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Syeda19

Deceived into a polygamous marriage

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Salam brothers and sisters. I come from a family and society (being raised in the west) when a man only has one wife, in fact I have never in my life met or heard of anyone with more than one wife. I met a "divorced" childless man online on a Shia matrimonial website a few years ago. We lived in two different countries. He seemed to be the perfect man. After about 9 months of speaking on the phone and facetiming, and him coming once to meet me in person, he told me he had two kids. I was in shock. He said he never told me before because he was afraid he would lose me. By this time I had developed very strong feelings for him and could not let him go. About 3 months later he met my family and told everyone that he wants to marry me and he's paid his wife's haq mehr and all but is yet to do the sharia talaq. He also said he has no contact with her at all and that he sees his children at his relative's house. I fully trusted him (foolish of me, yes I know.) My father put his foot down and said that this marriage will absolutely not happen if he is still married and that if he cannot get divorced, he should go and live happily with his wife or atleast sacrifice everything for his kids and stay with them. Another year passed by and we were getting ready to get married. He said he has divorced her but will not show the certificate to anyone as that would mean that no one trusts his words. I trusted him, convinced my parents and we got married. He returned to his respective country and we filed for his immigration to come to me. 

After about two months of marriage I found out he is still married to his first wife. He told me that the marriage is just on the papers and he has nothing to do with her, it is only for the sake of the children and because of a lot of family pressure as she is his first cousin. I accepted his words and was at peace that he has no contact with her. I found it very odd though and questioned him many times because they have children together that they must meet amicably for the kids but he said no, they don't see each other at all. We met up again for our one year wedding anniversary and two weeks after he got back home I got a call from his phone. It was his wife.

One year has passed since that phone call and this past one year of my life has been hell. I have developed anxiety, depression, and maybe even bipolar disorder. I don't trust him at all in any way and I don't know how our marriage will survive without trust. His wife kicked him out that very day and he's been living with his brother ever since (but again I have no proof other than his words.) He even got his spouse visa and came to me but then returned home saying we will have a better life there and that he cannot leave his children. He is currently preparing everything over there for my arrival. I'm sure he's not living with her as we'll be living together once I'm there and no one just leaves his happy home in a second in moves in with someone else. It takes time of separation before someone starts living with someone else.

My issue now is that he says that he can never divorce her for the sake of his kids. He said that I should be happy that he will be living with me but he will always be there for her and his kids whenever they need him and he will always do his duties every weekend like take her grocery shopping and all (she doesn't drive.) He will spend time with them and I will never be allowed to be there. He will take them out to places and spend alone time with them. He will give me Saturday and them Sunday. 

I don't have any issues with him spending time with his kids, I just can't stand that she's there too and that he spends time with her. I simply cannot share my husband and feel that I will completely lose my sanity. At the same time I do not want to be divorced! Please advise, thank you.

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He's a liar and always will be. Is marriage under false pretenses even a valid marriage? 

Honestly, I have no problem whatever with polygamy. I have a problem with deception. You will never be able to trust him. Is this how you want to live your life? 

Also, it sounds like he's content with his family and just wants you as a side woman. That's fine if you and his first wife agree to it, but think about what you are getting into before you agree. 

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5 minutes ago, notme said:

He's a liar and always will be. Is marriage under false pretenses even a valid marriage? 

Honestly, I have no problem whatever with polygamy. I have a problem with deception. You will never be able to trust him. Is this how you want to live your life? 

Also, it sounds like he's content with his family and just wants you as a side woman. That's fine if you and his first wife agree to it, but think about what you are getting into before you agree. 

Fully agree with this. 

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Thank you. You both are telling me what my family tell me everyday. I wish that either I had the strength to leave, or the sabr to accept. I'm hanging in the middle now and it's pure torture.

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5 minutes ago, Syeda19 said:

Thank you. You both are telling me what my family tell me everyday. I wish that either I had the strength to leave, or the sabr to accept. I'm hanging in the middle now and it's pure torture.

Duas for you to be clear-thinking and decisive. Do not decide your next action based on emotion. 

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On 9/26/2017 at 10:58 AM, Syeda19 said:

After about two months of marriage I found out he is still married to his first wife. 

Polygamy is not problem. But lying is great deception and depicts his character. You settle issue before it is too late. 

His maindrawback is being repeated liar. 

Edited by ShiaChat Mod
Please don't quote entire long posts.

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1 hour ago, Syeda19 said:

I don't have any issues with him spending time with his kids, I just can't stand that she's there too and that he spends time with her. I simply cannot share my husband and feel that I will completely lose my sanity. At the same time I do not want to be divorced! Please advise, thank you.

You have 2 options available to you...

