Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Before marriage, my husband said he wouldn’t take another wife, but now he ‘s changed his mind.

I am a muslim sister that is having a problem with my marriage. First I would like to say I know that a man is allowed to have four wives if he can do justice and treat all equally. I also know that you're allowed to add in your marriage contract that you don't want him to marry another wife.

Before I married my husband we talked about him marrying another wife and he told me that he would not do that..  Because of this agreement, I trusted him otherwise I wouldn't have married him and.  then I agreed to marry him..  At that time I didn't know that I could have added that to the marriage contract so I just took his word for it and married him.

Now two years later he has changed his mind and has said he wants a second wife. He says he's not going to divorce me because he wants me too. I don't want Allah s.w.t to punish me for asking for a divorce. But I feel like I have been cheated and lied to because I asked the brother in the beginning and he told me he would not do this otherwise I would not have married him and be going through this now.

If it is allowed to be put in a contract that if he breaks the agreement, shouldn't I be able to divorce him on his consent? I know written consent would have been better but what about verbal, shouldn't that count too? Allah knows best and I hope I'm not wrong for asking for a divorce. Please give me some advice.

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24 Responses »

  1. dear sister, actually mens know only that they can do 4 marry in hadith but they dont know that in which situation they can do other marry, just having some selfishnesh in mens, and they are explaning to other wife about islam like in islam have men can do 4 marry, just they are keeping in mind one thing only like islam allow 4 marry but they are not keeping that in mind any other islam things, just simply they are getting other marry for their self only and in between keeping islam name,
    no one have thats rights to hurt anyone heart because in that heart having allah,
    no one have thats rights to kill persons because accept allah do not have any rights to anyone,
    this is also we have to keep in mind, but some people are just selfish,
    i know what is painfull life when husband will bring other wife,because we are loving our husband and husband also loving to their wives but when husbands change and bring other than that is hurting, for mens no problems because of their satisfaction,only pain for us,
    sometime they are telling that also in hadith have that also,if you cant be with me than you can finish relation,even they are not ready to leave other woman and they can leave us for her its mean this is rexpect for woman,
    if they know perfect hadith than they cant do anything bad with anyone, and they will not hurt anyone heart and they will not kill to peoples.
    that is your soul and your life, just take some rest and think properly for your life,than take your own decision..
    i will prey for you,insha allah.

  2. asalamu alaikum,

    damn sis what could i say..a real man will never go back on his words unfortunately not many men are like this. sis ask your husband why is he so concerned on having another wife? i read on your question that he is not willing to divorce you since that is the case then i suggest you tell him that you are in pain, you cant cope like this, and if he truly loves you then he will see your pain and try to make amends put the commitment and love to the test, if he doest then its upto you if you wanna stay or take the leave.

    ma salama

  3. As Salaamu Alaikum, Sister,

    I know exactly what you are experiencing, as I have gone through and I am going through the same exact thing as you. I've endured a tremendous amount of suffering, torment and pain. It's now been three years since my husband married a second wife and I am just coming to terms with it where it's not so very painful.

    You didn't have a clause in your marriage contract that your husband wouldn't take another wife; neither did I. I opted not to as I believe it is un-Islamic to prohibit our husbands from doing something that Allah has made permissible. Who are we to prevent our husbands from practicing polygamy? I took my husband's word for it that he wouldn't marry another woman. He had said he had no desire for more than wife, me. So, nonetheless, five years later he changed his mind. Isn't that OK? He couldn't predict the future now could he? So should we hold them to their word or let them do what is their right and let them be accountable to Allah?

    You ask whether you have a right to a divorce under your circumstances. I'm sure somewhere someone will tell you yes. Persons on my blog have told me I could divorce my husband and why. People will tell you there's only certain conditions a man could practice polygamy, or it's not legal in the country. Those person reject what Allah says and make excuses, find fault and want to debate.

    The bottom line is, do you think your husband changing his mind (he couldn't predict the future; it was written before he was born what his destiny was) and wanting another wife is grounds for you to divorce him? Could you live with yourself as his wife with peace of mind, knowing you forbade him to do something that was made permissible by Allah?

