In this counseling answer:
“The decision to disclose such important information can be difficult, especially if it is something that could potentially affect the marriage. All options and consequences must be considered carefully. Support, in this case, can be obtained from medical professionals, counselors, and support groups Most importantly, finding solace and guidance in the remembrance of Allah will bring you comfort during this testing time.”
Wa Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh,
Suffering from any type of incurable illness can be devastating for everyone; not only for the individual themselves but their families also. Regardless of the type of illness, it can have an impact on both physical and psychological well-being.
As a woman in her prime years, you are now seeking a spouse. Alhamdulillah, you are receiving proposals but are facing a difficult time processing the fact that you desire to let any future spouse know the truth about your illness.
Seek medical advice
The first thing you might consider doing if you didn’t already is going to see a doctor. Without assuming what disease you have, in many cases, even with incurable ones, there are various treatments available. If you have seen your doctor before they have not known that you were preparing to get married, then perhaps the treatment they have offered you were more in line with your needs a single woman. If they know that you will marry soon, in sha Allah, they will understand that your needs and priorities will change. Therefore, they may offer you treatment that is more specially tailored to women with the types of needs you will soon face as a wife and potential mother. They may be able to offer you an alternative treatment that will fit in with your new way of life. For example, with the irregular menstrual cycle that you mentioned, it might be that until now the doctors did not see this as a priority as such, but once married, you might soon start thinking about having children. Irregular menstrual cycles might make conception a little more difficult, but with medical advice on this particular symptom of concern, they may have other options available to you.
They will also be able to offer you treatment for the psychological side effects of your disease. This will offer you an avenue to manage the emotional side effects of having the disease you have, which will help with the depression that you are experiencing.
Join a support group
You might also look into support groups, either locally, or online. There are support groups available for every disease you can think of. It’s, therefore, highly likely that you will find multiple support groups for the disease you live with. Such support groups can be very useful to seek support from others in the same situation as yourself. People who you can speak to about what you are going through and will be able to advise you well based on direct experience with the same illness. Furthermore, it is also likely you will meet other ladies like yourself who have faced the same dilemma when seeking to get married.
Aside from the practical advice, having the social support from others in the same situation can be very comforting and a very useful way to manage the emotional side of your illness, including the depression that you are currently feeling.
To tell him or not?
Regarding your dilemma around telling any potential spouse about your disease, it sounds like you have already made the decision yourself that you do want to tell him. However, perhaps you fear how he might take the news, or if it might push potential suitors away. If you don’t tell him, then you will be burdened by the guilt of not telling him which might make it difficult for you to bond fully with him. However, at the same time, you probably fear that telling him will put him off and that maybe you’ll struggle to enter any marriage at all. As indicated by your question, it seems the issue is more about disclosing it to him.
If you do make the decision to tell him, it is better you do so sooner rather than later. If you leave it longer it will only become more difficult to disclose during this time you might find yourself very uncomfortable in his presence feeling like you are hiding something important. With this constant preoccupation, you will find it more difficult to engage in conversation with him and might fail to pay attention to things that you need to regarding his piety and character.
To make this disclosure easier in yourself, remember this important thing. It might be that to disclose such sensitive information is an actually good way to sift out the good from the bad. A good man who will appreciate you for who you are, regardless of whether you have an illness or not.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Find solace with Allah
As with any test from Allah, the most important thing amongst all this is to find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Continue to pray for Him to guide you and even pray istikhara to ask Him to guide the best man in your direction.
Remember the many lessons that we are taught about dealing with such tests and find solace in the Mercy of Allah
Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira:The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Dealing with an incurable illness comes with a great burden both physically and psychologically. These difficulties can be exacerbated during times when it feels like health matters most, such as when seeking marriage. The decision to disclose such important information can be difficult, especially if it is something that could potentially affect the marriage. All options and consequences must be considered carefully. Support, in this case, can be obtained from medical professionals, counselors, and support groups Most importantly, finding solace and guidance in the remembrance of Allah will bring you comfort during this testing time.
May Allah give you improved health and patience during these testing time. May He 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.