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Busola Abayomi-Adebayo: Don’t Share Details of Your Relationship with a Third Party? Let’s Talk About It!



dreamstime_m_30662066One of the most common admonitions for couples intending to get married, from formal or informal sources, is the need to resolve issues within themselves and ensure they do not involve the mythical ‘third party’. This third party could be parents, siblings, friends or even work colleagues. The couple is advised to resist the urge to share personal concerns with any ‘third party’.

The reason is not far-fetched. Individuals react to issues based on their own understanding and experiences, thus, the advice I as a person would give, might very well work for me in my relationships but not for my brother or sister or friend. Also, there is the possibility that long after the couple have resolved their issues, the third parties might not be able to let go of whatever opinion they have formed about the erring party. Case in point, Mummy is called upon by couple A to resolve some dispute, tempers rise, words are exchanged and then the issues eventually get resolved. The couple have forgiven and forgotten, but not so, Mummy who might still be nursing some resentment against the other party.

Before we got married, I was convinced my husband and I would rarely have any arguments or fights just because we got along so well. In fact when a friend and fellow young wife mentioned that even the honeymoon was not left out of argument zone, I just laughed over it. Well, a couple of years down the line and many disagreements later, she was proved right. And yes, even during the honeymoon!

I have been tempted to involve third parties in our disagreements, not necessarily to ‘report’ my husband, but to get a neutral sounding board as to who was right/wrong in the circumstances. I want to know if I over-reacted, what the third party would have done differently, were there better ways I could have handled the issue? etc. This, I believe, is not a negative insertion of the third party but an avenue to balance out opinions. Some might disagree.

Recently, in the course of my work (provision of legal services), I have come to see this myth as critically debunked. Clients who are undergoing challenges in marriage or even relationships come to find out their legal options in the event of a separation or divorce. I am usually quite stunned at the eagerness with which they divulge even the most intimate details of their relationship to strangers. This cuts across people and includes not only the person bringing the petition, but also the respondent. Male or female, they just want to pour out their feelings and frustrations. Refer back to the neutral sounding board I mentioned earlier. In most cases, they have involved family, friends and even religious leaders who unfortunately, take sides and rarely resolve the underlying issues for which they eventually have to seek legal resolution.

The conclusion of the matter is that while the invitation of third parties into a marriage is not the ideal, there are situations which warrant that one does not keep silent. Domestic violence, sexual or verbal abuse and financial deprivation are some of the most pressing matters that involve immediate intervention of a third party.
My counsel would be to seek an impartial third party, who could be a counsellor, therapist, lawyer etc. Family and friends are a great support base but rarely offer that fresh and unprejudiced perspective on relationship concerns which an unbiased umpire would provide.

Photo Credit: Mjth |

Busola Abayomi-Adebayo is a lawyer, public servant and occasional writer. she's passionate about information and just about anything newsworthy. Follow her on twitter @busolaidowu'


  1. Asa

    November 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Good one Bee! I never marry o, but I had a relationship which seemed to be headed in that direction till we had a fight and he said it was over! Well, I didn’t know the guy was doing sme-sme make I come beg am so I invited 2 women to come and mediate for us o, one of the women tried shaaa, the other woman told him point-blank to leave me. She said that was the advice she would give her own son. When I eventually begged Bobo and when bygones would have been bygones, he told me Woman 2 had asked him to leave and had given him good reasons to and that he was now scared that if he went forward with our relationship, the woman’s dire predictions would come to pass much later. He then said we should pause on marriage and date some more.

    I packed my things and left the relationship but not without a valuable lesson, before I invite mediators next time, I will wait for tempers to calm down, then I will talk about it with the guy and if the matter no gree us again, then….

    • Sherlie Holmes

      November 21, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Dang Asa, that sucks! Nawa for Madam Alabosi Mediator #2 o!

      Well, it was prob for the best anyway, the guy seemed fickle. Lesson learned!

  2. Marlvina

    November 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Have you watched the movie “war room”? You see the role of that elderly widow? That’s the kind of third party you need today in your marriage, if you must have one. Nothing else. I’ve applied that in my marriage and it’s working well. You won’t need people pretending like they caring & helping out, yet they mocking you behind. Be careful whom you confide in, family/friends or not. The heart of man is desperately wicked. Not everyone seems to be whom you perceive them to be, when it comes to your marriage.

  3. Blackbeauty

    November 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve been married almost three years now and you learn everyday in marriage. Personally, I would hesitate to involve family and friends(my peers) in any dispute but I have a friend I talk too when I need to know if I over reacted, or I just want to vent or sometimes she’s just there to say – ‘girl,it’s not that deep’. She’s been married longer, a Christian like me and I respect her counsel.
    I think contrary to popular belief, we all especially women need someone you can trust, with whom you can discuss deep issues once in a while but PLEASE choose said person wisely.

