Second Wife: Family Forces My Husband to Divorce Me

17 August, 2020
Q I'm a second wife. We've been married about 2 months. My husband is being pressured to divorce me by his family members as his wife is a relative and they've been married 25 years. What shall I do?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Marriage in Islam is a very scared and blessed union.

Standing up to the family can be challenging. In many cultures, this is very hard to do, but if your husband is strong and remains firm it can be done.

I would kindly suggest that you sit with your husband and discuss the situation and find out how he intends to handle it.

Please do give it time dear sister, consult with your husband on his position as well as how he may need your support.

In sha’ Allah, things will settle down as time progresses and you may find the joy in his family sooner than later.

Make Dua and get ready for all scenarios.

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

I am so sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your husband’s side of the family.  Have you and your husband discussed this? What are his feelings regarding this situation?

Also, I am wondering if your husband informed his wife and family prior to marrying you. Did you meet his 1st wife or his family?

Without informing family

Sadly, things like this can happen when marriages are done without informing family members and discussing plans to marry. It also can happen when family members are informed but are resistant.

While I am not an Islamic scholar, I do know that your husband has the right given to him Islamically to take up to four wives if he can meet the Islamic conditions and requirements. Assuming he has, his parents (and 1st wife) cannot force him to divorce you.

The bigger issue, dear sister, will be if your husband can stand up against family pressure and successfully deal with any ramifications based on his decision such as his first wife possibly divorcing him or family members cutting him off.

Second Wife: Family Forces My Husband to Divorce Me - About Islam

Husband need to take a stand

Standing up to the family can be challenging. In many cultures, this is very hard to do, but if your husband is strong and remains firm it can be done.

Sadly, the outcome for you as his second wife may be a bit hard for a while in terms of family relationships. As he has been married to his first wife for 25 years, they may resent your presence in the family.

I can imagine that this hurts, my dear sister; however, this behavior is unIslamic and your husband should remind them of this. In sha’ Allah, they will come to accept this marriage and welcome you into the family. As it has only been two months sister, they may need more time to adjust as it is very new.

Communication

I would kindly suggest that you sit with your husband and discuss the situation and find out how he intends to handle it. If he is going to stand firm in his rights to remain married to you, ask him how you can help with the situation with his family. As a supportive wife in this kind of turmoil, I am sure he will appreciate you, in sha’ Allah.

Please do remember sister that it is not you personally that his family “does not like”, but it is the arrangement itself – the second marriage that has them upset. So, please do not take it on a personal level. It could be any woman and they would still reject her and the marriage.


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Probable divorce

If your husband does not have the fortitude to stand up to his family, sadly, you may find yourself in the position of being divorced. Please get ready for all scenarios.

If this does happen, may Allah (swt) bless you with a husband who is strong in the foundations of Islam as well determined to stand up for his marriage, his wife, as well as his rights in Islam regardless of whom it is that is pressuring him.

As you know, marriage in Islam is a very scared and blessed union. Allah (swt) hates divorce and in sha’ Allah your husband’s family will also consider this.

Please do give it time dear sister, consult with your husband on his position as well as how he may need your support. In sha’ Allah, things will settle down as time progresses and you may find the joy in his family sooner than later.

We wish you the best. You are in our prayers.

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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 Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.