- r/survivinginfidelity – My husband slept with my sister … Help?
- Hit me up: I slept with my sister’s husband and feel awful
- Is My Husband Cheating with My Sister?
- My husband is cheating with my sister : The Standard
- I CONFESS: He cheated on me with my sister
- Should I Disown My Sister For Cheating With My Husband?
- Surviving Infidelity: “All-in-the-Family” Adultery
- Opportunity Knocking
- Where to Start Rebuilding
- A Steeper Climb
- Where To Locate Qualified Relationship Therapists
r/survivinginfidelity – My husband slept with my sister … Help?
So I'm going to make it short. I posted this in a marriage subreddit, but someone linked me here. I might have better results here …
So I was 9 months pregnant. My son was coming on December 26th. My older sister just moved into my apartment building with her sons and husband in October. She became assistant manager damn near instantly. My sister cut me her life when I was 15, so it's been a good 8-9 years now … And she was finally back! I was so happy I couldn't get over myself lol.
She was over all the time. Late at night, into the early mornings … I got to finally spend time with my nephew's, and my daughter's could finally spend time with their cousins. It was a dream come true. But my partner was different.
He was always spending time with her. Always being giddy on his phone with her … I didn't think much of it, but I asked him if he was sleeping with her anyway. He said no. I stupidly believed him (why would they sleep together anyway? She's my SISTER. …
Boy was I wrong).
Anyway, it's Christmas Eve and my daughter and I just got finished baking cookies for Santa. He put her to bed while I snooped his phone. … That's where I found everything. All the dirty texts. The pictures … I found out they did anal (he even came in her ass.
Classy), vaginal sex, shower masturbation over video, she was ontop, on the side, on my fucking couch while I was in the shower. .. I was on crutches because my pelvic bone separated at this time. I felt completely just … Crushed.
He did more with her in a fucking week and a half, than we've done our whole 5 years together!!
2 days later, I gave birth to our son. I couldn't hold him or look at him … They placed me on suicide watch.
Things are better now. I'm holding my son finally after 2 months of dealing with this. My girls are starting to smile again, which is important to me … I “forgave” my sister. She said she was jealous of me and wanted attention.
Her self esteem is low. I forgave her enough where I can see her in person without cruing. My husband said it was because he wasn't getting any attention. He felt he wasn't cared about …
Even though I cried to him every night asking what was wrong with him …
My problem is jealousy. I've never been jealous of my sister before …
But while he was sleeping with her, he'd say that her boobs are better than mine, she gives better blowjobs than me, her vagina is way tighter than mine, her ass is more fun than mine … The list goes on …
I can't even look in the mirror now. Every time I see my boobs, I cry. He can't even touch me now because all I can picture is her …
I'm seeing individual counseling, and a low self-esteem group therapy. We're also seeing a marriage counselor. I also have CAS involved to help me spend time with my children instead of hiding out in my bedroom …
I don't want to leave him. I understand the pain may be too much and I'll end up leaving anyway, which is fine … But I'm trying to start this relationship anew. Our old one is dead. I need help moving forward …
How do I look at my body now? How can he touch me again? He tells me he loves mine more, but he already told her (and said to me when I first found out) that hers is better.
She's had 2 kids vaginally, and even though all 3 kids were done via csection AND I do kegals while having sex, she's STILL tighter than me?! GREAT! He says it's the angle she was in when they did it for the first time upstairs, but I don't believe that …
You wouldn't blurt out during sex “wow! You're so much tighter than Sarah” if you didn't genuinely feel that way … What a way to put me down. I just want to rip my breasts off because they're not perky and saggy, and sew my vagina closed at this point …
…. I can't wear clothes. I look fat in them. I can't even one-up her. I've never been jealous before …
How do I get over this? How do I become okay with my body again, or believe I'm better than hers? How do I stop this one-sided competition?! I can't stand it anymore …
Please, help? Any tips or tricks? Cuz even if I DID leave him, I'd still be feeling this way, so that advice isn't very helpful … How do I love my body again? How do I believe him when he says mine is better?
