Smiley

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I wrote this almost a year ago, but don't believe I ever posted it...

I?ve been poking in out and out of this site for over 3 years now. I finally just made an account tonight.

My cousin and I have known each other our whole lives. However, I can honestly say we didn?t truly meet until I was 17 and he was 24. I happened to decide last minute to visit a female cousin in a different city for New Years. I?m an introvert, not much of a party-person, but this night I actually drank a bit and socialized. I faintly remember sitting on his lap and us teasing each other, nothing more.

Despite meeting in a different city, we both actually lived in the same town. So, shortly after that night we began to hang out more. At first it was just a lot of flirting and goofing off. We slowly learned that we had a lot in common, and would sit and talk for hours. Then came the making out...for months, one of us always managed to back off before it went any further than this. I think this had a great deal to do with the age difference; I was unsure about what I was doing and he was worried about taking advantage of me.

Eventually, we couldn?t help ourselves. Shortly before I turned 18, we ended up sleeping together. He did not stay there the night, and it did feel a little awkward the next few days (I had dropped my phone in his car and couldn?t even get in touch with him until he checked his facebook). However, we continued to hang out at that point. We did not talk about what had happened; we did not talk about making out prior to that. My family is notorious for not discussing anything (emotions, experiences, you name it..). In addition, I was nervous and shy and looking back, too young to know how to properly express myself to him.

Shortly after, we hung out at one of his friend?s for some card games and beers. As the night progressed we would start touching each other more and then sitting closer (as we always did). This night we ended up back at his parent?s (where he was staying at that time), and this time it wasn?t awkward at all. I stayed the night, and he walked me home in the morning.

After this we continued to hang out, but held off on the sex. I felt confused; I was uncertain how he was feeling, but was too nervous to outright ask him. I think this is where I went wrong. He ended up telling me that his parents had found out. I faintly remember either him asking if I wanted to know what they said, or I asking what they said, with the consensus being that I shouldn?t know. Looking back on that moment, I was not there for him; I didn?t question any further, nor did I think to comfort him. I completely and utterly regret that to this day.

Shortly after that, he was suddenly in a relationship on Facebook. I ended up sending him an angry message about him not letting me know, and ?thanks for letting Facebook let me know for you.?

We drifted apart, talking on and off. I moved a few hours away with a boyfriend.

It was shortly after I moved back, just over a year ago when I was 19, that I talked to him in person last. I was hanging out with his brother and some mutual friends, when he showed up later in the evening. He ended up sitting next to me and by the end of the night; he tentatively began to lightly touch my leg. We kept on conversation with everyone else, but I let him continue to move closer. Eventually, early in the morning, he sent me a text asking me to go for a walk with him. We ended up walking together for a while, not saying much at all, just light small talk. When I became quiet, he turned and held me close for a while. Eventually, we continued walking, holding hands. When we reached the point when he had to turn, we started to hug good-bye, and didn?t stop. We literally just stood there for?I don?t know how long. I ended up whispering ?this isn?t fair,? with my face buried in his chest and tears welling up. Then, he told me to look at him; I couldn?t, too embarrassed by my tears. However, he managed to get me to look up at him and he kissed me, softly and then passionately. I have never experienced a kiss like his before or since. We stood hugging for a while longer, but the sun was rising at this point. He went his way and I went mine.

Since then, we have talked on and off. I have confessed feelings for him in text and then sent angry messages a couple weeks later. He has sent me texts me saying he misses me etc. We will ignore each other on and off. I will send him a message confessing that I want to see him again. He will send a message two weeks later saying 'Hey, I was thinking of you.?

Over 3 years from night we ?first? met, I am now 21.

He is still with the same girl. To make a long story short, due to his brother?s ex, his girlfriend knows that we have slept together in the past. I have met her once; she and I have not had any interaction since she found out.

I was in a relationship with a man who had a daughter for the majority of these years. I loved them both dearly, but I was not ready to commit to him; I broke it off, fairly recently. At this point he wishes to reconcile.

I currently work at the casino just outside of town and attend school in another.

My cousin lives on the same street as my sister and her family (whom I visit fairly often). His dad (a real estate agent) is currently helping me find an apartment complex to buy in town.

Despite these close daily connections, my cousin and I manage to never see each other.

I feel as if I have hit a wall. I don?t know what to do or say. I know his dad knows, but we act like nothing happened. I know his girlfriend knows, but they are still together. I?m sure both my parents and sisters know, but we have never talked about it. Sometimes I just want to pull out my hair and scream!

I think everyone around him has made it pretty clear that he can?t be with me. It seems as if he has moved on. But, then he will send me a text out of no where.

