My sister confessed to a past fling with my husband during a night out. I’ve been reeling from the betrayal ever since.

Dear Evie. A few weeks ago, my sister and I went out for drinks as we normally do once or twice a month. This time, she got tipsier than usual and ended up confessing that she had had a brief fling with my husband before he and I met. Apparently, they met through friends, had a couple of drunken nights together, and then called it a day. I was shocked – they acted like complete strangers when I first introduced them (4 years ago). My husband has never once mentioned knowing my sister. I was furious with both of them, they’ve made me feel like a complete fool. Both insist that they didn’t mention it to me because their fling didn’t mean anything and they didn’t want to hurt me. But I’m hurt. If they had told me at the start, I don’t think I would have continued with him, it feels gross to know that he’s been with her. We haven’t been intimate since I found out the news, my husband has begged me to forgive him and so has my sister but I don’t know how to get over this. – Denise, CA.

Dear Denise,

I’m so sorry you’re going through this – it must feel like the ultimate betrayal. It’s undeniably jarring to learn that two people you trust harbored a secret from you, especially one that treads so closely to the intimate boundaries of your personal relationships. Your feelings of betrayal, confusion, and disgust are natural and valid.

However, it’s so very important to recognize that harboring these feelings indefinitely will not serve you. They anchor you to a moment in time that, although significant, does not define the entirety of your relationships with your husband and sister.

Now, let’s address the core issue: the breach of trust.

Trust, once broken, is challenging to rebuild, but not impossible. It requires time, transparency, and consistent effort. Your husband and sister chose silence over honesty, likely fearing this exact reaction, but in doing so, they underestimated your strength and resilience. This situation calls for a candid reassessment of what honesty means in your relationships and whether this omission is a symptom of a deeper issue or just a misguided attempt to protect your feelings.

I’d strongly recommend that you communicate openly with your husband and sister about how their actions have affected you. Expressing your feelings can be cathartic and is the first step towards understanding and, eventually, healing.

I’d also like you to think about the following:

What does this revelation change for you? Does it alter the foundation of trust and love between you and your husband, or is it a detail of the past overshadowed by the life you’ve built together? Consider the context of their relationship then and your relationships with them now. People grow and change, and the people we were years ago are not always reflective of who we are in the present.

One thing I always remind my readers of is that forgiveness is for us, not necessarily for the other person. And just as importantly – forgiveness is not about condoning their actions or diminishing your feelings. It’s about freeing yourself from the burden of resentment. It allows you to move forward, whether that’s together or apart. If the emotional turmoil proves too challenging to navigate alone, seeking support from a therapist or counselor can provide a neutral ground to explore these feelings and start the healing process.

Ultimately, you need to decide whether the past will hold you back from a future with your husband, or if the marriage is worth working through these complicated feelings to rebuild trust and intimacy again. Take your time with it, acknowledge and validate your feelings, and don’t shy away from those tough conversations. 

Best of luck, 


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Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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