I haven't been doing the Prudie roundups lately because it's hard to carve out the necessary early afternoon get high and relax time in this hurry-ass world we live in. I didn't even have a chance to read yesterday's live chat until now, and I was tickled to see that one of the recipients of her advice came back with an update. The original question, with addendum:
My husband's sister "Beth,"her husband "Eric," and their 2-year-old daughter recently came into town. Eric and I have never seen eye-to-eye, but we are civil. After hosting a big family party in our sun room, everyone went to bed. Eric offered to help me clean up, which I agreed to. Initially, he complimented my outfit and hair, which I thanked him for. Then, he implied that Beth no longer has sex with him. I wasn't positive if that was what he meant, so I chose not to say anything further. That was when he mentioned that he had always thought that I was beautiful, then laughed as he mentioned that "no one" would hear us if we had sex together out in the sun room. Thinking that he was drunk, I said, "Well, we're both married, and your wife is probably waiting for you in the guest room." He answered, "I've already had to have a little fun on the side." I turned around to leave and found him standing with everything on display. I didn't say anything, just hurried into the house and went to bed. I avoided them until they left, then asked my husband what he and Eric drank; he told me that Eric was completely sober. I didn't mention what happened. While I know my husband would side with me if I came forward, I know it could rip him apart from the rest of the family. But I'm also scared that if I keep quiet, Eric might tell the family that I came onto him, which could be even more damaging. What should I do?
Hi Prudie, I forgot to add: my concern stems from the fact that Eric is a professing Christian and takes every opportunity to bring up his piousness, and my in-laws adore him. Meanwhile, I am the liberal atheist. I get the impression that most of the in-laws tolerate me and are likely not to believe the accusation anyway. Not because they want to protect an obviously troubled person, but because they believe his act. I have decided to tell my husband regardless and hopefully Beth will leave this guy. If not, I've washed my hands of the situation. Thanks for your clear-headed advice, Prudie!
Now, the update:
I wrote to you a few weeks ago about my brother-in-law making a pass at me, and how I felt trapped and unsure of whether or not to speak up. I did tell my husband and he was livid. After a few days, he told me he wanted to tell his sister about her husband's confession of having affairs out of fear that he might pass something onto her. I was worried, but agreed I'd feel awful if she later discovered a surprise STD. It was little surprise that she reacted with screams, crying, and insistence that I must be lying before hanging up on him. She later called his parents. My father-in-law said he was "doubtful" about my claims. A few hours later, my mother-in-law showed up and asked to speak to me in private. I was really surprised when she told me that he had "always" given her the creeps, and that he had made a few inappropriate comments to her on their latest visit up here. She reassured me that her daughter would likely come around one day. This situation did not end up nearly as badly as I thought it could have, and I am happy that we have now done our part to protect his sister. The rest of the choice is up to her ... he is never welcome in our home again.
No surprise about the father-in-law being totally oblivious, but crazy to think that the MIL was sitting on her own disturbing interactions with that guy. I wonder if she's told her own husband yet or if, for some reason, she still wants to keep what happened a secret. I wonder just how many women are out there similarly keeping mum about brother-in-law's totally freaky behavior.