Are attorneys and marriage compatible?

Daphine and Terry say they prioritise communication and never leave an issue unresolved.  Photo / Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Attorneys are trained to win every argument which can be a liability in marriage where compromise is key. So, a union of lawyers is potentially a battlefield of words. These couples share how they manage to make theirs work. 

Being an attorney calls for the ability to juggle a number of activities including litigation and family life. The profession comes with a constant desire to always be available (to arrive first and leave last), leaving little time for your spouse and family.

So, with such difficulties, how do some couples manage to make their marriages work while also succeeding as lawyers?

Daphine Mushabe and Terry Isaac Kahuma

Terry and Daphine have dated for five years and are still going strong.

“I met my partner in 2017 at Uganda Christian University where we were both undertaking the Bachelor of Laws. However, we started dating in May 2018. Daphine’s beauty is not only captivating but she is calm and addresses every problem responsibly,” shares Terry.

Daphine says she was intrigued by Terry’s personality. “I was attracted to Terry’s honesty, gentleness and caring nature. Studying to both become lawyers was just a bonus,” she says.

According to Daphine, Terry is more than an associate but also a best friend. “Best friends cannot hurt each other intentionally.  We prioritise communication and never leave an issue unresolved,” she adds.

The two choose to treat their relationship with respect as they believe what they share is worth protecting.

“At home, we are not lawyers but partners. Therefore, we handle our issues as best friends without undermining anything. We also apologise when we are wrong and prioritise  forgiveness,” the couple, who plan on legalising their marriage soon, says.

The legal practitioners share that they have built a healthy relationship based on the virtues of love, communication and friendship.

Terry encourages couples to ground their relationships in more than just emotions.

“Be intentional about choosing and putting your partner first every day. There is absolutely no perfection and couples should accept each other as they are and avoid comparing their spouses to others,” he advises.

Aaron and Agiri Tumwine Baguma

Aaron and Agiri Baguma say conflicts should be solved calmly without the need to turn to the law.  Photo / Courtesy

“Law school was merely a meeting point, I was drawn closer to my husband by a selfless friendship,” Tumwine reveals.

The legal consultants say they started out as members of the same discussion group at law school.

“In the first weeks, my spouse, who happened to be my course mate admired my style and beautiful legs. It is from here that we started a discussion group of two and continued growing closer to each other every day,” Agiri recollects.

She adds that she had intentionally ‘brother zoned’ Aaron and did not take his proposal for a date seriously until her final year.

The Bagumas tied the knot on October 3, 2020 at St Francis Chapel Makerere.

Aaron recognises the possibility of heated arguments in their marriage, which he says are resolved by refraining from taking any legal approach of conflict management.

‘‘We mutually agreed not to be lawyers at home unless we are helping each other with work-related assignments. We are guided by friendship while resolving matters. Our goal is to ensure we settle differences amicably,’’ he says.

Additionally, Tumwine says, prayer has seen them through the challenges in their marriage. He implores other lawyers in relationships to calmly solve conflicts and always turn to God through prayer for guidance.

The love birds urge couples to build their relationships on friendship with other couples they can be accountable to.

“Even when conflicts come up, one will always know they are dealing with a friend and stay the course since no one wants to hurt their friends. Understanding your partner’s love language will also guide your communication,” they advise.

Lynn Atugonza and Rev Raymond Lubega Bukenya

Lynn Atugonza (Right) says couples should remember that we are all human who are prone to making mistakes.  Photo / Courtesy

Lynn, a lawyer, met Raymond, a civil engineer and clergyman in 2016.

“A friend had invited me to Kyambogo University in Kampala for a youth dance competition at Kakumba Chapel where Raymond and I participated. It is from here that we remained acquaintances and started dating in 2020.

 “My husband is kind-hearted, handsome and has a voice that just draws you in. Most importantly, I admired his relationship with God,” she shares.

While dating, the couple discussed a number of things that would create tension in their relationship. They discussed how to balance work and family especially since Lynn had plans to pursue a doctorate and was working upcountry. Raymond too spent most of his time in church.

The two opted for a civil marriage on September 17 2021.

“I have learnt to treat conflicts in a respectful manner and avoid interrogating my husband since this just makes the conflict worse. I also avoid carrying work home and when challenges come up, my husband and I sit down together and come up with an amicable solution to each,” she shares.

According to the legal practitioner, couples ought to be conscious while solving conflicts.

“Think before you speak and stay calm while addressing issues. Also, remember that we are all human who are prone to making mistakes. Therefore, always forgive your partner and always pray,” she adds.

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