Thank you to any replies I get. This is a real struggle … I'm still on suicide watch so, please … Helpful answers only. I don't want to get tipped off again. Thanks guys ❤️
Hit me up: I slept with my sister’s husband and feel awful
Our resident agony aunt, Rhona McAuliffe, advises a reader who has fallen for her sister's husband
I don’t want to give myself away here so am going to be a bit vague with details. I’ve fallen deeply in love with my sister’s husband and don’t know what to do. They’ve been having difficulties in their marriage for a while.
He feels that she prioritises their kids over him and says they don’t have sex anymore. She orders him around a lot in public and kind of hisses at him if he does something wrong.
She’s the main breadwinner and he looks after the kids and works from home.
I’ve had a tough time this past year and suffered with my mental health so have had to take some time off work. I’ve moved back with my parents, who live very close to my sister’s house.
I started dropping in on my brother-in-law and the kids as something to do but he’s ended up being an amazing support.
The rest of my family are afraid to talk to me about anything and walk around on eggshells, ignoring the series of events that led to me leaving work and moving home.
My brother-in-law makes a point of checking in with me and really talking about what happened and how I’m feeling. Conversations with him are my refuge and he always makes me feel better. He also started opening up to me about his relationship with my sister and we got very real with each other.
I started calling in when the kids were at nursery and only the second time we were completely alone, we ended up in bed together.
I feel awful, I know I’m inviting huge judgement here, I don’t feel good about myself at all and feel even worst for my sister.
I know what I’m doing doesn’t have a happy ending but our feelings for each other are so strong I can’t just switch off from them. I believe in true love and destiny and wonder if mine has arrived in the unliest of guises?
Ok, I’d you to visualise yourself straddling the stout cylinder of a nuclear bomb, ripping through the skies en route to decimate your sister’s life. In front of you is a control pad with a big yellow button.
That button will reverse the course of the warhead, sending it back into orbit to self-detonate, ejecting you along the way. I suggest you press the yellow button and prepare to parachute to the wasteland below.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, nor am I attempting to diminish your feelings for your brother-in-law (BIL) but I am strongly advocating an immediate retreat from the situation before she blows.
It’s not surprising that you’ve fallen for your BIL.
At a time when your family seem unable to talk openly about the rough year you’ve had and the difficulties you’re still experiencing, your sister’s husband is both available and has been a compassionate, supportive ‘friend.
’ He is also the perfect rep for The Forbidden Fruit Theory: that we humans are programmed to desire what we can’t have. The secret trysts and joint deception breed a special intimacy that is not necessarily indicative of real-world living.
Although you haven’t shared the nature of your mental health struggles, I can only presume that the decision to leave your job and flat, and move back home with your parents temporarily suggests that you are still emotionally tender.
A combination of low self-esteem, a sense of displacement and a hunger for meaningful connections may well have influenced the intensity of your mutual bond from day one.
Again, I’m not belittling what you have together but would be mindful of identifying all contributory factors.
Being open and honest with your therapist is also key here; presuming you are indeed bouncing off someone other than your brother-in-law? If you’re not with a therapist, search the Irish Association for Counsellors & Psychotherapists here for a local practitioner.
It sounds your sister’s marriage is indeed under strain, with hints of some toxic power-playing.
From various studies, I’ve pulled up, however, between 60% and 80% of married men who have affairs are still in love with their wives but aren’t getting what they ‘need’ at home – love, affection, respect etc.
According to relationship experts, only about 5% of cheating husbands end up with their mistresses. Now, I’m not suggesting we live and die by these pretty arbitrary stats but I would say that in the case of most infidelities, the odds are stacked against a Disney ending for the emotional interloper.
I also wonder if you’ve really considered the consequences here? What may feel the path of least resistance – or your so-called destiny – is, in fact, the most gigantic gamble with no guaranteed pay-off. Although most cheaters think that they will never be caught, there’s a chance your sister already suspects something.
