From a recent Dear Prudence column:
You can read Prudie’s response here. This would be one of the rare occasions you’ll find me saying don’t MOA. If the LW hasn’t already, I’d suggest finding a good therapist. Even if she’s already been to therapy and quit, she should go back if only to deal with the aftermath of viewing those photos and glimpsing the family life of her ex-husband and sister. I’d also tell her she never, ever, ever has to see or speak to her sister or ex-husband (or niece, for that matter) ever again. If she can forgive them in time, she may find that that gives her a sense of peace, but that doesn’t mean that she has to have a relationship with them. Her parents shouldn’t expect that their two daughters will ever eat together again or share space under the same roof unless it’s at one of their funerals. And the LW should never feel guilty about that.
I’d also remind her that the photos people post on Facebook never reveal the whole truth. They are but a representation of what most of us wished our lives looked like all the time. Peel back a layer or two, and there’s always more to the story. I mean, behind the smiles of her sister and ex-husband is a woman who is now married to a man who got his wife’s sister knocked up. That’s hardly the kind of husband most women wish for and certainly not a life worth envying. Meanwhile, every time the LW’s sister shows up to her parents’ home for Christmas dinner or some other occasion that should be a happy one, the empty seat at the table and the disappointment in her parents’ faces that one of their daughters is missing must be a constant reminder of her stunning act of betrayal and gross lack of moral character. But there’s probably not a photo of that on Facebook.
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Desiree December 13, 2012, 1:19 pm
Wow. I know there are excellent reasons why this type of behavior should not be criminalized, but it seems so ridiculous that two people can cause the LW this much pain and not suffer any tangible consequences.
Classic December 13, 2012, 1:24 pm
kerrycontrary December 13, 2012, 1:35 pm
I can’t even wrap my brain around the fact that people do this sort of stuff, especially to family members.
Iwannatalktosampson December 13, 2012, 1:45 pm
Wait remember the book we never got to – this is where I leave you from Jonathan Tropper. I was expecting that to happen at the end of that book but they left it hanging.
Iwannatalktosampson December 13, 2012, 1:50 pm
And I would never forgive my sister either. Ever. I feel bad for the parents too. That must suck to have to admit their daughter is a horrible human being with no morals. How do parents forgive stuff like that? How do they forgive themselves for raising that? I guess it takes a better person than me.
katie December 13, 2012, 1:52 pm
i agree! i get that as a parent you especially want a relationship with a grandchild, but WOW. how do you get off being happy in that situation while knowing what your OTHER kid is feeling?
FireStar December 13, 2012, 2:50 pm
I don’t think the parents can be blamed for their daughter’s choice as an adult. Clearly it wasn’t the norm in the family since the other sister is so (rightly) devastated and they were upset themselves – until the grandchild softened them up. I think the parents are victims of the one sister’s bad behaviour too…but they should not ask the one daughter to forgive the other or to slap a smile on to make everyone else feel better.
katie December 13, 2012, 4:04 pm
but, in a way they are choosing one daughters happiness over the others, you know? and they would be no matter what- this puts them in the middle of a terrible situation. as the parent, i would be so pissed at my kid for just that reason…
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 4:11 pm
Well, they seem to just be choosing to keep both of their daughters in their lives. I feel sorry for them too, and I get wishing they could reconcile. I think they tried it respectfully, from what the lw said. I wouldn’t push it any further if I were them though.
Riefer December 13, 2012, 6:36 pm
They should have been asking the cheating sister to reach out and ask for forgiveness. I’m not saying that would be enough for the other to forgive, but that would be step one. They shouldn’t be asking the innocent sister to come to dinner with the cheaters, that’s the wrong way round.
lets_be_honest December 14, 2012, 9:22 am
True, good call.
GatorGirl December 13, 2012, 4:15 pm
I know what you mean. I think I would be really dissapointed in my child if they pulled a stunt like this. I know my mother would be seriously pissed off if I stole my sisters husband and had a kid with him. I think my mom would disown me.
katie December 13, 2012, 4:52 pm
could you imagine being the kid? this will come out at some point… skeletons never stay in the closet… i cant imagine what i would think of my mom after finding that out..
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 5:13 pm
Amanda December 13, 2012, 1:47 pm
I feel so sad for the LW. What goes around, comes around though, so when the LW’s ex-husband finds out (on Maury, hopefully) that the child is not his biological child, his marriage to the LW’s sister will likely end. I base this on the likelihood that if the LW’s sister is scummy enough to have unprotected sex with her sister’s husband, than she likely had unprotected sex with more than one man in the same time period as conception.
