It is not long ago since we witnessed a very dramatic showcase of our neighbour, whom I will call Fred, with his wife. As we enjoyed our early sweet midnight sleep, we were rudely woken up with the sound of a breaking window glass next-door. There was a female voice yelling for help, which jolted us from our beds to the balcony where we found Fred puzzled.
Mark you, this is not the first time that we are experiencing such. This time though, he seemed more furious and marauding the compound, perhaps looking for the best weapon to finish Peninah, his wife! I stared in disbelief as the bachelor across my compound watched the drama with glee. I walked over to him and asked him what the matter was. He absentmindedly responded, “These guys with fights aahh….”
When I probed further, it emerged that Peninah had been talking on phone which did not please Fred.
So Peter Sebuliba, the bachelor, shared how he had paid the couple a visit only to get caught up in a movie. Sebuliba had witnessed the fallout from the start-little wonder he was enjoying it! So as he narrated, he told of how Fred went home only to find Peninah on phone. Apparently, she hang up and welcomed him, served him food and retreated to her phone. Fred cast a long and hard look at Peninah which was maybe trying to communicate something, for some time but she was too distracted by the phone call to notice.
Just as she was hanging up, a message alert buzzed and Peninah fumbled as she panicked to reach out for the phone. Just as she stretched her hand to grab her sleek phone, Fred got to it first and held it and that is what sparked off the fight.
Clearly, this fight was triggered by late night calls and message conversations. Despite several warnings, Peninah did not yield positive response which had built resentment. Late night phone calls are actually a talking point when it comes to marriage breakups these days. Many ladies would fancy gluing to their phones, sometimes not even doing anything constructive, maybe flipping through the whatsapp chats, Facebook conversations or having some old stories with old friends on phone till the wee hours of the morning. A good number of marriages have crumbled at the hands of this habit. Many experienced married men have shared and the whole issue is a nightmare to them! Some may be patient while others will term it disrespectful!
“Evening and night time is the best period to share pleasantry ventures that shoulder a marriage relationship,” shares Duncan Musumba, a pastor and relationship therapist. “This is the correct time to share about the escapades of the day that may have seemed overwhelming and most family men look forward to this time. Actually, the reason some men will resort to going to bars to wash the stress off their heads is partly because their wives sometimes get caught up in other things.”
Sort out the matter amicably
“Respect goes before prejudice in every marriage relationship” notes Henry Mutebe, a counsellor and father of two. He adds that with respect at the heart of a marriage, these other things will work their way to success. “Problem is,” he observes, “some young couples are still grappling with the issue of decision making in committing to a relationship. Others just want to taste and run off that is why they will still hold onto other people in their lives whom they end up calling and chatting with regardless of the time of the day.”
If you are guilty, apologise
“When I had just married the mother of my eight children, she used to spend a lot of time with either neighbours or talking on phone with her people in the village. But when she realised how uncomfortable it was getting in the family, she apologised to me and life moved on normally thereafter,” narrates 55-year-old Steven Bangirana. He continues to emphasise the importance of an eye to eye conversation in any relationship. “There is bonding when couples communicate physically. The body language, says a lot about their love for each other.”
Have a chat
Mutebe advises couples to have set time for receiving calls in the night. Mutebe and his wife receive calls up to 9pm save for emergencies. “I would rather many married couples take up solutions such as those,” he shares. As a counsellor, Mutebe also advises dialogue. “I encourage couples to have healthy conversations in such cases, fights normally do not solve problems but they cause more damage.
What the cousellor says
Robert Kisembo, a relationship counsellor based in Nateete, advises couples to respect each other. “For one to dive into a conversation which is not an urgent issue in the middle of the night is definitely a sign of disrespect for your spouse. A relationship that is not compounded in mutual respect is as good as a crippling malady,” he says.
When cell phones break up marriages
As a licensed private investigator, I receive a lot of calls concerning infidelity issues, either in a marriage or steady relationships. When a call comes in, the story almost always goes like this:
Can I get into my partner’s cell phone text messages? The answer is almost always NO!
Why are cell phones such a problem in relationships and what can be done to stop cheating spouses or partners from using the cell phone to carry on an affair?
Using a cell phone to hide an affair
The answer to “why are cell phones used so frequently to facilitate affairs?” is pretty straightforward. We are all attached to our cell phones and have them with us 24/7. We become attached to them to carry on legitimate business or personal business, but the convenience of being able to communicate with someone who has caught our interest is sometimes too much for some to pass up. The phone is there every time someone wants to communicate, either to make plans to meet later, or just flirt. Sexting and sending elicit photographs are as easy as pressing a button.
My clients tell me that their mates who are having affairs become very protective of their phone. Before cheating, they would leave their phone out in plain sight for anyone to see, but when the affair starts the cell phone suddenly became secretive and hidden.
Do not ignore the signs
Is your spouse suddenly over protective of their cell phone?
Do they place the phone with the screen face down when lying it down?
Do they walk away to talk after receiving a phone call?
Do they whisper when talking on the phone?
Are they texting another person without you knowing the identity of the other person?
Is there a substantial increase in the amount of texts they send or receive?
Do they erase or delete texts and phone calls immediately?
Do they refuse to share the password to their cell phone?
The best advice for a couple to eliminate all worries about illicit cell phone activities is to share passwords on all cell phones. If your spouse or partner is reluctant to share his/her cell phone password, you might have problems in your marriage.