To Top

Ask The Good Enough Guy: I Have A Crush On My Brother In Law!

Hi Will,

Love all your great no-nonsense advice. Here’s my dilemma!

I have a secret crush on my husband’s brother, Sam.

Sam lives on the West Coast and we’re here in New York, so we hardly ever see each other – but every time he comes to visit (with his wife and kids) there’s a real spark between us.

We both flirt with each other and once we even kissed – but we don’t want to hurt anyone so that’s as far as it’s gone.

I know it’s silly but I can’t help thinking about Sam and comparing him to my husband, Tom. And I’ll be honest, my feelings for Sam are getting stronger – not weaker – over time.

What do you think I should do Will?




Hey Anonymous,

The first thing I think you should do is put away your crayons and coloring book and line up to go to recess. Wait… Scratch that: I forgot you were a grown-up, and apparently, so did you.

Do you have any idea how dangerous this game is you’re playing? It’s only a matter of time before this school yard crush you have blows up in your face. When it does, there’s a very real chance that you will not only destroy your own marriage, but also hurt Sam’s marriage, his wife, and his children. And what about its effect on the relationship Sam has with his brother; your husband. You do remember your husband, Tom, don’t you? That guy in the tux that you promised to love, honor, and cherish, keeping only unto him ‘til death do you part? Yeah, that Tom. So, unless you’re shooting for a guest spot on Jerry Springer, it’s time to get real. Here’s what I think you need to do… and stop doing:

What are you thinking?… For the sake of argument, let’s say you and Sam finally confess your love to the world. Then you leave your spouses and children behind and run away together. OK, now what? How long do you think it will be before you both figure out that it was a mistake?

I’m no shrink, but there’s obviously something broken that you think Sam can fix. Maybe you’re unhappy with your husband. Maybe you’re unhappy with yourself. Maybe you’re looking for an escape. Maybe you’re looking for a new start to your life. Well, regardless of what you’re looking for, SAM’S NOT IT. Think about it: if he was doing any better than you in the relationship department, he wouldn’t be playing footsy with another woman behind his wife’s back.

Sam can’t fix you. He can’t save you. He can’t make you happy. And here’s a news flash: neither can your husband or anyone else for that matter. While other folks may make you unhappy, nobody but YOU can make you happy, and that’s something you have to understand before you take another step or make another decision. Otherwise, you’ll be right back on this roller coaster with your husband’s other brother next year.

STOP!!!… I’m betting old Sam’s been giving you the “the look”, and it’s got you all hot and bothered. Maybe Tom hasn’t looked at you that way in a long time, and this little tryst with his brother is stoking your fire. Well you need to understand that those feelings are a symptom of the problem, not the cure for one. So, in a word, STOP. No more flirting. Definitely no more kissing. No more anything. Sam is your brother-in-law with the emphasis on brother, so stop doing anything with him that you wouldn’t do with your actual brother (that mental image alone should throw a little water on your fire.) Let Sam know in no uncertain terms that you’ve realized that you were both wrong to act the way you have and that it all ends NOW.

Go talk it out… Whether you realize it or not, there’s definitely a problem, and you have to figure out what it is before you can fix it. As I said, no one can make you happy, but a good psychologist can help you figure out why you’re unhappy and what you can do about it. Maybe you’re in a rut and just need some excitement. If so, your doc can help you find a better purpose for your life than this game of Russian Roulette that you’re playing. Maybe your marriage is sick. If so, your therapist will probably refer you to a marriage counselor. Maybe your marriage is dead. Hopefully not, but it happens. If it is dead, then it’s a lot better to let go than to stick around hurting each other until you and your husband feel dead too.

No matter what, your solution starts with someone who’s trained to help you find the best path, not a brother-in-law whose path is as screwed up as yours.

To tell, or not to tell… So should you and Sam come clean, tell the truth, and clear your consciences?

GoodEnoughGuy says, “Not just no… but hell no!

