By Jordan Colbert
Our story started roughly 2 years ago when my cousin confessed she had feelings for me. At the time she said this is wrong and we should not be doing this. But we continued developing our relationship anyway. We planned of our lives together after marriage, babies, places to visit, things to do and so on. We lived a happy life. Now after two years of constant back and forth of; this is wrong we should not be doing it and it’s ok let’s go ahead with it, she wants to end the relationship but isn’t doing it, just putting a halt to the boyfriend/girlfriend aspect and just wants to be friends. She says, “I should have been the adult in the room. I don’t want to continue doing wrong.” She feels that when we inform our family about our intentions we will end up creating a huge and permanent split in our family. We will be the reason for our family to break apart. People will hate us. Previously at the beginning of our relationship she had said that she doesn’t care about what other people think of her. When I brought this up she said well I do care now. I tried convincing her that I’ll deal with all the heat from the family, you can even say he is the one pushing for it I’m not that interested. I’ll be able to make the family come to terms with us. But she still says even if you convince the family I know it’s wrong and my mind will not be at ease. She says even if we get married I won’t be able to live a happy life because I’ll be disturbed about the fact that we are cousins and we shouldn’t be married. Also whenever she sees other cousins they remind her that we are doing wrong. She feels bad when she sees them. Sometimes she says that I look like her brother and that makes it difficult for her. The thing I don’t understand is that these are issues that were there during the first year of our relationship, why are they becoming unbearable now. She was able to put these thoughts aside then. Why can’t she now? I asked her do you want to end our relationship? Her reply was, “Yes, sometimes I want to end it. But sometimes I don’t. I don’t know.” I said why don’t you end it then. She said, “You’ve done nothing but loved me. And that’s why it’s difficult for me to end it. I’m thinking about our relationship in a realistic way and you think in a hopeful way. There is no way our family will allow us to be together.”
I feel that if I can convince her that we are not doing anything wrong. We love each other and there’s nothing wrong about it, she might change her mind. The thing is I’ve tried everything I could to do that. But she doesn’t accept it. I’ve given her examples of cousin marriages happening for so many decades. Her response is that if people have been doing wrong that doesn’t mean we continue doing wrong.
You may think she does not love me anymore and is trying to find excuses to end our relationship. That’s not how it is. She is a tough independent woman. She does not let other people’s opinions play any role in her decision making. She thinks for herself and sticks to her decisions however painful they may be. I know her very well. She still loves me. Just not enough to marry me.
I'll keep the explanation brief but I'm an 18 year old girl who had a pretty traumatic past. My parents were both alcoholics, and my father, although he was present for my life, didn't really take up the whole "father" role, if that makes sense. This will become important later.
My cousin... He's a few years older than me and we've always had this sort of connection, of sorts. It was always PERFECTLY innocent, he and I were two of the most intelligent of the cousins, we both had the same sarcastic kind of humor... we just sorta "got" each other, all through our youth.
It sounds goofy, but he was our gardener. Let me explain. Our house had a crazy gopher infestation, and he, being 16 or 17 at the time, was eager to earn a few bucks, and had a knack for gardening. My mom would pay him to come over and help us. Remember how I said that my childhood trauma would become important? Well, my cousin was my stability through most of it. Where most if not all of my male representatives in my life had failed me, he was what "normal" was. Him being around the house so often made me feel safe, like I was protected. Kinda stupid in hindsight, considering we were both children, but hey. I think my crush started way back then.
Our family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc, do NOT gather all that often. But when we do, we are just so drawn to each other. Thanksgivings, while the rest of the family would be in the kitchen talking and drinking, you know, having general merriment... we'd be in the living room, talking, or sitting in silence. It was that kind of thing where even if we weren't talking, you could tell that we were comfortable enough just being around each other. Particularly last Thanksgiving, there was a point where I felt comfortable enough to finally talk to him about all the crazy crap that happened when I was young with my parents and the abuse. I felt safe. And he listened, told me how strong I was and how I hadn't deserved to go through all of it alone. I felt SO safe, and warm, like I was finally home. And that's something that's so hard for me to feel, it's impossible to ignore.
Now, here's the thing about my cousin. He's a man of very few emotions, or, at least, he doesn't show them very often. But even all the aunts, uncles, and grandparents know that he's always been very protective of me. We tend to read each other's emotions like a book. We were both raised in a pretty straight-laced, Christian environment and are both still of the faith, and because of this, cousin/cousin relationships are pretty taboo. I know chances are that he doesn't feel the same way about me. But I think that I DO harbor some pretty serious feelings for him.
