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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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love or family?

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After going through all the posts I thought if I shared my story here then I will get answer for the one question that I have been trying to answer my self or to make a decision....

Am from south India from a state Kerala, am in love with my first cousin and we are of same age 18 and we are Christians.  I had feelings to her for about 3 years, but I didn't told her about it because we were best friends and was very close to each other and I don't want to ruin the good relation we had.  Like 2 weeks ago she told me about a guy who wants to date her, from then I had a feeling of loosing her she was more than a best friend for me and I don't know whether she has the same feelings for me that I have to her.  And next day while we were having a conversation about our marriages, she told me that if we weren't cousins then she would have married me. From then I understood she had feelings for me and she likes me but the only problem bothering us is that we are cousins......and I couldn't fall asleep that night.......inside I had a bad feeling of loosing the right girl, who knows me very well and still likes me.  So the very next day I told her about my feelings for her and she told me she have the same feeling for me.......and so we decided have a relation and will face the problems on as they come.  Now we are so madly in love with each other and now nothing can take us apart.  But am little confused about the problem we gonna face when our family finds out about our relation or when we tell them when the time comes and am pretty sure our family won't accept it so we have to move away from our family and along with that we are concerned about breaking all the trust they have on us.  So I have a questions to my self should I make myself happy or should I make my family happy.....either I choose I have to make some sacrifice for something good....but I can't even think of loosing my girl so I decided to live my life with the best girl I will get from this earth for me because my family want me to be happy and the only way right now to make me happy is a life with my love. So am at U.S now currently enrolled in college and my girl is in India enrolled in college  for medicine. So after she gets a job as a doctor I am planing to bring her here and marry her. Am confused of one more thing should I tell my family about our relation before or after our marriage. And am afraid of the shames my family gonna get if the community we live came to know about our marriage.  Guys if you can give some ideas, by which I can marry my girl and keep my family happy I appreciate it very much and help us to believe the decision we took to be together is the right one.....thank you

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hi jithnjacob,

i'm really surprised that your concerns are so strong, being from india. cousin marriage is still pretty common over in india, if i understand correctly. this may be only within certain cultures though.... are your parents (and hers) also christians?

i would tell them first. even in america where cousin marriage is pretty rare, the fear of what the parents will say usually doesn't measure up to the reaction they really have. well, i can't say usually. but after being on this forum for nearly 15 years, i CAN say that about 50% of the time the fears are bigger than the reality. about half the time, one or both parents are perfectly ok with it. and when it isn't, the parents usually come around and accept it after they figure out that the couple is serious and is not going to be shamed into breaking up. and while yes, there are some couples whose parents totally disown them, it's the exception, not the rule.

since you are from a country where cousin marriage is generally more accepted (and in some cultures there, preferred), i would think that your parents would probably be more supportive than you think. keep this in mind. they're your parents.. her parents.. they love you unconditionally. they may not always like every choice you make, but nobody will ever love you with the kind of love they have for you. TRUST that love. because if the two of you were to say nothing and get married secretly, it would hurt them very deeply. the hurt from that would last far longer than the hurt caused by telling them the truth, even if they did object. besides, if you do this secretly without giving them a chance to bless your marriage, it's also going to hurt you and your cousin. it will haunt you both, but especially her, for the rest of her life. you don't want that kind of cloud hanging over your marriage.

and if they do object, stick to plan B, move her to the US, and marry her without their blessing. your parents won't even have to tell anyone in the community if they don't want to.

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Hi LadyC

our whole family is Christians, and in India Christians don't marry their first cousins, I never heard of Christian couple marriages when I was in India, but I know first cousin marriages are not prohibited in Bible.  But when I tell them about our relation then am pretty sure they will cut all contacts between us, I don't think from then I will be able to talk to her ever again, and she has a brother and we are best friends, and am pretty sure when I tell him abut this he will accept our relation ship and will  support us.  Am so concerned about our family and I want every one to be together happily, but along with that I wont sacrifice my love to her for this and I want her so badly in my life and she wants the same. ....thank you very much I really appreciate your reply.

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ok, well, the God of american christians is the same as the God of indian christians... so really it's the same issue that most of us face. getting the parents to understand that God isn't opposed to cousins marrying.

i still think telling them would be your best bet. in the end, if they refuse to accept it, there's nothing they can do to prevent you from marrying her in the united states. how can they possibly prevent you two from talking, or from forging on with your lives?

if your family sincerely loves God, then they are going to eventually, even if reluctantly, have to concede that any objections they have are totally on their own shoulders, and that as christians, they are called to let go of their adult children so they can cleave unto each other. God isn't against the two of you marrying... at least not on the premise that you two are cousins. so if christianity is your families' only reason to object, then they have no real reason to object.

listen, i get it. every cousin couple has the exact same fears that you are experiencing right now. mark and i had them. kc and tammy had them. coloradomarried had them. WE ALL have had them. you and your cousin are grown adults. you have the right to choose your paths in life, and if that path leads to marriage, you can do that. but don't let your FEARS OF THE UNKNOWN stand in your way... and frankly, no matter how you THINK your parents, her parents, her brother are going to react, you DO NOT KNOW.

i expected mark's parents to shut us out of their lives, and expected my mom to be gravely disappointed and my dad to go ballistic. i absolutely expected my brothers to throw stomping hissy fits, and i expected total rejection from mark's sisters and brothers. instead, this is what i got...

a mother who was so darn excited she couldn't wait to tell my dad. my dad was so happy, he congratulated mark and told me he was glad that i was marrying into a GOOD family this time (it was my second marriage.) one of my brothers told mom "let me go study what the bible says about this and get back to you." a day later, after spending the previous evening searching everything he could (biblically) about cousin marriage, he called to offer his congratulations. my oldest brother never gave any indication to us what he thought about it initially, but he (and his wife and kids) have always treated us as if this was just business as usual.

on mark's side of the family, his parents were cautiously reserved. but 8 months after our wedding, at a family reunion, his mother told my mother that i was the best thing that ever happened to her son. initially, one of his sisters was outspoken and mean, but it was more because mark went from divorce court to his previous wife and then to the altar with me with only a few months in between. she felt like this was a rebound thing and wouldn't last. his other sister and his brother both had pretty much the same reaction.... they emailed me saying "welcome to your new role in our family".

mark and i had pulled our hair out thinking the absolute worst about what our families would say. we should have saved ourselves all that headache and just ASKED them what they thought to start with.

so really you'll have to make up your own minds regarding this. but people are people. parents usually love their children unconditionally and just want their children to be happy. christian parents had better love their children unconditionally or they'll have to answer to God, and that will be a whole lot more unpleasant for them than any grief they can cause you over marrying the love of your life.

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