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looneytune

Feeling selfish...

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Hello all...my whole long sad story is on here somewhere from back in the spring...I'm at a crossroad and feel selfish for wanting my  own happiness...long story short...my 1st cousin and I have had a 36 year affair on and off...we really knew something was up longer than that...we were just young kids running around town together with all the other cousins during family events and holidays...but we were the only ones holding hands and smiling at each other a lot... :grin:  When i was 14 and he was 17 he stopped his car coming home from the beach in the middle of his street and just stared at me...his eyes told me everything i needed to know...i slid over and he grabbed me and kissed me with the passion that I have only ever felt with him.  Nothing else happened...I had to leave the next day to go back home so we parted in what i still call magical confusion... :shocked:  He ended up making some trips to my house the next few summers...we had a blast then the summer before my 17th birthday he decided to go for it...he told me recently he wanted to wait till i was older...said he loved everything about me so he could wait for that...true love is a scary passionate amazig torturous thing...and we have it without a doubt.  I got scared about the stigma of it all so i went off to college to find myself...losing touch...he called my house many times to try to find me but my Mom was onto us so she never gave me the messages or letters he had written...recently he told me he was calling to see if i wanted to go for it which I would of if he had come to visit for even a day.  He said he drank himself silly and ended up marrying his girlfriend to forget me.  I was heartbroken when my Mom happily told me...I still try to love her... :(  So we both do the normal expected thing in life...get married have kids...found each other on and off...waited for the next event...now he's divorced but remarried...since I had young babies when he divorced he stayed away...they are now teenagers.  We reconnected with a vengeance 3 years ago because we were both unhappily married...mostly because we didnt marry each other!!  Now I'm thinking about seperating from my husband of 19 years to eventually find the happiness I've always known with my one true love.  I was unhappily married long before we hooked up 3 years ago...we talk every day and plan get togethers often even though we live 700 miles apart...my kids love him but know nothing...our spouses are suspicious from the talking and texting and Ive taken the kids up north to visit for 2 weeks for the past 3 summers.  We've weaved quite a tangled web and we both want to find a way to be together...i feel guilty and selfish for wanting my fairytale...im 50 and want a happy life before i kick the bucket...then i think of breaking up a family that the girls think is happy because their father and I dont fight openly...ok...so this story was never going to have a short version...any thoughts or advice on divorce with kids involved...how they handle things...if I'm just plain crazy to entertain my selfish thoughts? 

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I'm not married so can't give u advice on contemplating divorce.  imho, if it were me, I would tell the cuz I am cutting off all contact and focusing on my marriage and really do that.  Then will you be able to find your answer.

Life is a journey.  Live it, enjoy it, no regrets.  If you don't give your marriage every possible effort, you will regret it at some point.

If your cousin truly loves you, he will agree to this.  If he objects, then you will also have your answer, and without blowing up your marriage.

This may not be what you want to hear, I don't know you, your husband, your children or your cousin.  I am only responding to the information you have provided.  There is always more to everyone's story.

Lori :)

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Whether you decide to stay married or not, do not divorce for someone else.  You've already created an emotional mess by being involved with him for the past 3 years.  Not only is there one marriage in this picture, but there is two.  You need to break it off with your cousin and either focus on your marriage or file for divorce. 

And don't think for a moment that if the two of you divorce your current spouses, then everything will be wine and roses between the two of you.  Cousin or not, an affair creates a fantasy surrounding the other person.  And this fantasy is in overdrive because of your history together. 

I'm sorry, but if you are simply "unhappy" then, go to counseling and work on your marriage.  If there is abuse, then leave.  Divorce is a big deal, especially when children are involved.  I would have never put my children through it without a hell of a good reason - and I don't believe that having romantic feelings for someone else is a good reason.

And remember, your happiness is not dependent upon being married to a particular person.  You create your own happiness. 

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looneytune,

^^^ This right here.

