Why Do Some People Hide Polygamy

why do some people hide polygamyWhy do some people hide polygamy? Some women in polygamous marriages hide it from their families and friends. It’s sad that a married woman feels the need to hide the truth about her marriage from those whom she cares about. Especially since a woman should have pride in her marriage.

It’s especially disheartening to hear that there are Muslims who find shame in polygamy. After all, Allah approves of polygamy for men. He allows it. A point often overlooked is that one can live it easily without breaking any laws of the land. So, why do some people hide polygamy, then?

Indeed, many people disapprove of polygamy as a form of marriage. However, when one is in a polygamous marriage there is no place for shame in it. Especially if the woman is going to stay in the marriage, she shouldn’t hide in it. Marriage is an honorable way of life. If a Muslim woman finds shame in her own religion, how does she expect to find any peace and contentment in it? It’s almost impossible.

Why do some people hide polygamy when our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived it, and it’s a part of Islam?

I understand that some have concerns about society. Particularly in the US, they reject polygamy. There are those in polygamous marriages who fear legal problems from it. Especially, they fear the consequences from it becoming known.

Fortunately, not everyone needs to know about it. There is no reason to broadcast to the public that one lives in a polygamous marriage. There is no need to put it on blast.

On the other hand, why hide polygamy from those whom one is very close to such as near friends and family? Hiding polygamy when it’s a part of ones religion is not acceptable.  It’s not okay, as it may signal that one is not accepting of her own religion.

I strongly suggest that a woman who hasn’t told her immediate family or closest friends asks herself, why? It’s something that she needs to come to terms with, so she could have a better life.

Rather, marriage is wonderful. As a matter of fact, it has existed going back to our father Adam and his wife Eve. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived both monogamous and a polygamous lifestyles at different times in his life. Other prophets before him lived it, as well. Allah’s Prophets are our examples. If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.

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32 Comments

  • anabellah

    October 23, 2016

    Neesa, Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

    It’s nice to have you here. Thank you for coming forward to speak with us. You’re here at a good time since were speaking quite a bit about ladies marrying in the order of second and beyond :-) You may want to join us over on the October discussions post/thread, so that we can keep up with you and you don’t fall off the list, lost and forgotten due to speaking on older posts/threads. :-)

    You should feel good about yourself that you let your family know about your marriage. I just can’t understand people hiding such a thing from their families when polygamy is a part of Islam. It’s a part of our religion. When I became Muslim, from day one, I talked with my family about everything associated with Islam, including polygamy. I was so excited about it and wanted to talk to the world about it. My family knew about my salat (prayers) fasting, polygamy and everything. My mother did her own little fast thing with me during Ramadan a couple of years when I was still living at home with her before I got married. I still tell them everything about Islam. I don’t care if they like it or not or what they think of me. I used to want them to understand Islam, but I don’t care any longer. I’ve learned over the years that non-Muslim can’t understand Islam since Allah didn’t chose them.

    I don’t blame you for NOT letting your co-workers know about your polygamous marriage. There is no point in it. They wouldn’t understand. Granted, family may not understand either. It’s not a matter of getting family to understand. It’s just a matter of not being ashamed of our way of life. We wouldn’t hide a monogamous marriage from them; then why hide a polygamous one?

    So, wow, you’ve got one of those co-wives who tries to get her husband to leave the other wife. It’s very sad. No good comes to a person like that. She’ll be the one coming out on the losing end, if she doesn’t change her ways. Be grateful to Allah that you are not her.

