Re: In love with my sister’s hubby
Right now, he is more of a shrink (doctor) to you; getting you through your tough times.
Studies have shown that every female had one time or the other believed she was in love with her shrink doctor. It goes this way: You start seeing him as a protector, then a lover, as it is in women’s DNA to always be in love with men who stand for them, their heroes.
In the United States (US), that is why a doctor (shrink)/patient relationship is forbidden for a period of one year after their sessions stopped, meaning after the doctor stops treating the patient. And it goes both ways.
Both patient and doctor might struggle with the ‘being in love thing,’ it doesn’t just stop with the patient.
-Zainab Ibrahim Baiwa
I suggest you press the yellow button and prepare to parachute to the wasteland below. I am not saying it is 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 is not surprising that you have fallen for your BIL. At a time when your family seems unable to talk openly about the rough year you have had and the difficulties you are 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 cannot 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 am 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 are not with a therapist, search the Irish Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists for a local practitioner.
It sounds like your sister’s marriage is indeed under strain, with hints of some toxic power-playing.
It is common for the faithful partner, on exposing an affair, to experience depression, anxiety, intense shame, guilt and raging anger, all of which is likely 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 unlikely, 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 that 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.
One, 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.
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