In this counseling answer:
“Marriage requires compromise on both sides. Therefore, understand that she will be making these compromises as much as you are. Asking for forgiveness for your own sins can help to soften your heart towards the sins of others.”
Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh brother,
Ma sha Allah, you have found a potential spouse that seems to tick almost all the boxes for you. However, there is one flaw that she revealed to regarding her sexual history that is causing you doubt about whether to proceed with this marriage or not.
Forgive and forget, or move on
Ultimately, in this situation you are faced with the choice: you either forgive this woman for her shortcomings and move on with the marriage without reference to this incident anymore, or, if you feel you cannot forgive her and forget about this incident, then you might be better leaving this potential marriage and looking elsewhere.
In an ideal world, she would have been completely pure for you, but she is not. If you cannot accept this and move on from it, then it will be something that will continue to plague you into the marriage. This will make it difficult for you to bond with her and form marital relations if such thoughts remain on your mind. This could jeopardize the success of your marriage.
Think of your own shortcomings
Remember, you also have your own shortcomings that might interfere with your ability to be the perfect husband, too. These are things that she will have to accept if the marriage is to be successful.
Marriage requires compromise on both sides. Therefore, understand that she will be making these compromises as much as you are. Asking for forgiveness for your own sins can help to soften your heart towards the sins of others.
Focus on the positives
Although the act that she committed is disliked to you, there are also some positives that can be drawn from this.
Firstly, the fact that she was open and honest with you from the very start is a sign of a good character. It was not obligatory for her to share this information with you, but she chose to be open with you and tell you, perhaps for fear it may come up later once married. If she can be this honest with you before the marriage has begun, when she didn’t need to be, then this is a good sign that she will continue to be a good honest woman in the marriage also.
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Furthermore, you state that she is clearly repentant for her actions and feels ashamed by it. Again, this is reassuring that her character is good that she feels ashamed of her sins. This sense of shame will be a good, protective factor for her in that it is unlikely that she has or will do such a thing again to avoid such terrible feelings.
Everybody makes mistakes at some point. The most important thing is not the mistake itself, but how the person deals with it; whether they deny it, avoid it, or confront it and seek forgiveness as this lady has and is the best approach when it comes to overcoming such sins.
None the less, it’s still a very important decision for you to make and one that you need to be very sure of before taking the next step to either marry her or walk away. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you pray istikhara. Let Allah guide you to make the decision that is best for you and most pleasing to Him. As you continue to pray istikhara, Allah will either guide you on a path in favor of the marriage, or put obstacles in the way of proceeding, either in your heart or physically.
At the end of the day, it is your choice whether you proceed with this marriage, but do ponder these points carefully and pray istikhara before making your decision.
May Allah grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.