I wonder how the LW’s ex-husband family feels about this situation? What an agonizing situation to be in.
LM December 13, 2012, 1:58 pm
I wonder what the parents think of it. They were very hurt and angry, but they reconciled because they have a grand daughter. What do they think of the LW’s sister? That’s the ultimate betrayal, well, except for the other Dear Prudence letter with the husband sleeping with the mom…
That gives a whole new meaning to “keeping it all in the family”.
Desiree December 13, 2012, 2:28 pm
I wonder if any of this is a reflection of the way the parents raised their daughters. Maybe they favored the LW’s sister, or let her get away with more? Maybe they criticized the LW a lot? Obviously a lot of times bad actions have nothing to do with the parents, but I do wonder.
katie December 13, 2012, 1:52 pm
damn. just, wow. damn.
my sister would be dead to me, probably.
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 2:07 pm
– to me
katie December 13, 2012, 2:20 pm
that took me a minute… haha… good one
Jessibel5 December 13, 2012, 1:56 pm
Wendy, THANK YOU. When I read this originally I totally disagreed with Prudie’s advice and thought it was so pedantic to tell her to go the route she did. Your advice is more along the lines of what I was thinking.
Jessibel5 December 13, 2012, 2:16 pm
I hope the original LW sees this advice instead.
bittergaymark December 13, 2012, 2:00 pm
At some point though, staying angry forever ISN’T going to help. Look, I get how awful this is, but I also get the sense that the LW is reveling in the tragedy of it all a bit too much. It’s been five almost six years already. Get the fuck on with your life already. I’d confront them both. Have you all ever even had a confrontation about this? Get it out in the open and clear the air. And then, if you still never want to be in the same room with them again (more than understandable) simply don’t.
You then tell your parents that this is an issue that is now closed. End of story. Sure, it’d be nice if you could all have dinner together holding hands. Hey, it’d also be nice if Madonna just randomly popped by that same dinner and announced she was buying each of you a villa in the south of France. Many things in life would all be very nice — but that doesn’t exactly make them plausible or even possible. It’s time your parents begin to accept that.
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 2:06 pm
It WOULD be nice for her to buy me a villa in southern france. We agree again, my friend.
Jessibel5 December 13, 2012, 2:08 pm
I get the feeling that the LW has been in denial for the past 5 years and hasn’t really dealt with it at all, so you’re right about how staying angry forever isn’t going to help.
Jessibel5 December 13, 2012, 5:24 pm
Actually, I rescind my “denial” statement and am just going to say that it doesn’t sound like she’s dealt with it and has been holding it in/bottling it up inside. The physical vomit response after 5 years means the pain is still fresh enough to cause the physical reaction.
jlyfsh December 13, 2012, 2:29 pm
I agree that staying angry forever isn’t going to help her. I don’t see the need for confrontation or speaking to them again though. I’d learn to let go, live an amazing life and never think about them again.
You Go Girl December 15, 2012, 12:49 am
The LW was betrayed by her husband, sister and to some extent her parents. When her husband cheated on her with her sister, and her parents partially condoned her sister’s actions, the LW lost her entire family and potential future family of her own because she was unable to have children. The LW has done her best to get on with her life. She has a good job, her own home, and has made friends. But after suffering such a profound loss, it is inevitable that sometimes she still gets upset, especially during emotionally loaded holidays.
Admonishing her to “get the f**k on with her life” or to stop choosing to be angry “because it is only hurting yourself” is not helpful. The LW did not choose to be angry and would like nothing better than to get on with her life, if only she could. I have also suffered through major tragedies, and some people made sure I knew that I was not following their timetable for “putting the past behind me”. These type of comments merely made me feel more like damaged goods than I felt already.
I want to tell the LW that I am so sorry for what she went through. I would advise her to get therapy to help her cope and to tell her parents that Christmas with her sister was NOT going to happen unless hell freezes over. She should also block her sister and ex-husband on Facebook so she does not have to see their posts. I had to block practically my entire family.
emjay December 13, 2012, 2:07 pm
This happened to me. Except he was my boyfriend not my husband. And for those who do not mind…I would finally like to sharw this story…….
I was working and I had broken up with someone I spent almost 3 yrs with. There was a guy….I’ll call him Alex…. well he was constantly flirting..asking me out. So about 5 months after my break up I finally said yes. Despite knowing what kind of person he was and not someone I would have really been insterested in….I just wanted company and a rebound.
