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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Guest UnluckyInLove

What should I do?

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14 posts in this topic

I have a huge dilemma...

I am in love with my first cousin and I think I have been since I was about 14 (I am now almost 28 and the man I love is 34). I never breathed a word to anyone about this (until now) because I felt like it was unnatural and that I was just weird. But no matter how many times I tried, I never could fully replace him in my heart.

I did not grow up around him and don't think of him as a relative (no judgement whatsoever on the cousin couples who have grown up together). He lives on the other side of the country and I just see him at reunions mostly.

In 2012, I flew to where he lives, for a reason other than seeing him. It was just a bonus. It was the first time I had seen him in about 5 years and it was then that I realized that my attraction to and love for him had not gone away, but had only gotten stronger... much stronger.

Here is the main problem: At that point, I was married. I still am married and have not been unfaithful to my husband. My husband was in meetings on the trip and I got to hang out with my cousin while we were there. We walked on the beach, around his city, talking as if no time had passed since last we had seen each other.

I am more in love with him than I ever imagined I could be with another person.

This past Thanksgiving I saw him again and there was an undeniable spark between us. He never said anything about it and neither did I, but I know he felt it. I could see it in his eyes.

My husband was not there. My cousin and I got to spend lots of time together. Not just one on one, but with the rest of our family as well. We didn't do anything super spectacular for the Thanksgiving reunion, but I had the time of my life..... I felt alive again. No one seemed to see our connection, maybe because I'm married and there should not be anything between us because of that fact. And also no one would assume things were anything but platonic because being in love with your cousin is not socially acceptable in most circles  :cry:

When I said goodbye to him, he held me close and said "I love you" softly. I told him I love him too. This wasn't a declaration of being in love with each other.....at least, well.....I'm not sure. If it was, it wasn't intentional on either side. Maybe it was our feelings finally coming to the surface after being suppressed for so long. At least that is how it felt.  

The thing is that it was not out of the ordinary for him to tell me that; however it was out of the ordinary for him to not tack on "cousin" at the end of that sentence. I have not been able to stop thinking about this. When he said it before ("Love you, cousin"), it was as if he was making sure I knew he was saying it in a platonic way. He made no such effort this time around. It was almost as if he meant for me to know how he feels, adding in the way he would look at me and the way he acted around me.

The thing is that I am married and I will not cheat on my husband. I am not in a "happy marriage", but I will never cheat. Again, not passing judgement on anyone else, but I cannot bring myself to do it because I have been cheated on before and I do not wish that kind of pain on anyone.

My marriage.... He is happy and I am not. He is very controlling. At times, I feel like he is emotionally abusive, but I have no proof. So why haven't I left him? We have a child together. I am terrified of losing my baby. But the flip side of that is that I don't want to take the baby away from him either. He is a good father.

I am getting to see my cousin again soon... I want to talk about my feelings to him, so badly that it is hard for me to breathe when I think about it. I would give anything to hear him reciprocate those feelings..... But what good could come of it?

I made vows to the man I am married to, a man who has changed so much since the day I married him, but the vows I made to him did not have an addendum saying that "I make these vows, except if you change".

After being so deeply in love with the same man for 14 years.....I know now that no other person on this earth will ever have my heart except for my cousin, my love. Even if I have to spend the rest of my life without him.

Even if I divorced, I am not sure he would be willing to be in any kind of relationship with me. I so desperately wish that the whole "it's icky for cousins to marry" thing had never become a "thing". If it had been acceptable (in the mainstream) even a few short years ago, things might be different today.

This became a really long post. Thank you to whoever stuck with me for this long. I know there probably is no "right" answer, but it really has helped to be able to talk about this. I can't talk to anyone else, not even the man I love, for fear that it would drive him away permanently. I don't think it actually would, because typically a spark that strong can only be felt when both sides are contributing towards it. But there is still that fear....

Anyway, if it did freak him out and he didn't want to see me anymore, I could not handle that. Not at all. So I will continue living the way I have been--married, in love with my cousin, and unable to talk about it to friends or family (especially family).

It hurts in the deepest, most painfully aching way.

 

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I love my cross cousin a lot.

She is 21 i am also 21.

I feel for her and i dont know what to do. We r close. We talk daily via text. She is the one to text me first most of the times. I miss her a lot.

