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Cousin Couple, LDR, Fairy Tale Living

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It's been four months since we met and discovered feelings strong enough to leave me without adequate words to describe them.

We met through Ancestry . com as distant dna matches. The connection was immediate and like none either of us have known. 

Most unfortunately, we are 3,704 miles, five times zones, and an ocean apart. 

Less than a month of communication led us to his booking a flight from England to Michigan. The wait for his trip was longer than we even knew each other. And it almost didn't happen. 

He started worrying that if he came here and fell hard, he would get back home and feel incredible heartache. After a few days we decided to throw caution to the wind and find out how we felt about each other in the living world.

He arrived on a Tuesday in October, patiently sat through my band rehearsal that I wouldn't miss being a concert week (I play in a concert band, and he couldn't stay an extra day to hear us perform. Dress rehearsal was the next, best thing.), and then endured a nearly three hour, dark drive up north to a cabin in the woods. Not two many people who just flew eight hours and having been awake so many hours would want to go through that. By the time we got to the cabin, it was 12:30 our time.

We were surrounded by beautiful trees that upon looking up revealed a circle of thousands of stars. It felt like we were in a movie. 

We spent five, amazing days getting to know each other, and realizing what we all ready knew before ever being in the same space. 

Due to unforseen events, he ended up meeting my parents. My mother knew beforehand that we are genetically connected in some way. I wasn't about to let my father know that he, too, is a distant cousin...We are related through my father's maternal line. My father and I have a "strained" relationship to say the very least. 

We had dinner with my parents after spending time with my grandmother  (who we did plan to visit). He and my father talked the whole time. But, I guess, they have things in common, since they both grew up in Northern Ireland. My mother told me later, on the way home, that they both liked him. (She told me later that week that she didn't have a weird feeling about him, unlike everyone else I've ever been with. Unbeknownst to me until that moment.)

When it came time for him to leave, I anticipated feeling sad. I couldn't have imagined waking up two mornings in a row crying for missing him. It was all I could do to consider that the days were only counting down until we could see each other again. And that wouldn't be for some months. 

He has since shared with the bulk of his family about our relationship. His mother, siblings, nieces, nephews, and all things considered, the "weirdest" part of it all is that I'm ten years younger than he is. He says they're all happy for him. 

Our next meeting will be in his world next month.  I'll be flying for the first time in over fifteen years. I've never flown alone before, and the thought of security pat downs freaks me out.

This trip is also a small test run to see how I might like living there. He has even arranged for me to sit in with a concert band where he lives. He doesn't want me to give up my music if I decide to start a new life there. 

Every day, I feel lost for words as to how strongly I feel for him. Neither of us are perfect-far from it. But he feels like the missing piece to my puzzle, and I didn't even one was missing until we met. 

I haven't had the best history with "men," and he has been the most understanding, caring, and considerate of my worries and apprehensions that have nothing to do with him. He is the first man that makes me feel safe, comfortable, and loved.

I could never have thought the person I feel the greatest connection with, and the deepest love for, would be somehow related to me. I maybe dreamed but never believed my great love would be 3,704 miles away in what seems like a cruel act of the universe. And how could we ever think that we would meet on Ancestry . com? 

Just today we were talking about how neither of us even remembers that we are, somehow, related as cousins, unless we really get to thinking about it. And it is comforting, because we know that we literally have the same piece of dna in us. It's like carrying a small piece of each other at all times. It makes our connection seem that much stronger. 

And, well, we've joked about how our story should be an Ancestry commercial. Or one of their website videos about users who have discovered something incredible in their research via Ancestry. I fear we would receive a message from Ancestry that we are using the site wrong...

Edited by LadyC
removed the first three lines that repeated four times :)

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that's a neat story! now ya just gotta figure out which one of you needs to move to another country ;)  so just out of curiousity, how distantly related are you? it sounds like you have the beginning of a beautiful love story happening. don't worry too much about flying, just focus on the destination and being together again. and keep us updated!!

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I will be the one moving, if I make that decision. There's a lot to consider (couldn't work in my field without additional schooling, because I am a paralegal and law is very different between here and there, I have pets who need to go with me, and I have children and an elderly grandmother who are my life). I have dual citizenship to Ireland, which means I can freely live there without visas. It would cost thousands for him to try for a visa to come here. Besides, he could never get a job here with as much pay or time off he gets there. It absolutely blew his mind that I only have five days vacation. Then he learned that the US doesn't have any laws about vacation time. 

Ancestry estimates us as 4th-6th cousins. I suspect it is more like 3rd sometimes removed. On GedMatch, he shows as a closer than ny 3rd cousin twice removed, and she and he are related through the same line. My second-great-grandmother shares his surname and come from the same place. With so many families with the same surname there, it's hard to find the common ancestor. 

 

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so you're so distantly removed that there should be no obstacles anywhere, nor any objections from anyone with a lick of sense. anyone who raises a stink about it would probably be using the kinship as some sort of excuse, and would likely use anything they could think of to complain. 

but leaving your kids and grandmother behind, i can understand how difficult that decision might be! 

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2 hours ago, LadyC said:

so you're so distantly removed that there should be no obstacles anywhere, nor any objections from anyone with a lick of sense. anyone who raises a stink about it would probably be using the kinship as some sort of excuse, and would likely use anything they could think of to complain. 

but leaving your kids and grandmother behind, i can understand how difficult that decision might be! 

I'm so excited any time I connect with new family through Ancestry, that I share it with my friends and family right away. When I first told my mom I was falling for him, all she had to say was, "But isn't this guy related?" I didn't expect that from her, and I never brought it up again. I never let her know I was going up north, let alone that I was going with him. 

