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Assalamu Alaikum-

I have been married to my husband for 3 years. When we first married, we did an Islamic marriage only and did not do the legal marriage until about 2 years later. When we married, I was not fully informed of his previous situation. I assumed because of his age he may have been married before but he never mentioned it. I was previously married and he was fully aware of my situation before marrying. About 6-12 months after we were married he informed me that he was married before and has 2 children. He told me this marriage was over and alhamdulillah I accepted his children and had no problem with this. His children live in a community about 8 hours away and it is only in the last 8 months that he has been able to begin to go visit them and spend time with them and will spend 4-6 weeks there at a time. I have no problem whatsoever with him traveling to visit his children and maintaining a good and positive relationship with them because I only wish for them to grow to be good muslim s insha'Allah. My husband spent much time in this community prior to moving to where we currently live and has many friends and ties in that community. When he would travel he told me that he would be staying with a friend and would spend time during the day with his children. I have never questioned him or nagged him about his whereabouts and give him time and space while there to be free to enjoy his time there. When he is home I routinely give him privacy throughout the day in order to have phone calls or skype chats with his children. During these times I either leave to go shopping or spend time in another part of the house. I feel that I have given him plenty of space and privacy and not been demanding on him.

Recently I found out that my husband continues to be married to his first wife. When he married me he did not have the intention of divorcing her or ending this relationship. I have now found out that when he travels he is staying with her and maintaining their marital relationship. I only recently found out about this by accident as he did not have the intention of telling me the entire situation. I am very hurt by this and feel that my trust in him has been taken advantage of and I am struggling with what my next step should be. Here are my questions.

1. Since my husband was already married when he asked me to marry him, was he obligated to inform me that he was already married with children? Was it my right to know that I was becoming his second wife in order to have all of the necessary and complete information in order to make a fully informed decision? I feel as though I had the right to know this information but Allah knows best and I want to be sure this is the case.

2. Am I obligated to remain in this relationship? I understand that Allah has given men the right to marry more than one wife and I do not wish to deny him this right. However, am I as a woman required to accept this for myself if I do not feel I can handle being part of a polygamist marriage? I feel that if I had known about his situation fully prior to getting married that I would not have agreed to the marriage in the beginning. I now feel very naive and tricked into this situation and it is hurting my relationship with my husband. While I love him very much I know myself and I do not feel that I am capable of sharing him with someone else. I am making du'a to have patience and understanding but this is very difficult for me. I will not ask him to divorce his first wife. She has not done anything wrong to deserve that and she already has 2 children. They are financially dependent upon my husband and I do not wish to break up their family. Leaving this relationship will be very sad and emotionally difficult for me but alhamdulillah I do not have any children and am financially independent and will not be a burden to my parents or anyone else.

I am trying to be patient but I am finding it very difficult to be in this situation. Any guidance you have will be appreciated. Jazakum Allahu khayran for your time and may Allah reward your efforts.

Answer
I understand how difficult this may be for you and pray Allah's guidance and patience.
He had no right to hide this as you have the right to know as to what you are signing up for.
Yes if you can make it work then love will overcome your mistrust.
However one must know that ploygamy is not legaly sanctioned and this could be the reason for this law-protecting women from hearbreak..

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Imam Habeeb

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Being an Educator of Islamic Studies and Interfaith discussions for the past 25 years and having authored seventeen books and numerous articles on Islam - I think I can answer questions on Islam and other religions and issues of the Hanafi jurisprudence as well as general questions on Quran and Sharia. Love, sex and marital problems are some such topics! This is an independent volunteering service and not under any organizational banner that I may be affiliated with. My book- Intimacy and the Sacred talks about Sex and Muslims. http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000463374

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I have helped thousands of people who are troubled both in life experiences and lack of proper Islamic knowledge.

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Latest book Five White Roses and A Red a book of Poetry dedicated to my mother.

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http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000463374

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