These feelings became pretty evident, actually, when I met up with my mother a few weeks ago. We had gotten lunch, and I talked about my cousin and how I was so glad that he had been there for me through the hard times, something like that. My mom said, and I quote, "(Cousin's name) is a great man. Really. What a shame that he's your cousin." And my heart stopped. My first thought was "Sh*t! She found me out!" Then I started thinking, "Wait a minute, is that her way of giving support?" And that's really the incident that led me to questioning my feelings and finally ending up at this point, writing this post. Here I am. In love with my cousin. And I'm confused, alone, and scared.
I have a lot of questions that hopefully those in this community could help me answer. For the longest time I had tried to push down these feelings, so forgive me if my questions sound a bit obvious or whatever.
Is there any way to gauge whether the cousin in question returns these feelings?
Is this something that would be easier to ignore and forget about?
Are the whole "cousin couples are bad because genetic deformities happen in their children" thing really as severe as people say?
Is there something wrong with me?
Thank you guys in advance for your responses, I really hope to hear from some of you. Any advice is appreciated.
So I'm 23 (F) and my second cousin is 27 (M). For years during childhood I had this sort of innocent crush on him, and the most I thought about doing with him was kissing him on the cheeks and lips really fast, hugging, rough-housing, poking and tickling him. There were times when I wouldn't see him for a year or two, and I was always bummed out when I didn't get to see him at family gatherings. I put this in the back of my mind as just something that happened because I longed for a sibling as an only child and that I didn't really talk to guys around my age much. The majority of our family is pretty conservative and religious (Christian) in a kind of strict way, so I'm pretty sure they would look down upon cousin couples (I can't even talk about Harry Potter around some of them without a "good talking to".
Anyways, for the last few years especially, my life has been very... rocky. I'm pretty sure my mother has BPD (borderline personality disorder - my therapist thought so too) and for years I went through emotional abuse with her as well as her poor choosing of men that she's dated and married throughout her life. She's currently stalking and harassing me and other members in our family trying to figure out where I live and other personal details that I refuse to give her since I've gone no contact for the last year with her. I've been going to university to be a teacher and working at the same time without having to rely on anyone else so it's all been really stressful on me. I haven't been able to see a therapist in a while - my university's counseling center sucks so not an option on that. Not to mention that my old counselor is a Christian guy so he wouldn't be the best match for what I've been through....
The kicker is that several months ago the first serious bf I had been dating for longer than a year decided to end things with me, mainly because I have vaginismus, which apparently is both a physical and psychological sexual dysfunction issue that can be caused by sexual and/or emotional abuse. He had also said that he only found one physical part of my body attractive and couldn't even list anything on the inside that he liked of me, so in the end I felt ugly inside and out and broken as a woman and human being. He didn't want to be patient anymore and was frustrated because he couldn't do certain things with me (which I understand, but I was the one that was affected the most..). A couple of times after I went to see a gynecologist... and it only made my condition worse - the doctor basically gave up on me and now I'm facing a severe form of the dysfunction and I don't even know if I'll ever get it fixed. It was a pretty low time for me and I'm still trying to get over the hurdle of the emotions of it and trying to regain my self-confidence back. After the break-up I had also gradually begun to lose interest in dating or anything sexual whatsoever that involves being with another person. (I mean, would any guy even date a girl with vaginismus and be patient and understanding of the condition and other crap she's been through, especially if she's not the most attractive person out there??)
In the meantime, here and there my second cousin has helped me by moving my stuff or by us hanging out a couple of times. Even then I didn't really think much of him in a romantic way, although I tend to keep walls up between me and others anyways (or so I've been told). However, that changed when he asked if I wanted to meet up with him a couple of weeks ago. All we did was go to a gun range that he worked at and he showed me how to use different guns (that close proximity to him had me sighing on the inside), because in the past I had mentioned to him that I would like to be able to defend myself and be able to use a gun if necessary (isn't that thoughtful of him?). But suddenly after that I haven't been able to get him out of my mind. What was once an innocent child crush has now turned into me fantasizing about being with him and wanting to be intimate both physically and emotionally with him. Now I get so excited just to even see a text from him or hanging out with him, and even though he's not what I would call my "type", I still find him attractive.The more rational side of me is worried because I'm still in pain from the other past (and current) events and I don't think I could deal with any more pain right now.
