Four years ago on holiday I’m afraid a line was crossed, and my sister-in-law and I slept together several times. We put it down to the pine-scented air of the Côte d’Azur and agreed to say no more about it.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appFive months later, she calmly told me that she was pregnant with my child. I was surprised, to say the least, because she had told me she couldn’t have children; but it turns out that the problem lay with her husband – who, she added, was delighted to have “hit the jackpot” against all the odds. I told her that I, too, was delighted provided only that (a) nothing changed between us and our respective spouses, and (b) I could be a doting godfather to my new “nephew” or “niece”. This is what happened, and, in a funny way it’s worked out pretty well.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law told me she would like me to “give” her another baby. I tried to tell her that the mathematical odds of her husband repeating his “jackpot” were improbably remote. I said I would think about it, but I am having sleepless nights worrying about what I should do, and what she might do if I don’t.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appDo I say No and risk her spilling the beans? Confess all to my wife? Acquiesce? Or offer to go down the donation route?
Gary, via email
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appYou’ve certainly ended up in a right old cat’s cradle here. But courage! With care and some clear thinking, I believe you may be able to unpick your way out of it.
Firstly, you’ve bought yourself a breathing space by offering to consider your sister-in-law’s plea. I must say I think it extremely unlikely that she’d spill the beans if you turned her down. That would be to take a wrecking ball to two families. Given the remarkable pragmatism and discretion with which you’ve both handled such an unorthodox situation so far, it would seem very out of character for her to resort to emotional vandalism on such an indiscriminate scale.
So let’s lay out your options. Many reading this will believe you should now confess all to your wife, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it (any more than I would advise your sister-in-law to confess to her husband). The time for making a clean breast of things has passed. What might have been a hand grenade tossed into two marriages back then would be a nuclear warhead today – there would be massive damage, and to what end? All relationships have their secrets, often for very good reason. Both marriages are currently stable and happy: it’s worth doing everything possible to preserve that.
But of course, the last pregnancy was accidental: this one would be deliberate, and that raises the moral stakes to a completely new level (especially if the pregnancy were to be a result of actual sex).
The simplest thing would be to attempt to talk your sister-in-law out of it. But the instinctive craving for children runs profoundly deep in many women, and I suspect your wife’s sister will not easily be denied.
Say you offer a qualified “Yes”: you’ll act as a sperm donor, on the record. Her husband accepts that “his” child was a one-off “jackpot”, given his poor fertility; five years on, he may be able to accommodate the idea of a donor. How would he feel if that donor were you? How would your wife feel? This would be the most transparent way forward; plus if either your wife or brother-in-law vetoes the idea, you’re off the hook.
Of course, if her husband or your wife do say No, your sister-in-law may ask you to donate your sperm in secret. She may anyway.If she does, write to me again – that’s a knot too far this Saturday morning!