Wife Gets Husband a 'Fun' DNA Test Kit for His Bday -- & Learns They're Actually First Cousins


As DNA tests and ancestry sites become more and more popular, people are using them to find out all sorts of interesting things about their family tree. Sometimes, they can connect long-lost relatives who would've never known the other existed. In other cases, they can let people know what kinds of illnesses or conditions they might be predisposed to. But one woman recently learned a bit more than she bargained for when she got her results back -- and discovered that she and her husband are first cousins

  • The couple decided to get the DNA testing kit for a bit of fun on her husband's birthday, but they weren't expecting the results to be earth-shattering.

    In a letter sent to Slate's Dear Prudence Podcast, the anonymous wife explained that she and her husband grew up in the same small town and have a 2-year-old son together.

    "For a birthday present, I got both of us an ancestry kit," she said, according to the Daily Mail. "I wish to God I never came up with the idea."

    When the couple quickly discovered that they were closely related, it nearly broke her husband's heart. 

    "This news unsettles me and has left my husband's world in tatters," she explained. "His parents have been married for 30 years and my husband always held his mother close to sainthood."

    Since they made the discovery, she and her husband have been sleeping in separate rooms and he's refused to talk about what happened.

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  • But the letter writer added that she's still a little confused on how exactly the two are related.

    Realizing that the evidence all points her mother-in-law having an affair with one of her uncles, she wracked her brain for who exactly it could be.

    "All my uncles are happily married -- I thought," she wrote. "I find myself looking through photo albums of our childhood together and trying to figure out the truth."

    But what's weighing on her the most now is the feeling that she can't share her secret -- not even with her own sisters or mom, who are due to visit soon.

    "This secret is poisoning my marriage, and I am terrified it will blow up the rest of our family," she wrote. "My father-in-law likes to rhapsodize how he married the first girl he ever kissed. This is going to kill him."

  • The two hosts of the podcast were in agreement, though: She needs to deal with her husband first before she can let things spiral out of control.

    Podcast host Daniel Mallory Ortberg and his guest host, literary agent Connor Goldsmith, felt strongly that the woman needed to get her husband on the same page as her before moving forward.

    "You're cousins," Goldsmith told her. "You're not siblings. You didn't grow up thinking of yourself related."

    "There are plenty of places around the world where people marry their first cousins and it's not considered that weird," he added. "Unless your husband simply can't live with this, I don't see the upside in blowing up this marriage, potentially, 30 years later."

    Ortberg did admit that he would have a hard time living with the knowledge that his mother didn't warn him he was marrying his cousin, though. Still, the two men noted that perhaps her husband's father knew about the affair and quietly decided to raise her husband as his own.

    Ultimately, they both agreed that couples' therapy was desperately needed for the pair, and added that if her husband wasn't willing to go, the writer should go alone and figure out how to handle the situation from there.

    Yikes. Here's hoping this one works itself out (as best as can be expected, under the circumstances).