Regardless of how you want it to go down, once the revelation breaks, all bets are off. Whether your sister neuters her husband in his sleep, sells his car on Ebay or publicly outs the affair on a 96-sheet billboard, it’s entirely your control. As is BIL’s reaction.
Seeing his wife so distressed, and facing the destruction he has caused, he may plead with her to work things out, with a focus on counselling, a stable home for the kids and reinventing their marriage. It’s common for the faithful partner, on exposing an affair, to experience depression, anxiety, intense shame, guilt and raging anger.
All of which is ly to be amplified with the double-betrayal. We are inclined to help our tribe rather than hinder them so your involvement will pack a staggering gut punch.
Meanwhile, as carnage ensues, you may well be ostracised by your entire family, not just your sister. Unless you are a clinically diagnosed sociopath or narcissist, which sounds unly, your resultant isolation may lead to deep remorse, guilt and bouts of depression. There is no winner in this situation, no matter the outcome.
The great news is, you still have time to shut the affair down, back up the nuke and skip town.
That may mean borrowing money from your folks to go travelling, couch-surfing with friends for a while or flinging yourself at a new hobby – what about Jujitsu? Sever all contact with your BIL, try to stop deifying him and focus instead on his character flaws. Number 1: he had an affair with his wife’s sister. Just let that settle.
Continue your counselling but don’t feel the need to confess to your sister or family. Try to put it behind you and move on. I know this is far easier said than done but hopefully one day you will be able to pat yourself on the back for your sterling work in the trenches.
Apologies for not giving you an easy ‘out.’ I try to be as objective as possible but can only see the fall-out here, the trail of bleeding hearts. If it makes you feel any better, I did discuss this problem with my husband, who’s a solid, sage- character. He was more into exploring the truth of your relationship with your brother-in-law and its propensity to survive in abject isolation.
If you’re anything comedian and writer, Stephen Fry, social purgatory may actually hold some allure for you. While touring a Mormon temple he was told that in the Mormon faith, the afterlife held the promise of an eternity with all of your family. He replied: ‘And where do you go if you’re good?’
Rhona McAuliffe might not be a trained therapist but she does have very big ears, quite a long nose and a gaping heart. If you have a problem that won’t just go away, she’d love to hear it. Write to Rhona at [email protected]
While we have you make sure to go and listen to our podcast The Spill.
This week's episode kicks off with an examination of Janelle Monaé's PYNK, which features her and her fellow dancers in opulent pink vagina trousers. Sophie and Rhona go on to discuss if people are treated differently because of their level of beauty and finish by helping a reader who can't stop fantasising about women.
Is My Husband Cheating with My Sister?
The answer may surprise you. Most cheating husbands get involved with someone their wives know. For some reason women give cheating men more credit than they deserve when it comes to choosing someone to cheat with.
One woman, during the course of an interview, said she had told her husband that if he was ever going to cheat on her, he better make sure the “other woman” was smart and beautiful because he would not want to be embarrassed in the court room. He was caught cheating with her sister.
For some reason women prefer to think that if their husband is cheating he had the good taste to find someone better looking. Unfortunately, except for the older man who can't resist the younger women and is willing to pay the price, most men cheat with their wives' best friends, sisters, cousins, or his secretary or an office worker.
That's the truth. Most men are lazy when it comes to looking for a lover. That's not to say that he won't pick up a one night stand in the bar or while on a business trip, if he is going to cheat. But, contrary to what so many women believe, the “other woman” is usually someone she knows, and knows well.
These are the cheating relationships that destroy not only marriages, but friendships and families. These are the relationships that are deeply emotionally involved as well as sexually. In fact, most of these cheating relationships begin, not as a sexual fantasy but as a friendship.
Not to defend any of the cheaters, but in most cases the sexual attraction follows after the friendship has been well established.
