“My Boyfriend is Sleeping With His Cousin”


My boyfriend is very sexually controversial, from wanting an open relationship (which I don’t) to cross dressing, bisexuality, BDSM, meeting men on the internet and in rest stops and video stores, explicit sexual texting with ex-girlfriends, lying to me and even cheating on me. He confessed to most after about a year, and I was accepting of him and all of this kinkery. Our relationship even started as solely BDSM, which is not my scene incidentally. I usually last only about five years in a relationship, but we have been pretty strong and were even trying to get pregnant for over a year.

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.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Cheating and lying doesn’t belong in the same category as kink. Cheating is not a kink – it’s just shitty behavior.

  2. FWIW, the scientific definition of incest only matters in case of parent/child relations and aunt/uncle/niece/nephew. Some states even allow first cousins to marry.

    1. And then it only applies in terms of procreation.

      However the social definition of incest varies upon whomever you talk to.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Does it though?

      2. Some states allow first cousin marriage. Jerry Lee Lewis married his first cousin and I think so did Elvis at one point but I’m not sure about that one.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        What does that have to do with the definition of incest? Pretty sure everyone on here would be in agreement as to what incest means. I really don’t think it varies person to person. If you are hooking up with a family member, its incest. No?

      4. Thinking everyone has the same thoughts as you is a dangerous precedent to set.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Thinking everyone uses the same dictionary is not though.

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Dictionary.com actually leaves quite a lot of room for interpretation

        “1. sexual intercourse between closely related persons.
        2. the crime of sexual intercourse, cohabitation, or marriage between persons within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity wherein marriage is legally forbidden. ”
        “closely related” has A LOT of room for interpretation.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess I’m stupid for not thinking that leaves a lot of room for interpretation? It seems clear to me. I’m not being snarky here, I’m honestly surprised anyone is unsure of what incest means to the general public.

      8. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, like Joanna says though, in some states it’s perfectly legal and not frowned upon to marry your first cousin. So I really don’t think there is a blanket definition that applies to the “general public”. I, for example, would consider my second cousins (and honestly my third because of how closely we all grew up) to be “closely related” but you might not.

      9. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, like Joanna says though, in some states it’s perfectly legal and not frowned upon to marry your first cousin. So I really don’t think there is a blanket definition that applies to the “general public”. I, for example, would consider my second cousins (and honestly my third because of how closely we all grew up) to be “closely related” but you might not.

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        I still think, regardless of legality or whether you grew up together or not, hooking up with a cousin, or any relative, is incest. Even if its not frowned upon, its still incest. To each his own though, I guess.

      11. Avatar photo theattack says:

        It’s legal in my state to marry your first cousin, and it is VERY much frowned upon. I don’t think the legality necessarily lines up with the social opinions.

      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Oh, I agree TA. I wasn’t trying to say just because it’s legal it’s accepted. I think your point below about this being silly to argue is spot on though, this subject can be discussed from a lot of angles.

      13. This makes me think of the episode of 30 Rock where Liz ends up dating a guy that she ends up being like third cousins with. At one point they are like, on three say how far apart in relations do you have to be for it to be ok. The guy says third cousins, Liz says never.

      14. I feel like the LW’s boyfriend is insisting it’s not “incest” because it’s not abusive or illegal? They are both consenting adults, so he doesn’t want to call it incest, although I always thought incest was any sex, consensual or not, between blood relatives.

      15. iseeshiny says:

        Jerry Lee Lewis married his thirteen year old first cousin. Juuuuust saying.

      16. That doesn’t change the fact that it was legal when he did it.

      17. lets_be_honest says:

        You keep saying it was legal as if that makes it not incest. I don’t really understand this argument. Just because its legal, doesn’t make it something else. For example, pot is legal in some places. That doesn’t mean in those places, its not pot and is something else. Its still pot. You know what I mean?

      18. I was talking about the SCIENTIFIC definition versus the social definition. Look it up on Wikipedia if you want more information.

      19. iseeshiny says:

        And pedantics aside, the incest or not-technically-incest-based-on-certain-definitions are really not actually related to this LW’s issues, which are the fact that she is in a trainwreck of a relationship and decided the best thing to do would be to try to add a baby to it.

      20. iseeshiny says:

        Allllll I’m saying is “Jerry Lee Lewis did it” isn’t perhaps the best justification for anything ever.

