I Married a Man Whose First Wife Does Not Approve. Do I Divorce Him?

I Married a Man Whose First Wife Does Not Approve. Do I Divorce Him?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I met a man, he told me that he is married but nevertheless he proposed to me. I accepted. Since we got married, I have been very unhappy.My husband’s first wife doesn’t accept our marriage and requires him to divorce me.

My husband is very kind with me and also respectful, but I just cannot bear this situation anymore. Is divorce the best solution?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.


You are in a difficult situation. On one hand, you are already married to a man who is good to you. On the other hand, you both got married knowing that his first wife disapproves. The guilt that you feel now is a natural consequence of your decision. Now the question is whether or not you are able to live well in spite of this guilt.

I see two choices:

1) accept your feelings of guilt, make space for them, and strive to make the most of your marriage regardless.
2) accept that it is too difficult for you to deal with your guilt, and ask your husband for a divorce.

Moving Forward

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that: the Messenger of Allah said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce. “ [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance until you get the clarity you need.

Choosing divorce is a serious matter, but it is still permissible. Please exhaust all options before choosing this path.


You describe your deep wish to please your Lord. Reflect on how you can best do that, given your current situation. You are in a sacred marital contract, and I encourage you to strive to make it work. See a culturally-sensitive marriage counsellor if you need to.

Spiritual nourishment

Please wake up in the last third of the night and perform the Prayer of Need.
l encourage you to nourish your connection to Allah through enrolling in a SeekersHub course, or listening to podcasts and/or lesson sets.


Please make a commitment to stay in or to leave your marriage, before you fall pregnant. Having a child will bind you to your husband, and make it harder for you to leave. A newborn adds a tremendous amount of stress to a marriage, even in the best of circumstances.

Life Coach

If you are still struggling to decide on your own, then please consider speaking to a supportive Muslimah life coach. You can find many online. She can help you decide on the pros and cons, but, as always, the decision lies with you.

I pray that Allah sends you the clarity which you are looking for, and helps you do that which pleases Him.

Please see:

Can a Husband Marry a Second Wife Without His First Wife’s Permission?
Can the Man I Love Take Me as a Second Wife Despite His Mother’s Disapproval?
My Parents Refuse My Choice of Spouse Because He Is Married. What Do I Do?


[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.