Being a Second Wife Upsets My Daughter!

28 August, 2019
Q Salam Aleikom. I live in polygyny. I can say I am happy in this marriage. I am the second wife. We have 2 children. The problem is with my second daughter who is 14 years old. She continuously questions me about why I married my husband as a second wife. She dislikes the first wife of my husband and her children.

She feels very unconformable when anyone asks him about his mom and dad at school. She says she wants a normal family. A dad who is at home every day. I am trying to talk patiently with her and explain the situation, but she just hates me and her dad and everyone. How can I deal with her? I am afraid this will drive her away from Islam. Jak

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Please do understand too, that as a young woman now, she is beginning to form her own idea’s and identity, all which may be hurting you as she is angry right now but nonetheless she is entitled to her feelings. Please do insha’Allah validate this for her in order to draw her closer to you.

• Talk to her about the great love that you and her father have and how happy you have been as well as the blessing of her and your other child. You could discuss the sisterhood you cherish with your husband’s first wife.

•You may want to also tell her that while a polygamous marriage is permitted by Allah, that it is not for everyone, that not every woman or man can be as successful as you, your husband and his first wife.”


As-salamu alaykum dear sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand it, you are a second wife and you and your husband have two children. Your 14-year-old daughter is having difficulty accepting the fact that her family is polygamous. Sister, I am not sure how she grew up in a polygamous family from birth onward and then became to dislike it. I could see how it would be strange to her if you were a recent revert and married your husband when your daughter was older, but as you wrote, your daughter grew up in Islam and in a polygamous situation in regards to family.

Perhaps sister she did like it at one time but had a falling out with your husband’s first wife (you did mention she did not like his first wife) and this turned her away from something that was at one time normal and happy for her. Also, your daughter may also be getting teased at school or among friends who may or may not be Muslim regarding her polygamous family. She may be seeing non- polygamous families and she may feel they have a more advantageous family structure.

Your daughter is obviously thinking about a lot of things. This often happens around this age when children start comparing not only themselves but their family to their peers. Perhaps one of her friends said something to make her feel conscious or feel bad about it.


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I would kindly suggest dear sister that you take your daughter out for a fun evening, just the two of you. Maybe dinner, a movie, but make some time for talking. You can begin by asking her what made her change her way of thinking about your family structure. I would kindly suggest that you utilize empathy, openness, and a non-judgmental attitude with her sister so you can “befriend” her and gain her trust to open up and tell you what is really going on and why she feels this way.

Please do understand too, that as a young woman now, she is beginning to form her own idea’s and identity, all which may be hurting you as she is angry right now but nonetheless she is entitled to her feelings. Please do insha’Allah validate this for her in order to draw her closer to you.

I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah you talk to her about the great love that you and her father have and how happy you have been as well as the blessing of her and your other child. You could discuss the sisterhood you cherish with your husband’s first wife. You may want to also tell her that while a polygamous marriage is permitted by Allah, that it is not for everyone, that not every woman or man can be as successful as you, your husband and his first wife. Let her know it is okay to be a Muslim woman and not want a polygamous marriage. Let her know it is okay for her to want a non-polygamous marriage. You may also want to talk about our beloved Prophet (PBUH) and discuss his great love and treatment of his beloved wives and all their fine attributes as wives of the Prophet (PBUH).

What may be behind this as well sister is now that she is older she may feel that while she loves you and her dad very much, it is not something she wants for herself. She may be feeling guilty about this so it is important that she knows she has choices as you did.

Please do pray for her about this. Make duaa for her sister. If she was fine with this in the past and this is a recent change, please do try to find out insha’Allah what is at the root of all her pain regarding this and actively address it with her. If someone is teasing her or has wronged her, address it insha’Allah. Assure her of your and your husband’s love for her as well as Allah’s love for her. With patience, love and a listening ear, I am confident your daughter will get through this and see the benefits and great love she grew up surround by, and come to appreciate it once again. You both are in our prayers, please let us know how you both are doing.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.