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Muslima Jadida
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Quote Muslima Jadida Replybullet Topic: I am a second wife and I feel ashamed
    Posted: 27 February 2014 at 2:42am
Assalamu Aleikum, dear sisters.

I want to ask you for advice as I am confused and feel that I do bad things, but still the story drags on.

I am a newly converted Muslim and I hope to become really strong in my belief and behavior. Ethnically, I am very far from Islamic world and was brought up in a Christian-atheist environment, which is typical for Europe. However, later on I studied Islam at university and then took up a job in one of the Gulf countries. There I was blessed to get to know more Muslims and appreciate this beautiful and true religion even though it was not an easy way.

I used to work with one Muslim man who I regarded as a very religious, honest and decent person. He was married with kids so I never even thought about him as a potential husband. I was not Muslim at that time. However, after some time he approached me and offered to become his second wife. First of all, I was shocked, then we talked a lot, he described Islam, expressed his wish that I should become Muslim and I somehow started to give up. I believe the reason was my strong desire to have family and children and I knew that unlike most of men from my culture, he would not leave me one day and would want a lot of children. In the West, the notion of having lots of kids is usually frowned upon, but this has been my long-standing dream. So I finally agreed to marry him but insisted that his first wife should give her approval, which she did not. Thus, we stopped our communication and I started to forget this story feeling ashamed of the pain I inflicted on his wife. I even dated another man who was not Muslim but these relationships did not work out at all.

Nearly a year and a half afterwards we met again as I agreed to work for his new company. I would not have agreed had I suspected that we could ever bring up the old and seemingly forgotten question of marriage again. But this was in fact his aim while offering me a job. At the moment his wife and children live in their home country as his job implies frequent travelling and it is easier for his family to live with their relatives. After a month of our communication I agreed to become his second wife without the knowledge of the first one. I believe that the main trigger was my desire to embrace Islam and live a life of a devote Muslim woman. This is complicated to me without a Muslim husband as my friends, parents, everyone I know would put pressure on me and maybe potentially turn away. Moreover he is very knowledgeable about Islam and I hoped to learn a lot from him.

We’ve been married for a very short time now, but I feel that I did an awful mistake. First and foremost, being a secret second wife is shameful, I feel that I betray his first wife (who I even used to know and she was very kind to me) and kids. He is not a rich man and I feel that I do not have any right to ask him for anything and that he should dedicate himself to providing for his real family, not me. I need to work to provide for myself and I really do not feel like I have any rights at all. I haven’t told my parents about him and I can’t imagine how I can ever bring up this subject. Moreover, I believe that he does not care about me personally, that he chose me out of convenience and to accomplish my conversion to Islam. I feel that the physical part of relations is overwhelming in his attitude and this really repulses me. Shouldn’t there be spiritual connectedness and understanding? But he claims that all women are similar and the main feature in a wife is her strong belief and the following of Islamic precepts. As for my feelings, I do not love him, easily get irritated and at times do not care at all about him.

I feel that our relationships are unhealthy, at least in my perception, I feel ashamed of myself, but we work together, need to travel together, I can not just leave. Finding a new job can be very difficult for me. And I also think that maybe I need to be more patient and get distracted from my desires. Maybe obedience in my marriage will lead me closer to God and his pleasure.

Sorry for having written so much. But I really-really feel lost and would appreciate your opinion.
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 04 March 2014 at 2:16pm
Originally posted by Muslima Jadida

Assalamu Aleikum, dear sisters.

He is not a rich man and I feel that I do not have any right to ask him for anything and that he should dedicate himself to providing for his real family, not me. I need to work to provide for myself and I really do not feel like I have any rights at all. I haven’t told my parents about him and I can’t imagine how I can ever bring up this subject. Moreover, I believe that he does not care about me personally, that he chose me out of convenience and to accomplish my conversion to Islam. I feel that the physical part of relations is overwhelming in his attitude and this really repulses me. Shouldn’t there be spiritual connectedness and understanding? But he claims that all women are similar and the main feature in a wife is her strong belief and the following of Islamic precepts. As for my feelings, I do not love him, easily get irritated and at times do not care at all about him.

