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I’m Unhappy in My Polygamous Marriage

01 May, 2023
Q I'm in a fairly new marriage, we've had a lot of issues since the start. The age difference is big, which wasn't an issue at first but he uses it to talk down to me like a child.

I wasn't sure about marrying him but I ended up going ahead anyways, he has been divorced several times, he has around 10 children but hid that he had so many, he made it seem as though he had 4 children.

He said he divorced his wife but might be getting back together with her. He got back with her a few months into our marriage and I found out now she is pregnant and is about to be due. He forced me to take the morning after pill so I wouldn't get pregnant and made me go to the doctors to start contraceptives.

We live so far apart from one another which has caused us issues, I don't drive but he does and he expects me to always travel to him. He had a lot of time for me before he got back with his wife but now I barely hear from him. I feel like he lies about a lot of things, he hides a lot of things from me.

He hasn't told his wife he is married to me and lies to her about taking another wife. He openly tells me that he finds other women attractive and watches porn. He always talks about his exes and he knows it bothers me.

He tells me I have an attitude, but he speaks to everyone very disrespectfully, he speaks to me in a rude way a lot and speaks to others the same as waiters when we're out.

He is severely overweight and I'm concerned for his health but he isn't really doing anything about it. He wants me to do haram sexual acts with him, also he doesn't stop if we have sex and he hurts me he just laughs and keeps going.

I feel like sometimes I just want to divorce him, the marriage feels so haram although it's halal, he makes me feel lonely and stupid, I've talked to him about is so many times and I've been patient but nothing has improved.

He convinced me to marry him although I wasn't sure if I could cope with polygamy, I really regret marrying him, it feels so wrong being with him.


In this counseling answer:

Visualize your best life.

Consider professional counseling.

Reach out to your social support network.

Identify positive coping skills.

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Identify short term and long-term goals to focus on.

Always make duaa.

Assalamu alaikum,

 Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your concerns with us. It is my understanding you are in a new marriage that has a large age difference, he is a divorcee with 10 kids and hid that from you.

He secretly went back to his ex-wife and got her pregnant while forcing you to take birth control, he lies frequently, disrespects you, forces you to do haram sexual acts and you regret marrying him. Sister let me be blunt and truthful with you. Divorce this man and do not wait any longer. 

It is your choice if you stay with this man or not, but it is easy to see how unhappy you are and mistreated. This man deceives you, hurts you, uses you and is hurting other women at the same time. Sister, please get away from this man and never again marry someone you are unsure of. Let us explore this. 


Firstly, I want you to try an exercise with visualizations. Close your eyes, sit comfortably, and breathe deeply a few times. Imagine yourself years in the future still with this same man in the same situation. Nothing has changed in your life; you are still enduring. Notice how this makes you feel? How this vision impacts your emotions. 

Now imagine a different visualization. Close your eyes, breathe and this time imagine it is years in the future and you are not with this man anymore. You are divorced and far from him. You are living your life how you want without anyone hurting you.

Think about how this reality feels to you, how your emotions react to this. Look around yourself in this visualization, where are you? What are you doing? Whatever it is that you want Sister, see it in your imagination and make an intention to go after it!

I'm Unhappy in My Polygamous Marriage - About Islam

Counseling and Social Support

Sister, I encourage you to seek our personal counseling. This can be done online or in person. This man has abused you in a variety of ways and this will leave emotional scars. A professional counselor can inshallah help you unpack those emotions and heal in a healthy way.

While you can heal without counseling, it certainly helps. If you would like an Islamic perspective, I suggest Noor Human Consulting which does have online counseling options. 

I also encourage you to reach out to your social support network. These are trusted family and friends that you can be open with and share your feelings. Let them know how you feel, what is happening and inshallah over time it will get easier. They can also help you when it comes to living arrangements or other logistics you need to take care of. 

You may also want to consider support groups such as groups for divorcees or people recovering from marriage that entailed abuse and manipulation. Talking to other women who have felt the same situation as you can help you gain more perspective and heal. 

Check out this counseling video:

Coping Skills

Sister, as you move forward towards a happier life you will have moments where you may remember hurtful memories and feel sadness, anxiety or other negative feelings. I encourage you to identify 3 positive skills you can use during these moments to help you control your emotions and keep healing.

Coping skills are like tools we use, and they are individual for each person. For example, petting my cats is one of my coping skills and nature walks. 

Some examples of coping skills are:

  • Reading
  • Praying
  • Exercise
  • Painting
  • Cooking
  • Dancing
  • Listening to music
  • Talking to a friend
  • Dhikr
  • Fishing

Do not limit yourself on these, if it helps you then use it!

Goal Setting

Please consider setting short term and long-term goals to assist you with having a focus as you move forward. You will need to determine where you will live, if you want to work or go to school and overall, what you want to achieve. Goals can help give you a positive focal point while you heal from your past and keep you going. 

As an example, if you want to achieve a certain position with your career then make short term goals for what you need to accomplish to make this a reality. Some people might make goals like they want to lose X amount of weight to be healthier, others might make goals related to learning how to cook or fixing home repair projects. 

Identify goals that you will be happy to achieve and will improve your overall quality of life. Consider writing them down in a journal for a reference point. 

Final Thoughts

Here is a summary of your next steps moving forward sister. 

  • Visualize your best life
  • Consider professional counseling
  • Reach out to your social support network
  • Identify positive coping skills 
  • Identify short term and long-term goals to focus on
  • Always make duaa 

I know this is a difficult time for your Sister, inshallah you can move forward and have a happier future. May Allah (swt) heal your heart and guide your path, ameen.



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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website ""