Thursday July 31 2014

Must a spouse know your whereabouts?

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

Must you tell your partner wherever you are going and how long you intend to stay there? This is a question where you would get different responses. Some may say absolutely yes while others would oppose this and have different reasons supporting their replies.

Those who believe you should tell your spouse where you are believe that, “If you love someone, you can always share with them your deepest secrets so there is nothing wrong in telling them wherever you are going,” says Florence Nakabiri.

John Mubiru, a married man, says, “If you are married, your spouse has full responsibility over you and must therefore know all your whereabouts at any time. Telling your spouse where you are makes you a caring and responsible husband or wife.
“Irrespective of what your reason is, telling your partner where you are going is very important. It not only shows a sense of maturity and trust but also respect for your partner. It reveals your transparency and responsibility to him or her,” says James Okech.

He adds that it is important to let your partner know your whereabouts because you could meet an accident and your only rescuer is your partner.
Sarah Nakyejwe says, “Once you have told your partner that you are going somewhere, they can easily find you in case of a problem probably an accident. It will also help remove doubts they had about you. If you do not tell your partner about where you are going, it raises suspicion that you could be cheating.”

On the other hand, those who say one should not inform one’s partner, think one does not need to seek for their spouse’s consent before they go anywhere. Most of these are men who may be driven by culture. They believe that a man is the head of the family so he must make decisions and implement them without the consent of his wife or anyone else in the family.

Khadija Kizito, says, the above argument has always caused her several arguments with her husband who always travels to Sudan without informing her.
She says, she finds out either when he returns or from the boda boda cyclist who brings her food. “Whenever I ask why he went without telling me, his reply is, “Did I have to seek for your permission first or is it a must to tell you where I am going all the time?”

Joanne Kyarikunda, a student at MUBS also says, “I broke up with my boyfriend because he always demanded to know wherever I went and before I reach, he would call the person I was going to see to check if I had arrived. The worst part of it was that he never told me where he went and if I insisted, he would get angry.”

What the counsellor says
If your partner must tell you where they are going, it all depends on some factors, David Kavuma a counseling psychologist at Mildmay Centre says, “It depends on the stage of the relationship and the level of communication between you. It would not be surprising if you never told your spouse where you are going if you rarely communicate.”

During the first stages of love, the degree of intimacy is too high and each partner wants to update the other about whatever they are doing. Therefore it is abnormal for people who have just started dating not to inform their partners about their whereabouts, the counsellor explains.
“If the couple is married, it depends on whether the other partner also does so. If the husband does not tell his wife where he is going, she finds it normal not to tell him because he too does not,” Kavuma says.

He however says it is very important to let your partner know where you intend to go because it shows openness, honesty and transparency between partners. In case of a problem, your partner can easily find out especially if you never returned home. Those who go without telling their spouses, put themselves in a tricky situation because even when they get problems the spouse cannot know immediately and by the time they find out, it may be too late, he adds.

“If your partner tells you wherever they are going, it is important to emulate what they do. This would also remove the doubts your partner has always had about you,” Kavuma concludes.