In this counseling answer:
“What kind of life, what kind of marriage, and what kind of father do you want for your children in the long term? Though the situation is difficult, you are not truly helpless, nor are you obliged to remain in this marriage. You have the right to seek a divorce if that is what you wish. Whatever choice you make, it will not be an easy path.”
Wa ‘Alaikumus-Salaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,
I am truly grieved to hear of your situation. There appear to be a number of issues in your situation, based on the information you have shared with me.
First of all, with regards to polygamy, it is important to emphasize that it is a very severe responsibility for any man. Polygamy is a very difficult lifestyle and not every woman – and certainly not every man – is cut out for it.
Even in the Qur’an, Allah (swt) cautions men about the seriousness of justice between wives:
„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].” (4:3)
However, the situation here is far less about polygamy than it is about the kind of man he is. Not only has he lied to you repeatedly and potentially could have caused you harm (I am assuming that he has not taken any STD tests, nor have you), but his lack of character is apparent in the kind of things that he has said to you in the first place.
The fact that he was comfortable with saying that he married his ex-girlfriend for “revenge” and now, that he will abandon her and their child is horrific. Even though he is clearly lying to you in order to make your stay, the type of lies he uses are disgusting and evident of what he thinks is acceptable.
Even if he were telling the truth – indeed, especially if he is telling the truth – what kind of human being, let alone a Muslim, would do such things? It is appalling that anyone would think in such a way and consider it acceptable to destroy another person’s life in such a manner – let alone plan on destroying an innocent child’s life that he was responsible for conceiving. Is this really the type of man you wish to live with and raise your children with? If he is willing to abandon one child – or even pretend that he is -, is this the kind of character you wish your children to grow up around?
The Islamic admonitions against lying are severe:
“I enjoin you to be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man may continue to tell the truth and endeavour to be truthful until he is recorded with Allah as a speaker of truth. And beware of lying, for lying leads to wickedness and wickedness leads to Hell. A man may continue to tell lies and endeavour to tell lies, until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
“The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 33; Muslim, 59)
Marriage itself is a serious covenant, and for a man to have the intention of divorce is considered by many scholars to be prohibited. It is akin to mut’ah (temporary marriage), which was prohibited by the Messenger of Allah (saw).
“O people, I used to allow you to engage in mut’ah marriages, but now Allaah has forbidden that until the Day of Resurrection, so whoever has any wives in a mut’ah marriage, he should let her go and do not take anything of the (money) you have given them.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1406.)
Having said that, you need to ask yourself what your greatest concern and priority is in your situation. You are not able to change his actions or dictate his future actions; you are responsible only for your own decisions.
Do you simply want him to abandon his ex-girlfriend (now currently his wife) and the child he is having with her? Is a return to monogamy the most important factor to you?
Or, are you more concerned with what kind of man he is – someone who goes behind your back, lies, and shows no real consideration either for you and your existing children or for the new baby he is bringing into the world? Are you willing to live with such a person? Or are you willing to remove yourself from being attached to someone like this, and choose to make the painful and necessary sacrifices to move forward with your life?
In the end, the choice is yours. What kind of life, what kind of marriage, and what kind of father do you want for your children in the long term? Though the situation is difficult, you are not truly helpless, nor are you obliged to remain in this marriage. You have the right to seek a divorce if that is what you wish. Whatever choice you make, it will not be an easy path.
In the end, remember that Allah (swt) alone is the source of strength and stability. Turn to Him with a sincere heart and ask Him to guide you to make the best decision for yourself and your children in this world and the Hereafter.
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.