    Polygamy is a tremendous trial for a woman. It could be quite devastating, but it may be a journey that we need to take to get us into Paradise. Do we think we will enter Paradise without being tested like those who came before us?

  4. I too know what you're going through. I'm a Canadian woman who married a Muslim man in 1984 and he assured me, he would never take a second wife. I even converted to Islam and we have 2 girls 8&12. After 25 yrs of marriage he decided to marry a U.S. without even telling me. He totally disregarded how I felt. I wanted and stll want a divorce but he refuses. The fact i don't work makes me a prisoner. He lives here for 6 days and goes with her 1 day. She even gives him money for his failing business.

    I didn't grow up with this mentality and I'll never accept this. I live tormented and he sleeps in a separate bedroom. As a result I have no sexual contact and my life is very lonely. No one in my personal life knows about this because I feel it would bring shame to my kids. I truly hate this life with him. Now I wishI never married him although I'm grateful for my girls. He doesn't care how I feel and it hurts. I know how you feel Ana.

  5. Dear Sisters,

    I am a british revert to Islam. From knowing my own nature and from the way I was raised by my parents, I am a monogamous person. Marrying up to 4 wives being permissable in Islam is an area of my new theology that I have struggled with. From reading widely and learning from knowledgable people that I have encountered and discussed this with, I now accept this area of my religion and understand why it is permissable. HOWEVER I become frustrated with some ignorant muslim men who are aware of the ability to marry four wives and just take this for granted and do not consider the correct reasoning for why it is permissable, that it is preferable to divorce (only preferable, not the absolute better choice). Women are monogamous by nature (all women know this in their own minds) and due to this it is my wish that my future husband will also be monogamous to me, I would be very hurt and distressed if my husband cheated on me or took another wife. If women can be expected to be monogmous and accept other wives as a sacrifice for the survival of their marriage, then a man should try and be monogamous for me and maintain the survival of our marriage. Matters such as monogamy should be discussed before the marriage and if you feel strongly enough about it then place it within the marriage contract. If a man wants to marry another, he must have a legitimate reason (i.e. no children as outcome of the marriage), it cannot be for aesthetic reasons or that he just fancies having another women to add to his repetoire. In addition his first wife must agree with him and give him permission to do so and he must be aware of her feelings at all times. She should be given time to absorb the situation and come to terms with this. If she can do it and allow him to marry then this is a woman that he has married that can cope with this sort of lifestyle. However some women cannot and her husband must be respectful of that and not cause her distress by marrying another with her in ignorance about what he has done. This would be selfish behaviour by the man. Also if the man wishes to marry another and the wife does not agree, she has every right to divorce him if this is the life that would cause her the least distress and allow her to carry on.

    You need to discuss you feelings with your husband. What is his reasoning for having another wife??? It is wrong for him to just want another one, what is the purpose. Explain to him about causing pain and distress to you. If he loves and respects you then he has no reason to take a second wife without you giving your blessing. I hope it all works out for you.

    p.s. Bella - I feel for you so much my sister. I will pray for you and hope that God guides you and provides you with strength.

  6. hi, i have been in a similar situation. i am involved in an arranged marraige. i am a british muslim and married a man from pakistan. we had a few family problems and i left my parents brothers and sisters for my husband. we moved to another city. a few months after his stay we wnet to pakistan. his first love was still waiting for him. she threatened to kill herself if he didnt marry her. he didnt want to marry her but he was scared of her death. firstly i didnt agree for him to marry her, he promised to keep me happy if he did get married to her. after along time of heart pain i thought on islamic terms. a man is allowed to keep 4 wives at one time if he treats all equally. i finally agreed for him to marry her. i know exactly what pain you are goin through because it is hard to see your husband with another woman. but i see it like this: 1 allah has written this in our destiny. he was meant to bring another woman in the house. 2 if you give your husband the same respect you gave him before he brought the second woman he will give you more love than before. 3 he is not doin anything against islam. he could have gone and had intercourse and done everything he wanted to, but he is doing everything islamicly.

