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I'm sure it's been covered but would still appreciate the advice

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First off, hello to all of you!  Like the subject says, I'm sure this topic has been covered but I'm wondering how buried it is.

So here's my two-cent trouble:  My first cousin and I started having feelings for each other when we were young (like around tweens).  We never spoke of it to anyone but each other.  Anyways, he and I grew up - him going his own way - joining the Army National Guard and getting married with 1 son.  I went my way, going to college and obtaining a two degrees.  Now in our mid-30s, we have respectable careers and pretty solid in our life (own home, car, etc.)  Anyways, a few years ago we finally got to see each other again at another cousin's wedding and we became inseparable since then.

The dilemma is this: He got divorced and raised his son on his own (son now being in his teens) and I never married.  Since the wedding, we grew very close and developed deep mutual feelings for each other but have kept it incredibly secret.  We are afraid to reveal to anyone that we do love each other for fear of rejection, but moreso fear that his son will not understand.  He and I do not live together.  We work separately and live separately.  It would break my heart to see his son so unhappy so I'm just not sure how to handle things.

Also, even though he is divorced, he told me that the Army could throw him out for having this relationship.  He and I talked about it, and if that's the case, then we are willing to end it because I don't want to see him lose his job just because of me.  Was the info given to him correct?

So help ... pretty please?  Thank you!

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  • Senior Member

Hi, LadyLucy12, and welcome to the site.

Let me first say that the Army has never stated any official position on cousin marriage or cousin relationships.  A soldier who runs afoul of any applicable state laws could be prosecuted under those laws and, if prosecuted, could face separation actions based on a civilian conviction but no provision of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses consensual, adult cousin relationships (sexual or marital) at all.  In short, if cousin relationships are legal in the state where you live (and being in the National Guard, the state where he is a member if they happen to be different states), then the Army would see it no differently than any other perfectly legal relationship. 

I won't say too much more directly here about the military but you can send me a private message for more specifics if you like.  In the event that he ran afoul of a commander who doesn't know any better, you should immediately contact me by private message and either KC or LadyC (they can reach me offline since I'm not here as frequently as I'd like to be) so I can give more specific advice on that situation.

Of greater concern is his son.  Does his son see you both together frequently as "friends" or "just cousins"?  If so, I have to wonder if he already suspects.  Teens these days are pretty perceptive.  Either way, it may be worth your cousin having a "man-to-man" or "heart-to-heart" chat with his son.  He knows him pretty well and knows his current level of influence (which is ever-changing through the teen years).  Ultimately, he's the parent and the son is the child - it's also a tutor/pupil relationship of sorts so it's a good teaching moment.  Parents shape their children's view of the world and of right and wrong, sometimes in intended ways and sometimes in unintended ways.

As for the rest of the family, well, you're in your 30's so they don't really get a vote.  Their advice may or may not be useful, depending on whether it is the voice of wisdom or the voice of insanity (with most family situations, it frequently ends up being the latter because families tend to think they DO get a vote in the actions of one another... I'm even guilty at times).

Bottom line - if your relationship is something worth pursuing long-term, then do so.  How you proceed may depend on your current state of residence: if it's Wisconsin, run like your lives depend on it; if it's Colorado, maybe a wedding planner is in order.

I hope that's helpful.

Best wishes,


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Thank you so much, CM!!! Your advice is heartwarming!  I will be checking with "Wolf" to see what the protocol is for his workplace.  He IS divorced, we do live separately and everything.  I know his job is important to him and I am so very proud of him serving but as I said, I do NOT want to jeopardize his current standings as an E6 officer.

I will leave Wolf to do his heart-to-heart with his son.  Even though I love "Jr" as much as if he were my own, he is technically not my child.  I will not interfere in the raising of Jr unless my advice is solicited by Wolf.  I just hope Jr can at least understand to some degree.

Thank you again for taking the time to offer your advice!! It means so much to us!!


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might i also suggest you invite "wolf" to come visit this site.... he may have other questions besides the ones you've addressed. as for the son, well, all i can say is that when mark and i decided to get married, my daughters (then 11 and 12 i think, or 12 and 13? i can't remember for sure) just wanted to know the facts... is it legal, is it ok with God, and what should they say to their friends. after we had 'the talk', they were fine with it.

if "wolf" isn't aware of what military law is on this, then maybe you could have him talk directly with ColoradoMarried... since he is our resident expert in that department. it may give him the confidence he needs to move forward.

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