If this secret comes out, it’s going to hurt a lot more people than it will help. If your husband and Sam’s wife find out about this, even if they don’t leave, your relationships will never be the same. The trust will be broken or at least badly dented. You may lose your husband, Sam may lose his wife and kids, and if Tom and Sam are anything like my brothers, someone’s going to the hospital and/or jail. No one wins; everyone loses.

I say talk to a doctor to figure out what’s wrong and how best to fix it. At least for now, keep this between you, Sam, God, and your therapist. If you and Tom do split, then none of it matters anyway. If you don’t, then keep quiet, start fresh and NEVER do anything even close to this again. Your secret is safe with me.

Whatever you decide, I hope it works out for the best.

Good luck


 Will Jones

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.


  1. Peppercorn16

    August 20, 2011 at 10:13 am

    One might say ” Well, at least she’s keeping it in the family.”
    WOW! she has a crush on her brother in law. Like Will said that’s a dangerous game your playing.

    If anyone else knew of you having a crush on your brother in law fist may fly. It can distroy both marriages not to mention the relationship the two brothers have and YES your mother in law would hate you and the kids will be confused

    If you don’t get a hold of yourself with this school girl crush you have for Sam someone else around you may start to notice the attraction- and you have to really think long and hard ” What does it say about a wife who would leave her husband for his brother or a brother who would take up with his brother’s wife?”

    And it’s not impossible that Sam is just having fun with you and your the only one who’s crushing.

    Good Luck 🙂

  2. Irene

    August 20, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Wow…keeping it in the family is right.

    I agree with Will…I agree with Will….

    We don’t boss eachother around here at Good Enough Mother so I will just ask…”what in the world are you thinking????”

    Do hope the best outcome for this situation…too many hearts could get hurt..I wonder if that means anything anymore in our culture? Or is it always about us?

  3. Vanzell

    August 20, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Dear anonymous, find or purchase a small mirror, one that you can carry with you at nearly all times. When thoughts of Sam come to your mind, immediately, if possible, excuse yourself to a place where you can look yourself in the eyes in that mirror and talk to yourself OUT LOUD. If the vulgarity of familial relations is not a turn off when you say these things OUT LOUD, then you need to be honest with yourself that you need therapeutic intervention. I’m not being dramatic and mean, but being honest that the issue is deeper than you can probably handle on your own.
    Sometimes, we have to actually hear the spoken words while looking into our spirit to shake and wake us up. Suppress those influences that are telling you that what you are doing is just fun and games and that it won’t go any further. You must do your best to eradicate your “feelings” b/c “feelings” should never override your good judgement.
    Now, if none of that puts the brakes on your “feelings”, assume that the absolute worst will come out of this situation; that either Tom or your sister-in-law will snap and kill you, Sam and all of the precious children b/c the hurt t that they “feel” is to great to keep living. So they kill everyone including themself. Again, I’m not being mean our dramatic b/c we all have read far too many stories of domestic situations turning out this way. NEVER think that yours CAN’T turn out this way…
    Hopefully, I have shared some cold water with you…

    My prayers are with you for the best resolution to your situation…

  4. m.e. johnson

    August 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    What is it about brothers? This happens A LOT. Someone somewhere must have written about this phenomenon.

    Will, of course you are right on the money. There’s one thing I must add because I’ve seen it: Brother may be testing her on the premise that if she’ll do it with him, she’ll do it with someone else. He will give subtle hints to the hubby/bro about her. He may even say, “She’s been hitting on me.” Hell, who knows? Hubby may have asked him to do it. As Robby the robot said, “Danger! Danger! Danger!

  5. Cody Williams

    August 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Three words: Hooker. Skank. Sleeze.

  6. Rene Syler

    August 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    @Cody: You.Are.A.Mess.. That is all..

