Don’t like being in polygamy? Stop moaning and do something about it – you have the right to get a divorce.
That’s the gist of a comment posted by I hope a well-meaning sister about my last post. She was disgusted by the way I am apparently judging someone’s iman if they ask for a divorce and that I am apparently saying a woman has no choice but to stay unhappy in a polygamous marriage.
Iman of course affects how someone reacts and accepts trials in their life. I’m not trying to judge someone about their faith, it’s just iman is one of many factors involved. A high level of trust in Allah (SWT) and His plan is going to help anyone through difficult periods in their life.
I specifically pointed out the ‘smell of Paradise’ hadith as this is what guided ME. No one forced me, but when I was asking Allah (SWT) for guidance when considering asking for divorce, this is what I found out in my research. I took that as a sign. I did actually have a valid reason to seek divorce – I had a ‘no polygamy unless I gave permission’ clause in my nikah contract. If someone says that that clause is not valid, then secondly things had been done behind my back which according to my urf would make that a reason for objection. But I didn’t want to chance it. For ME , akhirah is too precious to risk this. And I was not in my normal state of mind. As I think I mentioned before, I know for sure not to make serious decisions when angry.
I also added the ‘smell of Paradise’ hadith alongside the consult a sheikh paragraph, because to recommend someone a divorce is a serious thing. Both sides of the story need to be known, and someone of knowledge and who fears Allah (SWT) rather than basing things solely on their emotions needs to assist here.
If you look back to my article ‘Polygamy is Not gonna Change‘, it shows that I felt my option of divorce was not going to bring me sakinah – peace and happiness. All it would achieve in MY case was a sense of revenge.
I would then be a single mother of six, who would be desperately missing the good times I could have been having with my husband. To find another husband in my 40s with so many children who was as great overall as my current husband would be unlikely, and there would be nothing to guarantee another man wouldn’t also want polygamy. To get married again would most likely would be only achieved through being a 2nd wife – oh the irony!
Basically, I still loved him, and he still loved me and wanted to make up for things, not do things behind my back again and altogether treat me right. Am I weak to forgive and give someone another chance? To focus on what’s good in our marriage and amplify that? To keep a family together, or to split it apart for my own ego? If things had carried on for 6 months or maybe a year and I was still finding it unbearable then maybe the divorce route could be the right decision, but often a blanket response of well-meaning people is ‘leave!’
It’s just not that simple.