Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband is seeking wives who can give him children


I am a 49 year old female and recently converted American Muslim. I have an Islamic marriage with a 31 year old Iraqi Muslim for the past 4 yrs. Within a month of knowing him, I asked if he would ever want children and he said no because he already has a large responsibility taking care of his family in Iraq.So we continued the relationship to the point of marriage.

Last month he started talking about having children. I reminded him of what he told me. He said he wanted to take a second wife. I don't know how this would happen since he does not have a steady job to support two wives and a child(ren). I found out for the last 3 months he has been secretly emailing women to the point of calling himself her husband with other romantic lingo. Needless to say I was hurt. He said these were potential wives/mothers.

I cannot physically have children now but I have 2 grown children. I am at the point in my life I want to have freedom and travel (with him of course). My family would never approve of me or him with another wife/child and I certainly don't see it as him being able to provide equality to both. I love him so much and this is tearing me apart. The only possibility I see is that we break up and he start his new life.

He is the best attentive husband out there (other than the cheating behind my back)and I know he would be the best father because I have seen him with other children. I don't know what to do.

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15 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Islamically, men have a right to marry someone who can have children with them, just as women do. I understand that when you two married, he did not want children. However, everyone has a right to change their mind and their goals as long as they are not haraam.

    It seems to me that if you are not physically able to bear children, the next best solution would be to look toward adoption. If you are not interested in having any more children for other reasons, then this truly is a conflict of interest. Again, if this is what he wants, he has that right. If you don't want to be in a polygamous marriage so he can have this, you can divorce him and let him seek what he wants.

    I suggest you try talking to him and seeing if you can work out the issue to your mutual satisfaction. If not, and he is intent on continuing the behavior of looking for another wife (which is not necessarily considered as "cheating", by the way), and you are finding this too overwhelming to deal with, then divorce may be the option that resolves this dilemma. If that ends up being the case, be assured that there are other men who have raised their children and are only interested in spending the rest of their years enjoying time with their wife alone.

    -Amy Editor

    • Actually, e-mailing and flirting with other women behind his wife's back IS cheating. I smell a Green Card hunter.

      • @ Amal,

        I second your opinion!

        This man's not just "looking" for potential wives but is flirting with them and like the OP has said "he has been secretly emailing women to the point of calling himself her husband with other romantic lingo".

        This IS cheating! Also, how is such communication even allowed to this guy, especially when even youngsters (in love) are strongly refrained from any pre-marital association with the opposite sex, without rightfully involving their guardians or parents?!

        @ Shireen,

        I doubt if this man's sincerely with you and for the right reasons. Of course, you know things better, but I do not see a reason why your husband needs to keep your marriage and you a secret from everybody. Worst is, he's upset with you because you spoke the truth when you were asked to! Really?!

        Time for reality check!

  2. Salam sister,

    I feel your pain, I love my husband dearly and we have been together for 5year's. He married another women behind my back in another country and when I found out it tore me apart.

    Islamically he has a duty of care towards you and a husband has to be responsible of your needs financially, emotionally and spiritually. He may not have needed your consent for the second marriage but he shouldn't intentionally jeopardize the first marriage. I pray that you can work it out, if he can take time to talk to you and show you he still cares for you and loves you inshallah you may live happy life together.

    Allah swt knows best. I am trying to get out of my marriage because my husband cannot acknowledge the pain he has caused me. I do wish him to be happy but not to the extent that it makes me ill. Allah swt is merciful and pray for guidance, strength & courage to do what is right for you and your family.

    I pray for you

    • sorry to hear that sister some men just don't understand how painful it is for a women what men should do if they intend to take a second make the first wife wife aware before hand for example
      if he marries wife 1 he should make her aware that he intends to take a second!

    • It was wrong for him to go behind your back, but sister, since he has done it and there is no going back, i would say to you there is no point in breaking up your family and seeking divorce.

      The mother of believers 'Aishah also felt pain and cried endlessly whenever the prophet[saww] married a new wife, but she was patient.

    • But people have different threshholds, if him being with another wife makes you sick, and you throwup etc and it makes you physically ill, then it is a burden i guess.

  3. 1.the fact that he went behind your back and spoke to other women just shows how disrespectful and shows what kind man he is.

    2.the purpose of marriage is to have children this man does not know the purpose of marriage if he intends take a second it is his responsibility to make sure that both wives are treated equally.

    your decision you can divorce him but its your decision

  4. May A l l a a h make you steadfast and guide you and your children.

  5. AA;

    Not sure if his intentions are pure or if he is just making up excuses! BUT I do not think this is the right way to get married the second wife! To go on web sites and talk to women and have romantic lengo, etc.

    I think you need to sit down with him (and if you want maybe you can involve someone to help, or that might be step 2) where both for you open up and go over your options. If he really wants kids, if you are OK with a second wife, etc. Not in an aggressive way, or trying to put him on the defence way, just to clatrify and be honest and open with each other. Once all that is out, you can both decide better inshallah.

