Thank you! You're very helpful and kind.
Yes, we are first cousins and come from the Philippines. I was 15 when I met my cousin who was 13 at the time. My mom decided to leave my abusive dad and raise us by herself. My uncle who's also a single parent offered that we stay at their home with his kids while he's out of the country.
Me and my cousin became the best of friends. We would stay up late talking, playing video games, having fun. I transferred to his school. Since I was a new student, he would always check up on me, eat lunch and walk home together. It was always fun and comfortable being with him, it became the best part of my day.
Eventually I had my own circle of friends, he then got involved with his sports and didn't have much time to hang out. He became a part of the basketball varsity team and I, the crowd on the bleachers smoking which he so much hated. Haha
I realized that I had feelings for him when he started hanging out with this other girl. I got really jealous, thought it was weird so I ignored my feelings and stopped talking to him until we moved out.
We ignored each other on gatherings and didn't have any connection for 5 years. I met someone special and was in a serious relationship when I decided to patch things up between us and talk to him again.
Instantly, we became closer than before. We were both in college and would meet often to catch up and spend time together. We promised to stay connected which we did everyday. We never talked about our relationship, how we felt about each other or set any boundaries or rules but amazingly both us felt obliged to ask permission whenever we'll spend time with other people or let each other know of our activities. Hiding it from the family, friends and partners became automatic.
Eventually I broke up with my partner, It was heartbreaking but I couldn't lie to myself anymore.
One day he sent me a message "I love you". I knew it was coming but it still shocked me. I couldn't answer, I replied with "Thank you". He made a confession that he had loved since we were young and was too afraid to admit it. After a few days, I finally broke and told him that I most certainly love him, more than a cousin or a friend, I love him.
Until this day, I still do and spending time with him is still the best part of my day. We've been together for 8years now.
It was on our 4th year together when the family found out. Relatives and other people had a lot to say of course, esp other cousins who felt disgusted, saying that we were both stupid or losing our minds. My family, esp mom was really affected by it because these people have helped us during the times we were struggling. It's our culture to please the people you owe. And for my mom, we owe them big.
I know it has nothing to do with us being happy together but it's so hard to convince them so we decided to just continue with our relationship in secret.
Recently we were seen together and I am asked to choose between my family or him. How can I make them understand? I don't want to choose. I can't lose anyone.