      21. I’m really confused… is wanting to follow in Jerry Lewis’s footsteps a thing now?

      22. iseeshiny says:

        Haha lord I hope not. No, the nesting of the threads have made it a little difficult to follow but way up at the top of the conversation joanne mentioned that it’s legal to marry your cousin in some states, and that Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin. So I thought I’d mention that said cousin was thirteen at the time and maybe that wasn’t the best example of how it’s totally cool to marry your cousin, since that just didn’t sound like a very good family dynamic, incest or not-incest aside.

      23. What is considering legal is not always what is considered moral, and there’s the rub. People’s morals differ a lot. I would consider this incest, but that’s me.

      24. *considered*

      25. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        I’m pretty sure a post-menopausal woman who can no longer get pregnant and has sex with her son is still incest…

      26. Incest is a thing that talks about genetics, not legalities. It is true that it can vary -consanguineous vs. affinity relations, and then the degree of relation (first cousin vs. third cousin)- but this is incest if we are talking about two genetically related cousins. If they are related by affinity, that can be different, but is still considered incest in some parts of the world.

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Oh sweet! Because I have a hot cousin.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        ^ Kidding, geez ^

      2. I have one too! I kept away because he was trying to become a priest, then suddenly he quit priest school and got married =( This is what I get for respecting vocations.

      3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I have a hot 3rd cousin but still, no.

    3. Avatar photo theattack says:

      I think this whole argument about incest or not is kind of irrelevant because there are three different ways to talk about it: legally, socially, and scientifically. It’s not worth arguing across the three.

      1. I feel a Venn diagram coming on.

    4. Avatar photo Crochet.Ninja says:

      cousins = still incest. yep, they can still marry in some places – but that doesn’t necessarily make it good. I know a person who’s parents are first cousins, and there have been issues as a result.

      1. And I know people whose parents are not first cousins and have issues. And I know people whose parents are first cousins and don’t have issues. Anecdotes are not data.

  3. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

    Holy shit. I’m not as concerned about this guy’s kinks as I am about why you’re willing to put up with absolutely anything to stay with him. You should step back for a second and recognize that you just asked if it’s a dealbreaker that your boyfriend/the father of your unborn child is having an incestuous relationship with his cousin. Never mind the fact that he cheats on you with other women and men and you’re not on the same page sexually. You’re not too rigid! On the contrary, you’re waaaaaaaaaaaay to permissive and accommodating.

    1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      *too permissive, sorry.

  4. TheOtherOtherMe says:

    This guy sounds like a sex addict.

    1. I think calling the guy a sex addict gives him an excuse for his behavior. Like oh no he couldn’t help it, he was addicted.

      Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned or whatever but sticking your dick into someone’s vagina is a CHOICE not an addiction.

      1. Amen.

      2. Even if that was the case, doesn’t mean she had to stick around with him. If I didn’t want to be with somebody who drank, I wouldn’t stick with that person, because they were addicted instead of just a casual drinker.

  5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    All of the kink aside: he has lied to you, cheated on you, pushed you outside of your comfort zone, and you’ve been on and off again. These are all big huge glaring red flags the MOA!

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      ugh, morning typing. Should be “big huge glaring red flags that you should MOA!”

  6. So, yeah, WWS especially this: “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”. It’s not that hard to find a dude whose sexual proclivities align more with your own, & in a case like this where one partner is SO FAR onto one end of the spectrum, sexual compatibility is pretty important.
    As an aside, since I don’t have time to get into a real advice-y comment right now, I genuinely love how this letter is written? Like, I love the “voice”.

  7. Lily in NYC says:

    The cousin thing doesn’t bother me much. To me, the real problem is that you two want completely different things from this relationship yet you are desperately trying to make this work. If BDSM isn’t your thing, then why did you settle for having a solely BDSM relationship when you first got together? If you don’t want an open relationship and he does, then why are you still with him? If you want someone to be faithful to you, this is not the guy. I don’t even blame him because it doens’t seem like he was lying about who he is to you. It’s more like you are lying to yourself and him trying to be accepting of things that don’t make you happy. Find someone who has similar values and you will be much happier. WTF Wednesday, for sure.

  8. “All of this kinkery” —> THIS WAS AWESOME. I loved the phrase. I’ll use it FOREVER.


    LW, you seem to have a problem distinguishing between ethical kinkery and shady behavior. BDSM, cross-dressing and open relationships belong in the first category. Cheating on you, lying to you, etc? Second.

