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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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starclimber

What is life like after marriage

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My 20 year of and on relationship with my cousin may be over and though a part of me understands the emotional and physical toll and stresses and how it is wise to say it is over another wants to fill the pain and emptiness with knowledge rather than ignorance.

I want to know how things were for couples on here, especially Asian Americans who were close to their families (though simply being close to your family and conservative in your beliefs would be immensely helpful) in terms of having a family, how society treated you and your loved ones and how it affected your relationships with your nuclear family.  Most of all I would love to hear the hurdles you overcame and the love that was truly enjoyed.

As for my situation, there's not much to change or to explain as we've lovingly made sacrifices for each other and have done what needs to be done but it does not seem enough for us as my cousin has lately felt society, our family and our problems caused by stress is too much for him.  Financially we are strained and he has been working on business related endeavors but in the process he has met with another female business associate.  He has been brutally honest with me and said that he appreciates how there are no issues between the two of them, how there is very little drama and he may want that kind of relationship.  He understands what is at risk but I also sense he is emotionally walling himself off from me.  After several weeks of intense feelings and conversations, I have stopped giving him pressure, lovingly gave a hands off approach but of course told him this is very hard on me but I support whatever he wants to in life.  He has said "I don't want to hurt you, you deserve better" and I told him that while I appreciate how he cares about me, there is no way to paint this picture differently and him wanting to be with another woman is going to hurt no matter how he handles it.

As for the problems caused by society while I do not mind agreeing to disagree with society, I am close with my parents as he is with his own.  My aging elderly parents have given everything to me and I cannot throw them away based on our differing thoughts about cousin marriage because they mean too much to me.  They are also not in the best of health and I do not want to give them emotional pain or stress on top of their nearing surgical procedures.  That said I also realize I may be over worrying and thinking and that is where I hope the veterans on this site may generously share their stories with me.

While I completely appreciate advice on my difficult matter, what matters the very most to me right now is again filling that pain, anger and emptiness with information, knowledge and love those of you who have married have received.  And experience on that would definitely fill the emptiness that is now in my life.

I aim to fill my own heart with understanding because I want to remember the potential we could have had and smile rather than cry or feel anger. 

Thank you very much.

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i'm not asian, but i am a conservative christian who has been married to my cousin for 15 years. we really didn't have any family objections to overcome. but we've had hurdles of our own making that we've had to deal with.

i won't go into the specifics of our hurdles, but i'll say this. marriage takes work.... and although you're not married, you've been committed to this man for 20 years. i do have the urge to ask, was it only parental objections that prevented you two from marrying? (and do you have any kids?)

here's the big thing though. EVERY couple goes through periods of complacency in a relationship. boredom might be a better word for it. taking each other for granted. lack of excitement. lack of passion. too much drama.

too much drama? well, yeah. but see, that drama is what is generated simply by being in a relationship where two people have to meet in the middle to make things work. this new woman who has tickled his fancy won't be drama free for long, because it's a natural consequence of any relationship.

and right now, he should be reminded that HE is the one who is causing drama.

he's right. you don't deserve this. and you're being way too understanding about all this. i get why you're trying to be understanding, but you still deserve better, and i hope you'll find it. what i hope most of all is that he'll pull his head out of his derriere and quit throwing what the two of you have spent two decades building in the gutter for a tramp.

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Thank you very much LadyC for making this site and for responding so quickly.  It is definitely appreciated.

Trust me when I say our situation is not easy to explain and it is not as one sided as it seems.  Meaning I am not like a battered spouse and he is not like an abusive husband. 

Instead we are neck deep in famlial drama and have been for a very long time.  Though I agree he needs to get his head out of his rear, when I tried to say that to him, the situation imploded on itself and he just shut down in complete silence.  This is his way of telling me that he does not know what to say and he is hurt by a situation.  A few days later I knew something else had happened and I found my own mother pushing him to be with this new girl.  Something I had no idea had happened until he told me.

On that note, what caused this is multifold, but we are a classic example of why Asian Americans need westernized normalcy.  When we were young we were caught cuddling watching tv whlie fully clothed by a very nosy, gossipy aunt and our parents were given so much crap from her and other extended family members there is nothing we can do but blame ourselves and our immaturity.  Looking back I do not think there was anything I could do to gift me with the insight I have now and I simply wish we were as lucky as the youths now who had internet.  As innocents we were fascinated and absolutely head over heels in love we were blown away with each other.  It was also at a time that we rebelled against society.  Other people were getting support for their relationship and dating at the age of 15, why can't we?  Obviously those were immature thoughts but in truth it did hurt to not be "equal" and we simply wanted to love each other and be happy.  We didn't understand why people wanted to "take that away" from us.

