(part 2) My wife told me to do as i pleased. My first has been cold to me for many months since. Although she is pleasent, she is never happy and does not engage in sexual practices/general affection unless i initiate it. She spends her time studying and whenever i want to be with her, she tells me its better to be with the second as she is new to country and has no friends etc. I want my wife to go back to the way she was as i dont understand what i have done to wrong her, what can i do?
wa alaikum us salaam,
On the one hand, we have the Western media portraying Muslim men as aggressors.
On the other hand, we have a generation of Muslim men who are quite passive, especially when it comes to defying their mothers.
Brother, you are supposed to honour and respect your parents, but when it comes to living your own life, by Allah you are not to let them live it for you!
I respect that you married this woman despite your mother’s protests, as there is nothing wrong with that. But I’m absolutely confused as to why you:
- Moved your wife into your mother’s house, as you must have at least suspected this would cause problems
- When it did cause problems you remained silent
- When your family harassed you to marry a second woman, you did not stand up for yourself or your wife, because if you had they would have stopped bringing up the situation
- When your wife told you to “do what you want”, you didn’t stop and ask yourself if she really meant that or if she was just saying that
- And now that your wife is distant from you, you’re wondering what went wrong?
I’ll tell you what went wrong. Wives want husbands who are respectable and who deserve respect. We want husbands who are not overbearing, but we also want husbands who are not as weak as water.
So your first wife is retreating into books. Why is this surprising to you? Your whole family, whom you both lived with, was actively against her. And you weren’t just silent - you cooperated with them! You didn’t stand up for her, you agreed by your actions that she wasn’t good enough and married someone else.
To make matters worse, by marrying someone else you have dragged an innocent party into your family drama.
So what can you do? You can start by telling her that you were wrong to not stand up to your parents. If you can afford to do so, you can establish separate living areas for your wives so that wife #1 doesn’t have to live in the same house as your mother (and if you can’t afford to do so I suggest you be a man and figure out how to make some halal money).
You can also set up a rotation between your two wives and stick to it. I don’t care if one is menstruating, if it’s her night then either stay with her, or stay by yourself. Don’t go to the other wife because that is just going to create even more tension between the two of you. Not even if she tells you to, not for now at least. Maybe once the two of them bond and jealousy starts to disappear you can take liberties like that, but for now you need to be as fair as possible.
Finally, you need to be a man and stand up to your family when they talk bad about wife #1. You don’t have to be rude but you need to let them know exactly that what they are saying is unacceptable according to Islam and you will not hear it. Full stop. You also need to do this if wife #2 starts bad mouthing her as well.
It will take a lot of time and patience on your part to try and fix your relationship with your first wife because you have let her down and hurt her. Make duaa to Allah that it can even be fixed, because she trusted you to take care of her and to integrate her into your family as much as possible, but you wimped out.