I?ve tried to move on. I just can't seem to. I just work, go to school and study all the time. I keep myself extremely busy, maybe getting 4 hours of sleep if I'm lucky. This allows me to go for a few months, thinking I'm fine, and then I will have a day off and end up like I am tonight, just sitting and thinking about him. I'll wonder if he's the same person I remember hanging out with and laughing with that many years ago; would that spark still be there? Does he think about me the same way?

I feel lost.

                            :cry:

*My apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors that may impede comprehension of my post. I decided to write this suddenly, and very early, in the morning.

UPDATE:

In the year since I wrote this, his mother left his father (my uncle) for her second cousin. It was a huge blow to the family, though little has been mentioned about the man being her cousin. After that, my uncle and I became much closer and actually went on a road trip to visit other family members. Unfortunately, I had to drive in my own car last minute because my cousin came with my uncle...(my uncle saying 'you know I would drive you if I could, but you know why I can't). This confirmed that his parents definitely do know...

Once there, we played nice and friendly. We all drank WAY too much. I rarely drink, so even a little was too much for me to handle. Unfortunately, this ended with my cousin and I kissing, etc. We managed to refrain from going any further and he made it very clear that he is in a relationship and simply can't; that 'it's wrong'. We both cried. We tried to talk the next day, but we couldn't get a single moment alone. We set up a time to talk at his place a month or two later...and the moment I walked in...he was watching one of my favourite movies...we spent the whole night talking and laughing and being silly like we used to...no serious issues were talked over at all, aside from him expressing that I'm the most beautiful, smartest girl he's ever met and I expressing feeling the same way about him...and of course it ended up with us cuddling and kissing. We both felt so guilty...but happy. For the past few months we have been trying to meet up to talk again, but we can't seem to set up a time and I'm getting frustrated. We have a cousins wedding to attend in a month, and I don't know how I'm going to be able to handle seeing him and his girlfriend without talking this over.

I've already sent two messages this week that he hasn't respond to, I'm not sure what else to say to get the point across that we NEED to talk about this. He has made the point of saying that he finds it very difficult to talk about his emotions. However, even if it doesn't mean us being together, we need to be able to be in the same room without eventually doing something bad. I need to understand what he's thinking and what the heck is going on. I feel emotionally drained..and unfortunately..still completely infatuated after 4 years.

Any comments? I'm not sure what to think anymore..

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Smiley,

I do, but as I didn't check in here until late, I don't have time this evening. I will try to get back to you as soon as I have a little time. In the meanwhile, I would say some of the ladies will try to hold your hand and walk you through it. When I get the time, I'll try to give you the perspective from an old fart guy.  :laugh:

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Hi Smiley, Welcome!

First off, I want to say I am so sorry that you're going through all this and give you a big virtual hug.

I have a few questions before I get to advice, though.

You mention that your uncle knows as well as some other family members. How do they feel about you and your cousin, and if things were to work out between you and him, do you think they could come to accept your relationship in time?

Now for the advice.

I totally agree that you should contact him and ask him where he stands with you, however, I would not do it via text. I would either call him or meet up face to face. Call me old fashioned, but there are things that don't translate through text. I think you need to know where things are at between you guys and how you are going to proceed in future situations.

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Smiley,

Ok, here goes. And I'll warn you right up front, some of it may not be easy to hear right now, but, if there's ever to be a chance in the future, you would do yourself well to take this all under advisement.

First, if you are still in school, focus on that as much as you at all possibly can. If not, and you haven't graduated or got a cert of some sort yet, get back in school, and get 'er done.

Next, it's fine to stay in touch, and try to have as normal a cousinly relationship as possible. BUT, you would do well to NOT be alone together unchaperoned. At least for the foreseeable future. And certainly not under the influence, not even a little. If there is drinking, you BOTH stay in eyeshot of others. You risk greater drama than you've had to this point if you don't. I wouldn't wish for it to take decades for you to be able to get to the point that you could be alone together, but, had me and mine not taken that long to mature to the point we could, we would have risked a massive trainwreck in our respective relationships. I'm not saying we would have fallen for the temptation, but, we would have been tempted. And even that would have been stress and drama we didn't need. Until the both of you are unattached, you had best leave that sleeping dog lie. There is no harm in staying in occasional contact, just to keep up on how each other is doing, but, for now, he's taken, and off limits to anything more. If he is not strong enough to withstand the temptation of crossing the line with you, you cannot be certain he would not cross the line ON you, if he leaves her for you. I'm not saying he would, but, the odds would be higher. 

If, in the future, for unrelated (no pun intended) reasons, you are (still or just) unattached, and he is too, THEN you could set down and air it all out. If the two of you still feel so strongly for each other, you are certainly old enough to make a go of it. You state in your profile you are from Canada. Cousin relationships are legal in Canada, so, other than family drama, there would be nothing stopping you two from moving forward. I would advise you to move a little slower than things have in the past. But, if you both are on the same page, don't worry about the drama. They will get over it, and in short order, hold their peace.

