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PSPARTAN

Help! My cousin and I are in love.

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Hey everyone I need some help. My cousin and I have fallen in love and we’re hitting some bumps in the road and I just need some advice. So I’ll start from the beginning I met my cousin a few years ago for the first time and instantly we were best friends we just understood each other and enjoyed each other. We would always hang out and when we were back home (I’m from Vermont she’s from Michigan) we would always text and FaceTime just to be with each other. It wasn’t long before we started having some deeper feeling for each other. We never told each other for years and just let our feelings get stronger. Now about a year ago her and I were laying in her bed talking. Now we had been together for almost two weeks straight of constant hugging and kisses on the cheek and long meaningful talks and our feelings were now stronger than ever. And while we were talking I hugged her and kissed her and she kissed me back and that was the start of our real relationship. Many more little secret kisses happened and much more cuddling and our ability to talk about how we both feel about each other. Now something to understand is we both genuinely care for each other. Two years ago I was suicidal and she was the one to help me and save my life. And she has had many incidents of self arm and anorexia and I have gotten her out of that. So after that moment we let our relationship flourish and take its own course. We cared more and more for each other whether it was talking each other to sleep on bad nights or setting up eating plans and making us truly believe who we are is a good thing. We saw each other in person a couple times through that year and grew closer every time. There has been suspicion through our families from us sitting so close getting away on our own a lot. I over heard all of our parents talking one morning and knowing we were not ready for our families to know I confronted my mother on the subject and got her away from the fact the my cousin and I were having a relationship and got her to believe that we were just best friends who cared about each other. She believed it and no longer bothered us. Her parents though still have suspicion as they are a much closer knit family on the more religious aspect of life unlike mine. But time and time again we only fell more in love whether it is FaceTiming every night our sending each other love letters that smell like us. And through that year after the kiss we started making up stories about if we got married and had a family and how it would be. And one day I asked her do you really think we will ever get married? And she asked me if I believed we could of course I totally want that for being in love with her for many years and getting to express it for a year I feel pretty sure I want to marry her. (It might seem rushed and surely I am younger but I have dreamed of marriage since a young age and have always known my feelings for what they truly are.) I told her what I thought and she said that she too wanted to marry me she just knows her family won’t accept it. She is very close to her family and it would be very hard on her to leave them. Me on the other hand my family left me alone through most of my life and we’re not very close. She said that she can’t marry me and we should try to see other people. And just wanting her to be happy I agreed and we both tried for to see other people but we just came back to each other. We tried it again after a month and yet again we just came back to each other. We are just drawn to each other. So in the end we’re still in love and want to get married but she doesn’t want to leave her family or have them judge her and I want her to be happy. She doesn’t want to hurt me and she doesn’t want to hurt her family. I tell her I just want her to be happy and everything will be okay just as long as we’re friends. And I tell her I will never leave her as she tells me the same. She is so confused and I just want her to be happy but yet I don’t dont how I can love someone else while my heart belongs to her. By the way I am sixteen and she is twenty one. I know I am young but I understand completely what is happening and I just need some advice on what we should do. Also I’m soon to be graduating high school and we plan for me to go to college out there and her to get her own house and we will live together. But that is only if things work out so we will see. Please give me any advice I’ll be replying. Thank you. :)

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How about waiting for 2 more years? I know you love her.. i really do. But how about waiting a little bit more and see what happens? She won't you and I believe that you will never leave her so no rush.. 😊

You guys hit off a couple of years ago and so what about doubling that? Give her a memorable gift on your anniversary -- I am pretty sure she will appreciate it. 😊

 

Pooch

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I made the mistake of going into a relationship at the age of 17 and even though 14 years on we are still together with 3 children it hasn't been the easiest road and I feel if i would have been more mature I possibly would have made different decisions. Please please don't rush this. Give yourself a year or so and remember this may well just be an infatuation stage..... if in a yearor two you still feel the same then act on it. All the best x

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Hi, PSPARTAN and welcome to the site!  The whole time I was reading your post I was thinking, "just marry her" and then I saw your ages and hit the brakes a little.  My best advice right now:  slow down.  You're still in high school and getting over that hurdle needs to be your first goal.  The age difference is a bit of a concern for me right now as well.  That will diminish in time but 16 and 21 is a world apart.  18 and 23 a little less so and 21 and 26 almost not noticeable. I'm also a realist, though.  In two and five years from now, the whole foundation of your lives will have shifted. 

On one hand, that's the very point I'm making about age:  there's a world of difference between who you and she are today and who you will be in five years, and especially in your case.  If you head into a relationship now, it has strong odds of disaster.  On the other hand, I can tell you that the difference between 35 and 40, while small in the eyes of the world, is still huge - you won't be the same person at the beginning and end of any five-year span. 

What will make or break your relationship, whether you got married right this minute or in ten years is how you both approach marriage itself.  Why does it exist?  What is your role and what is hers?  Presently, your relationship works because you are mutual therapy partners.  You sustain one another.  That's awesome!  Every relationship should be that way.  On the other hand, it's a recipe for a future co-dependency disaster.  Or you'll both grow out of these challenges as you grow into future better versions of yourselves (we should all hope for that for ourselves anyway) and if you don't have a clear other-than-self understanding of your relationship, you'll "grow apart".

For her part, I think she has a little soul-searching to do but at some point she may have to realize that family only gets a small vote in this "'til death do us part" thing because they aren't going to be in that house, raising kids, paying bills, making life-altering decisions for you and your progeny.  Naturally, if you and she are willing to let them do that (and if they're willing to do it) and you're both willing to pay the price in freedom and liberty that comes with it, by all means, go that way.  But I've learned from experience that some family will "forgive" and come around and some will "disown" and you'll be best suited to evict them from your lives permanently (even parents and siblings).  Let them know you love them and would prefer they reconsider but in the end, they get to decide whether to love you in spite of your decisions that they don't agree with and you get to decide whether to allow them to manipulate and run your life until one or the other of you dies.

I hope that frames some perspective on this.

Also, I want to conclude with this thought:  you both are helping one another through this tough time but don't go this alone.  You need to get professional (preferably sound spiritually-based) counseling.  Life is hard and it can suck a lot but you need someone who can help you find a personal resilience to survive the storms and you can't depend 100% on each other for that; you will fight and when you do, what will you have to depend on?

Best wishes and God bless,

CM

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