Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I am a man in recovery from sex addiction. Even though there has been a lot of progress, long periods of sexual sobriety still elude me.
I am aware that marriage isn’t going to solve my problem but I don’t want to wait for an year of abstinence before I get married.
How to start this conversation with a potential spouse?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
First of all, please know that Muslim men with sex addiction have married, had children, and continued on their journey of healing.
It is imperative for you to disclose your sex addiction, without revealing details, to your prospective wife. I encourage you to pray istikhara before you tell her. This is not something you raise early on in your courtship. Use your discretion and decide to inform her when you are absolutely sure that this is the woman you want to marry. Then leave the rest to Allah, because you would have done your very best. I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Need, during the last third of the night, as often as you can, for marriage.
Please also do your due diligence and ensure that you have a full blood test, to ensure that you aren’t carrying any diseases.
Everyone who sits down to get married will have some sort of past. Please know that even if a marriage does not eventuate, a God-fearing woman would not divulge your past to anyone. That would be a breach of your trust, and sinful.
It is an exhausting process; to open up to someone about your most painful secrets, only to not have it eventuate into marriage. Despite that, you must continue to be honest, because that is what is most pleasing to Allah. Never fear – He will never let you down.
The right wife for you will embrace all of you – including the parts you struggle with. Trust in this.
I pray that Allah grants you the gift of a loving and accepting wife, alongside your healing.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.