She Forced Me to Marry Her as My Second Wife

15 January, 2020
Q As-salamu alaikum,

I am a married man in the US. My wife and I got married a year and a half ago. Prior to our marriage, I went to tell a former friend and someone I was romantically linked with about my marriage as a way of being courteous. One thing led to another and she threatened to kill herself after the news.

Being a fool, I decided to appease her to stop her from hurting herself and doing something destructive to her life as she is a divorced mother of 2. My wife (the first wife, referring to her as A from now) and I got married. I was open to the public and our families and friends accepted us and were happy.

My second wife (referred to as D), continued to contact me and was badgering me about the "agreement" I made before the marriage, and she threatened to go public with our past and the "agreement”. After arguing back and forth I agreed to go through with the second marriage less than a month after my first one.

I was regretting the decision immediately on the way to this masjid out of the country. I was regretful after the marriage, but I remained in it because the initial threat of "outing me" has grown. I continued this path and constantly tried to get out of it but didn't know who to turn to.

The information came out one weekend and the whole town talked about it and I have since divorced D because a sheikh here said that because of how it was done, the secrecy, deceit and lies, it is not a good place to be in a marriage or a way to start. My family also despises D because of her behavior and actions prior to me.

D's brother suggested the divorce because he thought it was not a good idea and that this was too much for me and my family. He said he regrets not intervening (it's hard when D is ill-tempered and aggressive).

I have told my wife all of this after it came out and she obviously doesn't trust me. I have no friends or family here to help me anymore as they are sickened by what I did. I have been trying to win back my wife (A) but she's unhappy and so is her family is. We do not live together because of university, and this adds to our strains.

We have been intimate together after everything (me and A), but she doesn't want to reconcile even though I have left D. She doesn't want to go to counseling, and we don't have people who are willing to be just and intervene as mediators. Everyone is so emotional and against me that no one can be just.

I know I am wrong for what I did. The threats against me are small in comparison to what I have done, and I see that today. I pray daily for forgiveness, and I pray for this every day to be lifted from me and to earn back my marriage.

I'm also concerned that my wife has lost faith in Islam and is planning to do something bad (commit zina) in retaliation with a male schoolmate. Her friends have said it, floated the idea and she even questioned me (What If I did the same to you, what then?). That question alone is something I am concerned about. It feels that at times she wants to burn everything between us instead of hearing me out and being defensive and vengeful.

Her family doesn't care and push for the divorce. I know the harms this can be brought on them too Islamically and am trying my best to not just "let go" as they wish. I care for my wife A and I know I hurt her, and I want to make things right. Other than this, I was not abusive. I was, however, not able to fully be present and enjoy our marriage because of the other wife's presence in my life. This also makes her unhappy with me and us.

I don't know what to do, should I just drop it and let go? Please advise me.


In this counseling answer:

• The first step you must take is to sincerely turn to Allah and beg Him for His Forgiveness, His Mercy, and His Help in overcoming this huge challenge in your life.

• Counseling is most definitely a necessary step to take.

• I recommend that you look into books, articles, and lectures that talk about recovering from an affair and how to rebuild your relationship.

• Now that D is gone, you should make A your absolute priority.

As-salaam ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakaatuh,

Thank you for reaching out to us. Your situation is certainly a difficult one, and I have a great deal of sympathy for you.

One thing that I must commend you on is that Alhamdulillah you did not commit zina. Though you made a decision that ultimately was not healthy for you or your first marriage, it still – while secret marriages are certainly extremely discouraged – erred on the side of halaal rather than the haraam.

She Forced Me to Marry Her as My Second Wife - About Islam

Unfortunately, romantic entanglements outside of marriage are themselves haraam and have a nasty habit of coming around to harm us. The woman ‘D’ seems, according to your representation of her, to be someone who unfortunately has a very toxic character.

Threatening to ‘out’ you about your past relationship with her was a bad red flag. To be honest, it would have been better for you to simply speak to A prior to your marriage to her and be honest about your relationship with D.

