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Posts posted by MissPrice

  1. I think we can all raise awareness in different ways. I'm lucky to be part of a very accepting community, and our friends and family as well as many of my co-workers know that my fiancee is also my first cousin. I don't broadcast it, because I don't want that to be the defining characteristic of who I am: "there goes the woman whose fiancee is her cousin". I want it to be "there's this person that I know and like and have worked with. She likes dogs and gardening and her fiancee happens to be her cousin". Then, if they have misconceptions, they are free to ask, and I am free to correct them and no one gets too uncomfortable about it.

    Positive images in media of cousin couples are few and far between, but I found several in these forums, and it's helpful to recommend some of them to people as well. I know several people on this forum have talked about writing books too, and I fully support that idea - either fiction where the main characters are cousins, or nonfiction resource books.

    I know what you mean about the prejudice Guest Decade, even smart, kind people who don't know about my relationship have made derogatory comments about hillbillies marrying their cousins and the like. I am particularly sensitive to this because I grew up in Appalachia, which is often subject to negative stereotypes, including ones about cousin relationships.

    My partner can't be on my insurance as a domestic partner because he is my cousin, and it is illegal for us to marry in the state we live in. We have discovered that although we can't marry here, this state will recognize our marriage in another state and he will then be able to be on my insurance as my husband. We've ordered our rings, and plan to do this in a couple of weeks, but I went through a period of uncertainly and anger before we figured this out.

    Laws against cousin couples should absolutely be addressed, but I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not sure I want the expense and public attention of hiring one and trying to change state laws, although my fiancee and I have talked about it.

  2. I don't think it's selfish to tell her how you feel at all. If she were married or there were kids involved, it would be different, but her boyfriend isn't your responsibility. You are both adults, and you have the right to be honest with her. I'd also say she has the right to know.

    I agree that you shouldn't start with the words "I love you", not just because that's super intense, but also because the meaning can ambiguous in a family situation.

    Good luck!

  3. Hi David,

    Hawk said some things that I strongly agree with. There's also something I'd like to add, because I think there is a point here that is important and has not been addressed.

    I hate to be indelicate, but you say your cousin was a virgin before you were together. I don't know what country you are in or what culture you are a part of, but losing that is generally a big deal for a girl. It is also often not an easy one, physically or emotionally. To complicate that with (as least the in US) the social ambiguity of a relationship with a cousin must be exceptionally challenging. I imagine she's been dealing with a lot.

    You sound like you are handling things really well so far, and I encourage you to keep it up. You can't control how she feels or how she deals with how she feels, but you can control how you approach her, and it sounds like you're doing that. And here's where I'm going to pass you off to Hawk's good advice, because he's absolutely right; needy or clingy is bad, no woman (or man, in my experience) in the history of the world ever found that attractive. But if you are honest and straightforward, and you let her take or leave you at what you are and you aren't impatient with her, no matter what, you will respect yourself.

    Good luck, and all the best to you!


  4. Hi Dragan,

    That's a difficult place to be, and I empathize. You wanted to know if there are people on here who were in a similar situation, and ended up with their cousins. While every situation is of course unique, your story struck a cord with me, so here's mine.

    I realized when I was about your age that I was interested in my cousin, who is three years older, on a family visit. I had seen him very little since we were kids, and nothing remotely romantic had ever happened between us. We talked all night, I left the next day. I realized how I felt about him then, but we lived ten hours apart, and even if we hadn't, I didn't think there was any chance he'd feel the same way. Every time I saw him over the next four years the feelings were there, but we both were in other relationships; I became engaged and he was with a woman who had kids (not his). Sometimes I'd visit and he wouldn't even show up. I particularly remember once when he said he'd be there and didn't turn up, and I was heartbroken, because even though I didn't think we'd ever be together, the time we spent together was priceless to me; he lit me up like a torch. And of course, even though I thought it was hopeless, I was always looking for those little signals that would tell me he felt the same way. He seemed to care about me a lot, but it didn't seem to be like that.

    When I was 29, I ended up moving an hour and a half away from him for a job. He and the woman he was with had broken up, and he was internet dating at the time. We started hanging out every few months, and I lived for that. We weren't touchy with each other, although we told each other anything and everything about our lives (except that I didn't tell him how I felt about him). Once, I asked him if he'd do me a favor and put his arm around me, which he did. After ten months, I broke up with my fiancee who was in school in another state, and who I had known for a long time I wasn't in love with. I still didn't think I had any chance with my cousin, I just decided I was less unhappy alone than settling.

    After I broke up with the fiancee, I texted my cousin and told him I needed him to come visit. I didn't plan to say anything to him because I didn't want to endanger what we had, and I just needed his company. But as we were talking, I slipped, and said that I'd never get the man I wanted because I couldn't have him. He demanded to know what I meant, and I told him. I really didn't think he felt the same, and I was afraid, but I couldn't lie to him. He kissed me.