Well my sister and I were BFF’s. I was always wih her. When I actually really started to like Alex I told her I wanted them to meet. What a big mistake that was. They started hanging out behind my back, calling texting etc. Well I did not know whatt was going on…but everyone else did…and no one told me
Alex was an asshole…completely. Violent, confrontational and always mad aboutr something. So one night after a big fight I went home. The next morning I go there and there is my sisters car, andd there ahe was in his bed. Well after we broke up, they became an item. She went thru the same crap qith him I did. The violence and fighting and cheating. But she stayed.
A couple of weeks later,after our breakup, we were still working at the same place. And he needed a ride home. I was gonna say no, but trying to be nice, I was like fine whatever. Now me and my sister were not speaking to each other at all at this point. Well low n behold…he tries to force himself on me, broke my cell phone so I cant call anybody to help me and fractored my ribcage.
At work I broke down crying bc of the pain, and told my supervisor everything. Spoke to the cops when I went to the hospital and he was locked up. ( he was locked up pn his bday and the cops relayed the msg of ” happy bday pc of shit” from me).
Anyway they ended up getting pregnant 2x. They lost the first baby, and then had my nefew. My sister and I talk on occasion but we are no longer close. She finally saw him for what he is and left him. I recieved a huge apology for what she did but it doesn’t matter bc I no longer trust her. But I love my nefew like he is mu own. We have a very special bond and I am his godmother. I do not hold what they did to me against him. It was not his choice to habe them as parents. And he is the sweestest, smartests lil boy ever.
I may never trust my sister again, but I will never hold that against my lil man. Plus she doesn’t spend much time with my nefew and my parents are raising him. But when Aunt Emy and Uncle Jay ( me and my fiance of 6yrs) comes over he comes running with big hugs and kisses and asks if I have anything for him from the bubble gum machine. So at leasr some good came out of my experience.
emjay December 13, 2012, 2:22 pm
Also we take him pumpkin picking and to the state parks and everything else. He just turned 4yrs old. And my sister has asked me to never ever tell him about what happened. Not that I would. He does not need to know. But if I held on to my anger I would have ended up resenting mu nefew and that is not me at all.
temperance December 13, 2012, 2:45 pm
Your nephew will find out what she did because family secrets don’t stay as secrets for long.
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 2:38 pm
Damn. I’m happy for you that you are able to have your nephew at least.
I can’t even imagine one of my sisters doing anything like this. If I had even a crush on a guy, my sister would never go near him.
Jessibel5 December 13, 2012, 4:43 pm
Haha, I just found out my sister drunkenly made out this past summer with the guy I was hooking up and in love with in HS. He was horrible and abusive to me back then so I never told my sister about it because I was his dirty little secret, as he liked to say. I lost contact with him and don’t speak to him. He must know she’s my sister, because he’s seen me in the local bar with her before (kept really creepily staring at me too, but never came up to talk to me). My sister’s friend told me after the fact that he and my sister drunkenly made out with each other at the local watering hole and I asked her friend to try to put a stop to it if it ever happens again. I don’t want her with him, but if I told her my story she’d just tell me I was trying to control her life and she’d make out with whomever she chooses, because she’s crazy like that. But I can’t figure out why her making out with him makes me laugh every time I think about it.
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 4:55 pm
I had a huge crush on this guy in high school, and my sister knew. Right after high school, I was out at a local watering hole (love that phrase!) and he was there, and we flirted, my heart leapt out of my chest (not really) and we went back to his place to drink some more. Nothing really happened, but I was smitten as hell. Well, the NEXT night my sister is out at the same place, he’s there, starts hitting on her with the same lines he used on me. The following morning he left a rose on her car (my teenage heart crumbles, I didn’t get a next day rose obviously). Seeing the rose, I ask her who its from, she tells me what happened, the lines he used, etc. We had a good laugh over it and she called him and said she wasn’t sure if the rose was for her or me. Shut him up quick. She’s awesome. He died a few years ago, sadly.
