Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I want to become his second wife, but not publicly

secret nikahSalaam everyone,

I pray you are all well and able to help me with this dilemma.  I am in a situation that is extremely difficult for me.  I am a divorcee with older children who wishes to be married.  I have had really poor experiences with available Muslim men, the majority are only looking for a physical relationship rather than marriage. I am not trying to tar all muslim men with this brush this is from my personal experiences.

The 'ideal' man I wish to marry is someone I know. He is married, I do not mind being a second wife.  The issue is we have been friends for a very long time and he has helped me when times have been extremely difficult for me.  There is a deep physical attraction but also we are friends first and foremost.  I have always tried to keep away from him and in all the time I have known him (excess of 11 years) met him only a handful of times.  Rather than commit a sin I wish to marry him and do not know how to tell him, I do not want to fall into sin.

I am not asking for public recognition, rather we have a private nikaah with a small number of people.  He knows how I feel about him and when he lets his guard down he feels the same way.  I understand there will be many people here who are against polygamy (as I once was).

I am a professional working woman so it would not be for financial gain, rather I wish to marry this man who has all the characteristics I would like in the man I marry.  There is a high level of compatibility and I have resorted to asking advice as I would rather marry than commit haram.  I performed Isthikhara in the hope that Allah swt will aid me in finding the right way and am constantly making dua.

Also please note I did get married again to try and avoid this situation and unfortunately he was physically and verbally abusive to the point where I became extremely frightened and this necessitated a divorce.

My family would prefer it if I don't get married or I remarry the father of my children.  We have zero compatibility, this is affecting me in a mental way as I do not wish to be a burden on anyone.  I have been sorely disappointed in the men I have both spoken to and unfortunately been married to.  This man is someone who has always been good and kind to me whilst expecting nothing in return.

I wish to propose we get married rather than fall into sin and do not know how to broach the subject - I understand that if he says no then I will most likely cut off all contact rather than get hurt or fall into sin.

Please leave constructive advice, I judge myself harshly enough and have found myself to be wanting - I am lonely and there are many times I struggle with my desires, I would rather become a second wife than fall into sin.

Jazakallah khair for all who read this and please make dua for me in this difficult time.

- Naomi70

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14 Responses »

  1. Salaam sister I can understand how you feel the hard time you went through with your divorce
    I would say Marry him rather then committing sin
    Has you said if he says no then move on with your life
    Stressing yourself will make your health worse they are always solution to the problems it’s just we have to find ways out so don’t delay tell him you want to marry him
    And settle down hope that helps if you need more advice our office is based in London

    • He is married and belongs to someone. Leave him alone. Rather he should stop being friends with you and help you in time of need. In Islam there is no such thing as being friends with the opposite gender after marriage. It is not allowed as it can lead to fithna. Like what’s happening with you and the man. I am not going to particularly blame this man as it takes two to tango based on your story.

      • He does not belong to someone else. his wife does not own him. if he wishes to, he can take a 2nd wife because that is a right that Allah swt has given Muslim men.

        • Nobody belongs to anybody. The wife also doesn't belong to her husband. But when you enter a marriage, you agree to monogamy. Especially in countries where polygamy is absolutely illegal.

  2. Salaams Sister:

    First, I shall tell you I am not one of those people who are against polygamy. I have even said most women who have been divorced or widowed and have lived alone for a long time more than likely would welcome polygamy. However, there are not many men who have the financial status to manage more than one household and even fewer with the maturity and character to be successfully married to more than one woman. And even if those conditions were met, the man already has a wife who may not want for their husband to have a second wife. She, in fact, may have a lot to do with the man being well established, mature and confident. She may have made many personal sacrifices, and not be prepared to have another woman to suddenly enjoy the fruits of her labors.

    What many people including myself are strongly against is a married man developing a romantic relationship with a woman he is not married to, seeing her, meeting her, spending time with her while his wife is totally unaware of what is going on. And then announcing he is getting married to the woman. You have already stated that their is some kind of sexual tension between the two of you, so it may very well be that is what is taking place. This is extremely unfair to the wife of the man you want to marry. I seriously doubt that same man would like it very much if he learned his wife was occasionally in the company of a man who desired her and wanted to marry her and she felt the same way.

    You stated the man you want to marry is the 'ideal' man, someone you have known for more than 11 years although you have met him only a handful of times. The problem with that is that although you state there is a deep physical attraction, you really do not know him. It is hard to really know someone, especially if you have had contact with them "only a handful of times." You should be very careful of not confusing a strong sexual attraction with marriage stability.

    I am stating the obvious because if you should decide to offer yourself in marriage to this man, you may find that he is not who you think he is and who presents himself to be. You really do not know him. You have already been married once or twice and are probably all too familiar with discovering someone you thought you knew as one type of person in public is nothing like they are in private. A person may be the fun-loving, adventuresome type, but their spouse knows their loved one to be a quiet cerebral type who enjoys staying home and reading books. A woman may present herself to be a very serious, straight-laced businesswoman, but at home be a loving, affectionate woman who is like a comedian who jokes around with her spouse.

