I don't log in much because I am no longer in a relationship with my cousin, but I do like to browse the forums from time to time. I felt compelled to reply to your post, JPixie because a few years back I was in a similar situation with my cousin. I was 17 when he first told me that he had feelings for me and he was 25.
My cousin has never been physically violent toward me, but he has been in prison for hitting his first wife, and he is now in another legal situation for hitting his second wife. If he can hit those two women, what would stop him from hitting me? You know, really nothing. When I was little he would hang me upside down by my ankles, he also used to tease me a lot, for years I didn't like my own name because he and his sister used to tease me so much. So I know he is capable of being an all around evil person. In fact, I could not stand him for the first 14 or so years of my life.
When he was 24 he was released from prison, I was about 15. I would talk to him on the phone when he was in prison, but i never wrote to him, and if I was talking to him on the phone, I was really just trying to kill time until someone he wanted to talk to came home. We became friends when he was released and he turned out to be OK given our past history. We would stay up al night talking and contemplating life. At some point we even made plans to move to California and live in an apartment by the ocean (Of course this plan never did come into fruition and I was oblivious to the fact that he liked me more than a cousin at this time). By the time i was 17 I considered us best friends. I never did consider that for years he had been so nice to me because he found me attractive, and I was totally blown away by his confession. I had never thought of him in that way, I actually had to learn to love him in a more intimate way. I always knew he was seeing other women, but because of our age difference I didn't feel it was my place to confront him about it, or to tell him what he could or could not do. Especially when I was 17. Needless to say the relationship was complicated. I was not really a sneaky type of person, or a secret keeper, and I felt really guilty about sneaking around with him. Guilty to the point that I would fall into a deep depression afterwards and not talk to him for a few months. Beside my guilt (which I think might have been mutual) he had a real fear that I would become pregnant which always confused me, but that's another story I guess.
When I was around 19 he started seeing this girl and I could tell the relationship with her was different, he stopped talking to me as much and wouldn't answer calls or texts. I kind of felt bad because, I thought that I wasn't giving him enough time or attention, and when he wanted to talk to me, I had been so hurt that he liked this new girl that I didn't want to talk to him. So I stopped talking to him all together. Of course he was confused and asked why, but I just told him that I didn't know, that I had been busy, etc.
One day I heard that he had gotten engaged to the girl. The news pretty much ripped my heart out. I literally lost my breath and had to sit down for a minute (I had been sweeping). Our secret almost came out to the family when I tried to explain to another cousin that I was not happy with the engagement and she blew it way out of proportion. He was angry with me and I guess he was saying all kinds of crazy things about me. Anyway, that summer I went to visit his sister in LA and she had given him my number (I have no idea why. I think she thought she would catch me in some kind of lie if I talked to him). He called and texted me, asking what happened with our other cousin, why did I tell our secret, and he said he still wanted me. Of course we discussed the whole thing, and I tried to explain to him why the relationship between us would never work, but he said he had a plan. I just didn't see why he couldn't choose. The real bad thing about it was that he couldn't even flat out tell me that he loved me. I remember our last conversation vividly. I was on my way back home when he texted me, telling me about some crazy plan for us to be together again. I told him how hurt I was about the other girl, and everything, I told him every thing that I was on my mind. All he could do was tell me not to feel the way I did and that he 'cared about me'. And if we want to get on the subject of mind games, I told him that we could never get married and I didn't want to sneak around with him anymore. His response was as follows: "We don't need to get married. We're cousins so we should just make good with it." Like what in the world did that even mean? At some point I had lost my cell connection over the mountain and turned the phone off. When I got home, I got on CC and asked for advice. The advice I received was to stay away from him. He was on a really bad path filled with drugs and alcohol, and I was sick of being his secret, and I did not want to be his secret anymore. At the time I was really considering getting back with him. But a lot of good people on this site including LadyC gave me some of the best advice I have ever received, which was to leave him alone. I cut all ties, took him off my Facebook, everything. I have not spoken to him since.
I'm not saying cutting ties with him was easy, but it was necessary for my own sanity. I had to treat the situation as if he were dead. I cried for the rest of the summer, but I pulled through it. That fall I enrolled in college, and have been using that as a pretty good distraction for the past few years. Now I'm going for the sole reason of earning the degree. I hardly think about my cousin anymore. I have nothing to say to him and can't think of one thing to say.
It's hard having to be in the same room with him during the holidays. But one of the best things you can do is live your life and live it well. If your cousin is as obsessive as mine is, he will keep tabs on you and that's ok. It has been confirmed recently, that he still lives only a few blocks from me. (I moved to the south side of town a few years ago, and shortly after I moved here, he did also) Let him see that you are happy without him, that life does go on. Let him have the girl. You're better than that and you deserve so much more. It is not an easy thing to do. I understand what you're saying when you said that you love him. I was scared to tell my cousin that we were done for good, I actually thought he might kill himself. Sure he has sent himself on a dangerous path, he is now most likely headed to prison or worse, but that's his journey, his choice, and his decision. I have gotten to the point now that he only crosses my mind when someone mentions him. Don't give this guy the power, when you can, get yourself as far away from him as you can, and don't ever look back. I hope everything turns out well for you. I can see that you are hurting a lot right now, but maybe my story will help you feel better.