Jessibel5 December 13, 2012, 5:22 pm
Haha, that’s awesome how you called him out (but sad that he died 🙁 ). I honestly have no clue how my sister would react if she found out that she made out with the first guy I ever slept with. I’m not sure she knows it was him that she made out with, or he’s the guy who took my virginity. We’ve never been particularly close because there’s a huge age difference, and she thinks I’m annoying and controlling and I think she’s mean and irrational and a bully. So I barely talk to her to avoid having her scream at me that I’m telling her what to do (No joke, this is an example: she asked me how to make whipped cream and then screamed at me to get out of the kitchen and stop telling her what to do when I answered her. My answer was “I usually do it by taste when it comes to pouring in the sugar, but if you want you can follow the recipe in the cookbook”). I would LOVE to have a closer relationship with her but each time I think we’ve gotten past the tension, she’ll pull some crap like that. My dream scenario is that we’d giggle over something like this, but I’m actually scared to tell her, lol!
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 5:29 pm
I’m not going to come right out and say I had a similar conversation when I tried to make chicken parm once and my bf was giving me tips on how to cook.
That sucks about your sister. Maybe time and aging will help. I know that’s a dumb thing people always say, but I hope it does.
kf December 13, 2012, 3:44 pm
This is a powerful story, and I don’t mean to minimize it in any way, but there are a lot of differences between your situation and LW’s. LW was married (she thought happily) and having fertility issues, her husband left her to be with the sister, she doesn’t seem to have gotten any apology from her sister, etc.
It really is terrific that you can have a bond with your nephew and I admire the hell out of you for what you’ve made out of the situation, but LW has a much taller mountain to climb. Like everyone else, I couldn’t blame her for just walking away.
emjay December 13, 2012, 6:10 pm
Oh I know there are alot of differences. But it does happen and more than people talkn about. Some people can deal with it and move past it. But I can see why the LW can’t. If I was invested in the relationship more than I was the turn out might have been different. Therapy may help the LW but sometimes the wound is so deep, she might never be able to face her sister, ex and niece. And that is ok as long as the LW feels it is ok her.
SuzyQ December 13, 2012, 4:44 pm
That’s a sad story. I hope that you have done some introspection and possibly therapy to understand why you would stay with someone who was violent and not good for you. But it’s great that you are able to have a relationship with your nephew.
Kate B. December 13, 2012, 2:22 pm
I would have no sister after this. And I wouldn’t feel bad about it. I know the LW isn’t reading this, but stop torturing yourself by going to your sister’s Facebook page! Defriend her, block her, cut her out of your life. That’s how you move on from this.
bethany December 13, 2012, 2:23 pm
This sucks. It sucks all around. It sucks for the LW, and for her parents, and for that poor child, too.
I would probably never speak to the sister of the husband again. I think it’s totally unreasonable of the parents to suggest all getting together as a family. When you have an affair with your sister’s husband, you’re choosing that man over your family. The sister made that choice, and it sucks for the parents who can’t have a whole, happy family, but their selfish daughter’s choices made things be that way.
KKZ December 13, 2012, 4:14 pm
It would be unreasonable to insist that they do, but to suggest it? As long as they respect her choice in the matter, I don’t fault them for at least bringing it up. I’m sure (assuming they are reasonable people) they didn’t expect her to be all rainbows and unicorns about it right away.
Jessibel5 December 13, 2012, 4:47 pm
Exactly. IF they insist on it, they’re jerks. However, I can see reasonable, rational people suggesting it in the hopes that maybe it could happen, but they also would have to respect her when she reasonably and rationally says “sorry, but I have thought long and hard about it and I just can’t do it” which she has every right to do.
mandalee December 13, 2012, 2:37 pm
I agree with Wendy’s advice completely. There are some things you can forgive and forget, but your sister deciding that it is A-OK to sleep with your husband and get knocked up and carry on without one thought, is just not one of them. I think the LW is confusing moving on with her life and thinking that has to include being cordial to her sister, ex husband and niece. It doesn’t need to. I agree that she needs to talk this over with therapist and work through this for her own happiness. Screw the sister and her family at this point.
I also think the LW’s are kind of shitty too, but I guess the sister picked it up from somewhere, right? I would expect her parents to respect her feelings if they had even a shred of compassion to what she went through at the hands of their other daughter, of all people. I mean, LW is not the home wrecker in this occasion, why on earth do they expect anything else from her?
Paleflor December 12, 2020, 11:48 am
Sadly the reason maybe she gave them their first grandchild
Moneypenny December 13, 2012, 2:46 pm
I’m curious how the sister feels about seeing the LW again. It seems like the mom is the one wanting to get the family together, and I’m definitely in the camp of staying away. I wonder if the sister has attempted to apologize, or get in touch, or see the LW? Regardless, I see no reason why the LW has to see her sister/ex again. Ever. I do agree that therapy would benefit her a lot, if only to help her find some peace. And I’d tell her mom, sorry, but there’s no way that that family will be one big happy unit again.
landygirl December 13, 2012, 2:50 pm
I saw this letter and didn’t like her answer either. The LW has no reason to forgive her sister.
