Author Topic: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?  (Read 10524 times)

throwaway2703

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Throwaway account because reasons.  Some details vague or changed and all names and locations changed for privacy/other reasons.

Short version: My sister-in-law (We'll call her Karen) is juggling two guys (We'll call them Mike and Rob), lying to both, and lying to my wife (we'll call her Mandy) and I.  I have no idea how to proceed, or really how to handle it.

Long version:

Karen and Mike go way back.  They've been dating since about 2010.  At the time, Karen didn't break up with her previous boyfriend when she met Mike.  She dragged it out for a little while (sometime between a few weeks and a few months) until he figured it out.  Not exactly shining integrity, but she was in her late teens at the time.  Anyway, Karen and Mike were by all accounts very happy together, moved in together, and eventually in with Mandy and I, sharing a big house (rental) by 2012.

Everything was going great at this point, Mandy and I got to know Mike very well, and very much considered him "part of the family."  He's a really awesome guy, and I (as a straight dude) would definitely consider him "hubby material."  We all pretty much consider each other family.

Karen bought a new car in late 2013, financed in a five year note.

Mid-2014 or so, things started changing a bit.  Karen had always been a gamer, and picked up a habit of a certain online MMO game.  She would play it for many hours at a time.  She had a headset with a microphone, which is very common for people who play such games.  But we noticed that she would act differently on the mic when Mike wasn't around.  She'd act a bit flirty, or swear in a cutesey way.  She eventually joined a guild in the game that was mostly people in Germany.  She used this as her reasoning for then sleeping odd hours. 

Right around this time, Karen moved her computer from the living room into Karen and Mike's bedroom.  At this point, we heard from her very little, she slept very odd hours, and she only left  that room to go to work or get fast food.  We knew there was some particular guy she'd talk to in her game often, but she shrugged it off and said he was just "some loser" that she was "using" to get free stuff in the game.  (It's no secret that some guys in online games will do that for any girl they see, so it penciled out.)  We figured out that his name was Rob.  To us it just seemed like she was sucked into the game.  This went on for about a year.

March 2015, Mike went on a vacation to Japan.  He wanted to take Karen with her, but she didn't want to go (his brother went with him instead).

Then Mandy and I bought a house (mid-2015) and the fellowship broke.  We moved into the house we bought, and Karen and Mike moved into a "crappy" apartment.  Karen was not shy about how much she hated the apartment, but it was what made the most sense for them geographically and financially.  Things pretty much continued as they had at this point, but she couldn't "hole up" in the bedroom with the game anymore, as there wasn't space.

Throughout this time we saw way more of Mike than Karen, and Mandy considered Mike more her brother than Karen her sister. 

In August 2015, Karen and Mike told us that she was going on a trip to Belgium.  Mike seemed excited for her, still high on his earlier-that-year international travel.  She quit her job, bought a one-way ticket without a return flight, and said she was staying with "some friends from her game."  Since this point, she hasn't has a job or worked at all.

After a month, Mike started asking her when she was coming back.  She gave excuses and put it off.  Eventually she came back one day before her tourist visa would have expired (gone for 89 days).  She seemed "normal" after getting back.

May 2016, she left for Germany claiming she was visiting for a few weeks.  Excuse after excuse later, she came back in August after 78 days.

Just over a month later, she disappeared in the middle of the day, and when Mike got home from work and called her asking her where she was, she said she was at the airport, going back to Germany.  She gave a generic lame excuse as to why she was going.  Supposedly going to be gone for a "week or two."  This was where Mandy and I really knew something was up.

In January 2017 (Karen still in Germany), Mike shows us "weird texts" he got from Karen.  It's someone using her phone claiming to be "her boyfriend Rob" that wants know what's "going on" between Mike and Karen.  Rob says something about them wanting to get married.

Karen spins it as a crazy guy hacking her phone and a bunch of other baloney.  Mike falls for it and sympathizes.  Our suspicions increase.  We try to push Mike in that direction saying things like "I don't know if one of us could deal with the other doing something like that." But he just turns it into some I'm-so-great quality and says that he just has more patience. (We'd call it denial.)

At that point, Mike is so worried about her perceived danger from this "crazy guy" and can barely can sleep each night.  He's working full time at this point, paying his bills and hers (including her car note and insurance), and going to school full time.  Stressed out of his mind.  He keeps pleading with her to come home, and she keeps finding reasons not to be able to.  From generic "I'm sick" to "I lost my passport and need to get a new one" to all kinds of nonsense.

Mike finishes his semester and graduates with his degree.  Somehow, he got straight A's that last semester (he's "a trooper") and didn't accumulate any extra debt from floating Karen's expenses and paying for school incidentals (and working his ass off).  He estimated that her being gone cost him about five grand altogether.

Mike lands an internship 1000 miles away near where his parents and brothers live.  He moves there in May (still in the country), ending their lease in the "crappy" apartment.


Two weeks later, Karen finally comes home (after 275 days in Germany).  Mike bought her a ticket, and she flew to where Mandy and I live, ostensibly to say hi to us, stay with us for a week or so, and then fly to where Mike moved to.  That didn't happen.

I picked her up from the airport.  Things seemed "normal" and "like the old days" as we talked on the way home.  Mandy was out of town until two days after Karen got here.  Karen and I talked, some about the "crazy guy" Rob that had allegedly stalked her etc.

When Mandy finally got back and saw her, she quietly told me that she was 99% sure Karen was pregnant.  I thought she was right, but didn't notice before she said anything, because I'm just a dumb guy who doesn't notice things.

A few days later, Karen took our car ostensibly to go to Urgentcare since she had kidney pain and wasn't sure what was causing it.  A few hours later, we got a terse text from her saying it was something bad and she had to see a different doctor.  We're convinced she's getting an abortion, and that it's Rob's.

A few hours after that (while Mandy and I were eating dinner), she calls me in tears saying that she's in the ER and she has a mass in her stomach that might be cancer.  ...not what we were expecting. 

We go see her in the ER, she'd going to get an MRI and everything, turns out she has a giant ovarian cyst.  She's transferred to another hospital and a couple days later she gets surgery to have it removed, along with one ovary.  Surgery goes well, she couldn't move or walk for a few days in the hospital afterwards but eventually she's discharged.  She said the cyst weighed 30lbs, and she definitely lost the "pregnant" look.  We assume this is all true and that wasn't pregnant (but suspect that she thought she was).

We brought Karen home, and helped her during her recovery any way we could.  She's been recovering quickly, and been able to walk around the house again. 

