I am happily married with kids and enjoying being a wife and mom at the same time. My married life is not perfect, but my husband and I have this bond that no matter what happens, we will always be there for each other.
I am writing you for someone else’s problem.
We found out during the wake of my dad that he had a second family. I was then 34 years old. I thought that, with maturity, the pain I felt will be buried with my dad as well. I didn’t realize that moment was just the start of my sufferings.
I felt a lot of hate, anger, disappointment, frustration, and any pathetic word you can think of. I changed as a person, and drowned myself with questions which took years for me to accept that they will no longer be answered.
This whole brouhaha is happening all over again. My husband’s brother is going through the same situation as my father’s. He is also having a second family.
All my husband’s siblings and their spouses know about it, except my brother-in-law’s wife and kids. All the siblings are planning to talk to their errant brother because they know exactly what will happen in the end.
My husband confronted him once. But the situation has become more complicated because my brother-in-law now has a kid with the other woman.
Is it right to meddle in his problem? We’re afraid that when his own family finds out, there’ll be more pain. I can see myself in his children—that they, too, will suffer the same horrible experience I’ve been through.
I’ve learned my lesson that it is better to forgive someone who is still alive than somebody who is no longer around.
This is catch-22! It’s damn if you do, damn if you don’t—a truly messy problem, to say the least. And there is no right or wrong answer here. Either way, it’s going to be bad. So, what to do in a no-win situation?
Since Holy Week is almost here, you can probably do a Pontius Pilate and wash your hands off the whole matter—as he did to Jesus Christ. But the problem won’t disappear, as all Pilate did was walk away from the problem. You would still not have solved anything, much less assuage the heaviness in your heart.
It’s a given how learning of your father’s affair, when you were 34, would batter you emotionally. Discovering the awfulness of it all after his death and not be able to give him a piece of your mind is one loose end that’ll haunt you for life. It explains clearly how you desperately want to spare this family from going through the same trauma.
Your husband, who may have already confronted his brother about this affair, could unwittingly have made it worse since a son even came out of it. This shows how your brother-in-law dislikes being meddled with, or, more than any of you have even expected, is really into this woman.
If this is the case, you’d undoubtedly want to push your concern, engage in this mess and straighten it out.
Ask your husband to talk firmly to his brother again. Let him know that he will not be smoked out if he’d lay out all his cards before his wife, without any of his siblings’ intervention.
Tell this brother-in-law that your loyalties are definitely first to him, but it’s non-negotiable that his siblings will allow his family to endure the pain of his disloyalty to them! His children are your blood, too!
Let honesty prevail. If blood is drawn—so to speak in this confrontation—so be it. But better now, when everyone will have time to move on, write the new chapters in their lives, and start the healing process immediately, than later when only harsh words and unspeakable memories will be left. Despite the hurt that will surely prevail all around, allow time to work.
Time has that uncanny way of easing and softening anger and hatred—in mind and heart. It grants forgiveness as well, even in the messiest, bloodiest, and rotten situations.
E-mail the author at emarcelo @inquirer.com.ph or emarcelo629 @gmail.com