Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why I'm Grateful to my Co-Wife

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

Let me first say that I haven't met my co-wife yet. When that happens, inshaa'Allah I will  post about it. However, I want to address why I'm grateful to her. Her specifically? No. To any co-wife my husband chooses, as long as she is pleasing to Allah.

There many things a husband and wife learn about each other in a marriage. Some of those things, once learned, change how we view our spouse. Some may cause us to avoid certain situations or scenarios. Some may even give us an aversion to something.  Although they can be forgiven, mistakes, weaknesses, or serious actions disliked by Allah cannot be erased. A glass, once broken, cannot be put back together perfectly.

Over the years, some glasses have been broken in our relationship. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is normal in any relationship. It may depend on personalities and the nature of the issues involved as to whether it has much affect on a marriage or not.  Is it a bad thing for glass to be broken? No, it is Allah's Qadr and comes to bring something to light that needs to be taken into account, or to change something in the relationship. Sometimes Allah reveals things to us, for our particular situation, so we are forewarned and can act accordingly. Knowing certain things about my husband enables me to approach him in ways specific to his situation and steer clear of certain situations that I know will be a fitnah.

My co-wife doesn't have any of that history. She may, inshaa'Allah, never know the things I know about our husband. She may, inshaa'Allah, never have the experiences I've had. No glasses are broken yet. Of course, some glasses will break...that is the nature of relationships. However, they may not be the same glasses that broke with me. With a fresh outlook, she will not have the inclination to avoid certain things or any aversions. She will give her all, innocently, without bad memories or previous knowledge to cause her to hold back. She will fill in the gaps, those I simply cannot fill. She will,  inshaa'Allah, welcome the side of my husband I don't welcome.  She will give him the things that are missing from me.

Now, I have a favorite supermarket (Wholefoods) and I prefer to shop there most of the time, but there are always some things I need that I cannot get from there. So I also go to Trader Joes to get the balance of the things I need. That's how I see all of this. Having a co-wife is pure benefit for me...because while he is happy with her and appreciative of what she gives him, he is also happy with me. Any resentment or disappointment he may have harbored for me because of me not fulfilling his every want, or not providing an environment for him to freely express certain sides of his personality, will be gone because he has those needs fulfilled now.

Because of my co-wife, my husband is happier. Because of her, my family has more structure in our daily schedule and his allocation of time. Because of her, my husband is nicer, more loving, and more appreciative of me. Because of her, he is more generous with us. He has a chance to miss the children and I. He has a chance to look forward to those things he loves in our home...and to see me in a whole new light. Because of her, the weight of raising two step-children is going to be lightened inshaa'Allah. And because of her, we will have more time to focus on what's important and making the most of our time, when my husband is home and when he is away.

In honesty, it isn't important for us to be great is just important that our husband reap the benefits that Allah has placed in her for him.


  1. Salam,

    You have such a good heart Masha'Allah!!! I'm sure the day you meet your co-wife she will or if she isn't already appreciate you as well!!



  2. What you say makes a lot of sense. However you write at the end - "it is just important that she make my husband happy so we can all reap the benefits." That is a lot of responsibility for one person - isn't it? This is probably just semantics, but I think it is an important distinction that goes along with what you say in most of your blog. It seems to me that you have been saying all along that wives can't look for their husbands to make them happy, that that comes from within by looking toward God instead of man. Doesn't that concept also apply to the men?

    Sometimes, I think that this flaw of men and women looking for someone to make them happy is one of the biggest problems in all marriages - and why so many marriages fail. Happiness for all parties can only come from within themselves with the help of God, and will never come from someone else "making them happy".

    Anyways just a thought and a clarification.

  3. @ Liza, Jazaaki Allahu khayran. Inshaa'Allah, we will both appreciate each other - ameen!

  4. @ CM,

    Excellent observation; you've got that right, maa shaa Allah! Happiness does come from within, with a strong connection to one's Creator. When I typed the last sentence, it wasn't to put the onus on my co-wive for our husband's it really wasn't a well thought out sentence. (Oops. sorry!) Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to say, "as long as our husband reaps the benefit that Allah has put in her for him."

    Most certainly it applies to men as well as women, that they will not find happiness in another person. They will find happiness in accepting and benefiting from whatever their Creator sends their way. That includes the person/people Allah has put in their life to strive with.

    Thank you very much, CM. I'm going to edit the sentence on the post now :D

  5. Wallahi, sister, may Allah bless you for this blog. I am in a polygynous marriage and my co-wife still lives overseas as my husband travels there a few months out of the year to be with her. I have not met her and have only exchanged salaams on the phone. I respect and admire her just because she has been with him so long and has bore so much. But when I think of the time when we will all, inshallah, live together soon, I can't take it. I am going to write more about this in my blog: In the meantime, just know that you are making polygyny much easier for all of us.