  9. LW, when you wrote this letter, did you see just how crazy this sounds?

  10. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

    I just can’t, this morning. I mean, really. REALLY?

    Sweetie, please leave. That’s all I can say.

  11. “All of this kinkery” —> THIS WAS AWESOME. I loved the phrase. I’ll use it FOREVER.


    LW, you seem to have a problem distinguishing between ethical kinkery and shady behavior. BDSM, cross-dressing and open relationships belong in the first category. Cheating on you, lying to you, etc? Second.

    Is this even true? It’s just too clueless and funny.

    1. Great, now I’m going to walk around all day saying not just “all of this kinkery” but also “old chap”!

    2. haha YES, that’s what got me too. Love it.

  12. lets_be_honest says:

    I have a headache. Why do they all have end with “and now i’m pregnant?”

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I actually let out an audible sigh when I got to that part. 🙁

      2. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Me too, I mean at this point it just makes me sad. Sad for for the future baby who does not deserve to be brought into such dysfunction.

    1. I really thought we were out of the woods with that when the LW was “trying”. Damn it.

      1. Yeah, me too. What a bummer.

    2. You had to have known that was coming!

  13. …. What the actual fuck?!
    LW – get out of this relationship now. This is insane. He’s a lying cheater and you’ve basically said it’s ok by staying with him. It sucks that you’re bringing a child into this mess, but you can’t stay for just that reason. You need to leave and leave now.
    Also, how old are you that you’ve had multiple 5 year relationships? Old enough to know better is my guess.

    1. It sounds like the time spent single and soulshearching between 5-year relationships was 15-20 days at most.

    2. That makes me wonder how she’s still of child-bearing age at that.

      1. I seriously doubt she went years between relationships, so, it’s possible: 15-20; 20-25; 25-30; 30-35; 35-40…

    3. Multiple could technically be 2. I’m guessing she’s in her third or fourth long term relationship and is around 30 or 35.

  14. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

    You know, I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go a little BGM on this letter. Setting aside all of the sexual proclivities and “cheating” (and I put that in quotes because I’m not sure I would define “cheating” as “telling someone you want an open relationship and then HAVING an open relationship,” which it seems like this guy did), you found out that he was making out with his first cousin, dumped him because the incest disgusted you . . . and then went back to him and got pregnant by him? Seriously? What ridiculous reason could you possibly have for going back to him? You’re not saying he went to some 12-step non-incest program, and you’re not saying he actually changed any of his behavior. Yet despite your disgust of all of his sexual philosophies, you thought he was the guy TO HAVE A CHILD WITH?!.
    Yes, of course, move on if you don’t like him and the way he operates. But honestly, in this case, I think YOU are the one in the wrong here, not because you don’t want to swing the way he does but because you entered a situation knowing what it was, has the opportunity to leave it and CAME BACK, and are now complaining about it like it has somehow been sprung upon you. I’d advise you to seek some counseling/guidance/etc. to dig into why you returned to him in the first place (which isn’t to say you couldn’t be into any or all of the things he’s into; I don’t mean to imply any of that does or doesn’t need counseling).

    Also, as an aside: while I’m always a fan of parents who aren’t together clearly laying out placement and visitation and custody and the like, please don’t make the common assumption that a lot of separated parents do that sexual proclivities of the other party are going to negatively impact visitation times or who gets to be around your child (i.e., the cousin). Like I said, a lot of family courts are now adopting the “you knew what you were getting yourself into” argument to situations like this. That being said, of course get more formal legal advice from someone practicing in your county, because they’ll know what the courts will and won’t want to hear.

    1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      “12-step non-incest program” – I love it! So many good quotes this morning. But also so much WTF.

    2. I totally agree with you except that I do think he’s cheating unless she agreed to the open relationship. She said she doesn’t want one (but I guess didn’t technically say that she said no) because an open relationship requires both parties to agree. I could go home and tell my husband that I want an open relationship, but if he says no and I still do it, then I’m cheating. But you’re totally right that she got herself into it this deep by staying and then by leaving but coming back! Who does that?
      And I must say that you win the internet today for coming up with a 12-step non-incest program. I almost spit my Dr Pepper all over my desk thanks to that.

  15. iseeshiny says:

    That’s right, it’s time for another episode of What The Actual Fuck Wednesday.

    1. iseeshiny says:

      Haha, great minds.