    Please keep in mind:
    1) Don't let that change your image of Islam.
    2) To take another wife is OK in Islam. To go on sites to just chat with women and fool around is NOT.
    3) In the US, you can only legally document one marriage. If you guys agree to have the second wife, then you guys need to figure things out.
    4) Adoption in Islam does not mean the kid will be yours. You can not change the name. You can care for an orphan and it is highly encouraged in Islam (Prophet peace be upon him said (In meaning not exact narration): I and the person who cares/take care for an orphan are like this. And he put the index and the middle fingers in one hand together). So if that's the direction you go with, you also need to get some more info about it.

    May ALLAH guide us, grant us patience, and shower us with his mercy.

    If I am correct, it is from ALLAH. If I err it is from me, and I pray ALLAH forgives me. Allah knows best.


  6. No need of divorce, just learn to accept it sister. Our life in this world is for a short time and we are not meant to be in this world forever... If you learn to accept it for the sake of Allah and also for the love you have for you husband,, then your reward will be with Allah.. He will inshaAllah going to reward you with good in this world and with eternal pleasure and enjoyments in paradise on the judgement day. . .

  7. salam sister,

    iam not being cynical here but you married him 4 yrs ago, you were 45 and he was 27 then.had he moved to states few years before that? was he struggling with visa , job etc. a lot of men ( not all ofcourse) marry older american/ british women for visa and settlement. has he started talking about 2nd wife after he has his settlement in states?

    iam not trying to corrupt your mind but its very possible.

    ofcourse he has a right to marry again, but assuring you that he doent want children, talking to other women romantically is ofcourse wrong . unfortunately we have no means of testing whats in the heart of other person and we can only go by what they are saying. i understand that people have a right to change their mind but to me itis cheating , not only in terms chatting with other women but also not sticking to your words.

    • I think to talk of such suspicion is unneeded and unhealthy. No good can come from it, especially when the sister who posted never made such allegations. Creating these diversions is just a matter of more undue worries.

      The case of "not sticking to your words" is an instance of a vain vow. Trying to remove the most biological natural instinct from ourselves is akin to chopping off a piece of our body for the sake of it. The need and want to pass on a person's genes is as great as the need to eat, breath and fulfill the sexual desire. In fact, the latter exists because God wants us to reproduce and has made sexual copulation enjoyable so that we may bear children to this world.

      Though I do not agree to the extent of which he has pursued this by making romantic talk with other women, as this is not permissible before marriage, he did state that he would be looking for another wife. It's at this point where the situation should be dealt with it as it stands.

  8. Asalaam alaikum,

    I would recommend a different approach to you, since you still love him dearly. If you let him go, I believe that it will cause you great pain and there is no guarantee of another future husband, no matter how old, wouldn't take another wife, too. It's also prudent to examine your life and wants apart from what your family would think. Their opinion should play a small role and should not sway you in either direction. Islam is a priority to remember and their opinion should play second league to that.

    Instead, be honest with how much you love your husband and do not think that he has ceased loving you. What has happened is common to men his age: a need to have blood children of his own. Please understand that right now, in changing his mind about having children, he has simply acquiesced to his natural instincts and this is completely a God given right and feeling. Though he stated differently before, now that he is in his 30s, this feeling will not leave him easily. It's a beautiful feeling and I think maybe you should see it in that light. You know he would make a good father, so in a way, if you find it within yourself to stay with him, you would be giving him an incredible gift in the cause of Allah (swt). Surely for such a thing, you will find a great reward in this world and in hereafter. I think you could also find yourself loving this child immensely.

    Be careful that you not worry too much about becoming "another wife" in his life or that these fears overtake your love. In this sense, instead of fighting against this moment, use it to help him see the reality of the situation. Begin to write down the true costs of living and what it would mean for him to take a second wife and to bear a child with this woman, since you have experience of raising your own. Often times he may only think of a little baby when ignoring how much work and commitment it takes to raise that child. This is not a means to discourage him, so do not expect it, but it is a way to guarantee that he does justice to you and treats you with equality if he should take another wife. Write down and discuss what you would want if this would happen and how much you need him to be with you, living arrangements, etc. Define your role and ensure yourself of a rightful role as his wife.

    Also, it's more beneficial if you help him select another wife, if that becomes to the the case. I know this may sound like a great burden, but take hold of this opportunity to make an incredible Islamic union. There is a significant reward from Allah (swt), I believe.

    I would encourage you to not throw away your wonderful marriage of the past few years. You can still hold on to it, reaffirm it and still have the life you want with him. You can still travel and be in love with him and perhaps this way, your love can grow stronger.

    I pray that you consider this for a bit, even if you decided to leave him. Give it a chance, make dua and Allah (swt) will show you the way. I shall keep you in my prayers.

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