But i think she see me as a cousin because of family problems as she dont have her real parents.

Every 1 thinks we r gf bf in family and they do not like it. What to do i m upset a lot.?????

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I would love to help, but I am so new to this and I do not want to give you bad advice. I wish you luck though.

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you're married. the fact that you feel so emotionally abused by a man who is happily married to you and who is a good father tells me that your emotional abuse is very likely a product of your own imagination born out of your dissatisfaction and boredom at being tied down. been there done that and watching someone very close to me do that exact same thing.

if you want to stay married, you need to put your cousin completely out of your mind and remember why you fell in love with your husband. if you can't manage to do that, consider that it is difficult to get over a secret because the fact that it IS a secret is one of the most powerful stimuli there is... secrets become obsessions. secrets become addictions. and exposure tends to break, or at least weaken, the secret's power over us. so if you can't put your cousin out of your mind, then you should confess to your husband that you were unfaithful, and either ask his forgiveness and ask him to work with you to heal your marriage, or ask for a divorce.

you think you're hurting in the deepest, most awful way. but the truth is, you're not. because the deepest, most awful hurt is reserved for the one who has been cheated on. your husband's pain will be far deeper than anything you're feeling, because of the betrayal. BUT, don't let that scare you from telling him the truth, because sooner or later he'll start realizing your heart and head are not in the same relationship he's in, and the unconfirmed suspicion will be worse than knowing the truth.

i know my advice is a bitter pill to swallow, but you're an adult now. an adult with a husband and a child to answer to. you have responsibilities... to them. and your actions have consequences. so step up to the plate and do the right thing. believe it or not, as hard as it will be YOU will feel so much better once the dust settles. the limbo you are in is what is causing your pain and confusion.

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LadyC,

I am not going to leave my husband or my child. I think I said that. I made vows to him and even though I'm not in love with him, that is not just cause to leave someone.

I needed to share my feelings somehow because it was starting to choke me. I've kept this secret for a very long time and talking about it is the only way I can think clearly. I needed to look at it, to see it written down.

I am thinking of my child. I was raised to know that divorce is wrong and cheating is never justified. Nothing has happened between my cousin and me except for intense attraction, at least on my part.

I agree with you that betrayal is one of the most painful things a person could do. It's been done to me more than once.

However, the hurt that comes with loving someone for so long, knowing you will never have a chance with that person because you are related (this was before I was married, mind you), then finding out it is more normal than people will talk about but now you are already married and there's still nothing you can do..... It's pretty up there on the scale. It's not exactly a walk in the park.

Thanks for taking the time. I know you must see people like me on here a lot, considering how fast you shot back a reply. Most are not as lucky/blessed as you, having gotten to marry the love of your life (congratulations--I mean that sincerely). Just remember that the reason you see us here so much is not because we are bad people. It's because for so long we thought we were just messed up in our heads for wanting something so "unnatural". Now it's too late, but if I am ever going to get over him.....I needed to talk about it. At least once.

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i apologize for having read through your post in a rush... i did read into it things that were not there. i could blame it on any number of distractions but there really is no excuse... if i'm going to comment on something i should take the time to read it more carefully.

if you can accept my apology, i would like to suggest a method of displacing your cousin from your thoughts that worked for me when i was in your shoes. in my case it, it did help me get him out of my head but it didn't improve my marriage, and i did end up divorcing him. it was a decade later when i started dating (and later married) my cousin. but since my mouth is currently full of my own shoe leather i'll wait and let you tell me if you want any further advice from me...

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I do accept and appreciate your apology, and I am definitely open to more advice from you.

It is not your fault entirely though, for perceiving me the way you did. I can see how it could have come across that way. I was vague about my husband's and my relationship. I wrote that post when I was tired and vulnerable, which is never the best idea.

Before I say what I'm about to say, I want to make it clear that I am not looking for excuses to leave my husband. I am not looking for anyone's approval to do so. I am about to say this only to clarify what I meant in the broad generalizations in which I previously wrote.

I do remember why I fell in love with my husband. Over the last 5.5 years of marriage, I have reminded myself of it almost constantly. He is not the only one at fault for our marriage being the way it is, I have made so many mistakes.