      1. Hah I know!

  16. Okay, actually, on reflection this letter makes me wonder if there’s even more going on under the surface that she hasn’t mentioned — maybe emotional abuse and manipulation. Look at it this way: often the nuttiest-sounding letter writers are just looking for Wendy to confirm what they want to hear. So in the case of someone who has been with this guy for ages despite all these red flags, you’d think she’d be writing in because she secretly hopes Wendy will tell her there’s still hope and they can work it out and live happily ever after together. But she’s not. She seems to be seeking confirmation from Wendy that they should break up, and mentions that the boyfriend is ridiculing her for wanting to bail on the relationship. To me, that says that she’s been gaslighted for a really, really long time.

    1. That’s possible. It certainly sounds like she’ll just do anything the bf says. She seems to have no real “enough is enough!” response.

      1. Yeah. I mean, as I was reading, I was shaking my head as vigorously as the rest of us. But her level of passivity really is odd. There’s gotta be something else going on there that makes her feel like she has to stick with him, and accept his behavior. The fact that she asks if she’s too rigid makes me wonder if all along he’s just been trying to convince her that his behavior is totally normal and SHE’S the weird one for not being okay with it. Now, whether his kinks are “normal” or not is kind of beside the point. The important part is whether he’s violating her boundaries. But it sounds to me, just a little, that maybe he’s been manipulating or even emotionally abusing her for a long, long time to convince her that she doesn’t deserve the right to draw the line around what she’s comfortable with. It sounds a little like he took advantage of her passivity and then manipulated it. But now I’m just 100% speculating.

      2. I’m wondering right now if their BDSM relationship means he’s dom and she’s sub. That could play into a lot of it.

    2. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      This part of the letter really stood out to me: “Our relationship even started as solely BDSM, which is not my scene incidentally”. I’m curious as to why she’s been participating in these “kinks” from the start when they’ve never been her thing? It’s one think to experiment and decide you don’t like something, but another to start a relationship as solely BDSM when you’re not into it. LW, have you experiences abuse in the past that’s clouding your ability to recognize and maintain healthy relationships?

    3. I get what you’re saying. I really do. Hell, I was once in a super manipulative/bordering emotional abuse relationship. But…. that doesn’t explain the trying to get pregnant, or actually getting pregnant thing. Unless he was pressuring her. If that were the case, I would probably tend to agree more with this. The way I read this letter, she wanted to get pregnant with this man.

      I’m guessing it’s more she was ok with this fucked up relationship for whatever fucked up reason. Then BAM. she got pregnant. And now she’s not so sure if she wants her baby to live with this lifestyle. Now she’s looking for permission to get out. At least, I hope that’s the case.

      1. Hm, good point. I mean, it’s definitely 100% speculation on my part. I wonder, though, given all the other pressure he’s clearly put on her to accept his behavior/stop defending her personal boundaries, whether it’s totally out of the question that he’d pressure her to have a kid with him too. Plus, regardless of manipulation or abuse, she doesn’t sound like she was that assertive (or a great decision-maker) to begin with, so maybe she also just really wanted a kid and thought he was her only shot.
        Besides the possible manipulation and gaslighting, it also sounds like maybe at the beginning she had a romanticized idea of him in her head, like he was a Christian Grey or something and she found it attractive despite the fact that she wasn’t personally comfortable with the stuff he wanted to do with her.

      2. So I wasn’t the only one who thought 50 Shades while reading this letter??

      3. There is for sure a billion kinds or wrong here with both parties. I soooo feel sad for this child coming into the world.

  17. LW, for the sake of your unborn child and your own peace of mind, please get tested for STDs and HIV. Then put on a huge biker boot with spikes on it and kick this idiot boyfriend to the curb. Makes sure it hurts.

    1. Just because he’s kinky does not mean he has unprotected sex.

      1. Sure it’s doesn’t mean that, but he’s been having sex with someone outside of their relationship. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, some STDs can be passed to the unborn child, so it seems like a no-brainer to get tested.

    2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      They test all pregnant women here. It’s a great practice.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I believe they do here in FL too. At my routine check up the midwife said something about it being standard practice.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Also, routine as in annual visit. Not pregnant.

      3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        My doctor tests for a few things with my pap every year but HIV/AIDS is a blood test, I had never been tested for it until I got pregnant. I opted out this time though since I had just been tested 2 years ago and I highly, highly doubt there is any change in my STD status.

      4. MIDWIFE? Yep, I saw that one!

      5. Okay, I immediately regretted posted that because 1) might have been a slip of the keyboard and 2) don’t want to pressure anyone into spilling. But I’m not logged in (just doing the fill-in every time you post thing) and I can’t 🙁 Sorry GG. I take it back!!

