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Strawberry Letter: Should I Tell My Sister’s Shady Secret?

Dear Steve and Shirley,

I found out a month ago that my sister and her husband of two years are filing for divorce. I could not believe it, because her husband was perfect for her and loved her more than anything in the world. They never seemed to have problems. She said they had irreconcilable differences and asked me not to tell my family because they would not understand. I was extremely upset, but agreed to wait until she told them herself. I had a feeling there was more to the story, though.

I texted her husband a few days later and got the same story, but I got the feeling he was trying to protect her. The day after I talked to him, my sister got angry with me for being so upset, saying it had nothing to do with me and that I was selfish for wanting to understand. After I did not back down, she finally admitted that it was his decision to get the divorce because she cheated on him. She then told me that she’d already been through enough grief over the situation and she wasn’t going to listen to my criticism. I told her that she needed to be honest with the family, and get therapy; because that’s the only way she can prove that she’s sorry and wants to be a better person.

It has been a month, and she has still not told my family, and neither has she made the therapy appointment. Her husband, who is best friends with my husband, has told me a few more details about the situation recently. I found out from him that she had been having unprotected sex with a co-worker, then coming home and having unprotected sex with him, afterward. He told us that even though they are still living together until the divorce is finalized, my sister is still seeing the man she cheated with, which tells me that she is either not sorry, or is punishing her husband for going through with the divorce. The last couple of times I have talked to her, she joked about the whole situation as if it’s no big deal, which I find very disrespectful. She has lied to her husband and me so much that I don’t know if she ever has any intention to tell my family the truth. She lives in a fantasy world where there are no consequences for her actions, and I’m sick of it.

I know she is probably afraid to come clean because my religious family will be very angry and disappointed, but I think they have a right to know, and maybe they can help me try to save her from ruining everything good in her life. They have shown her nothing but unconditional love and support her whole life, and they did not raise her to treat people this way. My grandfather also owns the house they live in, and my parents paid for her destination wedding in Mexico. Not to mention that everyone loves her husband very much and considered him one of their own.

My friends tell me that I should continue to be silent, because this is not my story to tell. My husband thinks I should at least drop some hints and let them figure things out on their own. What is my greatest responsibility in this situation?

Listen to Shirley and Steve comment on this letter below:

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