– Complacency: Many first wives become relaxed and rather complacent in the discharge of their matrimonial duties, as soon as their husbands take a second wife. They feel that they have done their part and it’s now time to take the back seat while the new wife gets on the wheel. By the time they wake up, the driver might have diverted the car to her own lane and taken full control of the journey.

* Insecurity: Truth is, 3 out of every 5 polygynous men will proceed to take a third wife and 1 out of that 3 will take a 4th. So, if anyone should feel insecure in a two horse polygyny, it should be the second wife and not the first. However, many women feel insecure because they fear that the second wife is a husband snatcher that has come to ruin their relationship and family. This fear is usually fueled by unnecessary fears caused by fairytales and African Magic movies.

* Unnecessary Bickering and Pettiness: While it is natural for women to get jealous and emotional when their husbands take another wife, many first wives take their nagging and whining to an absurd level. Everything becomes an issue and every little issue is blown out of proportion. This happens especially where the family lives together. If she’s not complaining about how kitchen utensils are arranged, she’s complaining about how the other was sitting or walking, or how the husband was laughing with the other, blablabla.

* Competition: Because they feel challenged, especially when the new wife is young, agile and charismatic, some first wives think they’ve just been drawn into competition. Personally, I think the most unfair of competitions is to draw two people who are completely opposite of each other, and who have not been trained in the same way against each other. Polygyny isn’t a competition and our wives shouldn’t make it to look so. Be yourself and do things your own way. If you enter into a chess game with a champ, you won’t survive the battery!

* Unnecessary Loquaciousness: Some first wives often become unnecessarily talkative and will not hesitate to malign their husbands and co-wives in front of every Tom and Harry, online and in real life. Some even go to the extent of recruiting friends and relatives of their husbands loyal to them as mouthpieces to spread evil about their husbands and co-wives. Everything that goes on in the house is no longer secret to their cohorts. This act has led so many to cheating on their spouses.

* Ungratefulness: Rather than show gratitude to gestures and acts of benevolence, some women feel that after all, they have done their husbands’ enough good by staying back in the marriage rather than leaving. Even when they show gratitude, it’s usually in a passive and unromantic way. Some feel that since it was the husband’s responsibility, they need not to show any gratitude. This is a red flag.

* Picking on the New Wife: Many first wives think that by picking on the second wife, she’s going to divert their husband’s attention to herself and repair their (what in her assumption is broken) marriage. This is a wrong fight to pick. The more you pick on her, the more you give your husband reason to believe that you’re playing the envy and jealousy card. So rather than you winning, the victory is hers.

Negligence of Spousal Support: Since time immemorial, hardly has any man been able to provide their family’s need 100%. In most cases, wives have usually provided support, no matter how negligible. It could be just N20 for matches, or N10 for a sachet of pure water, N5 for sweet/biscuit for their child, or N3,000 for diapers. Every woman, no matter how dependent she may be on her husband’s income contributes something to the day-to-day cost of running the house. However, upon their husbands taking a second wife, many first wives completely stop giving such support in order to strain their husbands. Sometimes, they are ill-advised by friends to cut off all financial support to their husbands, as that was what gave them the leverage to add another wife in the first place.

Using Children as Weapons/Moles: Children are innocent and naive beings. They are too busy growing up than have time to make enemies and fight over insignificant things. However, some first wives incite, instigate and poison the minds of their children against their co-wives. They will not allow them to go to their rooms or sit near them. They will warn them to never accept anything from their step mothers or run their errands. Some even go to the extent of warning their co-wives from having anything to do with their children. This is a big mistake! On the other hand, some use the children as moles and spies. They ask them to reveal what their co-wives are doing in their homes/rooms, etc. in both cases, you’re making a devil out of your own children, and sooner or later, you will reap the sour fruit of your evil seed!

Fetishism: Many first wives suddenly turn themselves into clients of herbalists (Jalabiists and Babalawos) simply because their husbands have taken a new wife. They use all,sorts of charms on their husbands and or their new wives as well. With their own hands, they invite Shaytān into their homes with black magic. We have heard of sisters in niqāb going to such lengths. To them, this is a war and every weapon, including the teeth is indispensable. Some have also fallen prey to those criminal Jalabiists and have either been extorted, or raped, or married under hypnotic influences.

May Allāh grant us safety.

Sanusi Lafiagi

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