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How to successfully become a second wife

 A love triangle concept. (Courtesy)

Polygamy is a concept that has been with us for a while now. For far too long, "second wife" label had some negative connotations. The title came with a lot of baggage and in some cases stigma.

To some people, it looked like it was a backward living arrangement that only 'desperate', lowly and village-bred women embraced.

But fast forward to today. University graduates, celebrities, TV girls and other respect and even empowered women seem to be slowly but surely embracing the concept.

We hate being the bearers of bad news. But ladies, let's face it. All the good men are already taken, or so it seems.

Look, how many times have you taken a fancy to a dashing, intelligent bloke who seemed like real marriage material, only to find out later that he's already taken? If you have been wracking your brains out trying to figure out where all the qualified, decent, worthwhile eligible men are hiding, wonder no more.

Nowadays, it seems like you can't strike up a conversation with a handsome, charming and financially stable guy anymore without him mentioning that he is already married. It is frustrating!

Just when you think you have finally found 'the one', that perfect guy who fits your criteria, he drops the bombshell that he's in a committed relationship.

Shortage of decent, responsible unattached men to marry

There is literally no man out there who is available who is really worth being in relationship with. If he isn't married, he is a hustler, player or a loser. It's hell being a woman in search of a man?

A good number of women we spoke to confessed they can't remember the last time they met a good guy who they thought would be perfect for them who didn't end up being in a long-term relationship.

For the independent, intelligent 21st century career woman, finding a qualified partner can be a daunting challenge.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find a single man who has the qualities that makes him the perfect husband material. When the successful, responsible men you keep crossing paths with are already tied down, what are your options? If you are tired of kissing frogs and are not willing to compromise on certain things, let us interest you in the role of second wife.

To many, the idea of becoming a second wife sounds preposterous. Most women dreaming of settling down probably aren't imagining doing so with a man who is already married. At the very least, the term "second wife" has a very negative connotation. When people hear of a second wife, they automatically think she is a husband stealer, a home wrecker and a gold digger.

They picture a dumb young bimbo, preying on an older man for his money. However, despite the stigma associated with being a second wife, there is a trend of beautiful, educated, career women who are choosing to enter into these relationships. Take Jacinta, a successful business woman, for example.

Proud second wives speak out, share experience and give tips

"I met Joe five years ago through a mutual friend. We hit it off immediately. He was everything I ever wanted in a man. I was shocked when he told me he was married. I broke up with him, but none of the men I dated after that could measure up to him. I got back together with him and we started seeing each other secretly," says Jacinta.

The affair went on clandestinely for a while and when she got pregnant, he decided to go public about the relationship.

"He told his friends and family and would introduce me as his second wife. His wife accepted me into the family, albeit reluctantly. Even though it hasn't been easy and there are people in his life who have never accepted me, I am very happy as a second wife. He is always there for me and my son and I don't feel like I am missing out on anything," she says.

Why would a beautiful, career-driven, intellectual woman choose to become a co-wife?

First, second wife doesn't in any way mean second best. Becoming wife number two definitely has its perks as we found out. Apparently, the fact that the object of your desire is already married proves that he is not a commitment phobe.

If you are tired of dealing with players who are only interested in playing the field, a man who is married is highly appealing because of this demonstrated capacity for commitment. You are pretty much guaranteed he means business and is offering you a meaningful relationship.

As Jacinta reveals, becoming a second wife also offers stability. If a man is already married, she says, it is solid proof he is financially stable and responsible.

You and your future children will be well taken care of. Being a provider, as many women attest, is a hugely attractive quality to a woman who values financial stability.

"If he already has children with his first wife, he's even more irresistible: you don't have to wonder if he will be a good father," says Jacinta, adding that the biggest secret of successfully being accepted by your co-wife is knowing your place.

"Trying to antagonize the first wife is recipe for chaos. You lay low as an envelope to get in and get accepted," she says.

Apparently, being a father means he is far more likely to be a responsible adult than a man who hasn't had someone dependent on him. And you wonder why a wedding ring has become a chic magnet. Instead of running the other way, women are flocking towards married men in droves.

The odds on single men vs married men fall in the married man's favour. Another interesting aspect we discovered while putting together this report is that married men are well-groomed, more likely to be employed and more responsible: infinitely more appealing than some single guy who is still trying to find his footing in the world and has no sense of responsibility.

Frustrations they go through

However, despite all the perks, being a second wife is not a walk in the park.

It comes with its fair share of frustrations. First, you will always be number two, regardless of how involved, caring, and loving the husband is. However old, you will always be referred to as "bibi mdogo"!

Janet, another proud second wife we had a chat with, knows this all too well.

"I agreed to be a second wife because I loved my husband and I wanted a stable family for my children.

"Right off the bat, there was conflict with his first wife. She never accepted me and went out of her way to show her disapproval.

"Even though my husband tried his best to make me feel like his wife, there was always a sense in our relationship that I am his mistress and she is his wife," says Janet.

She adds that the trick is that you don't compete with the first wife because you just can't win. "She has the support of majority of his people. You are the underdog," she says.

Janet says some members of her husband's family never accepted her as his wife and as far as they were concerned, she was the "other woman" or "Bibi mdogo".

"Initially, I was never accorded the same respect as the first wife and this started to take a toll on my marriage. I almost left the marriage. But then I soldiered on, making friends with his relatives. Much as they haven't fully accepted me, they have some respect for me, seeing as I have sired a child with their kin," she says.

Finding a good and responsible man who will accept you, support you, won't bail when things get difficult and is ready to settle down with you can be a challenge.

What happens when you meet this man but he is married? I think it is high time women stopped writing off married men. If there is a genuine connection and compatibility, his marital status shouldn't be a hindrance as long as he is willing to make things official.

Why not save yourself the trouble of dating broke men who only want to use your body as a playground and tool.

The next time you stumble across a man who has even the most remote amount of job security, don't be too quick to dismiss him even if he is married.

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