  1. Stay Married to him.
    1. If this happens you will be "sharing" your husband. If you can live with that then stay married.
      1. Who knows if he's even seperated from his first wife.
        1. If they are seperated then expect to take care of his kids as well as any other family he has with him.
        2. If they aren't seperated then expect to be treated poorly by his first wife.
    2. You'll have to move to whatever country he's currently living in. 
      1. You won't have anyone there to help you out should things go really bad.
  2. Divorce him.
    1. He's lied to you about everything else. What makes you think he's not going to continue lying to you now?

If you were my daughter I'd tell you to divorce him. 

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10 hours ago, Syeda19 said:

 I was in shock. He said he never told me before because he was afraid he would lose me.

Can't recall how many times I have repeatedly heard/read this lie. I have not read your entire post but stay away if it is not too late.

And I can understand every time when individuals say, 'I have developed strong feelings.... it is hard to let go'. But trust me, you'll laugh at these feelings one day if you choose to be patient and wait for that special someone in your life who is honest from the beginning. I cannot claim as a matter of fact that the person you have mentioned is, by all means, deceitful. But at the very least he has displayed poor character and lack of maturity which should be enough for sisters to be cautious nowadays, especially on the internet. 

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1 hour ago, Syeda19 said:

Thank you. You both are telling me what my family tell me everyday. I wish that either I had the strength to leave, or the sabr to accept. I'm hanging in the middle now and it's pure torture.

First of all you need a female friend who you trust a lot (preferably) an adult or a relative, whom you can talk to freely. You can talk to her about your problems, it will help you deal with your worst depressing moments.

Secondly, could it be that he wanted the nationality of your country so he married you? Or there could be any other underlying reason behind his actions, not to raise doubts but it's plainly obvious that he wasn't being fully honest with you from the get go. (And it also could be that his 1st wife also was involved in this whole deception scenario).

And lastly, my advice, gather some courage and divorce him before things go even more so awful. You may differ in opinion, but I think that's what is best for you!

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Thank you all so much for your support and advice. My mother, father, siblings, EVERYONE tell me on a daily basis to divorce him but it's just me who hasn't gathered the courage yet. He has lied from day one about everything. The biggest reason stopping me from divorcing him is that I am already divorced with two kids and the reason I left my first husband was because he cheated on me! Allah knows my heart cannot bear to share my husband and I'd rather leave him than share him with another woman and I've been put into the same situation yet again! Is this a test from Allah to see if I run to divorce again or to show patience and get rewarded in the end? This man who I am married to now says he's done the biggest favour of my life to me by marrying a divorced woman with kids because no one else in this world would have. My family hates him for saying this to me and they always encourage me and tell me that there's someone amazing out there for me, I'm not even 30 yet! 

I divorced the first time around with high hopes that Allah will give me someone amazing but now I'm terrified that I'll have a "tag" of a woman who is twice divorced and no one would even look my way. That's another reason I've been forcing myself to stay married to this deceitful man. Now what would you guys say after hearing this, should I still leave him?

PS- my family thought at one point too that he was marrying me only for nationality but after he left after getting his spouse visa it confirmed that he's not interested in that. 

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Salam sister @Syeda19,

You should have been stronger back when you first found out.

If you don't have kids, leave NOW. It is the harder thing to do but the right thing to do. Right now you only have to live 1 other wife. What if he is going to marry another woman after you???

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I know anecdotes don't mean much, but I was twice divorced with three kids (one of them disabled) when I met my husband. 

But even if you never remarry, it's better to be alone than in a bad marriage. 

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Sounds like bad news. As if this person is using deception to take advantage of you.

Some people are perpetual liars. It is unfortunate, but it is true. And if this man is of that nature, i suspect you will never be happy with him.

It also sounds like youre relatively young, and likely have many years ahead of you, InshaAllah (or God willing as I usually say). With that, it may be wise to distance yourself from those who are trouble.

But seeking advice from a scholar would probably be best. Maybe someone from a local masjid that is trustworthy.

Best of luck.

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Dear sister:

I'm afraid I'll have to advice against the grain here. 

Reality is people lie, sometime they are stupid, sometime they are saving face, ego comes in and other things that get in the way of truth. 

What is present here and now is you both are married, have invested so much emotionally and otherwise, we know it would be tough to uproot and make anew home there, but have a big heart and live with him.

Dont have babies but at least try it out with him. He may not be perfect but may turn out to be a just man; end of the day demand your reward from the Lord of Worlds of still respecting the Nikah contract and making this life a little tough for His sake. 

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.. continuing from above:

You should have straight talk with him of no more lies. If he sticks to this and remains a good husband who is momin and have good akhalq, you should definitely make your life with him.

P.S. I don't think your test is divorce after divorce. I think your test is if you have a big enough heart to accept that he already has a wife and children.. if he does a "human capacity justice"between the two of you, give it a try... don't put your kids into another confusion by getting another divorce. Give it a chance for the sake of the kids that Allah swt has given you. Make it a true Islamic household and inshallah a whole lots of good would come out of it.

