I married my first wife Sadiya when I was 31 and she 21. Then it was love at first sight. I truly loved her and wanted her to be with me for the rest of my life. Sadiya is calm, decent and patient. We have 5 kids. I met my second wife Bilkisu through a friend. This was 14 years after my marriage to Sadiya. Bilkisu is pretty, young and yes .......fresh.
I married Bilkisu. Sadiya was so calm about it that it actually frightened me. Her patience seemed too good to be true. She accepted my new wife and made her welcome.
This pleased me afterall I had seen what some of my friends who attempted polygamy went through. It was not always these easy.
I took it for granted that as a Muslim woman she had to accept her co-wife.
One day recently, Sadiq, Sadiya's first cousin came to visit. They had been quite close for they grew up in the same household. Sadiya and her cousin had lots to talk about. They chatted in the living room and it was obvious they had many pleasant memories to share.
Then I began to feel something..., some form of resentment began to build in me. I began to envy the way Sadiq could make Sadiya laugh so hard, the way her eyes twinkled as they talk. I hadn't seen her look so happy and oh yes...beautiful in a long while. I began to find excuses to make Sadiya leave the room. "We've only just started" Sadiq complained and grumbled as I asked Sadiya to get us some snacks. I almost snarled at him.
When Sadiq finally left after two long hours..... I watched my wife crawl back into her shell. I watched the sparkle fade away and right under my nose, I watched Sadiya become sad. She looked lonely.
It was at that moment it hit me hard. The truth I mean. Had I failed in my duty as a husband ? I began to ask myself questions.

When was the last time I actually made an effort to make Sadiya laugh? When last did we really sit together to chat and talk about this and that like we did way back when she was the only apple of my eyes?

Is Sadiya happy? I couldn't help but remember that sudden look of loneliness as Sadiq left. This truly bothered me.

Then I asked myself ....if you feel some form of envy because some other guy who is known to you could bring out the woman you once had, what is Sadiya going through?
Hmmm. I thought to Myself. How does she feel whenever she sees me with Bilqis?
A sense of guilt engulfed me. I had been too involved with my new and fresh wife that I had never given this any thought. It suddenly occurred to me that there were several emotions behind all that patience. I needed to know I had to know for that sad look kept haunting me. So I set out on my fact finding mission. Here are my results.

She had noticed some changes in me around the same time I began to date Bilqis.I became easily irritated, easy to complain and difficult to please. I often wore a frown face which scared and stopped her from voicing her feelings.

While I started passing not too pleasant remarks about her physical attributes (this really hurt her) Ya Salaam! I had stopped noticing her efforts to look good, to please me with her dressing, her make-up and her perfume..I even completely forgot to say she looked nice when she did.

She had seen me rush to answer sms that came in from Bilqis and look pensively at the phone when I'm expecting her call. It also happened that most times I forgot to reply Sadiya's thoughtful messages and chats. Sometimes I didn't call when I was away from home. (Sadiya always kept in touch).

She watched me come home and all I spent my time doing was preparing for the new bride. In my excitement I got carried away, spent a lot of money and neglected some of the family's immediate needs.

She often initiated s*x, because most of the time I would just lie down there and ignore her. (Bad!!!)

She had to put up with it all cause she never wanted to displease me even for a moment.

She had worried about the new woman coming. Will they be able to tolerate one another. Will she like her kids? If 'this woman could distract her husband even from the outside, what will happen from the inside. Will she ...? She had so many things going on in her head with none to share her pain,her fears. She couldn't, naturally for the fear of being labelled envious.
These are just some of the facts.
How did I gather all these? I sat Sadiya down, held her hands and begged her in the name of Allah to talk to me. She did, and as she did, she fought with tears. I felt truly ashamed. I felt like I had oppressed her.
Did I hear you say so what? Isn't Polygamy a prophetic sunnah and every Muslim woman must accept it? True. My brothers, we need to go about it in manner that will not tamper with the feelings of the other wife or wives.

Never neglect your wife/wives. Always show concern and care. You may have many to show you love and affection, she has only YOU.

Give her her dues. By these I mean spend quality time with her and satisfy her needs especially in the bedroom. Hug her, kiss her and play with her. Remember you're her only husband.

Take her out once in a while, alone. Go for drives, walks, visits and shopping. Go for another honeymoon if possible away from your town. If not, to some place near you that you can afford.

Say good morning and goodnight. Don't wait for her to say it all the time. Check on her daily. Call when you're not around.

Be responsive: that is listen to her and genuinely pay attention. Reply texts and chats. Blow her kisses...

Every woman wants to know her MAN still belongs to her You can belong to 2, 3 or 4 at the same time if you follow the being 'just sunnah of the Nabiy SAW.
I mean don't fail to be the loving husband of each. Never let any wife feel like she's living on the grace of another.

Give her all that is meant for her. Feed her and clothe her as expected. If you do any of these only when a new wife comes in, you can naturally expect bad feelings and distrust. Even the wise among the kids will notice.

Let the older wife or wives know you appreciate them. Don't wait for the arrival of another to say that much expected Thank You.

Never marry and compare. You tell or tease a woman she's old or her breasts are this or that and thereafter take a younger and fresher woman, Ya Salam! You have given her reasons to feel inferior and reasons to dislike the new comer.

Yes you have many to choose from, but you're all she's got.

Above all, it is imperative to communicate. Talking helps to clear minute issues and heals wounds.
So I talked to Sadiya and felt her pain. She loved me enough to be jealous, she loved me so much she bore it all peacefully. sadiya is a good wife and loving mother. What else could I ask for?
I took my time to earn her love again....and I got it! I wooed and courted her and it was both exciting and fulfilling as I watched her blossom and glow.
I love both wives. Each for different outstanding qualities. May Allah forgive us brothers and help us to keep the amana. Women must be cared for and loved.
They deserve nothing less as they strive to please us and compete for our love and attention. This is the sunnah.