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Family Member having an Affair

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DutchMom posted 5/23/2014 13:31 PM

I am just curious if anyone else has had a close family member that had an affair after you were in recovery?

I am quite certain my brother is or has had an affair with his business partner. My SIL is aware that something is going on, but not sure she is ready to admit it was a full blown affair. My brother seems like he is deep in the fog.

I wrote him a note and bought him a copy of "Not Just Friends" and gave him my copy of "Fireproof". I had my FWS give it to him (figuring I would be the last person he wants to talk to on this). I haven't heard from him since (two weeks ago). SIL keeps me updated a little. FWS reached out a few times too, but no response.

I am torn here. He is my brother, but I am mad at him for doing this. I trigger (not bad though thankfully) at all this, and I feel for my SIL. I know my SIL isn't innocent in it all, but I can't help but feel for her. I know the business partner, and I used to like her, but I can't stand the thought of her now.

So, how do I love my brother and yet condemn what he did or continues to do? And how do I continue to get through it with my triggers?

blakesteele posted 5/23/2014 13:57 PM

Sadly, in our very small circle of couple has been affected by infidelity via FB posts between her husband and another old high school friend.

How do you interact in this? Not really sure. The sentence in the FB post said something like "I can make it to where your wife never finds out about us" his response was "how?".

EA for sure, I suspect due to some wierd motives for going to the town she lives in, that he is active and it is PA...but don't know for sure. I am not really close to this guy, but my wife is close to his wife.

Actually...this guy is one of the men I know who I really didn't want to hang with. Something about him was just not my cup of tea.

His wife is settling for less....much like I tend to do. I feel for her. But her being a woman and me being a man....I just don't think I can reach out to her.

With regards to your question.....

Would you let your brother keep doing meth if you found out he had THAT destructive habit? Making THAT destructive choice?

Love.....I had some wacked ideas of what that was pre-A, and so did my wife.

To confront your brother about his destructive choices (provided you know he is having an A) would be the loving thing to do. If he is, he is committing a sin. A loving thing to do would be to bring this sin to his attention and offer to support him if decides he wants to stop his destructive choice.

If he chooses to get defensive and deny what you know to be have done all you can. The loving thing to do is to step back. Adultery seeps into all it touches. 4 deadly A's are adultery, addiction, abuse, abandonment.

At that point you can, out of love for both him and your SIL, turn and offer comfort to her. Help her break out of cycles that would enable her to be further hurt by the sitch.

Love Must Be Tough by James Dobson has whole chapters on what love looks like when you are in a hostile situation, such as knowing a brother is committing adultery.

I would highly recommend getting it and reading it. It was one of the first books I read as I struggled to understand what I needed to do.

Left to my own accord, I would most certainly have enabled our destructive cycles to repeat.

God is with us all.

LA44 posted 5/23/2014 14:00 PM

So, how do I love my brother and yet condemn what he did or continues to do?

Well. I don't think we just stop loving someone - like a family member bc they are behaving like an ass. You know that the possible A (and you don't even know for certain, correct?) doesn't represent the whole of who your brother is. You have seen many parts of him and you love those parts. You don't like what he is doing. But you love him.

I hope your are wrong about your brother. But if you are not, then you and your H are in a position to help this couple.

The first thing my FIL did was ask his son, "Do you love LA? Do you want to save your M?" He answered, Yes. My FIL told me that had he answered No, then he would have taken him in a different direction (not tried to force him into saving the M). In short, he was going to be supportive regardless of his son's answer.

blakesteele posted 5/23/2014 14:04 PM

You probably gathered that I am a christian.

If you are not.....sin might have very little meaning to you.

Take "sin" out of the example above.

Replace it with physical risks.

There are physical risks to adultery.....STD's put your brothers health at risk, his wifes health at risk if they are still being intimate while he enagages in adultery.

There are financial risks to adultery....divorces are expensive, children concieved out of wedlock still require child support.

There are emotional risks to adultery....there is already hidden pain in waywards that enabled adultery to be reached for. Adultery in and of itself is a whole new level of self-inflicted emotional pain.

All of those are reason enough to choose to offer to help your brother break free from his destructive choices.

The unloving thing to do is to ignore and pretend destructive things are NOT being chosen by him.

I remember my older brother, who has similar codependent issues as I do (so its hard for him to be honest to the point of hurting someone elses feelings), becoming VERY firm with me as I leaned on him during my temptation to do a RA....RA was a very real temptation for me.

My brother chose to love me and had some very strong words for me. I was a bit shocked at first....but before he got done with his statement to me I understood exactly what I was contemplating and the REAL results of my actions......and they were NOT the FANTASY outcomes I had started to tell myself they would be.

I am thankful for tough love.

I am learning what real mature love is...and sometimes that is to be tough.


learningtofeel posted 5/23/2014 14:06 PM

A promise that I have made to myself as a result of this is not to let possible As just be. If I become aware of an A situation I am going to address it wholeheartedly (I hope). I found out that several "friends" knew and didn't do anything about it and I felt even more used and betrayed. I'm not going to do that to anyone else. Not sure exactly how I will go about it, if the situation arises, but I won't be complicit in someone else's betrayal.