  • Neesa

    October 23, 2016

    Salam sisters. This is my first comment here, I always been a lurker tho. :D I’ve been married to my husband as a second wife and so far my family and relatives were informed about it. When I wanted to marry him, my mom went against the idea, she is a second wife herself so she was worried about me. I think it’s natural that she feels that way. But she eventually blessed us and when family met him they learned to like him a lot. I think he just has that charm to win people’s heart eventho he doesn’t really talk a lot because of the language barrier. We are multiracial couple and most of the people in my hometown are not very good in english. People talk but I learned not to think about it as much. I live far from my family (7 hours away) anyways so I find that it helps that I don’t really get to see these people on the daily basis. But I do worry about my mom, she’s the one who gets most of the critics(if any) and on top of her own marriage issues but she never complains. As long as she sees me happy she think it worths it.But contrary to where I am actually staying and working, my co-workers do not know, and my co-wife family does not know. Even my parents in law does know a lot of details about me. Being a non-muslim and westerners, we find it will be hard for them to accept the ideas and the troubles it might cause. My husband’s other wife never accept me, she tried but she also constantly trying to make him leave me, most of the time she manages to put a lot of pressure on our husband and it is taking toll on him physically and mentally. They have 4 kids together and it is also part of the reason why his parents are not told about us. They will be worried about the kids and what comes with it. They know me, they met me, we spent great time together when they came visit us. I think it puzzled them too who am I actually to their son but we never really spill the beans. However his sister knows and we used to sit down and talked on it. She said she understands, doesn’t judge and leave it out to us. Which is somewhat comforting. I used to think it wasn’t nice for me to be a ‘secret’ since I wasn’t shy to tell about him to my family but then again, my friends and co-workers do not know. But it’s not that I feel like it will effect me so much if they know, I know it will somehow, I just don’t feel the need for them to know or for me to actually ANNOUNCE it. Since he has been very nice to me, he visits at work sometimes and he showcases love and how much I mean to him to my friends. But also, part of me knows that, it’s not all about me, when I sell my stories to people, I am also selling the stories of my husband and his wife. Even not the details, it will bring bad perception about other people who are involved. For example, I don’t want them to think bad about my co-wife, even if she’s not really being nice to me, even if it’s true what people will say. But as long as I do not contribute to that.

  • anabellah

    September 28, 2016

    Miranda, Welcome! I’m glad you found us,

    So your husband has another wife besides you and you don’t want to tell your dad. Don’t stress about it. If there is nothing pressing that makes it necessary to tell him, then don’t. It’s not as though he is a Muslim who should understand our religion, and you fear telling him. It’s good you told your Muslim biological sister. At least you have someone to talk with about it whose close to you. If and when it’s time for your father to know, it will all come out.

    I’d say try to explain to your sister that we as Muslims must accept all of the Quran and not just the parts that we like. Polygamy is part of our way of life. Insha Allah, in time she will come to accept it all. I don’t know how long ago you and she accepted Islam. No one receives faith overnight. The Quran wasn’t revealed in a day. It was revealed in a period of over twenty some years. We Muslim should all always be learning. It a lifetime of learning and living the Quran.

    Please feel free to join us over on the September discussion thread, if you want to talk more. It’s where were all talking right now. Again, it’s nice to have you here.

  • Miranda

    September 28, 2016

    Asa sisters, I am struggling with this currently.  I am wife #1    My father is older and a non muslim. I have decided not to tell him. Sometimes it’s just easier not to tak about it. My only sister is also revert muslim and months later she  still is not over shock of it.  Holds extreme angst against my husbsnd. ((long story)still have extreme ups and downs, so not really strong enough to truly defend my position. Thanks to all sisters who have posted their stories. It has helped so much.

    Salaams

  • Mari2

    September 16, 2016

    I had a conversation with my friend today, and she knows that I am in a polygamous relationship with my husband.   My friend said that she was a one woman person.   And I said that was her right to want.  She then asked me how I could be okay with a man married to another woman.  So I pointed out to her a friend of ours who just had child number 3 with a man who has  several “baby mamas”…my baby mama, my baby mama…  I asked my friend to explain how “baby mama” gained acceptance when “baby daddy” has no job and fails to support, and sleeps around,  but accepting to be in polygamy with a man who is knowing of his expectations and only has “baby mamas” that he actually married is a bad thing? 

  • Jasmina

    September 15, 2016

    I’m not there yet. My family I have told and not my relatives but I know my family told them. No secrets in my family lol. But I haven’t had the courage to tell them and discuss it i just dodge the marriage conversations. Even though they already know. Some of my friends know but not all. I’m not sure why, I guess I feel I don’t want to be judged for r let anyone in on my personal life’ I’ve been stabbed in the back too many times before. I don’t discuss my marriage at all I try not too. Like I told one friend who has been a huge support but then she told her friend about me and my problems and whom I don’t know and now her friend is always asking me questions and trying to get juice and I don’t even know her but she knows my husbands other wife’s family and I’m worried what rumours will be started and come back to bite me.

  • Karima

    September 14, 2016

    Salam thank you Ana I love you for the sake of Allah for always being here for me n for giving me good advice! The best advice I got is from this blog from you n the sisters xxx

  • anabellah

    September 14, 2016

    karima,

    It’s the best thing you could do. Leave it in God’s hand. You’re going to be okay. I know it’s frustrating at times, not knowing, but it’s part of test, having faith in Allah about the the unknown. He has a plan and He knows whats best for us.

