I’m having a hard time ascertaining if my brother is coveting someone else’s wife. Here’s the story:
My brother met a married woman at a religious conference. She was inquisitive about our faith so they kept in contact. They developed a friendship over the upcoming months. I noticed he started to change: he lost weight, he became more interested than ever in the Italian language (she’s Italian), he was more frequently occupied with texting her. Our father passed away around two months ago and now he has become very attached to her because they share each other’s burdens. She has great conflicts with her husband (she has contemplated suicide several times). My brother’s friends were not very supportive as my father was drawing near to the end of his life. She was the only one that supported him. Now they text/talk to each other every day. He travels interstate to see her every three weeks or so.
My brother and this woman have admitted to me if she wasn’t married they definitely would have considered getting married. But because she is married they decided to be like brother and sister. We talked to a priest, the priest advised it was not a violation against the 9th commandment on the assumption there are no impure thoughts associated with this friendship. I don’t know if he’s entirely right. I see his thoughts are with her more than he should through his actions e.g. daily text messaging, constantly comparing her to my mother and her support when all others abandoned him etc. Isn’t the longing to spend time with a married woman still a violation if it gets out of hand even if it weren’t sexual?
I‘m happy to hear people’s thoughts on this…