dawg123

My parents are first cousins

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Hey i know this isn't about marrying a cousin itself but my parents are first cousins (my dads dad and mums dad are brothers). I come from a culture where its prefered however after asking my mum about it (who only told me that she and my dad were cousins at the age of 18) she mentioned that my grandparents from both sides themselves are not related or anything prior to that, i think so at least. My mum was the only sibling to marry her cousin.

It broke my heart when I found this out as I was aware children of first cousins suffer from genetic disorders etc, and that I am inbred. Im not the greatest looking guy but do get called handsome at times, not aware of any health problems up to the age of 19. Im doing very well academically.

I dont want to raise the issue with a doctor because its really awkward (i imagine the doctor would cringe), but what should i do to find out of im in good health and not going to suffer in the future as a result of my parents actions? I definitely do not intend on marrying a cousin myself, and probably marry outside of my race. Will my own children suffer from illnesses or could I be infertile or anything like that? I know this forum is for couples, but im assuming many of you are educated on the offspring of cousins.

sorry if this wasnt an appropriate place to address this, its been bothering me for a good while and makes me feel like :bleep: at times.

im 19 and a male. I've grown up in england and so feel more disgusted than i should be.

thanks

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this is a fine place to address your concerns. it's absolutely the appropriate place. however, your feelings towards your parents and yourself are way too harsh. the children of first cousins RARELY suffer from genetic disorders as a result of their parents kinship. yes, the risk is twice as high as that of unrelated people, but that background risk is so darn small to begin with, that we're not talking about much. bottom line, the odds of first cousins having a child of perfect health and normal intelligence is 94-96%. and as for looks? the kinship of parents has no affect on that. it's more about what they look like, because you inherit traits.

you are not "inbred". that is a term of ignorance. i'm not saying you are stupid, by the way. major difference between stupidity and ignorance. ignorance can be fixed. your parents marriage is one of 'consanguinity', not of 'incest'. those two things are also very difference.

you should feel no shame in talking to your doctor. in fact, you should educate yourself on the facts (particularly the genetic facts since that seems to be your biggest concern) so that you can overcome your feelings of shame, period.

i'm going to provide you with a link that includes all the well-researched (and documented) info we have on the genetic risks. this isn't stuff we made up... i spent years studying (on my own) and being mentored by some of the world's leading genetic experts (robin bennett, alan bittles, etc) to make this information available here. you can print it out and take it to any medical professional who specializes in genetics and verify that it is accurate. but before i do, i want to give you a very brief "lesson" in case you decide not to click the link.... remember... stupidity can't be fixed, but ignorance can. choosing not to fix something you are ignorant about (lacking knowledge of) is an act of stupidity. so please, read the information, take it to a professional if you want and verify that it is indeed the truth, and get over your unwarranted shame.

actually, i'm not going to give you a brief lesson. my mom, aunt and nephew are getting annoyed with me because they're waiting on ME to start the movie. so just click the link. the info spans two pages, but a lot of it is graphs, charts, and bulleted lists, so it's an easy to read and comprehend bunch of info.

http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=overview

please feel free to come back and ask questions if you don't understand something that is there. we'll be happy to help :)

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Hello, "Dawg123", and welcome to the site.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns.  As LadyC said, this is absolutely the right place to do that.  You are asking valid questions and you have every right to ask them.  Where else will you find people who can point you in the direction to find good answers?

Okay, so, as LadyC said, you should talk to your doctor.  Doing that will help you gain more insight into your particular health and probably make you feel a lot more at ease.  A good doctor can also tell you whether any medical concerns you have could be the result of your parents' consanguinity or just by virtue of them being two people who happened to have specific genetics that any two people could have had.

I can tell you that I have children, both about your age.  They are perfectly "healthy" in the practical sense.  They have well above average intelligence, excel academically, and are not hard on the eyes at all.  What things they did inherit from us both ironically come from our "unrelated" sides - things like needing glasses, having seasonal allergies.  They had the same questions you have asked.  They learned of their parents being cousins when they were young teens, one by us telling her and the other because she was told by another relative a little sooner than we planned to tell her.  One thing I can say in retrospect is that we should have told them much sooner and just let them grow up with the idea.

