah has decreed for you to be. While it may feel impossible to understand right now the purpose and wisdom of this test, there is one. I don’t claim to know what it is, but with faith, we can believe it’s there and insha’Allah in time you will know what it is you need to know.

Taking the Highest Road

The hardest thing about love is knowing when to fight to stay together or letting the other go.

If your husband stayed married to you but was always miserable because he didn’t have children, you could end up in a distant marriage with a man who isn’t fully invested anymore because he gave up something through the guilt of not wanting to hurt you.

Ultimately, you two may be unhappy either way. I’m not sharing this picture to depress you, but instead, to consider what can happen to couples where one person “sticks it out” whether out of guilt or family pressure or societal pressure to stay together. The resentment will spill out at some point in time in the future. No matter how amazing and lovely you are – you cannot be a stand-in for him having a son or daughter.

For your marriage to continue in a way that is loving, healthy, and positive for both of you he would need space and time to come to terms with the possibility of never having children. He would need to find acceptance with that so that he chooses to start with you and in the marriage for the right reasons.

Decide What You Want

Thinking long and hard about your future, decide what you want to do and think is best for you. Then pray Salatul Istikharah asking Allah to either facilitate for you what you’ve asked for or remove it for you and place in your heart contentment.

Finally, remember that all of the struggle and suffering you are going through is not going to be forgotten with your Lord. Strive to be as patient as you can while also talking to Allah often, turning to Him in your darkest moments, and trusting in relief in the Akhirah.

“He that is righteous and patient, – never will Allah suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right.” (12:90)

Salam,

***

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.

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About Megan Wyatt

Megan Wyatt is the founder of Wives of Jannah (http://wivesofjannah.com/) where she offers training programs, live workshops, and relationship coaching for wives and couples. She is a certified Strategic Intervention coach with specialized certifications for working with women and marital relationships and has been coaching and mentoring Muslims globally since 2008. She shares her passion for Islamic personal development in her Passionate Imperfectionist community (https://www.facebook.com/CoachMeganWyatt/). She is a wife and homeschooling mother with four children residing in Southern California.

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