Also if anyone is interested, Dear Prudence did an AMA on reddit last week, here’s a link if you want to read her responses…
Fabelle December 13, 2012, 2:53 pm
I am actually conflicted about this. It’s obviously a horrible betrayal, but it’s concerning to me that this woman buried her head so far in the sand after everything took place. So I do understand Prudie’s advice about letting the past 5 years trickle slowly, steadily into her consciousness until she’s no longer totally reeling from it. Also, maybe I’m an overly forgiving person, but if my sister (hypothetical sister, that is…which may be the factor affecting my response right now) did this to me, I’d probably be like, “Well, this is just too ridiculous to even wrap my head around, so—wish you two the best!”
Lindsay December 13, 2012, 3:16 pm
I read this when it was originally posted by Prudie and was really disturbed by her advice. I don’t think she has any obligation to smooth things over with her sister or her ex-husband, and I wouldn’t. What her sister and husband did are inexcusable. I think therapy would help her, since vomiting over something like that shows that she’s clearly affected by this a lot (as anyone would be), but I don’t think she’s “in denial.” I mean, if this were any other ex, her ceasing contact and knowledge of his life would be a POSITIVE thing — it’s not her fault that they’re her family and therefore not going away.
SixtyFour December 13, 2012, 3:45 pm
Anyone else thinking that they’re really glad their sister is gay and there’s no way the two of you could end up going for the same person?
CatsMeow December 13, 2012, 3:50 pm
I have a non-gay brother. So, yeah. 😀
csp December 13, 2012, 4:41 pm
I need to relay a counter story here which isn’t as sad as emjays. There was a couple that was very good friends with my parents. We will call them Dick and Jane. They were both married before and met because Dick’s first wife was best friends with Jane. They hung out as couples and went on vacations for years. Over the years Dick and Jane fell in love. They both ended thier marriages and Jane lost her best friend of 20 years. I am sure if Dick’s first wife would tell the story, it would be tragic and full of betrayal. But Dick and Jane were really in love and really happily married. So I read this letter. And I wonder if this is what happened to the Sister. She fell in love and they are together 6 years later. I know that six years isn’t alot. But sometimes I think you can’t help who you fall in love with.
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 4:47 pm
What you can help is who you betray. Finding a new mate while married is wrong. If Dick divorced and then got together with Jane, maybe I would think differently.
I generally find that people who say they can’t help who they fall in love with are people who are good at easing their own guilt for cheating on their spouse.
katie December 13, 2012, 4:50 pm
Eagle Eye December 13, 2012, 4:52 pm
Did you guys ever see the marriage announcement thing in the New York times a year? two years? ago, where a married couple left their respected spouses for one another and then had a big piece done in the Times.
It was very weird and it left a bad taste in my mouth…
I’ll try and go find it…
Eagle Eye December 13, 2012, 4:54 pm
Here it is
katie December 13, 2012, 4:59 pm
wow- i am amazed that they actually wanted that article to be published!
“yea, basically, i fell in love with him while still married, pinned away at him, destroyed my marriage, ect, but look now were married! cutting cake!”
i agree with sampson. gross. every way you look at it.
va-in-ny December 13, 2012, 5:26 pm
The Presidential Suite at the Mandarin? That’s like $20,000/night! Dang!
Ali December 14, 2012, 10:07 am
Wow that is so gross. Like, if it happened, okay. But don’t publish a story about it in the NYT congratulating yourself “for doing a terrible thing honorably.” You are a betrayer. You’re someone who made vows and then broke them so you could run off with someone else–so that you could be happier while taking away your spouse’s happiness. And then instead of respecting the pain they went through, you go and give an interview talking about how happy you are and how sorry you are for your sad, pathetic ex-spouses who just didn’t hold the same appeal for you as your new one. How great of you to excuse yourselves for being these “flawed, messy” examples for your kids. And how convenient never to mention that all you had to do to fix the “problem” of having someone “put in your path when you can’t have him” is to get off that path. Disgusting.
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 5:03 pm
I remember that! Yea, gross. Its like announcing Hey I’m an asshole, and just to prove that, I’m going to plaster my assholeishness all over the news to further upset my ex.
