Relationship mistakes worse than cheating

Saturday January 16 2021

A couple having an argument. Endless arguments could potentially ruin a strong relationship. PHOTO/net

By Pauline Bangirana

For many women, one thing they cannot stand in the relationship is being cheated on. Many women confess that once a man cheats, they will bid that marriage goodbye. In fact many have packed their bags and left. It is an ultimate deal breaker that calls for separation and divorce.

But have you ever imagined that there are relationship mistakes that are worse than cheating? We tend to think that cheating is the worst sin a man can commit. Many have branded it an unforgivable act.  Yet, there are other relationship mistakes that are worse. Women share what their deal breaker would be in a relationship.

Emotional abuse

Stella Kiconco says the early years of her love life were blissfull.  However, a few years down the road, she started hearing rumours that her beloved husband was seeing another woman, a thing she decided to turn a deaf ear to. A few months later, she got a job placement in Kampala and that is when her relationship turned sour.

The once loving partner turned verbally violent towards her.  Every time she had a phone conversation with her fiance, it would end in insults until she realised that she could no longer handle the emotional drain.

“My partner was emotionally abusive. Whenever he got an opportunity, he would throw insults at me. He used demeaning statements and for some time,  I was falling for his verbal abuse and had started believing everything he said,” says Kiconco. She says she realised  her self-esteem had started wearing thin, and she was losing herself and decided to call it quits.


With many unresolved issues and a partner that could not give her a listening ear, she decided to move on. Luckily, she was working in Kampala and the distance between them only served as a healing factor for her.

Neglect of  family duties

For Angella Kasande, “a man that gives too much attention to another woman and neglects family duties would make me consider separation. When a man is married, he is expected to uphold the vows he made before God and people.”

According to Kasande, in some instances, men not only engage in extra marital affairs, but they also use money saved jointly by the couple to fund such relationships, which is tantamount to betrayal, especially to the woman with whom time and resources have been invested.

“The church challenges us to forgive our partners when they err. But how do you forgive a man who does not even care for his own offspring?” she wonders.


Nancy Olum swears that she cannot stand a man who subjects her to domestic violence.  She says many women are putting up with men who batter them even in the presence of their children, a thing she says is not only disrespectful but subjects women to injuries, emotional trauma, low self -esteem and sometimes death.

“It does not matter how convenient the marriage is.  A partner that beats me is not worth keeping.  I need to be alive so I can enjoy marriage,” Olum adds.

On the other hand, Sheila Mayiga recognises that people have different tolerance levels when it comes to marriage or relationships.  She says what one can stand or bear, another one will consider it a deal breaker. As such, the decision to opt for a separation or divorce is dependent on what someone may not tolerate and this varies from one person to another.


Catherine Bekunda Tumwebaze, a marriage counsellor, says cheating is usually a ‘light habit’ adding that there are other mistakes men do in relationships that will lead to separation or divorce. She highlights indecision; a man that doesn’t make decisions sucks life and energy out of his partner.

A control freak

According to Tumwebaze, a man who wants to control each and every aspect of a woman’s life can choke her and make her lose interest in the relationship. “Men who want women to first seek for permission for each step they are to take extinguish the life out of the relationship,” she  adds. 


Practices of witchcraft and devil worshipping are also deal breakers for many women, according to Tumwebaze. When someone starts subscribing to witchdoctors, they will want their partners to join them.

To avert this, Tumwebaze advises that the woman must pray and stand in the gap for their partner to be changed by God, because it is only God who changes people’s behaviour.


Tumwebaze further shares that a mind reader or a man who overly assumes negative things about their spouse sucks life out of the relationship.

“Some spouses are always assuming that their wives are cheating on them. Some assume their wives are thinking or  doing certain things and most times, their thoughts are negative. Such a habit is  not good for  a relationship” she says. 

Non- developmental partners

Did you know that non developmental partners can also make women walk out on the marriage or relationship? “Some men do not have the zeal  or passion to do anything. Yet women today are so developmental and are all out to secure their future and that of their children. Some men go to an extent of controlling their wives finances and only giving them just a small portion. These are acts that can lead a woman to consider separation,” Tumwebaze adds.

Divorce should be the last option

Tumwebaze says marital issues should not necessarily lead to divorce or separation. She urges couples to exhaust all possible options of resolving their differences and should only think about divorce or separation when the issues have become irreconcilable or threaten their safety.

 The marriage counsellor advises women to seek counselling before calling it quits. For control freaks, Tumwebaze urges women to show that they have a conscience of their own and an independent mind.