Things got difficult and we were accused of having sex with each other when we would never do so.  And sites like these, for example, simply did not exist and the two of us could only cope by crying alone in our dorm rooms while being reprimanded to "do the right thing".  On that if any young teens are reading FOCUS ON SCHOOL FIRST so you CAN invest in love.  True love will wait and not take offense to getting your foundation first if you promise celibacy.  On that we were not as lucky to have guidance sites such as these to provide us with correct information so APPRECIATE that!

Since then our focus has been to try to piece together a semblance of a normalcy to assuage the drama that aunt, our uncles and our grandmother has since then caused.  But on that note, our nuclear families are loving but feel their "asian duty" not to divorce their relatives and simply "stick through it".  And as kind and buddhist/confucious as this behavior is this is still enabling behavior.  I've talked to cousins of my own generation and though we love our families, frankly we are fed up and sick of how toxic our extended relatives are and even how our parents can be. 

For example, I have personally disagreed with my own sister that I should choose not only a marriage that is good societally but is also good for mom and dad.  My second sister is Christian and does NOT believe in cousin marriage and my elder sister, though not Christian, agrees with her.  She feels that my "obsession" to my cousin is just a passing thing and her words weigh more than my own.  She has it together monetarily while I'm still in school attempting to pursue a career that is sustaining as I was unemployed for a while.  And that is where I am. 

Fighting for myself, my final separation from familial drama and doing what I need to do as I quit this lifestyle.  My cousin is doing the same thing and we support each other in that regard though why not to do so while in a loving relationship is beyond me.

In short, I finally realize we need to present ourselves not as enablers but as independents and stop enabling our extended family, and at times even our parents and be lifelong victims of their opinions regardless of the asian notion of filial piety.  I hope that presents a clearer picture of what is going on because it is a poisonous chain reaction of toxic behaviors perpetuated by rules that are sometimes tyrannical in practice.

This mess is why in the present day, I want to focus on the happiness here while I cope and try to piece together a healthy lifestyle.  I want to associate cousin relationships and love with beautiful memories and I hope some of you feel comfortable with sharing a few moments that hopefully are not too personal.

I sincerely appreciate all of them.

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just to clarify, i didn't make this site. kc is the founder... i came along about a year and a half after he created it. i just help keep things running smoothly :)

i never thought you were implying that your cousin was abusive or that you were victimized by that kind of behavior. but what you are going through is pretty common. (even the family drama is not unusual... the circumstances vary from family to family, but i've never met a family that wasn't dysfunctional!)

your family's lack of support is a big issue. it's a shame that after so many years, one sister would still label your relationship as a passing obsession. as for one of your sisters being christian and the other not, but sharing the same negative opinion, their opinion really has nothing to do with religion or lack of. it just has to do with how they've been raised to view cousin relationships. to call a spade a spade, it's just bigotry. christians can be bigots too. they don't realize that God is supportive of cousin marriage. they think that since it offends their sense of sensibility that it must be offensive to God as well. but that's not what God says.

but your cousin and what you are facing with this separation and his fascination with another woman is the age old delusion that the grass must be greener on the other side of the fence. i don't think there are many couples that don't face this exact same dilemma after years of being together. what makes the difference is what choices are made. and unfortunately, you're not the one who gets to make this choice. :(

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Oh i didn't know you weren't the founder but thank you for your time and dedication in helping us LadyC :)

I love my family but am so happy to hear you support the fact I feel my love life is my own.  That was always in contention with them and to me life is not always ideal.

I will be hanging around here and respond more to your kind reply as I have an all nighter to pull for my work.  I'm really thankful for this site though and you are all amazing.

I hope my cousin can realize this is a mistake as we never got the chance to be together.  Sneaking out at the age of 36 is not a lifestyle I want anymore and he agrees.

I will be back and hopefully have time to stay around and talk to others as well.

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but your cousin and what you are facing with this separation and his fascination with another woman is the age old delusion that the grass must be greener on the other side of the fence. i don't think there are many couples that don't face this exact same dilemma after years of being together. what makes the difference is what choices are made. and unfortunately, you're not the one who gets to make this choice. :(

He needs to remember too, it still needs to be mowed.....

starclimber,

You've been here about 6 months longer than I. I've followed your posts closely after one in a thread made me realize you are a very intelligent lady. I should probably go back and read your early posts to get fully up to speed with your situation, but I have a general idea of it.

