Home Australia Dear Caroline: I had an affair and left my husband for him. How can I get my sister-in-law to love me again?

Dear Caroline: I had an affair and left my husband for him. How can I get my sister-in-law to love me again?

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Dear Caroline: I had an affair and left my husband for him. How can I get my sister-in-law to love me again?

Q A year ago I left my husband for someone else after being married for 21 years. I am deeply in love with this man and vice versa. Although it has been hard on our children, they have accepted it and I do not regret the decision.

However, I used to be very close to my sister-in-law and now she won’t speak to me. Things had been falling apart with my ex for a long time. I was only 24 when I got married and I soon realised that he and I had very little in common. I’m quite an emotional person and love books, music and walks in the countryside, whereas he’s more of a “watches rugby in the pub with his mates” kind of guy.

He is also an uncommunicative person: he is sociable and fun with other people, yes (this is what attracted me to him initially), but I was never able to talk to him about important things. I felt very lonely. His sister just doesn’t understand, although I don’t think she is very happy in her own marriage.

We used to complain about our husbands and confess our doubts, though I never told her about the affair. She is furious that I left her brother, saying that I should have worked hard for my marriage and that I have betrayed him. I loved her very much and I miss her.

Do you think time will heal this or do I have to accept that our friendship is over?

TO It’s hard to remain friends with an ex’s family, so unfortunately, this friendship might not survive.

There are many factors at play: firstly, loyalty to her brother, who, while she acknowledges his faults, she clearly loves deeply. There may also be a bit of jealousy. Although she may have felt better about her own marriage when she thought you and she were in the same boat, seeing how happy you are in your new relationship will have made her more aware of the gaps in her own relationship.

Of course, it’s always sad when a couple breaks up and it’s hard on the kids, but it can be worse for everyone to keep going like this. Obviously, she’s very disapproving of you leaving for someone else and considers it all your fault.

However, it’s not that simple. Ideally, if the marriage had to end, it would only be because it wasn’t right for you and no one else would be involved. In reality, leaving a relationship is a big step and finding someone new often provides the catalyst and courage to leave. Much will depend on how things are with your ex, who must be feeling angry and devastated by now. In time, hopefully, he’ll meet someone new and perhaps understand that he wasn’t happy in the marriage either.

If you manage to maintain a friendly relationship with him later on, you might also become friends with his sister again. Of course, she is also still your children’s aunt, so she will continue to see them. However, for now, you will unfortunately probably have to mourn the loss of their friendship. Only time will tell.

My husband does not want to make a will

Q My husband and I are both 80 years old. We each have three children from our previous marriages. We also own a company that my husband owned before we met and of which I am a director. Neither my husband nor I have made a will. I am concerned because he seems to think this is okay.

I hadn’t thought about it until I read about families fighting over money after a death. I would hate for this to happen and would like all the children to share. My husband and I are very happy, but my brother says my husband is just waiting for me to die so he doesn’t have to give me anything. I hope that’s not the case. What should I do?

TO Dying intestate (without a will) can leave a terrible mess for loved ones to sort out. However, there seems to be a communication problem. Do you really think there is any truth to your brother’s claims or is he just being cruel or jealous?

You probably know your husband best, so talk to him, ask him why he doesn’t want to make a will and explain that you are worried about what might happen to the children. Tell him that you want to avoid arguments.

Sometimes people are reluctant to address this issue because they are afraid of their own mortality. The rules regarding intestate death are very complicated. As his wife, you would inherit the property and a portion of his estate, but while his children would also inherit part of his estate, yours would not. Even if you can’t convince your husband, you should definitely consult a lawyer to discuss protecting your assets and drafting your own will.

See Law Society.org.uk for more information.

If you have any problems, please write to Caroline West-Meads at YOU, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY, or email her at c.west-meads@mailonsunday.co.uk. You can follow Caroline on X/Twitter @Ask_Caroline_.

Caroline reads all your letters but regrets not being able to answer each one personally.

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