This is not to say that men and women cannot have friends of the opposite sex, without becoming sexually involved.
I firmly believe that people of the opposite sex can be friends — and I'm not talking about friends with benefits.
Oh, please! I am not excusing anyone for bad behavior. Cheating is wrong. Period. But, the husbands can be seduced into a relationship easily by your friends, close family members and co-workers. Think about it for a minute.
Using the example of your best friend, think about what she knows about you. Think of all the times you have confided in her. And, yes! Ladies, we do tell too much sometimes.
I know we all need someone to talk to from time to time, especially when we need to let off steam or re-evaluate a situation. But, there is such a thing as TMI (too much information), especially if “she” has an eye on your husband.
Of course, most of us have spilled our guts before we realize we having been loading her gun with ammunition to use against us.
Example: Think of a big argument you had with your husband — about a hunting or fishing trip. Let's say he wanted to sit all weekend in a tree with friends hoping a deer walked by and you had something else planned.
A big fight erupts between the two of you. He goes hunting (or fishing or whatever) and you go to your sister's house or your best friend's house. You engage in a little husband bashing.
The “other woman” is taking notes (mentally).
If she has had her eye on your man, you have just given her everything she needs to snare him the next time you have an argument.
From interviews with the “other woman” I have learned that they will make themselves available for consoling the “poor husband with the wife who doesn't understand him.
” A little consoling, a few drinks, and there you have it, the beginning of a cheater's relationship.
The answer is a simple “no.” Every friend you have and every female in your family does not want to crawl between the sheets with your husband. But, and this is a big BUT, learn to trust your intuition. Women are not stupid.
But, some of us do not want to admit to ourselves that we misjudged a friend, or the husband's secretary with the tortoise shell glass frames and the matronly knot of hair at the nape of her neck. (Those glasses can come off and the hair can fall loose.
) And, of course, some men are attracted to the librarian type.
Of course, we should not become suspicious of all our friends and family. But, every woman alive who has ever been in a relationship with a man has had that feeling that another woman was ready to pounce on him. Follow your instincts. Do not ignore the warning signs. You know what they are and you know deep down in your gut who you do not trust around your man.
And, as for the saying that the wife is the last to know, I will quote a previous client. “I wasn't the last to know. I was the last to admit that I knew.”
My husband is cheating with my sister : The Standard
- – 14th Jul 2012 00:00:00 GMT +0300
Rita's Issue I’m suspecting that my husband is having a secret affair with my younger sister who is also living in our flat.I cannot prove it because I have not caught them doing anything, but I am sure something is going on here.
She is also married, but whenever we happen to be the three of us, on most mornings when he gives us a lift to work, I always feel this strange tension around us.His phone has a password so I cannot access his call logs or text messages, but I have never gotten this feeling before since we got married.
She no longer s having long conversations with me, she never looks me in my eye and when I mention him, she gets uneasy and changes the topic very fast.I think they have been sleeping together in our marital bed. What can I do to catch him? I’m sure something is happening between them and I don’t want to remain the fool in this situation.
Your TakeRita, this should not bother you much because they may not be having an affair after all. Talk to each of them separately first and if you still think something fishy is going on, talk to both of them together. This will cow them and if they were seeing each other, they will stop.
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Do your investigation and get your evidence before making any move. Use one of your trusted neighbours and friends to spy for you.Wilberforce AtsiayaSpying on a cheating husband can be both risky and traumatising even though all the signs of cheating are there. Between them, your sister seems to be more reasonable. Talk to her you have the evidence and see how she reacts. Also examine your sex life in case it is what is making your husband stray.Tasma CharlesI think you are just jealous, which is normal and natural because you are protecting your territory. You no longer have long discussions because there may not be anything worth discussing about. She may have her reasons to change the topic when you discuss your husband, not necessarily because she is having an affair with him. If they are having an affair you will catch them fair and square.Ouma RagumoThe Counselor AdviceRita, it must be difficult for you to admit that you suspect your husband is having an affair. The fact that it could be with your younger sister only adds salt to the injury.If confirmed, this would be double edged betrayal; one, from your sister (who ought to look out for your best interests and who should not have gotten into that situation in the first place) and two, from your husband.If confirmed, this would be an indication of how irresponsible and insensitive they both are. Your instincts are telling you something is not right. In most cases, instincts do not lie. If you feel strongly about this, then it is possible that something could be going on.