    • What an ass

      November 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Greater words have not been spoken…..

  4. Sweery

    November 21, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I agree that everyone needs someone to confide in and steer you in the right direction if need be. If the person is not your mother or sister then consider a God fearing,right thinking friend who you deeply trust. I’ve been married for 4 years, hubby and I are serious 5 and 6,with God we always find our way around issues without resentment. It helps that hubby is very gentle and peaceful.

    But there was this one time I had to confide in my best friend,if not I would surely have taken the wrong step. She reminded me that I’ve never complained about him to her therefore I should find the words to convey my thoughts to hubby.

    She wasn’t ready to meddle but she gave me the best advice and I did exactly that. Like I said we all need someone to talk to once in a while even the best of marriages. Sorry for the epistle#wink

  5. jewels

    November 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    There is nothing like having someone to talk to. I am not saying tell everyone your problems but that friend you can always confide in. It even helps your sanity. She/ He may not have the solution to the your problems but at least a shoulder to cry on and laugh with. Trust me it helps.

    A friend that can tell you when you are been absolutely unreasonable when you are wrong and one who can also encourage when you need it the most.


    November 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    When Chaz B, was still alive he’s sharing life issues was one of the most popular shows on radio. Why, people want to speak but dont know where to go or who to speak to. I see most of the comments are fixed on relationships, marriages, husband wives, etc. But that’s not the only reason one would like to talk or share. Sometimes it might be an issue you don’t get at work, a boss who has gotten on your last nerve, your folks or even what one really wants to do in life. I recall when i worked at a radio station, i asked my boss why psychiatrist aren’t so popular in our parts? And this is not cos one is depressed or having mental issues cos don’t get me wrong these things are important but sometimes one just wants to relate with a natural party that doesn’t haven’t to be a religious counselor, a prayer warrior or an evangelist. Meanwhile this was a nice article

  7. You need to share with someone..

    November 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Sharing is like a drug. It reduces one’s burden. I have a friend who doesn’t share stuffs with me but I enjoy sharing with her. She rebuffed me quite recently and I was too embarrassed to point it out to her . Now, . I share with my mum and my brother. I have come to the realization that not everyone can judge impartially, see things from 2 or more different views from difficult standpoint a, so if mummy adviser 2 goofed, she’s just not caught out to be a good adviser.

  8. EX-wife

    November 21, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I was married for two years and recently divorced… My best advice, keep third party out ESPECIALLY family who would definitely have judgement bias (family doesn’t forget, even when couples have resolved their issues and moved on) and friends whose intentions you cannot really validate. Religious leaders don’t help either, they only bring their own perspectives and personal struggles to judge. I would say talk about it over with your partner or if you really need to vent, an objective friend whom you know would always tell you the truth (you would know when someone is giving you sound advice or just telling you what you want to hear) and if you don’t have one, you would be better of with a certified marriage counsellor.

  9. Dlp

    November 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I have been married for 3years now and l am a strong supporter of involving a 3rd party when NEEDED. There are some situations you will face as a married person to avoid losing ur mind u will have to talk to someone. Now the most important thing is who to talk to, you need to be careful actually extremely careful so that the person will not go about to fuel the matter or begin to spread the news. I was once very upset with my hubby and l called his Mum. That particular day l was with my mum but l decided not to involve her. The bottom line is that chose wisely and one person is ok, No need to involve every Tom Dick and Harry it will cause you more pain and after the matter is over you will hv forgotten but the bad belle people will be there to remind you of the pain.

  10. nunulicious

    November 21, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    When it comes to third party, I’ve found that its the non-relatives who model the type of marriage you want or have been HAPPILY married for decades that are the best sounding boards. And if you need professional services, and you feel you need to engage relatives, PAY them… no freebies from people who will now forget the client privacy clause.

    Only tell relatives the happy tales and occasional daily anecdotes about marital life.

  11. Samuel

    November 21, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Dear Busola,
    I like this piece, it’s really educative and helpful. I believe third party should only come in after major efforts by couple to resolve their issues have failed. Irretrievably. I believe before bringing third-party the couple should ponder over same challenges for days so nerves will calm down.. Results are peace driven in a calm state.
    Samuel, Esq.

  12. YoungPreacher

    November 22, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Nice article.. For me, whatever works for you, whatever makes you happy,.. do. Some people have commented about choosing advisers wisely…I thint that’s a very wise advise and consider the opinion of the person whom you share gists of / ask third parties about..

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