About a week ago we realize she's been watching our mail like a hawk (she put our address down for everything), which is not her style.  This gave away that she was hiding something medically that she was going to get a bill for.

I signed up for USPS Informed Delivery, but everything that's come so far has had an explanation.

I logged into her Ting account (that I helped her make a few weeks ago when setting up a new American phone for her), and checked her call history.  The morning she ended up in the ER, she called some medical clinic, then shortly afterwards some pregnancy resource from the county, and then Planned Parenthood.  To us, this confirmed that she definitely thought she was pregnant (like we thought before).

And then yesterday I found irrefutable proof of everything we've suspected, and worse.

Through some less-than-kosher methods, I obtained the password to one of her email accounts (the fact that she has so f-ing many email account is its own red flag, but anyway...).

She has a boatload of damning emails in there.  She's definitely in a serious relationship with Rob.

The first, and most disturbing is a fake conversation between her and Mandy from just before she left Germany.  She made a separate fake email account for Mandy and used it to write a fake conversation.  The conversation implied Mandy knows all about Rob.  She told "Mandy" that she was 8 weeks pregnant.  "Mandy" gave her a few key (incorrect) details.  First, she said that Mike not only moved but has a new girlfriend (he totally doesn't and is still 100% in love with Karen) to quell jealousy from Rob.  Then she said she'd be home to pick up Karen (she wasn't, I was), also to quell any jealousy concerns.  Third, she said that Mandy was buying the ticket, not Mike, because that obviously wouldn't fit her narrative she's spun to Rob.

Then she had another email written to herself, but really to Rob.  She was telling him that Mandy bought her a ticket to "visit" America, since she was afraid of the abortion cost in Germany, and since they were planning on getting married and getting a house, that it would be her last time for a while to be able to visit family.  She went on to say that she knew he was afraid "of [her] cheating on [him] again" and mentioning the lie about Mike having a new girlfriend.

We're assuming she left that email open for him on the computer when she left, then left behind the fake conversation with "Mandy" in her inbox to corroborate what she was saying and quell any jealousy/"cheating" concerns.

Then there were a few emails since she left Germany that basically establish the following happened while staying with us:
She was pregnant, went in to PP for an ultrasound, and they told her about the then-unidentified cyst.
She went to the ER, they eventually told her it was a cyst, and that the fetus had no heartbeat.
When the cyst was removed, they also removed the fetus.
Grotesquely, the cyst provided a nice "cover" for her pregnancy/etc.

She's lied to everyone, all around.  It's pretty fucked up.  All she had to do was break up with Mike, and she would have been free to tell the truth to everyone else about everything.  We could have been happy for her.  But she didn't.

Since we now have irrefutable proof of everything, we could tell Mike, which would destroy him.  All he did during the last 275 days she was gone was worry every night, and to learn that was all a lie would be devastating.  I'd probably fly down and take him out for a couple beers.

We could also tell Rob, since he deserves to know too.  He'd probably crater too, and she would not be welcome back in Germany.

Telling both would pretty much destroy any chance Karen has at a future that looks anything at all at what she had planned.  We have no idea what she had planned, or what her true endgame with all this was (on some perverse level, it almost seems like she wants a "backup" to either guy).

If we tell both Mike and Rob, and they both accordingly turn their backs on her (as they should, truly), she'll have no where to go but stay with us for the short-to-medium term.  And while that would be logistically less-than-ideal for us, it would kick her even harder.  She's still my sister-in-law and she's still Mandy's older sister.  We've been taking care of her since her surgery since that's what you do for family.

We have no idea what to do, as every option seems "wrong" on some level.  We can't keep quiet, and we can't tell them without destroying my sister-in-law's life.  We love her as family even if she's done some pretty fucked up stuff.

What the hell is "the right thing" to do?


Thanks for anyone with the patience to actually read all this.  I know it sounds like a fucking soap opera story.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 04:31:14 PM »
I think you have to tell Mike.  It isn't clear to me you owe Rob anything.
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Letj

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 04:58:50 PM »
I think you should tell them both. She is definitely not marriage material and betraying such a loyal and faithful boyfriend is just so wrong. Unless you tell me she is a teenager or really young adult, my opinion stands.

sokoloff

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 05:10:22 PM »
If Karen is an adult, IMO you have no business logging into her Ting account nor her email account.
Depending on where you live, either one might be a felony.

She's an adult. Let her adult.

cchrissyy

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 05:38:17 PM »
what you should do is DISENGAGE from other people's problems and private business. don't take on unnecessary stress.

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 06:01:07 PM »
Normally, I would say, "It's not your business."

Then again, she has been (literally) pretending to be your wife online.   That gives you some stake in the issue.

Frankly, I would tell the good guy you know that he'll always be part of your family, which is something the two of you can't say about your wife's sister.   Advise him to dump her.

And be careful what you say about what you know from the hacked account.  I wouldn't admit to that at all for the legal reasons already mentioned.

iris lily

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 06:03:31 PM »
If Karen is an adult, IMO you have no business logging into her Ting account nor her email account.
Depending on where you live, either one might be a felony.

She's an adult. Let her adult.
And let her various whipped boyfriends be adults, on their own, you know, figuring stuff out about Karen.

Because you have a relationship with Mike, ypu might mention that you, personally, have great skepticism about what Karen is doing in Getmany and with whom. Mention it again. Then, let it go.

Mike doesnt want to see anything because he doesn't want to see anythng.That is his right as an adult.

Pigeon

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 06:47:13 PM »
I would mind my own damned business and start distancing myself from her as much as possible. 

Cali Nonya

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 07:08:38 PM »
Since  you care about Mike, I would tell him as much as he needs to know, but keep details as thin as possible since you did cross the line logging into your sister-in-laws accounts.  He needs to know it is time for him to move on.

I'd agree with the other's you don't owe anything to Rob.  Let that be what it will be.  I suspect your sister-in-law will go back to him if she can.  Let her go, wipe your hands of it, and stay a friend to Mike.

Oh, and be glad the crazy is not in yours.
:)

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 07:14:59 PM »
If Karen is an adult, IMO you have no business logging into her Ting account nor her email account.
Depending on where you live, either one might be a felony.

She's an adult. Let her adult.
And let her various whipped boyfriends be adults, on their own, you know, figuring stuff out about Karen.

Because you have a relationship with Mike, ypu might mention that you, personally, have great skepticism about what Karen is doing in Getmany and with whom. Mention it again. Then, let it go.

Mike doesnt want to see anything because he doesn't want to see anythng.That is his right as an adult.

