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Long story - need feedback...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'll try to keep this as short as possible. Last year, dss (then 12) came to stay with us for a month in the summer. This is only the second time he has come for a long visit, so we are really still in the process of establishing our relationship. During his visit, we went to visit my sister and her family. Dss met my sister's step-daughter, and they have "fallen in love". Last summer they hid it from us, and it wasn't until one of their cousins discovered them kissing that we knew what was going on (although we suspected something because they always wanted to be together). Then, both of them came for Christmas visits, and they were sort of ridiculously all over each other at a family holiday party. So, we ( my dh, me, my sister and her dh) laid down the law. No being alone, no holding hands, obviously no kissing, etc... Fast forward to this summer visit. They talk on the phone daily for an hour. They celebrated their "anniversary". During our visit to my sister's house they escaped a couple of times and were found, of course, kissing. DSS is going to be 14 in September, and my step-niece just turned 15. To me, I feel like this cannot end well. They are cousins. Even if they aren't blood related, this just feels wrong, but now I feel like we handled this so badly, now they are so deeply emeshed in this relationship... it's just a mess. It really concerns me. Am I making too much of this? Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Just wanted to add that all of this is going on in front of dd who is five because she follows them around (she loves my dsniece). And both my sister and I have little ones to watch which has made it more difficult to be able to watch them every second. Just complicates things a little more, I guess.
post #2 of 7
Maybe I am not clear on this but as far as I can tell - they arent related at all, right? He is your Step Son, and she is your sister's Step Daughter?

If you are just now establishing your relationship, I take that to mean that he is new in your life. As an older child I dont think he will ever see his step-mother's, sister's kids as his blood cousins. He's made that much obvious. It would be a little different if they had grown up together.

IMO, too much is made of wanting older step-children to integrate 100% into the step parents extended family, wanting to pretend that he is yours, and therefore all that is yours is his. It just isnt true, they can tell the difference.

Anyway, I would say continue to lay down the law on the physical stuff. And object to the relationship if there are reasons outside of the fact his dad happened to marry a pretty girl's aunt.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that is correct. Absolutely no blood relation. I've known him since he was 7 years old, but for a while dh would fly to Ohio to visit him, and he only started coming for extended visits when he was 10, then he skipped the next summer, then back again last summer when he was 12. Now he is 13. They really like each other, and they are both really good kids - help with the younger ones, help around the house, etc... we have run into trouble when we are at large family gatherings/parties and our extended family has questioned my sister and I for allowing them to be girlfriend/boyfriend at all. We don't allow them to kiss or hold hands but it's obvious to everyone that the only thing they see is each other. Which I do understand might look bad. And people keep making the whole "kissing" cousins joke, even though they aren't related. I don't know. Thanks for the feedback.

post #4 of 7
Tough call.
I'd suggest you talk long and hard about this. I worry that if you break them up, then he may try and avoid her and so, your family. It's totally possible that they'll end up living happily ever after (and I know stepcousins who married) but it's going to take a lot of maturity for them to handle the situation.
I'd make sure that your dss knows that you're there for him and if he wants to talk, you're there to listen.
post #5 of 7
Argh, I hate when people cant keep their dumb comments to themselves. I think I would pull aside those relatives making the kissing cousin jokes and explain that your DSS is has enough work to do adjusting to new people without baseless jokes. They are not cousins!! They are even farther removed than if they were your sister's natural children.
post #6 of 7
I agree that they are not cousins. My dss thinks of his stepcousins as cousins because they were little together. But, I personally think that the relationship of cousin is largely in our heads and defined by our families/society. The prohibition against cousins dating seems to be from the fear of them having children (and we've made it seem gross because of that fear). We know that even second cousins can legally marry and not have genetic problems. So, even if it feels weird, it really isn't weird. They were not raised as cousins , and obviously don't see each other as cousins, so? It's just people talking that is the problem. Can you really stop two teens from being invovled? I imagine the drama makes it more interesting for them!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. I feel a little relieved because in the beginning, I was only concerned for watching them and making sure that they weren't getting too much unsupervised time, and I didn't give the cousin thing a lot of thought because they are not really related. It wasn't until we began getting so much negative feedback from our family members that I began to second guess myself. I was worried that I was allowing him to do something that would become embarrasing for him later or cause him to have to deal with stigma. Anyway, they really like each other, and one side benefit is that before this happened it was like pulling teeth to get him to come visit. Now he looks forward to visiting and actually wants to visit over the holidays as well as summer. So, I've gotten to know him better, and dd and ds absolutely LOVE their big brother. So, thanks again for the help.

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