    after i gave consent for my husband to marry her, guess what, he didnt. that proved he loves me more than his first love. maybe he just wanted to see how far i would go to be with him. now we have our own beautifull house and are blessed with kids. mashallah!

    where as divorce is concerned i believe you should go to islamic scholars and ask their opinion. i beleive if he is giving you both equal right divorce wont be permitted. but if you expalin yourself more to the scholar he may be able to help you.

    i really do feel for you sister. its hard but i pray Allah gives you strength.

  7. The first worthiest condition of marriage to be fulfilled by the husband is to keep the promise or promises he made to the wife at the time he married her this is an order of the prophet Mohammed saw. Salaam

  8. It has been since 2006 since my husband revealed he went and got married without consulting me. At the time I gave him a year to decide and even offered to give him the house as long as he would findd me a smaller one. He won't consent to a divorce and has threatened to make my life miserable. He has even said if I get divorced he would never accept me having another partner and threatened to kill me.

    Since I don't want this to turn nasty for the children I live lonely and in separate rooms. I feel like a modern day prisoner. I wish a wise Shiek could give me advice about this tormenting situation. He also never told this woman that he was already married to me - he lied to her and told her after he married her in a religious ceremony. My only hope is to wait until my 8 and 13 yr old are adults - then it won't matter if I leave. I don't have the fianancial means to support them at this time and he won't be nice and grant support if I request we live apart. This is a nightmare.

    • salam alejkum,

      I am going through a very hard time. Ii found out 2 days ago that my husband took another wife. He went to his home country, not unusual and came back married. he refuses to tell me anything, just that he got married and it's my choice now to live like this or leave him. I can't divorce him for taking another wife.

      I told him I was pregnant and he told me he was married again....

  9. Assalaamu Alaikum, Sister

    it comes down to one thing taqwa,do we love ALLAH they way we should love him.
    When you ask muslim men and women would you die in the way ALLAH, we are quick to say Yes and i believe most of us will do it.
    but when it comes to take a second wife most men won’t because they perhaps love their wifes more that ALLAH?
    Women end up divorcing their husbands because the husband`s got a increase in taqwa and imaan and realized they got a duty to ALLAH.
    There is no doubt that it is a hardship from the perspective of the wife because she must now share her husband and from the man side because he took on now a contract with ALLAH to provide and protect maybe a second wife and offspring.

    The brother might have change his mind by wanting a second wife but he is doing what ALLAH made halaal for him, he is not falling in Satan trap by committing adultery.

    ALLAH knows alone the reward for the wife and husband when they strive in the way of ALLAH.

    (35) The Believers, men and WOMEN, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.
    ( سورة التوبة , At-Taubah, Chapter #9, Verse #71)

    wa salaam

    • Is taking more than wife a right to save a man from adultery? If so, what's to say that 4 women will not prevent him from liking a 5th? And women also commit adultery too--but they can't marry another man--aren't we women and men supposed to keep our gaze lowered, fast to control our desires, and follow specific Islamic etiquettes when communicating with the opposite gender to prevent fornication/adultery?

      Multiple marriages of our Prophets (peace be upon them) were examples of good marriages. Prophet Muhammad's marriages were to widowed and divorced women--but how often do men these days take on a second wife who was widowed or divorced?

  10. As salaamu alaikum sister

    i have similar problem, and am in pain here , am from america and only married 9 months, i waited a year and a half since my husband asked me to marry him due to his financial situation til he was ready and i was patient al hamdullah. But at the same time he told me he was not talkin to anyone else, and he agreed even he wouldnt take another wife and agreed to written contract at time of nikaah. And now i found out he's been secretly talkin to another sister long distance in saudia and asked to marry her since he knew her before me, and she told me they were talkin and he was hiding it from me because he feared he would loose me and told her how he loved me soo much. I consulated the sister and told her its haraam to keep speaking to non mahram and talked to him too. And my husband is a good person and a practicing muslim but no one is perfect he says. But his problem is he denies he was talkin to her and said she is after him, since they were talking before he known me, and now i dont know what to think anymore, trust is gone. i really need an advice on this. i really love him, but my hurt cant take this anymore, My question here is; is it permissable for my husband to keep talking to this sister even though i know he is not in the position to marry another since i know his financial situation.?


