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Starcrossed

Complex relationship with cousin

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I quite accidentally found this site, but it has made me feel a bit better about something I have thought about for over a decade.

My first cousin lost both of her parents at a young age, and came to live with my family, her mother is my father's sister.  She is only a few weeks older than me, and we have been at odds fairly often over the years.  Early on it was the issues of having a new child in the family where I was the oldest, and our battles to be on top.  Later it has been our politics, but here's the thing, I think I'm hard on her because I have more complex feelings for her, and I want her to look at the world a bit more lovingly.

When we were little there was a little bit of expiration, but it never really went anywhere, but for a long time now I've had physical desires along with the complex emotions.  She even has acted rather jealously about my most serious ex-girlfriend in the past, and I've certainly not approved of her last serious boyfriend.

To complicate things even more, she is still part of the religion my family shares, and I have left that behind, and in my search outside of that religion I came across alcohol and later weed, and while I don't use either much, I don't know that she would be cool with either.

We argue, but I can tell there are deeper hurt feelings that result from the way we behave towards each other, and I wonder how much of that is repressing our feelings, if I'm just seeing things that don't exist.

The thing is, she is almost everything I think that I'd like in a partner.  She's attractive for sure, but she's also outdoorsy, self reliant, thoughtful when she wants to be, I guess I could do (and have done) worse.  More than anything I cant think of a single girl that I've known longer, lived in close proximity to, or thought about this often.

She may return my feelings, but I think that if we did get together that it would wreak havoc on our family.  Still, I could almost bear the thought of keeping it a secret, we could move somewhere where nobody knows us, we have different last names and we could just try to be a couple, but of course I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm a scientist, I know it's not harmful, or irregular, or immoral, but it is a taboo nonetheless.

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Starcrossed,

Opposites can attract. Look at James Carville and Mary Matalin. I suppose they've learned how to avoid fiery pillow talk. I don't see how you and Cuz could be further apart politically than those two.

As far as the religious considerations, unless you are Hindu, (and there is reasonable doubt the texts of that religion actually prohibit the practice) you're pretty much good to go. All Christian denominations allow for first cousin marriage, provided it's legal in the State you reside in. The Jewish religion allows it, and, as is the case in the Muslim religion, it is sometimes preferred.

I'm going to venture a guess here that you are Christian of some persuasion or another. You ARE liable to find a strong CULTURAL bias against the practice, but you will certainly find no SCRIPTURAL prohibition against it. Should you look, and challenge any nay-sayers to do so as well, you will find multiple instances where cousins were COMMANDED by God to marry. Now, if you are Catholic, you would have to get a dispensation from the Diocese, but that's no big deal, and as a rule, only a small "donation" fee. One good thing about that if you ARE Catholic, is, that once the Diocese approves it, you can pretty much forget worrying what family will say, because if they are that devout, they won't argue with the Diocese. Period. If you are of a Protestant denomination, you may have to "school" the pastor on the Scriptures a little. It don't mean it will change his, or anyone else's mind, it would only prove you were right to look deeper outside that particular persuasion. Let me be very clear on this. NO CHRISTIAN PASTOR CAN LEGITIMATELY CLAIM SCRIPTURE AS A REASON FIRST COUSINS CANNOT MARRY. PERIOD. The same for a Rabbi, but rabbis know better. We have resources here that back that up. http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=religion Way out in front of where you are at this point, but, things to consider in deciding where you want to go from here.

Now, to possible bigger fish than those for you to fry. It seems that at least from the time of her parents' passing, and subsequent joining of your household, this tension between the two of you has flourished. Understandable at a tender age, with you being who you were in the pecking order, and her having went through the trauma of loosing her parents. But, at some point, does it not behoove you to break this cycle of hostility of sorts you have fallen into over the years? Regardless of whether she shares your feelings or not, I think you should be telling her these insights of yours on how the relationship has (d)evolved to this state of bickering that leaves these hurt feelings. And, that personally, you don't like it, and think it should change. Part of such a conversation could very well go to what we here call "The old tried and true" "If you weren't my cousin, _______" line. Something like "You know, even though we fight like siblings, we aren't, but I think, if you weren't my cousin, you'd be pretty much right for me. I'm obviously not doing too good at picking them so far..." You know, wing it in the moment. You'll think of what to say in the moment if you've carefully and honestly thought out what you want to tell her. If it were me, I might would toss that out there just to gauge her reaction, but it would still be a small part of a much bigger "be nice" talk you two really need to have, it sounds like. Outdoorsy, self-reliant, and thoughtful as needed? Yeah, you need to work on fixing this bridge Bub. Who knows, maybe she's waiting on the right moment to express the same feelings as you, but doesn't want to be the one breaking the ice.

As far as the alcohol and weed, you may as well grow out of it now. I still drink, and, more than I should probably on occasion. I don't like to do it to the point of being out of control though. No good has ever come of me getting out of control. I don't do it anymore. Back in the day, I probably smoked more weed in a week than you have in your life. No more than you are expressing you're that into it, I'd certainly feel safe in saying on my "best" month, you've not outdone me yet, LOL. I never thought I'd "grow out of it" like I was told I would. But, you know what? I did. If I were to try to do that again, I'd be a slobbering zombie setting in the corner drooling on myself. Can't do it. Can't do it because of my work, and call me an old fogy, but I can't do it and maintain anymore. Sucks getting old, but it happens to the best of us. May as well get that part out of your system now. Consider it fun had, and move on. You can do it now, or you can waste more $$$ on it, and do it eventually anyhow. You decide. 

Just my $.02 from out here in the cheap seats......   

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I'm actually not a Christian, but she is, and it's a particularly variety that I myself left behind.  As for the substances, I don't drink much at all, but I'm a total stoner hippy, it helps me stay relaxed and thinking with academic stresses all around me.  It's not defining, but it's not a small part of my personality either.

I have been trying to repair our relationship, relationships in general, but as I've said things are complex and it'll take some time.  I did try dropping an "if you weren't my cousin" line, but I didn't get a clear response, so for now I'll just work on repairs.

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Starcrossed,

Well, if you're a "total stoner hippy" then you're probably approaching the level I use to maintain. Just don't be surprised if one day when you're around 40ish, you wake up and think "Damn, I just realized I don't smoke like I use to..." For me, it pretty much was defining though. And, it certainly distracted me from my studies. Cuz (and all of us in both our circles really) were pretty much defined by it. However, she apparently used it as you are, because it didn't distract her from her studies. She stayed focused, I got bored. I was tired of school. Dumb move on my part. I've done ok for myself, but I would have done much better had I stayed the course I had laid out. Live and learn I suppose. That's why I ALWAYS tell our younger members to keep their noses in the books, and get an education. I hope your Cuz is doing so too. Work on the relationship repair thing, and take it from there. Eventually, who knows. Things could turn out for you. It hasn't gotten to where it is overnight, so, it's liable to take considerable time for a major change. Luckily for you, you are young enough, time IS on your side.....

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