For the past year, I have been fighting hard to repair damage our marriage has taken through the years. I really looked inward to try and fix the flaws in myself, I asked God for help, I *chose* to love him even though I did not feel it, and I am still doing that to the best of my ability.  

What I meant by emotional abuse.... Every time I confront him with something that he did to hurt or annoy me, he twists it around and tries manipulate me to see how he is justified. In the moment, I just feel more hurt and confused and then later realize that I had been manipulated. I am not meaning to sound vicious or hateful because I don't hate him. He has flaws like anyone else.

I know you will have to take my word for this and I am being as fair and objective as I possibly can. The fact is that unless he feels me pulling away or feels that I am "distant", he does nothing to work on us. He comes to me when he needs his needs met, otherwise he is playing computer games or goes off with his friends in his spare time. It is only when I stop fighting as hard that he realizes it and starts working again on our relationship.

I have been going round and round in this cycle for years. We have even had marriage counseling, but nothing changes.

When I said he is "happy", what I really should have said was he is at a place of wanting to work on things because he knows that I am distant. There is nothing wrong with wanting to work on things, but I wish he would continue putting in the work even when things are "okay". And yes, I have told him this.

When someone like myself has felt neglected and used for so long, it is hard to not feel these emotions. Especially, when I have felt the way I have about my cousin for years and years. It is hard to ignore someone else who seems to love you, who listens to you, and wants the same things you want. Hard, but not impossible. This is why I am completely open to hearing your advice.

I know you didn't ask for such a long, in-depth reply. I just felt that the way I left my initial post was too vague and I don't want anyone to think I am feeling this way out of boredom with my current situation.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to listen and talk to me, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

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unlucky, you are one of the most gracious ladies to ever post here. and i so deeply regret having read you all wrong to begin with. and having read your lengthy reply here, i'm realizing i can relate to you on more than one aspect of this situation you're in. with my first husband, i was still in love with someone else. there was a lot of infidelity in our marriage, on both sides. he was a really rotten husband... and he would tell you that i was an even more rotten wife. and truth be told, i probably was.

and i did find a method that worked for helping me get the other guy out of my head. not entirely out of my heart, but i trained myself not to think about him all the time. in fact, i trained myself so well that he was only an occasional passing thought.

and i can also relate as you describe your relationship with your husband. oh my gosh, i was in those shoes too... with my current husband (my cousin). we've been married 17 years (come new year's day). but there was a long stretch of time in there where our marriage was falling apart. i was not the priority in his life. his friends, his tv, his computer, and for several years substance abuse was far more important than i was. i barely recognized in him the man i'd fallen in love with and married. we tried counseling, i tried praying, i tried begging and screaming and crying and at one point i even tried to have myself committed to a psych ward because i was so depressed and angry and frustrated with him. like your husband, mine thought everything was just fine. he was content with how things were. and the harder i fought for 'us' the more he distanced himself from me.

we've gotten past all that. he is again the man he was when i married him. better even. but it was a long hard road, and i can tell you what helped in that aspect too. but not right now. i'm sorry, but i've made the mistake of rushing through my own commentary while my head is elsewhere once today, and i'm going to wait until i have the time to give you my full attention. unfortunately that's not at this moment... i have an aunt who will be 102 at christmas if she lives that long, and my 89 year old mother (who lives with me) is pretty frantic about whether her sister is getting the proper care. i dropped her off to visit with her earlier, but apparently things aren't going too well today, so that's really where my head is at right now.

i WILL get back to you though. in the meantime, i would like to ask you to join the forum. your email address and your ip won't show publically, although you'll be able to see it (as will i and the other admins). but it will prevent some of your posts from going into 'waiting for approval' status like your last one did. i have no idea why it did that. seems to be randomly happening to guest posts. it will also allow you to be notified by email of new replies, if you want to be.

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Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It gives me hope. I do know that no matter who my spouse is, we will have hard times, and we will have to fight for our marriage. And if my current husband and I ever divorce, it will not be because I am leaving him for someone else, but because I know that I know...that I did all that I possibly could to save our marriage. My daughter deserves that from her mommy, at the very least.

It definitely helps that my cousin lives on the other side of the country and I only see him once a year on average. It gets easier to put him from my mind as time goes on......until I see him again.

