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Cathy Duke

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About Cathy Duke

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  1. I have a complicated cousin relationship that I need help with. First of all, I adore my older cousin. He is 10 years older than I am. When my twin and I were little, we would see him at our grandmothers house with all of our other cousins. We have a large, happy family. I have 4 aunts and uncles. He is an extension of my two older brothers to me, and has always treated me with brotherly affection and teasing cousin love. I'm easy to talk to, too. So he grew up, worked with his dad, at 17, and my twin and I grew our separate ways, until, one day, she kills herself. This of course devastated the entire family. The first Christmas without my twin, we spent at our aunt Helen, the mother of my love interest, Henry. My aunt, the mother of my love interest, offered to let me live with her . I said no, so that I could be of comfort to my parents, at home still. Helen noticed that her son, Henry had taken an interest in his much younger cousin (me). They were now both much older, and in his dumb mind, she was 14 when the twin died. In actuality, the twins were 20 when the suicide occured. Henry and I did not talk about this interest, but I have known it was there my entire life. He even married a woman, with my name, and she had a mother commit suicide. I am unsure of the married relationship and how communication and bonding went, but she did divorce Henry after 2 children and 15 years of marriage. This choice in a marriage partner endeared me even more to Henry, so that I felt he cared enough to help resolve this grief, by introducing another participant into the family dynamics. So here now, after the long history, is my question, or situation. This first wife divorced him. I liked her, and now he hates her. I feel like I must choose sides now between his ex wife and his new wife. I never grieved his divorce. At a recent family reunion, I asked about the first wife and the coincidence in her having the same name as I do. This sent him off the rails , in a spitting nails fit of cruelty and rage, directed at me. I think it is the suicide, and grief associated with unresolved divorce , comes out sideways. I am understanding, feel even more bonded and connected, I feel sympathetic, forgiveness, and compassion. At the same time, I want to preserve whatever trust there is in our relationship. I have told him this, and have asked him that we do not communicate on social media any longer, as it is too difficult to resolve interpersonal relationships this way. He has a career that carries him into the wilderness, with no phone or internet access at times. So how do I proceed with this cousin, Henry?
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