I will say this:  you need to follow LadyC's advice and become as informed as you can on the subject.  I say this not only so you can know but so you can educate others.  If you do plan to someday find a woman to marry, it will come up and the more you know, the better you can explain.  You don't want to lose a wonderful mate over what she doesn't know and what you can't properly explain.

I hope that helps a little.

Best wishes,

CM

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this is a fine place to address your concerns. it's absolutely the appropriate place. however, your feelings towards your parents and yourself are way too harsh. the children of first cousins RARELY suffer from genetic disorders as a result of their parents kinship. yes, the risk is twice as high as that of unrelated people, but that background risk is so darn small to begin with, that we're not talking about much. bottom line, the odds of first cousins having a child of perfect health and normal intelligence is 94-96%. and as for looks? the kinship of parents has no affect on that. it's more about what they look like, because you inherit traits.

you are not "inbred". that is a term of ignorance. i'm not saying you are stupid, by the way. major difference between stupidity and ignorance. ignorance can be fixed. your parents marriage is one of 'consanguinity', not of 'incest'. those two things are also very difference.

you should feel no shame in talking to your doctor. in fact, you should educate yourself on the facts (particularly the genetic facts since that seems to be your biggest concern) so that you can overcome your feelings of shame, period.

i'm going to provide you with a link that includes all the well-researched (and documented) info we have on the genetic risks. this isn't stuff we made up... i spent years studying (on my own) and being mentored by some of the world's leading genetic experts (robin bennett, alan bittles, etc) to make this information available here. you can print it out and take it to any medical professional who specializes in genetics and verify that it is accurate. but before i do, i want to give you a very brief "lesson" in case you decide not to click the link.... remember... stupidity can't be fixed, but ignorance can. choosing not to fix something you are ignorant about (lacking knowledge of) is an act of stupidity. so please, read the information, take it to a professional if you want and verify that it is indeed the truth, and get over your unwarranted shame.

actually, i'm not going to give you a brief lesson. my mom, aunt and nephew are getting annoyed with me because they're waiting on ME to start the movie. so just click the link. the info spans two pages, but a lot of it is graphs, charts, and bulleted lists, so it's an easy to read and comprehend bunch of info.

http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=overview

please feel free to come back and ask questions if you don't understand something that is there. we'll be happy to help :)

I appreciate your response, I have no where else to discuss this with, not even close friends.

I didn't realize it was harsh, since I don't know anyone around me who has first cousin parents and can't relate. I keep reading stuff on how children of first cousins are generally dumber/unfit etc and it makes me blame my downfalls on this.

I read throughout this site quite a while back. I don't know if my parents carry any defective genes and I don't think they'd be aware without appropriate screening. Should I ask my doctor to send me for checks due to my concerns? I think this would be covered by the nhs in the UK, but I still want to know if I'm good regardless. I'm becoming less bothered by it now though.

I just want to know that generally are the offspring of first cousins good in terms of having kids? I want to marry really far away, nothing to do with my own family/race. I couldn't find much information on how children prevail later in life. It's like I've never met/heard of anyone with first cousin parents so I can't relate haha !

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Don't let this fact ruin your life.

If you aren't ill or anything like that, I see no reason to worry.

Loving a cousin is like loving anyone else. Be happy your parents love each other instead. It takes a lot of love and courage to stay with a cousin in this world and society we have today.

The only reason a lot of people complain about cousin marriages is because most of society has deemed it wrong.

Society also thinks alcohol and tobacco is okay... So... society... Well, society doesn't always make the right decisions.

Society is build by group pressure and trends more than common sense.

Instead of thinking so bad of yourself, be happy you have parents who love each other and be happy of who you are. :)

Everyone has bad self-esteem about their looks sometimes, you can only work on that yourself. I've been there too sometimes and my parents are not cousins.

Just try to stay strong and be happy for what you have :)

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the fact that your parents were cousins will have zero bearing on whether you and your future spouse will have children with issues. that doesn't mean that you won't have a child with some sort of birth defect though. everybody has a risk. there are so many types of defects.... most of which do not result from consanguinity. but if you aren't going to marry a cousin, then the fact that your parents were cousins will have no affect on your offspring.

what sort of health issues do you have that you suspect may be a result of your parents being cousins?

