Had someone told me 5 years ago that I'd be in the situation I am in now, I would have laughed in their face. Our story is complicated, beautiful and challenging. And we are still in the midst of trying to sort it all out. Here's the history:
My half-cousin, let's call him Alan, and I grew up in two different countries. I live in Canada, he lives in the United States. As children, we would see each other maybe once a year, at best. But even those few visits made clear to us and everyone around us that there is a special, unique bond between the two of us. We would be inseparable and sneak away from the other kids, who were often mean and rough, to enjoy each other's company as the two tender-hearted souls we were. He always protected me as he was 3 years older, and I always felt safe with him. We just *got* each other.
In our teen years, our lives diverged quite a bit. Alan lived a challenging existence with abusive step fathers, poverty and inner-city life. I was actually quite protected and sheltered. I would hear about his trouble-making and delinquency and feel very sad...I felt that I had lost the sweet little boy that was such a dear friend to me. But I still loved him deeply. At 19 years of age (I was 16), he had got a girl pregnant and decided to marry her. I heard from my aunt (his mom) that his fiancee was very troubled, frequently hit and verbally abused him, and had major anger issues. I had never felt so enraged. But, I knew he had to make his own decisions and it was none of my business. We continued to grow distant, seeing each other less and less. I married at 21 years old. My marriage, too, was an unhappy one with an angry spouse and full of deceit and lies.
Alan and I had not seen much of each other until about 5 years ago. I began to accompany my parents on their visits to the United States once again. Once I reconnected with Alan, it was clear that the old bond we once had still remained strong. He had become an amazing man, with an honourable career, and had strong values. We sought each other out for walks and always sat near to each other. I started to realize that I was feeling something far deeper than just friendship and admiration. I was starting to fall in love. I realized that I had always loved him but the feelings were latent because I was too afraid to admit them. Then, in the span of one year, we lost a grandma and uncle which brought me back to the United States. We cried with one another, consoled and comforted each other, spent hours talking and hanging out. At the end of the second visit, we confessed how we felt, how we'd always felt, about one another. We were both feeling miserable in our marriages and wanted out. He was still being abused and his marriage was highly dysfunctional. I was dealing with my own problems with an angry spouse who treated our children poorly. We were both so very done. Or so I thought.
Of course, once we confessed how we felt, it was like a dam had broken. Our emotions came tumbling out and we spent hours on the phone and texting, professing our love and trying to figure out what to do. We had been talking of setting things in place to leave our broken marriages, when another disaster struck and his house was badly damaged in a storm. I offered to come and help him make repairs. However, once I was there, things happened between us that should not have happened. We were both burdened with terrible guilt.
After weeks of being tormented with guilt, I decided to come clean with my husband and try to see if there was anything left in my marriage. He was furious of course. And demanded that I never speak to Alan again. Ever. He insisted that I pretend he was dead. He demanded that my parents cut off all ties with him (which they refused to do). I sunk into a terrible depression. I knew that Alan was really the man that I loved but I could see no way of us being together. Even if I left my husband. And I didn't want to be a homewrecker. So I backed off and hoped he could repair things with his wife and that he'd get over me.
But he never did. He did everything he could to get messages to me. He said that he loved me and he would do anything, absolutely anything to be with me. But I had made promises to my husband to never speak to him again. And so I cut myself off from him entirely, which was one of the most painful things I had ever had to do. I knew he was devastated and heart-broken, but I felt I had no choice.
After nearly 1.5 years, things still had not improved with my husband. In fact, they had become much worse. I decided it was time to leave. I had also decided that Alan and I could still not be together but I wanted to see him desperately. So I called him. We both cried and agreed to meet up to talk about everything that had happened.
As soon as I walked in to the meeting place, I saw him and my heart stopped. He wasn't facing me, so I crept up slowly. He turned around and it was as though time froze. I will never forget the expression on his face, the look in his eyes. We immediately started crying and we shared a long, soggy, messy hug for what seemed like eternity. In those moments, I decided that I wanted to be with him no matter the obstacles. I have never felt so unconditionally loved and cared for by any man and I have never doubted the power of his love for me. He would die for me, of that I am certain.
He has left his wife, who he had been telling it was over for a long time. My parents and his parents know about us and we have everyone's support. His brother and two sisters know as well. Only his one sister has expressed her disdain for this decision, but he doesn't give one rip about what anyone thinks. He is strong and determined to make this work. It is hard for me still. Right now, our relationship is still secret from everyone I know. My ex doesn't know, and once he does, I am so scared of what he will do to try to make my life a living hell since he hates Alan and what happened between us a year and a half ago. We have two little girls together and I don't want them to get caught in the crossfire. I also fear losing my friends, partly because they may find the cousin thing hard to deal with, but also because this is the same man I had the affair with (mutual friends with my ex). I feel all these fears run rampant and I suffer a lot of anxiety. But then when we are together, we have a great time and the connection is strong and we are so close. We also have to figure out how to get him to Canada. There seem to be so many obstacles! But we do love each other so deeply. Any comments and advice would be so greatly appreciated