I've not went into it openly on the site here to any great extent, but my recent absence was due to a divorce. I was married to a wonderful woman when she was sober. I was married to her "evil twin" when she was drunk. There are a few financial items yet to deal with, and a few personal items left to exchange. After that, I doubt I will ever see her again. A shame we wasted 21 years trying for something that should have been, but cannot ever be. If I ever thought there was a chance she would quit drinking, or even quit being a mean pissy drunk, I would have stayed to the end. In the end, it was obvious neither is a possibility, and to move on was the only acceptable option. Now, I'm the bad guy, and, OK, I'll take whatever you want to call me. It isn't anything I haven't heard drunk for the last 20 years, and it reminds me exactly why I did this. THAT part of it I don't ever want to forget. The rest of it, all I want to do is forget it ever happened.

As for my Cuz, I went out of my way to insure she was not a factor. I kept it from her initially, because I knew she would blame herself, or think the ex blamed her. I had already got out in front of that though. Once she started seeing cryptic messages on FB by the ex, and no mention of her "dear sweet husband", she knew something was up, and asked me what was going on. I went ahead at that point and told her, because I knew it wouldn't be long before the nastiness was on there openly. As far as me and Cuz go, we do love each other very much. BUT, she has a long term BF, AND, it would seem, an "interest" of some nature where she currently is. I WILL NOT interject myself into HER impending trainwreck either. She will deal with it in her own time and in her own way. Her sister and I have had a couple rather engaging conversations. We are both now of the opinion that Cuz will never, even at 51, be able to get over the "we're family" thing, and the thought of what others would say. Our family would not have a problem with it. Our Mother's would even be pleased. But, she would be nervous about people who I would readily tell to take a hike. So, I suppose, we had our moment, and it shall NOT be repeated again. At 51, I'm fine with that. I have said before on here that, should we both ever be available, that we would most likely be "companions" as opposed to a "romantic" item. While I won't rule anything out, I just don't see it at this time. I do see us hanging out some down the line in the future. In all of this, I have enjoyed the time me and her sister have spent accompanying each other and reconnecting, and I see the three of us out and about as well, seeing the sights. Sis really bailed me out on my birthday. (Along with another couple, who went out of their way for me.) They made what looked like one of the worst birthdays ever into one of the best ever. I had almost forgot how to really enjoy myself, without fear of "drunk sh*t." I'm at a point now, where I see me having several female companions, to ride with, go out to eat and such, and then I can drop them off at theirs, and I can come to mine. I don't ever see me having what would be considered a "traditional" relationship ever again. After three failed marriages, it would seem I'm just not too good at it. Cuz would be the ONLY one I would even consider such a thing with. And, like I say, as far as I can tell, that will never happen.

Unless your situation rises to that level, I would encourage you to set down, re-evaluate why you married him in the first place. I would think that at some level you DID love him. Examine what happened. If there is a way to fix it, do so. If not, or it does rise to that level, then move on, BUT NOT because of your cousin. The grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed. If there's a way to spruce up your yard, do that instead. I'm sure there were things I could have done better, but once it was obvious it still wouldn't help, I was left with no good choice. You may still have the choice.

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Yep...all of the above is good reason to feel guilty and selfish.  And I do realize that the grass is sometimes greener.  What we both also realized is that we both married to try to escape from the 'abnormal'...tried to lead normal expected lives...we tried to lose contact many times over 40 years...stopped talking to give our lives a chance...but we always came back to each other...a love that never ended...not just physical...or emotional..just an amazing happiness we could find with no other.  I have tried to be happy with my husband...he actually went to an attorney 5 years ago to see what his options were without even telling me...he doesnt abuse my physically but he surely tortures me emotionally...and his main attraction to me i have realized is physical.  He thinks that just because i have taken good care of myself and still look 30ish at age 50 that i must be his toy or something...told me that i was his addiction...he is emotionally shut down unless that is happening...not a fun way to live.  We were never very compatible...i settled for something that would make everyone in my tiny  little corner of the world happy...and now i drink to just try to survive living with his not so nice neglectful temperment...we put on an act for my teen girls...i guess i should just sleep in the bed that i've miserably made  and miss out on real living...thanx for all ur thoughts and opinions...it's kinda what i expected... :(

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I'm going to jump in here and tell you exactly what I think:  you need to take care of yourself and live for yourself.  What you say about your husband sends all kinds of red flags to me.  Emotional abuse is far more serious.

