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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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parents are cousins need help to understand why

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I'm not here to bash anyone's life style choice but to ask some real questions and get some real answers.

My parents are 2nd cousins. My great grandmother on my mother's side gave birth to my great grandmother on my birth father's side. I was humiliated when I was in school and had to show a whole class of peers my family tree. They thought I didn't understand the assignment but I did better that they realized. I wasn't told they were cousins until I was a freshman in high school and it was only because they thought they were "caught" and told my brother and I. My parents divorced when I was 12 and after some very frightening and still disturbing things that happened. My birth father was convicted of statutory rape and burglary before my parent married. The rape resulted in a birth and adoption of that child. My brother and I have never met this older sibling. My mother to this day defends him even though he did time for his crimes she does not believe he did anything wrong. My mother when I questioned why she married him said that she did it because she pitied him. She was an 18 year old virgin when they married. He was cruel, sadistic, and self involved person. He was mean to my mom from the 1st day of their marriage and to this day when she sees him. I stopped talking to him when I was 17, I am now 50. Neither of them think that I should tell anyone that they are cousins. My mother is embarrassed if I tell others but defends her decision to marry him. She has never told any of her friends. Nor will she talk about it rationally with me, I am just wrong for having any view point that is different than hers.

What I am trying to sort out is how to make her happy while living my truth. I am not embarrassed by my parents actions/ cousin relationships as that was their actions not mine. But I do think it was a mistake that they married. Neither of them considered my brother or myself and how this would play out in our lives when they made this decision.  My birth father was nothing but mean to both my brother and I. It seems to me that he didn't like the living proof of his actions looking at him or asking questions.

I noticed that this site is mostly for folks who want to have sex relationships with their cousins. However, nobody seems to talk about the fall out for their children. It would be good to hear what other children of cousin sex relationship feel about the situation they have been put in. How they deal with it in social situations. How the cousin/ parents tell their children the truth. How it has played out in their lives.

All I know is that I am so happy to have an adopted father who chose me and doesn't know my mother. My adopted father has been more caring and loving to me than my birth father ever could possibly be. He has made me proud to call a person father again. My mother is nothing but angry that I have found someone to love me the way my birth father could not. She wants to make me feel bad for not staying in contact with my birth father. But frankly all this kissing cousins stuff and the emotional and physical abuse I have suffered via both of my birth parents is not healthy. I think if the roots are rotten the tree won't live.

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Are you sure you're 50 years old?  I would've sworn you were a teenager.

Your post makes no sense.  How can you have an adopted father without having your parents' rights terminated?

It seems that you're more upset about your father being an SOB than you are about the cousin relationship between your parents, which is where the anger should lie - with your father, that is.

And who the hell are you to give a stamp of approval to your parents' relationship?  You claim you're not embarrassed, but I am not convinced.  What does living your own truth have to do with making your mom happy?

Your family problems are not a result of your parents being 2nd cousins, they are a result of your parents bad choices.

And this site isn't really for people who want to have a sexual relationship with their cousin; it's for people who want to have, or who are in, a committed relationship with a cousin.

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neon, i'm a little confused as well. you said your adoptive father doesn't know your mother? but it sounds as though you remained living with your mother after your parents divorced when you were 12. anyway, that's kinda not the major part of my response. i'm just curious and would love to have some clarification on that.

you have lived with a legacy of shame your entire life. a legacy your parents have handed down to you. THIS is why i always encourage cousin couples to TELL their children at the youngest possible age. we have a couple who used to be members here (haven't seen them in ages on the board, but i still keep in touch with them off-site) who introduced their daughter to the cousin thing from the time she was a toddler, using beatrix potter's "tale of the flopsy bunnies" as the ice breaker. (benjamin  bunny married his cousin flopsy in the first or second paragraph.) that little girl is now 13 years old, and given the gift she just gave to her parents recently (a homemade video of her playing a guitar and singing a song she wrote for them) i'd say she's very well adjusted!

the vast majority of people over the years who have come here have fallen into two categories... those who chose to tell (or whose parents chose to tell) about the cousin deal from a very early age, and those who chose to keep it a secret. sadly, those who keep it a secret are the largest group, and those are the ones whose children have issues with it when the secret comes out. i've never heard of a child having issues with it who grew up with the knowledge. it is the secret that causes the shame.

as for myself, well, i married my first cousin once removed 15 years ago. my daughters from a previous marriage were 11 and 12 when we married. there was no secret to keep. they knew him first as my cousin, well before we ever began discussing marriage. when we told them we were going to marry, they asked plenty of questions, and we gave plenty of educated answers... about the laws, about the Biblical view, and about the social stigma. as a result, the kids never really had much of an issue with it. in fact, my oldest one went on national tv with us discussing the issue when she was just 13. i wish i still had a copy of that video. she threw montel williams for a loop. he was expecting her to be a typical teenager full of anxt and bitterness, and instead she stood up and voiced her love and support for us. montel, embarrassed, turned away from her and headed back up to the stage saying "well SHE'S well adjusted, isn't she?" needless to say, there was no secret in our town about mark and i. forget that it was a small town and mark and i had both grown up there, and my kids were friends with the kids of our own childhood friends, those who didn't know, did, as soon as the show aired. what little teasing they'd experienced prior to that ended the day it aired, because our family became "mini-celebrities' in the eyes of my kids peers.