But, again, until such a time, tread very lightly indeed, and focus on getting YOU in the best possible position educationally and financially that you possibly can.

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Thank you for the replies Hawk and Elizabeth!

I've been popping in and out of this site for a few years. As a result, I've read a few of your posts, Hawk. I can honestly say that I look forward to any advice you have for me.

In response to your inquiries, Elizabeth Mango:

- His father (my uncle) has expressed that he "loves me to bits", etc. I can't see him not being able to get over it if we were to express how much we both love him and want him to be okay with us..

- His mother has expressed to him that she no longer has the right to judge after what she has done...I took that as her being okay with us being together, especially considering she is now with her second cousin.

- My parents have never really played an overly active role in my life. I love them and I know they love me, it's just their style..they accept most life decisions I make, as long as I can honestly express to them why I make it. - My siblings would question me, but would get over it, if I stood strong in my belief.

- My cousin's brother, on the other hand...he has expressed a very strong opinion of how wrong what happened was and that it should never happen again.

Any other family members do not play a big enough role in my life for their opinions or feelings in regards to this issue, or any other decision I make in my life for that matter, to affect me in any way.

My issue, I guess, is that I feel as if I'm intruding upon his life by calling him. I don't know his schedule, or when he's available to talk (he works 12 hour shifts). I feel that, by texting, I allow him the opportunity to get back to me when he can, in order to set up a time to meet face-to-face. Unfortunately, he, along with most of his family, are notoriously terrible at getting back to people. Perhaps I should be more aggressive and call him instead, or does my reasoning as to why I text make sense?

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Haha, great timing Hawk!

You confirmed what I've been thinking: focus on myself. I'm in school and work full-time, my grades are at the top of my class, I own my own car, have a large savings account, and am looking at buying a house..trying to keep myself distracted has definitely paid off!

I guess my ultimate fear is that, if I don't express to him how much I care, I will lose him forever; if I don't take the time to finally actually fully express the depth of all my feelings (which I haven't had the guts to do as of yet), he will settle. We are both great at expressing how much we want each other, without actually saying it.

I was essentially planning on pouring my heart out to him when we could set up a meeting (I was hoping somewhere, at least to some degree public, to prevent anything from happening). That being said, I also wanted to discuss how to make family gatherings survivable, whether or not he felt the same way.

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So, it sounds like family wouldn't necessarily get in the way too much if you guys wanted to be together? That's at least one good thing.

I also forgot to mention that I totally agree with Hawk on avoiding any drunken encounters and whatnot. Too much can happen that way.

As for calling him, I'd say call him up and maybe leave a voice mail telling him to call you when he has the chance because you've got something you need to talk about.

And as for handling family get togethers, I think it depends on how things work out. If he doesn't want to reciprocate your feelings and become an item, I'd advise you differently than I would if you two end up together.

My mother's nephew confessed his feelings for me a few years ago, and since I didn't feel the same, he handles family events by avoiding me and/or acting like nothing happened. 

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back in another lifetime, long before MY time, i had an uncle who was in love with his first cousin. i never met him, but as a child, i remember meeting her once. she was really old. of course, now that i'm pushing 50, my concept of "old" is a little different than it was then, so i have no idea how old she was. pretty old i think.

anyway, as the story goes, they spent their lives longing for each other, but were so afraid of what others would think that they stayed apart. he married three times... his alcoholism was likely the end of each one of his marriages, and eventually his life. the romantic in me wants to believe that he drank himself to death because he loved a woman he couldn't ever have. maybe that romantic notion was fed by the stories that he always went to see her after each failed marriage.

and as for her, according to the story, she never married at all. i'd like to think it was because she couldn't have the only man she'd ever loved.

but they're both long dead, and i can't ever ask them. what i do know is that everyone in my mom's family knew of their love for each other, and i'm quite certain that it's why nobody objected to me and mark getting married. nobody wanted to see history repeat itself.

smiley, i don't really know why i just told you that. i guess because your story reminds me of their story. don't let it end as tragically as theirs did.

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LadyC, that's a beautifully sad story. I have tears in my eyes just reading it.

Smiley, listen to LadyC. She's giving you some good advice. :)

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I have to agree with you, ElizabethMango. I'm going to try to make myself pick up the phone and call him, before the next family get-together (though he'll likely not be there anyway. I usually make a point of letting him know if I'm planning on going, so we can decide which one of us will go; however, it's at my parent's house this time, so I'm obligated to attend). That gives me approximately 1 week to procrastinate, haha.