    The thought of a husband wanting a second wife is a big shock for the women.

    The negative questions start going through your mind, ‘he don’t love me anymore, he never loved me”.

    That is only Satan capitalizing on your emotions and wanting to split you up.

    Satan will let you say stuff like ‘you can take a wife, but not another wife because I won’t be here.”

    In everything, Allah does, is good even though we do not see it immediately.

    For the muslims today especially it the western countries is as if they want to hide the fact that men may marry numerous wifes.

    Allah says: O ye who believe! make not unlawful the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, but commit no excess: for Allah loveth not those given to excess. ( سورة المائدة , Al-Maeda, Chapter #5, Verse #87)

    Obviously, there is a lot of benefits.

    Taking a wife is an act of Ebadah not just for the husband but also for the wifes.

    Personally that’s why I thing, the taking of the 2nd,3rd or 4th wife, the 1rst wife or wifes also must want to do it Lillah hi ta ALlah.

    Obviously the husband and wifes will share in the reward because this is an act of worshipped.

    It is better for him not to communicate with the other sister because he is unable to marry her.

    Remember Allah is our only protector and helper and there is no help and protection except from Allah.

    wa salaam

    • You have no idea what women think so please stop embarrassing yourself by speaking on behalf of women. It's not shaytan that is telling women that it's no good with multiple wives, it's men's inability to maintain even one wife, then wanting even more, that is the problem! Men go behind their first wife's back when they want to take another wife, they date women and have relations that are haram with women...they basically do everything haram and wrong in the book just to reach the goal of something they consider to be the most holy act in Islam: polygamy. THAT is the problem, my friend.

      Men don't make sure to let a woman know they want more wives before marriage - they just marry women, then force polygamy down their throats, whether they like it or not.

      Men also neglect their responsibilities to their wives - because, guess what...they do not have the means to provide emotionally and financially for more than one woman - and even that one woman, they struggle at being a proper husband to.

      So, it's the lying, decieving, haraming, and injustice that makes women not want to take part in polygamy. Not Satan. Just like it's not Satan who makes people commit zina. If it was Satan's fault, then Allah would be holding Satan accountable for peoples' actions - and He doesn't, He holds PEOPLE responsible. That means it's ourselves who are in control of our thoughts and actions.

  12. asalam alykum wa rahmatallah wa barakah dear sisters 🙂

    inshallah you all are in the best of iman.

    allah has made the marrying of upto 4 wives lawful and i as a woman thank allah for that, because today there are millions of more woman in this world than men, and if every man was to take a wife, there'll be millions of women left and most of them will be dependant on their male relatives, so in that case i'd HATE to be one of these leftover women and will LOVE to be the FOURTH wife...yes the 4th 🙂

    women can fall in love with one man but you also have to understand allah has given the man the ability to love more than 1 and offcoure one wife will be his beloved sweetheart, and she'll be the one who is his bestfriend and who stays patient with him.

    now you will love this sisters, men and women have different types of tests in the dunya, one of the hardest test for women is "jealousy" and when her husband takes another wife she will be JEALOUS/HURT/IN PAIN...but the reward she will get from allah on being patient is the reward like a man gets fighting in jihad!
    at the end of the day every soul is for its self, and who cares if he takes another wife, we should be looking on the reward we can obtain so we can make it to jannah, and then be happy their forever inshallah, since allah has promised us in the quran that "every soul shall recieve what it wants" pass this test of this life and get the happiness in jannah inshallah khyr sisters.

    remember sisters the harder the test in this life the more the rewards from allah and the closer you are to allah. 🙂

    • as salam alaikum, The Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) had the condition of his daughters being the only wife to their husbands in their contracts and if the son in law were to choose to break it he would have to divorce the daughter. This can be checked.

