I would like to thank you for your letter and would like to commend you for stepping out and trying to ask for help with your problem. Marriage is a complicated thing but is very rewarding, especially when the two persons involved try their best to work the whole relationship to the best of their abilities. However, is it not unknown to many of us that there are just some relationships and marriages that do not work because of different reasons.
As for your case regarding your sister and brother-in-law’s relationship, unhappiness is the main cause of trouble.
It is unfortunate that your sister resorted to cheating because there could have been many things she could have done about the situation without having to commit any sins. It is also very unfortunate for you because you know what is happening and is torn between doing the right thing and protecting your sister. The best thing that you can do here is to offer advice to her.
You cannot dictate what she should do with her life and relationships but you are entitled to your opinion and this is what you should give to your sister. It is also important to note that you cannot force your sister to do something that you think she should be doing because she should make the decision herself. What you can offer is a good advice, as well as support and guidance whatever decision she decides to make because this is her life. Ultimately, she would be the one suffering the consequences of her decisions but in the end, you can say that you did not lack in giving the support that she needed.
As mentioned above, there are many ways as to how she could have handled her unhappiness with her husband aside from cheating and you, as her sister, can offer the following advices to her. You have to remember that she may or may not follow your advices and may or may not agree with your opinions but the important thing is you did your part and it is up to her to make the right decision.
The first advice that you can give her is to end the affair with her coworker. This is the most obvious option that she could do to end all the drama in her life, as well as to clean your conscience. In the first place, she should not be having this rendezvous with her coworker or any other person for that matter simply because she already has a family of her own that she should be taking care of. This is the oath that she took when she married her husband and should be keeping it because she wants the marriage to last. She should also keep in mind her children who are very young and may not understand the situation. Maybe if she tried hard enough and not dwell on her sadness and loneliness, she can make the marriage work along with her husband who seems to be devoted to her and the whole family.
The second option that she has is to divorce her husband to live with the coworker that she is having an affair with. This would solve all problems and she could live freely without hiding anything from anybody. However, divorce might be hard because of the two children and the thought that she, the woman, is leaving her husband and family for another man. Still, concern for the children is not reason enough not to divorce. It is better to live in honesty than to let your kids see that you are unhappy because this might affect their growing up. While some people may think that it is selfish for your sister to leave her whole family and be with the person that she thinks she will be happy with, it is better to have a divorce rather than live in a lie and have a negative effect on the people around you.
Another thing that your sister can do is to go to a marriage counselor with her husband. This would allow her to determine the cause of her unhappiness with her husband and the whole family. Going to a marriage counselor can help lessen the chances of the marriage ending in divorce. It would also help the couple talk about their differences and what could be done to improve the status of their relationship. Having a professional mediate them can give them a chance to hear a neutral side regarding their relationship and might help them see each other in a different light. This should be done with the young children in thought and how hard it must be for them to see their parents not happy with each other. The couple try for the sake of their kids because their children look up to them and it is important for them to have a normal childhood.
The last option that you could give to your sister is for her to admit the affair to her husband and let her husband decide what should be done next. This is because your sister does not want to leave the family and leaving the decision to her husband might make things easier for her. However, it is not guaranteed that the husband will decide to leave the family once he learns the truth. It might be that he wants to work things out and ask your sister to give up the affair and go to counselor with him.
Whatever her decision may be, you should remind her that she should go for the one that would make her happy not only for the present time but also in the future. She might be feeling happy at this time because of the excitement that the affair is bringing, but in the long run, it might not be what she wants and it might be too late to change her mind. She should also keep in mind her children because as their mother, she has a responsibility to them. If she decides to leave them and divorce your brother-in-law, she has to make sure that her kids do not feel abandoned and unloved. She should also make sure that she has the right resources to provide support for her kids in case her husband decides to leave her upon learning about the affair. She is faced with a hard decision but she has to decide now and be the one to tell her husband. The truth will hurt but it will hurt even more for the husband if he learned it from somebody else.
To answer your question, I believe that you have no right in telling your brother-in-law that her wife, your sister, is having an affair with another person because you are not involved in the relationship no matter how close you are to them. The most that you can do is to talk to your sister and try to shed some common sense in her so that she becomes aware of the situation that she is presenting to both you and the whole family. Instead, you should be a good sibling and give the advice that you think is proper for her to make. You should give her sometime to think about things and what she truly wants in her life. Remember that this is not an overnight turn of events. It will take some time and the outcome will depend on what she decides to do.
Your loyalty is to yourself and the whole family. Although it is obvious that you should be taking the side of your brother-in-law, we are still not sure as to why your sister became unhappy with the relationship in the first place. We cannot judge her just because she presents to be the “sinful” one in the situation. Like many other situations, numerous factors can contribute to her decision to have an affair and unhappiness might only be a small part of it.
Cheating, for most couples, is a very grave sin and can cause for breakups and separations. It will not be a surprise, then, if the husband decides to leave his family. Remember that this is a guy and that his ego plays a major part in his decisions. It might be hard for him to accept that his wife cheated on him. Whatever happens, you must remember that you should be there for the both of them to give support in their respective decisions. This is the only way that you can show that you care for them both.