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Guest Azam

Spiritual reasons for marrying a cousin

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Guest Azam


Hi- I'm just going through a divorce and have become re-aquainted with my 2nd cousin once removed. I've always joked that I could marry him. He's 2 years younger than me. He's from Iran and in his family this was a tradition to marry cousins. His grandparents and great grand parents married from my mother's side. We were best friend's in college.

I've told my friends that I'm grateful he's back in my life and they sort of are grossed out that our friendship is flirty and a little romantic. This is shocking to me. I call him my cousin and it's a warm and fuzzy feeling. I love to call him that but my friends said don't call him that. Just call him my friend. Don't tell anyone etc. I really didn't realize this was so taboo in the US! There was a cousin couple from Lebanon in college that were engaged and I thought it was the most romantic and sweet situation- they were so graceful together etc. but the marriage didn't hold up. I will ask her more details but I don't think it was because they were cousins. 

I just feel so safe with this man and that he'd care more about me than other men because we already have that family bond. I'm so looking forward to meeting his parents. He popped up at my college in my 20's and we became good friends for a few years. I always thought he came there to check me out and see if I was a possibility for him.

He's going to visit me soon and I'm excited that he already has a bond with my kids too and will care more about them than another man if I  married him. I told the kids about him and they're really excited to meet him. My 11 year old son actually suggested I marry him without even knowing any of this which is very ironic.

I'm wondering if anyone knows the spiritual reasons for marrying cousins? Iran has a very old and deep culture. Many believe that some of the wisdom from India and China actually came from there first. I just feel like there must be a reason why people did this and I feel like perhaps it's because the women get treated better if there's already that family bond in place? 

I have an esoteric theory about this. My friend told me that the woman is the womb for the family- when you marry someone you're responsible for purifying the karma for their family too and I felt like with my ex's family this karma was unsurmountable. He had such a complicated and broken British/ Indian family with family constantly cropping up that we didn't know taking advantage of us. I'm thinking that  at least I will giving back to my own tradition and family if this connection does get realized. 

Please share if you know any other reasons that are beneficial for the family. 

I was always scared to take the leap and see what our chemistry was in college. I felt like you can't casually fool around with your cousin. I'm sure it's different for Americans but I know in his culture he would have a serious responsibility. I feel like we have great chemistry when we banter and talk. I remember we held hands and snuggled a little and it was so sweet. He was so much younger than me though. Now 2 years doesn't seem like a big deal over 20 years later but back then it did since I was ambitious and ready to start my life, and he was a late bloomer, only recently feeling like he's become a man and got his career sorted out.

I'm so curious about this subject and love your forum. I've been reading like crazy and am excited to check out the books and movies that you recc'd. I am also writing a book that takes place in Iran inspired by my family history. I'm going to start writing screen plays soon and I agree this is an under explored subject in the media. Perhaps this will be my next book subject- a sequel or I could do a movie.

I was so shocked to see that marrying a cousin is illegal in so many states. I have one other concern. Our college we went to was in Iowa. That is sort of a taboo state it seems. I doubt we'd ever move back but I like to visit and would hate to think my marriage wouldn't hold up there if I did move back there because I grew up there and have a lot of friends there. 

What does it mean if you marry a cousin and go to Iowa or Texas? Could you get arrested? Could they take away your marriage license? What is the worst thing that could happen? 

I'm also in the throws of a contentious divorce and want to make sure that my ex doesn't have an upper hand on me. Please advise. I know I should keep this whole thing quieter and am nervous about posting here but hopefully your community can give me some insights. I didn't realize this was such a big deal until a few days ago.

Thank you for your support and blessings to all you happy cousin couples! (Sorry for the long letter- not used to forums!)

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 Sorry I didn't get to this sooner. I've been very busy.

 First things first. Do keep all of this on the down low, and do yourself and everyone else a favor by keeping it that way until the divorce is final. Get that fully out of the way, THEN worry about further matters of the heart.


 As far as a spiritual element, I'm not sure, as I'm no scholar on Eastern religions. As far as a purely spiritual aspect, with no religious overtones considered, I do think in some cases there is something going on that way. For example, I have a second cousin I am very fond of. When we were college age, we had a little "moment" if you will. She was afraid of what people would say, and had a pretty good idea what I would say, if I heard them comment on the fact. She had no tolerance for the drama, and we walked away from it. We are very close in age, (one week to the day apart) so there is that sort of an aspect at play as well. We let the whole affair be quite awkward for 3 decades. A few years back, we reconnected, aired the whole thing out, caught up, and are pretty much back to where we were "before." We have this thing (that, if you read around here, you will notice is not that uncommon among cousins) where we look in each others' eyes, and sort of "see our own/each others' souls." We instinctively know what the other is thinking. We often finish each others' sentences. We just "get" each other. We're not together, and I see no real possibility of us ever being together again. Even though I'm single now, she has a long term BF, and we've never had any stomach for cheating with each other. There are lines we will not cross.


 As to any legal ramifications, so far as we know, second cousins (and in your case, beyond) are legal everywhere in the world. Certainly here in all 50 States. There is a stigma, that reaches out to at least second cousins, but the fact remains it is perfectly legal. Your ex will find any such argument shut down in very short order. However, why put yourself through the BS? As I mentioned, keep it on the down low whilst you navigate this divorce. He will not be able to change any custody agreement on that basis alone. Should you decide to change States, then THAT could be an issue, but the fact that you and your 2C1R are an "item" will not be allowed to legally hold any water, and any determination otherwise would be easily appealable.


 Good luck, and keep in touch.....


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Thank you for getting back to me and being so supportive. It was lovely to hear your experience with your cousin. Maybe someday there will be more scientific understanding of that intuition and connection between cousins. I feel like we have a little club in some way because we get each other. He makes me feel more connected to my cultural roots and he says I do that for him in the US.  I will LYK how it all unfolds. My cousin and I have not even talked about long term plans or what we mean to each other but I'm just grateful to have this connection right now. 

This is really helpful to get clarity around the legal side too.


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