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Guest Myra

Kindly help,in love with my first cousin

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Hi, I'm a 27 yr old woman. My first cousin( my father's brother's son) and I have been in a relationship for 8 years.  Cousin marriages are totally unacceptable in our community (South Indian Brahmin) and though we knew this all along, we stuck on to each other. We did think of giving up on each other for family's sake, but could not do so since we love each other truly and could not bear to part ways.

We finally mustered courage and disclosed our relationship to our families,and as we had expected,both families are dead against our relationship, though we tried our best to convince them. It has come to a stage where we have been asked to choose between 2 options, either give up on the relationship, or go our way and leave the place and forget about them forever.

We have been firm on our decision but are also worried about our parents and how society would treat them because of our decision. I'm optimistic and feel we should go ahead with our relationship and everything will eventually turn out well.  But don't know if I'm doing the right thing by hurting them. Will we be happy when they are so hurt?

Another major hurdle is, first cousin marriage is not legal in India. Would it help if we fly to another country where its legal and get our marriage registered? Kindly help us with the options.

Though we are being optimistic, our parents are unhappy and unwilling to accept us and this has created a lot of mental stress. We want to be together but nothing is working out. Please advise what should we do and how should we go about this.

Thanks in anticipation,

Myra

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Myra,

I know this is extremely difficult for you, but you are following your heart, and my advice to our members from India. We do not like these "marry each others' cousin" schemes, which come out of the desperation you feel. I always advise moving far away, and never looking back. You cannot worry about how your society will treat them. They, in all their self-righteous indignation, will simply tell everyone "We didn't agree with it, and told them to leave." It will satisfy the uninformed masses, and elicit sympathy. They'll be fine, as will you two. Until enough couples do as I recommend, and as you are planning, your culture will not change. I may as well tell you that wherever you go, if there is a thriving Indian community, you will either have to hold your peace about the true nature of your relationship, or be shunned there as well. You will truly be on your own.

I know it sounds difficult, but you CAN do this. More and more it is the way of many couples (not just cousin couples) here in the US. While there may not be total estrangement, it gets very close to it. People move from home, and rarely, if ever, return. They move on, and build their own lives, and find their own way. This is what you will be doing. With the history of independence and tradition of the right of the individual to their own personal "pursuit of happiness" here in the US, it is certainly not a new phenomenon. Many families in the past moved "out West", to settle areas of the country, never to return East again. Over time, family bonds faded, to the point that genealogy study is a popular hobby, not something which is common knowledge in the family, as it once was, and probably still is in your culture. I personally know very little of most of my roots. Cuz and I know a considerable amount about our common great-grandmothers' family, back to HER grandparents, only because they were such people, and moved here, and settled this area when it was the "frontier". And we are in the center of the US. This is our mothers' grandmothers' family. I know my fathers' grandmother and her family all came here from Durham England in the early 1920's, and I have 3rd, 4rth and further cousins still there, but have never met any of them. Of my mother's mother's family, I know back a couple generations, but of my father's father's family, I know virtually nothing. While leaving family and striking out on your own may seem daunting, it is very doable.

In any relationship, the focus must be on the bond of the partners. You have been through much, and will go through much more. Use that to strengthen your bond to each other, and do not let it become a wedge between you. When you look into each others' eyes, never forget the sacrifices you have each, and together, made, to be with each other. Who knows, someday, your family may come around enough to see the facts, and error of the old ways, at least enough to be civil. The ball will be in their court though. Be sure they know how to get in touch, but do not allow them to badger you as you go forward in your new life together. I wish you both all the best in the world.

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Hello hawk,

Thank you so much for responding  to my query. Yes we are firm on our decision  to be together and hope and pray that  our parents will eventually  understand  and bless us.

There was another  question  I'd  asked. Since first cousin marriage  is not  legal in India, would  it be helpful if we get our marriage  registered in another  country where  it's  legal? Can we get our marriage  registered  even if we are not residents  of the country?  Can you help us with a few places close to India where its legal?

Awaiting  your  soonest reply,

Myra

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Myra,

You could probably go to Australia or New Zealand, but, once you return to India, India still isn't going to recognize the marriage. If I were you, I would find somewhere to migrate, go there, get married, and stay....