  7. Jenn

    August 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    @Cody: What is your problem? It’s downright sexist of you to call her those vulgar words when you don’t address the brother-in-law in the same way. Yes, the flirting and kissing is absolutely reprehensible. However, she also said it was MUTUAL. So if she is a skank for behaving this way, what does that make the brother-in-law? Equally skanky! (If that’s the word you choose to use.) However, as adults, we should be able to express our disdain over an issue without reverting to name calling and profanity.

    @Renee: PLEASE remiove Cody’s post. It’s undignified and has no place on a forum that’s as classy at GEM.

  8. Rene Syler

    August 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    @Jenn: I am honored you think of this as a classy place, LOL but truly, he was kidding; this is in line with his other flip comments. But you make a good point, sounds like there were two active participants here. The brother-in-law is equally culpable.

  9. Tiffany

    August 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I’m guessing that part of Sam’s attraction is that she sees a bit of Tom in him, but Sam is fresh and new to her, with no responsibility attached. This is what makes is so dangerous. Well, that, and all of the family drama that would ensue should things continue on this path.

    Just stay away from him. Whatever you have to do… Just. Stay. AWAY.

  10. Jenn

    August 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

    @Renee: Thanks for clearing that up. I’m somewhat new to GEM so I’m not familiar with Cody’s unique sense of humor.

    By the way, I really enjoy the website!

  11. m.e. johnson

    August 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    @Rene & Jenn: That’s one of the reasons I broke up with Cody.

  12. Will Jones

    August 22, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Peppercorn- I didn’t really get into what Sam’s intentions were because they don’t really matter. Whether he’s just playing her or has actual feeling for her, she’s still married… to his brother! She needs to get herself together and decide what she’s going to do in her own life before she worries about anything thing else. But you are absolutely correct as to how this will screw up the rest of the family; especially the children. Your right: it’s wrong!

    Irene- I love the culture question! Other than the Jerry Springer sub-culture, I think everyone agrees how bad this is except the folks that are doing it. Although I do think it says a lot about how the body and heart can double-team and subdue the mind. Thanks for making me think!

    Vanzell- Wow. I didn’t go with worst case, but sadly, you’re absolutely right. These are the stories we see every day on the six o’clock news. Shooting, stabbings, murder-suicides, and whole families dead over things like this. Hopefully it doesn’t happen over this case, but it does happen. I think we could all stand to be a little more careful about how we treat those around us. You never know when someone could be at their breaking point. Great comment.

    M.E. You know what? I thought about the “brother test” theory too, and I thought it could be the case, until I heard the kiss part. This kiss makes Sam just as guilty as the wife, so I don’t think he’s testing her. He’s just flat out cheating on his own wife AND brother. Great guy, huh?
    Thanks for the comment though. You always put a great spin on things.

    Cody- LOL! Leave it to you get some stuff started! Jenn is right though: Sam is far worse than the wife on this one. Yeah, she’s cheating on a husband she’s been married to for a few years, but Sam is cheating on his own brother. Cheating on your closest blood relative that you’ve known your whole life, lived with, shared a bunk bed with, ran to when you were scared, fought for, etc, etc, is bottom of the barrel… but that’s just me. LOL

    Tiffany-Yeah, she did mention that she was comparing them, huh? Yeah, like I said, I bet Sam is giving her “the look” and that’s making her bell ring. If Tom finds out, he’ll ring both of their bells!
    Glad you “chimed in”, Tiffany. 😉

  13. Irene

    August 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

    This whole thing reminds me of the movie Legends of the Fall with Brad Pitt…only this doesn’t involve characters it is about real life!

  14. Will Jones

    August 24, 2011 at 10:05 am

    well, if Sam looks like Brad Pitt, then there’s proabaly not much I can do for Tom. LOL

  15. Amy

    January 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I’m so glad I found this! I’ve been flirting with my brother in law and he has been flirting back. I was so confused because I still love my husband (they are brother) but I’ve decided my husband and my kids are more important than some still crush. I’m going to stop all together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Ask The Good Enough Guy

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

Copyright © 2017 Good Enough Mother® Designed By ABlackWebDesign