So, I have a bit of a dilemma. First, let me give you the backstory. My (male) cousin and I used to live together. When my dad moved to MA, my cousin, his (now-ex) wife, and their son moved in. I hated his ex-wife so I wasn’t excited. But within a year they were divorcing and she was moving back across the country. He continued to live with me for another year or so before buying his own place. This was between 2006 and 2008 when I was just transitioning from high school to college life and he was newly single without a kid for half the year so we partied A LOT. We became super close and, even after he moved out, I still hung out with him on a regular basis. I became a fixture in his group of friends. And because of that, I started dating guys from that group. Also, I should add, that this was during the period in my life where I was making THE WORST DECISIONS EVER.
First, there was a guy named DJ. He was a friend of my cousins girlfriend. He worked with my uncle (Aunt B’s husband) on the other side of my family. He was 29, divorced, a heavy smoker who swore he was quitting… and he still lived with his mother and their two dogs who slept in his bed every night. He’s not around anymore in this scenario, but I just had to mention him because the guy was so laughable.
Next came Army Boy. He had just come home from two back-to-back tours in Iraq and the first night we spent together he cried to me about his war issues. I think that’s where he got me because I felt so bad for him. Honestly, the guy had major PTSD and I hope he got help, though I heard he just headed back for his third tour. He was in the middle of a divorce, lived an hour away on base, and has two children. The thing with him is that my cousin plays community baseball with his ex-wife’s new husband. Consistently, as in, to this day. So when he has a BBQ or invites the grown-ups over from some drinks or even when he throws his son’s birthday party, I have to look at this woman and know that she knows that I had sex with her baby daddy. That while she was grieving her marriage, I was helping her children grow. And I was calling her a bitch in the process. She was a bitch, but still. So there’s that.
There’s also the matter of the third and final guy. The one that is my cousin’s best friend. We’ll call him Saturn Guy. Saturn guy is very sweet, and I still consider him a good friend. He thinks very highly of me and honestly, we could have been a cute couple. I crushed on him while my cousin was living here. Then he moved away to NM for a couple of years with his girlfriend. Then he moved back and she cheated on him and got pregnant by another guy. So there was my chance. We flirted for a long time. He didn’t want to do anything with me at the risk of his friendship. But desire won out and we became FWB. We had sex on an off for about a year. I “caught feelings” for him and I think he did too, but he was too scared to ever do anything about it and so I moved on. There isn’t any bad mojo there. But the problem is that whenever I hang out with my cousin, Saturn Guy is probably going to be there.
I haven’t even seen my cousin in almost a year. We’ve been doing our own thing and our schedules have always been opposite. Now things with SC have got me busier than ever, but I miss my cousin a lot. He was always the family member that I went to for advice. He was the first person I told in my family that I wasn’t a virgin, the only family member I told before I turned 18. We’re trying to find a way to start hanging out again, but I’m worried about these situations I’ve gotten myself into.
Do I let SC know about these things? Do I even bring SC around right out of the gate? Do I ever mention anything to Army Boy’s ex-wife, or do I suck it up and continue to let the awkwardness control our encounters? And what happens if I get drunk? I don’t have any sort of filter whatsoever with alcohol in my system. I’m liable to make jokes about fucking Saturn Guy and to confess how I feel to Army Boy’s ex.
I think that without these situations, I’d be much more likely to jump at the chance to hang out with my cousin more often. So I need to find a way to get past them. Any suggestions?