i have feelings for my cousin

DEAR ABBY: I am a 57 year old male. I have no children and I had to go back to live with my mother to start my life over. I divorced my wife because she cheated on me.

I have a cousin from Alabama who is 30 years old. I love her so much. She’s my favorite cousin and I started having feelings for her. I think maybe it’s my body’s way of telling me it wants to procreate and leave a legacy. I feel guilty for these thoughts and feelings. In my heart, I believe they are shameful. These thoughts are something I must take to my grave and never act on. But the desire is getting stronger and stronger and it becomes a losing battle.

Telling her (or anyone else in my family) my true feelings would be a terrible thing for me to do. Can you please help me get rid of these feelings for her? I will take any advice into consideration. — SHAME ON TENNESSEE

DEAR SHAME: In some states (not all), cousin marriage is legal. Tennessee and Alabama are two of them. Your cousin may be 27 years younger, but at 30 she is a grown woman. Do you have any indication of the reciprocity of your feelings? Sometimes the feelings we suppress only make them stronger. One way to solve this problem would be to express them.

If your cousin doesn’t share your affection, keep in mind that not all women are cheaters like your wife was, and start building a new life while you search for a suitable companion in your community.

DEAR ABBY: I married a recovering drug addict, and for years he did well. We made a beautiful home and a family together. Then one of my husband’s (female) drug buddies resurfaced. My husband had an affair, went back down that wrong path, and did some very cruel things to destroy our marriage. We have been married for 19 years and separated for the last three, with a pending divorce.

My husband now wants to make amends. He’s in a rehab program, but I hesitate. We have been on a few dates and I have real concerns about what will happen when we meet the other woman. I asked him at least six times to go away and stay away.

How should I expect him to react when we meet her? She’s deep in her social circle, much more so than I ever was because I don’t care about the bawdy lifestyle. He promises he’s cut ties with everyone in that circle. But I know it’s only a matter of time before we meet her. — ANGRY AND HURT IN GEORGIA

DEAR ANGRY: You are rightly hurt and angry, but if the reconciliation goes well, it is important that you are assured that he is not yet carrying the torch for her. You would be wise (and less confrontational) if you asked your almost-ex-husband how he would react if he met her, rather than telling him how he should. He’s in rehab and trying to rebuild his life after the mess he made of it. I see no reason to create a scene if your paths cross. A courteous hello and goodbye should suffice.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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