My Husband Had Sex With My Sister

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Art by Ariana Nouri

Art by Ariana Nouri

Dear Doctor Life Advice,

My husband had sex with my sister five years ago. Now, all of sudden, every time we have sex he wants to act it out on me.  She just started coming around again when I’m not around. Do you think they are back at it again?

Signed:  Concerned Wife

 

 

 

Dear Concerned Wife,

I am so sorry you are going through this. This is a horrible situation as both your married family as well as your original family is involved. Honestly, I think whether or not your husband and your sister are “back at it again” is not even the main issue. There are a few more fundamental and very serious issues that I am going to address individually below.

Your Husband’s Behaviors are Cause for Serious Concern

Cheating in a marriage is common and happens often. It is almost never the cause of a troubled marriage, but a symptom of a marriage that is in trouble. Your husband cheated on you and got away with it. Even worse, he cheated on you with your sister. Now, he wants to re-live the experience either through you, or your sister, or even both.

I can only explain your husband’s behavior in one of two ways: 1- your husband is really proud of the fact that he had sex with your sister and wants to remind you of it constantly, or 2- your husband has an inkling of guilt about what he did, and he’s trying to make it normal by getting you to act it out with him, therefore getting your “permission” that it was, and may still be alright for him to have sex with your sister.

I am highly suspicious that your husband is abusive towards you. Instead of apologizing to you for his outrageous behavior, he’s asking you to repeat it with him. That is, assuming he is not already repeating it with your sister. This sort of behavior from your husband will have all kinds of emotionally abusive effects on you. For one, he’s telling you that your sister is more sexually attractive than you. He’s telling you that he prefers to have sex with your sister rather than you. I don’t know in what other ways he is putting you down, but if he is behaving this way, I am almost sure that there are many other ways in which he is emotionally oppressing and abusing you.

I don’t have enough information to tell you how pathological your husband is, but I can tell you based on the little that you’ve told me that your husband does not have a very good moral compass. I’m basing my judgement on the fact that he acted in an extremely hurtful manner towards you, and he does not seem to be at all remorseful about it. If he has ever been physically abusive or threatening towards you, just get out of the marriage as fast as you can. If he has never been physically abusive, and you don’t know whether he’s been emotionally abusive, answer the following questions for yourself. The more questions that you say yes to, the more likely it is that your husband is emotionally abusive.

  • Does he tell you outright that he prefers your sister to you?
  • Does he swear at you and/or call you names such as “whore?”
  • Does he use the ‘F’ word when referring to you in any way?
  • Does he tell you that you are fat, ugly, unattractive, etc.?
  • Does he tell you that he’s disgusted by you?
  • Do you ever do things to avoid getting berated by him?
  • Are you afraid of him?
  • Does he ever tell you that no one else will ever love you?
  • Has he ever blocked your way physically when you’ve tried to walk out from a fight?
  • Do you feel like you need to ask his permission before you do anything other than the normal daily routine activities?
  • Does he try to control who your friends are and how often you socialize with them?
  • Did you lose touch with a lot of your friends after you started dating, or married your husband?
  • Do you have to give a report to your husband of what you’ve done and where you’ve been all day?

The list of questions is endless, but if you said yes to more than two of the questions above, then you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship and you need to get out. Find yourself a therapist, find a woman’s shelter, do whatever it takes. If you have kids, find a shelter that accepts kids. I know I may be jumping the gun here. This is because in my experience, I know that a man who has the capacity to do what he is doing can be a very abusive man.

