Counselling

My husband had an affair with my sister

Stressed Married Woman

Q: My husband is having an affair with my divorced issueless sister who had a 12-year bad marriage. She lives in another city for work. I love my husband and he also loves me and our three children, he has done everything right since our marriage. He encouraged me to continue my studies and works hard to make our life comfortable.

I had an open talk with my husband and he says I didn’t give him enough attention during our 15-year marriage and that’s why he fell for my sister. He doesn’t want to leave me and my children nor he is able to get over her. My sister is clear that she has done wrong and she has moved on, she says she indulged because she wanted to get over her previous marriage. Now our parents are looking for a suitable match for her remarriage as early as possible. 

I spy on my husband’s phones and emails and got to know they are still talking. I fear my husband may leave me and our children and marry my sister if I leave them alone or else may maintain her as mistress, as I feel he committed himself. 

I am getting cycles of impulsiveness and madness because of all this. Do I let my husband and sister continue to speak or chat to each other? Should I ignore their fling as just a one-off incident or should I severely reprimand both of them or should I bring it to the notice of elders or should I take legal action?

A: I can imagine what a shock it must have been for you to find out about this affair, and with none other than your sister! But I’m glad that at least you and your husband and your sister have had an open heart to heart about the whole situation and everyone’s stand is clear. Even though your husband has affirmed that he has no plans to leave you and your children, I don’t blame you for still checking up on him and harbouring doubts, it’s human nature.
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But I want to bring your notice to the root of the problem, not the aftereffects. And unfortunately right now you’re trying to do damage control on the after effects of the real problem rather than working on the actual issue itself – your OWN marriage. Remember he said he felt neglected and that’s why he was drawn to her? I know it probably sounded like a flimsy excuse to you at that time, but for all you know it may be a fact. Just like women need to feel romanced, pampered and desired in a romantic relationship, so do men and more often than not, in a marriage we forget that and start looking at our husbands as merely the provider of the family and the father of our children, while assuming the same proprietary/jealousy rights as a romantic partner. Well, guess what? That doesn’t work.

If you want him to be yours you have to make him feel like you care, and not just in a loving way, in a romantic way too. So what I would suggest is, take your mind off checking his phones and keeping tabs on their communication and instead bring the focus back on your marriage. Connect with him, forget about who he is connecting with. Find out what his needs are and fulfil them, make him feel wanted and you’ll see that all other distractions will just fall away because deep down all a man wants is to feel intimate with the one he loves and when he doesn’t get that, he fills that vacuum with others.

On Bonobology we have a free e-book available too on how to reignite the lost spark in your marriage, why don’t you give that a read and try some tricks too? I wish you all the very best!

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