My most trusted friends and two cousins knew he was coming. We met up with one of them while we were at the cabin. I purposely chose that location for two reasons: it is beautuful, peaceful, and secluded, but I also had my cousin a few miles down the road if something happened. 

They were all happy and excited and shared the same, "Who cares if you're related?" sentiment. DNA wise, we're distant cousins. If we'd met any other way, we would never know. 

I think it is probably more widely accepted in the UK than here. His sister married a man with the same surname and geographic heritage. If they did dna tests, they're probably cousins in a way too. My dad's parents share a tiny bit of dna (probably six generations back). 

I won't tell my kids until they're older, and I don’t have to worry about their father.

Since my mom has met him, she is even encouraging trying this move-telling me I need to be happy too. 

There's so much to consider. I wish he could come here until my children are older. We'll see how things work out. I could hate it in England. I think it would be toward the end of next year if I go. My grandmother is not well and is on hospice. I won't leave while I can still be with her.

It's just amazing to me. 

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how old are your children? i caution you against waiting until they are older to tell them.... at this point i wouldn't, but if things get serious enough for the two of you to forge a life together, then you should tell them then. the reason is because the younger they are, the less set in stone their prejudices and biases. many adult children of cousin couples have come here before madder than hell because their parents didn't tell them, and their anger compounded their prejudice BECAUSE they inherited the "shame" of their parents... and whether the parents are truly ashamed or not, the grown children perceived it as shame.

and while this site doesn't have enough info for scientific data, in the 18 years we've been here, i can say i honestly don't ever remember a single incident where children who grew up with the knowledge of their parents' biological connection have had anything other than a healthy, positive attitude towards cousin marriage... my own children included. they were 11 and 12 when we married, and it was at a time when some neighborhood kids were being ridiculed for their learning disabilities for their parents being cousins (which ironically, the parents were NOT related at all.) kids can be cruel. so when mark and i decided to marry we sat the girls down and answered their questions and gave them the facts. after that they were confident enough that they stood up for those neighbors, and educated other kids in the neighborhood. as a result, they discovered there were a few of their friends whose parents were cousins of some degree! 

 

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On 12/14/2017 at 10:46 AM, LadyC said:

how old are your children? i caution you against waiting until they are older to tell them.... at this point i wouldn't, but if things get serious enough for the two of you to forge a life together, then you should tell them then. the reason is because the younger they are, the less set in stone their prejudices and biases. many adult children of cousin couples have come here before madder than hell because their parents didn't tell them, and their anger compounded their prejudice BECAUSE they inherited the "shame" of their parents... and whether the parents are truly ashamed or not, the grown children perceived it as shame.

and while this site doesn't have enough info for scientific data, in the 18 years we've been here, i can say i honestly don't ever remember a single incident where children who grew up with the knowledge of their parents' biological connection have had anything other than a healthy, positive attitude towards cousin marriage... my own children included. they were 11 and 12 when we married, and it was at a time when some neighborhood kids were being ridiculed for their learning disabilities for their parents being cousins (which ironically, the parents were NOT related at all.) kids can be cruel. so when mark and i decided to marry we sat the girls down and answered their questions and gave them the facts. after that they were confident enough that they stood up for those neighbors, and educated other kids in the neighborhood. as a result, they discovered there were a few of their friends whose parents were cousins of some degree! 

 

My kids are 13 and 10. I don't want to share our being related until there is no legal connection to their father. I am a domestic violence survivor, and he has done everything in his power to make my life hell. He doesn't need to find out anything he can throw at me in court, no matter how unfounded. 

My daughter, my new love, and I share the same piece of dna. My daughter doesn't like that I'm in a new relationship at all, because she is worried any man I'm with will hurt me. I'm not sure she would handle us being related, no matter how distant, well right now. 

Do you see that kind of reaction in natural children of cousin couples, or in step-children as well?

 

 

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which reaction? the positive healthy one? with step-children it varies primarily because of the reaction of others and how set their own prejudices are. and that largely depends on age. but always, always, one of the primary factors in them having a positive response to it is when the parents are up-front and honest about it. if the children sense any shame (or anything that they can misconstrue as shame) then they will almost always have a negative response... and that's true whether the children are step- or natural.

i do understand how the domestic abuse history could make things more difficult. but it's also possible that the genetic link may make your children feel safer than with an unrelated guy. 

i just went back and found what i thought i'd forgotten. ok so yeah, given that you live in michigan where cousin marriage is illegal and your ex husband is volatile, i'd definitely wait to say something until you are in a geographically safe space. do you have sole custody and the legal right to move anywhere you want without his approval?

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After lengthy court battles, and court licensed abuse, he has custody of our children, which leaves me free to move wherever I choose without his or the court's permission. He allows me to see them less and less each year, and I have no legal recourse. In our court, this could be enough for him to completely eliminate me from their lives. 

Everything is crazy.

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Unfortunately, it happens far more than people believe. I am also an advocate for others in similar situations. We're working on new legislation and education for the courts. 

But it does make my personal situation, as far as love goes, more complicated. This relationship could be spun into scandal in court. I hate to say that I can't trust my children to not say something to their father. I think, if I told them now,  they might think it's odd but accept it. My son likes him solely based on the fact that he makes me happy. We've done enough genealogy and dna lessons together that they would recognize it's not super weird. That reminds me, I was going to look at my dad's parents' dna again to see how many centimorgans they share and compare that to how many are shared between him and me. Whenever I do tell them, that might come in handy. 

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