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I’m not pregnant, I promise! I decided to start going to a midwife’s office (rather than a gyno) this year because we wanted to establish a relationship with them and get pre-conception advice. Since we over think EVERYTHING. No babies yet 🙂 There was plenty of wine drinking last night.

      7. Cool! That sounds like a really good idea. And sorry again for putting you on the spot 🙁

      8. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        No worries! You’re totally fine. I’ll probs update when the goalie is finally pulled.

      9. lets_be_honest says:


      10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Do I not get to keep some things private?? haha.

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        No, you do not! Come on. You should know this by now.

      12. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        That’s cool that you can do that. We don’t have the option here to go to a midwife before pregnancy, probably because it is all paid for by the government and midwife’s are paid more per patient than OBs. However my midwife would meet with someone for free to have a chat, I’m sure. I love my midwife!

      13. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, I was pretty happy about it. They midwife is also a nurse practitioner so she could legally do all of the official medical stuff/write my pill script, but was able to talk about all the baby making. Which she basically said just go for it when you’re ready so. But I was happy to have the opportunity.

      14. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        All midwives here are like that. I don’t know about aftercare where you are but that was truly the best part of having a midwife to me. She treats us for 6 week after the birth and does home visits almost everyday for the first 10 days so you don’t have to leave the house. She did everything from making sure breastfeeding was going well to getting our swing safely set up, teaching me how to wrap and she had a ton of amazing tips for dealing with a newborn.

      15. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        This place does the 6 week after care too. I’m not sure if it’s in home or office, but the office/birth center is only like 2 miles from me. I’m really excited about the option, but worry we might be moving before we’re ready for baby making.

      16. I’m still trying to decide between being a midwife versus a women’s health nurse practitioner. I kinda figure if I want to do women’s health, I might as well be able to deliver babies so I can offer the full gamut of services. However, I don’t necessarily want to focus JUST on babies and pregnancies, which I feel like midwives do. I want to do well woman check ups and offer reproductive health services to women across the lifespan, whereas being a midwife most of my clientele would be women who are or want to be pregnant.
        Sorry to threadjack, but I was just having this convo with my OB clinical instructor yesterday. She is a women’s health nurse practitioner and kind of let me in on some of the differences that I hadn’t necessarily considered, and now I’m all confused!
        In other news, I saw a C section yesterday and it was AWESOME. I also played with the placenta.

      17. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        women’s health NP gets my vote!! The one I saw works both at the birth center and a regs OBGYN, so she gets to be all midwifey and do the regular well woman stuff.

      18. Yeah, a WHNP could do pretty much everything except actually deliver the baby, I guess. Midwives CAN do it all, but mostly focus on pregnancies. I guess I’ll just spend more time in labor and delivery and make a decision based on how much I like it.

      19. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I’m sure it depends on your state a lot too. It’s super exciting though. I want to throw caution to the wind and do it too.

      20. I’ve always seen NPs at Planned Parenthood and liked them sooo much more than any full blown OBGYN I’ve gone to. I feel like you’d be really good at being an NP, and young women, especially might be able to feel more at ease with someone like you.

      21. Yeah, @ Bethany, I saw an NP as my GYN when I lived in Vegas and she was by far the best. I’ve heard a lot of women say that they prefer NPs to MDs in that situation. (And yeah, I think I’d be pretty good at it too, if I don’t say so myself).

  18. I’m going to try to be nice here… LW, I’m having a really hard time understanding why you are in this relationship, and why you would even for a second consider having a child with this person. His “interests” here don’t even matter. This guy cheated on you (with his COUSIN!!), he lies to you, he doesn’t seem to care about your feelings or respect you at all. What the fuck? Seriously. Why would you want to have a child with a person like that? Why are your standards for acceptable behavior so low? This is not a rhetorical question. Spend some time and seriously think about why this is all acceptable behavior to you, because it really isn’t.
    You need to leave this man. Focus on yourself and your child and gain a little self respect.

  19. Avatar photo theattack says:

    LW, I think the other commenters are going to thoroughly cover where you went wrong here, so I’m going to focus on what to do from here. If you have a Planned Parenthood close by, go talk to someone there for some open-minded guidance. Ask them for a therapist referral. Ask them about your options for this baby: abortion, adoption, resources to help you raise it on your own if you need help, etc. Go to the therapist immediately and try to figure out what to do about your pregnancy. Continue going to the therapist and talking about your relationship, your relationship history, and your individual self-esteem. PLEASE do this.

