I am in a secret intimate relationship with my brother's wife, and feel guilty about it. How do I get out of this mess?

Name Withheld | Posted on 08 Jun 2016
Counsellor : Deepak Kashyap
Ask Deepak | In Love With My Brother's Spouse. How Do I Clean The Mess? | Bonobology

Q: I'm a 26-year-old man; and live in a joint family with my parents, my sister, my brother, and his wife. My sister-in-law and I had been friends before my brother married her six years ago. They do not have any children. The third year into their marriage, she confided in me about the lack of sexual life between them. There was a lot of sexual tension between us, and from the next month we have been in a secret intimate relationship. I do not want to keep living this secret life as I know it’s wrong, and because I am cheating my brother. I want to settle down and as much as I may love my brother’s wife, I know even if the reality is ever known to all, marrying her will be impossible. I am in a complete mess. Please advice!

I would highly recommend that you get a grip on the reality of the situation. From your description, you seem to be grappling with the facts of the situation, but not grasping them close and hard enough to bring about any changes in your feelings or in your behaviour. Regardless of what issues your brother is going through with his wife, the solution that you guys have come up with may not be the most functional one. You need to physically extract yourself from this situation and if possible start living with a friend or get your own place.

It would be helpful to urge your sister-in-law to understand her own situation; and find a way out on her own from the marriage or the issues that she faces with her husband, your brother. Remember to resist the desire to help her with this; you are not the best suited person to help her, given your difficulties with her, in my opinion. You would need to spend time with yourself, and the emotions you (will) face around the actions undertaken, and their probable consequences. See a therapist on your own to deal with the psychological consequences of having betrayed your brother’s trust, by your own account.

Every solution brings a new problem with it. A solution is valid only when the problem it brings with it is not bigger than the problem it aims to solve.


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