Dear Gloria,

I am writing you a letter that I implore you to keep confidential because the information can ruin many lives. I give you the permission to share it with your readers but please take note of the thing I need you to keep private. I feel assured and confident that you will honour my request because I have been following your column for a few years and I know you treat people with respect.

I am in my forties. I have been married for over 15 years and have two children. I hold a very high position in society and so does my husband. Before I met my husband, K, I first met my brother in-law J when I went on a trip abroad with some friends. We had a brief but very passionate relationship which lasted a few months and that was the end of it. I was quite young and I already had a boyfriend I was planning to marry, but after four years with my boyfriend A, I decided to end it after I had the encounter with J.

I just thought that what I had felt with J was so powerful that I could not marry someone else if I did not feel the same thing with him. My family were very angry with me but I knew if I married my boyfriend, I would be unfaithful to him.

A few years went by and I was building my career and becoming successful. Then I met my husband. Apart from the fact that my husband’s last name was similar to J’s, when I met my husband I did not know they were brothers. It crossed my mind for a minute but I thought it was just coincidental that their last names were the same. My husband and I got married abroad and that was when I met his brother and realised that it was J. I was so shocked because my husband never said much about his brother and he called him by a different name to the one I knew.

It was a bit uncomfortable and I was not sure if I should tell my husband about my past relationship with his brother. I decided it would be too dangerous not to tell him as it may come out somehow. I decided to tell my husband that his brother and I had just flirted briefly years before I had met him. My husband was a little taken aback but he accepted it was in the past and I had no way of knowing they were brothers.

My brother in-law, J travelled immediately after the wedding but during the wedding, what shocked me was that I noticed that I still had some very strong feelings for him. I just brushed it aside. A few years later, my brother in-law returned to live in Nigeria and he stayed with us to help him settle.

Almost immediately, we started an affair. It went on for a year, and then J moved out and got married so it stopped for a little while, but it started again and even though both of us feel it is wrong and we do not want to hurt our spouses, we do not seem to be able to stop.

Gloria, this has been going on now for over six years and I do not see it ever ending. I do not know how we have not been caught. I just do not know what to do anymore. Our spouses are happy and our children are doing fine so a part of me feels we can continue as we are because I cannot see my life without him.

When I first wrote to you about this, you said the fact that I wrote to you about the affair was possibly an indication that somewhere in my subconscious mind, I wanted to stop and that was why I was exposing the information about the relationship. You said it was possible I was looking for a way out, but just felt I could not do it alone. I dismissed what you said at the time. But here I am writing to you again with all the details.

I told J that we should stop the affair now and he said it was too late for that. He said we were part of each other’s lives and that it was like we were married. I understand what J means and I feel a bit like that. J is a significant part of my life now and he fulfils a significant role in my life. What can I do?


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