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Voice | ‘I’m a second wife and I don’t care what you think’

27 August 2018
Makhachkala (Dominik K. Cagara /OC Media)

A 35-year-old woman from Makhachkala tells Daptar that becoming a second wife is a dream come true.

‘I’m 35 and I recently got married. We have an Islamic marriage. I need to specify that I’m the second wife and it suits me just fine.’

‘I’m not religious at all, and I can’t say I got married for some great love. I haven’t known my husband long anyway. My husband has two children from his other wife and now I’m pregnant.’

‘Why does everything suit me? I need to break it into points, there are only two points.’

‘Firstly, relatives no longer pressure me. My parents and relatives kept pestering me with these conversations all the time: “who will marry you now?”, “you should marry this person”, etc. Considering my age, the best candidates for a husband were either widows, elderly, or divorced distant relatives. Somehow I didn’t have any feelings for any of them.’

‘The day I told my mum I was getting married, she said: “Glory be to Allah! The stone has fallen from my soul”. But the questions of who would marry me, what kind of person he was — these were all secondary. This was a shame for me, of course, but I easily got over it. As a child, I grew up in an environment where it was considered that if you’re not married by 22–23, then you’re identified in the ranks of old maids.’

‘I always failed in relationships’

‘Secondly, I am now expecting a baby, and for me this was the most important point. I never had the opportunity to leave for another city and solve the issue there. I didn’t have the courage to “go it alone”. The status of second wife gave me the chance to have a child — and I really wanted children. For me, this marriage is a great joy precisely because I will be having a baby.’

‘I never succeeded in having a career (what kind of career can one have as a primary school teacher anyway?) I don’t have the skills to do business. I always failed in relationships with men — sometimes they hated my character or sometimes I didn’t like them for whatever reason.’

‘But the day I turned 33, I woke up in the morning and understood clearly that I really wanted to have a baby. I couldn’t live without a child. I even went to the nursery to help a relative, a teacher, with the children.’

‘I thought of adopting a child from the orphanage, but my parents would have been against it, and even if they approved, I would never have enough money for the required bribes.’

‘I met my future husband at school; he came to pick up his older son. He’s not really handsome, but I looked at him, how he treats his son, how he respects him and treats him gently. I really felt this. I immediately told him and this is how we began to talk.’

‘I don’t care about the feelings of his first wife’

‘After a month, he offered that I become his wife. Just for the sake of it, I said that I needed to think and took a week. But deep inside, in those very first seconds, I was yelling that I agreed. I even got worried about taking a week to think, that he could change his mind, that I had been given my only chance and missed it. I couldn’t sleep properly, I was crying.’

‘I’ve been a second wife for a year and a half. I’m seven months pregnant. I live in a rented flat and pay half the rent. He’s not a wealthy man, he has another family and I accepted that.’

‘I don’t care about anything. I don’t care about the feelings of his first wife, his first family. I will never worry if he ever leaves. I will never complain if he doesn't help me with my child.’

‘My husband gave me the most important thing for me and this is enough. I don’t need to worry on a wide variety of issues that I would necessarily face if I decided to have a child out of wedlock. Polygamy gave me such chance.’

‘The stories with other second wives are different. I’ve heard very few good stories, but I never looked at it through rose-tinted glasses. My only dream came true thanks to these customs of ours. I don’t care about the rest.’

This article is a partner post. The original version first appeared on Daptar, on 21 August 2018.

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