Eagle Eye December 13, 2012, 5:06 pm
Yeah, I mean, I guess I’m of the camp that there isn’t one person for everyone, so if you fall in love with someone and its inappropriate in any way, don’t be an asshole, you’ll find someone else, move on.
Desiree December 13, 2012, 9:22 pm
WEES. That “can’t help who you fall in love” with stuff might be a reasonable argument if a person’s worldview is that there is one soulmate for every person, because then it becomes some destiny rubbish. But, my view is that there are lots of good potential matches out there, so it’s silly to destroy someone else’s life to be with a particular person.
Eagle Eye December 14, 2012, 8:50 am
Hooray! My First WEES! This is a nice way to wake up on a Friday when my last paper for my semester is due!
lets_be_honest December 13, 2012, 5:19 pm
Some good comments in that article…
“Claiming credit for not having an affair while engineering the end to your marriage is like claiming credit for not speeding while driving drunk and causing an accident.”
GatorGirl December 14, 2012, 8:58 am
Pretty much the exact thing happened to my sisters 5th grade teacher. She went to a very small school with only two 5th grade classes and the two teachers “fell in love”, had an affair, then divorced their respective spouses and married each other. 8 years later they are still together. Oh and each teacher had a child in 5th grade at the time of the affair. It was a big scandal in our little school.
kerrycontrary December 13, 2012, 5:14 pm
WLBHS. You CAN help who you fall in love with. You stay away from that person. BOOM. done.
FireStar December 13, 2012, 7:48 pm
The thing is you don’t fall in love instantly. When you figure out you are starting to feel something you shouldn’t – take yourself out of the situation already.
csp December 14, 2012, 6:54 am
You are right about that. They were friends for decades. It happened after both marriages were in decline. These are older people not 20 somethings.
honeybeegood December 13, 2012, 10:25 pm
Yeah you can totally help who you fall in love with. It takes time and effort to fall in love. Unless you’re an emotionally stunted jerk-hole who “falls in love” with every dude/chick that shows the slightest interest in you. In that case you still shouldn’t divorce your wife for her sister but maybe write into DW for some insight into your jerk-holishness. It kills me that so many people can’t take responsibility for their actions.
Also how big of a jerk-hole do you have to be to get pregnant by your sisters husband while they are married!
csp December 14, 2012, 6:58 am
I find it is easy to say the world is black and white but it almost never is. So if you leave a rough marriage for a happy one, how long do you need to be in the new relationship before people say it might have been worth it. This couple has been together 35 years. Should they have just ignored each other and lived sad lives appart?
lets_be_honest December 14, 2012, 9:26 am
I think that’s just another easy defense, honestly. There are better ways to do it than to leave your spouse because you found someone better.
Its not a matter of proving that this new couple will end up together forever. My dad left my mom for another woman, who he’s now been married to for like a decade, maybe more. I think they are a better match than my parents were together. I really do. That still doesn’t make it right the way they went about getting together.
wendykh December 14, 2012, 1:48 pm
Agreed and it is utter BS you can’t help who you fall for. Total LIE. When you start feeling crushy, what you do is avoid that person, step back, and work on strengthening the bond with your partner. Or end your relationship if it’s done. What you do NOT do is have Deep Talks, Smile and Flirt time, go have cocktails, insert yourself into their life by getting involved in work or home improvement projects, go swimming with them or engage in other physical and/or barely clothed activities, and you never, ever, ever be alone with them. Funny, when you do that guess what happens? NO LOVE. The crush ends! Imagine!
Iwannatalktosampson December 13, 2012, 4:52 pm
Yeah sorry this is not a “feel good” story to me. It’s gross and wrong. You can’t help who you fall in love with but you can help what you do with those feelings. And betraying your best friend and your wife is gross. No matter which way you spin it. If they acted on it while they were both married I have zero sympathy. I have a slight bit of sympathy if they waited until they were fully divorced to act on it -but even then it’s icky.
csp December 14, 2012, 7:01 am
Its not meant to be a feel good story, it is a different perspective. I just find that there are very few terrible people in this world. There are more sad people in tough situations. They were each in thier first marriages for 15 years and in thier current one for 35 years. do you miss out on that kind of love and happiness based on a sense of loyalty?
Iwannatalktosampson December 14, 2012, 10:19 am
I consider marriage a little more than a sense of loyalty. Did they have an affair or did they leaven their spouses and then get together. That makes a difference to me. Were they honest from the get go? Or did they go behind their spouses backs for rendezvous? The problem with this scenario is that it probably wasn’t one betrayal. It was a thousand little betrayal’s that can ruin a person’s life and self esteem when they’re the one on the other side of that equation.
