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Everything posted by MissPrice

  1. For those of you who are or have been openly in relationships with cousins: what reactions do people outside your family have when you tell them about your relationship? For us, it isn't something we announce to everyone, but eventually the "so how did you two meet?" question usually comes up with friends, and we're honest. I reply with something like "well, actually, we've known each other all of our lives. We're cousins." The reaction from that point on has been so similar with every exchange that I am curious about what others have experienced. This is my experience, basically word for word every time: Friend: "So, like, first cousins?" Me: "Yes, my father and his mother are siblings." F: "Oh. Do you have the same last name?" M: "No." F: "Well, have you guys thought about if you want to have kids?" M: "Yes, actually the genetic risk is much lower than you would think, only about 2-3% higher than the general population, and from what we know about our family history, there is nothing that should worry us." F: "That's good!" [pause] "I actually used to have a crush on one of my cousins..." At which point they tell me about their crush. Well, the crush part only happens with about two thirds of them, but that's the part that surprised me the most. The rest of it happens every time. All of our friends have been accepting, and no one has been judgemental, at least to our faces. In fact, the more people I've told, the more confident I've felt because of how well they've responded. What about you guys?
  2. If you tell someone you love them and they don't return the feelings, you need distance from them. Sexting isn't platonic; while I'm unclear exactly whether you and your cousin have ever had a physical relationship, you don't sext someone you just think of as family, and it was perfectly reasonable for you to ask if she was using you. And honestly, it sounds like she is. She doesn't want to lose you, but she doesn't want a romantic relationship, and she wants you to be there for her as she dates other people, after you told her you love her. Not cool. You should tell her that you feel used and why, and that you need some space from her. Go date people who are interested in a romantic relationship with you. If she cares about you, she'll understand and realize that she's been unfair. If she doesn't care about you, you shouldn't be waiting for her anyway.
  3. MissPrice

    I don’t know what to do - help?

    I think the question you need to ask yourself is: how serious are you about this guy? He's cute and you have a huge crush on him, and if you weren't (half) cousins, a date would be the obvious choice. But you are cousins (half or not might not matter to family), and you always will be cousins, no matter what else you might or might not choose to be to each other. Can you find ways to spend more time around him without it being weird or romantic, so that you can get to know him better and decide if it's more than a crush? I'm married to my first cousin, and I'd never want to be married to anyone else, but I think it's important to go slow when the person you are interested in is someone who will always be in your life as family. And most modern, western families don't respond positively to cousin relationships, at least not initially, so are you willing to deal with their disapproval to pursue this? If the answer is no or even maybe not, don't start anything until you are sure.
  4. MissPrice

    Im nervous

    If people are misinformed, you just have to educate them. I usually start by saying "Darwin, Einstein, and Queen Victoria all married their first cousins, so I think I'm in good company." We don't advertise that we are cousins, but it usually comes up with friends in the "How did you meet?" conversation. We just tell people simply and directly when they ask. They are usually mildly surprised, many people then tell us about a cousin crush they've had. It hasn't happened, but if anyone reacted with shock and horror, I wouldn't want them as friends anyway.
  5. MissPrice

    How does the government know?

