Brother-in-law having an affair and it’s destroying SO many relationships in the family

This is LOOOONG, so I’m cutting into 3 posts. Bear with me. I’m VERY upset and I’m all over the map.

So my brother-in-law is divorcing his wife of 16 years whom he has 3 daughters with (15, 6, & 3yrs) plus 2 miscarriages. He is now living in his parents/my in-laws’ swanky guesthouse after stealing his “best friend’s” wife. Thankfully the “best friend” has no children. The best friend/the mistress’ husband moved out of his home so she and my brother-in-law spend all their time in the day under her husband’s roof since he moved out. She doesn’t work & She has no children so i don’t understand why he moved into an apt and allowed her to stay in the house…but that’s not my concern…

Here’s where my frustration lies- with my motherinlaw and father-in-law whom I’ve known since i was a teen. for 22 years to be precise. In a way, they’re like fallen heroes to me. I’m not sure if my frustration is reasonable or if it’s the type of situation where I need to “mind my own business”. My mother & father-in-law law are disappointing me as much as my brother-in-law if not more. They are members of the Holy Family Institute and are really involved with the church and constantly preach about and pray for family unity and peace but always turn a blind eye and/or blame others when one of their adult children does something wrong. It’s always been this way with them— It’s easier to swallow in some situations than others though. The treatment and rejection of my sisterinlaw (my bro in law’s wife) is just too much for me.

The victim shaming and bashing is where I draw the line. They wont even acknowledge his ongoing affair with his best friend’s wife and say “we choose to believe our son” even though there’s a PI report and everyone KNOWS. My narcissistic bro in law is a pathological liar and has always been. His youngest sister was is first victim of his narcissistic emotional abuse. Now his wife is his current victim. He slanders her to try and justify his leaving her. And last year he drove her to depression that got so bad he put her in a mental institution for a week because she wanted to kill herself. She was never depressed or medicated before. NEVER. He gaslighted and projected and verbally and emotionally abused her and lied to her SO MUCH for 2 years that he drove her to want to kill herself. She knew she shouldn’t, so she would go to Mass constantly to try and drown out what she called “dark thoughts” and she would call me to sit with her to keep her from listening to the dark thoughts. Once the children were home from school she’d assure me she wouldn’t hurt herself with the children at home. She’d immediately throw herself into playing a board game with them to distract herself from the dark thoughts and to seem happy for the girls. She’s totally better now. That was back in March and she’s been in weekly therapy since then to make sure she stays healthy. They medicated her too :angry:…makes me so mad that a perfectly stable woman and mother is now medicated pretty heavily because her narcissistic husband wanted to break her and taint her image so he could blame his affair on her!

Okay. But what are you asking? Just support your sister and nieces and accept that there will always be folk acting in ways that you don’t understand.


It sounds like she’s way better off without him at least. People like him are way difficult to deal with; its a mental illness of sorts. His parents are a real mess themselves, quite weak, and that may explain a lot about why he is the way he is. Anyway, sin and injustice reign in this fallen world and she just needs to look out for her own well-being and that of her children.

You do you.

It doesn’t matter what your BIL’s parents do. It doesn’t matter what your BIL does. She’s actually much better off without him. If she needs a witness as a respondent to divorce papers or annulment proceedings, be a witness for her and the truth.

I’d ignore him and stay away from all of them. Narcissists don’t change. We have one in my family, my step brother, and my dad maintains contact out of devotion to my late step mother. He wants me (and my other brothers) to have contact also, and I tell him “no”. Dad doesn’t like it, but he’s not the boss of me and has to accept that I make the rules for me.


While no doubt your brother in law (based of what you written) sounds potentially selfish etc, I think you are being too emotionally invested in the situation.
It’s best not to be affected to this level, or consumed by others behaviour unless the person is in the situation themselves.

Ideally, I would just be a supportive friend to your brother in laws wife, be caring and there for her if she’s wants to talk, give her comfort and sympathy but try not to get too involved or confuse/project feelings etc.

If he’s that bad, then like other posters mentioned, she’s probably better without him in her life.

Your mother and father in laws behaviour might seem disappointing, but it’s really only an issue directly for your brother in laws wife.
It’s not so about minding own business but about having a level headed response to their situation.
While it’s natural to not want to see her hurt, try not to be excessive about it. His behaviour is ultimately his own responsibility.
By not getting too caught up in it all, you will be in a clearer place to provide emotional support to your friend:)

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