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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Sphinxx_Eternal

Want relationship, but it's even more complicated than just cousins

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My situation's rather complicated, I'm not really sure where to even begin. Sorry if my explanation is confusing.

    I've had a thing for my cousin since I was 13 and he was 18. We were cuddly for a while, but nothing obviously romantic till I was almost 15, when we started kissing. About a year after that we started doing more. Please don't be concerned about the age difference. I've been sexually aggressive since I hit puberty, so he was definitely not taking advantage of me.

    I'm 24 and he is 30 now, so this has been going on on-and-off for like 10 years now. We live 4 hours apart, so it couldn't really be more than that. We pretty much dated other people, and pretended to everyone else that there was nothing going on. The thing is, during all that time he never said if it was just a physical attraction/convenience thing for him, or if he actually had feelings for me. I didn't ever bring it up either, but that was because I have some pretty serious issues with rejection (not just romantically). I've always wanted to actually be with him. I've never been able to tell if he's actually not interested, or if he's concerned about our family's reaction (they're mostly Catholic), or what. But I feel like it wouldn't have gone on for so long if there was nothing but physical attraction.

    Just when I started working up the nerve to ask him about it (about 2 1/2 years ago), he started seeing someone more seriously. I was single and really lonely, so that hurt pretty bad. I started seeing a few different guys casually, and by the time he was single again, I had become serious with some one. We had decided on having an open relationship, so I thought I could work out a way to talk to my cousin. Then suddenly I was pregnant, because while I was depressed I didn't keep very good track of my birth control. We decided to keep the baby and get engaged, so for about a year, I wasn't really thinking about much else, and wad visiting my family less often anyway. By the time my life calmed down again, my cousin had another serious girlfriend. Although my relationship is still open, I tried to just be content with what I had and move on from him. But then last Christmas he kissed me. A few weeks later he and his girlfriend got engaged.

    So here I am, my feelings all stirred up. While it would be ok on my end, I don't want to be party to cheating or breaking up his relationship. His fiancee is really nice. I wanted to talk to him about it be for we all got together for the holidays again, but I don't know what I should say. I feel like the "right" thing would be to just make it clear that I'm not comfortable with the situation as is without even finding out his feelings. But a tiny part of me hopes that maybe we could all make it work. If he even has feelings for me. I'm afraid to make it more complicated if I do ask, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get over him if I'm always wondering "What if?"

    I'm really confused and really down about it. Does anyone have any advice?

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the only way i can advise you is this... any sort of relationship that is not built on 100% trust and mutual monogamy is a recipe for heartache. that goes for your relationship with your child's father, with your cousin, his relationship with you, with his fiance... any two people who are going to be "together" deserve to be the only one their significant other is together with.

so with that in mind, i would suggest you either drop this and never look back, OR, talk to your cousin, and if he feels the same way, then you need to both walk away from what you're settling for and make a total commitment to each other. that means you'd better both be ready for marriage to each other, without regard to what family and friends are going to think or say.

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That wasn't really the issue I was trying to get across. It may be hard to believe, but my fiancee and I are happy with our open relationship. In fact, it was a crucial thing that helped us stay together when my libido crashed for a year after the birth of our son. It would have driven us both crazy if he didn't have any other outlet. From what I've seen in the poly/open community, such relationships have about the same success rate as monogamous ones. My fiancee is perfectly fine with me pursuing a relationship with my cousin. My problem lies in trying to handle his side of things. I would be very surprised if his fiancee is ok with him having a secondary relationship with his cousin. I know we have to talk, even if only to firmly establish that it's ending. I just don't know whether or not to ask him if he had/has feelings for me. I know the question will always be in the back of my mind if I don't ask, but how do I deal with it if he says yes, but we still won't have a relationship?  If this site is definitively anti-poly, I'll just have to see if I can find answers that fit my world-view somewhere else.

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I can only speak for myself here, but I totally misinterpreted your original post until you clarified your relationship with your partner as poly just now. 

Given that, I see no issues on your side to opening a discussion with your cousin, albeit it possibly to air it all out and put an end to the what if question.  The issue on your cousin's side is a totally different situation.  He's not in a poly relationship.  Now I don't know him and I don't know you.  You have to decide whether it is fair on your cousin to open this discussion or not or whether it is in his best interests to forever hold your peace.  I will say though, once he is married, you should never open this discussion, and currently, he is committed to another and you should respect that relationship.

My view may not concur with the majority.  What the hell would I know?  I am not married and I am not in a poly relationship.  I just replied as you seemed to have the impression that poly relationships were not understood here, whereas I believe your original post was not worded to convey that was your correct situation.

Lori :)

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my advise doesn't change. what you may think works for you now will inevitably fail. but even if it doesn't, HE is getting married. it's doubtful that he has any desire to make a lifelong commitment with her, with you, or anyone else that is "open". you need to either walk away and never look back, or you need to ask him if he wants to ditch her and marry you. and since you clearly aren't interested in having a committed monogamous relationship, i'd say that you'd better walk away.

like it or not, that's my advise.

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