    If you are applying for a marriage license, some states have a question about kinship on the application. If you lied, I imagine there would be legal ways to argue that the marriage is invalid. This was my concern with myself and my cousin/husband when we got married. Ohio (where we live) doesn't allow marriages between first cousins, but they accept marriages from other states as valid, so we got married in Tennessee, where first cousin marriage is legal. Of course, it would only matter if someone had the motivation to argue in a court of law that a marriage was invalid, but to me that wouldn't be a chance worth taking, no matter how remote.
  6. Pooch, whatever your intended message, telling a guy to grab a girl and kiss her without ascertaining her feeling first is a bad idea. I and pretty much every woman I know has at some point been grabbed and kissed, fondled, caressed, whatever when it was not what we wanted. That is an "unwanted sexual advance", which is textbook sexual harassment. And this is textbook emotional abuse:
  7. Just to clarify - the age of your cousin's parents or your parents doesn't matter. What matters is how old you and she are if you decide to have children. For example, a woman over 35 has about a 10% increased risk of birth defects compared to a woman under 35. Not something you two need to worry about for a while, since she's 23. And let me add my support to LadyC and Romalee in saying "being a jerk" to a woman you are interested in (or any woman for that matter) is terrible advice. In fact, I hope you ignore that whole post, as much of what "Pooch" suggests sounds like sexual harassment, and if a guy behaved that way towards me, far from being impressed, I would immediately distance myself as much as possible. I think you have some good ideas about opening lines. Good luck!
  8. This is a post I've been meaning to write for a while, because I see so many people struggling with their feelings, and with how the world will/is responding. And I too struggled for years, and thought the idea of being with my cousin was impossible, and thought that if we were together, if by some chance he felt about me the way I felt about him, things would be impossibly hard. We've been married for about two months now. At the very least, members of our family(ies) accept us, and some of them are very happy we're together. Our friends all know and accept us. We are very lucky, and our world is not going to be what everyone gets, but I've learned that there are some advantages to cousin relationships that most relationships don't have, and I want to share that, because I think a lot of you don't know that, and are scared and confused, and I want you to know that not only are cousin relationships NOT impossible, but there are some things that make them special. So, for one thing. If/when your family accepts your relationship, here's a big plus: you are both invested in the same people. When our mutual grandmother (she just turned 87 and lives by herself) needs help, we are both right there to do everything we can. If one of us is more available than the other, that person spends the night at her house. If she's not feeding herself right, we both remind her of that, and if one of us decides to buy her nutritional supplements out of our grocery fund, the other one is happy about that. This is our family. We take care of them, and we both know why, and we both agree on that. Related, if there is a disagreement in the family, we send in the one of us who is best positioned to handle it. So, my husband/cousin's mother's husband (no relation to either of us) emailed the family saying he thought we should all come together and force our grandmother (again, no relation of his) into assisted living. And we talked about how to respond, and in that case my husband/cousin handled it beautifully. And I'm the one who calls our grandmother at least once a week, and tells her we both love her, and checks in on how she's doing, because I'm better on the phone. All of the above is about family, which is really important. But the personal is even more important. My husband/cousin and I saw each other a couple of times a year when we were kids. We didn't see each other for about ten years from adolescence to adulthood. After that, we saw each other again about twice a year, until I moved close to him and things got complicated. But at that point, I already knew him. I'd known him my whole life. We always talked freely about our relationships to each other. I watched him be a father to another woman's three girls, who weren't his, until she made it impossible for him. I knew what he would be like in a relationship before I was ever with him. I knew his strengths, and his flaws, just as he knew mine. And I knew that his strengths were exactly what I needed, and I knew that I complimented his flaws. I walked into this relationship knowing exactly what I was walking into, and loving him for who he is. To me, that's the most powerful potential about a cousin relationship. That you can know the other person, so well, on other terms, before you become romantically involved or commit to them. That's not something most people get to have. Anyone who reads this and is struck by it, or anyone who is struggling with the possibility of a cousin relationship, please feel free to respond here, or to message me directly. And for those of you who are in happy cousin relationships: anything to add?
  9. MissPrice

    Three years in the making

    It's too bad that your mom is being so closed-minded. It sounds like you have a good plan for handling the situation though, and I doubt you'll lose your family over this. There might be some distance for awhile with specific people, but there's a very good chance they'll learn to accept it over time when they realize they can't change it, and it's not a bad thing. Good luck!
  10. You are the only person who can answer that question, but I would say, if you have to ask strangers on the internet if you are in love with someone, you probably aren't. You care about him, but it sounds more like you are afraid of dealing with the consequences of a breakup than that you actively want to be with him.
  11. MissPrice