I hate to admit it, but that story managed to tear me up a bit too...it is very similar to what I fear. Thank you very much LadyC, I will keep it in mind for the next time I'm speaking with my cousin.

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UPDATE: You asked for it ElizabethMango, haha

My cousin and I have actually had the opportunity to speak multiple times since my last post: once in person, once over the phone and multiple times via text.

The first time we spoke in person...

annd, as usual, we got a little too close. We were with friends for the most part, but all it took was a few minutes talking away from the group?we both managed to hold back from going too far, though I think this had more to do with us being outside, and in public, than anything else. We both expressed feelings for each other, but he just can't get past our familial ties. Specifically, "if we weren't cousins we'd probably be together."

I actually shared LadyC's story with him. The similarities seemed to upset him. His eventual response was along the lines of, "I don't want you to end up like her."

I decided to call him next time (thank you ElizabethMango!!)...

annd we ended up talking until 4 or 5 in the morning. We completely lost track of time (though we both admitted that we love that effect we have on each other). I did share some more info about cousin relationships with him (sent him an email with tons of my research), as he seemed more open to it at that point, as well as the fact that my great-great-grandparents on my other side were first cousins (that one seemed to get him the most ? not sure if I shared that information previously in my post or not). My main argument being, that if he thought I was such an amazing person, he should consider that I would not be here if two cousins who loved each other hadn't been together.

Our conversation ended with, "we don't know where life will take us or what the future will hold", and we should "stay in touch."

I'm trying my best to back off and give him time to read the information I've sent him. It's clear from our conversations that he has repressed his emotions even more than I have, so I figure he'll need some time/space with how much information I dumped on him all at once. 

At this point, I'm just excited to be able to talk to him again. We've been texting back and forth for the past few days and it feels so good; just having him back in my life makes me one very happy girl.

:azn:

Any additional advice or comments are more than appreciated. Thank you everyone, so far!

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Hi Smiley,

I can relate a fair amount to the struggle you are going through. Maybe some time we can PMchat (fellow Canadian).

I think you're going to be finding things very difficult to endure, having the longing for him and yet having to get on with things. My cos and I got along like a house on fire, once we actually admitted our feelings to each other. I met him over three events when I was visiting family overseas. There were sparks, and butterflies in my stomach, but he was such a cutie I thought it was just me. It turns out that he had a similar feeling about me. We didn't talk about it, or anything physical. He tried to let me know that he was okay with the cousin thing, but I misread him and so didn't pursue anything. That was back in 2006, and it took a little more than 7 years to finally come clean with the truth (albeit there was some very mild flirting online). Now, things are overly complicated (I wrote about it in this Help/Advice forum, feel free to take a look) and we're both in complex situations, and he's been struggling with things. Some men aren't good at talking, so he ended up running away from me. I have been gutted for over two weeks. I think about him constantly and want to talk, to try to find a safe ground. I tried not to contact him, to respect his need for space, but I did send him an email with an important update about my life. He responded today and told me he still missed me and wanted to be with me but that he had things to sort out first. I expressed how hurt I was and how much I missed him, and told him to do what he needed to do. He didn't reply after that. I still don't know what that means... :/

I think you may end up getting to a similar situation of more direct expression of affection with your cousin, but he needs to do it on his own time, at his own speed, or he may end up resenting you. You have made your case to him, prepared him with supporting information that he shouldn't feel ashamed for how he feels about you as a cousin... but you have to admit that he has to worry about his attraction to you from an infidelity stand point. he may be struggling with that. Hopefully he will come around. The problem is that he might love his current GF very much as well, and it's tough for people to make choices. If he is already in a relationship that doesn't have too many issues, he might not be able to rationalise to himself why he should end it.

I wish you the best of luck in this, and that your heart finds some peace. Maybe we could be each other's support friend (like AA) when you feel like making contact with *him*, call the support friend to help keep you from rushing in. Gawd knows I could use that once in a while.  :angel:

Cheers!!

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Sorry for my late reply.

Well, it's definitely good you guys have been talking,  and even better that you've been able communicate rather openly about the situation at hand. Getting things out in the open is progress.

It sounds to me like he needs more time to digest the information and formulate his opinions.

I know you're probably going crazy with wanting to talk to him, but I'd let him be for a little bit, just because you don't want to bombard the guy with too much all at once.

It could also be, as Scarlet pointed out, that he is going back-and-forth in his mind in regards to his girlfriend.

There's a whole hell of a lot of stuff for him to consider right now, and he could be having trouble not only admitting his feelings for you, but also acknowledging that he has a girlfriend and that means he kinda has to "choose".  Catch my drift?

For the time being, I say wait it out and see what comes of things.  He mentioned that he didn't want your story to end up like LadyC's, which means he does care, in some way.

Keep the updates coming. :)

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