Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Second marriage after being cheated on by wife


Assalam O Alaikum.

I am married to my wife for 17 years and we have three beautiful children 2 boys and a girl.  For last 10 years we had very turbulent life with worse time more than pleasant moments. The unpleasant events started to happen 12 years before and their severity and frequency increased with passage of time. We are different personalities; I am more tilted towards Islam and see everything in Islamic perspective, with helping and compassionate heart towards people. On the other hand she is having secular ideas and self centered approach towards life. Her complaints with me and my family were many out of which I tried my best to solve the genuine problems within my means but she remained unsatisfied. I kept pulling on with a hope that one day my wife would understand my sincerity and love for her. Few of her demands were very unrealistic and against Islam and I used to resist and also refuse to accept such things in my home. I accept the fact that I did the mistake of creating imbalance in relations and favoured her in order keep her happy, also wasted a lot of resources on her filthy demands and activities, but all in vain.

The peak of problem started two years before she put up demand of divorce from me and created a lot of mess. I came to know that she had an affair through facebook with a person living abroad. The facebook stuff was very unethical and shameful with full of bashing and hatred with me. Till then nothing happened physically between her and that man. She apologized for her mistake but her apology was very superficial. After few days I came to know that she is not at home for two days. I was in another city and immediately came back and reached the hotel where I had clue that both would be present and found them in that hotel in same room. The hotel authorities never allowed me to go into their room and called them in lobby. I asked my wife that why she is here and she replied that I have come here to seek his help to get rid of me. That man reached to our country from abroad. Those were the most testing moments of my life and only Allah provided me strength to hold my anger and temperament.

I told them clearly that till the time she is my wife they don’t have any right to be together in privacy. I provided a separate room to my wife and left my kids with her overnight. Next day that guy left the hotel and my wife went to her sister's home. Kids came with me because they refused to live with their mother. To my information my wife and that guy never met again because he got frightened from my reactions and gestures, but he kept facebook and telephonic contact with her. After a month he went back to his country and the story ended.

Afterwards we had very bad time together; we went for marriage counseling but we could not settle down because me and my kids wanted her to realize the damage that she caused to family. We asked her to show a matured behaviour to uplift the image of family, but she never realized. After few months she again left me and children and went to her relatives. Nobody was happy with her activities and never gave her shelter. After couple of months she came back and apologized for all what she done with me any with kids. It took ten months to reach at this point, my job, finances and health all got upside down.

I asked her about the extent of relationship with that guy because facebook stuff was full of evil intentions. She answer that she was very upset mentally in those days and do not remember that either she had any physical relationship with that man or not. This answer has generated a lot doubts in my mind and added more to my agony. I don't know that I have forgiven her or not but I restored her in my house for larger interest of children and the family. Now my love and emotions for her have faded away and I do not have any expectations from her in future that she would play a positive role as my partner. Although as compassionate man I am dealing with her as a husband should deal with a wife, even fulfilling her physical requirements.

On the other hand I very much upset psychologically as I feel that I have not done justice with myself because I had been honest with her and also faced her exploitation for last 12 year but in return she cheated on me. Now I think that I should go for second marriage with a lady with whom I do not have any such feeling. I don’t want to divorce my first wife because this would open a new rift between me and her as well as a tug of war for children.

My question is that whether I am thinking on right track lines for having second wife a practicing Muslima in order to bring some consolation for myself. I am also ready to keep my first wife and will never divorce unless she herself demands. I also know that being a practicing Muslim I will have to do justice with both and InshaAllah I will try my best to do justice.


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13 Responses »

  1. The rift in your marriage may be caused by you two being in different places in religion. I always wonder how our prophet could put up with any of us when all of us were beneath him in terms of religion. But the reality was that he would not look down on those less religious but be grateful for whatever they had within them. He would make them feel special to the point that they would love him.

    One of the issues in your marriage is that you look down on her. She most likely feels this, and because she isn't as religious as you, or may never be, you do not value her the same. This incident where she sought out love and tried to get you out of the picture is most likely because her needs are not met in this marriage. I don't know what you can do for this other than counseling but the first thing you have to accept is that she is who she is and you either accept her as is or don't. If you can accept her then do your best to fulfill her needs.

    Even the way you offer her your husbandly duties is out of duty and not out of love. So in your mind you are fulfilling her needs but in reality, her emotional needs are not being met through you, because you look down on her.