I feel that our relationships are unhealthy, at least in my perception, I feel ashamed of myself, but we work together, need to travel together, I can not just leave. Finding a new job can be very difficult for me. And I also think that maybe I need to be more patient and get distracted from my desires. Maybe obedience in my marriage will lead me closer to God and his pleasure.

Sorry for having written so much. But I really-really feel lost and would appreciate your opinion.


Salam Alaikum Sis,

Sorry to hear about your situation....

If you love him, he loves you and you have a good relationship... then of course one must make the best of this situation. If you feel you don't even love him and feel that he exploits you and does not give you your rights, remember you still have the option of ending this marriage! God gives us a way out.

Don't feel like you're 2nd best or that his ''real'' family deserves all his time and money. If he married you, then you are JUST AS IMPORTANT as his ''other'' family. I don't like or agree with the way he did things... but if he did, then he should embrace this marriage, responsibilities and all.

Polygyny is allowed in Islam, but it's not encouraged or recommended as the norm, or for everyone. If a couple decides to enter a polygynous marriage, then the man HAS TO abide by Islamic rules, which say he MUST treat both (all) wives equally. This equality must exist in time, finances, shelter etc.

It's nice that you work and our independent alhamdulilah, but your husband still has responsibilities towards you, so don't feel shy in asking for his help or having him contribute to YOUR family.

"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Muslima Jadida
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Quote Muslima Jadida Replybullet Posted: 06 March 2014 at 9:03am
Wa-aleikum al-salam, dear Chrysalis.

Thank you so much for our advice, it really is comforting to read your reply. JazakAllah Khair.

At the moment I am trying to practice patience and obedience to make this marriage work. Probably breaking up after such a short period is not wise. I really want to be a better Muslim and a better wife, reading Quran or books about Islam helps, but still I lack patience and easily get irritated. My husband seems to have become a bit more attentive and interested in me, my thoughts, my life in general these last days. Maybe our marriage can still turn out well.

Another point concerns the concept of the 2nd wife: being one, I have embraced this idea for myself, but I fear that still a lot of women frown upon second wives and regards them as mistresses who steal husbands from the first lawful wives. I am grateful that you did not express this opinion. But still I feel ashamed to tell anyone that I am the second wife meaning that I do not say about my marriage at all.
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 07 March 2014 at 5:55pm
Originally posted by Muslima Jadida

Wa-aleikum al-salam, dear Chrysalis.

Thank you so much for our advice, it really is comforting to read your reply. JazakAllah Khair.

At the moment I am trying to practice patience and obedience to make this marriage work. Probably breaking up after such a short period is not wise. I really want to be a better Muslim and a better wife, reading Quran or books about Islam helps, but still I lack patience and easily get irritated. My husband seems to have become a bit more attentive and interested in me, my thoughts, my life in general these last days. Maybe our marriage can still turn out well.


Remember, if you *forsee* a separation in your future based on how things are going now, the quicker the better. You don't have kids yet, and once kids come into the picture, you may be forced by your responsibility to your child with him to compromise even more.

Also, keep your eyes & ears peeled, observe his behavior.. does he genuinely care for you? does he take care of you? Or are you just an emotional & physical outlet for him while his 1st wife is away? You need to ask yourself these hard, painful questions to avoid more pain & heart-break in the future. Many men just abandon their 2nd wives once they go back home, or once their families arrive in the country.



Another point concerns the concept of the 2nd wife: being one, I have embraced this idea for myself, but I fear that still a lot of women frown upon second wives and regards them as mistresses who steal husbands from the first lawful wives. I am grateful that you did not express this opinion. But still I feel ashamed to tell anyone that I am the second wife meaning that I do not say about my marriage at all.


It is best Sister, when such delicate matters like 2nd marriages, or even marriages are not based on secrets & deceits. See, when a marriage has witnesses, the husband cannot just abandon a woman whenever he wants and claim there was no marriage. I personally don't blame women, but MEN when it comes to deceit in 2nd marriages. For it is not your place to tell things to the first wife, but it was your husband's responsibility to go about things in an honorable way.

Also, it is best we do not judge our fellow sisters when we do not know their circumstances. (make 70 excuses for your brother/sister).

