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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Cohiba102

Looking for input

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Hello everyone! I'm looking for some input regarding my situation....I'm going to skip all the chemistry my cousin and I share, as we feel that we were meant to be with each other. After reading some of the stories here, my situation may seem simple compared to most. I'm 44 and my cousin is 42. We were basically raised together. Even though she lived in another town, we had a pretty close family until the death of our grandparents. In my early 20's my career took me else where and we drifted apart. I got married and she did too. We probably saw each other 7 or 8 times, usually at funerals, since our teenage years. Today, I've been divorced for 3 years and she has been separated for about 5 months. We reconnected several weeks ago, and with both swept each other off our feet. We have started up a relationship, and we are keeping it on the down-low for right now. We know people are going to find out, and we really don't care. I guess that ole saying "you can't control who you fall in love with" will be the motto to our parents. Our concern is for our kids. My ex wife lives in another state and I have custody of our son who is 18 and a Sr in high school. My cousin has a daughter 14, and a son 17. How do you protect them? I know how mean teenagers can be, and how vendictive ex's can be as well. I'm not really worried about the family too much. When my grandparents died, the siblings (7 of them) drifted apart. A couple of them are close, But most don't speak to one another.

If my cousin and I were teenagers, I would be more concerned with the families opinion. Life is too short not to be happy. My cousin brought something out in me that I thought I had lost in my divorce. I've dated several women in the past and had a 2 year relationship with one woman. We both found that we were missing out on a lot in our former relationships, and together we found it. I'm just looking for some general ideas, similar situations, advice, etc.  I'm dedicated to making this work, as she is too. Thank you in advance for your input!

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To begin with, she is not a free woman and you two need to put a kabosh on the hanky-panky until she is legally divorced.  An extra-marital affair can be a very difficult obstacle in a divorce.  Separated does not equal divorce and should not be treated as such.

Secondly, since kids are involved, your relationship, if you decide to pursue one once she is divorced, should be taken quite slowly.  Kids need time to process the loss of their family before another romantic interest is thrust upon them and they should not be expected to be OK with you just because their mom is happy.  Trust me, it doesn't work like that.  Your son is an adult (although I'm sure you have a hard time seeing him as such)and has had time to adjust to having his family divided.  Her 17 yr old will be an adult soon, but needs time to having the division of the family.  The 14 yr old must be given a lot of consideration.  We have no idea how the kids will react to the fact that you and she are cousins.  (One of my kids was OK with it and the other has taken a couple of years to adjust).  But we can be fairly accurate with how kids react to a divorce.  They need time to settle!

As far as protecting your kids....  What are you wanting to protect them from? Hateful words from family? Their mom or dad? Other people?  Having to accept a new romantic partner without first dealing with the loss of their family?  If you really want to protect your kids, the two of you are going to slow waaaaayy down, take care of her business first and then slowly introduce your children to each other.  I know that you have found a woman you are crazy about and it isn't fair that you have to put your own wants and needs aside for the sake of the children.  And the truth is, you shouldn't have to because it's been 3 years since your divorce.  However, the woman you are crazy about DOES have to put things aside for the sake of her children.  It doesn't matter how long she's been separated, or if her husband (yes, husband, not ex) is abusive or hateful.  Nothing matters until the ink is dry on the divorce papers and she is a single woman. 

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