However, the point is that I was raised to do the right thing. To lead my heart, not follow it when it is telling me to do the wrong thing. It is so much easier said than done, though.

How do I join the forum? :) Thank you so much for your kind words.

There is one last thing I need to get off of my chest.... You don't have to keep reading :) I just need to talk for a minute about the irony of the way things happened. This has been amazingly therapeutic for me. I have struggled with depression for years and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can breathe easier without something weighing down on me.

I watched the man I have always loved, the one who I thought was completely out of my reach, and one of the sweetest people I have ever known, get married. I watched him be happy with her, wishing beyond comprehension that I was her. He treated her like a queen.... I watched as she hurt him over and over, left him more than once, and finally divorced him, all while he did whatever he could to make his marriage work - even cutting off his own mom and dad for a time, per her selfish request (My aunt and uncle are also some of the kindest, accepting, and loving people I have ever known, and they never did anything to hurt his now ex-wife).

I watched him pick up the pieces and I encouraged him when I could.... I was not married at this time. I wanted to be there for him so much. I wanted to help him find healing for his broken heart, but I was just a cousin who lived thousands of miles away. I felt like it would be odd to him for me, a cousin, to swoop in and care for him. I also thought that what I was feeling was illegal.... I know that it is in some states, but I thought it was illegal everywhere except third world countries. I hope that doesn't offend anyone--I was very ignorant.

I wanted more than anything to have the chance to be everything to him that he deserves. Everything that his ex-wife was not. I wanted nothing more than to support him, take care of him, cook and clean for him, make him the father he so desires to be (and OH my gosh, what an amazing dad he would be!).

I didn't get to see him very much during this time. There was a good five years we went without seeing one another. During those five years, I made my biggest attempts to forever put him away from my mind and heart by being in other relationships.

I saw him for the first time in those five years only two years after I married. That was the business trip I spoke of. My husband was in meetings and I got to spend lots of time with my cousin. He did not flirt with me; he has more integrity than most people that I know. However, I did feel our connection then for the first time. And I fought and fought harder than ever to put a stop to it. Time apart helps, but unfortunately it does not cure.

This is why I feel that I am "Unlucky In Love". There was a window of opportunity, possibly, for me to be there for him, but I let fear stop me and I missed my chance.

I love him...

I wish I had found this website much sooner....years sooner. Maybe things would have turned out differently. But I find that I can't bring myself to fully regret the way things have happened. I could never regret having my daughter, not for a second. I love her more than anyone else on this earth. More than my cousin, and more than any dream or desire I have ever had for my life.

I know I need to let go of this.....of him.....at least for now. It is just so hard to let go.

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I completely understand! It is so nice of you to devote your time and attention to help me. Thank you!

I hope everything works out with your aunt and mom, and wish good health for them both.

I sent another reply as a guest right before I joined the forum and a [very small] part of that reply was asking how to join the forum. I did figure that out and I am now a member ;)

Hey, this has been my shortest reply yet, haha! Thank you for putting up with my hopelessly long-winded self. ;D

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glad you found your way 'in'! i'll try to put together a good response tomorrow. mark's home now, and i can never concentrate when he's around. he farts too much, it clouds my thought process ;) thanks for the good wishes for my mom and aunt. mom needs it... some emotional strength and health right now. the aunt is past that. we're just praying that God will take her quickly and painlessly at this point.

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Hahaha! Sounds like a normal husband ;D

No problem at all :)

I know what you mean about the quick and painless thing. We went through that with my grandmother several years ago. She was in so much pain with cancer and there was nothing anyone could do. We prayed God would take her quickly and thankfully, he did. Your mom and aunt are in my thoughts and prayers.

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I love my cousin a lot. We both are 21. She do not have real parents. We r close. I want to tell her about my feelings. But she not at all think about my feelings. All she likes is talking to me thats it. When i say her i like her and ol stuff she takes it as complement and say thanks thats it.

I cant stop thinking about her . I miss her a each moment. Plz help.

I love her most she is the best thing that has happend to me. Most frnds of mine say to stop talking to her but i cant. It  hurts.

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Harsh123, I have edited you post and removed the profanity. Please keep any posts PG this is a family site.

Second. It would be best if you will start your own thread. You are more likely to get more advice and you

will not be hijacking anothers thread.

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