  20. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    This makes me so sad. Not for the lw, because you chose to stay with him despite being smothered in red flags, but for your child. Your kid will learn from you what a good relationship is, how to treat someone and how to be treated. Is this really what you would want for your kid? How about for your sister or friend? If it isn’t good enough for them why is it good enough for you? Don’t punish yourself and definitely don’t punish your poor baby with this life. Get some counselling- personal, legal and any other kind you can find.

  21. I don’t understand why people continue to think bringing a child into the world is like buying a new outfit… This doesn’t solve your problems, it actually heightens them 50x’s more. Also, I’m still in shock you made a conscious decision to get pregnant from this guy…i would suggest putting the baby up for adoption & getting your life together away from this creep. Putting aside his “adventurous” sex life, the bare bones of it is that he is cheater & a liar & is that the kind of person you want to raise a child with? Think ab that, bc it is clear you haven’t been thinking ab anything…

  22. Abortion is another option- but I’m not so clear on the cut off for getting one is. Just do your research on all aspects… I think keeping the baby would be a huge disservice to the child at this particular point in your life.

  23. Cheating, lying, meeting men on the internet and in rest stops and video stores, and sexting with ex-girlfriends are not kinks. That is just plain shitty behavior. This LW needs to see the difference and MOA.

    1. iseeshiny says:

      My kink? Oh, I get off on being a lying, manipulative sack of shit, and convincing my girlfriend that if she doesn’t like it that there’s something wrong with her! Mind games give me boners!

  24. My laptop exploded this morning, and now my head has exploded.

  25. Accidental pregnancies often irritate me, but this one NOT being an accident is even worse.

    1. Avatar photo theattack says:

      I’m forcing myself not to feel anything about this issue and to just pull up my screen of emotional disconnection because I don’t want to absorb the fact that she tried to get pregnant here. It’s bad enough knowing it’s true.

  26. There is so much wrong with this letter. First Ew. 2nd you don’t want an open relationship, but since he does it doesn’t matter who he bangs I guess. I hope you get tested for STD’s on a weekly basis, I can’t believe you really sleep with somebody, who is just meeting random people at rest stops, and all the time, and then you go and try to get pregnant with him, when he pretty much is the exact opposite of everything you want in a person. I really really really can’t figure out why you wanted to bring a child into this world with this man knowing who he is. Were you that desperate to have a child that you didn’t care who it was from? That’s my only guess.

  27. GiantPoodle says:

    Nope nope nope nope nope.

    All debates on the squick factor of incest aside… If he wants an open relationship that you have explicitly said you do not want, and is making out with someone (anyone, regardless of whether she is his cousin) while you are out of town and also pregnant with his child, that is grounds for dismissal, even without considering that he has a history of cheating on you.

    MOA, find yourself again (because I think you’ve lost sight of who you are and what you want), and figure out if you really want to be legally tied to this man for the rest of your life through a child. He certainly doesn’t seem like an ideal role model/parent.

  28. To be a good mom, you’ll need to draw some strict lines with this guy. So, in 12 years or so, when he wants to open your relationship to include your son or daughter, make sure you join in too. Someone has to be there at all times to make sure he doesn’t do anything wrong. [On a personal note, blood started trickling out of my ear as I typed that. I think i might have popped something in my skull.]

  29. bittergaymark says:

    Um, okay… This letter is the dumbest I’ve read in a long time. What that says about the LW? Draw your own conclusions. But the lack of logic here is hilarious. It’s rather like dumping a gun-toting bank robber because he repeatedly orders you the wrong coffee at Starbucks.

    Oh, right. Advice Go have an abortion. Then tie your tubes. Immediately. Sorry. But You are simply NOT the type of person who needs to procreate. Period.

    1. “It’s rather like dumping a gun-toting bank robber because he repeatedly orders you the wrong coffee at Starbucks.”

      HAHAHAHAHAHA I must say that is the best things I’ve read all morning.

    2. It could happen. He would probably order used, non-sequential ventis.

    3. I really hate it when someone orders me the wrong coffee.

  30. *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

    Nope, that didn’t help me see your point of view any better.
    LW, you keep mixing up kink with terrible behavior. You have poor communication with your boyfriend, and what’s worse – you’ve become his doormat.

