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So this is my first time posting to this Forum. I recently have fallen in love with my half cousin. I wanted to share the story of how we met..  and reconnected. 

Brandon and I have known each other all of our lives, like most cousins have. My half cousin on my mother's side, my grandfather had a previous wife before my grandmother. That woman was Brandon's grandmother. My mother was the only child of my current grandmother and our grandfather, thus making us half cousins. I've known him all my life.. but because we lived in separate states, myself in Oregon and him in Washington, we didn't get to see each other very often. But every time I did get a chance to see him, the opportunities were marked with very intense feelings of attraction for the both of us. (I only know this now because he admitted it to me) We only got a chance to hang out at probably 4 or 5 family events when we were kids. My favorite memory was when we were 10 and 11 around Christmas, and I forced him to play Beauty and the Beast with me. We danced around my grandfather's Greenhouse and it was easily the most fun I've ever had with a guy, ever. But we were young and I figured it was just a young crush, and I'd grow out of it. 

When we were teenagers, however, it was much much more difficult to ignore the feelings of intense attraction. We've gone to a family gathering up at my grandparents cabin for a long weekend vacation. I was 16, he was 17. As soon as I saw him, I fell so hard.. but I tried very hard to repress those feelings. We managed to get away from our parents briefly to go on a swimming excursion to the local lake. All I remember is the trip back in the car and I wanted to kiss him so badly or just rest my hand on his leg. But.. instead of doing so, I just took my hands and stuffed them under my armpits and repressed the urge. The sexual tension was palpable between us, to be sure. So instead of touching him the way I wanted to.. I just punched him like a silly sixteen-year-old girl would. He would retaliate by slapping my sunburns. We were young and immature. We had so much in common.. we both loved to draw, to listen to rock music and watch anime. We stayed up way past midnight several nights just talking about life and everything in between. We got to the point where our family members definitely noticed that we were getting far too close. To the point where my father separately told us that we needed to stop this, that we were related and that this was wrong. (the MOST embarrassing conversation I'd ever had with my dad, to be frank) 

The one thing that hurt the most was when we left that vacation and I watched Brandon disappear in a cloud of dust. My heart twisted in the most painful, gut wrenching way. He stayed out at my grandparents place for a couple weeks after that, doing some summer work. During that time frame I sent him a couple letters. We sent a couple messages to and from.. but when I made the mistake of pointing out my crush to him, in a joking matter, he stopped responding. That made me believe that my feelings are one-sided and then I needed to leave him be. So I took those feelings of attraction and stuffed them away in a deep dark place and never acknowledged them again.

Fast forward 15 years... he joined the Marines straight out of high school, gotten married and had two beautiful daughters. He was in the Marines for 13 years and saw some of the most horrible things that humanity and war could do to a person. He recently separated from his wife and had grown into the most beautiful man I'd ever hope to meet, exactly as I remember him, but more mature. (well, a bit more mature at least) I meanwhile, got a job straight out of high school, and worked full time at several places. I had also gotten married at 27, and I'd been married for 5 years to a immature and alcoholic man who was verbally abusive and threw temper tantrums at any given opportunity. Brandon and I became friends on Facebook, but it was innocent. We'd like and comment on each other pictures, politely, like relatives would, and that was it. He post drawings that he did, I'd comment on the drawings and tell him that his art style had gotten much better over the years, he'd say the same to me.

It wasn't until October 2016 that I posted a music video from YouTube on my Facebook wall. Randomly, Brandon messaged me on Facebook Messenger, sending me a link to a YouTube music video that he liked. That conversation hasn't ever stopped. When we first started talking, I was amazed that we still had the same things in common. We finished one another's sentences, laughed at the same jokes, liked the same foods. It's like I was talking to a male version of myself. Before I knew it, I was smitten.  

I was scared to death that these feelings that I had growing inside of me we're one-sided and that he wouldn't ever feel the same. We were related, after all, and I thought that alone would scare him away. However he made it very clear within the first few days of our conversations, that he had always harbored feelings for me and did the same thing I had done... repressed them for the sake of peace in the family. As soon as we started talking again, I begin drawing more, much more in the last 4 months then I have in the last 15 years. I sent him pictures of my sketches, my completed drawings, my day-to-day life activities. He do the same for me, send me his sketches, and his drawings. Our messages became phone calls and text messages and it quickly became apparent that our feelings were growing beyond anything we could control.

Now I understand that I was married.. however I've been unhappy for several years, as was my ex in the marriage. The only thing we liked to do was smoke pot together. That was the only bond we shared, and it kept me happy and uncaring about his many faults.

Pretty soon I started to just live by my phone, impatiently waiting for my notification light to flash, letting me know that Brandon replied to me. These messages eventually led to Brandon making a trip to Oregon to come and visit me for a couple days. We wanted to make sure this wasn't just a crush online, and needed to make sure the feelings we shared were real. That first kiss that we shared... was the most awkward and beautiful moment of my life..  and I knew from that moment on that I couldn't live without him. When Brandon left to go back to San Diego, I cried so bitterly.. because I felt like my heart was being ripped into a million pieces and all of those pieces were with him. I couldn't live without him, and he couldn't without me. We both were miserable apart. A few weeks after he returned home, he flew me to San Diego. It was for my birthday and I gotta spend 4 of the happiest days of my life with him. The saddest moment of that entire trip it was the moment I boarded the plane to go back to Oregon. To go back and pretend I was happy in my unhappy marriage... To pretend my heart and soul wasn't locked away with the man I left in San Diego.

A week after my return to Oregon, my ex-husband found my phone and discovered the text message conversations between Brandon and I. He Immediately became unglued, as would anybody who found text messages like that... so I can't blame him for his reaction. All I could feel however was an overwhelming sense of relief that I didn't have to hide my feelings any longer from anyone. I understand that what I did to my ex-husband wasn't necessarily right and that I should have been honest with him... But how do you tell your husband that you're soulmate is your half cousin??  You can't, there was no way to do that. We knew that our marriage was through long before Brandon and I found one another, Brandon just came at the right time. 

A week after that I moved to San Diego and I've been with Brandon ever since. Telling our families was a bit of a challenge, but outside of a slight push back from my father saying he initially didn't approve, and his father not approving either (which never bothered either of us anyhow) The families are just happy we are happy. Even our grandma (his step grandma) is so excited for us both. My dad wants him to come visit with me, and tells me to send Brandon his love every time I talk to him. (it's worth noting that my dad always HATED my ex husband, and couldn't wait for the day when I'd wake up and realize how much he wasn't right for me)

These months since I've moved here have felt like the happiest dream I ever could have hoped for. I'm finally with somebody who puts my happiness above their own. A partner in my life that wants me to succeed, just like I do for him. Beyond that, I want to do everything in my power to keep him happy and loved, like he makes me feel every single day. We can't stand being separated, even for the work day, and I love coming home to him, and him to me. Being in his arms is the best feeling I ever could have hoped for. Waking up next to him is a dream come true. I've met my soulmate and I want everybody on this forum to feel like their love as is true as ours.

Edited by Wolfrunner6996
edited for context
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