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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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MissPrice

The Benefits of Cousin Relationships

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MissPrice    19

This is a post I've been meaning to write for a while, because I see so many people struggling with their feelings, and with how the world will/is responding. And I too struggled for years, and thought the idea of being with my cousin was impossible, and thought that if we were together, if by some chance he felt about me the way I felt about him, things would be impossibly hard.

We've been married for about two months now. At the very least, members of our family(ies) accept us, and some of them are very happy we're together. Our friends all know and accept us. We are very lucky, and our world is not going to be what everyone gets, but I've learned that there are some advantages to cousin relationships that most relationships don't have, and I want to share that, because I think a lot of you don't know that, and are scared and confused, and I want you to know that not only are cousin relationships NOT impossible, but there are some things that make them special.

So, for one thing. If/when your family accepts your relationship, here's a big plus: you are both invested in the same people. When our mutual grandmother (she just turned 87 and lives by herself) needs help, we are both right there to do everything we can. If one of us is more available than the other, that person spends the night at her house. If she's not feeding herself right, we both remind her of that, and if one of us decides to buy her nutritional supplements out of our grocery fund, the other one is happy about that. This is our family. We take care of them, and we both know why, and we both agree on that.

Related, if there is a disagreement in the family, we send in the one of us who is best positioned to handle it. So, my husband/cousin's mother's husband (no relation to either of us) emailed the family saying he thought we should all come together and force our grandmother (again, no relation of his) into assisted living. And we talked about how to respond, and in that case my husband/cousin handled it beautifully. And I'm the one who calls our grandmother at least once a week, and tells her we both love her, and checks in on how she's doing, because I'm better on the phone.

All of the above is about family, which is really important. But the personal is even more important. My husband/cousin and I saw each other a couple of times a year when we were kids. We didn't see each other for about ten years from adolescence to adulthood. After that, we saw each other again about twice a year, until I moved close to him and things got complicated. But at that point, I already knew him. I'd known him my whole life. We always talked freely about our relationships to each other. I watched him be a father to another woman's three girls, who weren't his, until she made it impossible for him. I knew what he would be like in a relationship before I was ever with him. I knew his strengths, and his flaws, just as he knew mine. And I knew that his strengths were exactly what I needed, and I knew that I complimented his flaws. I walked into this relationship knowing exactly what I was walking into, and loving him for who he is. 

To me, that's the most powerful potential about a cousin relationship. That you can know the other person, so well, on other terms, before you become romantically involved or commit to them. That's not something most people get to have.

Anyone who reads this and is struck by it, or anyone who is struggling with the possibility of a cousin relationship, please feel free to respond here, or to message me directly.

And for those of you who are in happy cousin relationships: anything to add?

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LadyC    98

i agree! and let me add this...

in most romantic relationships, both the guy and the girl will put on a mask... trying to be what they think the other person wants them to be. eventually that facade breaks down and you are stuck with the real person that you might not have known existed. in cousin relationships, most times you know each other as cousins, as real people, warts and all, before you begin having any romantic feelings. there is no mask to uncover. you get what you see from the very beginning. that's a huge plus.

and the family connection really can't be denied. when mark and i moved back to texas after a decade in las vegas, i had to (nearly immediately) go to florida for a few weeks while our grandson was born. mark was going through a really rough transition... things he had to overcome. quite frankly he was going through withdrawals. and then he failed a drug test which meant he didn't get the job that he'd been expecting to have when we moved back. and he was depressed and trying to find work, and i wasn't there. this is where our aunts stepped in. well, my aunts, his great aunts. my mom and three of her sisters were sharing an apartment and they rallied around him. they invited him over every day after his job search. they fed him meals. they gave him companionship. they gave him encouragement. they told him family stories he'd never heard before. they loved him unconditionally and never passed judgment on him, never criticized him, never made him feel bad. they were a HUGE part of his recovery, and i have no doubt that they were a big part in him being able to stay clean and sober for these last six years. 

and when, one by one each of them fell ill, he was right there with me, every step of the way. he didn't have to be. he'd barely known these ladies when he was growing up, because they were his father's aunts. but he'd become so close to them during that time when we'd moved back that he was very invested in their every need. my mother moved in with us and lived here with us for five years. mark would move heaven and earth for each of the aunts when they needed something done. if one needed to go to the hospital, he was there to take them. if one was frantically trying to hide in someone else's closet in the middle of the night at the nursing home she'd moved to, mark was dressed and ready to go help calm her and get her back to her own room, no matter what time of night, even when he had to work the next day. when my own mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, my husband took three days off from work just to be here with her and help her adjust to the fact that she was dying. and he would sit up with her well into the night. he would take care of her as best he could. (which reminds me, years 15 years earlier he'd taken such good care of my father in much the same way, always being there to help if he had fallen or if he'd lost control of his bodily functions.. he would be there to take care of the things i was too squeamish to deal with). 

so yeah, there are a lot of awesome benefits to being married to someone who shares the same family. and i know that a lot of people in non-cousin marriages have spouses who would go above and beyond like that too, but they're few and far between. 

and here's one other thing, totally on a different subject. there's always a lot of fear regarding things that might be inherited because of the kinship. but many of the wealthiest families in history, even in america, (including the DuPont family, whose empire produces things that we find in nearly every aspect of our daily life, including our clothing and our carpet and our cookware, and kevlar for our military and police, etc.) the Factor family (think Max Factor Cosmetics), the Rockefellers (still big in government today) all understood that cousin marriage could STRENGTHEN the family bloodline because of desirable traits that would be passed down. in those families back in the early days cousin marriages were preferred. because the patriarchs of the family understood that. of course it also served to keep the money in the family. 

animal breeders understand that same concept that the rockefellers and duponts and factors understood. that's why horses and dogs are often bred with what would be called a cousin if it were humans instead of animals. cousins are far enough distant that deliterious genetic conditions can be recognized and identified (and therefore the pairing of those two avoided), and also that POSITIVE genetic traits (strength, endurance, speed, etc) can be identified and therefore purposely pairing those two to produce offspring with those desired traits.

and there's my two cents. now i'm going to sit down with the grandkids and watch a movie.

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LadyC    98

ps... i have pinned this to the top of this forum. thank you miss price for starting such an important discussion!

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Roze    3

Its really nice to see someone having cases like mine actually succeeded in marriage with their cousin. Unlike here at the Philippines where cousin marriage is still forbidden, and if we try to get married on other countries, once we go back here it will be nullified, plus immigration costs will be so much pain for us. But then I realized, it's God not the papers, We trusts God that he will shower us the blessings of victory, we're putting all our faith to him, Please pray for our success. Thank you hehe, from here now on, we're claiming our VIctory!

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Guest Soonerfreak   
Guest Soonerfreak

 I would definitely I would definitely like to talk to you about some questions that I have about this whole situation. I'm from the United States and my cousin is from the Philippines

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