    Cheating is not kink. It’s cheating. Lying is not kink. It’s lying. If you made it clear from the beginning that you did not want an open relationship – why the hell are you still with him after he’s cheated? Time and time again? He’s gaslighting you by telling you that you’re just looking for a reason to break up. Honey – you have plenty of reasons to break up, just pick one (or multiple) and tell him it’s over. Then put your money where your mouth is and walk.

    I’m sorry that you have such poor judgement and low self-esteem that you thought having a baby with this fuckwad was a good idea. A baby won’t change his ways. It will just make them seem that much more disgusting to you.
    Get yourself tested since he has an affinity with sex with random people. Talk to an attorney about custody and child support. Since you have such a hard time walking away, I’d recommend having a friend or family member be the 3rd party intermediary between you two. He can’t talk to you, he has to go through the other person to relay messages to you. It will cut down on his gaslighting, and it sends a clear message that you do not want to talk to him after all of his douchey behavior.

  31. So…did you read 50 Shades and then turn it into a relationship advice letter to see if the same women who enjoyed (may have enjoyed) the book would tell you how amazing it was you found the fairy-tale? Just curious…

  32. What the actual f*ck, lady?? *inhale… exhale…* This guy only care about getting as many sexual kicks as he can before he contracts a disease and dies. Or gets attacked at a truck stop and dies. Or gets abducted, sold into sexual slavery, and is never seen again. Either way, you are raising that baby on your own and until then YOUR health is in danger. Run away. Get counseling also. None of this is healthy.

  33. karenwalker says:

    You guys, in Saudi Arabia, it’s more or less the norm that cousins get married. And have babies, who have many health issues. Ok, not all the babies, but the ones in my hospital are typically very, very ill or very, very physically deformed as a result, though the rest of their siblings may be healthy. And obvi not every Saudi marries a cousin, but a lot do…even ones who are educated and know about the potential of birth defects – like some of our doctors. SMDH!

    If you & your cousin want to get it on, please use birth control!

  34. This has to be fake, right?

    1. tbrucemom says:

      I was kind of wondering the same thing. The reference to a “hard limit” is straight from 50 Shades, maybe that’s why.

      1. karenwalker says:

        actually, the term “hard limit” is pretty common in kinky and D/s relationships

    2. I’m VERY hesitant to call a letter “fake” on the comments simply because so many LWs have come back saying they were hurt by no one believing their problem was real.

  35. LW, I think perhaps your boyfriend’s comment about “you’re just doing this because of the 5-year mark” might actually be the only thing stopping you from actually hitting the red button this relationship – something tells me this is something set in your psyche, this idea of the 5 year expiration date, and you’re fretting because you can’t get away from the feeling that he could be right. Did your last long-term relationships end badly? Have you always been the dumper rather than the dumpee? I agree with Wendy that it sounds like you have some shame over the “only lasted 5 years” thing, that would be worth examining with a therapist.
    In any case, by focusing in on that one little crack, you’ve gone fuzzy on full picture of this relationship and all the huge red flags that others have pointed out. You do not need permission to leave, whether or not you continue the pregnancy. If you do, you might think it would be easier to raise the kid with him – but would it really? All else aside, he’s extremely selfish and his interest, let alone competence, in parenting is questionable.
    So don’t feel like you HAVE to stay with him because of the baby. Or because of the 5-year curse. Or because otherwise you’re alone. You don’t owe him anything (well, legally as it relates to the child, I can’t speak to that). Just go.
    Oh, and not to add to your anxiety but… are you sure you’re the only one he’s ever gotten pregnant? Just a thought. As someone said above, kink doesn’t mean unsafe sex, but it seems ignorant to dismiss the possibility that he’s been a baby-daddy before.

    1. This whole “my relationships never last more than 5 years” thing is so odd though. 5 years is a pretty long time. Has she had several relationships end at the 5 year mark? I could understand fretting about never lasting beyond 2 or 3 years, but 5?

  36. LW, if you’re looking for permission and support to end things with him, here it is: Yes, you should definitely end things. As others have said as well, you should do some serious introspection as to why you would put up with this sort of behavior in a relationship and value yourself so little. You may think his sexual wants and proclivities are valid, but so are yours. It’s okay to not be into things. However, you should find a partner who is compatible with you and values similar things, and also one who will respect you. But, first, take some time for yourself and I’d also suggest seeing a counselor. Your mindset about a healthy relationship needs more help than what can be given through an advice site.

