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OH sister is having an affair...what to do?

(26 Posts)
goldsilver Sun 24-Aug-14 19:48:27

My other half's sister is having an affair...again.
She had one before, a few years ago, left her kids to be with this man but he didn't want her anymore and she returned to her husband.
He took her back but previous to that he was devastated.
They have been married over 20 years.
She confided in us when she'd had a few too many at a party and asked for her brother's approval!
Her brother, my other half, said he couldn't agree with what she is doing, for his own ex wife had an affair and broke his heart. She said she understood that but that this was the real thing. However, the man she is having an affair with is also married with a daughter and says they can't be together yet.
My OH thinks he is simply stringing her along and that it is all about sex and excitement.
But what really worries me and my OH is her husband. He has been through this already and the last time it crucified him. The secret is weighing heavily.
My OH has said that if, for example, his sister's hubby had known that his own ex wife was having an affair, he'd have wanted him to tell him and wouldn't have been happy finding out afterwards that he'd known all along.
But to tell him would cause utter hell! And he has tried talking to his sister, but of course, she won't listen.
Best to leave well alone? I don't know...what do you think?

Vivacia Sun 24-Aug-14 19:53:05

My OH has said that if, for example, his sister's hubby had known that his own ex wife was having an affair, he'd have wanted him to tell him and wouldn't have been happy finding out afterwards that he'd known all along.

This line makes me advise this: tell her that she either tells him tomorrow or you will.

MintyCoolMojito Sun 24-Aug-14 20:05:17

Ordinarily I'd say leave well alone - the problem is that when it's family, it's difficult to apply that approach.

I would be tempted to go with Vivacia's suggestion; make it clear that she has to tell her H what's going on, otherwise your H will.

HumblePieMonster Sun 24-Aug-14 20:06:30

Normally I'd say keep your nose out, but as she's bragging about it, tell her that you can't keep her secret and you'll be talking to her husband on Tuesday.

Fairenuff Sun 24-Aug-14 20:07:48

I would tell her. He is not some stranger, he is as much family as you are OP.

Fairenuff Sun 24-Aug-14 20:08:13

I mean tell him.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 24-Aug-14 20:12:24

Yep, either she tells her husband or you will.

"This time it's the real thing. Except he's married with a child and says they can't be together yet." Yeah, right. Has she always been this deluded?

goldsilver Sun 24-Aug-14 20:16:39

It is the type of family that never expresses feelings. Then I came along and I am outspoken, and they don't really like that! However, I am very compassionate and would never hurt anyone. We live quite a distance away though, so it would be hard to tell him but we are meant to be going up there soon. I'm not sure my OH has it in him to say he will tell her husband, despite what he says! He is very non-confrontational. Saying something would cause hell up. Though I feel the hubby should know because when he finds out, it will break his heart. Perhaps the affair won't last, either way, it all feels wrong and is weighing on the conscience. I don't want to punish her but I'm sure she will think it is all my doing :-(

Fontella Sun 24-Aug-14 20:16:41

I totally agree with Vivacia.

This is not your/your H's burden to carry and you shouldn't carry it for this selfish immoral woman.

She got pissed up and blabbed this out to you both unprompted and now you are in an intolerable position because of her sharing her sordid 'secret' with you.

This whole situation is of her making, all of it and she needs to face up and deal with it.

Tell her straight. Either she tells her husband the truth or you will. Set a time limit and don't allow yourselves to be talked out of it. The man took her back once after she 'crucified' him, and she's doing it to him again poor sod. He has a right to know and 'utter hell' or not, just imagine how he's going to feel once the affair comes out (as it eventually will) and he discovers that you and your H have known about it all along? Are you going to lie to him and pretend you didn't know?

EarthWindFire Sun 24-Aug-14 20:18:06

I wouldn't hesitate to tell him. She's done it one, is now doing it again. No doubt there will probably be a third, fourth time.

Fairenuff Sun 24-Aug-14 20:18:48

She seems to be expressing her feelings all over the place with no trouble at all.

Poor man. Tread carefully though OP. This is the stuff family rifts are made of.

CarryOnDancing Sun 24-Aug-14 20:27:57

If it's the real deal then why is she prolonging the agony for her husband? I couldn't sit by and let her court another man and see how it goes before deciding whether to leave her husband or not. If the affair ends, she will still have cheated.

Maybe he could find out from an anonymous source?

