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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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My sister in law is breaking up our ted marriage. She

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my sister in law is breaking up our ted marriage. She competes with me and shows that she can be a better wife, even thought its her brother. The last straw was when I found an email to my husband from a woman who was thanking him for lunch and dessert and saying she was excited about their future plans of being together. Also, that she was going to show him how a real wife treats her man. I did not tell him what I found. I left with my daughter and served him with divorce papers. I then find out that his sister had written him that email as a "joke"! I find the whole thing disturbing since we had fought really bad before the email about his sisters meddling and possesive behavior.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 7 years ago.


I'll tell you what, the whole notion of a sister acting that way with her brother is disturbing indeed. But look, if that email led you to such decisive action even in the face of his arguments that he did nothing wrong tells me that there were many problems with this marriage even before the email was discovered. In healthy marriages, the wife would have absolutely been shocked and devastated, but if given a chance to explain/defend himself, the truth would have come out and repair could have been possible. It sounds as though this email was the straw that broke the camel's back, and that you were finally able to leave a bad situation.

I applaud your entering counseling, as you can absolutely learn to build better boundaries and to communicate better with the people on your life who are closest to you without feeling as though your needs/concerns are being ignored.

If you are satisfied with the response, please hit "Accept." That is the only way I can receive credit for my answer. Thanks-

Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for replying. Indeed there were many problems. I had found out that he had been unfaithful once before we were married. I found a year later after he had stopped seing the woman but were still working together.(By the that time we were married and we had our daughter). He admitted to it and said it was nothing serious and that he regretted it. I gave him another chance and it took a while to build the trust but things appeared to go okay. Unfortunatly before that the problem was his family meddling since we got married and I was pregnant. My mother in law wanted say in what our curtains were going to be. (something as petty as that!)After my daughter was born she also meddled. She did not want to babysit which was fine then complained when my mother babysat because she did not get to spend time with the baby. And when she did she would call right away that she was tired. They would always make remarks that I took their son away, that I took their brother away. They did not like that I set limits and rules. They complained that I was antisocial and rigid. I was also working and going to grad school. Before I decided to take an unpaid internship for this year I spoke with my husband and made sure that it was ok financially. He was all for it and said he supported my decision. He quit his job in Decemeber without speaking to me about it. When I tried to a express my concerns he became upset and felt "pressured" by me.I backed off and just offered my moral support on his job hunts. So apearantly he had been feeling that I should have gotten a weekend job, since I wasnt paying bills and money was tight. He was also upset that I did not do much around the house (clean, cook etc). I admit I am not susy homemaker especially since I was busy writing reports for school and internship (school psychologist), but I definitly tried what I could. But more important was to spend as much quality time with my daughter. Then is when his family comes in. They instigate that I am lazy and a slob and that I do not do anything. (Our culture also influences us) And that I should get a job to help with the bills. He of course listens to these people who cant even practice what they preach and lead such a disorganized life. So prior to the second email from the supposed woman, he and I got into a major fight about him participating with his sisters immature pettiness. I had told him I had just had enough. He replied that things are not going to change and that is how his siter is. And that when we split up I was going to see "how he and sister could really be". I perceived that as a threat. The cops were called and everything. After all that finding the email which did brake the camels back I left. He did not know that was the reason that set things off. When I wrote to the "woman" a few days later his sister responded to let me know it was her. He then realized my reason for leaving. He now tells me that he realizes what a mistake he has made and did not realize he made me feel the way I had wriiten to the "woman". He also did not realize that email had been from his sister so he did not give it any thought. He also appeared shocked that his sister would write something like that and with so much detail that pertained to him. He says he is ready to make a change. I have not moved back with him although he wants me to. i do not want to fall a 2nd time. I want to make sure he is serious. We are going to start marriage cnsling, and he indiv cnsling and continue living apart.
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 7 years ago.

Wow... a lot of history there. Take care of yourself, okay? I wish you the best-

Dr. Steve

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