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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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Guest Ann Bond

4th Cousin Love

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Guest Ann Bond

I found this site because I've been dealing with something for a few months and have been searching the internet for answers. 2 years ago I started dating a man from my hometown and fell in love with him. He is incredible and I had dreams of sharing the rest of my life with him and eventually starting a family together. A few months ago as we visited his grandmother she was showing us some parts of his ancestory and discovered that we are distantly related, 4th cousins to be exact. Ever since, I've had such a weird feeling about it all. I love him so much and don't want the relationship to end, I really really don't. But it's just been hard for me to come to terms to it, am I overreacting? We are so distantly related it shouldn't matter to me at all. Our parents find nothing wrong with it at all, and he even said that it's nothing to worry about and to just go with the flow of life. But I just need inner peace, how can I obtain that if I constantly worry about what if others judge me and my choices? 

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Welcome to cc.com! I completely understand your feelings, especially since I married not my 4th cuz, but my 1st cousin! I had to wrestle with the issues that you brought up, but I think you are indeed overreacting. Trust me, nobody is going to know that you are related unless you tell them.

Genetically, 4th cousins have the same risk of having a child with a birth defect as random pairing. Frankly, I do not even consider you related. It really is a non-issue. We are all related, according to experts, no more distantly than 50th cousins. If you have found love with a 4th cousin, then you are very lucky. There is a theory out there that holds if you don't marry a cousin, you are looking for someone like your cousin (because we are looking for someone like ourselves - [i.e. positive assortative mating]). It means that you probably share similar religious beliefs, social-economic status and so on. Some even believe that cousins make the perfect mates since there is sometimes this inexplicable chemistry. Even 2nd, 3rd, 4th cousins could be even a more perfect match since there is almost no stigma attached to such marriages.

So, I would say that you are very lucky; You could have found your perfect mate. You worry for nothing, now just stop it :D. Good luck to you!

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Guest Ann Bond

Do I tell others? Parts of me say I should inform my siblings and close friends, but the word "cousin" is going to make them think otherwise I feel. I'm usually very open about my life and feel as though I have a deep secret. 

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No you do not tell others except your siblings. I'm not sure why you want to make an issue out of a non-issue. It is absolutely none of your acquaintances' business. Did they feel compelled to tell you they didn't marry a cousin? Did they ask for your advice before they married? Please.

It is only an issue if you make it one.

I have one friend who I have known since kindergarten. We practically spend our whole childhood together (up until we were in our 20's), like ALL of out free time together. I think it's very rare to have such a long term friendship. Trust me, this guy knew I married my cousin. Even so, it was very awkward to tell him. By this time he was already married with kids and a workaholic, so I wasn't seeing him very much at the time. When I did see him after I married, I remember stuttering and stammering a bit with the big news. Uh, there is no need for you to go through this. You are barely related! Honestly, there is nothing to tell or disclose.

That is my best advice. My wife, on the other hand, was much more transparent. I think she did herself and us a disservice with that big mouth. I'm a fairly private person and that really made me livid (not embarrassed). To each their own I guess.

You should be as transparent as you need to be to have a healthy relationship. You should talk to your cousin about it.

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Guest Katie

Guest Ann, I have also felt like this a lot over the years. I am married to my 2nd cousin living in Australia and we have 2 children. Every so often I feel this panic that I should disclose this big secret but through some support I have realised I dont need to disclose this to anyone. We fell in love, our famillies both support us and are happy with our decision. It frustrates me that is feels taboo, because I am very non judgemental to others and also very open. But I have realised it really doesn't matter and it is none of anyone elses business aparts from our childrens. I have to keep working on this though to ensure I dont worry about what others may think........but at the end of the day if they choose to judge me on our marriage then they are probably not people I want to be friends with anyway. All the best.

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