    There is nothing wrong Islamically to extend a marriage proposal to the man you are interested in. But realize it will impact the friendship you may have created with this man and his family over the years. If you have a friendship with the wife of the man you want to marry, that will change dramatically. While you may not mind being a second wife, she may mind considerably. A polygamous marriage rarely involves just two people.

    There seems to be finer details regarding your relationship with the man you want to marry that you may not have included. Also, there is no public vs non-public wife in Islam. Either you are married or you are not. You could have a small wedding with very close friends and relatives or a large celebration with many attending. Perhaps to guard your chastity, you should consider extending the marriage proposal and make dua to Allah that this will benefit everyone involved. If it is possible or feasible, consider having a conversation with the wife of the man you want to marry. That is a delicate matter, so it is something to very very carefully consider. If there is no possibility of you marrying the already married man, continue to ask Allah to fulfill your needs. Everyone deserves to be loved.

  3. Naomi70 ,

    I think you are thinking defensively as you have gone through two divorces .
    The problem is that even though you might know some one for 20 plus years and might feel compatible but real things will come up only after marriage . Once you both starts living then you will know about real issues .

    You went through two divorces so you should be cleaver enough to understand about points .

    It seems so far thrilling because of sexual attraction between both of you . Once you both gets married these attractions/thrill will be OFF .

    Why to create so much of complexities . Search some one who is not married .

  4. Move on. This man is clearly not available if he's aware of your feelings and doesn't make a proposal or atleast hint polygamy then he's not available. The reason you have these feelings for this man is because you guys have some form of haram contact. There is no way something halal would lead to this.

    Ask him to speak to his wife and if she rejects him then both of you should cut contact immediately as there is no point to remain jn contact. You guys have already deep feelings for each other. I promise you if you stay in touch with his man you will eventually fall into zina. And imagine dying whilst doing zina

  5. Salam,

    What you're asking is not a big deal. You just want to know if he would be interested in taking you as a second wife. Get a wali, ask someone from the mosque if they can act on your behalf and have the wali ask him.

    If you are not fine with that, then tell him the situation and ask him yourself. Tell him that you are starting to have feelings and you will start distancing yourself or if he is available for a second marriage then you would be happy with that. If he says he's ok with a second marriage then ask him to discuss it with his wife. If his wife is not ok with it but he's willing to leave her for you anyway then you probably don't want her to go through divorce so you can be happy. You might as then tell him you're removing the offer and that's it.

  6. I know u known him a long time ago but sometimes u hardly know the person. in my opinion involving with a married man is not the answer you might be falling for him. All I know from experience is people show their true colours after just find someone else it's better for your peice of mind.

  7. Assalamu Alaikum Sister,
    I am sorry that this may come off as harsh, but I want to be blatantly honest with you. I understand how you feel, but you speak nothing of this man's wife. It is all,"I want"," I need". My story is different than yours, but I am a wife where there was a second secret marriage that I discovered after 12 years. A second wife is only acceptable if the 1st wife agrees. This man should not even have a friendship with you that could lead to an emotional attachment. I am just as lonely as you. My husband's lies and betrayal ruined our marriage and my trust in all men. It is not worth the price you will pay. Forget about this man and find another good man. Multiple marriages are only for times where woman out-number the men by many and it is to keep the women from doing haram, but the Quran states that it should be "only if you can be fair", and it also says it is almost impossible to be fair. No woman truly wants to share their husband. You may think that is OK with you now, but it won't be for long. Please listen to my advice. I speak with experience and 17 years of pain. My husband's second wife left him after having two more children with him , and is currently doing to another wife, what she did to me, and probably ruining another marriage. My husband who civilly divorced me to marry her and give her U.S. citizenship, yet has claimed for the past 11 years that I am still his religious wife has nothing to do with me (even physical intimacy) for most of the past 5 1/2 years. He forces his mother to stay in the U.S. and help raise his other children. Yet my two children have suffered greatly because of his betrayal and have been raised by a single parent from a broken home. I was not the good Mom that I could have been without all the stress and financial burden that he left me with while he lives his life and I am alone and living in limbo; neither married nor divorced. It is not worth what you will cause. You will be more greatly rewarded for your patience, then destroying this man's life , family, and marriage. Sorry, I don't mean to be cruel, but I speak from experience. May Allah give you patience and bring you a good Muslim husband.

  8. Thank you. You spoke very wisely to this woman. I agree with everything you said. I am a wife that was betrayed with a secret marriage behind my back. It was not fair to anyone; not me or my children and now not to his other two children. There are 4 children being raised in broken homes; one without a father and one without a mother. We have all suffered, yet he lives without guilt or remorse for what he has done. In the end the other wife moved on and left her children to be raised by his mother and him, and she is now doing to another woman what she did to me. He blames me for ruining his marriage to the other woman, but makes no mention of his betrayal ruining our marriage. He drives a $50,000 car while I try and raise my two girls (13 & 16) alone with a car that is old and in need of repair. He does whatever he wants; goes on many trips to Egypt, Dubai, Alaska, and around the U.S.. He has plenty of money, yet he is still miserable and unhappy, and alone. While I live in Limbo; neither married nor divorced. He is doing fine and forgotten all about me, and I sit here in so much pain over what he did to me and my girls. How his greed and selfishness destroyed our life, our marriage, and broke apart our family. I would never do to another woman what this woman is proposing to do. She really is not thinking of the other woman, and you are right, they should have never started a friendship in the first place.

