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Louisa

Cautionary Tale

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To the unfortunate souls who fall in love with their cousins,

 

This is a cautionary tale that I hope helps demonstrate what happens when you don’t listen. 

I came to this site a few years ago looking for some information after a strange meeting with a cousin I hadn’t meet until adulthood. It was just like all the other stories about needing to be near each other and an immediate affinity, etc  It was early days and all a bit overwhelming, so I looked at a few posts and made the decision that they seemed a bit extreme and I just need to stop being stupid. A big mistake. 

One of the repeated themes in the advice given to people was that if it couldn’t work out YOU NEED TO FINISH ALL CONTACT. This is the part I thought was the silly and extreme bit. Surely as a mature person I could manage myself without needing to be kind of mean and childish by cutting him off.

Well no. Flash forward a few years and I have all but ripped the wheels off my life and there is nothing left of the relationship with my cousin.

I certainly wasn’t looking to meet someone new and was in a long-term relationship which was pretty good. We had the usual day to day issues everyone has but a solid foundation in friendship and always protected our relationship. Sadly, the perimeter is breached unknowingly in these situations because you don’t think you need to have a perimeter with your family members until its already too late.

I had the best intentions trying to maintain this relationship but if it can’t work out don’t bother. It feels special but it’s actually just like anything else when it goes to rubbish, only there is more to lose. There is something about it that is hypnotic or additive or something like that but the spell can be broken. 

I could go into a lot of detail listing reasons and mistakes but there is no point. Life will keep moving on and with each step further away from an opportunity to be together it will destroy you over and over again.

I eventually sabotaged this relationship to finish it. Mostly subconsciously to begin with because I wanted to stop hurting but at the same time not lose him that kept me going back and he would always forgive me. There was a point at the beginning I might have been able to walk away but after that I was out of control. This began from the first eye contact and I honestly couldn’t stop myself until one day I looked around at my now fragile husband and the rest of my life that had changed a lot, and it was as if I had woken up from a dream. We stopped contact and it took about 3 months to feel like myself again. I was grieving that whole time and if he had given in to talking to me I would be back on that rollercoaster without a doubt. But not anymore. 

I thought I would be miserable without him and I was initially but it was the best thing I could do. It doesn’t even feel like I could care about him that way anymore even with effort and there’s so much more in life to enjoy rather than wasting time on something you can’t have or someone that doesn’t want you. 

I can see that if it did work out it would be amazing and the bond of a lifetime but when it doesn’t you need to burst that love bubble or you will go crazy. It will become an all consuming living hell if you don’t.

Sadly there were casualties for us.

I did lose a friend and he was a good one. There was no saving this. 

Our two extended families won’t likely have any further contact.

I did stupid stuff and made a fool of myself but who cares. I hurt other people and become someone I’m not which is not cool and not right and it was all for nothing.  

I’m was lucky to have a husband who loved me a lot, stuck around and our relationship is even better now largely because of his commitment to making it work. But I was lucky!

We are in our 40’s. I’ve been married some time and had relationships that didn’t work out before with none of this crazy b/s. There is something about this that is like nothing else and I can tell you I would never have hung in so long for anyone else. I was convinced my cousin and I should be together but that was never going to happen and I couldn’t see it at the time which is an insanity I just can’t account for. I think when you feel so strongly about someone, it’s a long life not to tell them about it so I wouldn’t change that.  What I would have done differently is walk away when I got my answer. This is an all or nothing situation whether you like it or not because it is so intense and nothing else they or you can offer will be enough.

This post doesn’t begin to capture how terrible and wonderful and devasting this has been and its only my side of the story. If after the initial freak out at the intensity of your feelings for each other you can’t have a conversation, there is a problem for one of you. DON’T DO IT!  Just go your own way and don’t look back. It wasn’t worth it and we ended up with nothing anyway so I could have avoided years of pain before I even begin to consider the humiliation of my desperate attempts to be close him. 

MANY other posts suggest it never really goes away, and people reconnect years later or they long for the other person indefinitely.  I feel pretty good now but will heed the warning this time rather than learn the hard way and won’t be taking any chances and seeing him again.  

I’m not inviting comment in particular with this post but hopefully it might help someone else make better decisions.

Edited by Louisa

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You've basically said nothing, because you didn't provide any detail, only your impressions and conclusions.

But even if you did tell us the whole story, everyone experiences everything differently.  No two romances of any kind are alike.

I don't think a general warning will change anything.  It's like saying you could get run over crossing the street.  And the people that hear that warning will cross the street anyways because they think their experience will be different.

For sure, the damage in a cousin-romance can affect the whole family, as you allude to.  But people write in here, with different stories to tell about that, and many are positive. 

In my family, besides me, we had another cousin-romance.  The couple lived together for 12 years, and when they broke up, the man moved away from the family and cut them all out of his life.  The family at large was kept out of their fallout.

For my cousin-romance, my cousin-love died decades ago, but the relationship did no lasting damage to our family when he and my other relatives were alive.

Everyone can tell a different story.

Best of luck to you.

Ambra

 

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That’s a shame but thanks for the feedback Ambra Flows. I’m not sure what else would’ve been helpful honestly as there was quite a lot I could share. If you have any questions I’m happy to answer them.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Louisa

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I met my cousin as an adult and we are together now. We are not married and have no kids so it's not complicated. 

