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Feona67

Happily Married!!!

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I've been reading everyone's posts and loving everything I am reading. I do feel bad for the people who's relationships didn't work out. My story started after my mother died. But to start I need to go back 4 months before her death. I ran into my aunt and uncle who had mentioned that my cousins wife was dying of cancer. I knew she was ill but did not know to what extent. My only thought was my cousin and what he must he must be going through. A few weeks later she had passed. I planned to go to the viewing and the funeral. I hadn't seen my cousin in years. I lived so far away and rarely had a chance to go to family reunions. As I walked into the funeral home I saw him standing there. He was still as handsome as he was when he was that cute, sweet 17 year old I had a little crush on. We had talked on the phone a few weeks before her passing and had caught up on life. He told me about his and I told him about mine. At the time I was going through terrible marriage problems. Now that I see him, I continue to adore him more so than before because he was such a sweet, gentle man then and still is now. We hugged and talked for a second and then he introduced me to his younger kids who I haven't seen since they were babies. I saw my other cousins and aunts and uncles. I have always loved this family and felt close to them no matter how many years passed by that we haven't seen each other. After a while I left to visit my mother who was in the hospital after cancer surgery. 4 months later my mother passed away. I didn't expect my cousin to come to her funeral because it was so soon after his wife's death. But he showed up. At that time I felt strange when I looked at him. I saw him through different eyes. I felt a bond with us. He was by my side the whole time. He was a huge support. After the funeral we talked a little and made plans to hang out since he was alone now. His kids are in and out with friends and all of his friends are married. So he pretty much was alone. I too was alone since my then husband was living in another country with no intentions of coming back. I felt safe with my cousin because I was hanging out with someone who wouldn't be a threat. He was my cousin and soon became my best friend. I shared so many of my deepest secrets with him and opened up to him like I haven't with anyone else. He never judged me and gave me so much support and cousinly love, if that makes sense. During that time I had filed for divorce after 26 years of marriage. It was a relief to finally find the courage to do so since he was away for 5 years and only came back for a week and would leave and be away for a year or more. He offered no financial help at all. I was stuck raising 4 kids alone. It felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted from my shoulders and I was free. My cousin was a huge support through this and gave me sound advice.

We did so much together. We would go hiking, 4 wheeling and out to dinner, movies or just hang out at his place with his kids and mine. It was perfect..... Until I started to have feelings for him. When that hit I started to avoid him. He couldn't understand why all of a sudden I got really busy and had no time for him. I felt so bad and horrible. I even prayed so hard that God would take these feelings away from me because I didn't want to scare him or ruin the friendship we had. One day he called me and started to question me about why I was avoiding him. I told him I wasn't and if he wanted to hang out I would. I felt that I was in control of my feelings. I was!! It was fun again. We continued to do summer fun things. He was very respectful. We never kissed or held hands. I kind of felt like he had feelings for me but brushed them off. One day we were having dinner and we were talking about going on vacation together. He said that it would be better if I was completely divorced before we did go on vacation. I asked him why? After all we were cousins and had every right to go on vacation together. He just looked at me with a confused look. I again brushed it off. One day he called me and told me he wanted to take me up the mountains to this beautiful area with lakes. I was all for it. When we got up there we were sitting right be a lake on a huge rock. He started to talk and laugh. He then started to talk about how much fun we have together and how we like the same things and how much fun I am and how I like the outdoors. He loved my faith in God and how spiritual I am as well. And then he proceeded to tell me how he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I was blown away by what he said. All those feelings I was controlling came back full force. We didn't kiss because I was still legally married, but we made plans to marry as soon as it was final. But we had a problem. How do we tell our family? I was scared. So he went first and told his siblings and his parents who were very happy and supportive. He then told his kids. His two older daughters were ok with it but felt it was a little weird. His two younger daughters had a hard time because it was their mother who had passed away 9 months before. He had told his late wife's family and they were livid. It was now my turn to tell my side. It was difficult for my siblings to accept at first. My little sister was supportive. My other sisters were worried about my kids. I told my daughter who was very upset with the news. My three sons also had a hard time. At this point I didn't care because I am not getting any younger and if me falling in love with my cousin means I will be happy then so be it. My kids will see that this man is wonderful and loving and will be caring. Eventually they would get over the cousin thing and see our relationship and a good thing. I also told my father who was also very supportive. He loves my cousin and feels he is a good man. When I told my brother he was very upset and wouldn't talk to me for 4 months. He had said that I was our cousins rebound and that I was bound to get hurt by him. I told him I was sorry he felt the way he did but he is wrong. I told him I still love him and when he is ready he knows my number to call.

