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I've fallen in love with my brother in law and I'm not sure where to go with these feelings

Tagged as: Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 July 2017) 7 Answers - (Newest, 19 July 2017)
A female United States age , anonymous writes:

My husband passed away unexpectely in August of 2016. We had been separated for 2 years but we were working on our relationship towards getting back together just before he passed. We have a 21 year old daughter and she was greatly affected by his death. Enter my bil who was so good to us taking over the arrangements, having us over for dinner etc. then less than 2 months later I lost my adult son from a former marriage unexpectely as well. His death almost took me out and again my bil was there for me. I love him for that but in the last few months I have fallen in love with him. I don't know what to do about it as he has a son and his mother lives with him as well. I don't know how they would feel about it. I want him so badly I ache. Help! What do you think I should do?

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A female reader, Caring Aunty A Australia +, writes (19 July 2017):

Caring Aunty A agony auntRegardless of the BIL feelings for his late brother, he put that aside and stepped up to care for family. I don't know what that shows you of him personally; was it a call of duty or an act of kindness and caring?

Either way, how you get along with BIL, MIL and his son is now the question. Whatever the cause was for the brother’s rift, obviously it didn't give rise for hostilities towards you and daughter?

Again, are the feelings for each other mutual or is this a one sided “in love” with your emotional rescuer?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 July 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for your advice and I am working on it. My Brother in law is not married and is my deceased husbands bother. I wished that I had added that and also my husband and his brother were not on good terms. In fact they never spoke. They just did not get along.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 July 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I am sorry but I left out a couple of important details.

My brother in law is not married. He is my husbands brother. My husband passed away and his brother has been there for me and my daughter. I fell in love a few months ago with him. A real important note is he and my husband did not get along at all. In fact my husband hated him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 July 2017):

Thank you for answering my question. But my brother-in-law is not married. He is my husband's brother and has never been married.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 July 2017):

I am so sorry for your losses. Both your husband and your son. That is quite devastating! I only hope his acts of kindness and concern are above board.

Why didn't you mention the status of your sister/his wife in this situation? Living, dead, or divorced?

When undergoing grief, and the pain for the loss of your spouse and a child; you can become emotionally-drained, and quite vulnerable. A hero comes to your rescue, and shows you all the sympathy and kindness your vulnerabilities are crying-out for. You don't see things clearly. In some cultures it is the brother-in-law's duty; when there are no other male-relatives to step-in and assist the widow.

What you've described may only be infatuation. You're clinging to his strength. Relating to his masculinity as his power to save you. Caught-up the idea of a gallant knight saving you while in distress.

You're grief-stricken and lonely, not in-love.

If he felt the same, it would be the Florence Nightingale effect. The rescuer falls for the victim. In either scenario, a crisis or highly-stressful situation has evoked a lot of emotion; which can be misconstrued as love or romantic-feelings. Your grief is not respecting boundaries; or you may have formed a rebound-attachment due to some emotional-dependency. You're searching for an emotional safe-haven. Someone to protect you. He's not available, if he's still married. A matter neither to be omitted or disregarded.

I strongly recommend that you seek bereavement-counseling. You might feel that way towards any guy who comes along and shows you kindness and attention. A widow is a very vulnerable-creature, and susceptible to financial-scams.

If he's still married to your sister, your aching and feelings for him are irrelevant. Keep them to yourself.

You're not really that certain of where they come from, or how deeply they run. They may only be temporary and superficial. Symptomatic of grief and desperation.

Stepping over the line may cause serious problems between you, his wife (or any other woman currently in his life), and his family.

He might be offended that you took his actions in anyway other than acts of compassion and kindness. It could be pretty awkward. If still married, he would not want his wife to think that he took advantage of you in your weakened state. If he had any ulterior-motives other than kindness; he's a man of very poor character, and would be betraying his marriage. You would be a co-conspirator in breaking-up his family; and your own character would be drawn into question.

Seek professional-attention to your grief and suffering. Feelings other than gratitude are inappropriate.

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A female reader, Caring Aunty A Australia +, writes (14 July 2017):

Caring Aunty A agony auntYou've fallen in love with your emotional rescuer, much like some women fall for a Fireman who helped them escape a burning building. And some men are like Firemen who seek to save and give comfort to a person in distress.

Indeed your BIL has come to your emotional rescue (twice) and has kind qualities for anyone to fall in love with and ache for. I gather you are seeking a relationship?

Other than being drawn together by these two sad family heartaches, importantly how do you both relate to each other away from the topic of these sad tragedies? Your conversations cannot be all about these events as much as it is important to talk/share your grief? Have you other things in common to venture into a relationship?

If your feelings for each other are mutual, and there are no objections from family or daughter, I see no cause for alarm, but to take it slowly.

Sorry for your loss OP, I wish you well.

Take Care – CAA

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A female reader, Miss.Cupid United States +, writes (13 July 2017):

Miss.Cupid agony auntI believe you fell in love with him because of the hard times you're facing and he is there for you. To be honest with you I don't know if I would go there with him?

I mean do you believe he feels the same, does he do anything that makes you believe he feels the same?

The reason I ask is because I understand you're most likely lonely, heartbroken and this is the only man that has cared for you during the tough times. you telling him how you feel may jeopardize the close relationship.

Good Luck.

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