Except a man wants to form unrealistically big, or that in his veins runs animal, not human blood, informing the wife of the incoming of another woman isn’t always easy. The love they both share; the murderous hardships the lady had endured with him; the numberless sacrifices she had made for the marriage to thrive – all these cum many unmentioned, for a merciful man, may make the news heavier than a mountain.
This, take or leave it, is one of the reasons some, despite their emotional readiness and monetary capability, are yet to become polygynous; and for me, it is worth it. While some may see it as cowardice, I rather view it as show of respect, compassion and love for the woman. Truth is, it’s not easy to have one’s husband shared with another woman. Any man who says it’s no big deal should imagine his wife being shared too – as in rocked in bed by another man – he would see that it’s no pill that can be joyfully swallowed however sweet.
I guess this is why women however pious do not take the news with a pinch of salt. It’s natural and the man shouldn’t find it shocking if certain actions (fowl words, combativeness etc.) are displayed. It’s not easy, wallāhi! A woman whose husband is grossly irresponsible does not want a co-wife, let alone one with a caring, loving and God-fearing husband.
The way the man breaks the news matters a lot. His antecedents prior to the time is a factor too. The maturity with which the woman’s reaction is received is equally key.
You see, dear sister, when your husband says he wants to bring in another woman, appreciate him for his openess, faithfulness and honesty. Remember, many men do it behind their wives. That he chose to inform you is a rare privilege and a show of respect that should be reciprocated. Feel free to express your mind (or grievance) in a Godly manner and then pray for him. Did I hear you say what? Yeah, you’ve got to pray for him: to make a choice that will add values to the already established home. If he had been destined to have three more, not even the most powerful army on earth can hold Allāh’s decree from manifesting, and if he is not, he will only strive without thriving. No amount of your reactions and inactions, some of which may be satanic and may lead you to Hell (a’ūdhubiLlāh min ‘adhābin-nār), can prevail on Allāh. That’s why you’ve got to take heart, otherwise, he would do it behind you, and might not inform you until years later.
Know, honoured sister, that cursing your husband on account of wanting to marry another woman is neither good for you nor him. If he is eventually struck by the waves of the curse – that’s if he’s culpable anyway – you will be affected too, directly or indirectly. Imagine your husband – the father of your own kids – roaming the streets mad. Imagine your husband turning poor after being known for riches, your children (if not you – probably he had been divorced) will share in the hit. Why not pray for him for ease of the polygyny affairs? Why not pray to Allāh to see him through? This is what a righteous woman should do. Let me tell, Allāh is not an unjust God. If your husband had wronged you with the step(s) taken by him, why not leave your Creator to judge him? Your prayers may even manifest negatively on him and you will not be affected.
This piece is getting too long, but the pen should not be dropped except some sense is talked into us, the men? Imagine a man who threatens his wife with the coming of another woman. Imagine a man who spitefully tells his wife that his incoming wife is more beautiful and dutiful than her. Imagine a man who chats up the incoming wife while with the existing one at night, or even till dawn. Imagine a man who, in the ambience of the lustful love of the incoming wife, starts misbehaving and becomes irresponsible at home. The society – maybe our mosques – should begin seminars, symposia for not only monogamists but also polygynists.
Sanni Kay Yūsuf