GatorGirl December 14, 2012, 10:22 am
All of this talk is making me think about Leanne Rhimes and that Eddie dude. They were seriously shady.
jlyfsh December 14, 2012, 10:31 am
yeah i would hope my husband is married to be and stays married to me for more than a sense of loyalty. if you’re no longer in love with someone, you have the balls to tell them and then choose to either work on your marriage or choose to divorce. there should be no cheating or what did the article from Eagle Eye say, something like causing the demise of your marriage.
EB December 13, 2012, 7:01 pm
Maybe it’s because I feel relatively confident that I could I live a happy life even without a life partner that for me it’s a no brainer- I would never pursue happiness if it doomed a beloved person in my life to unhappiness or worse to straight up misery. A spouse is just not a good enough trade off for ruining the life of someone that I care about.
Also, falling in love with someone does not equal them being your only chance at love. Seriously if it is sister/best friend’s husband, roll the dice, keep looking, and hope that you will find those same feelings in a different person down the road.
csp December 14, 2012, 7:15 am
See, I am madly in love with my husband. We are snuggly and cute and the last 10 years together have flown by. I think other people we know are always fighting and bickering. I know that I could live an ok life with other people, but we have gotten through some really hard life situations because our relationship is so solid and easy.
I would have done almost anything to be with him and love him. I didn’t have to but I could see how this could happen.
temperance December 13, 2012, 11:21 pm
I think that’s really, really sad, actually. I would judge them as people upon hearing that, because they devastated another person … and for what?
You *can* help who you fall in love with, actually. I’m committed to Mr. Temperance, and because of that, if I feel attracted to another person … I walk away and don’t spend time alone with them, because he is more important to me.
csp December 14, 2012, 7:07 am
It is sad. But I will tell you, these were happy, wonderful people. It was a tough situation. I wrote this above but they were each in thier marriages for 15 years and now have been married 35. Because the start was so ugly, it is just like you say, it is something that follows them. I am just trying to argue that sometimes it isn’t terrible trainwrecks but people who found themselves in a tough place.
Marcie December 14, 2012, 12:07 pm
No. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean you have to act on it.
Shyla February 9, 2013, 11:52 pm
Dick and Jane sound like sociopaths. They jilted their spouses and hooked up with each other so they did not have their lives devastated and uprooted. They were the inflictors of the pain. So, of course to them what they did to somebody else is no big deal. For you to support them and say that the sister and husband were correct in what they did suggests that you must be a sociopath also.
Paleflor December 12, 2020, 11:56 am
Sorry, but you can chose who you fall in love with. People need to stop with that lie to justify their crappy behavior
EL December 13, 2012, 11:43 pm
Ugh. It’s weird, a friend and I were talking about this letter after it ran in Dear Prudence. This is one situation where I completely understand cutting off all ties and saying “fuck you very much.” I try not to speak in absolutes about cheating most of the time, because I know a few decent enough people who made the very bad choice to cheat…but to cheat with your sibling’s spouse is beyond my comprehension. LW needs to get a therapist and learn how to cope with this betrayal (she clearly has not coped yet). She also needs to cut off the social media and tell her parents to back the hell off. I feel sorry for the poor kid when he/she finds out the truth, because you know it’s going to happen.
Ali December 14, 2012, 9:56 am
I am a huge Prudie fan, but I think she was kind of wrong here too. I agree with bittergaymark that the LW shouldn’t stay mad forever for her OWN well-being, but if she feels HURT forever and never wants to see her sister or ex again, I think that’s perfectly understandable and may even be the healthiest option. There is nothing to be gained by sitting at the same table and pretending that these two people aren’t some of the most disgusting things to every destroy their families. I don’t care what feelings existed there, the fact that sister went ahead and MARRIED this guy after getting pregnant by him is atrocious. Out of respect for her sister and parents, she should have broken it off with him and dealt with the consequences of single motherhood. These two people do not deserve to have a relationship with the LW–although I’m sure they would love to quell their guilt and try to act like one big happy family so they can forget the horrendous things they’ve done to the LW. And that’s the most disgusting thing of all–that instead of doing the right thing even once regarding this situation, the LW’s sister and ex think that the LW should once again take the shit end of the stick and suck it up. Her parents should do a little less pretending and a little more worrying about their one good daughter who is clearly still in the midst of emotional turmoil. Many commenters are wondering how the parents must be suffering in this situation–I don’t think anyone should give a sh!t: if they raised one disgraceful daughter with no morals and THAT is now the daughter whose feelings and desires they’re concerned with, it’s no wonder the LW is still feeling so damaged–she was probably in a bad state of mind before all this happened, and then had to deal with infertility, infidelity, divorce and the horrible aftermath of what happened with her sister without the support of her family. Who cares what the sister wants now? Just because she has a family doesn’t make her any more important or worthy of love than the LW–in fact, in light of how she got that family it makes her less worthy of love–and she’s already got a husband and kid as consolation prizes. She can afford to let her parents tend to the sister she wounded (and continues to wound) so deeply.