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Hi Hawk, yes you are right. But the only problem is, families are very closely knit in our culture and breaking ties and settling away from family is not common. But i guess we'll have to pay the price for wanting to go our way. Nothing comes easy.

Thank you so much for responding to my queries and helping me out. I will keep you posted.

Best regards,

Myra

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Hello hawk,  I'm in a big big mess!! We have been firm on taking our relationship forward, despite stern opposition from family. This created a huge fight between our respective parents. Now according to them, us moving away will worsen the situation as it'll be very difficult for them to cope and the clashes between them will grow as they've already started hating each other.

My mom cried to me and begged me to stop this. I dont know what to do. I feel guilty for ruining the happy relationship between 2 brothers. Things will never return to normal. I'm torn between my family's wellbeing and my many years' dream of marrying my cousin.

Now my cousin is reluctant to leave the place because he doesnt want to hurt his parents. He was hoping to convince them but now it looks like they are never gonna accept, as such a marriage has never happened in our family.

I can't imagine breaking up with him. We were almost on the verge of starting a new life together but things have turned so terribly bad. Will things really work out if we leave? Our families know this marriage would be illegal. Each and everybody is against us. And living in together is also objectionable.

My cousin doesn't want to leave and wants to continue to try convincing them but i know they'll never agree. Its only a waste of time and we will lose our youth. But he fears we will never be happy by hurting them.

If we give up,  i wouldn't want to marry anyone as I've loved him truly from 8 long years. But problem is i can't even stay unmarried as life for an unmarried woman is extremely difficult here and my parents will force me into getting married to someone.

Please help me and advise what should i do. I'm losing hopes 😢

Regards,

Myra

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myra,

They are bullying you, and each other. They are so blinded by tradition, they cannot, nor will they ever accept this. They will never realize that the two of you have fallen in love without their approval or acceptance, and will ALWAYS look for a scape-goat, hence, blaming each other. If that is their course of action, and are too hard headed to realize it is NOT any of their fault, you are best advised to get away from them, and let them behave however it is they will behave. I can assure you that even if you do abandon this relationship, they will continue to bully you two, they will never forgive and forget, they will always hold it over your heads to coerce you into accepting their will. Nobody will ever be happy. Them OR you two.

If you follow your plan, at least the two of you have a chance at happiness. When you are old and gray, and they have long since passed, and your end is near, will you look back on a happy life, or a miserable one, having been so controlled by others that you have not been who you truly are?

I say run, and don't look back. Go as soon as you at all possibly can, or you will never have your own identity and happiness. 

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Thank you so much for responding to me hawk... u r the only one i can share my problems with.

Now the worst has happened. My cousin doesn't want to go ahead with this anymore. He says we've tried all we could and we have hit the road block and we should end it because it was wrong in the first place and yet we continued and now we should be sensible to put an end to it as its wrong and we cannot leave our parents to face the humiliation our other relatives will put them through.

That we should sacrifice for our parents and should not hurt them as they are old and we'll be faced with this guilt if something happens to them if we leave.

I tried convincing him that theyll never agree and we have to go our way and then everything will turn out fine eventually.

But he doesn't seem positive at all and fears the worst and is not willing to leave without their consent.

M devastated Hawk. I dont know what to do. He says we will still remain cousins and best friends and wil support each other. But how is it possible when ill be forced to have an arranged marriage as per our culture and will be left longing for him for the rest of my life.

How do i convince him to stick to me and leave the place and then try to set things right for our parents.

Everyone is against this. Everybody is telling me to give up. I'm left all alone in this fight, now that my cousin has also given up. My intuition still says things will work out fine but how do i get him to see that there is no need to give up on this beautiful relationship we nutured for 8 long years? Im the happiest with him and we are the best for each other, but he says we cannot be husband and wife coz we are unfortunate to be first cousins.

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Myra,

    Could you go live in another country without your cousin?    I think you might have a chance if you could leave all of them.  Choose a country where cousin marriages are legal and find a job.  I would recommend that you not associate with others from your home country.  Make friends in the new culture.

    If you can do this, your cousin just might realize what he is losing.  If he doesn't, you won't have to face an arranged marriage that you don't want.

    Tell them all that you are going to live your own life without bullies making it miserable.  Make it plain that you are not going to submit to a bunch of bullies.