    • Aoa. I'm just joining in in the middle of this conversation. InshaAllah Allah guides us all and brings something of benefit for us all in this discussion.
      Firstly, I started reading this strain becuz of the original question that was put forth... basically 'does a man have to keep his promises that he made to his wife upon marrying her?' This may not be exactly the words that were used however it is the just of it.
      I am in the same situation as the lady asking this question. I met my husband when I was 19 yrs old SubhanAllah and he was 21. I am american and before Islam I called myself agnostic. Belief in God but no idea who on earth was right about Him. My husband was a born Muslim and a foreigner from Pakistan MashaAllah. We fell in love. Hook line and sinker... we were both on our own, both virgins and both full of hopes and dreams and a resolution to take on everything this life throws at us as a team... tremendous mistakes were made along the way. We eloped and I then accepted Islam. Alhumdolillah. However we also talked and talked and literally talked until we had ironed out every plan for our lives together and I am one hundred percent clear that we had decided that we were in a monogamous relationship... so many promises were made and so many confidences were laid out for me before I took these huge steps to change my life for him... and SubhanAllah we have remained happy with only minor issues arising here and there... now I find myself completely alone and isolates with him and our four children as my only support system as we have moved to Pakistan to be with his family... now I have learned that he has taken steps to attain a second wife. And I am devastated and literally grasping for breath. Anxiety ridden and full of guilt and shame for my own feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness and humiliation. He refuses to tell anyone of his decision and is asking me to help him in his search. And if I do not support him through this, what will become of me. I know of my rights and I know of his rights and I also know that Allah the Almighty knows everything that we don't know. But with all of my husbands rights, what about his duties? It is said in numerous places throughout the holy Quran that a man has to stay true to his oaths... why is this oath to keep only his first beloved wife( the one who was there from the bottom to the top of his life) as his partner through this life now suddenly even up for debate on a fundamental level. I have my faith in Allah subhanwatTaAllah, and I do not feel that my husband can do justice and I do not feel that bringing another woman into his home will save him on the day of recompense from that oath that he made to me... who will safeguard him from his own greedy desires? All men need to pause and take time to think about what our rights mean in Islam... and Allah never gave the right to shirt and deceive the most beloved ppl in ur lives... this situation sucks for anyone who has to deal with it... and no woman will ever need a man who doesn't even know her and who is not her husband of the Prophet SAW to tell her of her obligation before Allah. So why all of this debate about what a woman should get over and deal with... bring back the debate about why men make oaths and break them without worrying about what Allah SWT will have to say when we all must meet Him.

      • In the last lines ( line 46 ) of your answer way you have mentioned the Name of Beloved Prophet is highly inappropriate and will earn you a grave sin from Allah . Please note you may be much better than me and beloved to Allah but my sister we all are humans at the end of day . How you have pharsed mentioning the sacred Name is deeply hurtful and wrong . For the sake of Allah change it or remove the sacred Name . Respect concerning Beloved Prophet is something Allah is very strict about . May Allah bless you

  13. Your husband is not a man of his words. He promised not to take another woman as his wife and now he has. He's not fit to be a husband. If any man fails to live up to his words he is not a REAL man. He does not deserve to be a husband.

    And to all those sad people who say you can't take a divorce. ..But you can!!!!

    If the Sahabbiya were allowed to seek divorce from husbands who loved other wives more [btw a man is not accountable for which wife he loves more] then why would you not be allowed to get divorce from a husband who exercised the one right of his that was the most painful to the woman he is supposed to love and honour?

    And to all those out there saying you are not allowed to make the 'no-polygamy' condition in your marriage contract, THEY ARE WRONG!

    There is NOT a single mazhab which shares their view. Even the Hanafi Mazhabs and the Shafi'i Mazhabs which do not recognise it as a legal condition STILL recognise it as a promise that the husband has a moral duty to fulfill AND if a woman has a talaq clause with this condition she can divorce him.

