Why Muslim Women Stay in Polygamous Marriages

why Muslim women stay in polygamous marriages

A lot of people ask why Muslim women stay in polygamous marriages that they don’t like? For instance, they say if living in a polygamous marriage is so difficult and painful for a woman, why stay in it?

Most of the ladies who are here on this polygamy 411 blog want to accept polygamy. It’s because Allah allows it for men. A Muslim who is a Believer knows when a woman and a man are in a polygamous marriage, Allah decreed it for them. Allah placed them in it. Additionally, the husband and the wife usually love each other.

The women believe there is good in polygamy, for Allah does not authorize a thing that is bad or evil. Furthermore, the ladies here know that polygamy was the way of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He became polygamous after his first and only wife died. Another key point is that all of Allah’s prophets named in the Holy Quran are our example.

Why Muslim women stay in polygamous marriages that they don’t like is because they want to accept what Allah has decreed for them

Most ladies on this blog know that they should not run when the going gets tough. Wives don’t need to take their money and children, and flee. The sensible women won’t listen to the people who suggest that they leave. It’s because there is no benefit in trying to flee from what Allah has placed them in. They want to obey Allah.

Allah tells us to exercise patience in all that betide us. Why? Because He has a plan. If a wife leaves a polygamous marriage, it’s because Allah took her out of it. Allah placed her in it and He can take her out of it. Most of the women here want to accept all of Allah’s decisions.

Allah knows what is best for us, which is why Muslim women stay in polygamous marriages, as well

They know there is good in polygamy despite that they struggle with it. We all struggle in life. Many women did not grow up in polygamy. They never wanted to live it. Therefore, it’s a huge adjustment.

Allah tries and tests us in many ways. In the Holy Quran He says that He tests the believers. A believer knows and believes it. Many of the ladies here  know polygamy could be a test for them. It is a means to purify the soul of base emotions, such as jealousy, envy, hatred, selfishness, rancor, and greed etc. A point often overlooked is that Allah says a person cannot enter Paradise with an impure heart. Only Allah can purify the heart.

A  confused and depressed woman whose heart aches while she is in a polygamous marriage should turn to Allah for His help and guidance. She should ask Allah to cure her of the diseases of the heart.  Some of the diseases consist of the base emotions that I mentioned above. Allah in the Holy Quran speaks of a diseased heart.

A believer knows why Muslim women stay in polygamous marriages, which is what matters

The reason Muslim women stay in a polygamous marriages is because they know it is the right thing to do. A believer, believes. It is what belief is about. She believes Allah when He says He will dispose of our affairs towards comfort and ease. A believer believes that with hardship comes relief. With hardship comes ease. A believer believes everything Allah says in the Holy Quran. They don’t get caught up in their own wants and desire. Allah says those who  have desires that move them have a diseased heart.

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  • Gail

    June 25, 2015

    I have this picture of a little girl in a cute little dress with her eyes closed saying “When u really want to throat punch somebody but u are getting right with the lord”LOL Seems like that is where u are at right now in your life.I wish I could share the pic it is to cute but u get the idea! lol I can’t tell u how many times I wanted to throat punch my husband.Can I get an AMEN!!!

  • Gail

    June 25, 2015

    It sounds like to me your husband is more of the problem than Polygamy or your cowife.If I were u I would focus on u and your kids and not him.As far as teh home and chores go put your foot down tell him straight get the crap done or hire someone to do it if he is to lazy or busy to do it.Don’t beat around the bush tell him clear u expect this and it better not happen again.Anything u have an issue with tell him clearly u r making yourself crazy to not demand these things from him.Look u have to run your home and he has to be responsible and if should have thought about the commitment level of another marriage before he up and did that thing because know where does it say that I am aware of that 1st wife has to take up the slack while hubby is off playing house with another wife.Hell to the NO on that speak up tell him straight and the next time he screws up and doesn’t do a project tell him straight on his face get it done or hire someone to do the job.If u will step up and get a little hard and up in his face and not back down u will see a huge change because he will know u mean business and u r not messing around.Try it for awhile and see if u get some results.Ohhh listen when he does do what u ask u make darn sure u tell him thank you or make him his favorite meal.I mean be gracious.U will see I bet u get results! Hugs…

  • marriam lamb

    June 25, 2015

    @ SC

    You’re going about it all wrong. Yes what your husband is doing is malicious none to say the least, but to fix him you must fix your issues inside. First you said you are resentful of the other wife (who maybe living the same he’ll as you or worse) your resentful of your huhusband’s actions and especially lack of closeness.

