The straw that broke this relationship’s back was the fact that I discovered he has been making out with his first cousin when I am out of town. I had found out about this in the past and broke up with him because this was a hard limit for me. But we got back together and, three years later, it has happened again. This time he admits that he had sex with her in the past but that that was years ago. His excuse is that they are “kissing cousins” and that it’s not incest between two consenting adults — it’s only incest between parent and child. (We obviously do no share the same dictionary for either definition).
I could handle all the other things, but I’m completely disgusted by this revelation. I can’t even be in the same room with him let alone at any future family functions with her. This is all especially difficult because I am three months pregnant with his child. Am I being too rigid? Overreacting? He claims I’m just looking for an excuse to end things because we are at the 5-year mark. — Grossed out and Confused
First of all, five years is a long time for a relationship, so to say you’ve “only” lasted five years in past relationships is an odd statement, though not half as odd as the rest of your letter. What I don’t understand is why you would remain in a relationship with someone whose sexual desires deviated so much from your own and what you were comfortable with. Just the fact that your boyfriend wanted an open relationship and you didn’t should have been a deal-breaker if you had any self-respect, but obviously it wasn’t. And, apparently, the cheating, lying, cross-dressing, bisexuality, BDSM, meeting men on the internet and in rest stops and video stores, and sexting with ex-girlfriends was all acceptable, too. Okaaaay.
So now, after spending a year trying to get knocked up by this winner, you’ve apparently found your true deal-breaker — incest — and you’re wondering if you’re being too rigid. The answer is no. No, you’re not being too rigid. There are many words I can think of to describe a woman who deliberately got pregnant by a man who lies to her and cheats all the time and sexts with exes and meets random men at rest stops, and “rigid” is not on the list.
So, what do you do now? You do what you should have done years ago and break up with the guy. It’s too bad you are pregnant with his baby, but, really, having a child — if you decide to keep it, that is — is even more reason you should distance yourself from this guy and his reckless lifestyle. Go see a family attorney and make sure you have your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted if you decide to bring this baby into the world and raise it yourself. And start setting some very clear boundaries — if not for yourself, for the benefit of your child.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.