However, I would reiterate, if this is not a 'happy' marriage, or one that you imagined for yourself, then DON'T settle. Compromising is of course part of a marriage, but to what extent do we compromise? What about your possible children? What atmosphere do you want to raise your children in? How will it effect their idea of family-life, especially if you have daughters?

Don't be afraid of a future that seems unknown. Have faith in Allah.
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 07 March 2014 at 6:20pm
I went back to re-read your post, and I have a feeling that you DO want a separation, but you want somebody to tell you you're making the right decision? You do mention you are confused and that you realize you made an awful mistake. I am personally try not tell people ''do this'' or ''do that'' online because these are serious decisions that the person needs to make themselves. Nobody on an online forum can tell you ''get a divorce'' because that's a huge responsibility to take up.

However, re-reading the things you wrote, I am left wondering, why are you still in this marriage? If a man is THAT shady & horrible, is he REALLY WORTH sharing???? The only scenario where I can even remotely imagine being a co-wife is with a wonderful, amazing, one-in-a-million guy who is worth the ''pain'' of being a co-wife. Otherwise, why SHARE a guy that's not even half a man in the first place????



Originally posted by Muslima Jadida

Assalamu Aleikum, dear sisters.

I want to ask you for advice as I am confused and feel that I do bad things, but still the story drags on.



I believe the reason was my strong desire to have family and children and I knew that unlike most of men from my culture, he would not leave me one day and would want a lot of children.


What makes you think you cannot have a big family? There are so many fish in the sea, and fish you won't have to share. Your local masjid may have a match-making service. If not, try the various online options! halfourdeen.com is a very nice marriage platform.

In the West, the notion of having lots of kids is usually frowned upon, but this has been my long-standing dream.


You can find many converts or born single muslims who share that dream.


I believe that the main trigger was my desire to embrace Islam and live a life of a devote Muslim woman. This is complicated to me without a Muslim husband as my friends, parents, everyone I know would put pressure on me and maybe potentially turn away. Moreover he is very knowledgeable about Islam and I hoped to learn a lot from him.


If he is so knowledgable about Islam, why is he being so hurtful & deceitful? A knowledgable muslim would not pursue women in his office for a 2nd marriage, and keep his family in deceit while he enjoys a secret 2nd life.

Many people around us ''SEEM'' knowledgable and devout, but they are fake. A devout muslim's muslimness will show in his honesty, character, behavior. Not on what he SAYS or what he looks like. Actions speak louder than words. If he were truly a good muslim, he wouldn't be running around chasing women at work with a family back home.

You don't need a man to be a devout muslim woman. You will need to make that journey on your own, regardless of a husband. You have the resources around you, learn on your own. Ask scholars and teachers for help.

We’ve been married for a very short time now, but I feel that I did an awful mistake.


I believe you have your answer.

I haven’t told my parents about him and I can’t imagine how I can ever bring up this subject. Moreover, I believe that he does not care about me personally, that he chose me out of convenience and to accomplish my conversion to Islam. I feel that the physical part of relations is overwhelming in his attitude and this really repulses me.


Can you imagine a life where your kids are forced to live a secret life of shame? If you are planning on having a family, how will this secret arrangement work out???

Shouldn’t there be spiritual connectedness and understanding? But he claims that all women are similar and the main feature in a wife is her strong belief and the following of Islamic precepts. As for my feelings, I do not love him, easily get irritated and at times do not care at all about him.



I feel that our relationships are unhealthy, at least in my perception, I feel ashamed of myself, but we work together, need to travel together, I can not just leave. Finding a new job can be very difficult for me. And I also think that maybe I need to be more patient and get distracted from my desires. Maybe obedience in my marriage will lead me closer to God and his pleasure.


Thats the silliest reason to stay married..... finding a new job will be difficult??? You will find a new job! how were you faring before he came into the picture? Allah is the Provider.

You know what you should do sister.... re-read your own posts.
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Rofexa Replybullet Posted: 07 March 2014 at 7:03pm
As-salam Alaykum,

OK here it goes, I have been debating on replying to your post. First and for most, what do you care what people think.

Now for the 1st wife, is she completely in the dark? Meaning there is a lie by omission here? If he hasn't told her he must do so. I believe this is the shame you are feeling. Everyone has to be on the same page. Islam demands honesty, your marriage and hers must be honest and true.