I know how it is to have overbearing parents, well, a father, and other family. Mom is a saint. We had my Dad's funeral today. In the end, I'm not sure I ever said one thing to him that changed his mind on anything of significance. Lord knows I tried. He was set in his ways. The preacher got it right, with chuckles from those gathered, when he said "J_____ was always right. And when J______ was wrong, he was STILL right". He was an enigma. He was a very personable man. He never met a stranger. He would help anyone he determined was genuinely in need. To a fault, on occasion. At the same time, he had a very short fuse and a penchant for violence. Growing up, I saw him do things that these days would bring serious prison time. He left this life never knowing just how close he came to his end at my hand on a couple of occasions. One instance in particular, had I had the gun instead of him, this day would have came 40 years ago. It would have anyhow, had there been bullets for one of the other firearms at hand. He wasn't stupid. He only kept one loaded gun in the house, and he kept it close.

I've mentioned that, like your cousin, mine wasn't going to be up for the drama. I've mentioned that our Mom's would have been fine with it, and our Dad's opinions were irrelevant. Her Mom and Dad were divorced, mine should have been, sooner than they were. Had we went for it, Dad's opinion on the matter would have been "Meh.....". I don't know if Cuz realized that though. She's home, and was there today, and we agreed to spend time before she travels for work again. I'll have to ask her. I do know she was reasonably scared of my Dad. He was never mean to her in any way, but, as kids, she saw enough of his temper with us boys that she gave him an extremely wide berth. Even though we were 20, and adults, she could have possibly feared his reaction had our situation became common knowledge. I actually never thought of that. If she thought he would take it badly, she had a pretty good idea of what "badly" would mean.

As I said, she was nervous, and, like you, I didn't push her. I was willing to walk away for her comfort. We went on to marry and divorce others, her once, me three times now. My last one was also a relationship of over 20 years. The good times were good, and the bad times were hell. In the end, the hell overwhelmed the good. I found myself single, but much too much water has passed beneath the bridge for Cuz and I to go back. She has a long term BF, and I've found a wonderful woman as my companion. We've never had any stomach for an affair, and we aren't about to start now, in our 50's. We're happy for each other, and happy where we are in our reconnected status.

I say all of this to tell you that you cannot accelerate the demise of your parents any more than you can postpone it. If their demise is accelerated because of your situation, it is because THEY, IN THEIR OWN DRAMA IN THEIR HEADS caused it. NOT YOU. This is NOT still when the two of you were teenagers. This site IS here now. It's free. If they really want to know the facts, they can hoppy skip right on the old internet, and this is one of the first places Google will send them. Right now, there are 3 Google spiders harvesting information off of this site. I've seen as many as 6 or more at a time on here. If they REALLY care about the truth, and want to find the facts, it's no problem. They aren't too old to do it either. I'm considerably older than you, and my Mom surfs the web all the time.

I have a prediction for your cousin. He will not have the guts to stand up to the the passive aggressive nonsense, and he will try this thing with this other woman. He will never be truly happy. After 20 years of ups and downs with you, his true passion, and all, (or the vast majority, and the ones that count) of the downs being caused by outside (family) influences, no other relationship will compare. He will be swallowing a bitter pill, and even though he is "settling", it will not settle well in his heart. He will wake up one day at my age, and think to himself, "What the hell have I done." Of course, by then it will be too late. It will be too late, because I'm going to tell you the same thing me and you tell others. You take care of YOU first. You get that degree. You get yourself in that position you need to be in. You stop letting family push you any more. They got their way. They pushed you out of the only thing you really wanted, you owe them no other behavior. You go your own way, for YOU. You do what you have to for YOU. And you may very well find a companion you will love even as much as your cousin. Someone who WILL stand up for you. Someone who WILL encourage you. Someone who WILL support you in whatever path you choose. That won't be settling, that will be moving on..... 

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Dear Hawk, you are one very amazing man but first, I'm very sorry for the loss of your father.

I know there were definite differences between you and him but regardless *hugs*.

Right now I am emotionally enraged by my heartless cousin and I just don't have the energy to work on us at this point in time. 

I slept 3 hours waiting for him to be online because he refuses to call me using excuses of his family policing him as a reason.