    Now take another look. Whether he love’s you, loathes you or is indifferent you have all the power to turn YOUR marriage around. Thanks be to Allah swt your not having the co-wife in your face every day. Stop thinking about her and dwell on Allah swt first, (read Quran, perform non obligatory salat), second think of all your husband does for you, even if it’s belated, not much at all (going to shops or taking you to your favorite restaurant, etc… buying you or the kids clothes) text your husband saying “i know i dont say it enough but thank you for (write 3-5 things he recently did) I always see your efforts and appreciate all your hard work for our family. ” Then make his favorite dessert, hide it, wait for a late night arrival (you need a lot of patience, resist the anger) dress in a sexy nighty (this may become several night’s of waiting) and when he finally arrives bring out the dessert, light up the candles, bring out the oil and offer a massage and have a nice evening in the moment not talking about kids, house, family, fairness. Just be his wife and say “I’m sorry sweetheart, I have not respected you and I was wrong. I am going to do better, insha’Allah” then (if he seams unresponsive) offer a massage and be quite.

    Follow this and slowly you will be the change you want to see in your marriage, insha’Allah.

  • anabellah

    June 24, 2015

    @marriam lamb,

    Isn’t it amazing how things work? You said your co had been “first to publicly humiliate any woman whose husband took a second wife.” Now, here her husband has done it and she now feels humiliated. Oh, well…

    I don’t think you should be “impolite” to her. I think all wives should be cordial to each other and, if Muslim, give the salaams. Some wives have to distance themselves from co’s that are bad news, and can only bring them down. If you feel inclined to continue to be up close and personal with her, despite the problem you have with her, it’s okay. Do what you’re inspired to do. Insha Allah, she’ll change for the better soon.

    When I hear the ladies here say their husbands cried in front of them when they (the husbands) become polygamous, it only lets me know that the men are just as troubled and confused in these marriages as the women are. I don’t think they understand either that Allah is calling the shots. Allah placed them in the marriages. Many of these men don’t want to see their wives hurting and in pain.

    It must be a blessing for the husbands when they have wives who understand Islam and what submitting oneself to Allah’s will in Islam means. If we submit our will to Allah, it means we have no will. We shall not will accept as Allah wills. Most Muslims don’t understand it.

    I’m glad to hear you are happy in your marriage, marriam lamb. Hang in there. Hardship is followed by relief. With hardship comes ease.

  • marriam lamb

    June 24, 2015

    Why stay in a polygamous marriage? Good question. I honestly believe my co stays because she fears what people will say in her society. She did not know all my husband’s family had been aware of his polygamy for several years. When he finally told her (I was last to be informed and she was after me) her first response was to take her and her kids and me and my kids to a new town far from her hometown. Then I learned that was so no one would know as she had always been first to publicly humiliate any woman whose husband took a second wife.

    I stay because I do love my husband and I cried and he also cried when he told me the truth. I nearly fainted in my chair when he was informing me. But I can’t dream to leave the man I know without doubt that Allah swt destined for me in this life.

    I was married before and this is my second marriage and also my husband’s second marriage. I believe we usually work harder to make the second marriage work. But I was lead to him via coincidental circumstances and years before I ever met him my mother on her last days of life saw me and my children with him twice. This is what keeps me going on.

    May Allah swt give me true patients because I do lack it within my soul although I can’t bring myself to be impolite to the co-wife even if I see flaws in her which would cause me to keep a distance from such a personality even in a work place, family or associate.

  • anabellah

    May 5, 2015

    @SC, Wa Alaikum As Salaam, 🙂

    I’m happy you’re back with us and the posts to you were somewhat helpful. We all try to help one another as best we can. I’m sorry to hear your husband is dismissive to you. I’m sure it must be frustrating. Regardless that he can’t be there with you, he sure at least make sure everything is working and thing are good. Even if he has to leave her to do it. Husbands should be available to assist their wives in times of emergency and if he can’t be there to take care of matters himself and she can’t do it alone, he needs to arrange to have someone else assist. The fend for yourself attitude isn’t what polygamy is all about. It why it makes more sense that the husbands have their wives living near one another.