+1. If Mike wanted to know, MIKE would have accessed her accounts, etc, like you did, or at the very least pushed the conversation with Karen. The fact that he hasn't speaks volumes to me. He has to suspect/know on some level. So I would mention your doubts, make explicit you're there for him "whatever he decides to do" (ie implying he needs to DO something) and leave it at that.

It sucks, but Karen is an adult. And if she's lying to so many people over so many years? Then that won't change any time soon. Be glad you're disentangled from the living with her situation. Focus on your own life and your own marriage instead. Sorry this is happening around you. Drama sucks, but you don't have to entangle yourself in it.
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throwaway2703

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2017, 07:20:46 PM »
Since  you care about Mike, I would tell him as much as he needs to know, but keep details as thin as possible since you did cross the line logging into your sister-in-laws accounts.  He needs to know it is time for him to move on.

I'd agree with the other's you don't owe anything to Rob.  Let that be what it will be.  I suspect your sister-in-law will go back to him if she can.  Let her go, wipe your hands of it, and stay a friend to Mike.

Oh, and be glad the crazy is not in yours.
:)
Thanks.  And yes, definitely to that last line.
And be careful what you say about what you know from the hacked account.  I wouldn't admit to that at all for the legal reasons already mentioned.
It's "hacked" only in the "she logged into that account on my computer, and I noticed and took advantage" sense, not in any actual "hacking."
I think you have to tell Mike.  It isn't clear to me you owe Rob anything.
I definitely feel more compelled to tell Mike, but that's only because he's "family."  Rob might deserve to know, as well.  I don't know the guy, and she is being very dishonest with him too.

To everyone saying "butt out" completely, when there are people that I care about in the mix (Mandy and Mike), it's not that simple.  And Mike is too "dense" (Mandy's words, also "blinded by compassion") to see what's going on unless we spell it out for him unambiguously.  He loves her, and is as loyal as loyal gets.  I can't in good conscious just let someone hurt someone like that and that we care about.
If Karen is an adult, IMO you have no business logging into her Ting account nor her email account.
Depending on where you live, either one might be a felony.

She's an adult. Let her adult.
And let her various whipped boyfriends be adults, on their own, you know, figuring stuff out about Karen.

Because you have a relationship with Mike, ypu might mention that you, personally, have great skepticism about what Karen is doing in Getmany and with whom. Mention it again. Then, let it go.

Mike doesnt want to see anything because he doesn't want to see anythng.That is his right as an adult.

+1. If Mike wanted to know, MIKE would have accessed her accounts, etc, like you did, or at the very least pushed the conversation with Karen. The fact that he hasn't speaks volumes to me. He has to suspect/know on some level. So I would mention your doubts, make explicit you're there for him "whatever he decides to do" (ie implying he needs to DO something) and leave it at that.

It sucks, but Karen is an adult. And if she's lying to so many people over so many years? Then that won't change any time soon. Be glad you're disentangled from the living with her situation. Focus on your own life and your own marriage instead. Sorry this is happening around you. Drama sucks, but you don't have to entangle yourself in it.
Mike has tried to an extent, but she's an exceptional liar, and he has his head in the sand.  He also hasn't been physically near her since last August.

I'm not exactly "disentagled from the living with her situation."  She's still living in our spare bedroom for now.  We think at some point she'll just disappear back to Germany, and that's when we tell Mike everything we know.  But it still kind of feels wrong to wait, since it's still hurting him now, and he needs to move the fuck on.  (Just thinking it out here.)

Thanks for all the answers everybody, I appreciate it.

sokoloff

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2017, 07:32:00 PM »
It's "hacked" only in the "she logged into that account on my computer, and I noticed and took advantage" sense, not in any actual "hacking."
The sophistication or level of effort you exerted has no bearing in the eyes of the law.

You accessed her accounts without her authorization? You've committed access without authorization or access in excess of your authorization. The fact that it was easy might have bearing in a penalty phase, but not on the underlying violation of law. Don't bring it up.

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2017, 07:47:45 PM »
Just want to say that I'm really sorry you have this stress in your life and at some point you may have to focus on your own circle of control. Hugs!

Psychstache

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 08:04:00 PM »
You say Mike is niave and doesn't know what is going on, but he does. He just doesn't want to accept reality. He's afraid of being single and has almost a decade invested in the relationship and doesn't want to give up the security of the known, regardless of how unfurling and shitty it is. But he's an adult and he has to figure it out on his own. Continue to invest in your relationship with Mike and if he comes to you and asks for advice, give it to him. But otherwise, he needs to get there on his own.

Y'all (you and your wife) need to cut SIL out of your lives as soon as possible. Blood didn't mean shit when it is poisonous.

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2017, 08:10:28 PM »
Ugh. Lying sucks. Knowing people are lying to people you care about sucks more.

This is clearly a messy situation. You went well beyond what is appropriate in your snooping, and now you have evidence you shouldn't have. This complicates things. Whereas before you could honestly tell Mike you have a bad feeling about her fidelity, now if that's all you say and he brushes it off, you'll likely feel guilty if they stay together. If you mention your snooping, you're opening a whole can of worms of both family and legal drama that could have awful repercussions.

Help her recover physically and then distance yourself as much as you can so you aren't sucked into further drama.
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driftwood

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2017, 01:05:11 AM »
1.  Butt out completely. Once Karen is recovered from her surgery kick her out to deal with her own problems -- adulting

2.  If I was feeling feisty I'd go for the nuclear affect - Kick Karen out and cease talking to her (for awhile at least), and send ALL evidence to both Rob and Mike. After that, don't respond in any way to Rob, but be there for Mike if he wants to talk about it.

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OnTheMoney

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2017, 01:43:19 AM »
Wow, I couldn't make that shit up.

Karen is a sociopath. No moral compass whatsoever. I'd get her out of my house ASAP, changing the locks on her way out. And after that level of elaborate deception and cold manipulation, I wouldn't consider her family anymore either. Sociopaths cannot be rehabilitated. They would see toying with the therapist as another sick game.

Personally, I'd feel morally obligated to tell Mike. At least so he doesn't bankroll her next adventure. I'd probably also tell Rob if there was a convenient opportunity to do so.

ETA: I would not give any details about specific documentation that you have read or under what circumstances. Just that you "know" it, and that you wouldn't tell him unless you were 100.0% sure. If he wants specifics, he can go digging himself.