It is said that whenever people do something they should not be doing, they always make mistakes. Illicit affairs are usually anchored on two things; the phone and the Internet.The phone is always a good starting point because it is the main form of communication. I’m sure they know this, so if they are communicating, they ensure that every trace is removed, but you can never be too.People may delete the text messages, but more often than not they forget to reset the log counters. Check and see if there is an unnecessarily high number of transactions between them.You may want to check the traffic on his/her computer, which is usually easy to check using cookies and browsing history. These need to be checked with utmost discretion so as not to raise suspicion.You may need to look out for more signs, for example, how he reacts when his phone rings, how he talks to her (when people are having an affair, the tone at which they talk to each other is usually different from their normal tone). How he handles her call when you are around? Does he hesitate and look at you before answering?Cool, calm and collected
To get to the bottom of this, you ought to remain as cool and calm as a dove, otherwise they will take their evidence destruction efforts a notch higher. If you want to catch them, then you have to assure them of your trust.This way they won’t work too hard to conceal the evidence and soon it will be all out for you to see. However, do not put too much effort to investigate them — they may not be having an affair in the first place.
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Infidelity love marriage
I CONFESS: He cheated on me with my sister
I READ THAT lasting relationships are built on the ability of two people to trust each other; two people who have an unshakeable belief in the honesty and reliability of each other, which gives them the confidence and assurance to persevere together, no matter the challenge.
Given the generally low standards of most human beings, no wonder few people truly trust their partners. This explains too, why there are so many break-upsand divorces.
I saw this with my parents. My father loved women and went after them even though he had a wife and five children home. The few cents he earned then had to be divided between my family and whoever else he was dealing with. It meant that we, his children, grew up more deprived and at a greater disadvantage than we should have been.
Also as a child growing up, I saw how women who depended on men for financial support were mistreated and often abused. Again, I saw this with my parents. She would quarrel about his wandering and when he had enough of her talk, he would beat her.
As a result of this I resolved two things in life – never to be dependent on any man for anything, and never get seriously involved with one unless he was a practising Christian me.
In other words, he just can’t attend church and talk about God. Oh no. He has to be true to the word right through.
Because of this I kept myself to myself. Of course I did talk to a few men through the years, and kissed some too; but I never once had intercourse. So after I passed 30 and was still a virgin, I used to think that I was going back to God untouched and unspoiled.
However, I dropped my guard and finally had a real boyfriend. We met in church and had been friends for years, but I only looked at him differently after he arranged a meeting with me, but instead of discussing church business as I expected, told me he wanted to marry someone with my virtues and wanted us to start seeing each other towards making this a reality.
His approach was novel, so I took him seriously. Besides, I always knew him as a nice guy who seemed genuine, was of good character and responsible.
Though I still had fears, I took the plunge and after a few months he had won me over with his thoughtfulness and kindness. For the first time in my life I was genuinely happy and began to have expectations of having a family of my own.
I felt so comfortable with him that we were even planning to pool our money to get a mortgage so by the time we got married, we could move into our own home. That was how much I trusted and believed in him.
The only thing I refused to do was to have intercourse. I convinced him that we should wait and let it be something really special. Thankfully, he agreed and never pressured me.
We finally got our home, then we married, and at the ripe old age of 34 I lost my virginity. From that beautiful experience I realised why most men think with their penises and not their heads, and some women to hop into different men’s beds. Sex is a wonderful feeling and is extremely satisfying when shared with someone you love and trust.
After a few months, I allowed my sister and her niece to come and stay with us as she was having some major issues with her husband, and had nowhere else to go.
