The social media has created multiple friends outside our family circles. Consequently, marrieds have started tabling marital issues for all to see.
By Stella Naigino
Wait a minute. If our spouses were so bad such that we cannot find anything nice to talk about them, we would not have married them in the first place.
Maybe, there would be no marriages at all. They could have ended a long time ago. And so I am incensed with people who come to office and start badmouthing their spouses. And you know what?
Not a woman-to-woman talk, but man-to-woman. You smell a rat. As strange as it might sound, everyone admits they know a friend or two who does it.
Elizabeth just broke an engagement because of an unhealthy friendship between her fiancé and another young married woman he knew.
“The relationship was physically innocent, but I felt betrayed when he would go to her for comfort after we got into an argument. Every time we had an argument, I learnt that he would run to this woman for consolation. Yet in the past if we argued or disagreed, he’d talk it over with guys,” the mother of one says.
Sure it might be a one-off. But, as Elizabeth confides, if a member of the opposite sex is your closest friend ever you may want to consider why you aren’t dating or marrying them anyway.
Cinderella Sanyu, a musician says not every one cares about what happens in your intimate life, so discussing it with a workmate — let alone, a workmate of the opposite sex — makes your marriage meaningless.
“Marriage is something special and whatever happens in it should be kept sacred because once discussed with friends, they make it a topic of discussion, “Sanyu notes.
Grace Nakimera, also a musician agrees: “People do not want to know about your marriage so just spare them from making up stories about your intimate life,”Nakimera reveals.
She argues that anyone you tell will most probably make up so many stories. “This makes your life harder. Imagine if all the girls knew the drama you go through with your wife. Not cool at all,” she says.
Experts speak out
Joseph Musaalo, a counsellor at Uganda Christian University Mukono says when couples choose to get into marriage, one of the most ignored aspects are issues related with how to settle their differences.
“Depending on who has done what, many fail to agree and always discuss it with others to get an idea on what they should do, but it’s not right, especially if you are confiding in a wrong person,” notes Musaalo.
Sometimes, you might confide in a man, who for so long had his own selfish ambitions. If he knows your marriage has a crack, he could exploit it to ensure he wins you over, which means breaking your marriage.
Musaalo says previously, couples could afford to get away with it, but with the social media and many working couples today, people have platforms to have as many opposite sex friends beyond their family circles.
Musaalo notes that much as friends help in solving problems, one should be sure they don’t betray their trust. He says poor communication between spouses makes things worse.
“When it rains and channels that take water are blocked, flooding starts. This is the same in a marriage. Once communication is cut, the relationship is at stake, “Musaalo reveals.
He adds that some spouses are so rude and cruel that in case they are caught on the wrong, they use anger to cover their guilt. In such cases, spouses tend to find solace from a member of the opposite sex.
Steven Langa, the executive director of Family Life Network in Kasanga agrees that gossiping about your spouse leads to loss of respect from your friends.
“They look at you with pity. It’s even more ashaming especially when you’re the one on the wrong. You lose it with time, your colleagues get to know the kind of person you are, which makes you lose your self-esteem, “says Langa.
He stresses that some marriages have broken up as a result of discussing home matters with colleagues at work.
“Your spouse can accuse you of being in love with those you discuss with.”
Some can use this as a chance to get rid of their spouse especially if they are no longer interested in the relationship.
“Indeed some quit their marriages and marry those colleagues they have been running to for consolation, meaning that, the advice you only got from those you seek for help was to quit your marriage and start another one,” Langa reveals.
Such situations have been a major cause of domestic violence in homes as the oppressed decide to revenge on their spouses through crude methods in an attempt the relieve pain.
What can be done
Trust is one of the key foundations of a marriage. Once your partner gets to know that you discuss marriage issues with your friends, they will definitely stop trusting you.
Speak to the right people. Know when to discuss what. If your partner is not in a talking mood, wait and bring up the issue later. He or she could be tired or even stressed.
Speak to counsellors or church elders about what’s “eating” you up so that you can be helped, rather than speaking to a colleague at work about it.
“Friends can help as well but you cannot be so sure of what they are capable of. Some will go around making it a subject of the day with their other friends which is not very good for you as everyone will know about you,” Langa says.
Even if we may not see good in them, when they are still married to us. Yes, they have indeed managed to endure and put up with mess, our inflated egos, imperfections, insecurities and selfishness while reserving our respect.
Let us remind ourselves the reasons we fell in love with our spouses and see them again in light of those reasons; hanging on to the reasons we married them, believing that, that goodness is still there.
Why gossip about your spouse?