Who are you talking to about your problems?

When Stella Kavuma, a chef, met Alex, he was everything she ever hoped for and she often silently prayed that he marries her one day.

“We had been dating for some time and we thought it wise that each of us introduces our friends. I met his friends and I introduced him to my friends, who were excited to meet my boyfriend,” Kavuma says.

Little did she know that one of her friends was not as excited as the rest. She thought their relationship was “moving so fast”.

“I asked what she meant, but she was hesitant to be exact. I talked to Alex about her thoughts and he brushed her off as jealous and said she would come by”.

Sadly though, whenever Kavuma confided in her friend about her boyfriend, all she did was badmouth him, and after six months the couple had broken up, over unclear reasons.

“Two weeks later my friend was moving out with my Alex. I was heartbroken and distraught because I had listened to her and despite everything, I always took her side even when it hurt Alex sometimes,” Kavuma says.

True colours revealed
Although their relationship did not last long before Alex realised how conniving she was, the whole experience left Kavuma broken.

This was a friend she had trusted with her problems and she had confided in her with her deepest secrets with Alex, and yet she went on to betray her, and stop her from ending up with the man of her dreams, or so she thought.

Ignore what you have watched in biNigeria, these things happen in real life. The person you confide in with your deepest relationship secrets could be the next person conniving to snatch your partner or even just block your happiness.

This may have happened to many young men, where you have tried to pursue a woman, the apple of your eyes, but then there is a major stumbling block – someone who does not want you to be together. They have seen you as a bad person even before they meet or get to know you in person.

Moses Mukasa’s story
“I was attracted to Phionah because of her humble character and each time I tried getting close to her, for some reason, something held us back. And yet, I really was interested in her. I often bought her flowers, chocolates and threw all possible invitations her way but that did not move her off her feet yet.

When we met, I could see it in her eyes that she wanted me too, but she kept holding back. I decided to give up, but just when I was giving up, I noticed that my beloved one was being held back by her friends. They had not appreciated me and found me ‘unworthy’ for their friend and even when I had my game right it was just not good enough to them.

“In a bid to woo her, I realised that I had to get ahead and establish a relationship with this girl, and the only way was to melt her friends’ hearts because without their approval she would not date me. My battle did not last long because with a few outings and lavish spending, I had her friends on my side. With time, they were encouraging her to give me a chance because I “seemed like a nice guy”.”

This was five years ago, and today Mukasa and Phionah are now happily married with two children.
Mukasa was one lucky man because for some people, a relationship or possible relationship will fail because the opinion of the third person. It may be a relative or friend.

These are some of the times when a relationship ceases to be between two people and there is a constant third party always involved. So, this person always calls the tunes for you and all you do is dance. So, how much influence should you let people have in your relationship decisions? And is there a need to always be cautious on who you confide in or trust?

Halima Namakula, a singer and senga, says it is okay to always consult a third party but you need to consider the atmosphere between you and your confidant.

“You can involve a third party anytime, but you should always consider how your relationship is with your mother and she should be the first person you talk to or even your sister or the person you are involving because some people can be jealous and give you misleading aice,” Namakula says.

David Kavuma, a marriage counsellor with Adonai Counselling and Training Services, aises that depending on the decision you are making or the level of the relationship, always talk to an expert in whatever problem may be bothering your relationship.

“For instance if the issue is about land, talk to a surveyor, architect or lawyer so that everything is settled in a right manner, where implications are clearly defined,” Kavuma says, adding though that an expert should never have the final word in a decision that you make as a couple because a decision is more binding if it has been made under neutral and objective guidance.

Sarah Kisauzi, an actress, cautions people to always remember that not everyone wishes happiness for every relationship, “If you should involve a third party, go with someone with experience after identifying their genuineness because some people have different intentions. Above all, do not let your emotions take a better part of you thus apply emotional intelligence.”

Mothers and siblings may always have our best interests at heart, but what if you do not feel that closeness and are not comfortable talking to them, how do you choose the next best person to pour your heart to?

Roselyn Ongorok, the director of the East African professional counselling Institute, aises that the person you choose to help you shoulder your burden should be someone who has known you for long, although she cautions that friends often tend to take the side of the person they are closer to, hence they may not be objective.

She notes that in most cases if the person you choose to talk to is not a professional, heshe might only end up sharing your information with other people and this will make a private matter public. Therefore, it is better to consult a professional because they know how to keep things confidential.

“A professional will not take sides and hisher aice will be neutral and objective, an essential thing for any relationship. However, some of the consequences of involving a third party include a lot of confusion, mistrust since it becomes hard to trust the person again and worst of all, it will cause the affected person to lose their self-esteem, which can result in trauma,” Ongorok says.

She aises couples to always remember that it is only the two of them that are responsible for solving their own problems, through communication and owning up to the problem through accepting their mistakes and apologising before indulging a third party.


“I have been a third party in a relationship between two friends of mine who are a couple. I was aising them on how to settle their marital arguments as a couple and I think I was helpful because now it seems like they sorted them and are now slowly settling,”
Geoffrey Ngobi, Security Officer

“If you are pursuing someone, then it is relevant to involve a third party because you get to know your partner’s character and personality. However, it should not be them to determine the nature of your relationship or who you settle with. They only help you realise the person’s character,”
Brian Byakika- Self employed

“I can only involve our parents because they have wise counsel and I believe they have been through some of these experiences and are thus better positioned as the better third parties. Besides, no parent wants their child to break up hopelessly without trying to solve any issues,”
William Obola, Communication Student

“I would seek a third party opinion, especially if we are having issues because a problem shared is a problem half solved, although I would choose to consult his brother because I think he would give us unbiased aice,”
Florence Musinguzi, Self Employed


“I have never and would not involve anyone in my relationships because I always know what to do. Sometimes, the third party may give the wrong aice which will only jeopardise the relationship,”
Joselyne Nakirya, Street Vendor

“I have asked someone for aice but it was because I wanted to know more about my partner’s character. However, I desist from involving a third party, especially if I am not sure what my partner is after because I might involve a third party and she might ruin the relationship by snatching my partner,”
Genesis Magara, Mobile Money Agent

“I once inquired something from friends who had introduced me to the man, but I later realised that we did not have much in common and just like that, the relationship ended. However, I usually prefer keeping third parties at bay until I am sure that the relationship is stable and I know that I can trust the people that are important to me,”
Aileen Bule, Unemployed

“Depending on the level of friendship, the person might take the side of the person they are more attached to. I would prefer talking to my parents or his because their aice is always objective and dependent on their experience,”
Hilda Nagawa, artist

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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