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My Reason For Joining This Site

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This post has been a few weeks in the making. I'm extremely new to being open with this aspect of my life, and am still on pins and needles as I type. About 3 years ago, I was reintroduced to a first cousin of mine. We have had a ton of ups and down, mainly at my fault of indecisiveness and emotional discomfort of feeling like two separate lives. We have our life when no one we know is around, and then we have the life everyone thinks we have as great friends. I am the one who has always put her foot down to say no and to keep it between the two of us. I do have two children of my own that live with us full time, yet my bedroom is upstairs and his is downstairs. When the children are home, we sleep on separate levels of the house. He also has children, and one he shares custody of. Neither of us have any interest in being married or having children, so there is no 'issue' with legalities. My child through (7 and 4) know him as our cousin; confusing them scares me almost daily. I have most recently told my best friend, and she wasn't very responsive either way. Our friendship has not changed at all either, however she knows we have been physical, not that he is the love of my life.

I do not feel ashamed of our relationship. He is an amazing man. He is wonderful with my kids, and treats me better than I feel I deserve sometimes with the pain I have caused him over the years. I guess I just don't know how to explain to the people that know him as a family member.

I couldn't imagine waking up without him. He has taught me that when you truly love someone, being honest and committed becomes easy.

I don't know which direction I am going in life most days, and posting here is my first step in trying to be comfortable about opening the door to no more hiding. There have been times during the years we have been together that I felt the need to separate. If I moved out it would hurt less when I couldn't take the split life anymore. I know that I need to get over my discomfort and come out with our relationship, as I don't know what I would do if it ended for good. I just can't get past the hump of nausea that comes along with telling people.

It will probably take me a few more years to be able to open up to family, particularly parents and kids directly related to both of us. However, by telling my friend I am hoping it is a stepping stone to show him that I am trying. He was very happy with me telling her; hopefully I didn't set myself up for high expectations.

I am hoping by reading along with these boards that my comfort level will continue to rise, and will someday get me to the point of publicity of the love of my life.

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Sorry it took a couple days to get a reply. I'm a busy boy right now, and I'm sure others here are busy as the weather warms up.

There are things you are doing exactly as I would advise, and there are things you are considering in all of this that I believe you are overly stressing about.

First, the sleeping arrangements are exactly as I would recommend, especially considering there are impressionable young minds involved. Even when there are not children involved, when there is a fear to "come out with it" to family, but cousins are going to live under the same roof, I always recommend separate sleeping quarters. For one, it "keeps up appearances" for nosy friends and family, as well as offering each their own space.

Perhaps you are deluding yourself a little as well. I think the reason your friend wasn't more responsive, was, you weren't totally forthcoming, and she can tell it, and was waiting on "the rest of the story". Why would you tell her that you were physical with your cousin, and NOT that the reason is because he IS so wonderful?

You don't give your ages, but, believe me, you aren't old enough to pull the wool too far over the eyes of your family. For those in their 50's and beyond, why bother trying? For those in their 30's, and even 40's, it is difficult. For those in their 20's, it's REAL difficult, and as I always tell the teens who come here, for them it is virtually impossible to hide a relationship such as this. After three years, with several ups and downs, trust me, SOMEONE in the family has picked up on it. It's just that, like you, nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. So, why do it? I never really have got the whole "coming out" thing. Why not just act naturally ALL the time? I realize you are very nervous about it. So, just take it slowly, and ease everyone into the idea of it. Do you ever hold hands in front of family? Does he open the door on the car for you? Seat you at the family table, and then take a seat next to you? If not, he should, and you should let him. Maybe not this weekend, but, ease into it. Have him open the door for you, and offer his arm to walk you to the house, and you take his arm. The picture of you on his arm is more than subtle, yet platonic enough. Once they are comfortable with that, move to other such subtle, mannerly behavior. And yes, sooner or later, someone may call you on it. There is ALWAYS SOMEONE in the family who just can't keep their mouth shut. They just HAVE to know, even though it isn't any of their business, since it isn't THEIR relationship. If someone pries, I personally wouldn't be too subtle in my response. I would say something to the effect of "Well NunYa, If you MUST know, we DO have separate beds that we EACH use, thank you very much. For now, suffice it to say we enjoy each others company to the extent that we aren't looking for anyone else. Our situation works for us. If it develops further, we'll be sure you're the first to know, OK?" And then I'd drop it. Of course, if it's one or the others' Mother, I'd probably draw them off into a private conversation, and not be QUITE so rude, but every bit as determined. You two are adults. You get your lives to live the way that makes you happy. Friends and family aren't going to make you happy by bending you to their will, no matter how hard they try. After all this time, I think it's time you accept the fact that he's who it is that make you happy, and then BE happy, and let it show that you ARE happy.   

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