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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Guest Bowchickawowow

I'm in love with my cousin, but he is in a long-term relationship...should I stay or should I go?

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Guest Bowchickawowow

It all started when I was in an abusive marriage, and the only person who I called to pick me up was my older cousin. He has been there for me since day one, all through the finality of my painful divorce. Although we barely knew each other as kids, as adults we became close as we learned more intimate details about each other's personal lives. We grew closer reminiscing about our younger days and laughing about our crazy family members. It wasn't long until I realized I was totally in love with my cousin. He has also told me he loves me as well. We became very attracted to each other and have had a sexual relationship for 2 years now. He tried leaving his long term girlfriend for me, but I told him to go back to her because they have 2 kids and I felt guilty for being a home wrecker. We didn't talk for three months after I told him to go back. But somehow, he is in my life again and I can't let him go. Our love for each other is stronger than ever. He always makes an effort to make time for me. But now I find myself questioning my life. What am I doing with this man? He is clearly taken and unavailable. He goes home to his long term girlfriend every night. I can't help but wonder, am I trying to fulfill an empty void in my life by being with my cousin? Am I truly in love? I don't even want to date because I am so in love with him and no other guy makes me feel the way he does. But he has also become my only family. Both my parents are deceased and I have no other siblings. During the 3 months apart, I was very lonely and depressed. But I don't know what to do. I don't want to break up his family, but it's also not fair for me to sleep alone at night. I deserve a man and family of my own. And I deserve to be in a relationship that isn't a secret. I'm in my 30's and not getting any younger. If I don't take my love life seriously now, I might end up alone forever. What should I do? Should I break it off with him? Or is he the love of my life? Will I be making a serious mistake if I let him go for good? Help!!!

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Guest Feelingyourpain

After reading your post,  I immediately felt your pain. Your story is strikingly similar to my own with my cousin. I have been in an abusive marriage for many years and now in my 40's I've made the heart wrenching decision to leave my husband and file for divorce. My cousin and I rekindled our friendship over 2 years ago after being apart for 7 years due in part because we both were terribly lonely going through much difficulties in our marriages. He and I have always had a special soul connection,  though we were raised on opposite sides of the country and didn't grow up together. His marriage ended about 2 years ago and mine has now recently ended. I feel that your decision is a tough one. How does your cousin feel about ending his current relationship for you?  If he's not willing to take that step, which would be most difficult then I would suggest you temporarily end the romantic part of the relationship and stay connected as family until he can decide what he truly wants. It's not fair to you to be in this emotional limbo state. There's nothing worse than that. Also, due to your former abusive marriage,  it's important that you get into counseling or therapy to mend your traumatic experience. 

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You have answered the question for yourself.  You know that you should not be involoved with a man who is already comitted to someone else, yet here you are feeling sorry for yourself and trying to justify your actions.  He goes home every night to the mother of his children, so you are sleeping alone regardless of how you proceed.

I can hear the sadness in your voice, even from here, but you are doing yourself no favors by giving your heart to a man that is not yours.  You know this, it's just hard to do the right thing.

For now, you need to walk away.  It took my cousin and I over 30 years to finally realize that we were being silly by not being together.  Heck, I even went to his first wedding, tried to talk him out of marrying another woman and then watched while he said I Do to someone else.  It took a few years after that, but eventually he was single and I was single and the time was right for us to be together and earlier this year we became husband and wife.

If you try to force a relationship with your cousin, you will never be satisfied and you will always wonder if he will leave you for someone else.  Don't be that woman.  Don't be desperate.  Don't try to make something from nothing.  Bide your time.  It may take a while for the two of you to get together, but don't force it.  Getting over someone is never easy, but it does happen eventually.  And let's be honest, this relationship with your cousin may never work out - but maybe, just maybe, when you least expect it, someone wonderful will walk into your life.  And you may never see Mr. Wonderful if you have your eyes on Mr. Can't Be.

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