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She cheated with her brother in law for 10 years

Community Member

Hi first time poster, thanks in advance for any advice.

I just did discovered a few days ago my wife of 30 years has had a long term relationship with her brother in law. I think for 10+ years. I am absolutely heart broken and experiencing the full gambit of emotions plus physical symptoms not eating, not sleeping and confusion.

I found out by finally having the guts to address the issue. I expected somethingwas up, so I looked at her phone a few days ago. She has been deeply in love with him and talks to him almost daily. I have had my issues over the last few year's, health wise I put on a lot of weight and mentally I have struggled with addiction. But in the last two years I no longer abuse substances and I have got fit and healthy again and lost the weight.

I can see she has started to pull away from him and taking a new interest in me. I am so conflicted and confused now. I know she will say i changed and it's my fault so am mentally prepared to not accept that narrative. I also think if she wasn't happy with me she could have talked to me and supported me instead of running into his arms.

So it's her brother in law...i think this type of affair is the worst kind because it's emotional, physical and in the family. Her sister is very successful and the have two children one with special needs, he's a keped man, attractive, the life of the party and I have always thought a player. He's prayed on her weakness and groomed her in my opinion.

What can I do, I know there will be varing opinions? I haven't outed them yet, I haven't spoken to her yet... It's just so difficult for me. I love her like no one else, I can't imagine life without her. We have two adult children who need us and I will destroy her sisters family not to mention the special needs child.

I almost want to see where this leads to see if she does in fact end it, then confront her....or if she continues I will just out them. I know it's hard to image staying with her but it's how I feel in my heart... I had my issues for a few years did I push her away. For clarity I never cheated on her, I have never hit or abused her in any way... I am a good man who had to work very hard to raise my family.. I resented her for not working I had to travel a lot to make better money, that started the downward spiral for me...i wish she had of just discussed it with me instead of running to him.

The next step for me is so difficult to face I have just got my life, career and mental health back on track.

8 Replies 8

Dear DDs,
Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members. This is a safe space to share and express your own feelings, struggles and experiences without judgement.
Finding out about a spouse’s infidelity can be exceedingly difficult and we can only imagine the added stress of it being within the extended family. We would advise continuing to seek advice from multiple avenues to aid with your decision. Have you spoken to anyone in a professional capacity?
We have a few numbers and links that we have provided for you, we encourage you to contact and engage with any of these services that you may feel comfortable with. By contacting these services and speaking directly with a counsellor, it will allow you to provide more detailed information and receive advice that specific to your situation and current dilemma.
If you need more immediate contact, please use our Beyond Blue support service 24/7, either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
The lovely supportive counsellors at Relationships Australia offer advice and support to anyone who has been through relationship difficulties or infidelities, like this and may be able to provide specific recommendations, or resources for your situation. You can contact them on 1300 364 277 or visit them online at https://relationships.org.au
We would also recommend checking out MensLine Australia at https://mensline.org.au/ or via phone on 1300 789 978. This is for you to check in and engage with a service for your mental wellbeing if you wish to, as we acknowledge you need to consider your mental health, not just the decision ahead of you.
We hope that you find the support and direction that you are seeking on the forums. Once again, we are so glad you have joined the forums and we hope that you feel welcomed into the community.  
Warm regards
Sophie M

Community Member

Thank you Sophie, I appreciate the warm welcome and information

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello DDs, it's possible we can become complacent when we've been married for 30 years, but the two of you should be able to talk about any problems, all depending on how your relationship has been going, but as you had put on a lot of weight and mentally have struggled with addiction, the siuation may have been tenuous.

Now that you have lost weight and stopped using the substance she has now again come back to you, that's a benefit for you, but I wonder what's going to happen in 3 or 6 months time.

You only worked away to benefit the prospects of your family and didn't expect this to ever happen, however, there is something that needs to be talked about with a mediator or a counsellor so it won't happen again.

Best wishes.


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I have a lot to say about your situation.

I agree with Geoff- can you trust her again and what will be the situation in 3-6 months time or 5 years even? It's an impossible question to ask, in effect you will always be looking over your shoulder trying to account for her time away from you and wanting to search her phone. I stress however, it's your call.

I'm interested in some comments you made.

"health wise I put on a lot of weight and mentally I have struggled with addiction.." I'm pleased you turned that around but you say this as if you have some blame in why she had an affair. You are not to blame and blaming yourself is not helping your confusion it's fuelling it. "she could have talked to me and supported me instead of running into his arms" Yes, yes.

"He's prayed on her weakness and groomed her in my opinion." Again this is where your confusion reigns. I'm focussing on this confusion as it is your enemy currently. An affair for over 10 years but he "groomed her"? I've always believed the one in the middle is more to blame than the outsider to the marriage. If that guy was a single guy outside the family would his "grooming" her be some level of justifying her behaviour?

"I love her like no one else" I'm sure you do.

"I will destroy her sisters family not to mention the special needs child." A separation/divorce doesnt mean the truth needs to become public.

"I had my issues for a few years did I push her away" Guilt is not your friend

"I am a good man" absolutely

"The next step for me is so difficult to face I have just got my life, career and mental health back on track." Let's talk about that.

Let's assume you leave. Is it the end of the world? Having had 3 failed long term relationships (one ex wife with two adult kids) and 2nd marriage of 11 years and happy now, I can say that life can be great post separation. The process- hurt, grief, anger then a turn around to seek a new life is inevitable. The fear is worse than the process. Eventually you find a new direction- hobbies, sports (supporting a team), interests all come into play not forgetting friendships.

To assist further, below is a few threads, just read the first post of each.



There is no denying your challenges and you are facing your confusion. We are here for you.


Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member


I am very sorry that you now find yourself in such a difficult situation. I have been married over 30 years and when I put myself in your shoes I can imagine the enormity of your pain and the complexity of the situation. Two immediate thoughts come to mind.

First off, I want to congratulate you on your success getting your life, career and mental health back on track. In my view, whatever you do next must be in your best interests and help to protect your significant gains. You need to put yourself first.

Secondly, please know that none of this is your fault. Your wife is responsible for her decisions and choices. The challenges you experienced in the past are not an excuse for infidelity.

No one can make this decision for you. But I think we both know that at some stage you will need to discuss this with your wife.

You’ve got the advantage of time because no one knows you know. This means you can really think about what you want and then plan how to approach the discussion. If you can seek mental health support now to help you prepare and to safeguard against a potential future slide I think it would be helpful.

Kind thoughts to you

Community Member

thank you Tony - you are right if course I am very confused and I am greaving. She has broken my trust i know deep down that will be a major challange to overcome. I need time and luckely she is away for a week so i can get my head straight.

this helps give me prospective thank you.

Community Member
Thank you Summer, this helps a lot. There is no excuse right.

Community Member
Hi Geoff's thank you for the wise words. I agree and its the bigest thing playing on my mind, how could i trust again dispite overwealming feelings of love. I need time to process and heal before making that decision if at all.