That was the biggest mistake I made. From the time my sister arrived, my husband started paying close attention to her because she was always crying and seemed so vulnerable.
Unbeknownst to me, the two of them became intimate and for nearly a year carried on an affair under my roof.
Yet, during that time whenever I was around, they would hardly say anything to each other, so much so that I once apologised to my husband for allowing my sister and her daughter to stay with us as I could see he was not comfortable. He must have laughed his head off at me thinking how much he had fooled me.
Just thinking about how my husband betrayed me still gives me a deep, burning pain in my chest,and I can’t help but cry at how low he stooped.
The nastiness of having sex with me and my sister while we were living in the same house together, has now totally turned me off from men. It was disrespect and deceitfulness to the max.
Of course I blame my sister too, as he could not have had her unless she wanted him.
It all came out one night when the three of us and my mum were playing Scrabble. We were all laughing and in a good mood and I noticed that on two occasions, the two of them glanced at each other and smiled.
I thought nothing major of it until my mum, who also noticed it, asked me what that was all about. As we were talking, she came into the kitchen so we asked her. She said it was nothing and I should be ashamed of accusing her of having her husband.
From the time she said that, my mother and I knew something was going on. I never accused her of anything. In fact, the only thing I suspected was that they were planning something for my birthday which was nearly two weeks away, as they had surprised me the year earlier.
So my mother began to press her and ask questions. It was then she broke down crying and apologising. She said she was hurting and lonely and he used to talk with her, then one thing led to another.
She begged me not to hate him as he was not at fault; it was her doing as she pushed it.
My husband was in the shower when all of this was going on so by the time he came out my sister was in a state, and I was crying.
When he came she told him sorry and began crying loudly. Then I shouted at both of them to get the house.
My mother, who felt my pain, hugged me and told me to let them stay and gather their things so they could move out properly. She took me home with her. I never went back until three days after they had moved out.
I have refused to speak to both of them since then. But all of this has taught me that men just cannot be trusted.
Should I Disown My Sister For Cheating With My Husband?
Dear Dr. Buckingham,
My marriage has been torn apart because of the actions of two people that I love to the moon and back. My husband of 6 years slept with my younger sister. My younger sister came to stay with us after she graduated college. We allowed her to stay with us until she got on her feet.
My husband is 42 years old and my sister is 22 years old. You might be wondering why I mentioned their ages. Well I believe that my husband seduced my younger sister. He purchased her clothes and gave her money. Initially, I did not think anything about their relationship until he allowed her to drive his Aston Martin Vanquish. The car cost over $200K.
Learn how to affair-proof your marriage from this day forward with our FREE eGuide – 3 Ways to Rebuild Your Marriage After an Affair
I started to question their relationship when this started because he has never allowed me to drive the car. I went to work one day and decided to come home early. As I walked through the door I saw the two of them on the couch kissing. I quickly closed the door and jumped back in my car. I went to a friend’s house and stayed there for the night.
My husband called and begged me to come home. My husband provides me with a first class lifestyle, but treats me a a second-class citizen. I know that I have to face this, but I feel so disrespected by both of them and my heart is crushed. I know that my marriage is over, but I cannot divorce my sister.
Should I Disown My Sister for Cheating with My Husband?
Second Class Wife
Dear Second Class Wife,
I am truly sorry that you are dealing with such pain and betrayal caused by your loved ones. However, in matters such as these, I often encourage individuals to not make long-term decisions while in emotional distress.
Disowning your sister by terminating all connection with her is a serious decision and can be emotionally taxing.
While the thought of disowning her might be the best way to move forward from the painful experience, you must make sure that you are doing so for the right reason.
Will disowning her help you cope or just punish her? Some people might think that the answer to this question does not matter, but it does.
If you would to disown her because you do not want to be reminded of the trauma, then I believe that you have to process what disowning your sister means and what it would look .