Good luck!!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 02:05:51 AM by OnTheMoney »

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2017, 02:25:51 AM »
The right thing to do is to stop enabling Karen.  Financially, that is.  She needs to be paying market rent and her share of groceries and bills, and she needs to be given a move-out date.  She's a 30 year old adult: you and your wife are doing no good allowing her to sponge off you.  Also, it's one of the things which is allowing Karen to keep this fucked-up situation going.  If she has to be an adult who earns her own living it's likely that the rest will unravel of it's own accord: I can't see her working full time and setting up her own home while also keeping two "full-time" relationships on two different continents.

Be a friend to Mike.  Honestly, if he didn't come back to see Karen when she was going through a serious operation I suspect that he is no longer seeing her as his long-term life partner.  The four-figure sum she owes him, plus the two 3 month absences followed by a nine month absence would be a reasonable explanation for that.   I don't think you need to do anything as respects their relationship other than not to facilitate that either.
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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2017, 02:45:20 AM »
what you should do is DISENGAGE from other people's problems and private business. don't take on unnecessary stress.

+1

She is in a train wreck and you will be collateral damage. She won't listen to you. Limit the boundaries you have with her - how long will she stay with you for? Will she start paying rent if her dramas continue? Do you need to start installing security cameras if everything goes to shit?

I don't think it was wise of you to hack into her personal emails. She was trying to limit the damage and she only fed you information she thought you needed to know yet you breached that boundary. You're in the thick of it now and it looks like you will be with her until the messy end.

One day you will look back at this and laugh because crying won't solve anything. All dramas come to an end eventually. And one last thing: you can't change people. Accept them for what they are, not what you want them to be. From then on, you can start setting boundaries for yourself.

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2017, 02:57:49 AM »
You say Mike is niave and doesn't know what is going on, but he does. He just doesn't want to accept reality. He's afraid of being single and has almost a decade invested in the relationship and doesn't want to give up the security of the known, regardless of how unfurling and shitty it is. But he's an adult and he has to figure it out on his own. Continue to invest in your relationship with Mike and if he comes to you and asks for advice, give it to him. But otherwise, he needs to get there on his own.

Y'all (you and your wife) need to cut SIL out of your lives as soon as possible. Blood didn't mean shit when it is poisonous

Agree with this too. Mike's emotional investment is such he is willing to put up with her shit. I have met people like that - they don't want to be single because it would signal to the rest of society they're lonely fuckers and they'd rather be partnered up despite everything. But anyhoo, this co-dependency is none of your business. If he is as thick as two planks then feel free to reveal. Yet I doubt he is that thick.

I had a former work colleague - her hubby was having affairs with any skirt that moved! She was attending a dinner once and his current lover went up to them both and the lover slid her hand up and down his thigh...in front of her. She did not do anything. Also one of her friends told her that her hubby was having an affair. Guess who she dropped? The friend. She did NOT want to know - or if she knew she did not want it so public. She regrets that now. She's divorced from hubby too. But she knew her hubby was having affairs yet to maintain her friendship, her friends had to ignore this glaring truth.

Don't know whether she stayed so long because of her children or to keep that veneer of respectability but she missed out on so much (and future partners/potential soulmate) because she did not leave him.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 02:59:44 AM by Sydneystache »

Gondolin

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2017, 08:44:26 AM »
Quote
The sophistication or level of effort you exerted has no bearing in the eyes of the law.

Of course it does! Various states have different levels of protections which are interpreted differently all the time. "The law" is not at all settled on this issue and most civil violations to date have been related to ongoing litigation (divorces, business disputes, corporate espionage).

All people on this forum should refrain from giving legal advice unless are an attorney, cop, judge, or prosecutor who has specific knowledge of the relevant state and/federal statute AND the history of jurisprudence as relates to that statute.

OP - tell Mike but expect denial from him. Kick Karen out ASAP. Don't let her come back when the house of cards collapses.
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SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 09:07:06 AM »
I have no advice but this was the most entertaining thing I've read in some time.

jezebel

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2017, 09:24:34 AM »
oh my god, no.

When Karen is sufficiently recovered, ask her to leave your house! 

Reveal to Mike that you discovered that she is in a relationship with another man in Germany and then shut up and let him do what ever he wishes with that information. 

Then just stop all of your interest or involvement in other people's drama.  I'm not sure why you felt entitled to snoop into her phone records or emails, but you need to get out of that mind set.

Cali Nonya

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2017, 11:24:32 AM »
I just want to say this.  As someone who went a wee bit further checking emails and accounts than the OP when my significant other was cheating on me, I'd say cut the OP some slack.  Checking through people's electronic messages isn't necessarily the right thing to do, but it's the very human thing to do in this sort of situation and I think most people (or at least more than will admit it) would snoop when it comes to worrying situations about loved ones.

cchrissyy

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2017, 11:32:25 AM »
it's not like she's cheating on the poster though - she's his roommate.
if this lady wants to keep her (former) pregnancy private from her roommate, her sister, and the whole darn rest of the world except her doctor, that is her right.

thesvenster

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2017, 11:34:51 AM »
You need to tell Mike as gently as possible, support him, and disengage from here ASAP. No good will come of this.

jezebel

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2017, 12:15:39 PM »
I just want to say this.  As someone who went a wee bit further checking emails and accounts than the OP when my significant other was cheating on me, I'd say cut the OP some slack.  Checking through people's electronic messages isn't necessarily the right thing to do, but it's the very human thing to do in this sort of situation and I think most people (or at least more than will admit it) would snoop when it comes to worrying situations about loved ones.

This situation is very different.  And all the OP did was buy a closer seat to this circus, when he should have been running in the opposite direction.

Lepetitange3

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2017, 12:37:37 PM »
From what I'm gathering (please correct if wrong) this is your wife's sister?  That means wife should get the final say on how she wants to handle...her crazy family, her call.  My husbands folks are a different brand of nuts but they're his people, so he gets to decide how he wants to deal with them. 

sokoloff

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2017, 12:42:37 PM »

Pigeon

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2017, 01:25:22 PM »
I just want to say this.  As someone who went a wee bit further checking emails and accounts than the OP when my significant other was cheating on me, I'd say cut the OP some slack.  Checking through people's electronic messages isn't necessarily the right thing to do, but it's the very human thing to do in this sort of situation and I think most people (or at least more than will admit it) would snoop when it comes to worrying situations about loved ones.

Oh hell no.  The OP is not married to to Karen.  Karen is an adult.  The OP is not in relationships with the guys she's messing around with.  The OP is digging into Karen's personal medical information.  The OP has invaded her privacy six ways from Sunday.  That's not to say Karen isn't a creep, but inserting yourself into someone's relationships and private correspondence like this is beyond the pale.  He certainly might not want to be providing her with a place to stay, but he should have known that a very long time ago.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2017, 01:39:29 PM »
Karen sounds unstable, probably has a severe personality disorder going on, and should be relegated to the fringes of your life as quickly as reasonably possible without letting on what you are doing. Help her move out once she is recovered, see her on holidays, be friendly, but do not allow her into your daily or monthly lives. And do not, for the love of god, get involved in her drama. I have met people like Karen, they always turn on you eventually so donít give them any reason to. They canít help it. Itís how they operate.

