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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Concerned Sister Asks Chicago Tribune: How do I Handle Knowing that My Brother-in-Law had a Girlfriend in Secret before he Got a Divorce?

Concerned Sister Asks Chicago Tribune: How do I Handle Knowing that My Brother-in-Law had a Girlfriend in Secret before he Got a Divorce?


A concerned sister in Chicago wrote in to Ask Amy last week to ask a sensitive and pressing question: what to do with the knowledge when a person finds out their recently-divorced sibling-in-law was unfaithful in their previous marriage. “Don’t Want to be Judgmental” inquired to the Chicago Tribune advice columnist, “My husband’s brother and his wife announced about a year ago they had irreconcilable differences; they divorced after a long loveless marriage…[a]bout a month later, my brother-in-law introduced us to his new girlfriend. I was initially very happy that he had found someone new who really seemed to fit into the family dynamic better than his ex. But then his new girlfriend reached out on Facebook. I accepted her request…[t]hat’s when I realized that she and my brother-in-law had been in a relationship for at least five years.” The concerned sister-in-law then went on to explain that she wants to maintain a friendly relationship with her brother-in-law and his family, but she is not sure exactly how, knowing that he effectively was unfaithful in his marriage. Finally, “Don’t Want to be Judgmental” asked, “Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to keep this relationship friendly?”

A Chicago Tribune Advice Columnist’s Take: No One Knows what Goes on in Another Couple’s Marriage and Divorce

In response to the concerned sister-in-law’s inquiry, Ask Amy replied “No one knows what goes on in another couple’s marriage, but my observation is that even long and loveless marriages can hang on until another potential partner enters the scene, which often serves as the impetus for the couple to finally separate. Generally, when a separated or very recently divorced person introduces another partner to the family very quickly after parting with the spouse, it’s a sign that the new person has been on the scene for a while.” Ask Amy went on to advise, “The girlfriend’s public [Facebook] posts indicate that there is an overall lack of shame regarding the relationship, and whether this is because they are actually shameless or perhaps reacting to a much more complicated personal situation remains to be seen. It’s really none of your business, but if you are curious, you could ask – but I suggest you work hard to keep your hasher judgment in check.” In sum, to a family member who is concerned about another family members’ marriage and divorce issues, this Chicago advice columnist believes it’s best to ask or “butt out”. Is she right?

Help for Divorcing Couples in Chicago

Divorce is rarely simple and many different issues – including the one at issue here – can come up over the course of any Chicago divorce proceedings. If you are thinking of getting divorced in Chicago or are in the Chicago divorce process, contact the experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC for a confidential consultation to learn about your rights, options, and whether they can help fight for you in your Chicago divorce case. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC today and speak to an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer about your case today.



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