Denise and Phillip’s son, Scotty, was meeting a friend for drinks at a downtown bar when he was horrified to see his brother-in-law, Greg, wrapped around a woman—a woman who was not Jackie, his sister and Greg’s wife. Scotty told his parents what he saw and now they’re in a terrible quandary. Should they keep silent rather than break up Jackie’s marriage? Do they owe it to Jackie to let her know what’s going on? Should they seek guidance from a family and marriage counselor?
The Panel Weighs In
Andy: Who knows – Greg and Jackie may have an open marriage and this might be acceptable behavior – but Denise and Phillip should definitely tell Jackie. Before they do, though, they should hire a private investigator to find out if this is really an affair. Then they should go to a marriage counselor to learn the best way to break the news to Jackie. One way or the other, they have an obligation to tell their daughter.
Roger: The family owes it to Jackie to tell her, but they need a cooling-off period. They also need professional help in framing the discussion. This is a really sensitive issue!
Alyssa: Denise and Phillip should meet with Greg and give him 24 hours to explain it all to his wife. Otherwise, they’re going to go to her with what Scotty saw. They don’t need to know the details but Jackie does. Hopefully, it’s a misunderstanding or something Greg and Jackie can work out. If they do stay together, the parents don’t want to be caught in the middle.
Lois: This is very tough, but ultimately it will be between the husband and wife. The parents should proceed cautiously because maybe Jackie doesn’t want to know and/or she could figuratively shoot the messenger. It would be better if Jackie found out on her own, which she inevitably will, because if Greg is carrying on in a public bar, it’s only a matter of time until his infidelity is discovered. Then Jackie is the one with the decision to make: keep her husband, dump him, or find out if he’s willing to work on the marriage.
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