Iím not kidding OP - People like this are dangerous. They destroy lives even if it isnít intentional. Eventually she will destroy your life or your marriage or both if you let her get too entwined in it. Look at what she has done already - she has you, her sister's partner - snooping on her. She has you taking care of her after her royally messed up mistakes. She has you asking strangers on the internet how to handle her boyfriends. You need to disengage immediately from this situation (like, today) and form a new plan.

And as for the men? You let them figure out Karenís insanity on their own. Mike isnít stupidÖhe knows something is up. Rob too. Women just donít run off like that. They are clearly hanging around because they are codependent and have their own emotional issues going on. You donít need to point out that they have been screwed over by herÖthey already know on some level and are just in denial. Telling them the obvious wonít fix their issues and denial, but it will certainly tip off Karen that someone told on herÖand then sheíll turn her unstable behavior on you and your wife.

At the end of the day, you are worrying about the wrong people here Ė you are worried about Mike, and Rob, and Karen when you really need to be worrying about you and your wife. You guys need to protect yourselves and your marriage, not Karen or her boyfriends. She is a threat to the people around her and she is already damaging your own life in tangible ways. Remove the threat as strategically and nicely as possible, but remove it asap.

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2017, 02:27:09 PM »
I just want to say this.  As someone who went a wee bit further checking emails and accounts than the OP when my significant other was cheating on me, I'd say cut the OP some slack.  Checking through people's electronic messages isn't necessarily the right thing to do, but it's the very human thing to do in this sort of situation and I think most people (or at least more than will admit it) would snoop when it comes to worrying situations about loved ones.

I agree. It's normal to search for the truth when you're being lied to. And if you're lying your ass off to people who love you (I'm talking about psychopathic, life-altering deceptions, not little white lies), you should expect them to "violate your privacy" when they become suspicious.

Personally, I would tell Mike what I knew, but not how I knew it. Offer support if he needs it. Don't try to argue if he doesn't believe it. Rob? I don't know. I couldn't view or treat Karen as a family member after this kind of bullshit. You need to get disentangled from the web she's spun, and quickly.
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electriceagle

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2017, 03:02:07 AM »
You need to tell Mike as gently as possible, support him, and disengage from here ASAP. No good will come of this.

Please tell Mike as un-gently as possible. Verbal brickbat. He doesn't need all of the details, but there should be no weasel-words ("sorta" or "maybe") involved.

Guy needs to learn to watch people's actions instead of listening to their words.

iris lily

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2017, 06:56:01 AM »
You need to tell Mike as gently as possible, support him, and disengage from here ASAP. No good will come of this.

Please tell Mike as un-gently as possible. Verbal brickbat. He doesn't need all of the details, but there should be no weasel-words ("sorta" or "maybe") involved.

Guy needs to learn to watch people's actions instead of listening to their words.

Its not either/or. You look at people AND their actions to see if they match. Both are important.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 05:33:11 AM by iris lily »

Cpa Cat

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2017, 07:54:00 AM »
#1 You should stop snooping through email and phone records. What's done is done - but it's really not ok.

#2 You should get this woman out of your house if she's still there, because you can't trust her AND she has a history of running off to foreign countries and not paying her bills. I hope it's obvious - but don't cosign anything for her.

#3 Rob is some guy from the internet. You don't know him and you don't know why she's lying to him. You don't owe him anything. You can't predict how he'll react. He could actually be a nutjob. You should leave that guy alone and not speak to him.

#4 You've described Mike as being pretty resilient, but think the news will destroy him? Give the guy some credit. If you choose to tell him, just do it and let him deal with it.

If you do tell Mike, you should stick to the facts you know and not offer the nitty gritty details. You know she was in a relationship with Rob. You know she believed she was pregnant.

What you don't know: You don't know if she was really pregnant. You don't know if she planned an abortion. You don't know if she had good reasons to lie to Rob so she could leave the country. And you'll never know - because she's untrustworthy and you can't believe any tale she spins.

However - you've gleaned a lot of information from email exchanges in which she was clearly actively lying to Rob. You have assumed the rest. Despite what some people want us to believe, Planned Parenthood isn't just a giant abortion mill, it can also be a place to get low cost prenatal care. Yes, it's likely that she was seeking an abortion, but she may also have been uncertain, she may have thought she was having a miscarriage, she may have wanted to keep her baby - you don't know. It's unlikely she ever visited a doctor in Germany, which means she'd have been relying on a pregnancy test, which may have been unreliable given her medical condition.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 08:33:46 AM by Cpa Cat »

throwaway2703

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2017, 01:36:40 PM »
Wow, so many more replies.  Thanks everyone for your input.

It's "hacked" only in the "she logged into that account on my computer, and I noticed and took advantage" sense, not in any actual "hacking."
The sophistication or level of effort you exerted has no bearing in the eyes of the law.

You accessed her accounts without her authorization? You've committed access without authorization or access in excess of your authorization. The fact that it was easy might have bearing in a penalty phase, but not on the underlying violation of law. Don't bring it up.
I wasn't going to bring it up, as regardless of legality, it's definitely "inadmissible in moral court."

Just want to say that I'm really sorry you have this stress in your life and at some point you may have to focus on your own circle of control. Hugs!
Thanks.  It's sticky, and I don't like being involved with nonsense such as this.  I'm fine with watching it on TV where it belongs.

Ugh. Lying sucks. Knowing people are lying to people you care about sucks more.

This is clearly a messy situation. You went well beyond what is appropriate in your snooping, and now you have evidence you shouldn't have. This complicates things. Whereas before you could honestly tell Mike you have a bad feeling about her fidelity, now if that's all you say and he brushes it off, you'll likely feel guilty if they stay together. If you mention your snooping, you're opening a whole can of worms of both family and legal drama that could have awful repercussions.

Help her recover physically and then distance yourself as much as you can so you aren't sucked into further drama.
That's kind of where I'm leaning.  Though I will feel like an asshole if everything blows up and Mike can look at me and say "You knew?"