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For the past few days I read the thread and considered all your points. For 2 days I felt great and thought there was nothing wrong with me. But I went to my doctor in regards to my walking (I felt that my walking was quite strange, I wobble a lot). He told me that I have bowed legs, they aren't bad but still are bowed and affect my walking. I tried finding if bowed legs were genetic and it seems like they could be.

I also keep looking in the mirror and stressing over my facial aesthetics (I have a big crooked nose, not sure where it came from because neither of my parents have a nose similar to mine.)

I just want to be a normal lad living a healthy life, but I can't deny that my parents' decisions impacted my life. I know I can't do anything now so I won't think about this anymore. I intend on discussing this with my doctor though since I feel there's more to it.

Thanks for your help it means tons to me

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dawg, i walk funny, and my parents weren't related. my legs aren't bowed, but one foot kinda turns outward as i walk. and if you saw my reebok walking shoes that i've worn for four years, you'd swear both of my feet are deformed, because they have misshapen my shoes and they look really weird.

and my nose may not be big and crooked, but i'm nearsighted so i have to wear glasses... and one ear must be higher than the other because i have to have them adjusted so that they're crooked on a table or they'd be crooked on my face. and don't get me started on the cellulite that has plagued my thighs even in the days when i weighed only 100 lbs.

we ALL have things about us that we inherited from our parents. those aren't genetic defects, they're just part of who we are. i honestly think that the biggest issue that you have is one of low self esteem... your doctor can give you some reassurance, but i'm thinking you should probably see a psychologist to help you deal with how you feel about yourself.

their decision to marry and have a child is not your problem. you MAKING it your problem is the problem.

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My cousins (all but one from my mom's side) gave me a hard time when I told them (they actually saw right through us) when I married my 1st cousin from my dad's side of the family.

The harshest attitude was from my moms side youngest cousin. He went ballistic. THe funny thing is that he married a doctor I went to school with and she told him that there was marginal, at best risk of anything. Now he can't give me and hell.

He actually ignores the subject because, just like the others said, the argument doesn't add up to a hill of beans.

You are the product of the same as 80% of the worlds marriages.

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My cousins (all but one from my mom's side) gave me a hard time when I told them (they actually saw right through us) when I married my 1st cousin from my dad's side of the family.

The harshest attitude was from my moms side youngest cousin. He went ballistic. THe funny thing is that he married a doctor I went to school with and she told him that there was marginal, at best risk of anything. Now he can't give me and hell.

He actually ignores the subject because, just like the others said, the argument doesn't add up to a hill of beans.

You are the product of the same as 80% of the worlds marriages.

Are 80% of marriages between cousins? Did not know this.

I'm done obsessing over this, I can't do much about it. Regardless I'm certain I won't be marrying a cousin myself haha. Thanks for your help

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dawg, gotitgood meant 80% of all marriages throughout time have been between cousins. that's going back and including every marriage in the history of mankind. it's not the CURRENT percentage of marriage... at least not in the western world. 80% of marriages in some eastern countries today, though, are between first cousins.

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dawg, gotitgood meant 80% of all marriages throughout time have been between cousins. that's going back and including every marriage in the history of mankind. it's not the CURRENT percentage of marriage... at least not in the western world. 80% of marriages in some eastern countries today, though, are between first cousins.

80% is a high percentage of marriages, vast majority then. Just goes to show that 1st cousin marriages is more common than people think, obviously in eastern countries that is  :smiley:  I read somewhere that the data is lousy with cousin attraction, more than once thought. I think in time it will become less and less taboo, if you know what i mean.

nessa76

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remember though, that the 80% of all marriages, that's including every marriage ever to take place anywhere in the world since the days of adam and eve.

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remember though, that the 80% of all marriages, that's including every marriage ever to take place anywhere in the world since the days of adam and eve.

Its more common than people think, ignorance can be overcome though thankfully  :smiley:

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I am the grandson of first cousins on one side of the family and the great-grandson of first cousins on the other side of the family.  The only problem it has created for me is dozens of duplicate listings on a genealogy website.  I don't think it has had any negative effects.  Actually, it has created more college graduates and advanced degrees than our ancestors.  Everyone has turned out okay and nobody has had any health issues from being children or grandchildren of cousins.  I didn't know about my grandparents until I was in my 30's and it was a cousin that told me.  I didn't know about my great-grandparents until I was in my 60's.  It doesn't bother me at all and I am sort of proud of them - they loved each other enough to want to make babies together.  If they had not, I would not be here.  I honor them for giving me life.

