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Fiancé Has Mental Illness; What to Do?

13 December, 2023
Q I am a young man, and am currently engaged with a women the same age as me. We go to know each other through a volunteering organization we both were working with, and have been talking for the past 7 months. Everything went very well in the beginning. I can definitely say that she has all the qualities I am looking for in a woman, and even more. The things I love the most about her is her taqwah and her honest and deep fear of Allah. She really puts Allah first in everything she does, and not only with her tongue, but also in her actions. Also, she is the first woman I felt I could truly and completely open up to. I told her my darkest secrets, my deepest fears and insecurities. And she always told me she loved me for who I was. It's the first time I felt someone that loved for who I truly was. Keep in mind I have been divorced twice, and her once. I honestly and truly felt like she was the love of my life. That I would never find someone like her. And she told me the same thing. That she loves me and that she does not believe she will ever be able to love someone after me.

We got formally engaged. Everything seemed to be going very well, and I thought we were on our way to getting married very soon in sha Allah. However, for the last two months or so, things have turned a bit sour.

I am an athlete. This means I need to train hard, and sometimes go on training camps and so on for a couple of weeks. She always told me it would be hard for her and that she would miss me. However, she said we could figure it out and make it work. Then she came to see one of my races.

And unfortunately, in my sport, women are not very well dressed. There is a lot of fitnah. I keep a strict distance policy. I come, do my training or my racing and then leave. But when she saw all of this, knowing she came from a very traditional background, it was like a huge shock for her. And she started getting super jealous, at a point where it was becoming toxic. Every time I would go on a race or in training, she would be passive aggressive and tell me ''She hopes I'm enjoying the view'' or that ''I'm always hurting her'', and all I do is making her suffer. She also said that she could not handle my life and my environment many times. That she wanted to leave. But I never gave up. I always stayed. Tried to be patient with her. Talk with her. Explain to her and so on. She would get moments of crises, and then come back and apologize. This yo-yo went on for a few weeks. Then one day, she cut herself with her nails ''because the pain was too much''.

I then spoke with her, and realized that she had some mental health issues. She suffered from anorexia and high school, and it was not the first time she cut herself. She has very low self-esteem. I also believe she has a tendency for borderline personality disorder. For months, I tried to convince her to go see a therapist, but she never wanted. Last week, we really reached a breaking point. She told me she was not sure anymore, she wanted to leave and so on. She had a crisis again because I had a race. And I told her that's enough, we need time to breathe and time away. The same day she came and apologized deeply and dearly. Saying she regrets everything she said, and wants me to forgive her. She says she does not know if she deserves me, but she wants to give us a chance. I've been really patient through all of this, and I never stopped loving her, but now I feel that I've poured too much of my heart. I'm feeling cold towards her, and I feel resentment. I know she's genuine, but I just don't know what to do.

To add to everything, my parents don't know everything, but they are sensing something is not right, and they keep telling me I should walk away and I don't deserve this. I don't know what to do. I love her, I really do. But I'm afraid that it's not going to work. I'm afraid to go against my parents. I feel that they want me to leave her altogether. I truly feel that no other woman will love me the way she does. And I do feel she can be a tremendous wife and mother. I also feel that behind all this cloud of pain, there is a tremendous soul. Because she has so many qualities. But I don't know where to go from here.


When your finace has a mental illness, you need to look into the possibilities and limitations of her condition before you make a decision. 

Try to put your feelings aside. Think realistically about what a certain condition exactly means.

Talk to a specialist about the prognosis for the future. Especially if her illness is severe and she has a low willingness to seek treatment for it.

With certain illnesses, there is no guarantee for complete healing or improvement, but even the contrary.

This can affect the marriage despite the compatibility and affection between both of you. 

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Consider the person according to her present behavior and not how she “could be” after treatment.

Ask yourself whether you are happy now with this and whether you would be able to deal with this situation on a daily basis as a family.

Click and listen to the advice here.

Read more from Sr. Aisha:


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.

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.