1.  Butt out completely. Once Karen is recovered from her surgery kick her out to deal with her own problems -- adulting

2.  If I was feeling feisty I'd go for the nuclear affect - Kick Karen out and cease talking to her (for awhile at least), and send ALL evidence to both Rob and Mike. After that, don't respond in any way to Rob, but be there for Mike if he wants to talk about it.
Option 2 there is definitely the nuclear effect.  For extra credit, I could invite Rob and Mike to meet each other.  Or snail mail all evidence to them individually, each with the return address of the other.  But this is all truly just evil speculation.  If I blew up both sides of her life, she'd probably wind up having to live with us for the short to medium term, and we don't want that.

Wow, I couldn't make that shit up.
No fucking kidding.  It's insane.
Quote

Karen is a sociopath. No moral compass whatsoever. I'd get her out of my house ASAP, changing the locks on her way out. And after that level of elaborate deception and cold manipulation, I wouldn't consider her family anymore either. Sociopaths cannot be rehabilitated. They would see toying with the therapist as another sick game.

Personally, I'd feel morally obligated to tell Mike. At least so he doesn't bankroll her next adventure. I'd probably also tell Rob if there was a convenient opportunity to do so.

ETA: I would not give any details about specific documentation that you have read or under what circumstances. Just that you "know" it, and that you wouldn't tell him unless you were 100.0% sure. If he wants specifics, he can go digging himself.

Good luck!!
The money aspect is a part where it's hardest to see Mike get hurt.  He's still been paying her car payment (and letting her car sit there; he has his own paid-for car).  He's not swimming in money, but he's allowed much of this to happen by working extra hours all "in the name of love" essentially.

The right thing to do is to stop enabling Karen.  Financially, that is.  She needs to be paying market rent and her share of groceries and bills, and she needs to be given a move-out date.  She's a 30 year old adult: you and your wife are doing no good allowing her to sponge off you.  Also, it's one of the things which is allowing Karen to keep this fucked-up situation going.  If she has to be an adult who earns her own living it's likely that the rest will unravel of it's own accord: I can't see her working full time and setting up her own home while also keeping two "full-time" relationships on two different continents.

Be a friend to Mike.  Honestly, if he didn't come back to see Karen when she was going through a serious operation I suspect that he is no longer seeing her as his long-term life partner.  The four-figure sum she owes him, plus the two 3 month absences followed by a nine month absence would be a reasonable explanation for that.   I don't think you need to do anything as respects their relationship other than not to facilitate that either.
She's 26, but close enough.  If we kick her out, she'll go running back to one guy or the other, unless we blow that up too.

Mike was busy at his internship (he's about to officially graduate next month) so he couldn't really come back for that then.  He will be visiting in a couple weeks after that's over, which will be his first time seeing her since last August.

One day you will look back at this and laugh because crying won't solve anything. All dramas come to an end eventually. And one last thing: you can't change people. Accept them for what they are, not what you want them to be. From then on, you can start setting boundaries for yourself.
I know.  In 10 years we'll have a big laugh and tell stories with a comedic twist.  I'm sure it'll be funny in hindsight.  We know we can't change Karen, and we don't need to change Mike, just let him know what's going on so he can move on with his life (or not, if he decides to be naive/stubborn about it).
I have no advice but this was the most entertaining thing I've read in some time.
I'm glad it could be entertaining.  It's certainly a crazy story with twists and turns and reveals.  I should write a book. -_-
oh my god, no.

When Karen is sufficiently recovered, ask her to leave your house! 

Reveal to Mike that you discovered that she is in a relationship with another man in Germany and then shut up and let him do what ever he wishes with that information. 

Then just stop all of your interest or involvement in other people's drama.  I'm not sure why you felt entitled to snoop into her phone records or emails, but you need to get out of that mind set.
I'm only "interested" and "involved" because it involves people I care about directly.  I've never been sucked into anything like this before.  I'd also never snoop around into phone records or emails unless a situation was as insane as this one.
it's not like she's cheating on the poster though - she's his roommate.
if this lady wants to keep her (former) pregnancy private from her roommate, her sister, and the whole darn rest of the world except her doctor, that is her right.
I'd argue that someone in a current, serious, long-term relationship with her has a right to know about that, especially if he's not the father.
From what I'm gathering (please correct if wrong) this is your wife's sister?  That means wife should get the final say on how she wants to handle...her crazy family, her call.  My husbands folks are a different brand of nuts but they're his people, so he gets to decide how he wants to deal with them. 
Yeah, wife and I are pretty much on the same page about this.  She's been reading the answers here too.  I do respect that it's all her problem more than mine, and she has the final call here, but I'm pretty deep in it too.

Karen sounds unstable, probably has a severe personality disorder going on, and should be relegated to the fringes of your life as quickly as reasonably possible without letting on what you are doing. Help her move out once she is recovered, see her on holidays, be friendly, but do not allow her into your daily or monthly lives. And do not, for the love of god, get involved in her drama. I have met people like Karen, they always turn on you eventually so donít give them any reason to. They canít help it. Itís how they operate.

Iím not kidding OP - People like this are dangerous. They destroy lives even if it isnít intentional. Eventually she will destroy your life or your marriage or both if you let her get too entwined in it. Look at what she has done already - she has you, her sister's partner - snooping on her. She has you taking care of her after her royally messed up mistakes. She has you asking strangers on the internet how to handle her boyfriends. You need to disengage immediately from this situation (like, today) and form a new plan.

And as for the men? You let them figure out Karenís insanity on their own. Mike isnít stupidÖhe knows something is up. Rob too. Women just donít run off like that. They are clearly hanging around because they are codependent and have their own emotional issues going on. You donít need to point out that they have been screwed over by herÖthey already know on some level and are just in denial. Telling them the obvious wonít fix their issues and denial, but it will certainly tip off Karen that someone told on herÖand then sheíll turn her unstable behavior on you and your wife.

At the end of the day, you are worrying about the wrong people here Ė you are worried about Mike, and Rob, and Karen when you really need to be worrying about you and your wife. You guys need to protect yourselves and your marriage, not Karen or her boyfriends. She is a threat to the people around her and she is already damaging your own life in tangible ways. Remove the threat as strategically and nicely as possible, but remove it asap.


I didn't really think about it from this angle.  I'm glad to have read this perspective.  I think you're right.  Whatever we do, we need to think of ourselves too.

I do think there's some personality disorder type things going on here.  Mandy is "normal" but their mom has some pretty severe undiagnosed borderline personality disorder.