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1 hour ago, Irfani313 said:

Reality is people lie, sometime they are stupid, sometime they are saving face, ego comes in and other things that get in the way of truth. 

There are lies and lies. You don't build a marriage upon a lie, because your partner will end up realizing she doesn't even know who you are. People can change, but if we have too much hope in our partner regardless of his/her repetitive deceptions, we may be drowning in a toxic relationship. (As a side note, such partners tend to ignore any advice on their bad habits. After all, these are their habits).

Suffering for a marriage isn't always meaningful. Sometimes it's pointless, with no good ending for anyone. Let's be realistic. If OP has given already several chances to her husband, and her family is already advising her to take this step, maybe it's because it's time to do so.

Edited by Bakir

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8 hours ago, Syeda19 said:

Is this a test from Allah to see if I run to divorce again or to show patience and get rewarded in the end? This man who I am married to now says he's done the biggest favour of my life to me by marrying a divorced woman with kids

 

Do you think that if you continue being deceived or in other words, if you continue being a victim, you will pass a divine test??

Allowing others to oppress you and take undue advantages of you is an oppression itself not a patience which will be rewarded by God!

Edited by shadow_of_light

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@Syeda19  Okay, so I am going to be a bit harsh here but given the seriousness of the issue I hope you won't mind. 

I added another reply advising you to leave him but at point you hadn't given all the details(your previous marriage and kids) and now I am not sure my initial advice was a good one. 

Let me clear a few facts first, You have been with him for 9 months (the time you didn't know about him being married) and then another two years and three months after that, am I right? You got over the initial shock of him being married and went ahead with the marriage despite your parents being against it. Two months after marriage you came to know that he hadn't divorced his wife ,you accepted this and continued with the marriage until the one year anniversary when you received that phone call from his wife and everything seemed to be going downhill after that. 

You married him after knowing that he had lied to you about his kids and you continued with the marriage despite knowing the fact that he is still married. Whether separated or living together but fighting daily, married is still married. So you made the decision, maybe in naivety or because you were too trusting or maybe without thinking things first,either way you chose this. And let me say this,being a mother of two kids myself and having gone through a divorce, I would be very wary of who I let in my life(and my children's life) I get the feeling that you didn't exercise the same caution and let yourself be ruled by your feelings for him and went on to marry a man who had not been honest to you. 

What's done is done now and all you can do is choose the best path forward. Currently, there are the following things I am concerned about

- you have been with him for almost three years now. That's a lot of emotional investment. You cannot just keep on moving from one relationship to another. Marital breakups aren't easy to recover from. At one point you have to settle down, compromise over some things, try and change others, set up a home. I would advise you to try salvaging this marriage if possible.

- How is his relationship towards your kids? Does he ask about them? tried to interact/play with them? Is he caring and generally concerned about their well being?How do your kids feel about him? And vice versa how are things between you and his kids?  You said somewhere above that he says you won't ever be present when he meets his kids. That struck me as really odd. I don't understand why would your husband not want you there. Since both of you married knowing you have kids from previous marriages if you wanted the marriage to survive, be a happy one the best thing would have been to accept and love each other's kids because you just cannot dislike a person who is being affectionate with your kids. 

- You moving to his country? How do you intend to take care of the finances? Who will pay for the kids's expenses? Does his family know about you? If yes, how is their behaviour towards you? Is he going to introduce you as his wife in his family and friends? ask you to accompany him on social occasions and family gatherings? Since you are preparing to leave your country and family and moving halfway around the world, would their be any family left for your kids? She is his first cousin so I guess everyone in his family is going to side with his first wife and no one would ever welcome or accept your kids in his family at least. Would you be okay with this? 

 - if you don't mind sharing, what exactly transpired after his first wife's phone call that made things go bad? 

 Don't rush with moving to his country. Have a frank discussion with him.Tell him there was a breach of trust and if he wants the marriage to continue he has to demonstrate that he is a man of integrity.That means no more lying and being open with you with you about everything .Tell him clearly if he is that scared of losing you then he shouldn't be hiding anymore things for you because dishonesty = losing you.Give him another chance, tell him none of you is perfect and since you are already married now you are ready to accept him with his imperfections and in return you expect the same from him.This means both of you better stop reminding the other of your previous failed/not so happy marriages and the mistakes you made back then.  

 He has made it very clear that he isn't leaving his first wife, you should just accept the fact. You already did kind of, two months after marrying him. You should not force or ask him to divorce her. There must be some good things about him that made you fall in love with him. He doesn't seem greedy which is a big plus in my opinion. There must be others, go over those before making a decision.Being his second wife isn't going to rob you of anything in this dunya or the next if you have the right attitude. You can still reach the highest levels of faith whilst being a second wife. You still have a chance to be his favourite wife, the love of his life. You can still be a productive and happy person. You can still set up a home where your husband feels happy coming back to and where your children flourish. 