  37. Gee… I am thinking now that perhaps I should have posted this on a more Kink friendly advice page.

    So to comment on the advice and the comments to follow up…
    Sadly my story IS true… you can’t make this stuff up. I HATED 50 shades of grey btw (horribly written and barely kink) but understand why one might think I was trying to cash in… I’m almost 40 and old enough to know better about the bad behavior issues… I have always been the dumper in all relationships after my first love shattered my heart my senior year of high school… This is my 4th long term relationship… I have a history of obesity, depression, Low self esteem. I cycle and I know it especially in the winter (bipolar has been ruled out).

    I have had one super healthy relationship, my first marriage, but I bailed cuz we were too young and I “wanted more”. Honestly I was still hung up on the high school heartbreaker at the time. I often regret it ending. I confess to having somewhat of a fear of commitment but I do a damn good job of trying.

    To be clear, the boyfriend only cheated (intercourse) on me once prior to the first break up with a woma over three years ago and once recently while I was away with a man in addition to making out with his female cousin. Kissing others,though I am not jazzed about – I could deal with if it WASN’t with his COUSIN (which is My main creep me out issue). He HAS been very open and forthcoming about his sexuality and desires but usually ONLY when I directly ask and even then it’s like pulling teeth… As he likes his privacy (who doesn’t to a degree).

    Readers are correct, I knew what I was getting into and honestly shy of the two full on cheating episodes, the sexting, the lying by omission and of course the incest, I was open and accepting of all of the obvious kinkery old chap… (loved that comment). I was accepting of an open relationship with men as that is something I cannot provide considering my anatomy. I only asked he be honest and forthcoming about it. And I do know the difference between kink and just plain bad behavior.

    We have had a very strong relationship over the past three years after getting back together with no lying, no cheating and no bad behavior (other than sexting). This included seeing a therapist who was very well aware of all of our past issues, So when we were trying to get pregnant (which I did and miscarried last fall and now like I said am 3 mos) I was doing that under the understanding that things had improved and settled and matured in our relationship. He was initially the one who wanted kids, I have spent my entire adult life NOT wanting kids. but as the relationship matured and grew and my clock kept ticking, I was on board with the idea (trying to block my mothers voice in my head encourging me to never have kids and telling me if she had it to do again, she wouldn’t… but thats a WHOLE other forum discussion – and yes – I am working with a therapist on those issues too). So now that I AM pregnant and am faced with this very big stress, I have to say that Having an abortion and being pro choice are two very different things when you are personally faced with that decision. After seeing little arms and legs via ultra sound, it’s not as easy to just throw it away because he’s a douche monkey. And I have no desire to give away my child my blood to strangers. I just have to be a better parent. And I will seek out legal and professional advice related to that.

    Although I thought things were good, In reality he was just stewing and spinning because he was not able to “be himself”. Our relationship was BDSM for about a year and a half (yes I was VERY much the sub/slave in that scene and it was completely consensual). I enjoyed it at the time but it has since served it’s purpose and no longer has purpose for me long term and to be honest, he stopped persuing it as well.

    My overall question and advice seeking in this letter and forum (which incidentally I just found by googling a question… I never knew about the site prior) was about the INCEST and how it seemed so trivial compared to the other issues that I HAD been accepting of (the commenter about the ordering the wrong Starbucks coffee touching on that very point). Had I known about that historical incestuous relationship in the beginning, we would have never gotten to the rest of the stuff in the first place.

    Obviously none of you have lived the past 5 years in my shoes, and I know this. I greatly appreciate the advice and the comments, and I know I was opening myself up by publicly posting my dirty laundry. If you do not understand a relationship in Kink, then this Im sure seems far more shocking on the OTHER kink ssues, than the actual INCEST. So I take it all with a grain of salt and I thank you. This has given me great insight into myself and my situation.


    1. I wasn’t weirded out by the rest, but to be honest I was weirded out by you being weirded out by the incest. I mean, this is obviously a minority opinion, but cousin marriage is really common outside the US, and not only in non-Western nations. And it doesn’t usually result in genetic problems unless done multiple times in a bloodline. I really don’t think of consensual sex between adult cousins, outside of some sort of power relationship or a pseudo-sibling relationship, as incestuous at all. I mean, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have it as a limit. You’re entitled to any limits you want. But I don’t really understand it. I understand his take much more. I’d still kick him to the curb, I think, but not for the cousin thing specifically.

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