    I just talked to Hawk and told him what I was going to say to you.  He is involved in a charity motorcycle run today but will back later.

  Be strong.  It is not easy but worth the trouble.

HUGS

Nat

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myra,

I totally agree with Nat. I'm going to get a little more crude than I normally would, and my fellow mods and admins can dole out whatever ass-chapping I may have coming. Ready? Here goes.

I agree with Nat. LEAVE. If your cousin doesn't have the balls to stand up for you, to leave with you, to love and have you, then you need to go elsewhere and find a man who does. Don't you DARE submit to an arranged marriage. They have already had their say in your marriage plans, and nixed them. They got their choice in who you would NOT marry, so, they are not entitled to also have another say in who you do marry. YOU get to make that decision. You would be well advised to get the hell away from the whole psycho bunch. As Nat said, if your cousin realizes what he has lost, perhaps he will follow. BUT, don't give him forever. Move on with your life. I also agree with Nat in that wherever you go, do try to integrate into the new culture. You will never be able to confide in ex-pats from your culture, wherever you go. You will find the same judgmental attitudes. Make a clean break. Nat mentioned she would suggest Australia, and, along with New Zealand, I do too.

What are your skills? What has your schooling entailed? Do you have desirable degrees in some field you can parlay into gainful employment? I hope that this long term relationship with your cousin hasn't gotten in the way of you achieving these things. Can you see now why I always recommend getting an education, to a level that allows independence from family BEFORE fully going forward with a relationship? Even if the both of you do have the education and skills, he doesn't have the balls it takes do go for it, which leaves you fending for yourself. I hope you have been wise in your choices, to where you can go, and create a life to your liking.

If there is absolutely no way for you to migrate, then I would move as far away in India as I possibly could. Get online, and apply for as many jobs as you can. Apply for ones that may possibly be slightly above your expected pay grade. Do not overly exaggerate, but, play yourself up. You may think you are getting in over your abilities, but, I would be willing to bet, there are people doing the same work as you would be who are NOT as able as you. I see it all the time. The only reason you can't do something is because you haven't had to yet. When you have to do it, you can figure it out.

I wish you the best of luck, but if you don't get away, I don't see you enjoying any part of what lies in store for you.   

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Hi,

Thank you so much for ur response. Now after these many days, my cousin is back with me and has started thinking positive and planning our future. Both of us are employed and finance is not a problem. He has discussed the matter with his friends and everybody is willing to help us.

In order to legalise our marriage, we are even ready to convert to a different religion as its acceptable as per Christian Marriage Act and Muslim Marriage Act in India. First cousin marriage is unacceptable only according to Hindu Marriage Act in India.

Now the only problem is family. Everybody is against us and not willing to accept. According to my cousin and all our friends, eloping is not a good optiom. They want us to convince parents. My cousin is not willing to leave the place until parents agree to it, since it'll create problems for parents and between families.

But inspite of the many discussions, their minds haven't changed and they are bent upon denying our relationship. I dont know what to do. I don't know how to convince parents. His parents have started hating me and avoid coming to our house though they were really close. My parents accuse me of spoiling their peace of mind. My sister asks me to forego this relationship as nobody is happy and my parents are aged and will die of shame and unrest.

I never wanted all this to happen. I dont want to fight with them n leave the place abandoning them. All i want from them is to just let us be. Just let us stay together and we'll never abandon them and will take care of them now that they need us. But they are not willing to change their minds.

This relationship is my passion and is the only thing i want more than anything in life. And I'm not willing to compromise on it. But i dont know how else to make it happen. I dont know what to do.

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Has your cousin read these replies? If not, you should show them to him. Maybe it will inspire him.

I agree that they are being bullies. If you're going to be with him, you need to move. Even if they eventually agree, they'll hold it over your heads for the rest of their lives. Nobody dies of shame, as your sister said.

Your cousin doesn't want to cause them social problems? If that's all, then maybe you can do this. Both of you leave. Tell your parents that your relationship has nothing to do with their parenting. Do not tell them you are leaving to get married, but that you are leaving because of their selfishness and manipulative ways. At this point they've lost their right to know anything else.

However, if your cousin is really just wanting to keep from loosing his family connection, then decide which is more important because you'll be miserable unless you break your ties with them.

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Hi,

it's been 8 months since we disclosed our relationship to our parents. 8 months of trying to convince them but nothing has changed.