    Three years in the making

    That's a tough situation. I haven't been there, but I've often thought that if my cousin (first cousin, now husband) and I had gotten together when we were younger/ when I was still financially dependent on my dad in college, he would have totally freaked out. The way it went for us, I was 28, financially independent, and living in a different state. I'd had feelings for my cousin forever, but it never occurred to me that a relationship was possible until then. My dad wasn't thrilled when I first told him, but he also knew that he didn't get a say, and he'd had several years to deal with me being an adult and making decisions he didn't always agree with. You are absolutely right that you should get to decide who you want to be in a relationship with. Being an adult who is financially dependent on a parent is tough for lots of reasons though, and this is a big one. You shouldn't have to hide this from your mom, but if she's going to threaten your living situation and/or education because of it, it's probably the best option you have right now, and I'm sorry about that. Do you have a sense of why she was so freaked out? She's your mom, so she loves you, and she thinks she's protecting you from making a bad decision. So why does she think it's a bad decision? For example, if she's worried about genetic issues with her future grandkids, you could show her the science that the increased risk of birth defects is extremely small. It doesn't matter if you think you'll want kids or not, since it's just about her fears at this point. Like I said, my dad wasn't thrilled when I told him, but over time, he saw how happy I was, and how great we were together, and I talked to him about the reality of the genetic risks to his grandkids and explained that we were consulting doctors and being responsible about it. By the time we got married, about a year and a half after we got together, he was completely over his initial hesitations. I think most parents do, because in the end, what they want is to see is that their kid is having a good life. I bet your mom will too, but as long as you're financially dependent on her, that complicates things. She thinks she still gets to direct part of your future, and it sounds like she's ready to use whatever leverage she has to do it. She's put you in a bind, and while her intentions are probably good, it doesn't leave you with a lot of options. Good luck!
  12. I already gave you one suggestion. Just keep it simple. If you want to be less direct, try my suggestion above. My own approach was to be very direct. We were talking about dating, and he told me I would find the right man eventually. I said "finding him isn't the problem". He asked me what the problem was, and I told him that the problem was that "he is you, and I know you won't like that, but I can't change it". Something like that. Talk to her, and take the opportunity that presents itself, whatever that is. There is no script. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
  13. Unfortunately, the only way to know is to approach her. No reward without risk. I can tell you that when I told my cousin, I didn't think he would return my feelings. I only told him because we were very close and talked about everything else, and I couldn't stand not telling him anymore. Now we are married, and I'm happier with him than I've ever been with anyone. It's a scary thing to do, to make yourself emotionally vulnerable like that. The question is, if you don't say something, how will you feel? If she goes off with someone else and you never said anything, is that better or worse than taking the chance that she'll reject you?
  14. Kitty - it's not a good idea to stay with someone because they will be hurt if you leave. That's not fair to either of you, because you aren't with someone you want to be with, and he has to know this on some level. If you don't love him romantically, you need to leave him. One the other hand, if you are just afraid of the complications of cousin relationships, and you are in love with him, you might want to look into it more. There is a slight increase in a chance of birth defects for first cousins who have children together, but it is not high (significantly lower than a woman over 35 having a baby for example) and you can also mitigate the risk with genetic testing. Depending on where you are, you may or may not be able to legally marry, and that is certainly something to consider. However, if you really love each other, it's worth the challenges. In the long run, you need to make a choice based on how you feel about him. Good luck.
  15. Ah, I see you did make a separate post here. The standard advice offered on these forums - which seems good to me - is to say something like "if you weren't my cousin, I would like to date you", which gives you the option of backing off if she doesn't respond well. How do you think your family would respond if you two dated? Is it considered taboo for second cousins to date in the area of India you live in?
  16. MissPrice

    The Benefits of Cousin Relationships

    Edward, you might want to make a separate topic and share some more details, such as you and your cousin's ages, the country/region you live in, whether you are both single, whether you are both financially independent from your parents, etc.
  17. MissPrice