    S.C., you stated, “Also I find it interesting to hear the opinions of women against poligamy as well as having a new perspective on things is always good.” I have a tendency to turn people away from this blog who come here and are clearly against polygamy. They stand against Allah. They work in the cause of evil and not good. There are many blogs and forums out there with people badmouthing and slandering Muslims, Islam and polygamy. We try to all stay positive and optimistic here. I don’t allow people with negative attitudes and hate of polygamy to stay because they tend to set us back and we intend to move forward and be at a good place in our marriages. Those people have a tendency to disrupt the peace here. I just mentioned it to let you know why I nip certain discussions in the bud when people seem to have an agenda that’s not in accordance with what we represent or need.

    Whether you should stay in a marriage for the children is something you would have to determine. If the children see you sad and depressed all the time, they may begin to dislike their father and his other wife, and grow up with a hatred of polygamy. We as Muslims are supposed to accept the whole entire Quran and not just the aspects that are to our liking. Consequently, you’d want your children not to grow up with a hatred of something that is part of our way of life (polygamy). Insha Allah, I’ll try to come back soon and chat some more. It’s Fajr time where I am. Good to hear from you again 🙂

  • SC

    May 5, 2015

    Assalamualaikum sister and JazakAllah for such a quick and helpful response. I have tried most if not all of your suggestions and extra prayer and dua most definitely helps as my focus is elsewhere. All my family live abroad and his family are not Muslims which puts me in naturally an isolated situation. I did actually just book myself a ticket and leave for a few weeks but the guilt of leaving back my children overpowered all other emotions. It feels selfish so I continue to stay. Also its coming back to the same husband with the same problems.He wasn’t impressed with me leaving as I’m always looking after the children.

    Some women say not to stick around for the kids but have they looked into a little pair of sad eyes when they say mummy needs time away ??? I can assure you its enough to cause any woman to stay.

    When I said left out in the cold its mostly having to deal with the day to day issues on my own. I find myself growing so resentful when my husband will easily walk away from the situation while I’m left to pick up the pieces. For instance he was more than happy to travel to his other wife while I was left here without a working kitchen for weeks . That kind of situation just doesn’t leave you . It scars you.

    Also another thing which is upsetting is feeling as though when the situation is hard and I’m struggling its so easy for him to stick his head in the sand. Come home as late as possible , leave early the next morning. Nothing done nothing solved. I am all for being just but I am also a human being and to be the honest the way he deals with my pain and struggles is just dismissive. I don’t blame any women for thinking this isn’t for me. Me and my children deserve so much more , these are the things that resurface every once in a while. This may sound purely dunya based but its a reality with our day to day lives. So right now its trying to find the right balance and not getting so angry all the time . Also I find it interesting to hear the opinions of women against poligamy as well as having a new perspective on things is always good. So really any advice whether practical or spiritual is most welcome. JazakAllah Khair it is great to be able to vent all these events in my life lol .

  • anabellah

    April 30, 2015


    Please refer to the following thread/post in answer to your question as to how wives cope with polygamy when they have children.


    Perhaps other ladies here who have children will reply to you about how they cope. My husband and I don’t have children. Neither of us wanted to have them.

  • anabellah

    April 30, 2015

    @SC Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

    If you think you need time away from the situation to sort things out, then, Insha Allah, take the time. Spend it with your parents (hopefully they are Muslim) and see how you feel about things – about continuing in your marriage. If it’s something you feel you should do, seek Allah’s help and guidance about whether it’s the right thing or not.

    The moments you feel “left out in the cold” could be when you’re less conscious of Allah. Remember, you will be tested. Everyday will not be the same. Every day is entirely different whether in a polygamous marriage or not.

    What you expressed sounds that you are on what we call here the “roller coaster” ride. Sometimes you may feel content in your situation and say to yourself something like, yeah I can do this. I’m okay now. Then next thing you know you’re a complete mess. Up and down, round and round. I know you want consistency. I can tell you for a fact, you will get there in time with patience, perseverance and prayer. Allah said it is indeed difficult except for those who bring a lowly spirit (we have to humble ourselves to Allah and His decisions). It’s what it means.