that being said, mark and i did a lot of media interviews for a number of years. montel was the only talk show, the rest were news documenary type shows. when my oldest went into the marine corp, she did ask me (nicely) to consider not doing any more tv. it was different now that she was no longer in high school in a small town. now she was in the military and traveling overseas, and she didn't really like having to explain herself (or us) to her fellow marines. my youngest never seemed to have an issue with it. she married (a mormon) in her senior year of high school, and the whole issue of cousin marriage was just simply no big deal to her new extended family.

now, i think we've covered the cousin thing. i agree with serendipity that it seems like the bulk of your anger is because your father treated your mom, you, your brother, and other people in general like total dog doo. THAT has nothing to do with kinship. that is just poor character. abusive people are like that though. other people are like something they scrape off their shoes. and it sounds like your mom's defense of his actions (the statutory rape incident) is a thorn in your side too. do you even know the full truth of that incident? because seriously, STATUTORY rape (and i'm quite sure that the logical part of your brain knows this) is generally a charge brought against a guy who was having consensual sex with a girlfriend who was a little too young to be legally making that decision for herself. this is nothing knew. most kids, even in the days when you and i were in high school, were having sex long before they were legal. but when a parent found out, especially if the girl was pregnant, they'd file charges against the boyfriend so fast it would make his head spin... even if he were near the same age.

so unless your father was, for example, in his 20's and seduced a girl barely into puberty, get over it. it was a huge mistake on your dad's part, a lack of common sense and good judgement, and it's the same lack of judgement that you probably never judged your friends for when they were screwing under-aged girlfriends. in fact, you may have even had such a relationship yourself in your youth.

i don't blame you for being angry at your father for being abusive. i don't blame you for resenting both your parents for having made you feel ashamed simply by keeping the cousin thing a secret. but you're 50 years old now. it's time for you to forgive. it's time for you to stop blaming. it's time for you to quit belittling your mom. it's time for you to man up, go to mom, and tell her you love her as unconditionally as she has loved you for the last 5 decades. because your resentment towards her comes out, apparently, on a regular basis. and if you think your father's abuse was hurtful to her while what you are doing is not, then you are as dense as concrete. there is nothing more painful to a mother than having her adult child not accept her and treat her with love and respect.

and besides, one more thing about the cousinhood. your parents were SECOND cousins. biologically, genetically, they are really no more 'related' than you and i are. it was their own ignorance that made them keep things a secret. here are some facts and figures for you. unrelated couples share 1/33 of their DNA in common. 2nd cousins share 1/32 of their dna in common.  it's time for you to put things into perspective. life is too short to harbor this much anger and resentment, and it will lead you to an early grave. forgive and move on. in fact, forgive your dad. it doesn't mean you have to forget, and it doesn't mean you have to condone his past actions. but you need to forgive. not for HIS sake, but for your own. and maybe a little for your mom's.

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Wow, the hate here is amazing. I didn't expect such hate, anger and insensitivity directed to a stranger asking for help. But I think this is how the members of this site can feel better about themselves and their actions. I feel bad for any children that come from these blood relative sex relationships. It's hard to believe that with the all the people in the world none of you cannot find a non blood relative to have sex/ relationships with. After reading many more threads on this site I know there is quite a bit of mental illness here and those with mental illness should not throw stones or give advice. I will seek assistance on a forum for children of incest. They are not blaming their kids for their actions. Best wishes to you all. But most of all I wish your children peace and happiness as I know it is not easy being born into a marriage between blood relatives.  I hope their questions are not met with such hate and  that they are allowed to have their own feeling and not kowtow to your beliefs.

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i really don't see where you're finding any 'hate' in anything i wrote. i think your parents did you a disservice, but they're human! no parent gets it right all the time. and because of the mistakes that your parents made, you've lived with a lot of shame that wasn't necessary. because of that you have a lot of anger to deal with. but your biggest issues seem to be more about your dad's abuse and your mother's defense of him. for your sake, and for your mom's, you need to let it go. what in all that is hateful?

i see a LOT of hate coming FROM you, directed at both your parents and at anyone else who has children with a cousin (based solely on serendipity's response and mine... and while mine was direct, there was nothing hateful about it). and nothing i said, nor that i recall serendipity saying, blamed YOU for your parent's actions.

i hope you find the assistance you are seeking. but frankly, and this is an observation based on your initial post and your subsequent response (and there is nothing hateful about it) it seems as if what you are really seeking is other people who can commiserate with you, and justify you blaming and hating your parents.

i think perhaps you'd have more success if you met with someone one-on-one who was a trained professional, rather than seeking advice from strangers on any message board. you need to be able to work through some of the anger and betrayal you feel so that you can move on with your life and be happy.