However, what is done is done. You cannot change the past, and rather, you must confront the present and work towards a better future.

The first step you must take is to sincerely turn to Allah and beg Him for His Forgiveness, His Mercy, and His Help in overcoming this huge challenge in your life. Only with His assistance can you have any success in recovering from this painful situation.

One thing to keep in mind is that for your wife ‘A,’ what took place is tantamount to infidelity. Though one could argue otherwise according to the Shari’ah, the emotional reality is very different.

I recommend that you look into books, articles, and lectures that talk about recovering from an affair and how to rebuild your relationship. It will help you better understand the pain that your wife is experiencing and will provide you with a general idea of what you should do, both immediately and later on.

Counseling is most definitely a necessary step to take. Even if A is not currently ready or willing to do so, individual counseling is still very helpful in terms of how you can process and deal with the current situation. You mentioned that you were not able to be fully present in your marriage with A due to your relationship with D.

Now that D is gone, you should make A your absolute priority. Don’t slack off, don’t give up, and don’t back down. Go out of your way to do everything you can for her. Part of that means that you have to accept hearing her out, many times over.

Though you may want to explain yourself and have her understand the position you’re in, the truth is that she feels deeply betrayed. She needs you to listen to her, to empathize with her, to hear her what she has to say, even if you think that she is being unfair or vengeful. It is not your place to tell her how quickly she should get over it or move on from it.

With regards to your fears about her committing zina, based on what she has said to you, know that it is fairly common for spouses who feel betrayed to challenge their spouses. She wants you to understand how she feels. It is less about expressing her own desire to have an affair that is to make you realize the severity of what she is experiencing.

In truth, professional counseling is really the best hope that you have for getting through this point in your marriage. It is a difficult situation, and not one easily overcome. Some couples never recover from this kind of issue while others are able to slowly work together to make the necessary changes and growth to stay together and save their marriage.

In the end, all you can do is seek to do your best, while always turning to Allah. It may be that A chooses not to reconcile with you after all. The pain and devastation that she has experienced may be too difficult for her to overcome and continue the marriage with you.

Check out this counseling video:

On the other hand, she may find herself softening towards you and be willing to forgive you, move forward with you, and begin a new chapter in your lives and in your marriage.

With regards to yourself, make du’aa’ (supplication) regularly, give sadaqah (charity) often, and commit yourself to increase the quality and quantity of your daily prayers (both obligatory and voluntary). All of these good deeds have multiple benefits. In addition, they are means of earning good deeds and forgiveness, they are also a way to seek Allah’s pleasure and bring about ease in your difficulty, strengthening you spiritually, and bringing barakah into your life.

Allah tells us: {And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive (to Allah).} (Qur’an 2:45)

It was narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka‘b (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

I said: O Messenger of Allah, I send a great deal of blessings upon you; how much of my du‘aa’ should be sending blessings upon you? He said: “Whatever you wish.” I said: One quarter? He said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: One half? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: Two thirds? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: I will make all of my du‘aa’ for you. He said: “Then your concerns will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.”(Tirmidhi)

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah said: ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’ (Bukhari)

To overcome this situation will require a great deal of effort on your part, both spiritually and with regards to your relationship with A. She is currently going through emotional devastation, and if you truly want to remain with her, you will need to be patient even if she says and does things that make you uncomfortable.

Of course, if she commits any sins, that is on her alone – the best that you can do is remind her of Allah, with mercy and love. You will need to hold yourself to an extremely high standard of behavior and character and you will have to prove yourself honest, trustworthy, and honorable to both A and her family.

May Allah grant you patience, strength, and success in overcoming this deeply difficult period in your life; may He reunite you and A, and grant you a healthy, happy, blessed marriage,



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.

Read more:

“I Won’t Let My Husband Have a Second Wife!”

Second Wife: He Divorced Me Out of Fear