    If you get a second wife then your time will be split between both. The first wife you are really only hanging on to for the kids sake. Once they are out the door you would most likely divorce her. The second wife would similarly get only half the time and would have difficulty dealing with you being absent when new kids are born, of for you being there for her and her kids.

    Please think about what you can really offer to everyone and do the best for everyone. Of course, if you can make your current wife feel special and loved then not need a second wife that would be best for your kids, but also maintaining her till her old age would be good. She can get a different guy now but perhaps not later when the kids are out.

    If you can't do the best for your first wife, perhaps you should consider if it truly would be best for her to be with this new man who can treat her right. Otherwise both of you will be in this loveless marriage where you do not fulfill her needs. Unless this new man is a jerk and only goes for married women and her life would be worse with him, perhaps her moving on is a good option. I'm on the internet and don't really know your situation in detail but you have a lot of discussing to do with a lot of people who are in you life and know both of you.

    • Dear M,
      Thank you very much for your reply. Your suggestion is very fair that she should be given chance to find a suitable man for her.

      On the other hand it is irony to consider that someone is follower of Prophet pbuh and he is looking down upon other Muslims. I think making a conclusion here that I looked down upon her and never fulfilled her emotional desires is a bit harsh on me. We can fulfill legitimate emotional demands but cannot say yes to unrealistic desires and demands, yes for discussion and workable solution. I think i did it with sincerity.

      It is now that I concluded after 17 years that I was wrong in dealing with her. Prior to this situation I considered her as part of my life and tried to keep her satisfied through my love and devotion, but she kept raising her anxiety and volatility. I started thinking her as different entity when I saw her drastic step to fly abroad with a random man.

      Secondly blaming me for her such act is totally injustice. She had three other options

      1. She could talk to me about their unmet needs constructively and asked you to do things to meet them and we could come upto some compromise that what can be met and what cannot be met.
      2. She could have suggested to go to couples counseling with me before taking such step.
      3. If she thought that above two options are not workable she should have left me before getting involved with someone else.

      She never tried these options properly and kept the domestic situation messy and embarrassing for everyone.

      The other misunderstanding that I will divorce her after few years is also wrong I have no intentions to divorce her. I consider that she made a big mistake but I still love her as a human being, as mother of my three children and I want her to settle with kids and the entire family. It is not only me with whom she has gone upto extreme severe relations, she is not in good terms with her own brothers and sister and even with her own kids. After that havoc we also went for marriage counselling and psychiatric treatment but her temperament remained there. The solution of her problems is with her not with anyone else. The other people can only help her.

      Now after all this I need peace of mind to concentrate on my research work, therefore a peaceful home is necessary for me. She always has her own issues to deal with instead of looking what is important for house. Secondly our unpleasant past and the inclusion of a random man in her life has left very strong marks on my mind. I have done best in my 17 years to give her a peaceful life but I failed so I don not want to exert more.

      A successful second marriage mainly depends upon the other lady and the other people who are around me. It is very obvious that my first wife will have objections on my second marriage and it is upto her that either she wants to live as my wife or leave me. In case I depart from my first wife, again as a follower of Prophet pbuh I cannot do injustice of keeping mother away from her kids. In such situation I will give kids free option rather instigate them to chose mother and I would still bear their expenses as a father.

      • Divorce her.It is not allowed to stay in a marriage with adulterios woman. You will be called as cuckold and as per hadith Allah will not have a look at cuckold huusbands. You are under false impresson that you are doing great by keeping her in nikah but hadith talks against cuckold husbands. Divorce is the best solution. Don't go for second marriage during this messy period.

        • Dear illogical
          Thank you very much for your suggestions.

          She is not having affair with anyone at the moment but she is a self centered women who is unable to understand her duties towards family and relations. She goes on doing what comes in her mind and once she makes up her mind she is unstoppable. I am taking the step of second marriage to have peace of mind for myself so that I could do my job properly and progress my career.

          I am giving her chance to understand the needs and requirements of a family life. In case in future if she creates problems for me in future I would definitely take the step of departing with her.


          • As-salamu Alaykum,
            It might be a good idea to have a final conversation with your wife regarding your hopes and expectations of her as a wife and mother. Let her know that you have reached the point of considering a second marriage. This will give her another chance to reform and will also leave her prepared in the event of divorce or second marriage. You can also ask her which scenario she prefers (divorce, living together in harmony/peace, or second marriage). If she cares about the marriage, she might make some changes.

