I married my 1st cousin in a State that allows first cousin marriages. I did not grow up with my cousin but met her later in my teens. I had recently gone through a divorce and needed help raising my child and she needed help raising her two children. We married and have two children together (NO birth defects).We have now been married for 18 years this spring. I find being married to my first cousin as somewhat of a relief, mainly due to we both have a vested interest in the uplifting of our family. We are what you may call the nucleus of our extended family. Family members Come to us for help and advise because we are stable in our marriage and careers. At this point in our marriage, I honestly dont think about the fact that we are related. My wife is my special person, and I am hers. We keep our family business to ourselves due to protection for our children that are now teenagers, Both children do well in school and receive decent grades. This website helped me explain to my children that they are no different from any other children. I would not encourage or discourage anyone from marrying their first cousin, I believe it’s a matter of personal preference and understanding the repercussions with family if it doesn’t work out. Thanks again to this website for presenting needed facts about cousin marriage early in our relationship.