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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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New Love

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I have a cousin who I did not spend a lot of time with growing up.  I can only remember seeing him a few times when I was younger but as adults, every time we see each other, we feel very connected.  We recently saw each other at a family gathering and he told me how he felt.  I was shocked but excited, flattered and interested.  He is a total catch.  We live over 200 miles from each other, have already had our kids and are both established in our careers. He doesn't care what people think and just wants to be happy.  I want to be happy, but I am having a hard time letting go of what people think.  I am interested in hearing others stories of how they told their families.  I am in my 40's and he is in his 50's... so we are adults who have the right to make their own choices... I just worry about being disowned from the family that I love so much.

Thank you.

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I think it is probably a lot easier when you are middle aged vs. when you are young. People are more likely to respect your decision now I think.

You will have to adopt your cousin's attitude. You can go down this road being worried what someone may think about you. I'm sure there will be one, maybe two that have problems with it. Some religious people can be the worst, unfortunately. You have to remember, they don't pay the bills. I say that life is short and if you find someone wonderful, you had better not let that person go. Do you want to be known as the lady with the cats? I didn't think so.

You do not want to hear me story;  it was bad. But everyone seemed to get over it quickly enough. Right after we married, nothing else was said by the family... at least not to my face. At some point, it becomes a non issue. All you have to do is tell one person and everyone else will know within 24 hours. So, the telling is the easy part. ;)

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Your story is very similar to mine.  As kids we saw each other only a handful of times and have had feelings for each other since I can remember.  As adults we lived in different states and only saw each other every few years and each time the attraction was palpable each time we met. But the timing was never right for us; until 2.5 yrs ago.  Now we are planning our wedding - less than 2 weeks away!

Your cousin is on the right track.  You are the ones to lay the foundation for your own happiness.  Family is important, but they don't walk in your shoes and can't make decisions for you.  Including who you pursue romantically. 

I told my family members individually.  My kids at the time were 16 and 18.  One was very accepting, the other not so much.  Although she has made an effort lately to be more tolerant. The rest of my  family (bro, sis, mom) was initially accepting of my relationship with my 1st cousin, but over time they are running quite cold on this subject.  Most of his family has been great, except for his father, who, as KC pointed out, is extremely religious and refuses to accept that he may be wrong on this topic. 

You really do have to decide if you want to please people who would disown you for following your heart or if you want to be with a man who is ready to see if you can make a go of this relationship.  Most of the time family learns to at least accept your relationship.  If they don't, then their true colors are showing and as I said, are those the types of people you want to appease?

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