DutchMom posted 5/23/2014 14:08 PM

Like I said, I basically did confront him with the letter and the book. I had FWS give it to him because I figured they could relate better.

I have talked to my dad a little about this. My dad knew they were having marriage issues, but apparently didn't suspect the affair. My parents are also close with the business partner. I asked my dad to back off a little because it is hurtful to me and I assume very painful to SIL that they are friendly with her.

We don't think her H knows yet, but we do know that she has had an A before, and he knows about that one.

We do want to help, but so far my brother doesn't seem to want help. He has apparently seen a divorce lawyer a while back, but hasn't done anything.

His marriage can't survive with his partner in the picture, and his business can't survive without her in the picture, so one is going to fail.

Ugh, just hard all the way around.

I am fairly certain I can never embrace the business partner as a family member if he ultimately ends his marriage.

blakesteele posted 5/23/2014 14:23 PM

....and to just disown him? That is not loving either. That is you telling him he is not worth loving.

blakesteele posted 5/23/2014 14:59 PM


Such a complicated situation.

No painless solutions.

Sounds as if your brother is choosing his affair over his marriage. dreadful that choice will be. I am saddened also to hear that his AP has a history of making this choice. My wifes AP is a serial adulterer as well.

People change when the pain of same exceeds the pain of change. Some folks threshold for pain seems unusually be able to chose adultery more than once and NOT change.



spond posted 5/23/2014 15:09 PM

My mother had an affair and divorced my father for him, under the assumption that there would be something more. Her AP told her for years that he was going to divorce his wife. This went on for 10+ years. His wife found out about the A and the A ended.

My mother told me about it while I was still in a shock state of my 2nd DDay (PA). I told her a little of my story and told her it was unacceptable for her to ever do this again. Since, she has been dating again, but only to single guys.

Sal1995 posted 5/23/2014 15:15 PM

About 2 months after D Day my best friend since high school sent a text that looked like it went to me by accident. It talked about how great the last 4 months have been, how she is his soulmate, how perfect their love is, blah blah blah.

Turns out the text was a parody response to a similar text that my brother sent to him. They were making fun of some sappy stuff they saw on FB from an old high school friend (real mature from 40-somethings, I know). He didn't realize that I wasn't copied on the first text and didn't have the context to understand that it was a parody instead of a text mistakenly sent to the wrong person.

I reacted by letting him know that I received the text by accident, that I was concerned for him and that it wasn't too late to turn back from the course he was on. He and my brother got a good laugh out of my reaction (they don't know about my wife's A). Later, I found out that they were wondering if I was losing it or in some kind of a crisis (which I was of course).

So the answer to your question is no, not that I'm aware of. But just the thought that a close friend was in an A only two months after my D Day really sent me in a spin for a day or two. I felt like my life was truly a lie and that no one in my circle is trustworthy.

ETA: my post comes off as a t/j, but it was my long-winded way of saying that even if I was mistaken and only experienced this for a day or two, I can relate to how disturbing something like this is. Being a BS definitely alters the way you see the world.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 3:18 PM, May 23rd (Friday)]

Furious1 posted 5/23/2014 16:10 PM

My younger brother called me not too long ago about a "co-worker." He had every reason in the world to try to justify it. I told my baby bro that he sounded just like my WH. Baby bro disowned me because I would not accept his A even though I had met his AP under the lie that it was a "working" lunch.

Things blew up like they always do and he disowned me because I have too much info. Given my situation, he is afraid I will tell his wife. All he is worried about is money and appearances. So long as she looks good in that high dollar evening gown at just the right charity event and acts proper and prim despite whatever he does, he will not divorce her. Co-worker is just too rough around the edges to be seen in public with her, UGH!!!!!!

Furious1 posted 5/23/2014 16:58 PM

May I add that my SIL is awesome. She is an awesome mother to both of my nephews and keeps their 9 bedroom house spotless without the help of nannies or housekeepers along with keeping up her pre-marital 3 bedroom house while holding down a full time career.

At that "business lunch", I sent pictures to SIL of "co-worker" and my baby bro feeding each other and working each other under the table. SIL showed up and slapped my brother. Ho worker RAN. Baby bro has never forgiven me.

Please understand that I was only 7 years old when he was born and I was charged with his full time care. My narcissistic parents never recognized that I or he were even alive. I didn't know that babies needed special milk. I worked my butt off to buy him cow's milk even though that I know now that I malnourished him.

My IC keeps telling me that I can not blame myself for how my baby brother turned out. I agree now.

DutchMom posted 5/25/2014 16:43 PM

He finally called me today. Accused me to taking SILs side, denied a physical affair, yet told me he loved his business partner and was done with his marriage basically. :(

I told him I loved him, wanted what was best for him and the kids, but told him I wouldn't accept an affair. He actually said he hoped that over time I could express my concerns but respect his choices and accept who he loves. I was like, what? If that person was involved in an affair, I doubt I could.

Ugh, so messy. I know I can't fix it, and I know neither of them are right and neither are wrong. They need to listen to each other, but neither will.

SisterMilkshake posted 5/25/2014 18:48 PM

I know my SIL isn't innocent in it all, but I can't help but feel for her.
What? Is she having an affair, too? If not, she is totally innocent. SIL had nothing to do with your brother having an affair.

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