      • Salam Trekking4Life,

        Sorry if I offended you, I wasn't being rhetorical when I said I wonder how the prophet pbuh made people feel special. I really do wonder because there is a great divide between him and the people he helped. Many of those people weren't as good and had issues. I haven't quite figured it out since if I did you'd be feeling pretty special right now.

        Also I'm not blaming you for her act, just because one's needs are met doesn't mean they start cheating, you didn't.

        Gottman has this theory on divorce, and the way you talk about her would qualify you for one of four conditions: "contempt (from a position of superiority)". It's in the way you write about her and say "she is a self centered women who is unable to understand her duties towards family and relations"

        There is no single right answer, and people have a range of personalities with pluses and minuses. If she's selfish and gives more time to her kids then that's good but is bad that others don't get much time. If you're more giving to others it's good but then it comes at a cost of the time your kids and wife get. Everything you do has a downside and a plus side, if you focus on the downside then life sucks. So to make her special you could try to focus on the plus side of everything she does. If you thought she's good because she focuses on her family then you wouldn't see her as being that selfish.

        As for you divorcing her later, I agree you are not in the mindset to divorce her now, because you want to do the honorable thing and keep the family together. But I fear that your mindset will lead to a divorce later. The right reason to marry a second wife is to help her out and go with the mindset that this is going to be work and create new problems. If you're going with the mindset that she's going to help you out, it may happen, but it is riskier and harder to make happen. Cause now you have jealousy and two people asking for your time.

        Having two wives wouldn't give you time to focus on the research, it will likely create new problems to the point you will divorce the first one. But that's just probability, it is very possible the second wife will be a blessing and help both of you work out your differences and be the best thing ever. Highly unlikely, but still possible.

        With your first wife being "self centered", it's highly unlikely she's going to agree, and then I would expect her to be constantly upset about this. She would probably consider it cheating on her but somehow it's halal when you do it and haram when she does it even though she would like some consolation too.

        Although there is some value in this. If you were to outright divorce her and provide no maintenance that would be bad. If it's a better deal for her to be a second wife than be completely divorced and you plan on divorcing her no matter what then you have something to offer. Your kids will most likely hate you though, just like they hate her cheating. They're not going to say well, it's halal for dad so it's ok.

        Go through the counseling please. Focus on what you can fix for yourself and see if you can help her. You will inevitably get a good wife in the afterlife if you can make it there, do the best deeds you can do here to earn the most. I don't look down on you, you are in a trail right now, good luck.

        • Dear M,
          Thank you very much for your concerns. I am really obliged to see that you are looking at my matter in depth. Regarding our relationship. For last so many years Allah Subhana wa Taala has placed me in a situation of sole beard and butter earner for family. But this is lady is constantly bleeding me out by creating issues every now and then. The last incidence took me to the edge of black hole and nearly took my life. He gave me the courage to survive.

          After that we went for a complete marriage counselling and psychiatric treatment. But issued remained that same. It will be injustice with entire family direct all efforts and resources on her which we did for so many years. She is still getting enough of support from me, my kids and my family.

          Many times I asked her to talk to me in a constructive manner so that we could chalk out our most important and common goals and tasks so that we could focus on those issues, but she did not turn up to talk. She know she will have to give something to get something and that is not acceptable to her.

          InshaAllah I will search a lady for second marriage who will help me in giving me peace of mind and also work with me in articulating my research work.

  2. Assalaamualaikam

    It sounds like you've had a very difficult time in your marriage. I pray that Allah rewards you for your patience and your efforts to keep to the straight path.

    Before making a decision about whether to look for a second wife, it might be a good idea for you and your wife to go for marriage counselling with a counsellor who has knowledge of Islamic values. Relationships need good communication - and if you're considering having another wife it's going to be even more important to keep channels of communication open to minimise conflict and drama.

    There is provision in Islam for a man to have more than one wife, although there are conditions to this. It might be helpful for you to speak with an imam or scholar (maybe you could meet with someone at your local mosque?) in order to discuss your own circumstances - that way you can inshaAllah come to a conclusion about whether or not it's something you feel would be beneficial for your deen and your family? Depending on where you live, there may also be issues about the legality or recognition of a second marriage. You might want to do some research about this to check what kind of marriage would be permitted under local laws, to make sure you don't unintentionally break a law.

