What to do when you’re attracted to a friend’s or relative’s spouse

Pradeep asks: I like my brother’s wife. She is so sexy and I like her very much. What should I do?

Hi Pradeep –


Oh boy is that a tough situation!  I usually suggest to people that they pursue the people they’re attracted to, but in your case, that would almost certainly be a disaster!

So here are my suggestions:

1)    Try to spend more time with other women.  Date other women.  Befriend other women.  Go see movies with lots of beautiful women in them.  Your sister-in-law may be wonderful, but she’s not the only beautiful, sexy, likable woman in the world.  Work to make yourself more aware of this.

2)    To whatever degree you can, it’s probably best to stay away from her for a little while.  I realize you like each other a lot, but this could get really painful for you, and you should be kind to your own heart.

3)    Sit down and write out the ten things you like best about her.  Those are what you want in a woman!  Now start looking for women who have those qualities.  Oh sure, it’s easy to say “She’s sexy,” but what is sexy about her?  Is it her laughing eyes?  Her confidence?  Her shyness?  Her curves?  Her skinniness?  You know, just about every quality a person can have, someone else will think is sexy!  So use her to label what those things are for you.  Is she warm around children?  Does she make you laugh?  Does she dance goofily to music?  Use her to figure out what your ideal woman will be like.

4)    Okay, this is the toughest suggestion I have, but you might want to think about your relationship with your brother.  Some brothers envy everything the other one has.  It’s like they’re still kids, fighting over toys.  Have you had that relationship with your brother?  Because that might be part of why you feel that way about his wife.  I only ask this because Handsome thinks his brother’s wife is one of the most wonderful, beautiful, attractive women he’s ever met – but he’s never coveted her (if you know that word!).  He’s just always been grateful to have her in his family.  So is there something about your relationship with your brother that makes the feelings more difficult than that?

5)    And last, just wait.  Over time, you’ll learn from your brother about things she does that are really unpleasant, or you’ll see her do something you don’t like, or she’ll age in a way you don’t like.  These are normal, and part of the meaning and testing of marriage is how your brother will deal with those qualities of hers.  But you don’t have to deal with them at all!  So when she’s negative or selfish or overly anxious, just tell yourself “This isn’t my problem!  Thank Goodness!”  And go out and find yourself a girlfriend of your own – and find the problems she has that you’ll have to deal with, right around the same time she’s realizing what’s difficult about you!  And while all that’s going on, you’ll find that your sister-in-law is less and less on your mind.


Boy do I wish you good luck with this one, Pradeep!  This is the sort of issue that has ruined families, and even kingdoms!  I hope that, instead, it just proves to be a realization that leads you to bigger and better things in your own life.




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