By Rachael Nabisubi and Vicky Wandawa
Katushabe woke up one morning and packed all her belongings, leaving her four-year-old son with Joseph Byaruhanga, her husband of five years. The couple had been going through a rough patch, following various arguments, among them being Byaruhanga’s decision to let his mother live with them.
Devastated, Byaruhanga decided to focus on raising his son and forget about Katushabe. Recently, almost five years after her departure, Katushabe returned and asked that they work towards a reunion.
“I was not interested in her anymore but she said we should reconcile for the sake of our child,” says Byaruhanga. “However, I stood my ground and declined, because past mistakes are bound to be repeated.
Besides, I had moved on with my life.”
Sylvia Munube, a counsellor at the Infectious Diseases Institute, says depending on what caused the separation, the couple may not bond again even if they have a child, so re-uniting might be in vain.
“If there is mistrust, the couple may not bond again. But they can give it their best shot by seeking counselling and keeping communication lines open,” Munube advises.
Beatrice Langariti, a family and marriage counsellor, says it takes time to rebuild a relationship after separation, even if it’s for the sake of the children.
“Reconciling for the sake of the children is not a guarantee that the relationship will eventually work,” she says. In case the relationship fails, she advises that the couple works at remaining friends and to explain whatever happened, to the child.
Dr. Stephen Langa, a counsellor at Family Life Network, says reconciliation is welcome at any point, no matter what might have transpired. He notes that both the man and woman’s maturity matters and if so, the relationship stands a chance of survival.
But if they are not mature, they might separate again, sooner rather than later.
He advises couples to go for both pre-marital and extra marital counselling to build a firm foundation for their marriages. Slowly, partners can go through the doubt period to win back their trust.
“They should identify their partner’s strength and weakness and try to accept them,” Langa advises.
Would you reconcile for the kids?
Olusegun Mokori, nutritionist
I would, because as parents, we have to put the interests and welfare of the child before our own. I might be angry with their mother but I would stay because it’s what’s best for my children that counts.
Catherine Atwine, radio programmes officer
I would, because children are better raised by both parents.
Diana Ajuna, ICT lawyer
It depends on the children’s age. If they are very young, I would consider reconciliation because it’s important for them to grow up with both parents. If they are old and independent, I would not.
Dorarita Omunyidde, cashier
I would not reconcile with him because past is past. The children also need to understand why I can’t be with their father, especially if we split due to infidelity.
Davis Mutalya, customer care assistant
For the sake of the kids I would probably reconcile, though things might never be the same again in terms of intimacy, because by the time we separate, it’s for a very big reason
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