    We’re here for you to talk with. You’ve got us. We’ve got one another {hugs}

  • Karima

    September 14, 2016

    Ana I’m leaving it to Gods hands. I have some great days lately most is good n bad became much less Alhamdulellah 

  • Karima

    September 14, 2016

    maybe what happened with that woman belongs to the past I don’t know.  Maybe he’s trying to end All contact with her. On the other hand maybe there’s a family there I know nothing of n maybe he loves that person too or more or whatever

  • Karima

    September 14, 2016

    Salam Ana

    unfortunately i dont know up close n personal a muslim person i could talk to.  Im trying though to get more Active n contributing at the local masjid. There are a couple of sisters im fond of in particular but we dont talk about our marriages. If i Open up then im afraid they ll think what a dishonest lying husband i have….n I’ll have to hear myself saying He’s not feeling me emotionally know nothing about his friends his social media pages n I’ll have witnesses also to my sayIngs . I feel bad for even more writing it here… I don’t know how to communicate well with him either:(((

  • najwa5

    September 14, 2016

    As Salaamu Alaikum,

    @ Mrcollies, it would be nice to find a common ground with cowives and love one another but not everyone wants to   find common ground. Shoot in my case, my co told me we will never be family or cool Masha’allah. I good with it.  I just hope she knows that I exist in a fairytale world and stop hiding it from the children. She needs to explain to them that their father has another family too.  I mean they knew about me before but she claims they forgot about me.

     

  • Mrcollies

    September 13, 2016

    Interesting topic, currently only my fimily and close friends knows, my first wife’s parents have an idea(she was mad at some point and decided to go back home to her family, told them I took the second wife they were upset-eventually she came back and for now they families need to sit down and talk about it, they haven’t met yet coz her parents stay about 1500km away

    my second wife’s family don’t know yet, at some point they had an idea but we didn’t reveal it,

    my mom has a huge problem about me being with two wives especially at my age and our region christians, and I tried and tried to talk to her that there is no where in the bible were God said multiple wives is a sin http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/polygamy.html but I understand her she is a big pastor and trying to lead by example in the city, she needs time she will get use to it with time.

    I wont put pressure on my wives to tell their families or friends, but I wont tolarate hiding when we get to that stage, we still within a year, so much is happening, last thing I need to deal wit is someone else, maybe after a year or two, wen we have built a solid family, wen we all happy and loving,

    as for hiding, I think its silly, everything happens for a reason, if ur a divorcee, its ok, its a path that Allah/God wanted for u to go, y cry about it, or hide it, I love my wives so much that I want them to be happy and loving and will always be proud of them, and when the time is right when they comfortable enough, they will be proud of us,

    I will never get close to another woman in life, I’m complete at home, all my friends cheat, today with this one tomorrow with the other one, each day I look forward going home, even wen things are not coollies yet, things will be fine, my family comes first

    so in concluding what I’m trying to say,, I said it before, to everyone out there who has a co, try find a way for a common ground, love them and u will have peace and joy, unit to form one family, u will have love in the family, and there is no way u will be able to hide something ur happy about

  • anabellah

    September 13, 2016

    Oh, okay, Tasliyman, Wa Alaikum As Salaam

    Thankz so much for clarifying. I thought you meant the later. A person would have to have a low view of oneself to say she knew she’d be married second. It’s why I was confused. I hold you in high esteem, which is why I questioned what you meant :-)

  • Tasliyman

    September 13, 2016

    Aslm Ana. 

    I just meant at the time of the wedding my family knew that I’m marrying a man who already has a wife and children. A few accepted it while others went all kinds of crazy :-). 

    I certainly didn’t always know that I was going to be a second wife. I was actually expecting the whole “princess and prince charming get married and live happily ever after” scenario. 

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    Tasliyman,

    How did you know that you’d always be a “second wife?”  – if you don’t mind me asking.

    I agree that this is an interesting topic, one that I don’t think any of us is absolutely sure of the best way to handle it. I suppose it needs to be handled on a case by case basis. It depends on the type of relationship that one has with her family, as well. I think avoiding the topic and feeling awkward in talking about it is normal in the beginning.

    If one knows that a person thinks polygamy is wrong and the person has nothing good to say about it, then I’d say avoid talking to the person about it. I wouldn’t suggest that a Muslim talk to a non-Muslim about it unless the person brings the subject up. Even then, if it’s just someone, any ole body who knows only that you are Muslim and asks if you’re in a polygamous marriage, well, it’s just none of the person’s business.