  6. Re CM's observation: I think women are 'fortunate' in that if they are unhappy in a marriage they can ONLY try to fix THAT marriage and focus on themselves, whereas a man who is unhappy has the option to remarry in his quest to find happiness....(perhaps only to find that he is a contributor to his own unhappiness ??)

    Considering that men have more power in the sphere of marriage (they can marry who they wish (unlike women who need guardian's permission) and then still have the power to instruct the woman to change any behaviour that is displeasing to him (in accordance with Shariah)) it's a wonder that men can be unhappily married at all! :-)

  7. Um Abdulla - You, and all the sisters like you, who come here and say that I am helping you in some way, fill me with the most wonderful feeling. Jazaaki Allahu khayran.

    Living in Madinah, I sometimes wonder whether I should be opening my mouth about anything. After all, there are scholars, shaykhs, students, etc. who have serious Islamic knowledge. All I have is 23 years of unwavering love and trust in Allah. All I can impart to others is just common sense, based on the fact that Allah's Plan is Perfect. So often I sit and wonder what qualifies me to write anything. But then I share what's in my heart and mind, and I find people drawing closer to Allah. I take it as a sign that it is pleasing to Allah and that I should just keep on. May you all be protected from any wrong in what I write and may you all find great benefit in any good I write, for surely all wrong is from me and all good is from Allah, the Cherisher and Guide.

  8. As salaamu alaykum Anonymous.

    Mashaa'Allah, very good points. I just said to my husband last night that I was glad to be a woman. It is much easier dealing with one marriage and one family and being satisfied with one husband, rather than be driven by lusts, needs, wants or whatever and having to work so hard to have polygyny. I wonder if these men, a few years along, will say they think it was worth it or not? However, if their needs were fulfilled by polygyny then I guess it was, wa al hamdu l'Illah.

    Most certainly, considering the amount of power they hold in marriage, one would wonder how they could be unhappy, lol! Barak Allahu feeki!

  9. Wa Alaykum Salaam!
    Your blog should be compulsory reading for Polygyny 101 :-)

  10. WOW, umm i am a little speechless which is a first for me lol. Not to be negative or anything but I think too much emphasis is placed on her making him happy= him in turn being more happy with you. What if she fails, what if what he thought he was "missing" she is unable to fulfill? will he get a 3rd? What if she keeps breaking glasses and isnt able to fill the void he has? Men should be motivated to be nice and happy in the relationship they already currently have, not seek out another to fill an empty space or give them a reason to appreciate the family they have been blessed with. I am really not trying to be mean. and I do admire your positive outlook. But it saddens me.

  11. Jaiyana my sweetie, men "covet" and they want more of their needs to be met so they can focus more clearly on the big picture of Jennah. That's how Allah created them; it's part of their test in this dunya and it's also part of woman's test to handle it.

    I think that part of this whole process is not that the second wife is supposed to make him happy, but that she will tick a few more things off his "shopping list" that are essential (or at least that he thinks are essential). If he has misjudged, or if he learns that having those extra aspects didn't draw him closer to Allah or make him happier (because happiness truly is from within and from satisfaction with what Allah gives us) then perhaps that is the lesson he is to learn from the experience. After all, it all ALL about learning and growing from our experiences. They are sent to give us a better understanding of our own nature, and a greater appreciation and reliance on Allah. That's not sad, it's just part of the test, part of this dunya we have to get through. Allah never said dunya would be a ball for the believers; that's what we get in Jennah.

  12. @ Mai, sorry my previous post came off harsh. I had to re-read it and was like oh snap.. :-( Your mindset is something really beautiful. I think if i thought this way I would have a easier time. I think though it all depends on the husbands, the cowives, and iman. Inshallah even though you and her didnt click right away, perhaps yall can still be cordial about things. She seems to be trying to be down with your whole family not just him.

  13. Jaiyana, your comment wasn't's all good. I don't expect us to ever speak a bad word to each other. If we are both good, as hubby has determined, then we will fear Allah and love each other for His sake. Love of Allah unites hearts. In all honesty, I'm all wrung out over my step-children, so her taking them on 50% of the time is enough to make me bake her cookies, lol!

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. This really is a every dark cloud,there is a silver lining.Yes, why not look at the bright side for the sake of peace?!it's hard, but with Allah's help, this can be a possible and yet positive thing. Jazakumllahu Khairan, sister.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.