The Information Age
My sister and I are very close, and we don't keep things from one another. Recently she shared with me concerns about her sex life, or lack thereof. She feels like there is something wrong with her because her husband is not attracted to her. They have been married 15 years.
A couple of weeks ago I was on the Internet and highlighted my brother-in-law's name to send him an instant message. Well, when I did a box appeared, and it stated where he was online. At first it said he was in a bisexual chat. I logged off my regular signature and signed on to another one and checked to see where he was.
The drop down box said he was now in a gay chat room. I went to the chat room and just watched, and in no time he typed in his age, sex, and location. I was floored! I didn't know what to do.
I waited about half an hour and thought about it. I decided to call him and tell him what I saw and find out what was going on. He denied everything. He said I had the wrong name or that AOL made some kind of mistake. Since then he has blocked me from knowing when he is online.
Now I am stuck. My gut instinct is to keep my mouth shut, because it really is none of my business, but my sister is becoming increasingly open and concerned about her sex life. She has spoken with him several times about it, and he says everything is fine, but nothing changes between them.
I do not want to tell her because it will devastate her, but if she knew I had this information and kept it from her, she would be even more devastated.
Whitney, contacting your brother-in-law was the least productive thing you could do. It took the option of silence away from you, and it didn't achieve anything with your brother-in-law. He already knew what he was doing. Now he will take steps to explain away or excuse himself. But the one thing he must wonder is who else knows his secret.
People often end up with information they don't want, but once they have it, they need to act. Your sister has a problem she cannot solve, and you have the piece of the puzzle which can solve her dilemma. Like it or not, you are the one who can shed light on her problem.
If your brother-in-law is meeting strangers for sex, it concerns both your sister's health and her marriage. Tell her. Let her decide what, if anything, she is going to do. Like most of us, your brother-in-law didn't understand the power of technology. A few keystrokes on your computer showed you something which may change all of your lives.
Wayne & Tamara
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.