His Story/Her Story: “I suspect my husband is attracted to my sister and she seems to be ok with it!”

Her story: We had a love marriage and all was well until my younger sister came back from the US. I have often noticed how my husband keeps checking her out. There was some initial shame when I would catch him but now he doesn’t bother. My sister is a young, 23-year-old! I am aghast that my sister has never brought up this topic to me. Why isn’t she complaining or uncomfortable with this? We women have a strong sixth sense. When I tried to indirectly confront my husband about it, he shoved it off saying it’s just my insecurity talking. I don’t know how to address this issue! It is spoiling two very important relationships of my life!

His story: My sister-in-law just returned after finishing her studies abroad. When she left, she was like a kid but she has returned as a grown, beautiful woman. My wife thinks I have feelings for her but she is totally wrong. She caught me staring at her when in reality I was just zoned out thinking about the new project I am working on. She indirectly called me a predator and I know that my wife’s jealous side is making her think so. I cannot think about my sister-in-law in that manner—she is a kid! The situation is getting very ugly and I don’t feel like coming home honestly.

Response by Vishal Bhardwaj, Cofounder and Relationship Coach, Predictions For Success: What a woman wants might be the biggest mystery but surely, what a man wants is ‘lust’ is the most common myth of mankind. It’s very common for a man to think of how he will save the world during an apocalypse while watching a romantic movie with the crush of his dreams. Many of us think that women are the real admirers of beauty but in reality, men are no less even if their definition of beauty differs. That’s why you will see 20 men leaving their own work to patiently sit and look at a man digging with JCB. In this, I am not defending every stare but telling the difference between looking and staring.

For Her: It’s very normal to have this kind of feeling and this kicks in even more frequently when you are not happy about how you are vs how you used to be (unintentional and unconscious comparison of yourself with your sister). You are absolutely right that women do have a sixth sense but so does your sister; if there was anything wrong, she must have reacted (even if not telling you). Our surroundings have put a myth in our heads about “saali aadhi gharvali” (your sister-in-law is like your half-wife) and that myth has put suspicion (in women) and lust (in men) in people’s heads but as I said it’s just wrong thinking and doesn’t affect everyone. I will strongly recommend looking at this relationship with beauty and not suspicion.

For Him: Talk to your wife openly about it and win her trust and confidence. Open communication is the best possible medicine for suspicion. Also don’t blame your wife for this because the more you will blame her, the more she will assume that you are hiding something. Think from her point of view too.

Response by Dr Jaya Sukul, Clinical Psychologist, QRG Speciality Hospital: I think rather than focusing on the relationship between your husband and your sister, it’s important that you focus on the relationship with your husband, It’s possible that deep-rooted insecurity and lack of steam in your relationship is making you mistrust him. If there were any issues then your sister would complain, I think the mistrust you have with your husband needs to be resolved as this can become a reason for losing the relationship. Sometimes we overthink and project our insecurity and it’s also possible that even if he’s checked her out, it’s completely harmless.

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