#1 You should stop snooping through email and phone records. What's done is done - but it's really not ok.
Yeah, I know.  "Desperate times" is what I tell myself, but right or wrong, it's done now.
Quote
#2 You should get this woman out of your house if she's still there, because you can't trust her AND she has a history of running off to foreign countries and not paying her bills. I hope it's obvious - but don't cosign anything for her.
Once she's recovered, I'm pretty confident she'll be leaving, which guy she'll be going to, it's hard to say though.  And no, we haven't cosigned anything with her, and will not be doing anything of the sort.
Quote
#3 Rob is some guy from the internet. You don't know him and you don't know why she's lying to him. You don't owe him anything. You can't predict how he'll react. He could actually be a nutjob. You should leave that guy alone and not speak to him.
I'm leaning that way too.  But I'm also "some guy from the internet."  That's how I met Mandy (and Karen) eight years ago.
Quote
#4 You've described Mike as being pretty resilient, but think the news will destroy him? Give the guy some credit. If you choose to tell him, just do it and let him deal with it.

If you do tell Mike, you should stick to the facts you know and not offer the nitty gritty details. You know she was in a relationship with Rob. You know she believed she was pregnant.

What you don't know: You don't know if she was really pregnant. You don't know if she planned an abortion. You don't know if she had good reasons to lie to Rob so she could leave the country. And you'll never know - because she's untrustworthy and you can't believe any tale she spins.

However - you've gleaned a lot of information from email exchanges in which she was clearly actively lying to Rob. You have assumed the rest. Despite what some people want us to believe, Planned Parenthood isn't just a giant abortion mill, it can also be a place to get low cost prenatal care. Yes, it's likely that she was seeking an abortion, but she may also have been uncertain, she may have thought she was having a miscarriage, she may have wanted to keep her baby - you don't know. It's unlikely she ever visited a doctor in Germany, which means she'd have been relying on a pregnancy test, which may have been unreliable given her medical condition.
She sent Rob more photos of the MRI at the hospital than she showed us.  I'm no doctor, but it sure looked like a pregnancy in addition to the cyst when viewed at the extra angles.  She specifically mentioned to Rob an abortion they had already scheduled (which to be fair could have been BS too).  It is possible that with the original visit to PP, she was not intending to abort; I do know she got an ultrasound there, which could have been just a normal routine check.

Thanks for all the input everyone!

jezebel

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2017, 02:33:01 PM »
Quote
I'm only "interested" and "involved" because it involves people I care about directly.  I've never been sucked into anything like this before.  I'd also never snoop around into phone records or emails unless a situation was as insane as this one.

You still seem to believe that you need/should to be involved in this because you care about the people involved.  No, you want to be involved.  You absolutely do not need to be so involved in this - particularly to the point of snooping, possibly illegally, into the affairs of other adults.   These people will do what they are going to do whether you are involved or not.  So tell Mike, or don't.  Then step back, for the sake of yourself and your wife.

Sydneystache

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2017, 03:24:22 PM »
Quote
I'd argue that someone in a current, serious, long-term relationship with her has a right to know about that, especially if he's not the father.

And some of us here have constantly argued that it's none of your business. If you tell Mike, you're risking your friendship with him ala my former work colleague. You tell him about her shenanigans with the expectation he'll hate you for telling him. On the other side he might be thankful but you don't know enough what's going on in their relationship dynamics. Mike might be shooting blanks and has given tacit approval for her to shag whilst overseas. I knew someone who went overseas and she had an understanding with her then partner that while they were apart they could shag other people.

Horses for courses see statement no.1.


Freedom2016

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2017, 05:29:33 PM »
It is a crazy situation, for sure, but perhaps what I'm most surprised by is that no one in this thread so far has said "forget about telling the two guys, if you confront anybody it should be Karen."

The logic is this -- tell her you're onto her; you know she has a guy in Europe (way to go, OP, you complicated this by snooping.) Then tell her that while you won't go blab to the guy(s), if you are asked questions BY ONE OR BOTH OF THEM about what you know, you won't lie.

There. Boundaries established. Then hustle her on out of your house, and possibly life.

For what it's worth, I was on the other end of this technique seven years ago, though the stakes were way lower. When my then-fiance (now DH) and I bought and moved into our condo two months before our wedding, my dad figured out that we were almost certainly sleeping together (ooh, scandal!). This would have been scandalous news to my mom, hardcore conservative Xian that she is (I was letting her think we were using separate bedrooms because why not -- there was no value to her knowing the truth about her thirty-something daughter). So my dad 'confronted' me in September saying exactly what I wrote above: he knew what was going on, he wouldn't blab to mom but if she asked, he wouldn't lie for me. So, fine. I knew what was up, and I knew where my dad stood and what he would do. It also, importantly, meant that I had to own my own stuff if/when it came up with mom.

Healthy boundaries. Just do it.

Sydneystache

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2017, 07:43:45 PM »
It is a crazy situation, for sure, but perhaps what I'm most surprised by is that no one in this thread so far has said "forget about telling the two guys, if you confront anybody it should be Karen."

That goes without saying - Karen is 'captured' living at the OP's home but so far OP hasn't confronted her. He's snooped her emails but never directly confronted her. So what gives? Is he afraid of her? Is she psychotic enough to do boiler bunny business? Meh.

Zamboni

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2017, 08:00:56 AM »
Wow. If I were in your shoes, the most immediately concerning part to me would be that crazy SIL is living in my house and USING MY MAILING ADDRESS AS HER OWN MAILING ADDRESS! Whether she means to do it intentionally for nefarious reasons or not, she is establishing residency at your home. It could be hard to get her out.

She cannot have any of her mail sent to your home, period. She is a temporary visitor, not a resident. Tell her she must get a personal PO Box immediately . . . like today. Take her to the post office and watch her sign up for the box. She is accessing your mailbox, and this cannot be. Seriously, what is next? Getting herself a credit card in your wife's name without your knowledge or consent, fishing it out of the mailbox, and then racking up a bunch of debt.

What? She's never done anything like that? She is doing something exactly like that with Mike paying her bills while she cavorts on another continent. She is ALREADY IMPERSONATING YOUR WIFE in another context, after all. Massively screwing over you and your wife financially is the next logical step for her, especially if both guys wise up and cut off the money train. I would pull a credit report on both me and my wife today to make sure there aren't already cards we don't know about floating around. She will blame you for her sins if she does this. She will twist it around in her twisted mind so that you deserve it and it is all somehow your fault. Seriously. I would want someone like this gone, and I certainly wouldn't want her treacherous little fingers in my mailbox every day.

My next concern would be getting her out of my house ASAP. She just had surgery and needs to recover, so I don't know how soon ASAP is from a humane and reasonable perspective, but you and your wife must be on the same page on these things. Figure out what would be reasonable, set that as the date, and inform her of the date.