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I am the grandson of first cousins on one side of the family and the great-grandson of first cousins on the other side of the family.  The only problem it has created for me is dozens of duplicate listings on a genealogy website.  I don't think it has had any negative effects.  Actually, it has created more college graduates and advanced degrees than our ancestors.  Everyone has turned out okay and nobody has had any health issues from being children or grandchildren of cousins.  I didn't know about my grandparents until I was in my 30's and it was a cousin that told me.  I didn't know about my great-grandparents until I was in my 60's.  It doesn't bother me at all and I am sort of proud of them - they loved each other enough to want to make babies together.  If they had not, I would not be here.  I honor them for giving me life.

Rock on...
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I have been asked by my sister in law who is also my cousin how u will tell my children when they are older. I honestly don't think I owe them an explanation...maybe it's me trying to avoid it? How do you tell your children. We star clear of anyone with negative thoughts about our relationship. I'm sure my children won't ask for many years since they are not even 2 yet...but how do you explain this to your child. How did you react to a relative telling them?

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NO! do NOT avoid it. and don't wait til they are older, either. if you raise them knowing you are cousins, it will not be a big deal to them. if you wait til they are older, when they find out they will feel like it is something to be ashamed of, because you were ashamed to tell them.

the best way to introduce the subject is when they are toddlers. pick up a copy of beatrix potter's classic book "the tale of the flopsy bunnies". second paragraph:

When Benjamin Bunny grew up, he married his Cousin Flopsy. They had a large family, and they were very improvident and cheerful.

I do not remember the separate names of their children; they were generally called the "Flopsy Bunnies."

you read that part and say "hey, that's just like mommy and daddy!"

as they get older, you introduce them to other classic novels. rose in bloom and the sequel 8 cousins by.... (natt?) louisa may alcott i think. and mansfield park by jane austin. no need to make a big deal of it at that time, but those are good classics, especially for any little girls you might have. mansfield park is a great movie, also. books/movies like that don't shy away from cousin romances. they will be very useful for helping your children grow up understanding the normalcy of cousin marriage.

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thanks! i knew you'd correct me if i was wrong. i'm kinda amazed that for once i actually got it right! (LOL you are too, huh?)

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      Interesting that in Britain, where cousin marriage is legal, there is so much social prejudice against it.  In the 19th century, many many of the wealthiest English families married their first cousins, often to keep the estate intact and in the family.  Read Adam Kuper, "Incest & Influence: the private life of Bourgeois England" (Harvard University Press, 2009).  Charles Darwin married his cousin.  Albert Einstein and his wife were cousins.  Some recessive genes, eh?  There's also a great book by Johanna Garfield called "Cousins" (1990).  A good library will probably have these, or can get them for you via Interlibrary Loan.

      Most of the US state laws against cousin marriage were adopted in the late 19th-early 20th century under the influence of the "Eugenics movement;" which was an effort at scientific breeding of human beings.  Planned Parenthood was the leading organization promoting this.  It included things like sterilizing women and men of the lower classes (usually without their knowledge/consent).  The marriage of people of different "races" was considered degenerative---not only blacks and whites, but either with American Indians; Nordics with Italians or Slavs; all of it, of course, absolute baloney.  The Nazis liked this Eugenics idea; they tried to exterminate people with mental and physical handicaps, and even chose carefully-selected perfect German women to be "brood mares" for men of the elite S.S.---they called that program Lebensborn.  So a lot of the anti-cousin-marriage laws and prejudices came from that whole can of worms.  States that were in the U.S. before approximately 1865 don't usually have these laws.

      So maybe knowing some of this history will help you realize that your situation is quite "normal", in addition to the sound medical information already mentioned in this thread.

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the social prejudice is everywhere, in spite of it being legal in most places. it's amazing to me how in this day of liberal dogma about how there should be marriage equality, if you ask any of those liberally minded people what they think of that equality extending to cousins, you'll most likely get viciously ripped apart.

joanna garfield's book is not likely to be found in any library though, as it was self published. i have a copy of it somewhere. it only has one chapter pertaining to cousin romance.

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