So we are basically on a 'you can wait for me while it's convenient for me to chat with you'.  His attitude is absolutely atrocious now and I have started to fall out of love with him and yes your motivating words have inspired me to work for myself and my own goals. 

He is absolutely toxic and vengeful right now.  And therefore the best way to handle him is to let him believe he is king of the world and that he can do whatever the hell he wants because there is no reasoning with him.  I am therefore going NC on him while he's in his make believe dream land as nothing I say or do will help him snap out of it. 

In addition, this is my last try for us.  I am hoping but not really believing that when he wants to reach out to me, he will realize slowly what he's done.

I will still probably maintain NC for my own sake and sanity until he fully realizes what he has done.  He has said and done a great many things and his conversations are hurtful, selfish, separation related and absolutely delusional while mine are supportive loving and apologetic. 

He said today he doesn't care for my opinion and support then backtracked sloppily and said it is not that he doesn't care for my support and then talks in a self centric manner.

Now my actions are for damage control.  His attitude has driven a wedge between us  He laughs at my apparent "idiocy" treating me like I'm a lesser being while criticizing me but I CANNOT criticize him.  Meanwhile he bends over backwards to help a fellow "female friend" who he says is great and perfect (if I say he feels this way he says that is NOT what he is saying and he can be a hypocrite all he wants).  To him there is no romantic attachment yet he acts in a very hypocritical fashion.  He defensively describes both the pregnant woman and the single female he is tutoring as having no romantic potential whatsoever but gleefully wonders how the husband will react to his presence.  This, he says is the fault of our uncle who set him up in the first place and I said previously that he did NOT need to listen to that uncle because we know how poor that uncle's judgement is.  He instead blamed me and refused to be culpable.

And that is when I realized the sweet, loving happy lover who would tell me I'm beautiful, leave hundreds of loving notes and messages, and make love to me while listening sweetly to my day and talk about our future is dead and gone.

In his place is a monster who brings up my past wrongs time and time again every single conversation, couldn't care less I aborted alone, in pain and for him because he threatens separation if I decide to bring up our baby in this world, and absolutely refuses to try to make things right with me or allow me to love him the way he needed to be loved.  He refuses to acknowledge he needs anything now and frankly couldn't care less about what i think.  Those are his own words.

On the abortion he has said to me that he would leave me if I had a child with him and this time when I was pregnant I was forced to go through a very painful, very bloody abortion alone.  He did not emotionally support me.  The old loving him did feel guilt but this new monstrous him said that it was MY choice to abort.

He is right I am wrong and he is the supreme ruler of all that is right and can do no wrong, and I no longer wish to be with this monster.

On that note though, Hawk, I do hope you are wrong about one thing and that is I hope he doesn't regret us and I hope he stays a monster and delusional.

Because quite frankly I see no more hope for us.  And if one day that sweet loving cousin comes back, I do not want him to regret what he's done to us in that time frame because for once in my life i don't know if I will love him anymore after all this.

He speaks of marrying and having children with another woman and I'm emotionally done but I'm not allowed to conclude anything because he hasn't decided so I am forced to hang on.

He has an enormous chip on his shoulder throwing my past behavior in my face time and time again and not even CONSIDERING the context of the words I've said.    And if one day he wakes up, and I've moved on I hope he moves on quickly.

Because the loving gentle soul who gave me some of the best years of my life does not deserve to wake up and realize what this monster in his place has done. 

I hope if he wakes up soon I still have love for him as his change was literally overnight.

Otherwise  i hope he stays deluded for all time because I will have moved on.  It was not supposed to be this way.  This is not him but it is.  And nothing I've done has helped.

Thank you for your help and your history Hawk.

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Starclimber,

      I went through two toxic marriages and one day I found a book = and I read that book until my head was "brainwashed" in a positive way.  The book is NASTY PEOPLE: HOW TO STOP BEING HURT BY THEM WITHOUT STOOPING TO THEIR LEVEL by Dr. Jay Carter.

    Hawk has read it also.  He is right - you must take care of yourself first.  You can use that book to turn your life around and move on.  You can't fix someone else, only yourself.

  I moved on and away.  Neither of my exes has a clue about me now but I just laugh and say "the best revenge is living well, whether they know it or not"  LOL

  I am a very happy person and my life is wonderful.  I bless the day I found that book!