I was emotionally abused in two marriages and it wasn't until I found the book that I used to change my life that I was able to protect myself from abuse.  The book is NASTY PEOPLE:  HOW TO STOP BEING HURT BY THEM WITHOUT STOOPING TO THEIR LEVEL by Dr. Jay Carter.

The book is available on kindle, Amazon.  I found my first copy in a thrift store.  It is fairly short and inexpensive. 

Neither of my marriages was with a cousin.  I now love my cousin, even though we are not together for excellent reasons.  He does love me and I am very happy now.

Do. please, get a copy of the book and use it to change your life.  Also, please come here often - we are here go give you encouragement and support!!!!

HUGS

Nat

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Thank u so much...I will get the book and see if I can figure out if i'm truly in trouble or if i'm just a selfish whiner that just needs to keep doing the right thing for her kids...which is faking my life.  I know what i'm doing is wrong...to keep finding the only happiniess that ive ever known with my cousin who has been my lifelong friend/lover...but i tried to be the person my husband wants me to be...the perfect wife and mother...he always wants more...im worn out...i get ill at the thought of being with him and thats the only thing that truly brings him back to life emotionally. I suppose if i didnt know true unconditional love was at the tip of my fingers i might just go along and let my girls grow up in a normal unbroken family...pretend a lot..i would be to scared to be alone...but no counelling could ever make me love my husband again...i would always be faking life...thats what i'm trying to decide...to be selfish or not...i wish like hell that i hadnt fallen in love 40 years ago...i wish it werent such a strong bond...i wish i was stronger ...im in tears but do appreciate reading everyones thoughts and advice...thank u

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Carol (I assume you are the same as looneytune?) - Your life is not an Either/Or situation.  And since when is faking your life the right thing to do for your kids? You must make decisions that are right for you and for your children both.  The fact that you now mention emotional abuse and your drinking puts a whole new spin on this situation!  And listen, I understand the idea of getting ill at the thought of your husband, I have been there, done that.  When you are at that point, it's time to make some hard decisions.  It is evident that you are a good mother who loves her children, but you are not creating a good environment for them.  I stayed in a marriage for 15 years "for the sake of my children", but in the end, I saw that  what I was allowing them to witness, was not good for them at all. 

I would still put the brakes on the relationship with your cousin.  At least until you figure out what you are going to do.  Do not pretend happiness for your children - they are smart and will see through it.  Do not allow yourself to be abused in any manner by your husband - not only is it not good for you, but think of the example you are setting for your children; that this is the normal way for a wife to be treated in a marriage. You need to decide that you are worthy of LIVING - not just surviving - this life.  It's too damn short to be faked through.  And it is not selfish to live life happily. 

Putting the brakes on the relationship with your cousin will allow you time to get yourself together, to figure out what you what to do.  If the marriage is done, it's done.  Your children need to see you take time for yourself and taking time to make you a better person.  They do not need to see you jump from a relationship with their father to a relationship with another man.  And if your cousin loves you, you will be gracious and give you some time alone.

And stop the drinking NOW!!  I have no idea if you need it or not, but if you do, get yourself to an AA Meeting, or some kind of recovery group.  If you can stop on your own, then stop.  Don't just slow down, STOP.  The alcohol will only muddle your thinking. 

