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What to do when you fall in love with a family member

By Faeza
09 June 2017

Anonymous from Jozi writes:

I am a 29-year-old woman. When I was 14 my parents died and I stayed with my mother’s sister and her husband. After I turned 18, I started developing feelings for my uncle. After

my aunt passed away, I was the only one left to take care of my uncle who is now 53. I would do the laundry, cook and clean for him. We both then decided to pursue a relationship. The problem is that my cousins and the rest of the family members are now angry and judging me because of the relationship. I feel they are jealous of our relationship. Should I ignore these people?

Move Expert writes:

Mandisa Muruge, who is counselling social worker at the Family Life Centre in Joburg, says, “Now that you are 29 years old and the relationship still continues, that is incest. Your uncle took advantage of you when you were a child. He was supposed to protect you, but instead he became the perpetrator. You didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong

but now you are older and should know better. You say you do everything for your uncle and your cousins are jealous. Don’t you think they are disgusted and embarrassed by what is going on between the two of you? I suggest that you seek trauma counselling to deal with this issue. The sooner you get help, the better.”