It's not fair for you to have this burden and it's even less fair on the husband. I'd have to make sure he knew one way or another.

goldsilver Mon 25-Aug-14 08:23:39

My personal belief as that she should have the courage to leave her husband than do this to him. But my OH is so anti-confrontational. His family don't talk. I admittedly don't like his family a whole lot. They can be pretty selfish and no one says anything when they behave disrespectfully. My OH's mother died and she declined really rapidly. No one ever suggested she gave up the fags, no one seemed to care. They would just say, oh she does what she wants, you can't tell her. In three months she went from a vivacious lady to an old woman, and they hardly even talked about it. I could never be that way. I wasn't around then but if I had been, I'd have tried to be with her every minute, I would have tried to help her even if she refused. I don't know why but this really gets to me and I didn't even know his mum. My OH looks up to his father, says he is his hero yet even he didn't seemed to do much in the months leading up to his wife's death. My OH's brother moaned if he had to take his mother to the hospital! He is 51 and is still living at home with his father! My OH's sister has really low self esteem and I do feel sorry for her but they are the most selfish family I have ever known. I don't fit in at all. It is only now that my OH is seeing them in a true light...taken him almost 50 years! I have said, why the hell haven't you said anything? Had a go? But he is so accepting it is unreal. He doesn't want to rock the boat. I sometimes think it will be me that will be the one to stick the dynamite under the asses and all hell will break loose! Then they will hate me for it most likely!

Vivacia Mon 25-Aug-14 08:31:36

I wonder how your in-laws would describe their dynamic and norms, and I wonder how they'd describe your approach.

goldsilver Mon 25-Aug-14 08:45:04

Vivacia, they think they are a close knit family...they think they all get on well. My OH thought that about them. He said, before I met them, that they'd love me! When I first met them, they came round and ignored me! They are like a slightly sophisticated version of the Royle family. I just don't get it, I don't get how my OH couldn't see what they are like. His ex fitted in well with them...she was quite 'chavvy' and loud. They most likely think I am too sensitive, too opinionated. And they don't like the way I look...they even seem to think I am too good looking for my OH! I certainly don't think so and have said that it is what is in the heart that matters. They have made little digs at me, kind of tried to bully me. They lack respect and normal politeness and my OH incidentally is the complete opposite.

LatteLoverLovesLattes Mon 25-Aug-14 08:49:46

What is your BIL like? Would he keep your DH out of it if he told him or would he drop your DH in it?

I don't see how there is anything you can do without major repercussions.
?cut contact with SiL
?tell her H and live with the fall out
?don't do anything and live with the knowledge of her betrayal and not telling him.

It says a lot about her that she leaves others (you) in this position.
I'd stay well clear.

On re-reading I think you have to do whatever it is to keep your relationship with your DH intact.
Not really your remit to deal with this - if anybody's, it's his.

citruslemon Mon 25-Aug-14 11:41:46

Tell her, with your husband present, if she does tell her husband by end if week you will.

If she first tell him, then you and husband together tell him. Totally unfair not to. This way you are both there to support/look after him. Otherwise, if he finds out you knew he'll want nothing to do with you and do you think he can cope with this news alone?

citruslemon Mon 25-Aug-14 11:42:09

*if she "doesn't"

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 25-Aug-14 12:05:20

I don't think you can wade in, sorry. If you are still The Outsider it will end up being goldsilver "stirring it up" or "sticking her nose in". But if DH can talk man to man with his BIL - because he's experienced the same heartache - why not.

Fairenuff Mon 25-Aug-14 15:05:08

I don't think you are the outsider OP.

Her and your dh are bother and sister. You and her dh are connected to each of them by marriage. Her husband is just as much part of the family as you are and vice versa.

Viviennemary Mon 25-Aug-14 15:12:32

I wouldn't tell but wouldn't cover up for her either. If your DP wants to tell that's up to him. I think she has a cheek to have put you in this position. I don't think I'd want that much to do with her under the circumstances.

BerylStreep Mon 25-Aug-14 15:19:58

I don't think OP is married, given that she refers to him as OH.

OP, I don't think it is for you to tell the husband. Inevitably it will backfire, and you will be the one who is given grief for it.

Since you don't seem to like your OH's family anyway, perhaps the thing to do is to say you don't condone her behaviour and that you will not be in her company whilst she continues to cheat on her DH.

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