    Confused as to whether I like my cousin or not

    Hi CptnKitten - It sounds like you have a lot going on. I agree with Nattana: your ex is a complete jerk, and the less you let his cruelty affect you, the better. Your cousin obviously cares about you, and being attracted to someone who cares is completely rational, especially if you've been dealing with abusive and emotionally damaged people. However, cousin relationships are inherently more complicated than relationships between unrelated individuals, so if you do decide you want a relationship with him, it's good to understand that in the beginning. In terms of sorting out your feelings, it's hard to know unless you give it some time. I can tell you from experience that him being your cousin doesn't mean you're not attracted to him. He's someone you know, and feel safe with. Despite the kinds of relationships our society likes to glamorize, that can be a great basis for a relationship, especially if you have trouble trusting people. Knowing how your family would react is impossible without telling them. I think in most cases, family members who love you will get over it eventually if they see it's good for you. My dad definitely struggled when I first told him I was dating my cousin, but by the time we got married last year, he was just thrilled to see me so happy. Maybe try spending some more time with your cousin. That will give you opportunities to figure out your feelings about him, and also to gage his feelings for you.
  18. That must be very frustrating for you, I get that. Do keep in mind though that she's pregnant and working. Also, it's possible you overwhelmed her with the gifts. It's a beautiful gesture, but she may feel awkward about accepting them. She may be unsure what your expectations are, and not in a position emotionally to engage with you, and craving pickles on ice cream with potato chips, and having hot flashes, and terrified of being a mother. My point is just that she has an awful lot going on right now, you know? After the father of her unborn child left her, she might distrust men in general, or she might not want to look at any man romantically, or any of a number of things. What's highly likely is that she doesn't have a lot of time for other people's thoughts and feelings (and she's probably not in the mood for surprises either). I can't imagine anyone who would in that situation. The best you can do is help where she lets you and be there when and if she wants you. It's hard to argue that she's using you, since she didn't ask, you offered. And I do get that it's really tough for you, and that you want so much to be a part of her life and to help her. I spent years watching my cousin with women who didn't value him, who took advantage of him, and didn't even notice his best qualities. It drove me up the wall. At one point, he was getting divorced, and was losing his house (that he and his wife had bought, and then she picked up and left him with the mortgage eight months later). I wanted so badly to fix it for him, and I couldn't. At the time, I was living two states away, and engaged. Point is, I really do understand how tough it is to not be right next to a person you love when they are going through a difficult time. But if you really want to be the better man in her life, all you can do is offer her your support (emotional support is more what I'm talking about than gifts), and then let her decide what she wants to do with that. Good luck!
  19. Just a friendly outside perspective here, but it kinda sounds like you are pushing too hard. The last time you posted, the plan was that you would go see her and talk to her in person once you were over the flu. You still haven't seen her in person, correct? In the last message you sent her, you talk about "the promise you both made", but it's unclear to me from what you've said when she promised you anything. Also, it's great that you want to help her and her baby out, but she doesn't owe you for that. If you do think she does, it wasn't a gift. Had I had the opportunity, I would have advised you against sending that last message. You had already made your move, that puts the ball in her court.
  20. MissPrice

    Getting it ALL out (Need advice!!!)