Whatever you do, don't let emotions rule you as I fear you have done in the past.
 

 

Edited by starlight
Typos; I wrote the post in a half asleep state

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22 hours ago, Syeda19 said:

Salam brothers and sisters. I come from a family and society (being raised in the west) when a

You did a grave mistake trusting him sister. You should never trust anyone without proof. He will spend whole of his life lying to you, I wish you could teach him a lesson and don't let him think you are innocent and can be played forever.

Edited by starlight
Please don't quote entire long posts

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47 minutes ago, starlight said:

There must be some good things about him that made you fall in love with him. He doesn't seem greedy which is a big plus in my opinion. There must be others, go over those before making a decision.Being his second wife isn't going to rob you of anything in this dunya or the next if you have the right attitude. You can still reach the highest levels of faith whilst being a second wife. You still have a chance to be his favourite wife, the love of his life. You can still be a productive and happy person. You can still set up a home where your husband feels happy coming back to and where your children flourish. 

This is the worst possible advice, I didn't want to say anything but living with a liar is a special kind of hell. Being a second wife is not a problem, being deceived into such an arrangement is, and with a liar to boot. The OP deserves much better.

I don't care if the man is a pir, there is no reason why a man who genuinely cares about a woman, should lie about something so big as having a first wife and still being married to her.

If there is a red flag for drop everything and leave, walk out the door and never look back, it would be lying.  Nobody can save a relationship built on lies, I know because I tried. It really sucks and taxes your sanity and peace of mind.

1 hour ago, starlight said:

you have been with him for almost three years now. That's a lot of emotional investment. You cannot just keep on moving from one relationship to another. Marital breakups aren't easy to recover from. At one point you have to settle down, compromise over some things, try and change others, set up a home. I would advise you to try salvaging this marriage if possible

Three years is nothing, it is not even an investment, try twenty years. Twenty years of living with said person and then leaving, it's what my parents did. I don't see why the OP should consider compromising. There is nothing to compromise with liars, unless you consider being hoodwinked and mentally and emotionally messed with by a liar a worthy "compromise". There is nothing to salvage from this situation.

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6 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Three years is nothing, it is not even an investment, try twenty years. Twenty years of living with said person and then leaving, it's what my parents did. I don't see why the OP should consider compromising. There is nothing to compromise with liars, unless you consider being hoodwinked and mentally and emotionally messed with by a liar a worthy "compromise". There is nothing to salvage from this situation.

GC, the thing here is that she's already compromised. She is already divorced once. She has kids who need stability in their lives, not men coming and going in their mother's life. Had she asked this before she got married to him I would have said what you are saying here but she's already been married to him for two years now!!! All I am asking her is not to make impulsive decisions as she seems to have done in the past. Under thirty , twice divorced is not only reduce the chances of her third marriage to nearly zero it's also going to get people talking about her. Not that I am personally bothered much by either of these(being alone or people's gossips) I am not sure if she is strong and stable enough to go through all this. 

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Thank you all so much for the feedback, even my family is happy seeing these comments and feels that the whole world is one one page that I should leave a lying deceitful person such as him. However, I feel that sister @starlight understands my situation the most as she has been in my shoes when it comes to divorce. To answer some of your questions, he has always been amazing to my kids, (and we've been together for almost 4 years now, he is the only father my children know.) But what hurts me very much is that when we fight he says he and his wife will be there for his own kids for life while I will be on my own with my two. However, he has never made my children feel that they are not his. I have met his children just once when we went to visit him and on that occasion he did not differentiate at all between his and mine, he always said that all four are his kids. However he said that once I move there, he will always go alone to see his children and I cannot be a part of the picture because he wants his kids to see that everything is fine between him and their mother and that the four of them are one unit with no one else involved. On the other hand he says he has no husband-wife relationship with her, it is purely for the kids. I don't know what to believe because he always speaks to her secretly, he has never once spoken to her on the phone in front of me so I can see that clearly there is something he is hiding. Nor has he ever spoken to me in front of her. There was a time, before his wife found out that he used to FaceTime me with his daughter and have her call me mom, and she would. But when she met me she called me by my name and now I've learned that she hates me because she's been brainwashed that I've broken her parents apart. He says that to this day, his kids don't know that he doesn't live with them, whenever he's not there or says goodbye to them he says he's working or leaving for work, and he intends to keep it that way.  I would have never ever married this man if I knew he was already married but I'm stuck in it now and with this being my second marriage, it's really not a game that I can just keep moving on. Thank you @Irfani313 as well. 

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