    I think if it comes down to lying to our families or very close friends about where our husband is and what he’s doing, then it’s a different story. Our religion shouldn’t cause us I to have to lie.

    Again, it is an interesting topic for us all to discuss. Maybe we’ll find a way for things to be easier for us by opening up about it with one another here. https://www.polygamy411.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    Karima,

    Is there any Muslim whom you know up close and personal whom you could talk with about what you’re going through? You have us, but sometimes it helps to talk with a person in the flesh or on the phone. I have my wali to talk with if something is bothering me. I can talk with my mom, as well; although she isn’t Muslim. I just need to know what information from her I should accept and what I should reject. Maybe if you connect with someone else, you won’t feel so all alone and by yourself.

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    Karima,

    Have you tried just being yourself with your husband? Just take it easy, relax and enjoy his company. Everything and everyday don’t need to be a discussion about how the marriage is and what’s going on with him. Just live life with him. Men don’t like to talk about a relationship. They just want to be in it.

    If he thinks that you are unhappy and he thinks that there is nothing that he can do to make you happy, he will shut down. He will stop trying.

    You still need to communicate. There is no reason that you need to walk about feeling and thinking things and not be able to share them with your husband. Let him know what you’re feeling and thinking. If you’ve done it already and you keep getting no where, then you know just to drop that subject and accept that it is what it is for the time being and can be no other way. Perhaps in time, things will change.

    Try to find a way to connect with him in a positive way, so he doesn’t think or feel that everything that he’s doing is wrong.

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    Karima,

    Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

    First, I think you need to stop thinking that you are a failure. You didn’t fail your husband. Him becoming polygamous, if in fact he is, is not about you. It’s about him and what he did. As we say often, if he’s done anything wrong, he will account to Allah for it.

    As long as you blame yourself, you won’t be able to get to a good place in which you can be content with your life and be happy. Insha Allah, one day soon you’ll be able to see, know and believe that Allah makes all things happen. Only He has power.  You could attribute your husband becoming polygamous to Allah because it’s because of Him that he is, for whatever reason. We probably have less than an atoms weight of the knowledge that Allah has.

    It sounds that you’ve got your hands full. The way to find joy in all that you do (all the things that you detailed that you do) is to remember Allah while doing them. Remind yourself that you’re doing it all to seek the good pleasure of Allah and for that you will receive barakats (blessings).

     

  • Tasliyman

    September 12, 2016

    Yes, the kitty is adorable and fits in perfectly with the post :-)

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    Isn’t that kitty in the pic above the cutest little thing :-)

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    najwa5,

    I’m glad you liked the post, Sis. Thank you for letting me know. I thought it would make an interesting topic. I think your previous post was one that inspired me to write it.

    I did as you did, which was to school my family about Islam, so they would have knowledge of it and of my new life. I talked to them about Islam when I first became Muslim and continued to do so even to this day. I spoke to them right away about polygamy and that it’s allowed. I spoke to them about it without having any idea that I may one day live it. I was just so excited about my new life that I couldn’t stop talking about it to everyone, family, friends, and co-workers.

    I’ve come to understand that non-Muslims won’t understand our way of life, so I don’t expect them to and I don’t try to convert anyone. I don’t try to get anyone to understand anymore. Allah tells us that they won’t.  Some non-Muslims will listen and not voice a negative opinion to our faces about how they feel and some will come right out and say what they’re thinking.

    I think the key is not to try to convince others to accept our way. We shouldn’t feel a need to hide our way either, unless we foresee that there will be problems, if we don’t.

     

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    Number4, Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

    Isn’t it crazy how some people think that All people in polygamous marriages have sex together? Although, some do LOL That’s baffling, as well. Knowing Islam is about purity, chastity and virtue, how do some people who call themselves “Muslim” partake in such an act? Most of the questions about polygamy from those who aren’t in it revolve around sex. If none of the parties to the marriage step out on the spouse (have an affair) then all should be okay. The thing is- who knows who will have an affair, the same as in a monogamous marriage. It’s important that they get checked out medically for STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) before the marriage takes place.

    About having papers (a Marriage License) I think it’s up to the wife to be secure in herself and sees her marriage as legitimate without the papers. In the US, society rejects polygamy,so they will continue to invalidate the marriages that aren’t supported by a Marriage License.

    I don’t know how polygamy got outlawed by Christians. It would be interesting to know. I suppose it had something to do with “The Bible” and their belief that the New Testament overrode the Old Testament.

  • Tasliyman

    September 12, 2016

    Interesting topic for sure. Lots of food for thought.