I wish you the best.  HUGS

Nat

   

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Dear nat i have practically memorized that book so thank you

that is why i can love and let go and while I do feel culpable for many aspects of the failing of our relationship, he in very recent times has not and though I do not want to blame I feel it is unfair of him to blame me without being culpable for what has happened.

That is why I am going No contact (NC).

This is not who he truly is and this new toxic him is hurting not only his loved ones but himself.  he has lost 15 pounds and sleeps 4 hours or so a night.  But I am not allowed to stop his self torture.  he has told me so.

i have also picked up John Gray's men are from mars book and will pick up a divorce separation book to help me heal.

I have also started NC today and will no longer contact him unless he contacts me in his old loving manner.

I do not need him to apologize.  I simply hope he learns to love himself.

I hope he realizes he should stop punishing his loved ones and stop punishing himself on his own.  There is no way for him to change without his own realization.

As for myself thank you for your concern.  i will be fine :)  I am not bitter and even though I am upset, hurt and angry I have a lot of love left to give to my friends.

For a very long while I will stay away from romance until I am ready.

And very Glad you are happy Nat :)  I know you, you're very special and you deserve all the happiness in the world.

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starclimber,

I've limited my comments on my last marriage, and the failure of same here on the site. This isn't really the forum for me to do so. Of course, neither was FB, but that didn't stop her from running me down the road there, and blocking me so I couldn't defend myself. But, I could have replied word for word, and our common friends could have seen it. I didn't though, and took the high road instead. It was suppose to be amicable, but that went down the drain fairly quickly. Her behavior sounds eerily similar to your cousins' current behavior. I wish her well, just somewhere else. I'll have to deal with her once more if I ever decide to sell this house, but, I see no need to do that. I am going to set it up to where a relative will have control of all my assets and will inherit my interest in this place. We are going to go to the bank, show them my insurance policy, and arrange for a short term note to buy the ex out, in the event of my passing. My heir will have 10 working days from her name replacing mine on the deed, to pay the ex, and have her sign a quit claim deed. The insurance policy will probably take a little longer than that, so, we'll arrange for a bank to "front" the money until it pays out. I don't care to have any other contact with the ex, and, by the same token, she's made it perfectly clear she wants nothing more from me, except what will be coming to her. If I can continue working as I have this year, I'm going to try to get her bought out ASAP. I would just as soon not leave that to my heir. I should have my portion of the joint debt paid off by the end of the year, then I'll get my truck paid off, and go from there.

My financial situation has definitely improved. This time last year, the joint account was closed, and I was starting over, with debt from plastic, and no money in the bank. I now have enough in the bank to write a check and pay the remaining balance on the plastic, (which I have had to add to for a couple big ticket items) but I would rather not, as I don't know how long I'll be off work when I get laid off in December. (I have been sending $500/month on it all but a couple months) If the current trend holds, by then, I should have enough of a cushion to write that check, and ride out the Holidays through Feb./Mar. or so on unemployment. I'll not be off much longer than that, if I'm off that long. Having no house payment has been a BIG plus.

My emotional situation has definitely improved. A year ago, I was in a pretty dark place, angry and jaded. Like your ex, mine was vengeful and as hurtful as possible. Well, I take that back, she fully well has the potential it could have been worse. For a time, I had no access to my computer or my house. We both used the same password, so, had she paid a little closer attention to what I was doing as a Mod here on the site, she could have came in here and stirred the puddin' pretty good. That's not really her style though, she's not one to take things out on innocent by-standers. She could have certainly jacked up my settings and such. But, by that time, she was looking for somewhere to live, and didn't really have time for such shenanigans. 

My romantic situation has definitely improved. I had no desire to let another woman anywhere near that close to me ever again. I had a couple "girl friends" riding with me, and trying to pull me out of my anger. By and large, it worked. I was introduced to a younger (by a few years) widow, and the girls insisted I pursue her. They were right. She's a wonderful companion. In almost a year, she's never raised her voice at me, nor have we had the first argument. Culture shock, believe me. Cuz has met her and really likes her too. There is someone out there for you, even if you don't want it and aren't looking. It will most likely come right out of the blue at you, such as this relationship did with me. I would have waited much longer, but when the girls both said "You'd better not let this one get away from you", I gave it a chance. It's working out swimmingly. We put ~ 140 mi. on the bike today, and really enjoyed ourselves.

So, what's life like after marriage? What you make of it basically. In my case, it's all good. There's no reason it can't be that way for you too...... even though IIRC you two never were married. After 20 years, you may as well have been, so, I get what you're asking.

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