    Allah says with hardship cometh ease. There will be relief. We all have to do our part to get it, though. Offering all salat prayers, reading Quran daily, preferably at or before Fajr (morning prayer), exercising patience in the situation (Allah says exercise patience in all that betides us), believing in Allah and all He promises – the entire Quran – you have to learn it and live it. It’s not an overnight process. Put in the effort and you’ll get the results.

    Some struggle years in polygamy before they reach a good place. It depends on the person. The person whom I know up close and personal struggled in it for approximately four years, but there was always steady progress. The beginning is incredibly difficult. It’s like becoming a new person once moving forward in it. It’s beautiful.

    We’re hear for you. Insha Allah, jump in and join the discussion when you get inspired. Insha Allah, I’ll chat more with you later – it’s already tomorrow (Thursday 12:45 a.m.) where I am.

  • anabellah

    April 29, 2015

    @SC Wa Alaikum As Salaam

    I am so glad Allah directed you here to the 411. We will all try to help you out as best we can. Try to just relax and share with us as much as you feel comfortable sharing. You definitely are not alone living polygamy. There are quite a few ladies and some gents who show up every now and again to join the discussion. They all live polygamy or anticipate living it one day. There are many in the same situation as you.

    It’s important for you to know that when a Muslim woman is confronted with polygamy she can go one of two ways. She could flat out reject polygamy or try to accept it. The people who flat out reject it aren’t welcome here. When a person has made up their minds they want no parts of polygamy, they need to go to a place with people feel as they do. There is no need for them to come here and try to recruit haters.

    We are here for those who know and understand that polygamy is a way of life that Allah has allowed and they don’t want to stand in the way of their husbands engaging in it as Allah permits it. When a man and woman are in it, it means Allah placed them in it. You have to remember; there are those who are only interested in this world’s life and this is their Paradise. Then there are those who Know this life is probationary, temporary and transitory as Allah in the Holy Quran let’s us know. This life is to let us know who is best in conduct, based on living according to the dictates of Allah. They are the ones who will achieve Jannah/Paradise.

    If your husband isn’t abusive to you (The mere fact that he engages in polygamy is not abuse), you and your husband love each other and people are telling you to leave him because he is polygamous, those people are unbelievers. Those people are all about this world’s life. They don’t know or don’t care about what Allah says in the Holy Quran. They are only concerned about getting what they can today. You need to determine where you fall and it would determine whether this blog is for you or not.

    I will follow up with another post/comment shortly, Insha Allah, and address your situation.

  • anabellah

    April 29, 2015

    @SC, Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

    Welcome! I will be back to chat with you, Insha Allah, as soon as possible.

  • SC

    April 29, 2015

    Assalamualaikum first of all I’d like to say JazakAllah for providing beneficial and practical advice to sisters out there in this situation. I naturally clam up the moment the topic comes up and I find myself not even able to say what’s on my mind. I think its really helpful knowing that I’m not alone and there are others in the same situation . I’m really struggling with this very subject where most people will advise I leave and go back to my parents who would probably provide a more relaxed life for me . But deep down I know this isn’t dealing with my own life and accepting Qadr. Some moments I can feel such safety knowing Allah is taking care of me other moments I feel left out in the cold. Its those moments where I get whispers and thoughts about leaving . Its usually when I’m alone at night or being in a stressful situation on my own or with my kids. Since he remarried he seems to care less about my well being or safety especially when he is with her and this is hard to accept especially with regard to the children. I always question my situation when the kids are sick or I am sick and struggling on my own. I would really like if sisters would suggest how I deal with these moments more Insha Allah .

  • anabellah

    April 28, 2015

    As Salaamu Alaikum and hello to everybody,

    Every now and again we get people who come to this blog who don’t have a clue about Islam and what Allah states in the Holy Quran. They don’t know the meaning of life and don’t know why Allah created us. They only know their wants and desires. They want others to be just as rebellious to Allah as they are. They follow after lusts and their own desires, and want people to follow them.

    I’ve written the above post, which is really not anything we haven’t discussed before. It’s just a reminder for me and all of us who want to worship, serve and obey Allah, and don’t want to worship, serve and obey ourselves.