    And the Hanbali Mazhab sees this not just as the husband's moral duty but ALSO as a legally enforceable condition and the wife has the automatic right to divorce him if he does not fulfill it.

    If the ladies of the Salaf made these ''no-polygamy'' conditions [Malik Muwatta, Book 28 Hadith 1109] despite being from the best of Muslim generations then NO woman should fear what others will say to her if she wants a monogamous marriage.

  14. Thank you Truthseeker for your support. Divorce is allowed in the Muslim religion even if the man doesn't marry another woman. I have nothing against couples who want to practice polygamy, as long as all women consent and support the idea. A man or woman should stick to their promises and integrity in life. Its been 8 yrs and I'm still stuck in this loveless marriage. Its embarrassing to admit but he decided not to have physical relations with me so I've been alone for 8 yrs. I'm 54 now and trying to find a job so I can take my kids and live separate. He's been mentally abusive with screaming, swearing and saying cruel things. He's been diagnosed Narcissistic with Bipolar Disorder. His treatment is inhumane. We have no equity in our house because he spends too much and we had to declare bankruptcy 3 yrs ago. I wouldn't get much and I never wanted to take advantage of him anyways in the divorce. I told him from the beginning he can have this big house and he's selfish to have a Hummer, BMW, Corvette and I drive a rusting 1990 Mercedes. I only want peace and told him he can see the kids anytime. He's clearly abusive and I don't think Islam supports this kind of unfair behavior.

    • Sister Bella,

      Assalam alaikum,

      Sorry to hear about your troubles. If what you say is true about him being narcissistic, you will not get anywhere with him. Emotionally he will abuse you and use you and the list doesn't end.

      At this point, it isn't about what Islam accepts (and Islam doesn't accept abusive behaviour), it is about what your husband is willing to do. Unless he is getting counselling and therapy, for you to expect him to suddenly get better may be waiting for a fairytale to become real.

      Either you stay with him and keep on enduring all, OR

      You have to let it all go and move on with your life.

      I do not want to tell you to get a divorce, but I really want to say - do Isthikhara. See if he can get counselling (or the both of you together)--do whatever you can do to make things better. If after exhausting all efforts, matters do not get better, you may want to move on with your life--May Allah ease your difficulties and resolve your matters inshaAllah. Ameen.

      I have a very close family member who is narcissistic and it destroys families.


  15. Thank you Saba for your post. At the moment I'm trying to find a job, save a little money and get out of this toxic marriage. I've known him for 37 yrs and the last 8 yrs have been hell. He doesn't care what anyone thinks and even if he's wrong..... he thinks he's entitled to behave anyway he wants. He'll never change and counseling would be useless - he doesn't feel he needs help and ius fine being in control. I haven't been physical since he took this other wife and I don't even know if she's still in his life because he sleeps here 7 nights a week. There's no improving a narcissistic person especially if they don't want to behave better.

    I was born a Canadian and converted to Islam to marry him. I pride myself on being a good mother and never drink or touch drugs. I'm a good person with stellar morals and I deservie some peace in life. Thank you for your advice and I pray my life and my childrens will be more peaceful.

  16. Bella, How are you? Get out of that marriage as soon as you can. It sounds dangerous. If your in a western country there are many organizations and shelters that may be able to help you. Even if you do not work, there are organizations that can help you and your children get shelter and find work. You do not have to put up with this and abusers rarely change. If your in a Muslim country then it may be harder to find help as abuse often is just accepted as the man's right and women are not listened too. Even so there may be shelters in Muslim countries as will or at least women's organizations to help you. Do not give up. You do not need to live as a slave as you feel you are. It can only get worse as abuse usually escalates whether it is emotional or physical abuse. You deserve a better life sister. Allah gives women respect and does not expect us to be a slave to a husband. We are only a slave to Allah,never to anyone else. I am sad you are suffering with a man who lied to you and disrespects you. Pray a lot and research where you can get help to get safe,and get out.

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