 

You Remain Married to your Husband and your Sister Still Comes Around

I believe what happened between your husband and your sister is in most cases unforgivable. Even worse, your husband wants to continue to relive the experience, and your sister wants to continue to be around your husband. There are many couples that move forward after one has been unfaithful to the other, but a lot of work goes into recovering from such a trauma to the relationship. I understand that you may have decided to forgive your husband originally, as hard as it may have been for you. The forgiveness, however, seems to have made the impression to your husband that he has not done anything wrong. Answer the following questions to understand better where the thinking of yourself, your husband, and your sister lies:

  • Did you communicate to him how his behavior affected you?
  • Did you two seek couple’s therapy to learn healthy ways to move forward from the infidelity?
  • Did you ever have a chance to communicate to your husband how hurtful and wrong his actions were?
  • Did he acknowledge that what he did was wrong and sincerely apologize?
  • Did you seek support from your friends and family?
  • Did you get the support you needed, or did they just tell you to live with it and move on?
  • Did you seek the help of a therapist to process your feelings?
  • Did you have a genuine talk with your sister and tell her how her actions affected you?
  • How did you go through the process of forgiving your sister?

If you didn’t get the support and validation that you needed, then I would worry that your reality gradually switched to believing that your husband’s and sister’s behaviors were alright.

Based on the way your husband and your sister are acting right now, my guess is that your husband is either actively having sex with your sister, or having you act it out because what he really wants is to have sex with your sister. Neither of these are alright. I think after the affair, when you decided to stay with him for five years, your sense of reality gradually shifted over time to the point that you are conflicted about whether or not what your husband and sister are doing right now is alright.

Please refer to my older post on Gas-lighting. I have a patient that tells me to write more on this phenomenon because she believes it happens more often than I think. From the questions that I have been getting, I’m starting to understand she’s right! The fact that you’re writing to me states you are struggling with what is going on and are not sure where your reality lies.

If you wish to continue your marriage with your husband there are things you can do right now:

  1. See a lawyer right away and see where you stand financially and in terms of child support if you have children. You need to know what your rights are in case your husband starts threatening and scaring you with lies. A lot of times in my practice I see spouses who begin to realize that their behavior is threatening their marriage. Instead of stopping the behavior, they begin to make threats and lies about what will happen to their spouse if he or she left the marriage. Don’t let your husband do this to you. Arm yourself with knowledge of what your rights to prevent him from intimidating or scaring you.
  2. Forbid your sister from coming around ever again. She is not worthy of your trust. She has had sex with her own sister’s husband, and she’s coming around him when you’re not there. Whether or not she is having sex with your husband now is irrelevant, she’s already crossed enough boundaries as it is.
  3. Tell your husband that any contact between him and your sister is extremely damaging to your marriage and you may have to leave the marriage if he continues to insist on seeing her.
  4. Absolutely refuse to sexually act out the role of your sister with your husband under any circumstances. Better yet, don’t have sex with your husband until you get help from a good couple’s therapist.
  5. Seek out and find a good couple’s therapist, discuss the whole situation with the therapist and your husband. If your husband refuses to go, leave him; he’s not worth your marriage if he’s not willing to put the work into keeping it healthy.
  6. Seek out an individual therapist. Your reality may be a bit foggy given your husband’s behavior. You need someone to run the daily events by and make sure that your husband and your sister are not trying to alter your reality for you.

Your Sister has some Serious Issues

Consider what kind of a sister would have sex with her sibling’s husband! Unless he raped her, in which case she should not be coming around, there really is no excuse for what she did. The fact that she is still coming around tells me that she also is not remorseful about what happened. Really ask yourself why you have forgiven your sister. Ask your sister why she would do such a thing to you. I am guessing that it comes from some sort of jealousy or some hidden anger towards you that she sought revenge on by hurting you in a deeply harmful way.

  • Have you been raised by a family that states siblings all need to stick together no matter what? If so, did they tell you that sleeping with your sibling’s spouse is alright and falls under the “no matter what” umbrella?
  • Are your parents still alive, and if so, do they know what has happened? If they are alive and still don’t know, talk to them about it and see what they think.
  • Have you kept your husband and your sister’s affair secret from people? If so, why? Who are you protecting by keeping this information secret?
  • Who is your support system? You sound pretty alone in this. See below:

You Need a Good Support System and Someone who Validates you

Again, as I said above, you sound alone. You are concerned about whether or not your husband is having sex with your sister again, even though what has already happened is cause enough for concern and even divorce. The fact that you’re staying in this marriage and tolerating your husband’s and your sister’s behaviors to the extent that you are tells me that you are not sure about what is and is not right.

