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Monday, January 12, 2015

From Friends to Lovers to Spouses


I've done many exclusive interviews with lovers denied  their right to marry, and usually denied the freedom to just be open about their love for each other. Unfortunately, the prejudice against consanguinamory has an impact even when and where it isn’t enshrined in law. Just read the interview below to see how this is so.

The woman in this interview is an intelligent, educated, attractive adult, the kind of person you might be happy to have living next to or you might see every day, married to another adult. Yet they face discrimination and prejudice for their love, even from members of her own family. They aren't hurting anyone; so why the hate?


Read the interview below and see for yourself what she has to say. You may think her relationship is interesting, or it might make you uncomfortable, but either way, should they be punished for loving each other?

*****

FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Describe yourself.

Anonymous Woman: I am a 28-year-old white female of Irish descent living in Tennessee. I am 5'2” with blonde hair and green eyes. I’m fully employed and have an Associate's degree in Psychology. I’m two classes away from my Bachelor's degree in Psychology. I have no children. I have a half-sister who is 18 years my junior. I like to read; I’ve been reading since I was three. I’m an animal lover.


FME: How long have you been married?

This is my second marriage and I’ve been married since July 2013.


FME: How would you describe your sexual orientation and your relationship orientation?

I am heterosexual and in a monogamous relationship.


FME: You are married to you your biological first cousin, once removed? How old is he?

Yes, my maternal grandfather and my husband's father were brothers. My husband is 42, so he’s 14 years my senior.


FME: Do you want children?

Yes, we want them, but he has to get a vasovasectomy first. For now, we live together alone.


FME: What kind of relationship, if any, did you have while you were growing up? What was family life like? What was your childhood like?

We never had a relationship. We did not meet until I was 23. I never got to spend much time with my mother's family because my dad was in the army and we traveled as much as we would with him. The times when I was around them, he was never there because he and his father didn't get along. So he traveled around with his friends.


FME: How did you two get together?

It was gradual. We didn't meet until his father, who was my great-uncle, died in 2009. I grew up with his brothers and sisters though. He was never around because he fought with his father a lot. We started to hang out once in a while when we found out we lived 30 minutes apart. We started fishing and spending time just once a month or so, nothing sexual during those times. I started going through a divorce and he was my best friend at the time. He would invite me to hang out more often during this time and became my shoulder to lean on. We ended up sleeping in the same bed at a friend's house because I told him he didn't have to sleep on the couch. Around the third time is when he came on to me. We always cuddled in bed before but it was nothing sexual until that time. I never knew it was going to turn into something more than a friendship.


FME: Can you describe your feelings during that process?

I was a little confused at first, but I didn't shy away. I had been feeling more affection towards him that weekend and it just felt right. And it didn't feel wrong.


FME: Before this had you ever thought this would be possible or enjoyable; did you have any opinion one way or the other about cousins being together?

I had never thought of him in any other way than a new friend that just happened to be my relative. Thoughts about cousins being together had never crossed my mind before. I’d just never had any conversations about the subject. I do not nor have I ever had feelings for any of my other relatives and there were never any other interactions of that sort with others.


FME: Describe your relationship now.

We see each other as spouses but we have always spoken about our family without it feeling weird. He knows more about our family history than I do and has shared several stories about them with me.


FME: Does anyone in your life know the full, true nature of your relationship and how did they find out? How have they reacted?
 
Everyone in our family knows about how we became a couple; I told both sides of our family once we decided not to hide it any longer. My father's side has disowned me, which includes cutting me out of my baby sister's life all together. She is nine and I have not been allowed to speak to her or contact her in almost two years. My mother's side has welcomed us as a couple and still treats us as if it were normal. There are several people who only know of us as a couple. He usually introduces our family as his since they all have the same last name. No one has ever asked otherwise.


FME: Having to hide the full nature of your relationship from some people can be a disadvantage. Can you describe how that has been? Are there any other disadvantages? Conversely, do you think consanguineous relationships have some advantages and some things better than unrelated lovers?

The problems consist mostly in when I have to explain why my father is not in my life. I usually tell people it's because he doesn't like my husband (a half truth that usually does the job) and of course the fact that I have been in a state of slight depression since I lost my sister. It almost feels as if she has passed away, the way she was taken from my life suddenly.  As for advantages, I don't think there are any. Life is hard when you can't help who you love, especially when it's not "politically correct."


FME: What do you want to say to people who disapprove of your relationship, or disapprove of anyone having this kind of relationship?

I think people need to do a little research. Marrying your kin is not uncommon, Presidents have done it; so did Albert Einstein. If people could help who they loved, we wouldn't pick the hardest person to live with. We sacrifice everything for love.


FME: Can you think of anything that would make relationships like this automatically wrong?

Not unless it involved minors. Or those who do not consent.


FME: What advice do you have for someone who may be experiencing these feelings for a cousin?

All that matters is what you want and what your partner wants. It's not going to be an easy path, but you cannot help who you love.


FME: What advice do you have for family members and friends who think or know that relatives they know are having these feelings for each other?

Leave them alone. It's none of your business.



*****

There you have it. Consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone, who are legally married and intend to have children, and yet there are members or her own family who have rejected them for loving each other. She told me her father claimed their marriage was prohibited in the Bible due to their relation, but the Bible doesn't appear to have any restrictions whatsoever on marriages between first cousins, once removed.


There’s no good reason for such treatment.We need to recognize that all adults should be free to be with any and all consenting adults as they mutually consent, and although this couple was able to marry, part of erasing the prejudice is adopting relationship rights for all, including full marriage equality sooner rather than later. People are being hurt because of a denial of their basic human rights to love each other freely.

You can read other interviews I have done here.

If you are in a relationship like this and are looking for help or others you can talk with, read this.

Thank you to Anonymous Woman for doing this interview! If you want to be interviewed about your "forbidden" relationship, connect with me by checking under the "Get Connected" tab there at the top of the page.
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