Once she is out, it seems to me that the best advice here is the most recent advice to confront her in the way suggested. I actually think your wife should do that.

Personally, I would also fly to where Mike lives, take him out for beers, ask him how it's going for him, and tell him all I know. Everything. I wouldn't tell him how I know, but I'd tell him absolutely everything. I would do that for my brother, my son, or my good friend. It sounds like Mike is your good friend. He might still want to stay with her . . . that is a bad call but it is his call. Tell him that if he does that, then you will have to keep your distance from them because you can't trust her at all and the trust of her is unrecoverable for you at this point (the wife impersonation would put me over the edge, personally.) Who knows, maybe he is staying with her because that is how he feels reliably connected to you and your wife? Reassure him that you will always be his friend and that you have his back now and always. He needs to know the depth of who he is dealing with here. She sounds like a silky tongued liar, and he probably has idea that something is happening but he his hoping she'll find her way and really he has no idea the depth of her deceptions. He will never be able to trust anything she says . . . and you shouldn't either. Talk him up about what a great catch he is, and how you hate to see him mired down by such a loser. Good luck.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2017, 01:28:06 PM »
I would discuss the situation with your wife (you have, it sounds like, of course) and trying to set up bondaries for your SIL.  Like you mentioned, she's still family, but you don't have to provide her a living space.  You guys can work together on a reasonable timeline to get her out of your house after her surgery recovery.

Up to you on the two guys.  You obviously have a history with Mike and are good friends.  Would he be even more hurt if he found out you knew and didn't say anything?  Yeah, probably, but I don't know him so it's hard to say.  Would you want him to tell you if the situation was reversed?

Personally, I'd say nothing to the rando in Europe.  You don't owe him anything.

There is also the option that your SIL is an adult and the truth will eventually catch her on its own time.  Meddling might make it worse (will she resent you for telling Mike? etc.).
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Car Jack

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2017, 12:32:18 PM »
Karen sounds fun.  I like her.  She seems to be able to live without a job which is a huge Mustachian skill.  I might like to join the circus.  Can I get a refill on this popcorn please?

Zamboni

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2017, 12:59:31 PM »
Initially I was completely on board with Karen just doing Karen (more power to her aka Mike is a sucka aka guys think with their little head.)

Then I read the follow up that she was fabricating the emails "from her sister" to help cover her ass with Rob. That's where it crossed the line and suddenly involved OP and his wife. That level of impersonation/evidence fabrication combined with no job combined with her hands in the mailbox . . . my crystal ball says credit fraud is definitely a logical next step, and people loooove to victimize family because it's just so easy I guess.

Why so cynical? Let's just say I've had many friends in low places . . .

tyort1

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2017, 01:36:00 PM »
Karen sounds unstable, probably has a severe personality disorder going on, and should be relegated to the fringes of your life as
At the end of the day, you are worrying about the wrong people here Ė you are worried about Mike, and Rob, and Karen when you really need to be worrying about you and your wife. You guys need to protect yourselves and your marriage, not Karen or her boyfriends. She is a threat to the people around her and she is already damaging your own life in tangible ways. Remove the threat as strategically and nicely as possible, but remove it asap.

This, +1000
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PizzaSteve

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #45 on: July 04, 2017, 05:35:40 PM »
Near term, a credit freeze could be a good idea.  Also, if she is on your computer, consider that she may be hacking into your emails or tax documents as well.  I would PW protect financial files, change account PWs, make her use her own non-admin log in user at the OS level to use the computer.  It is pretty easy to set up, doesnt prevent her from use, also prevents you accidentally logging into her account.
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englishteacheralex

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #46 on: July 04, 2017, 06:04:10 PM »
Geez. Look, healthy people can see a circus for what it is and build strong boundaries around it. As a slew of people here have said: this is none of OP's business. I skimmed the story and thought...lots of people in this have too much tolerance for drama. Very much including OP.

You have a psycho SIL. Great. Most people have somebody in the family who is a big pain. We give the person more patience than if they weren't related to us, but there are still limits. And the limits would have been enforced lightyears before the nonexistent limits in this story.

There's a martyr complex going on here--this silly attempt to salvage something that is, again, none of OP's business. You think it's up to you to fix this in some way? Not happening.

The reason most of the comments have been things to the effect of: butt out, not your circus, not your monkeys, is NOT because most people are heartless jerks. It's because we recognize our own inability to change a crazy person or help the poor in-denial sop who wants to marry her or whatever.

Do what the rest of us do with our crazy relatives: watch from the sidelines, offer appropriate levels of help if it's specifically asked for, and bring popcorn if you're a more cynical person, or pray if you're a more spiritual person. But stop thinking you have any power over the outcome.
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Linda_Norway

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #47 on: July 06, 2017, 07:11:24 AM »
The fact that SIL is watching your mailbox like a hawk could indeed mean she is waiting for a credit card or code to be delivered. I agree with people above that you need to do a credit check of yourself and freeze your credit for the moment. Then get her out of your house as soon as possible.

Do not get involved with Rob, who is a stranger.

I am not sure about Mike. If he asks, let him know she's cheating on him and living a double life. But don't tell him or SIL that you read her emails.

Laura33

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #48 on: July 06, 2017, 07:33:31 AM »
The reason most of the comments have been things to the effect of: butt out, not your circus, not your monkeys, is NOT because most people are heartless jerks. It's because we recognize our own inability to change a crazy person or help the poor in-denial sop who wants to marry her or whatever.

Do what the rest of us do with our crazy relatives: watch from the sidelines, offer appropriate levels of help if it's specifically asked for, and bring popcorn if you're a more cynical person, or pray if you're a more spiritual person.

And drinking.  Don't forget drinking.

Otherwise, this.
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Jane Dough

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Re: Complicated "relationship" situation (not mine) what to do?
« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2017, 08:22:27 PM »
     Mike should be told ASAP, and before any more money is spent on her. It's a terrible betrayal. How long has it been since she worked? She is an adult, and should pay her way.  Many on this forum have experienced infidelity,I doubt they would like to know people they trusted were in the know and minded their own business.
     I discussed the pain and deceit of infidelity with a casual acquaintance , and she told me matter-of-factly that she knows her sister's husband is in a long term affair with another woman, and that her sister doesn't know. She won't tell her sister, so in my book it's a double betrayal. She told me that she let her brother in law know that she knew what he was doing, and ,instead of telling him to fess up or she would tell her sister, she accepted his word that he would never hurt her sister. The word of a lying cheat. He can have his cake and eat it too.