It sounds like you were married when you fell in love with your cousin, right? I see that as the issue here because that's infidelity. 

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Yeah we weren’t in the USA and 2nd cousins so being related is less of an issue also something we would have been able to work passed although initially it was a bit confronting for me. Our families would have been ok eventually and we would have had each other so I wouldn’t have worried if someone had an issue. 

Yes the infidelity was the bigger of the issues and all that goes with that. The thing is there are many people you are compatible with in life. It’s all about the decision you make, the commitments you already have and all those important things. That’s normal controllable and part of life. This attraction was different and the point I’m making I guess. If you aren’t available to be together, trying to have some other type of relationship might not be doable despite the best intentions. 

There are a lot of people on here describing the same thing so there is obviously something to it that is more than noticing someone new. 

So yeah, people come on here saying they meet a cousin and it’s a big crazy thing but the are committed, the advice they get is stay true to their relationship and not continue contact. This is the result of trying to hang in as friends maybe. 

 

 

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It is true that there are a number of people that you can have a good relationship with. I'm fortunate that I never married and nor did my cousin so we can be together. We are 1st cosuins and living in US (it's legal in my state) but we are in secret due to concern over family blowup. 

I think it's true that if you fall in love with someone, cousin or not, and you are married, you need to cut contact and move on. All contact. 

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Obviously this has been a confusing post with a dramatic title. The title intended be to both humorous and expressive. 

I don’t think it has anything to do with me being married other than to demonstrate the magnitude of the attraction. I’m not sure why it is coming back to that unless we are looking at why we aren’t together now which wasn’t my point but correct, we were both with other people. My apologies for being unclear. I can’t definitively tell you what happened here for me but is seems the fact this man was my cousin and there’s no evidence in the existence of past lives, horoscopes and voodoo, that it is the logical explanation for why I couldn’t maintain a friendship with him without being very sad we weren’t romantically involved which profoundly impacted everything else. I am certain if it was a colleague for example it would have hardly registered. 

An alternative explanation is I met a garden variety narcissist who would also be charismatic, hypnotic and take me to great heights before pushing me off the edge when i was no longer useful or entertaining so there is that. I guess narcissists have cousins too so it’s possible. 

In summary, if you can’t be together because you are married, the law, they don’t like you, geography or your allergic to cats then it’s best not to try and hang on to a friendship which is my point. This is because the longing is to strong and can’t be separated from the other feelings. If you try, what follows might be quite terrible and end with with no relationship anyway. 

Do you as a person in a relationship with your cousin feel it’s any better, deeper, more intense than other people you have had relationships with or am I and other people who come here for answers imagining that?

I gotta say also about the whole marriage thing, it’s not a commitment to be taken lightly or broken frivolously but sometimes things end and they should. Some people are in bad ones and shouldn’t stay in them even when kids are involved. It’s more about the partnership than even the promise in my view and more than 50% of us will get it wrong at least once so I don’t know that anyone can suggest people just forget it (meeting someone else) because they are married. Full stop. 

You can’t just say your married stop those feelings. It’s got to be your married, are you still happy with that, why would you be looking outside of that and then after those questions are answered, what about this other person. This is not the forum for that and personal responsibility is required but still life’s not that simple and love/relationships is even less so.

If my relationship wasn’t a priority for my husband anymore or he treated me badly I’d go. At the end of the day marriage is a contract based on a conditional “partnership” not a life sentence. 

It’s also an institution made by men to facilitate the transfer of assets and it wasn’t even about god when it started. Interestingly, if you investigate that you will see records of lots and lots of cousins marrying each other to keep money in families. Then there is all the royals. It’s all good in the hood for them too ? 

For the record I love being married. It’s great. Just saying. 

Anyway I think I’m way off topic now. Someone else will make my point clearer in a post of their own one day I’m sure and honestly I think I’m ready for this to be part of my past.  And thanks whoever made the site, it’s been helpful.

 @ReachIntoTheVoid i’m sure this is semantics but your committed relationship is as valid as my or anyone else’s marriage I think.  It’s a shame you can’t be out and proud with your family but it’s great you have each other. 

Good luck and all the best everyone. 

 

 

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Reading your last post, it sounds to me like your condescending to us.  We know all your points before you made them.  Most of us have been here a long time.  You got called out on your post and now your back-peddling.  Don't come looking for help, when you don't actually want any.  And there was nothing humorous about your title.

Ambra

 

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Ambra there was no condescending at all. In fact this site has been really helpful to me aside for the two comments from you that served only to criticise and provide no genuine aid in achieving the quality posts you so clearly care about. There is a certain element of working through things to be here in the first place. Certainly no back peddling in fact I’m happy to step up to tell you that you are rude, arrogant and your interpretation seem like a reflections of your own bullying behaviour.

Thanks for nothing tough guy ?

 

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Wow Louisa thank you for sharing, I was browsing this site and I read your story; it was heartbreaking. I just had to sign up and give you some support and say thank you and good on you for sharing :) It's unfortunate, and I see this a lot these days online, people work up the courage and share something close to their hearts and then the wolves come in to tear that person apart.

I just want to say that your story had me in tears and I feel sorry that after sharing you've been forced to defend yourself. It's just plain wrong  *Hugs*.

Don't pay any attention to them; they've clearly got nothing better to do than pick at people when they are vulnerable and kick them when they're down.

Edited by Leowl
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