Our parents continue to oppose our relationship. My cousin and i continue meeting each other on weekends and with our parents knowledge. We are open about still being with each other. His mom opposes and stops talking to him. My parents dont say anything since they cannot lock me up at home.

Things between us are fine and we still love each other deeply. Each moment spent with each other is blissful.

However, frustration is building up like hell. We want to be with each other but not able to. I'm fine with moving out,  but my cousin doesn't want to leave without his parents approval. He feels we cannot be happy by hurting them. He is worried about how his parents would be insulted by other relatives who live close by. He feels he owes his parents a lot and cannot abandon them.

You had advised me to move on and leave the place. But i cannot live without him. I need him. He gives me true happiness and i know he needs me too. But he is not willing to move out.

My cousin feels we are leading meaningless lives. Hence we need to decide to part ways if things dont go as planned. He says we cant always get what we want in life. But this is my long cherished dream. I have lived and dreamed and waited for 9 long years. I feel i cannot stop trying. I can never give up. I want this more than anything in the whole world. But all my efforts and prayers have proved futile.

I cannot think of marrying anyone else. I feel i should just leave the place and take up a job elsewhere and live on my own. But this hope in me just never dies that some day it will happen. I keep praying and planning and dreaming of our lives together. But dont know where I'm headed.

Please help me. My cousin is dead against the idea of moving out. How do i make him see that he can do this and everything wil fall in place?

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My advice may be flawed because I know very little of India's culture but hopefully it's at least a little helpful <3

You said you've both had many discussions with your parents, but have you really sat down & told them how it's going to be? It seems like you are both asking for their permissions & obviously you are not going to get it. You are both adults, it's time to start acting like it.

If your cousin is dead set on staying, you cannot force him to leave...sorry.

I would sit them down & just say "Look, this relationship is GOING TO HAPPEN, you can either accept it or you can't - but you cannot stop us. If you do not accept us & continue trying to keep us apart we will leave & you will lose us forever. It's your choice."

Maybe then they will finally get it threw their thick heads that you are committed to this. And if they don't, maybe it will be the push your cousin needs to leave with you.

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Hi,

It's been 7 months since my last post. And I'm really happy to tell you that good things finally happened.

I convinced my cousin to help me move out and started living away from my parents in June, though in the same city.

My cousin also moved in with me in August.

These have been the most happiest and beautiful days of my life. We finally got to share our lives together.

Moving out was not easy. I managed to convince my parents of this move, and though they aren't happy about it, they have accepted this to be a permanent move and I visit them often, things are peaceful between us by God's grace.

However, the only problem is my cousin's family. His parents want him to break ties with them and never want him to come home or meet them. All his relatives are now aware of this relationship and are humiliating his parents and mine. His parents do not want to accept and are always depressed, which in turn is affecting their health.

Because of this, my cousin is deeply affected and feels things would go horribly wrong if we don't make a sensible decision now. He feels we should go back and stay with our respective parents but can continue being in a relationship and meeting each other for the rest of our lives. He feels our parents would atleast be satisfied that we are staying with them and not living with each other without being married.

But I just cannot agree with him. Moving out was a very difficult thing to do. I could achieve this after months of prayers and efforts. We set up a beautiful home together and shared our lives for 5 months and I cannot give it all up. I feel staying with parents and away from each other will only make us miserable and frustrated.

But my cousin feels this is a sacrifice for our parents. That we cannot stay happy by making them suffer and cannot break ties with his family.

I'm not willing to accept this and have asked my cousin to hang on as time will heal things and eventually they'll be fine. But he feels they will never be fine and it's better we go back to then before matters turn worse and a situation arises that we cannot undo.

I'm extremely depressed and don't know what to do. All I know is I do not want to go back after having taken a big step.

Please help.

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Myra,

Do not go back. You have started your own life, and you should keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going forward. It is not your fault that his parents don't have the guts to tell nosy ass busy-bodies to mind their own damn business. You two cannot keep something from happening which you cannot undo, when it is the actions of others who do it or allow it to happen. I will repeat myself and say that if you go back, it will still be held over your heads. The only difference is, it will be in your face as well. My advice is to just don't do it. Move on with your life. If he is so beholden to his parents that he cannot go forward with you, then let him face the music of his own making. I'll assure you, if he moves back home, his parents will be belligerent and dismissive of him, from now on, and will never forgive him. He will have given up the one thing that would make him happy, and they will never be grateful for his decision. They will quietly gloat that "they won", but they will never forgive him. For your own sanity, stay independent, and ignore the insane drama. Make any and all future decisions for your own best interest. If he somehow plays a part in that, so be it. If not, it's his fault, not yours. You have done what you know works for you. 