As long as you harbor bitter and angry feelings towards her, it does not matter if you cut ties physically or financially because she will always be present in your psyche.
In my opinion, disowning a family member, especially a sibling, is not simple matter. I say this because family dynamics also have to be considered.
Parents and family members might feel torn or divided if they take sides.
Will your family treat your sister the “black sheep” of the family? This might not matter to you now, but how your sister copes with being disowned can become a source of on-going anguish for you and others.
When others betray us, we want to see them suffer and may even have thoughts of punishing them. While these feelings are normal, I recommend that you take some time to think about your next steps. Your sister’s betrayal probably has more to do with her than it does you.
Believe it or not some people are so self-centered that they have difficulty thinking outside of themselves. Your husband and sister may or may not have been thinking about you before or during their romantic encounters. Either way, you can be grateful that their deceit came to light.
It might not feel good to you now, but the revealed deception is good for you.
Whatever decision you make, do so in the right state of mind. If disowning your sister will help you heal and protect you from future harm, then do so. However, I would encourage you to have a conversation with your sister at some point.
The purpose of the conversation would be to help you understand, not to agree with or accept her thinking or behavior. Sometimes when people do not understand or know why something happened, it eats them alive. The conversation is important from a therapeutic viewpoint because it can potentially help you with closure and forgiveness down the road.
If you cannot bring yourself to have the conversation, consider seeking family therapy for you and your sister.
As a reminder: disowning someone does not always fix or address betrayal effectively. Healing from this situation and gaining insight about how to manage your sister will probably require a lot of prayer and professional counseling.
Please get some help because sibling betrayal can feel the world is ending, especially to individuals myself who breathe and believe that blood is thicker than water.
This kind of thinking causes us to believe that relationships and loyalties within a family are the strongest and most important ones.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance.
Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person.
The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.
Surviving Infidelity: “All-in-the-Family” Adultery
Those who are fans of the popular 1970s sitcom All in the Family and its various spinoffs know that Archie and Edith Bunker’s daughter, Gloria, was married to Michael 'Meathead' Stivic, who was constantly at odds with his blue-collar, bigoted father-in-law.
In later seasons, Gloria and Michael have serious relationship issues. Gloria has an affair with a fellow faculty member of Michael's. Subsequently, Michael abandons Gloria and their son Joey, for one of his young university students.
Bad, bad, enough.
Imagine, however, if the scriptwriters had chosen, instead, to have Michael engage in an extra-marital affair with Archie’s 18-year-old niece, 'Billie' – the daughter of Archie’s brother Fred.
Then, the real-life storyline of many adulterous men and women, it really could be said that the infidelity that took place was 'all in the family.'
Believe me, when it occurs in real life, all-in-the-family infidelity is no sitcom, and it doesn’t resolve itself by next week’s episode.
As messy as infidelity is when it takes places during business travel or with a co-worker or neighbor, it’s extremely more difficult to survive infidelity and cope with infidelity when the person your partner cheats with is an in-law, member of your extended family, or a close friend.
I know of no credible statistics that report how often such affairs take place. Unfortunately, they are not as rare as you might imagine.
Infidelity grows opportunity. That initial exposure can be very limited – for example, a glance of two strangers across a restaurant bar – but more often it arises from repeated contact, over weeks, months, even years.
So, really, it’s no surprise that husbands do sleep with sisters-in-law, wives sleep with brothers-in-law, and cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relatives find themselves physically and emotionally drawn to extended family members.
Infidelity is a body blow whenever it arises. Now imagine how it feels to discover that your husband not only cheated on you, but he did so with your first cousin. (Or your wife with your uncle.)
Imagine…getting over an affair when it is with someone in your family!
Even when it’s a best friend, rather than a blood relative or in-law, the circumstance is the emotional equivalent of getting run over by a car that then backs up and runs over you a second time while you’re still knocked flat on the pavement.