    • Why are you enabling your husband so much, Kim? You should have told the American authorities that your husband only wants a divorce so he can practice polygamy - which I assume is generally illegal in America. You should also have reported the second wife so she wouldn't have gotten a visa. And you should have dragged your husband to court and get him to pay for your children instead of looking by while he drives in fancy cars and goes on vacation. In some countries, men have their passports taken away if they don't pay child support, because the government is of the opinion that if a man can afford to go on vacation, he can afford to pay for his children. You're making life way too easy for this man. And you have sacrificed yourself and your children for him. Congratulations, I hope it was worth it :). If you were my mum, I'd honestly resent you for putting your husband's needs and interests before your children's. I'm a new mum, I can't imagine putting my twin boys through a toxic childhood with a toxic father.

      Please take control of your life and make your husband take responsibility for the children he's put into this world.

  9. You cannot become his second wife, if he does not choose to make you his second wife. It is your wish to be his second wife, but it might not be his wish. In order to find out if he will make you his second wife, what you can do is to be direct with him, since he is a good friend of yours. Also keeping this wish to yourself is not doing you any good and will frustrate you even further. So, you must go ahead and express your wish to him. You should approach this matter openly and with maturity and also get ready to be declined just in case it does not go your way, without it hurting your friendship with him.

    You should not be against polygamy, because think for yourself, how could you be against something that the Prophet PBUH practiced. Look, Allah made you come to it. So, never ever be against anything that the Prophet PBUH did and said, because otherwise, self-evaluate what kind of a Muslim you are.

    I do not understand what you mean by keeping it private. If you want to have a quiet nikkah ceremony, then by all means have that. You definitely do not have to let the whole town know you got married. If you are asking to keep your whole marriage to him secret, then this is wrong. Because marriage is an institution that should be acknowledged publicly. People should know that you both are spouses of each other.

    If you have done the right istikhara, (since some people do it wrongly and then confuse themselves further), then with the right istikhara, do what you have been given guidance for.

    Your family should not force you to marry anyone or even stop you from marrying anyone, because the Prophet PBUH has allowed a matron to choose for herself whether she wants to marry or remain single again.

    In case that things don't turn out the way you wish them to, that is, you either do not ask him to marry you or that he turns you down for whatever reason, please do not fall into sin, because you must remember that your life is to be lived for a purpose in worship of Allah alone. If you fall into a major sin like an illegitimate physical relationship, then you will be incurring Allah's disapproval and the consequences of the punishment in the hereafter, if you do not repent and mend your way. Do not fall into the trap of Satan because of what you desire.

    It is absolutely fine for you to want a husband to support you emotionally and mentally. It is your right as a person. Be patient, seek Allah's guidance and pray to Allah constantly to open your way towards that which is best for you.

    May Allah bless you in every way, sister. 🙂

  10. It seems to me like you have a pattern of choosing men that aren't right for you, and that you don't have control of your emotions and urges whatsoever. If you feel like you can't associate with men without ending up in bed with them, don't have one-on-one contact with men. That's the REAL solution to your fear of falling into sin. I would also advise you to, maybe, see a therapist that can help you gain control of your emotions and your urges, instead of accepting being a slave to them. That's not true freedom, is it? It's not true freedom when you have to fear being around people, because you are afraid that you will do something you know is wrong and that you'll regret.

    Anyway, as someone else mentioned, you seem very self-absorbed and self-centered as all you mention is yourself and this man...but mainly yourself. His wife is part of the equation, too, you know - why haven't you mentioned anything about HER and HER interests in all of this? I mean, you are going after her husband, is it not fair that you at least acknowledge her existence and let her know you're interested in her husband? You're just worrying about yourself and taking ownership of her husband as if she's a nobody in his life - probably behind her back as well. Bravo. I don't mean to be harsh, but you seem oblivious to your own selfishness...

    If a person has a pattern of going for one bad man after another, a pattern of jumping from one man to another, and then move on to already married tells me something isn't right with that person. This kind of behaviour does not come down to 'bad luck', just 'bad decisions'. You slightly indicate in the end of your post that you have self-esteem that the case? It would explain a lot, at least...

    Have you ever had an actual break where you just don't have a man in your life? To just focus on being content with yourself and your children? I'm not saying you shouldn't approach companionship, but it's also important to not be so dependent on having a partner that you're willing to ruin another family to make your own "whole", somehow. I think you are at that point, sadly. It might be helpful for you to work on yourself before you jump into another marriage. Preferably to someone who doesn't already have a wife and family already. In the meantime, I think you should cut contact to this man and generally stop accepting help from men, particularly already married ones - because you just end up falling for them.

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