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Hello, 

I'm replying to the old posts as iv already explained my past.

It's been over a year since my cousin and I have been living together.. it has been good and I have no complaints about our relationship.

My parents have just accepted our relationship, and though they are not completely happy with it, they do not complain. I talk to them and visit them often.

However, it's my cousin''s family which is creating trouble. The problem is both our families live in the same locality. His relatives are troubling my parents, blaming them for everything and for taking away their son. They have started treating my parents as outcasts and nobody talks to them now. I feel extremely guilty that my parents are being made to face all this because of me. Yes this was inevitable and my parents are Gods, since they do not complain and wish only for my happiness.

However, my cousin's parents are totally opposite. They have isolated him completely. They neither talk to him, nor let him visit them. Instead they keep brooding over this issue, stating that their son left them for me. 

Due to all this, my cousin is depressed. He was very attached to his parents and is not able to bear this. His parents gave him a choice between me and them and he chose to move in with me, so they do not want to talk to him. 

They r not letting us live in peace. One is my cousin's constant worry of not being able to talk to his parents, and another problem is his relatives keep calling and telling him how his parents are depressed and crying because he left them.

So now, my cousin wants to go back to his parents house, leaving me here so that he is aware of what is happening to them. He fears he won't even know in case they fall sick or something. He wants to balance both me and his parents by coming to our house on weekends and staying at his parents house on weekdays.

Now I really don't know what to do. He expects me to compromise on something to help balance, but I'm worried to agree since we will all be leading incomplete lives, I will be left craving for a life as a couple forever if we don't live together. He doesn't want to get married to me because of his parents, as he feels they will close doors on him forever and that the situation will turn worse.

Iv been waiting to get married some day but now he says he cannot because of them. I'm left completely hopeless. I don't know what to do at this time. I'm upset, my parents are being harassed, my cousin misses his parents badly and they refuse to budge and just let us live happily.

We both don't want to give up on each other. But I don't see how we can make it work. We don't have any problems with each other, my parents are fine with it, it's only his family that's making life hell for us with all the blackmail.

Please help me and show me a way.

Thank you, 

Myra

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you have found yourself in love with a man who allows his parents to manipulate him through emotional blackmail. if he can't stand his ground now, he likely never will. is that the kind of life you want for yourself?

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No I certainly don't. But we can't think of breaking up. We don't know how to make this work. Everybody we've sought help from, feels that it's a dead-end. 

Even my parents feels he is not being brave enough to take this relationship forward. We've lived together for a year and it's high time we think of marriage, though it's not legal in India.

Iv done everything I can to make this relationship work, even convinced my parents and reconciled with them. Lived-in with him though it's a huge taboo in India.. my parents are being harassed. But he is not able to convince his parents since they are extremely stubborn and will not heed to something they don't believe in.

Is there no way we can make this work?

Is that really a solution? Him staying with his parents and visiting me over the weekends? Will he really be able to balance both me and his family? 

My parents are not happy with this. They feel Ill be left alone in this world. My cousin is committed to me and I trust that but he is afraid to take this forward and marry me. 

I don't know what to do. I'm getting depressed.

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it isn’t a solution i'd accept. and not one YOU should accept either. but i can't make that choice for you.

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Myra, LadyC has spoken the hard truth to you.  If he is not willing to take a stand for you and your relationship, what does that say about him?  This surely is not easy for him or for you, and I can only imagine the family pressure you are facing.   

On 8/18/2016 at 4:16 AM, Guest Myra said:

My cousin is committed to me and I trust that but he is afraid to take this forward and marry me. 

Perhaps it's a good thing that the two of you are not married and you are finding out now that he doesn't have the fortitude to stand up to his family. Maybe if you draw the line in the sand, he will realize that he must stand up to his family or risk losing you.  LadyC has put the ball in your court; what decision are you going to make?  

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