Deprived of Children for Being a Second Wife

Question and answer details
A (40-female-Maldives)
I am married and I am the second wife of my husband. We married 5 years back. He has 3 children from the first wife and their marriage is 24 years now. My husband's 1st marriage is not stable. I am happy with my husband but he refuses to have children. I want to have a child. What can I do?
Dr. Maryam Bachmeier

Assalam Alaykum Sister,

Cute-Sleeping-Newborn-Baby-With-Teddy-BearAs a woman I can truly relate to your desire for children. It is a yearning that is both natural and powerful. I will be very straightforward and tell you that if you have not been able to influence your husband on this matter after being married for 5 years now, it is unlikely that he will change his mind.

What you will want to work with is your emotional state of being with the realization that you are likely not going to be able to have what you long for. This does not mean that ALLAH cannot bring you a miracle and change the heart of your husband. However, finding a way to accept the life that ALLAH has given us, can open our eyes to the purpose that Allah has for us as well. 

There are four areas of your life circumstances that I noticed that may even point your way to awakening to a higher purpose that you may not have considered. Keep in mind that ALLAH’s ways are not always obvious to us. Happiness is rarely found in getting what we believe we want in life. Many people pursue getting the things they want in their life, and when they finally do, they are not fulfilled or happy.

Trusting the path that ALLAH set before takes courage. Opening up your heart and mind to the purpose that He has for your life takes even more courage. However, the way to authentic peace and spiritual joy is to fulfill the will of ALLAH. Focusing on fulfilling our own will only causes disappointment and frustration. Fulfilling the will of ALLAH is the only path that will help any person to rise above the suffering of this world.

Now, the four areas that you mentioned; you explained that you are 40 years old, and you have not had children yet. The statistics of having a child with Down’s syndrome increase with age and after age 40, you are at risk if you have not had children prior to age 40. Also, child bearing itself is usually much harder and more painful if you are over 40 and have not already had children. Allah may be sparing you these hardships so that you can fulfill His will.

You mentioned that your husband has 3 children with his first wife. And you mentioned that his marriage with his first wife is not that stable. These two conditions are related. It is very likely that your husband can greatly benefit from the emotional support that you can offer him as his best friend and the person that he can trust with the matters of his heart. He may very well need this strength in order to be a good father to his children.

There is no other purpose greater in life than to be the person behind the scene that is the source of spiritual and emotional strength through this kind of relationship-especially when your kindness and friendship can result in three human beings receiving the benefits of a healthy focused and involved father. This takes a level of selflessness on your part, but in return you will also have a very best friend and you will grow spiritually in ways that you could not in any other way. 

Finally, you mentioned that you like your husband. In some cases, when the marriage is abusive, or brings so much sorrow that the woman is miserable, I might suggest that the woman request a divorce provided she has the means to provide for herself and she would seemingly be better off for it. But in all honestly, if you like your husband, then my intuition here is that you will find your happiness with him.

Ten years will go by very quickly. Better than children at this time of transition for you, is to develop the best friendship that you possibly can with your husband and enjoy his company. There are many, many, women who pray every day just to have this companionship in their loneliness.

So, instead of being sad or disappointed that you do not have your own children, count your blessings and thank Allah for what you do have. It is very likely that if you have a creative interest, and you gain the trust and friendship of your husband, then he will allow you to pursue such an interest. You might be surprised what wonder gifts Allah has for you if you allow what is to be, and to go with the flow into the future. Open up to infinite possibility.

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About the Counselor:

Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a published researcher, former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant to her Spiritual community in the areas of mental health, clinical disorders, cultural, family and relationship issues, and more.