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With the relationship that you described, even if your grandparents were not related, I think you would still have these issues. Your family was very dysfunctional from the start. Frankly, I think you are at the wrong forum. Your grandparents, being 2nd cousins, are genetically no more similar than strangers. This is not nearly as big of a deal as you are making it out to be.

I have listened to 50 year olds whine that their fathers never loved them. My mom never saw her father at all. When she was about 40ish, her dad called for the first time. Mom informed him that he wasn't her dad and to "go jump." I have never ever heard her whine about her dad.

If you need counseling to get on with your life, I encourage you do do that, although at 50, you should have worked some out this out by now. But this has nothing to do with your grand-parents being cousins. It has to do with abuse, rejection and living with a single parent. I would say 1/2 the population has experienced this. So your story isn't nearly as unique or as devastating as you make it out to be.

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I feel bad for any children that come from these blood relative sex relationships. It's hard to believe that with the all the people in the world none of you cannot find a non blood relative to have sex/ relationships with.

Well, ya done did it... ya made me have to get all up in arms and reply to you.  Okay, I'll grant that you're not an ignorant troll and pretend for the moment that you actually are who you say you are.  Let's talk about that piece.

I'll begin by turning the tables on you.  You see, I found out (not really) who you decided to have sexual relations with and ultimately children with and I feel sorry for your children.  I can't believe that out of all of the people in the world, you ended up with that loser.  Those poor children to have to have that scar on their lives!

Do you see what I just did there?  Give me any two people and I'll find something about them for which to berate them and embarrass their children.  Maybe they're an interracial couple in a town full of ignorant jackasses that just won't tolerate that kind of "half-breed producing abomination".  Maybe one of them ended up getting arrested for embezzling company funds.  Maybe one of them turned out to be the town floozie, having had more sexual partners in a small town during 10 years of marriage than most full-time German prostitutes in a 30 year career.  Could even be that they're the kids of Dennis Rader (BTK Killer).

The bottom line is that children - ALL children - will have some sort of cross to bear, some kind of "original sin" of their parents, whether they want it or not.  The difference here is that you're talking about something as natural and normal as life itself, something human beings have done without any concern throughout all of history, save the last few hundred years thanks to a combination of a Church power grab and flawed pseudo-science (Eugenics).  Is it our fault that some people are ignorant?  Nope.  Will our children have to know how to deal with that and answer to it?  Yep - even in places that should be the most practical about it.  Do I feel the least bit sorry for them?  Not at all.  I've raised them better than that.

If you truly do have mommy and daddy issues just because your parents were cousins (did I read "2nd cousins"?  Are you kidding me?  I was almost 40 years old before I ever knew the name of and met a second cousin - that's how close those are) - anyway, if you do have a problem with it, perhaps you should do more research, get some decent counseling, and learn to move on with your life.

You said you're 50 years old?  Seriously?  Maybe the problem is that you were raised smack in the middle of a nation recovering ever so slowly from Eugenics.  You're too old to stay that ignorant.  Read.  Learn.  Grow up and act your age.

There - now you've found what you can describe as "hate" on this board.  Shape up or ship out.  You've done torqued me off!

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hey CM, somehow it linked to my post in that quote.. not sure how that happened, but if you wonder about the 'edit' by me at the end of yours, i corrected it so that it credited neon for the quote.

and you took the words out of my mouth. after his last response, i was itching to tell him to grow up and act his age! i just didn't want to sound hateful since he'd already accused me of such!

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I agree with Serendipity, KC and Lady C. This seems to be

more abt a dad that was a bad person. And as was pointed out

all the characteristics mentioned had nothing to do with

mom/dad being second cousins. "Any" man can commit the

same two crimes as the posters dad. "And" any man can

be a terrible father. I honestly think your bother by cousin

relationships your pissed at ur terrible dad. So your blaming

the cousin relationships. As other posters have pointed out

"this site" is abt long lasting cousin relationships. There are listing

of states that allow marriages. There are forums were members

list how many "years" they've been with their cousin. It's ok to

not like cousin relationships. A few posters have tried to educate you.

You should find a site that can understand

your anger heck you can even start one.

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ooohhh... I can really feel his hatred about cousin relationship and about his parents who were cousins. I agree with serendipity, I really reacted with his age.... he doesn't sound matured. anyway all I can say is, wont he just be thankful that he's here????? I mean you wont be living in this world if not because of your parents.... and he should look at his self being a sample of a cousin couple product,.. why? does he see himself not well?? hmm....

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