    I never hid the truth from family I just never entered discussions about it with anyone –  not even close family. It was known that I would be a second wife and that was it. For a long time I blissfully avoided having to admit it to anyone. Some years down the line I will talk about it with some people but I still avoid discussing it with people who was openly against my marriage in the beginning. 

    But yes, definitely something I need to evaluate and think about. Although I dont lie about it I still avoid it too much and feel awkward when people ask me where my husband is.  

  • Karima

    September 12, 2016

    Salam i dont Know what to think or what to say on the subjeczY . You know Ana whats going on With us i vented here a couple of times!! Honestly I would prefer H to say the truth no matter what is that…. I don’t know if the other woman n total lack of trust is the reason i don’t feel connected to him at all. We keep acting what a lovely family we are mashallah…. But only me n God know how much I struggle not to scream or not to cry in front of him. But kids are around non stop n by the late evening hell arrive im exhausted from the whole day housework running errands shopping kids driving n trying to make my teaching happen:) Alhamdulellah . I saw no result all the times I tried in the past to communicate with him. We are in different pages we have different idea of so many things I think except of fulfilling our responsibilities as husband n wife.  But is marriage only about that? The dissapointment n loneliness n realization I can’t be honest with H about my feelings my bad days Etc is hard sometimes very hard other times I remember this dunya is a test a punishment a journey to realise what really matters etc….. Yes I hide many things from everyone cause still I am ashamed n upset with my self for falling for H

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    I could see a Muslim not telling her family as well, IF she has nothing to do with them. Isn’t it hypocritical if she has something to do with them?

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    Hi Moipone,

    I understand your logic. You aren’t Muslim and didn’t enter a polygamous marriage willing but was tossed into it. I could imagine the chaos it would cause to let them know when you’re still trying to figure it all out.You have enough to deal with without putting your family on top of it.

  • Moipone

    September 12, 2016

    Hi 

    For I guess is how it happened, I felt like a failure still do because I am known as the feminist in my family and the humiliation of them finding out that I am know in that kind of marriage I will be called a hypocrite. 

    Maybe if I willing entered this type of marriage I would not hide it but I was thrown into. Until I understand it I won’t tell my family. 

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    I mean, which is better- to tell family and close friends that your husband is with his other wife/wives, which is Islamically acceptable or lie and say that he’s on a business trip; he’s visiting a sick relative or a fraternity brother, or working late and so forth and so on… Who is one really trying to protect? Does the husband need protection from something he wanted?

  • anabellah

    September 12, 2016

    As Salaamu Alaikum All,

    I think a woman needs to be honest with herself. It’s one thing to say, for instance, I’m in a polygamous marriage, which is permissible whether you like it or not, not seeking acceptance from others, as one very well won’t receive it and not revealing it because she herself is ashamed and don’t accept polygamy herself. One could reveal that she’s in a polygamous marriage, which is part of our way of life, without having to give details of it and let the outsider into her intimacy. We need to be true to ourselves.

  • Number4

    September 11, 2016

    Asalaam Alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu, 

    I think there are people who shield their polygamy because of family members who are not Muslims. I can see how the scrutiny and judgement would make for an uneasy time.

    I was honest with a cousin who is a nurse and age would later go on to judge sex as impure,  she said it’s because of her job but I think it’s more her personal idea on polygamy,  there’s a belief that we all sleep together and that’s ludicrous.  There is a reasonable concern however that we protect our sexual health,  so I get that but my cousin is Christian and so her ideas are not open to Islam.  She once stated that these marriages aren’t real without legal papers. I corrected her,  papers without God is just papers and the law is mostly against religious views so I told her that my marriage is what I chose,  knowing up front that there are 3 others and I have no regrets. 

    I also don’t recall polygamy being outsted in the Bible, so while many of our family members may reject polygamy they need to reflect on polygamy in Christianity. So we don’t reveal to everyone because of the judgement and the invasion into our intimate lives. We should protect our marriages no matter what because everyone’s business is no bodies business. 

  • najwa5

    September 11, 2016

    Ana, 

    I love this post. I really never kept my polygamous marriage a secret from parents and siblings. I just that they wouldn’t understand at first until I really explain it to them and give them some Islamic knowledge. The never thought to tell friends because I didn’t want a billion questions. But something about this time around beingbin polygamy. I’ve told a few of my close friends. Maybe cause I needed to vent and sent this time around took me through something. My friends are very supportive. Some may not understand because they are not Muslims but they don’t judge Alhamdulilah.