Throw into the traumatic mix the impact that all-in-the-family infidelity has on children, grandparents, other siblings, and other close family and friends, and it is even more challenging to disentangle and set right what two individuals – momentarily blinded to any need but their own – wreak.
I do have some suggestions for couples who are hoping to get through all-in-the-family infidelity, but it won't be easy. Surviving infidelity is only part of the plan because what they want is to build a stronger, more fulfilling, lasting relationship.
Where to Start Rebuilding
Surprisingly, just as human nature gives rise to some individuals who cheat on their partners with family members – despite all the many good reasons to avoid such a situation – so, too, human nature offers pathways – none easy – for couples to rebuild their infidelity-shattered lives, together.
Getting over an affair cannot be taken for granted! It takes work…And lot's of it.
The first, and most obvious special challenge that arises when the infidelity is 'all-in-the-family' is that it’s much harder, if not impossible, for a cheater to 'cease all contact' with his or her lover, since the romantic partner is a member of the extended family.
When your spouse or committed partner cheats on you with a sibling or other close family member – and you elect to remain together and try to work through your relationship ills – you must be realistic about what’s in store.
Remaining together after the affair will often be unpleasant, awkward, and require a willingness to come face-to-face with your partner’s lover at family functions for years to come – ly the rest of your life – without stewing over the affair and feeling hurt and bitterness at each encounter.
If you understand this clearly, and have the ability to genuinely put the past behind you, it will increase the odds that you can reconcile and rebuild your relationship. If not, you would be wiser to make a clean break and not allow yourself to be a perpetual victim of your partner’s betrayal.
[Note: When you are divorced, it’s ly that you will still show up at family events where your ex-partner and his or her lover are also in attendance.
The difference is, if you are divorced, you and your ex generally will have lower expectations of one another.
Moreover, even if each time you see your ex with his or her lover and you feel a surge of anger and renewed sense of betrayal, at least you won’t have to live with it daily, and it will serve as a reminder of why you got divorced.]
A Steeper Climb
If you are the partner who strayed with a family member and now, recognizing your error, you are committed to doing whatever it takes to rebuild your committed relationship, you face an even steeper climb than a cheater who strayed with a non-family member.
Let’s call the partner who strayed 'John,' and the partner who was betrayed, 'Sue.' [The genders could be reversed and my advice would be no different.]
John must let Sue have total say when it comes to how they’ll handle family events when John’s ex-lover will be in attendance. Sue is the injured party and John is in debt to her.
If Sue asks John to stand by her the entire time, eliminating any potential one-on-one time with his ex-lover, then that’s what John should do. If Sue asks John simply not to attend future family events, he should also abide her wishes.
In some cases, all-in-the-family infidelity incorporates an additional element – an expression of strong anger – that manifests itself as cheating behavior.
If John betrays Sue by sleeping with Sue’s sister, Carole, it may be John’s immature (even subconscious) way of getting back at Sue for some perceived wrong. After all, if John has an affair with Carole, it’s a double betrayal of Sue – his and Carole’s. To inflict so much hurt on Sue, John must be operating with an element of anger or some sense of being justified in his actions.
And why does Carole betray her sister, Sue? Is it also anger?
Not necessarily. Life is complicated and Carole’s motivations for sleeping with her sister’s husband may simply come down to being lonely and/or drunk. There are no easy answers or explanations.
Learn the 11 Reasons Why People Cheat on their Partners
I generally recommend that couples who are trying to survive infidelity seek help from a qualified marriage or relationship counselor. Doing so increases their chances of success.
wise, when close family members are caught in the swells of infidelity – such as Sue and Carole – they may independently require the intervention of a therapist to help them repair the damage that the infidelity has brought to their relationship.
All-in-the-family infidelity is only a subset of the much larger universe of relationship infidelity. It is, however, a particularly virulent variety of betrayal and one that, unfortunately, is not uncommon and poses particular challenges to surviving infidelity.
Where To Locate Qualified Relationship Therapists
The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
The Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Surviving Infidelity Recovery Specialist