Now, I'm a little more open-minded compared to the rest of my family so I don't have an issue with cousin relationships as long as it's not forced, the couple isn't too young, and no one is manipulated. The issue I do have is:
Whether I'm actually having romantic/love feelings for my cousin, or if it's just something out of circumstance and pent-up sexual and emotional frustration What the family would think or do if anything were ever to transpire between us - I don't even know if my cousin shares the same feelings for me or not. I guess right now I'm wondering if I really do like him in that way or not, and not just being lustful at the moment. I'm not in any rush or anything, I just want to have a sound/idea-box with people who can understand my situation, I guess.
Any thoughts or ideas on this?
Im new here. So where to even begin. This feeling of emotion is too strong right. Anyways
So its all begin last december. I saw my distant cousin (the family tree is complex but she is defintely like a 7 or 8 cousin.) But so it had been quite a few months since i last saw her. (She lives about 3 hours away so i only get to see her 3 or 4 times in a year). But when i saw her this december. Everything seemed different. I just dont even know how to describe that feeling. And before you ask my age is 19 while she is 18. So back to the story.
So she came with her family and stayed for 3 days. The moment she walked in that feeling i felt was unusual because i did use to see her before and i had no feelings like this. This was different. I dont even know what to call this love because it was so intense. So nothing really happened after that other then me hanging out with her and her staring quite a bit at me and as well as being playful with. (Bear in mind. She did not do this before as whenever she came she just hung around my other girl cousin and sister and we didnt even talk on social media). So time flew and she went back and i saw that on the final day she was quite sad because i think she didnt want to leave. Also this time she didnt talk to my cousin and sister a lot and instead it was me and her talking and the usual stuff.
So one day went by and i was feeling quite depressed because i was missing her quite a bit. So i texted her and then since then we have talked everyday without missing a single. As we have a lot in common such as interests and hobbies. The texting was quite prolonged and as this progressed my feelings went through the roof. This was our first time texting as before we didnt really click. Now that i know so much about her. I just want to be with her and protect her and make her happy as much as i can. I just think about her 24/7 everyday and it makes sad thinking that it might not work
Well i know my story wasnt too eventful but here is the question. Do you think she likes me?
Other the staring and being playful with me. With regards to text. I am getting some mixed signals so first when i text her about like actresses or any other girl. I get weird responses like lol and ok then. I feel like she doesnt want me too talk about other girls to her. Also she has told me about literally everything about herself and half of the things even my sister doesnt know. So i assume she does trust me a lot from. And there is this other thing. I once told her i liked girl with short hair upto the shoulders and what you know after a week she cuts her hair to that length. Also we literally never end our texting. It just keeps on going. Whether day or night. Also we both compliment each other quite a lot and she is quite shy so i cant expect her to make the first move.
So to end. What do you think i should do. I obviously want a relationship and i already know my parents or her should not say anything but i dont know how to tell her.
Sorry for a long story but had to get it off my chest somewhere so i could have some peace.
Thanks for any replies
do i love my cousin or its just how my insecurity expressed and staying in my comfort zone justified?!!By Essex
There is this my nine years younger girl cousin...four years ago when she was 14 and i was 23 she always had this strong eye contacts and laugh hysterically at my chessy jokes and all the signs that she really likes me but at that time i wasn't interested at all ofc coz she was 14 for god sake ...we rarely meet at family gatherings...till recently i really have a strong crush on her for like two years...she grew up and i think we switched roles...but don't know if she likes me or just getting more mature to hide her feelings...we are both very shy btw...but still she gets nervous when she sees me and i catch her with few eye contacts..till i made whoopie up one night and was drunk and got the courage to tell her that i like her..she got really nervous and thought i was joking...then later i told her it was just a mistake (more made whoopie up)...later on everything is normal...we meet at gatherings..simple talks...she get nervous and clumsy when she sees me...i started texted her...this where all this get so confusing...she reply very late with short texts..so i stop..and text her later..same late uninterested replies...then i stop..
Dont know if she likes me and tries to avoid me coz of her excessive shyness...or just can't take the fact that she has a crush on her nine years older cousin (she is a little westernized) and think its disgusting regardless of her feelings...or if all of this is just illusions in my head and her teenager crush was just a period and went away...but i just think of her all the time..should i let her go out of my head or take a more wise approach?!!!...help!!!!