    The rest, as they say, is history. We've been living together for a year and a half, told our family, and are making wedding plans.

    In the conversations we've had since then, he's said he always felt something for me, but that he shut it down before he could think it because he never thought it could happen. I thought a LOT about it, consciously, but never thought, even if he did feel the same way, that he would be able to accept it. We were both wrong, and I'm very glad for it.

    But back to your situation. Like my cousin/partner, your cousin may feel something for you, but not realize it. Or she may not. One challenge about cousin relationships is that it isn't always as easy to think about a friendship being more as it would be if you weren't related.

    Looking for subtle clues in someone's behavior is a painful place to be; people are very complicated, and it's difficult to know why they do a thing at a particular time. That time I mentioned when I was heartbroken than my cousin didn't show up? He was hours away at an event with friends, his phone had no signal, and he was furious with them for not getting him back in time to see me. 

    So here's my two cents: you can't know until you tell her, and you can't control how she's going to react. You say that rejection is better than uncertainly, which I understand, but make sure you really think that, and that you've thought about how it will effect your relationship with her if she does. Know that you are taking a risk. What you can control is when and how you tell her, and how you react to her feelings. Even if it's what she wants too, that might not be her immediate response. Be responsible for your own feelings, and be considerate and understanding of hers. That way, no matter what, you will be able to respect yourself and know that you did the best you could.

    That being said, all the best to you! It worked out better for me than I could have imagined, and I hope the same for you. I would love to hear how it goes.

  5. My partner/cousin was really reluctant to tell his closest (male) friend when we got together. Eventually he felt like he needed to, because he was driving two hours to see me on the weekends, and wasn't available to hang out like he was before. He was pretty sure his friend wouldn't approve, and he was avoiding him instead of telling him, and his friend didn't get why he suddenly wasn't  around.  Finally he did tell him, and his friend's response was basically "dude, if it makes you happy great; I thought you were avoiding me because you were mad at me or something". Since then, that friend and I have met several times and gotten along really well. I'm sorry you feel like your friends wouldn't understand, but I hope that if you decide to tell them, they surprise you. 

    • Upvote 1
  6. 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?

    • Like 1
  7. Physical relationships between cousins are a criminal offense in Texas, so although I am not a lawyer, I would say that not only would your marriage not be recognized, there is the possibility of criminal prosecution. Look at Section 25.02 of Texas Penal Code: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.25.htm. It states that a physical relationship between cousins is a felony in the third degree.

    Good luck! I didn't know anything about the laws when my cousin and I got together, and was really worried about it. I hope you and your fiancee can find a good solution.

  8. This is "Jen", I decided to make an account. Thanks so much for the info, and for sharing your experience! I read that case, and found it both elucidating and comforting.

    Not being able to list my partner on my insurance as a domestic partner really shook me; it was the first time I've come across a concrete challenge to the validity of our relationship. However, based on my own research as well as your response, I am confident we can marry out of state and be recognized here, and as a married couple it shouldn't ever be an issue. We're just never, ever moving to Texas!

  9. I was 29, he was 32. Too many beers, and I'd broken up with my fiancee of three years a week before. I was complaining that I'd never be with the guy I wanted, and would grow old and die alone, because that was better than settling, and I'd finally figured that out. He told me I'd find that guy. I told him "finding" wasn't the problem. He asked me what was. I didn't want to answer, because I truly believed he'd reject me, and maybe never want to see me again. But I couldn't lie to him of all people, so I said: "The problem is that he is you, and I know you won't like that and I'm sorry, but I don't know how to change it." 

    And he kissed me. My world shattered. It was what I had always wanted a kiss to be, from the first clumsy encounter when I was fourteen and every disappointment after, through a seven year relationship with one person, and then a three year engagement with another.

    It was perfect, it was sublime. The particles of the universe rearranged themselves around us, and all the things I'd thought were supposed to make sense but never had, suddenly did.

    We were not okay with that. We talked about it, and we decided that what with family and the fact that he was living with a girlfriend, it was not okay. That lasted about 48 hours. We decided that family would deal with it or not, and he decided he couldn't stay with his girlfriend regardless of what happened between us. He broke up with her, found an apartment, and we started seeing each other whenever we could.  A month later, I bought my first house. I gave him a key the next day. 

    We've been living together for about a year and a half. That kiss changed my life, my reality. Sometimes we're in a store, and he goes around a corner, and I think "This is it. None of the last year and a half ever happened. I'm crazy, and he never loved me, and I imagined him here with me. I'm a crazy woman, and he's not coming back, because he was never here." And I blink, and he's back, grinning at me and making jokes about spices. This is how I want to spend the rest of my life.

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