In this counseling answer:
“Once you come to know your suitor, who he is on the inside, how his mind works, and what makes him feel good about himself, then you can begin to give him real love. Acceptance of oneself and of each other is achieved through understanding one’s self and each other. With this comes the knowing. If you achieve this, past behaviors will be completely irrelevant. That is when you know you have achieved true self-forgiveness and forgiveness in the union.”
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
From what I read, it sounds like both of you love each other very much. The behaviors that you and your suitor are expressing are signs that tell you how well your inner state of being is. You both have a lot of work to do in cleaning up your hearts, getting right with Allah, and gaining true Iman (faith).
Many psychologists at this point would “prescribe a dose of self-esteem.” But my advice is to really walk a journey of spiritual cleansing, self-reflection, and connecting to Allah. That is what is missing.
This is a situation where I highly recommend couples counseling before you marry. Combine that with prayer. Pray alone and pray together. The feelings of worthiness come from knowing that you are pleasing Allah.
We all sin, but when you know deep down in your heart that you have been forgiven from Allah and that your heart sincerely wants to please Allah, then you feel a calm type of worthiness inside. You will also feel your Iman (faith) strengthen. This will protect you from Shaytan (Satan).
A relationship cannot progress to a level of honest bonding until you have moved past power struggles and testing and come to a place where each suitor knows the other in a very real sense.
“…and one of His Signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you might find sakinah (tranquility) in them, and He put between you love and mercy….”(Quran 30:21)
“And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think.” (Rum 30:21)
You see, Allah creates harmony. Allah puts love and mercy between you, not discord, doubt, power struggles, and mistrust. Allah engenders LOVE. It is Shaytan that comes between the bonds that Allah has destined for you. Focus on getting close to Allah and strengthen your faith, then the faith you share will also be strengthened. Anytime you have a doubt, do wudu’ (ablution) and two rak`ahs (prayer), and make du`aa’ (supplication).
Once you come to know your suitor, who he is on the inside, how his mind works, and what makes him feel good about himself, then you can begin to give him real love. Acceptance of oneself and of each other is achieved through understanding one’s self and each other. With this comes the knowing. If you achieve this, past behaviors will be completely irrelevant. That is when you know you have achieved true self-forgiveness and forgiveness in the union.
The only reason thoughts of zina (fornication) come between you and your future spouse is because you are both still focused on not being good enough or feeling insecure. This must be put behind you. Again, a good couple’s counselor can help you with that.
Your spouse will have to take a good look at who you really are. He will have to decide if he wants to marry you, with or without the history of zina. You will have to look inside yourself and ask yourself why you feel the need to commit these sins. Allah will walk into that dark place with you and shine a light on what you need to know about yourself in order to heal yourself. You must be brave and take this walk with Allah.
Once you are reconnected to Allah, you will be strong enough to be faithful in a marriage should your suitor decide to proceed. You will also be strong enough to accept his decision to pass on the marriage. What is done is done. It will be time for you to move forward on your spiritual journey either way. In sha’ Allah, Allah will send angels to you to comfort you as you travel.
This may not have been the pop psyche answer you are looking for, but it is really the only path. If your striving is not for Allah, you will never find that peace you are seeking whether you are married or not. With that, I see two immature but beautiful souls who would benefit from couples counseling and form introspection and reconnection to Allah.
I pray these words would help to move you forward.
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