Me and my cousin have been through a lot. We knew we would have to go through a lot. But all through it he has been so wonderful. He has been my rock and the man of my dreams. We are so much alike and share such a strong bond. His family is so happy we are together and happy that I make him happy. He is the love of my life. We finally got married on the 14th of Feb. 2014. We eloped. We bought a house together where 3 of my kids are living with us and his youngest is living with us as well. We have come a long way. He has proven to be more of a step dad to my kids. They adore him. I have been getting along with his kids as well and they love me too. We are not perfect but we have love and that is all that matters.

Anyone who is going through a tough time in a similar situation, I wish you the best. We had to taste the bitter to partake of the sweet and it was all well worth it.

God Bless  :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

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some parts of your story remind me a bit of my own... particularly the praying for God to take away those feelings! in my case, not only did i pray, but i started digging through scripture expecting God to thump me on the head for my stupidity. i really was looking for biblical confirmation that my feelings were wrong. what i found instead was God saying it was ok.

so i'm curious, how did you come to realize that God was ok with you getting married to him?

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I felt it when I was praying and asking God to take these feelings away. I felt like it was ok, and that is why I wasn't such a mess when we started to hang out again. He was so kind and so very sweet to me and so respectful. I even told one of his daughters that if I ever did get married again it would have to be someone like her father. She agreed with me. Little did I know he had feelings for me. He also prayed about them before he told me his feelings and he said he had a strong confirmation that we were to be together and we were to get married. It is such a beautiful story. We were there for each other when ties were really rough.

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Feona67,

I would also like to openly congratulate you. I enjoyed our little chat in the chat room with Nat last night, and again, please do stick around. Success stories like yours are always welcome encouragement for those who are going through the things you have been through. Your perspective could make the difference between a couple throwing in the towel, or bucking up to the adversity. Don't be afraid to chime in with advice on how you handled a situation someone may be struggling with, because you feel like the "new kid on the block" around here. If the hubby is so inclined, perhaps he could give his perspective as well.

Welcome aboard, feel free to kick back and sit a spell.....

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Thank you very much. I will be sticking around. This has been a huge support. I'm 47 and my husband is 54. We're not getting any younger. It is sad when either a spouse passes away or divorce has left you alone in middle age. What do you do? Both our kids are grown and starting their lives. They are independent. We can't count on them to keep us entertained. We found each other to keep company. Thank God in heaven he brought us closer. I am so serious when I say that we have such  strong bond. It is unlike any other bond we have ever felt. He would call me his twin spirit because we are so in tune with each other spiritually and mentally. I hope other cousin couples are able to feel this as well. Its amazing.

I pray for others out there who are in the same situation as others on this site where they find themselves in the opposition of others. But love is love. It doesn't matter if you are cousins, gay, straight, black or white, Asian. We all come from the same creator which makes us all brothers and sisters any way.... I vote for love first. Families will have to accept sooner or later. We just didn't want to spend the rest of our lives regretting not ever getting together and then ending up in a bad relationship of not loving that person like you love your cousin.... Its sad to even think of.

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I felt it when I was praying and asking God to take these feelings away. I felt like it was ok, and that is why I wasn't such a mess when we started to hang out again. He was so kind and so very sweet to me and so respectful. I even told one of his daughters that if I ever did get married again it would have to be someone like her father. She agreed with me. Little did I know he had feelings for me. He also prayed about them before he told me his feelings and he said he had a strong confirmation that we were to be together and we were to get married. It is such a beautiful story. We were there for each other when ties were really rough.

that's pretty awesome! :) you and yours are close in age to me and mark, too... i'm 49, he's 53.

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let me try to give a condensed version.... i have a short attention span LOL.

mark is my first cousin once removed... his dad is my first cousin, and my mom's nephew.... but because my mom came from a huge family (12 kids, 11 of whom survived to adulthood), she was only 7 years older than her nephew. so they became close friends in their adult years... my mom and dad spent a LOT of time with mark's parents. they were close enough that mark's parents became the legal godparents of me and my brothers. i'm assuming that since you and i are of the same generation, you probably remember that the role of a godparent THEN was a whole lot more significant than it is today. back then it was a legal agreement to raise the children in the event that the children became orphaned.

anyway, so i grew up knowing mark and his older siblings. but mark was still four years older than me, and i was just the bratty little cousin that liked to tag along with the big kids. as i grew up enough to start school, i had my own friends and didn't need to tag along with them. by the time i entered high school, mark was graduating. then he moved, then he married, then his life went on... and i grew up, got married, and life went on. i never gave it a whole lot of thought. not much, anyway, and never anything romantic.

