I found out that my brother’s wife had been unfaithful. She gave me her phone to take it for repair, and I happened to see some indecent photos on it that I realized were of her with my sister’s husband. That bothered me a lot, so I confronted them and told them that they had better break it off. I didn’t want to mention it to my brother and sister so as not to harm the family, but I have doubts because I don’t know if they are continuing to see each other. Should I tell my family?
Yours is a difficult and sensitive situation, and we are saddened to hear of it. Your question for us is whether you should tell your family. In other words, you want to know whether it would be wrong if you chose not to tell your family.
As you know, we base our answers on God’s Word, the Bible, and the teaching that it contains. There are many lessons that teach us that we should confront evil, which is exactly what you already did when you talked to your brother’s wife and your sister’s husband.
The problem now is that you don’t know whether the affair is completely over and therefore in the past, or whether it is continuing. What is most important is that you don’t know. When you don’t know something, you don’t have anything to tell. Guesses and speculation are gossip and should not be told.
Were you wrong when you decided not to tell your brother and sister after you first found out about the illicit relationship? Some people believe that loyalty to the biological family is one of the highest values, and that loyalty would demand that you reveal what you discovered. However, we don’t know of any Bible teaching that would indicate that you are obligated to tell your family everything that you know. Of course, the Bible teaches that you must always tell the truth, but you don’t have to voluntarily blurt out everything that you know or think unless you are asked.
You explain that you were most concerned about the welfare of the family members, and that is why you haven’t told your siblings. We agree with you that the guilty ones should be allowed to confess their own infidelities without your interference. The best possible scenario would be that each of the guilty parties would pay attention to the warning that you gave them and actively repair the damage in their marriages. If that happens, you will have possibly prevented greater harm to your siblings, as well as to your nieces and nephews.
No matter how this all turns out, we believe that it is not your responsibility to intervene, nor will it be your fault if things do not go well. And the next time you take a phone for repair, we recommend that you overcome the temptation to see what is on it.
We wish you well,