    So, when you are trying to decide what to do in a situation, it's helpful to think about the pros and cons. What happens if you do tell her how you feel, best case scenario? What is the worst case scenario if you tell her? And best/worst if you don't? So, what do you hope will happen if you tell her? I did read your entire post, but not all in one sitting, so just to clarify: you see her for a couple of weeks once a year. You are in Canada, she is in Hawaii I believe? Assuming I got the basic facts right: best case scenario, you tell her how you feel, and she feels the same. What happens then? She leaves her boyfriend, obviously. Are either of you in a position to visit the other until next year? If yes, would one of you eventually move to be with the other? If not, you would be in a long distance relationship. Is that what you want? If she rejects you, she's still your cousin. I'm going to assume you will still be in a position to see her every Christmas. How would you feel about that? My advice with cousin relationships is always to take it slow, be careful what you commit to, and if you commit to it, be ready for what that means. You can never change the fact that she is your cousin. You two could decide to have a relationship, and then break up, and she'd still be your cousin, and always part of your life. I believe that you are currently nineteen, and she is currently eighteen. That's pretty young to commit to anything serious. Not that it doesn't happen, but it doesn't happen often and turn out well. And I would say, if you don't want to commit to her long term, and think about having children with her (or not), and think about all of the implications of that, you may not want to complicate a good friendship now for something that probably won't last. And I know you feel strongly about her, and I know you are in a tough place right now. My advice though is to wait a few years. See who you are five years from now. See who she is. And if you've missed being with her every second you haven't been with her for those five years, and you think she might feel the same, say something then. Cousin relationships are never simple, and they are never easy. Make sure, if you get yourself into that, it's worth doing.
  21. Hi John. First, just to clarify, you do not currently have a romantic relationship with your cousin, correct? I ask because you say you are currently "dating" her, which, in American culture, implies a romantic relationship. However, it doesn't sound like it means quite the same thing in your context, because it sounds like there is no romantic relationship, you two just spend a lot of time doing things together. Secondly, the genetic question is quite complicated. I wouldn't get too caught up in percentages if I were you. The percentages are only estimations, and they are dependent on a lot of things, such as: Is consanguinity common in the culture? (i.e., the chances of a birth defect are higher if multiple generations marry individuals they are related to) How small is the population? (i.e., if it's a small, closed culture, even if cousin couples aren't common, there is a higher chance of birth defects) Are there environmental factors increasing the risk of birth defects overall? How old are the parents? There is also no perfect DNA test that will test for all possible defects. If you and your cousin do get married and decide to have children together, I would highly recommend talking to a genetic counselor about your specific risk factors, and what DNA test they would recommend based on what population/culture you are both from (which can determine what defects are more likely). On the point of whether or not you should tell your cousin: if you feel something for her that you don't feel for any other woman, it would be unfair to any other woman to pursue them. Sometimes in life you have to take a risk, and in your case, it sounds like a risk worth taking. Lots of people have written on these boards about possible ways to bring up your feelings, I'd definitely recommend looking around.
  22. MissPrice


    Sounds like your cousin is struggling with his sexuality. That is absolutely not something you want to be in the middle of. It also sounds like his treatment of you is borderline physically abusive. I would strongly suggest putting some space between him and yourself for a while.
  23. I agree with all of that. If someone is looking for a fling, or a fun summer, or some drama (yuck), looking for any of that with a cousin is a terrible idea. Not every relationship can (or should) turn into something serious, but a relationship with a cousin is serious from the moment it starts, whether or not that's the plan. A cousin is a connection no matter what. and if someone gets hurt and the romantic relationship is over, that familial bond still exists. That's a lifetime of possible pain and awkward encounters. It's my opinion that anyone who wants a relationship with a cousin needs to be willing to give that relationship their all, and be mature enough to recognize what a real relationship (as opposed to a fantasy or dream of a relationship) is like. Otherwise, the potential pitfalls make it not worth the risk. I knew I had a thing for my cousin years before I said anything. I needed to know how serious my own feelings were, and that they were real, and to be in a situation to make things work if he felt the same (which I didn't think he would, I just decided I needed to tell him anyway). I think that was the right choice, and I encourage anyone in a similar situation to do some serious soul searching before starting something that isn't simple or easy to back out of. As a side note, it took a long time for me to say something to my cousin, but when I did, and when he felt the same, that was it. There was no question for either of us that we'd do whatever we needed to do to be together for the rest of our lives. That, I think, is part of what can make a cousin relationship so special. If you do it right, that cousin dynamic morphing into something deeper, something built on a pre-existing affection and knowledge of each other, the trust and intimacy can be exceptional.
  24. She mentions that she wants to see you twice in a short conversation, she doesn't want you to buy her anything specifically (i.e., clearly not just interested in what you can do for her), and she says "I love you" first. Those are all good signs; she is clearly very fond of you. Definitely don't delay going to see her once you are feeling better! It sounds like she's in a tough situation, and that she wants you close. Whether or not she ever loves you the way you want, if you love her, you should absolutely be there for her. Keep us updated!
  25. If you are there for her and her child, she will get the message, even if you don't tell her directly. Good luck!