wendykh December 14, 2012, 1:43 pm
Letters like this make me glad I don`t have a sister.
Also, while I can KIND OF understand idiocy and sex happen, and deal with sister having an affair with the husband, (and husband having an affair with the sister… I mean he loves his wife right, or did at one time, it’s really not far fetched to think he might be into her sister) what I don’t get at ALL is why the sister didn’t quietly get an abortion instead of busting up her sister’s marriage. And for those who say the husband did, he wouldn’t have been in a position to do so had she chosen a quiet private abortion. If ever there is a time for an abortion, it’s when you’re knocked up with your sister’s husband’s baby.
My hunch is they fell in looooooove. Infertility is wretched on a couple, and cheating during that time more common than you’d think (when a spouse has cancer and other terminal illness too). It’s not because the cheater is a rat bastard, it’s because they’re acting out. Some people become drunks, or use drugs, or become total jerk and are angry and foul to everyone… and some shag their wife’s sister.
I am not a perfect person so I won’t say I wouldn’t have slept with my (non-existant) sisters husband… but having to explain to that child how daddy and auntie Sue used to be married and why auntie Sue won’t talk to me would have had me on the phone with the nearest abortion clinic asap. But my guess is these two tools think it was “meant to be.”
Shyla February 9, 2013, 11:46 pm
LW’s sister and ex-husband are really nasty creatures with no redeeming qualities in them as human beings. What I am really surprised by is how quickly her parents ended up accepting and condoning her sister’s dastardly deeds. Here, it seems to me that her parents too are really horrid creatures with no sense of values, ethics or basic decency. They should have cut off ties with the cheating sister and totally supported the one that was betrayed. Now, expecting her to be joining a Christmas dinner is just vile, disgusting and cruel. In this case the parents are just as nasty as the evil sister.
Cali February 10, 2013, 2:30 pm
If the Facebook photographs and updates are still hurtful (as they should be, I cannot imagine how one even recovers from such a stunning betrayal of trust), I would suggest staying away (permanently, if possible) from your ex-husband (brother-in-law *puke*) and sister, because family like that is NOT worth keeping in touch with.
At this point in your life, you should focus on surrounding yourself with posivity – including positive, loyal people and both your ex and sister have proven themselves to be neither. Having any interaction with them will only open old wounds for no reason (other than perhaps your parents’ happiness), because they clearly have nothing of value to offer to your life.
The only, ONLY reason why you should ever have any contact with these two is if your sister AND your ex reach out with apologies. And even then, all I suggest you do is clear the air and then try to move on separately with your life (but sometimes, it’s nice to have closure by knowing how and why something happened, even if the truth is ugly and painful).
What your sister and ex-husband did is unforgivable and unacceptable. It seems they have gone happily with their lives, but take comfort in knowing that people like that always get their due.
pam June 8, 2017, 9:17 am
can you please tell me how this woman is doing now? is she at peace? did she join therapy? did she talk to the whore of a sister?
Anonymous August 16, 2019, 2:58 pm
Yes like Pam it would be nice to know if LW is able to feel she has over come this terrible experience and can live her life again she has my deepest sympathy.
Anonymous November 13, 2019, 2:05 am
Omg, I feel so horrible for LW. Talk about the ultimate betrayal. LW might consider going to the dinner and ripping her sister and ex apart in front of their parents. They should look her in the eyes and apologize for their actions and all the distress. After receiving the apology, I would then work on letting go of the anger and truly moving on. Definitely let it all out the pain and hurt out and direct it at the perpetrators. Also LW should realize that she deserves so much better and cut off her toxic family and surround herself with people who want her to be happy and find love with a good decent man who will treat her like a prize. Happiness is the BEST revenge.