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Karrit_D

Messy.... But love nonetheless

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I have been in love with my first cousin for as long as I can remember... I am 38 now and he is 40. We have always kept our distance through the years until recently because neither one of us was ready for what has now become.

I am recently divorced and he was in a very unhappy marriage. 2 months ago, we saw each other after 15 years and it was like throwing gasoline on a glowing ember! All the feelings just came out and neither one of us is holding back! We are both prepared to keep this moving forward but we do have several concerns. I have 2 teenage daughters..... How do I tell them about us? How do we know when it's time to tell family about us??

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How old are your daughters? I would say when you know with absolute Certainty you want to be together. You have to be mentally prepared to support your daughters and also firm in your decision to be with your cousin. I would say 2 months is a short amount of time to be certain. Though you may know him, your daughters probably don't feel close to him enough yet to just take this news lightly. (Am I right?) Maybe you could try bringing up the subject of loving one's cousin to your daughters. Educate them a bit in the meantime so they would be more accepting.

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I'm a little confused. Is he still married?  If so, he needs to take care of business first.  If not, here's my two cents:

Your story is similar to mine.  My daughters were both teenagers when my cousin and I started dating.

I am going to caution you to be veeery careful about introducing a man to your children.  While you may be ready to move on and start up another relationship, your children are not ready for you to do so.  Children can be quite resilient, but there is no need to introduce unnecessary complications into their lives; especially not right now.  After my divorce I dated a couple of men for extended times.  NONE of them were introduced to my children. I did not introduce a man to my children until I was sure it was going to be a long-term relationship; and that was my cousin.  Divorce turns a child's world upside down.  Even teenagers.  Even if there was abuse in the home.  DO NOT underestimate this. We all know that teenagers have charming, delightful personalities....  :tongue: Now, mix that sweet disposition with Mom not only dating, but dating her cousin.  This can be a volatile situation if handled poorly.

Take things very slowly with your cousin.  I know this can seem nearly impossible, especially if you have harbored feelings for your cousin for a long time.  If you are not cautious, you run the risk of putting up a huge wall between you and your kids.  Do not tell your children about your love life yet.  They don't need to know!  When the time comes, be prepared for some push back.  My oldest (18 at the time) was not overly joyed with my new found happiness and it has taken her almost two years to be fully accepting.

When the time comes, you tell your children first and then tell you family as soon as possible after that.  But you have a while before you have to deal with that....

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ditto what serendipity said. i would also encourage you to check out the laws of the state you live in regarding cousin marriage.

first things first though. if he's not married, you need to back off. when and IF he gets divorced, then proceed with caution. but don't just assume that because he's told you his marriage is unhappy that he'll get a divorce. not only would that be setting yourself up for a long drawn out heartache, it would be setting an example for your daughters that being used by a man is OK. (and like it or not, when a woman becomes a mistress, she is being used. period. there are no ifs ands or buts about it.) is that the message you want to send to your kids?

i was also divorced with daughters when mark and i got together. they were 11 and 12 at the time. here's the important thing though... they'd had a lot of time to get used to not having their own father in the home. i'd divorced my first husband when they were still toddlers. so by the time i was ready to move on and remarry, my daughters were also ready. chances are, your recent divorce is something your kids aren't over yet. for their sake you need to wait until they are ready for you to move on, or until they are ready to move out, whichever comes first. i know that makes you want to kick and scream about how you deserve to be happy, and about how you are more than just a mom, you're a woman with needs of your own, but the truth is, your first responsibility is your children and their emotional security. no matter how impatient you are, they're teenagers already. you don't have that long to wait, even if you have to wait til they move out on their own. seriously, five years or less is just a drop of spit in time.

so you need to have a serious talk with your daughters. NOW. you need to ask them to be honest with you about how they feel about you dating again. do NOT bring your cousin up at this point, just ask a general question. and if you've already been dating other men since your divorce, you really need to do this yesterday. and when you're done getting answers about that question, ask them how they'd feel about you dating someone SERIOUSLY. because casual dating and serious dating are two different things. and you need to encourage them to talk to you honestly at any time about their feelings should they change, for any reason. and especially ask them to let you know when they're ready for you to date if they aren't so keen to it right now.

like it or not their feelings supersede yours. you're the mom. you can make sacrifices for them.

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He is in the process of getting divorced; they are seperated and papers are filed but it's not final yet. My daughters are 13 and 17.

Thank you for all of the feedback! Really great points to consider, ponder and discuss!

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