Here's the story:
I (29f) have a husband named Matt (32m) and an older brother named Tony (32m). Tony has a wife named Anna (33f). Tony and I both went to boarding school growing up. I went to an all girls school and he went to an all boys school across the country. Because of the distance we weren’t very close as kids and I didn’t know much about his life back then.
When Tony was at boarding school, he met my future husband Matt and they became best friends. At the time Tony was dealing with depression about his sexuality and Matt helped him out of it. Long story short they ended up falling in love and having a relationship. Once they graduated high school they broke up and lost touch. I didn’t know about any of this at the time.
I ended up going to the same university as Matt which is where I met him. I didn’t mention my brother initially because he wasn’t really a part of my life and since Tony and I have different last names, the three of us didn’t put the pieces together until a family gathering a year later.
I’m not gonna lie it was tough at first for everyone involved but eventually we were all able to get past it and Tony and Matt became best friends again. Matt and I got married three years ago.
When I met Tony’s partner Anna for the first time, I privately asked Tony if he told her about his history with Matt. Tony said it was still a new relationship and he would tell her when they were more serious. Now Tony and Anna are married.
Since Tony and Matt are so close, they often go on “boys trips” with just the two of them. They took one of these trips this past weekend and everything was going fine until I got a call from Anna asking if I knew where Tony was. Apparently he told her he was going to see our parents but she called them and he wasn’t there.
I told her that he was on a trip with Matt. She got upset and asked me if there was “something going on” between them. Thinking she already knew because she and Tony are now MARRIED, I told her not to worry because Matt and Tony’s romance ended in high school. That’s when I found out Tony never told her.
Tony was furious at me when he got back because Anna is threatening divorce and I’m “tearing up his family” because I told her without asking him first. Apparently Tony didn’t tell Anna the truth because he thought she wouldn’t let him see Matt anymore and now Anna wants him to cut me and Matt out completely. Matt is upset too because he can’t see Tony and he’s losing his best friend all over again.
My brother wants to cut me out of his life, his wife wants a divorce, and my husband is miserable, all because of something I said. I feel so guilty and can’t help but feel as though I messed up.
Edit: I’ve seen a lot of comments asking why I didn’t say anything about the trips sooner/what I thought they were doing so I’ll just answer here for the sake of convenience. My brother has been struggling with pretty severe depression for the past few years. Because of this he doesn’t go out much or have many friends.
My husband is his only close friend and the only one Tony will open up to because my husband helped him through depression when they were younger. The outings with Matt are one of the few things that make my brother happy.
Matt always told me they do regular things like play video games and watch movies and go biking, so I didn’t think too much into it. Even with Matt being Tony’s ex, I thought it was more like Matt was helping his friend through a tough time. I see now how stupid I was to assume that, but that was my thought process.
Edit 2: Please don’t let this post be a justification for homo/biphobia. Whatever happens with my brother and my husband isn’t reflective of gay/bi people as a whole.
NTA for telling her. She had a right to know that her husband is bi and that he still hangs out with his ex. It's super shady that he lied about his whereabouts, sound like they're having a Brokeback Mountain romance going on. Make sure your husband isn't cheating.
NTA here op. You made a reasonable assumption with the information you had at hand, did not do it out of malice, and in fact were trying to do a positive thing. I think it is very concerning how much your brother lies.
And BEST case scenario, even if your husband is unaware/doesn't reciprocate it... Your brother is almost certainly still in love with your husband. It is, however, almost a certainty that these guys have been continuing their relationship behind both of your backs.
NTA, all of this could have been prevented by Tony being truthful with Anna in the first place, both about his past with Matt and also about their "guy time."
NTA you didn’t know he didn’t tell his own wife. This is all his own fault because he should’ve been honest and you know what, he’s married, they should not be going out on trips together. He obviously lied to his wife about it for a reason, or he would’ve just told her who he was going on the trip with.
I don’t get why you’re not worried? Obviously they’re still doing stuff together. Doesn’t that bother you?I don’t feel bad for him, I feel bad for his wife and she deserves better.
Oh this is tough, I’d say either NAH, NTA or ESH,
NAH: your brother probably was struggling to come to his wife about his relationship with Matt, and you might’ve unknowingly spoiled the beans on it, though that’s not your fault now, is it?
NTA: he should’ve come out to his wife with this info before they got married or even started dating seriously.
ESH: He should’ve come out to his wife, you should’ve consulted him before telling his wife.
After I gave my husband space, I confronted him about his trips with my brother. He agreed to be honest with me about their relationship. As some of you suspected, Matt knew when we first met that I was Tony’s sister and started dating me to get close to Tony again.
He claimed that in the first year of our relationship, before he reunited with Tony, he genuinely fell in love with me. When Tony saw us together, he admitted to Matt that he still loved him and was distraught when Matt said he didn’t feel the same way. Eventually they made amends and became close friends again.
Around the time Matt married me, Tony fell into a deep depression. That’s when the trips started. Matt told me that initially he was just supporting Tony as a friend, but Tony broke down on one of the trips and confessed that he never stopped loving Matt and was lying about the trips to his wife because he felt guilty (also why he never told her about their history).
He begged Matt to keep this a secret to protect their relationship. According to Matt, nothing physical ever happened between them. I pushed him on why Anna thought there was “something going on” and Matt eventually admitted they were having an emotional affair.
A few months ago, Anna overheard a phone call between Tony and Matt that made her suspicious so she went through Tony’s phone and confronted him about some things she found—no hard proof but enough to make her uneasy. She told Tony she didn’t want him hanging out with Matt anymore, but he did anyway until I accidentally ratted him out.
My brother and SIL have totally cut contact, so I don’t have anyone to corroborate my husband’s story. I still don’t know how much of it I believe. If it’s true, I don’t know why Anna never told me anything. The whole thing sounds too ridiculous to be real, but for now it’s all I have. Matt has apologized nonstop and wants to “work through this” which I can’t even think about right now.
The past couple of weeks have been awful. Matt moved out. We both agreed that we need distance before making any decisions about our marriage, but I don’t see us coming back from this.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to trust anyone again. The worst thing is I only have myself to blame for being so fucking naive and not seeing the massive red flags sooner. And for marrying my brother’s ex in the first place. More than anything, I feel so incredibly guilty.
This was not the ending I’d hoped for, but I’m grateful that I at least have some answers now. Honestly, I’m not sure I would’ve had the courage to directly confront this if not for my post here. So despite everything, maybe we can all think of this as somewhat of a happy ending. Thank you all for your comments and support.