Should my future wife know about my disability?
Q: I am 27 years old. My parents are interested in getting me married now. But I face a few problems, which I am finding difficult to approach. I met with an accident during my school due to which, I have lost hearing from my left ear. It has been detected as nerve deafness and cannot be restored. In addition, I underwent a medical examination few years back, during which I underwent sonography for the first time. It was detected that I don't have a right kidney. It was subsequently concluded that it has been missing since birth. These facts have not deterred me in my education, getting a job and performing in other activities. Now I am in a dilemma whether these facts should be made known at the time of marriage proposals. My parents are of the opinion that these things are not life threatening and should not matter as I am educated and having a decent job. They feel that if I disclose these things then no good proposals will come and I will never get married. Even I am not of the opinion of disclosing it to everyone, because it generates either unnecessary sympathy or feeling of alienation. But I also feel that it will be unfair to the girl if I disclose it only after the engagement or marriage. What is the best way to approach this situation?
A:Honest, open communication is at the core of a good marriage as close partnership is based on truthfulness and trustworthiness. This openness is needed to maintain a marriage and as marriages must be built on honesty, a thorough and open disclosure of both partners’ backgrounds and histories should also be unveiled long before marriage. In doing so, all significant and consequential issues should be resolved, particularly those that may cause emotional pain, require understanding, or need forgiveness. This is so because self-disclosure, not common interests, is the basis for all deep friendships. You should be comfortable confiding your thoughts and secrets to your partner. If for some reason you're uncomfortable confiding in the person, it is likely that the two of you haven't yet achieved the level of intimacy needed to consider marriage. You may need more time to let the relationship develop. Physical attraction and economic security are important, but they don't override practical or emotional considerations. After the wedding, you'll have to live with that person every day, so make sure the two of you get along well and share the same basic values. That’s what’s really important.