    Of course, before making any major decision such as this, it's important to pray istikhara. You might want to read the articles about istikhara which are available on this website, as they may be of help to you, inshaAllah.

    If you do decide that you're going to proceed and look for a second wife, I'd urge you to be honest about this with your wife. She may well be upset and confused, but it would be far more traumatic for her to find out later down the line (when she'd also have to process that you kept it a secret from her). If she were to decide to end the marriage, then I'm sorry to say it but it's her loss and her choice. We all have to live with the consequences of our actions. If she does decide to end things, I'd encourage you to seek joint custody/access arrangements rather than giving her sole custody; it's important for your children to have access to their father as well as their mother, and for them to have an upbringing which is based on Islamic values (and it sounds like you're more likely to be in a position to provide this).

    You and your wife would also need to consider what to tell the children about any new relationship, so that you're giving a consistent message to them which is in accordance with Islamic values. For example, would you want the children to know that you have a second wife? Would you want them to get to know her? How would you explain the concept of polygamy to them? These are difficult things to explain to children, so it would be best if you and your wife could work together on this, inshaAllah.

    Midnightmoon editor

    • Dear Midnightmoon
      Jazakallah for you thoughtful suggestions. I will sure heed to these.

      Regarding marriage counselling, we went for that and consulted a practicing doctor who tried to control anxiety and depression in our relationship,but the lady did not realize the level of damage she did to all of us. EVEN MY JOB CAME UNDER QUESTION BECAUSE I WAS NOT FULFILLING MY DUTIES AND FIGHTING WITH MANY ISSUES IN THOSE DAYS ALONG WITH PSYCHIATRIC MEDICINES. Finally I left my efforts of taking extra bit of care for her and wish for a normal family and started concentrating on my job.

      Regarding Islamic principles and rules for second marriage, I would definitely consult some Islamic scholar so that on my part I could do the justice with both. As far as the legal procedure is concerned, I have sent her legal and informal notices for allowing me to go for second marriage. She did not reply to any of them.

      So she is quite aware of the fact that I am going to establish a house. But I have not told her when and where. Kindly advise me on this aspect that is it necessary for me about the disclosure and timing of my second marriage.

      My kids and family are also aware of this. My elders suggest me that I can go for second marriage but not at the cost of the future of my children. InshaAllah I would do my best to keep on playing fatherly role for them. The all love me a lot. Two are adult and aware of the things a lot.

      I will clearly tell the second wife about my priority towards my children and would expect that she will allow me to play my role fairly.

      I will be waiting for any more suggestion from you.

      Profound Regards

      • It is confirmed in the Sahih;

        «مَا يَنْبَغِي لِلْمُؤْمِنِ أَنْ يُذِلَّ نَفْسَه»

        (The believer is not required to humiliate himself.) He was asked; "How does one humiliate himself, O Messenger of Allah'' So he replied;

        «يَتَحَمَّلُ مِنَ الْبَلَاءِ مَا لَا يُطِيق»

        (He takes on tests that he cannot bear.)

        Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A believer does not allow himself to be stung twice from one (and the same) hole.” [Bukhari]

  3. Sallam Alaikum,

    Please don't be upset but I will speak my mind on this matter

    Your wife feels completely unloved and appreciated and her needs are not met, when a woman finds love on face book surely this woman's emotional needs aren't met. Women need love to survive, they want to feel appreciated and accepted. The fact that she's not as religious as you are also affects her, you do look down upon your wife.

    I suggest you shower this woman with love, listen to her, feed her soul, respect and give her attention and watch her blossom to the woman you first fell in love with 17 yrs ago.

    Marrying a second wife right now will cause more problems, this will further destroy your fragile marriage. Love is all she needs. Meet her needs especially her emotional and physical needs.

    Get rid of your self righteous attitude and love your wife whom Allah has blessed you with.

    • Assalamualaikum

      Please don't be upset but I will speak my mind on your comment.

      "Get rid of your self righteous attitude "

      That is absurd. Recognizing that someone is not fulfilling your rights while you are fulfilling theirs is not self righteousness, it's being real.

      "Your wife feels completely unloved and appreciated and her needs are not met"

      Really? You know this, how? (Rhetorical question, you clearly do not.)

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