Sibling-in-law

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David and Jonathan became brothers-in-law when David married Jonathan's sister Michelle

A sibling-in-law is the spouse of your sibling, or the sibling of your spouse, or the person who is married to the sibling of your spouse.[1]

More commonly a sibling-in-law is referred to as a brother-in-law for a male sibling-in-law, and a sister-in-law for a female one.

Sibling-in-law also refers to the reciprocal relationship between a person's spouse and their sibling's spouse. In Indian English this can be referred to as a co-sibling (specificity a co-sister, for the wife of one's sibling-in-law,[2] or co-brother, for the husband of one's sibling-in-law[3]).

Rarer usage of the term is seen in "casual conversation" with the term brother-in-law describing the relationship between one's brother-in-law's brother: William's brother Charles has a brother-in-law called James (James being Charles' brother-in-law here not by virtue of marrying his sister but by being a brother of Charles' wife) with James referring to William as being his brother-in-law.[4]

Relationships[edit]

Siblings-in-law are related by a type of kinship called affinity like all in-law relationships. All of these are relations which do not relate to the person directly by blood.[1]

Just like the children of one's siblings, the children of one's siblings-in-law are called simply nieces and nephews – if necessary, specified whether "by marriage", as opposed to "by blood" or "by adoption".

If one pair of siblings is married to another pair of siblings, the siblings-in-law are thus doubly related, each of the four both through one's spouse and through one's sibling, while the children of the two couples are double cousins.

Culture[edit]

One study, examining the issue of envy in the triadic system of sibling, sibling-in-law and spouse, concluded that "The sibling-in-law relationship shared similarities with both spousal and sibling relationships" and that "Relational closeness and satisfaction for all relationships in the triad were correlated."[5]

In Islamic law (shariʿa)[6] and Jewish law (halakhah)[7] sexual relations between siblings-in-law are prohibited as incestuous, unless the spouse is no longer married. Conversely, in Judaism there was the custom of yibbum, whereby a man had a non-obligatory duty to wed his deceased brother's childless widow so she might have progeny by him.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cambridge Dictionaries Online. "Family: non-blood relations".
  2. ^ "Co-Sister". Cambridge Dictionary. Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Co-Brother". Cambridge Dictionary. Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  4. ^ "English Language and Usage". site design / logo - Stack Exchange Inc. 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020. I'm afraid there is no commonly used name for that connection. Normally, you would say "my brother in law's brother". If you and William are very close, I suppose you could call him "my brother in law" in casual conversation, or just "a friend...Just say "brother-in-law" unless there is some reason that a more precise relationship is needed
  5. ^ Yoshimura, C.G (2010). "The experience and communication of envy among siblings, siblings-in-law, and spouses". Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
  6. ^ "Forbidden...that you should marry two sisters at one time"[Quran 4:23 (Translated by al-quran.info)]
  7. ^ Leviticus 18:16, 18:18.
  8. ^ Deuteronomy 25:5–10.