but there was an event when i was about 14. my brother and i had been over at their house that afternoon, and my brother was ready to go out for the evening and do whatever he was going to do. he wanted to take me home right then, but i didn't want to leave. mark offered to drive me home later that evening if i wanted to stay. so i did... it was no big deal really, but then again, it was a huge deal. we just hung out talking about life. it was the first time any male relative of mine had ever treated me as a real person rather than the bratty kid. it made such an impact on my life that at some point in my mid-20s i was at work one morning. i managed a pool hall, and it was usually pretty empty before lunch. a song came on the juke box that reminded me of that evening.. it was a steely dan song, and that had been a favorite band of mark's back then. i wasn't busy, so i stopped the nothing i was doing and wrote a poem about the impact it made on my life. i titled it 'first among men', because he was the first among men in my family to recognize that i wasn't just a little girl anymore.

anyway, at that time i probably hadn't seen him in a decade, and it was probably another decade before we met again. when we did, it was at a family reunion. i hadn't seen him attend one since we were kids, so i sure wasn't expecting to see him that year. but he had decided that he would go... for two reasons. primarily, he didn't think there would be many more years for his grandmother (my aunt), and he wanted to see her. but secondarily, he was hoping to see me. of course it would be a long time before i knew that, and i still don't even know why he would have wanted to see me. i suppose maybe because i'd at one point given his parents a copy of the poem, and they'd passed it along to him. i don't know what the reason, really.

so there we both were, and i didn't even notice him for about an hour. but once i did, i gave him a hug, and it was the strangest feeling of 'coming home' that i can ever imagine. we found a tree to sit under and just spent the day talking and catching up. he was going through a divorce, and i had been struggling to be a single parent for about 8 years at that point. we became super close friends over the next few months, but there was an underlying sexual attraction from the very start. i'd like to say we didn't act on it, but we did.

i gotta back up a bit though. back in november of the previous year i'd gotten tired of being a single parent, and had asked God to bring me a husband. i'd asked Him to bring me His very best for my life, because my own idealistic standards had failed me so many times... a broken marriage and a string of disastrous relationships. at the end of my prayer i added one final request... that God would bring him to me by spring... "may would be nice!". yep, i said that.

and it was the very last day of may in 1998 that we met again at that family reunion.

things moved pretty fast after that. i had two daughters from a previous marriage. they adored mark, for the same reason he'd impacted my life all those years ago... he LISTENED. he has this quality of giving someone his undivided attention, as though nothing else was as important. that's what attracted me to him the most, and why my kids loved him so dearly. his divorce became final in september i think, and we decided to get married on new year's day.

both our families were supportive. at least, if they weren't they didn't say anything about it. except for one of his sisters, but her gripe was that he didn't give himself enough time to be single before going from one marriage to another. and besides, that sister always has to have her say in the romantic lives of anyone in her family, so no big deal.

the younger of my two older brothers hesitated only for an evening. he told mom 'let me go have a beer and see what the bible has to say about this'. LOL, i always love to tell that. yes, my brother is a devout christian, but he does enjoy his beer. by the next day he said 'well, God seems to be ok with it, so i'm not gonna complain".

my kids were 10 and 11 at the time. they were pretty happy about it. they did have their questions though... is it legal, would i go to hell, yada yada yada. we answered their questions calmly and reasonably, and then they started arguing over who would be the flower girl. i had to laugh and tell them they were both too old to be flower girls!

we had a simple ceremony in my living room. we'd spent the week in arkansas with his family, and we returned to texas and had only my parents over to witness the marriage. i'd written our vows, and the ceremony included mark giving each of the girls a ring and promising them whatever it was that he promised. it was really beautiful. the preacher was a neighbor. his daughter was friends with my kids, and his wife's parents were first cousins, so this was no big deal.

anyway, that's the gist of it! there was a lot of mixed emotions in the beginning, thinking God was going to swing a bat at my head or something, but once i got over that, there was just no stopping it. we've been married 15 and a half years now. they haven't all been easy, but i wouldn't trade any of them now.

oh, and just as an aside.... we have four grandsons from my two daughters, and next month we'll have our first granddaughter :)

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That is an awesome story!!! I love it. I almost cried. I'm serious. I think its because I have gone through so much negativity this past year that a hapy ending always makes me cry. But like I told my husband last night, even though the memories of the bitter stil sting a bit, I would do it all over again if it meant I got to be with him. My kids adore him now. They have such a strong relationship with him. My daughter who is 23 told him he has been more of a father in these past 5 months we have been married than her own father has in the 23 years of her life. It's the truth. He has been so loving and helpful to her and my boys. Life is good. We still have our struggles but they are tackled together. We are a team. This is how my life was supposed to be from the beginning but I had to experience what I did to have what I have now.

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yeah, my youngest isn't shy about telling people that mark is more of a father to her than my ex-husband ever was. she won't even let my ex see her children. my other daughter holds no grudges against my ex, but when she's in town, she spends the majority of her time with us. this last time she was here for a week and didn't ever even make it to see her real dad. she wanted to, but it was the first time the sisters had been together in nearly six years, so she opted out.

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