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Thanx for ur concern...i'm not an addictive personality for anything other than the love of my life and i get migraines from drinking so my consumption is very limited...no worries there...i just never knew the feeling of drinking a few to escape for a while unil recently...only drank for fun with friends occasionally...i do understand now how people who can tolerate alcohol become addicted to lose touch with reality but i'm in no danger of excess...just dont like how i feel sometimes so i have a glass of wine when i normally wouldnt and that bothers me. And my girls dont have a clue that i'm unhappy with their father because we never fight in front of them.  They know he is grouchy...a lot...he picks on every little thing they do wrong and makes them feel lousy...and I call him out on it here and there.  As for me...he doesnt outwardly say abusive things to me...he does his work on my head with making me feel like i cant be enough...i forget him while raising 3 children...sometimes alone because he travelled a lot at his old job...he expected me to be waiting with open arms and kisses after taking care of 3 kids for 2 weeks at a time alone...i wasnt the perfect parttime single mother of 3 after i got migraines 10 years ago so when he came home groping at me i guess i just wasnt up for it!  We grew apart and i just focused on the kids.  When he lost his father and brother in the same year he shut down completely...he just wasnt nice but wasnt really abusive...i guess it feels like abuse also when very little nice is said...and the only time he was fun was when he got drunk and then he did say nasty things to me or blame for not being there for him.  Im emotionally worn out more than abused...not sure if that counts for some...just wanted to clear those things...and it helps to write my feelings down to see them more clearly...thanx again for listening to anyone who has... :smiley:...

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oh...and i never thought about breaking up my family and jumping into the other right away...i was contemplating becoming free and keeping the relationship with my cousin on the low down for a while...everyone in the family including my kids know that we are very close friends...i think some of the family has figured it out from so many years (about 40) of seeing us as buddies...but they dont dare question me to open pandora's box.  He is on board with whatever works for me...he said he has waited for 'our time' for 40 years so he can wait to get together till my kids are out of the house if i want...but we both dont want to stay married till then...his marriage is falling apart...has been since before we reconnected 3 years ago...he is patient and kind and wonderful and just waiting to see what i want to do...tells me if i need time to figure it out he'll be waiting...tells me if i dont want to go for it he understands...that he just wants me to be happy...we are the closest thing to perfection i have ever seen in a couple...we both wish we had had the courage we do now to face our families...it's my kids we both want to protect...i know...quite the mess...we didnt ask for it...it swallowed us whole long ago...some will say it's just fantasy because we cant be together...the grass wont be greener...but we've talked/texted every day...sometimes for hours...about everything and nothing at all...for 3 years...and never run out of things to say...never run out of respectful caring...helping each other thru things...finding happiness in the chaos...will never find anything even close to this with another man...i searched...got married...twice...no kids the first time...what we wanted was right in front of us from the start...we didnt have the nerve...now we do...but then we are selfish

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You need to understand that if you two get divorced and then end up together, everyone will assume, and perhaps more rightly so than you presently realize, that your affair was the cause of the divorce.  You'll both be branded home wreckers.  Know this because kids, even grown kids, have a hard time understanding divorce in these type situations and it can't help but have an effect on them.

I say this because I oppose divorce except in cases of abuse, addiction, adultery, or abandonment.  By abuse, I generally mean physical because I believe the other kinds (mental, emotional, etc.) can usually be overcome with counseling and communication but physical abuse has an element of immediate danger to life and I've never seen a person fully overcome being physically abusive without a life-altering event (such as divorce).  As for adultery, the spouse committing the adultery isn't the one with the right to demand divorce on those grounds in my opinion.

If your marriages truly are loveless, "falling apart", etc., that must be looked at through the lens of a marriage where both participants are trying everything they can to fix it.  Having feelings of infatuation for another person and having an affair with that person doesn't quite meet that definition.

The bottom line is this:  I believe you and your cousin are being selfish and your spouses deserve better from you.  At a minimum, they deserve to know what you've been up to (there's a strong chance they already know but prefer the status quo to the alternative) and then they deserve a chance to make an informed decision on how they want to proceed with the marriages.  If they want to fix it, I believe you're under obligation to do WHATEVER it takes to fix the marriage.  If they aren't willing, they have the right to cut you loose.  But in no case does the cheating spouse have, in my view, the right to walk away from the marriage... at least not without a well deserved view as the home wreckers, liars, cheaters, and adulterers they showed themselves to be.

I know this is harsh and not what you're looking for, but I'm a firm believer in offering a wakeup call when it's due, even when it spoils the ending.