You need to find a good support system. Do you have friends? If so, it’s time to reach out to them. If not, find support groups in your community. There are support groups in churches and community Centers. In the area I live in, there are support groups for anything you can possibly think of. Look in the Yellow Pages, Google “Support Groups” in your area, and ask around. Sometimes your primary care physician is a good place to start. Sometimes even neighbors may be able to give you tips on where to find a therapist. Don’t let yourself get isolated. When you’re isolated, people can mess with your reality. Find your strength and stand your ground. What you are being forced to live through right now is not alright by any means.

 

Again, I’m so sorry that you’re living in this nightmare right now. Get help, and get it now. If at all possible, get out of your married home first and then seek help. This will give your husband the message that you are serious and that he needs to work on the marriage rather than chasing his sexual fantasies – or outright cheating. See if you can go stay with some friends or family (other than your cheating sister) for a while. If you are afraid of your husband, find shelters for battered women. These places keep your whereabouts confidential so he won’t be able to find you. Please, write back and let me know how things turn out for you. I hope I didn’t scare you too much; I do want you to know how wrong things are the way they are right now and that you have every right to be concerned.

Take good care,

Doctor Life Advice



4 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    It is painful for me to read this as I went though a similar situation with my sister and ex-husband. Initially I blamed my sister for it, because that was the only way to stay in the marriage. But over time I could not let it go, I could never trust my ex-husband with her or any woman. He ended up having an affair with a girl who looked just like my sister. We divorced. My relationship with my sister has never been the same. It was a forbidden subject. Once I tried to speak to her about it to apologize for exposing her to an abusive man because in my mind that was the only way this could have happened. My sister defended him expressing all of the positive things she learned from him. I realized then that she was just as much responsible for the affair as he was, and her betrayal was incomprehensible, inexcusable. My ex-husband was extremely abusive, sexually and psychologically. But I can let that go and have forgiven myself for having gotten into an abusive relationship. He is gone and out of my life for good. I am now married to a kind and loving man who has excellent boundaries. We have 3 kids, a beautiful family, and I am happy. Even though it has been over 16 years since my ex-husband had an affair with my sister, I cannot get over my sister’s betrayal. It remains incomprehensible, inexcusable, and reprehensible. Our relationship will never be the same.

    I strongly urge you to start individual therapy as this provided me with the strength to get out and move forward with my life. You deserve so much more.

  2. Posted September 13, 2014 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Thanks for finally writing about >My Husband
    Had Sex With My Sister – Doctor Life Advice
    <Liked it!

  3. Posted May 28, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    It hart for me to forget what he did with my sister

  4. Jennet Johnson
    Posted September 7, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Cheaters will always cheat,all you need is to confront them with a cleared evidence. My husband has been doing a lot behind me which i don’t know about but thanks to Media lord for helping me hacking his phone for knowing all he has been doing behind me, if you need someone to help you here, (hackingloop @ g m a i l.c o m) he offer lots of hacking services, website database hack, phone cloning hack, telegram hack, topping credit score, background checks and surveillance, access to social networks, school servers, i cloud and much more, vibe r chats hack, Facebook messages and yahoo messenger, calls log and spy call recording, monitoring S M S text messages remotely, cell phone GPS location tracking, spy on Whats app Messages.he is really a cyber genius, tell him i refereed you.(hackinloop6 @ g m a i l.c o m)his service is prove before payment.

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About Doctor Life Advice

Doctor Beheshti

I am a compassionate and well trained psychiatric doctor, and I spend my days talking to others and helping them with their daily issues and problems. I have come to understand that all of us, regardless of our backgrounds and our life stories - every one of which is unique - share similar wants and needs.

I love my job which allows me to hear unique stories and help each of my clients individually. Although I cannot take the place of your doctor, I would love to hear your story too and perhaps provide some advice that will be useful to you, as well as others that will benefit from your story.

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Doctor Life Advice is written and maintained by Sayeh Beheshti, M.D., M.A., a private practice psychiatrist in Newport Beach, CA.


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