Islam permits polygamy but rules must be followed. It is the husbands responsibility to provide for both of you. Not haphazardly provide for one and give the other the leftovers. You are new to the faith, you must learn what your rights are, and then demand them.

Here is my take on marriage, love & faith. If you want your marriage to survive and prosper you have to work at it. Find common ground for both families. Yes, you and he are a family now too. Let the foundation of your marriage be Islam. Love can grow from this, the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. Not the romantic drama that dies a lonely death. You need to figure this out now, not when you have children. Don't bring a child into this until you are sure. I know I sound harsh but I have worked with so many sisters who have been in your situation and didn't figure it out until 2 or 3 kids later. Make sure you learn what your rights and responsibilities are. (Legally & Religiously ) sometimes they are different. Especially since you are in a foreign country, You have to know.

Then make sure you abide by both your rights and your responsibilities. Trust in Allah and you will find your way.

Wa Alaikumu Salaam, Your sister in Islam

''When the world pushes you to your knees you’re in the perfect position to pray'' ~ Rumi
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Muslima Jadida
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Quote Muslima Jadida Replybullet Posted: 10 March 2014 at 7:38am
Dear sisters, thank you so much for your replies, I can't overstate their meaning for me at this time of uncertainty. I constantly ask Allah (swt) to guide me and help me make a right choice.

Probably in my first post I exaggerated my husband's negative features because I was too upset at that time. Actually, I believe he cares, maybe not the way I would dream my husband to care, but at least he does not treat me lightly and understands that he has responsibilities towards me. There is no romantic love in our relationships, but probably, as Rofexa notes, another kind of love and affection may grow over time.

As for the question of his first wife, as he once tried to talk to her about 2nd marriage and she rejected the idea, he does not want to bring it up again, at least for some time. He is ready to disclose our marriage to everyone except his wife. This really is the point that hurts me most as I do not want to be the reason of her suffering. And me personally, I am not sure if I would be able to tolerate the 2nd wife. Yet, Islam permits the concept of polygyny, therefore, maybe this is just jealousy that has to be tamed? My husband claims that a man is not obliged to inform his wife/ves about a new marriage and a woman can be happier staying in the dark at least at the initial stage. I should sound horrible, do I? But I am just trying to make out the right path based on what Allah (swt) prescribed to us and not on our own wishes and desires.

Dear Chrysalis, you made very precise remarks based on my story. Yet, as I have explained, probably I exaggerated the situation in my original post. I am attracted to this man in some way, I find it very easy and natural to talk to him about any matter and he really is patient with me even when I get irritated. Yes, chasing women at work is by far not decent, but at least he offered me marriage from the very start and wanted me to be his legal wife and a good Muslim. Am I fooling myself now into believing him to be better than he really is? Maybe, I am not sure.

I am still so hesitant, I do not have enough determination to quit. Of course, I do not plan to bring children into this now, as you both advise. Maybe I need more time to understand.

Thank you so much once again, may Allah (swt) bless you and your families.
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2014 at 1:24am
Originally posted by Muslima Jadida




Dear Chrysalis, you made very precise remarks based on my story. Yet, as I have explained, probably I exaggerated the situation in my original post. I am attracted to this man in some way, I find it very easy and natural to talk to him about any matter and he really is patient with me even when I get irritated. Yes, chasing women at work is by far not decent, but at least he offered me marriage from the very start and wanted me to be his legal wife and a good Muslim. Am I fooling myself now into believing him to be better than he really is? Maybe, I am not sure.

.


Salam Alaikum Sis

Good to know you're feeling better alhamdulilah.

Its good you posted here, because others can perhaps provide objective insight based on facts that happened, since you have emotional attachments and may ignore certain things because you look through an emotional prism.

Where do you reside? Is it possible its a marriage for visa purposes? To get a citizenship or something?

Also, if a man is so flippant about going behind the back of a wife he has kids with, knowing full well she would be hurt & distraught - what does that say about him as a person? If we genuinely respect relationships, would we be so quick to deceive the ones we love? How do you know its her feelings he's protecting? Maybe he's protecting his own dignity back home, and he doesn't want to lose his kids?



"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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