CM

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Thanx for ur opinion...it's not harsh...i expected it from some...and ur giving me no wakeup call because i've had years to think about my screwed up life...and u didnt spoil my ending because i'm going to choose a happy one...I realize now that this is not for anyone to decide but me because noone can really know how things are...people just judge based on their own beliefs and u calling me names just proves that...i hope ur life continues happily with no mistakes...I know trying to find much support on here was my most recent mistake...thanx again for ur time

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OK, my two cents worth. ( and we all know what that is worth)

I have read this post from start to finish and can say that I agree with the majority of the others.

And especially with what CM had to say. I am not going to judge you, that isn't my place.

I do however feel that you came looking for justification  and encouragement to continue the

relationship with your cousin, regardless of the marriage relationships that exist.

I do believe you are being selfish in some respects. However you have already made your decision

as to how you are going to proceed and what you are going to do, hence your reply to CM that "u didn't  spoil my ending because I'm going to

choose a happy one". Indication that you have made your decision.

Trying to find support on here was not a mistake, it's just that you are not pleased that you didn't get the kind of support you wanted.

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I really wasnt looking for justification...I simply thought the people here who know the strength of the cousin bond might be able to give me some insight on divorce in this situation...I didnt realize that I would be the only one that ever considered it...i'm sorry that i've offended the majority who have replied with my bad morals...i guess i thought the people here who know the sting of judgement would be a little more diplomatic...i also thought i could offer a little advice to those young people who are on the fence...which I did do on the other thread...if my post prevents one couple from ignoring their destiny and living in hell then I'm happy I came here and dont regret hearing what people had to say...it's been enlightening

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Those of us who know "the strenght of the cousin bond" still are not going to give the go ahead to divorce just because the person is your cousin.

There are very few incidences that we as mods and admins will tell you are justification for divorce and "loving your cousin" and "unhappily married"

aren't them.

I have no place to throw stones in the "bad morals" category. I have my share of skeletons in the closet. Leaving a husband for my cousin

isn't one of them. And I prefer not to go into them here. Just know that I have changed alot since becoming a member of this board and the

christian outlook that is the basis of this site and the continued strenght that I have in being a better person and christian.

We are here for people to give advice to others based on their experience. If it can help someone that is a plus.

But not everyone is going to be happy with the advice they receive. It will be relevent or not based on their age,

culture, beliefs etc.

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I didn't mean to be the name caller - I was pointing out that folks will call you those names and, barring some new information no one else is privy to, they would be right.  Divorce involves many more people than just the people who are married.  It shatters worlds and world views with it.  In some ways, it's harder to deal with than death because it's never quite final for its victims - those who don't get a vote in the process (i.e., children).

Please don't misunderstand.  I'm not saying I *always* oppose divorce, nor am I saying that every marriage can or should be saved from it.  However, wherever the chance exists, I'll be the champion for marriage and stability in the home, especially after children are born.

Romalee is right - it appears you had your conclusion coming in.  So, to address the cousin bond, well, once you're both divorced and (presumably) married to each other, it's not a cousin bond anymore so much as it is a marriage bond.  You'll go through the same ups and downs, good times and bad times, fights and passions, as you did with your first marriages (and as any other married couple does).  It's not a matter of if you "fall out of love" but when and how far.  How much you love one another (real love, not the "butterflies" feeling most often mistaken for being "in love") more than yourselves will dictate how often and how strongly you "fall back into love".

Now, I will say that I believe cousin couples have a stronger chance at successful love in marriage, but that is because their relation is usually predicated on an original non-sexual love that was first an incredibly strong friendship.  In many cases, they look back and realize that they weren't "dating" in the modern sense, but rather "courting" in the old-fashioned sense.  From that, they know enough about one another's true selves to know what they're getting into up front.  Coming from often similar world views (having a common set of grandparents kind of helps with that), they are less likely to "grow apart" quite as far as some couples.

That's just my 2 cents and you've already seen what that's worth.

Hope that helps.

Best wishes,

CM

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