hand wearing latex glove holding vile labelled "DNA Test"
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
June 2, 2024 ·  5 min read

Couple Discovers They Are Distant Cousins After DNA Test Results—Now The Wife Wants A Divorce

What would your reaction be if your significant other turns out to be your cousin (albeit, a really distant one)? Well, a husband revealed that his wife wanted a divorce. Now, while some of us may think that the wife over-reacted a bit- maybe she didn’t! The husband also brought up this issue with his friend for advice. Apparently, the couple had both taken up the DNA test while they were checking up on their family history. Looks like they swallowed more than they could chew. For after finding out that they were sixth cousins, a marital relationship was about to come to an end. The post on r/relationship_advice stated:

“This news caused his wife to freaked out over the thought that she’s had 3 kids with her cousin. When they found out, she ran to the bathroom and started throwing up. Kept screaming how her whole life has been a lie. How she can’t understand how she could have been so stupid. He said he’s tried many times to talk her out of this. Saying it doesn’t matter because they are so far removed, generally they are not related. He is so regretful that they even took the test and really wished things were back to normal. However, the damage is done, this pandora’s box is open and it’s all she can think about. Her parents have tried talking with her, her siblings, friends, and coworkers, and all say the same thing- it’s not a big deal. But she is focused on how disgusting it is that she has not only slept with her cousin, but she actually married and had kids with him. How she is now just a common idiot hillbilly.”

DNA Test Result Showed Married Couple Were Cousins

OP, who is the friend of the couple, then asked the subreddit for help:

What could I possibly say that would help? He asked me what I think he should do and if possible, if I could talk with her. Seems I have always provided solutions to help solve many of their marital problems. He also said she always listens to me. I told him to give me a few days to think about it. This request has been keeping me up for several nights. I don’t know what or how to even approach this. So, I’m looking to you. What can I say?

u/xaviira was quite blunt about their assessment of the DNA test debacle.

Hang on. If they are 6th cousins, that means that their most recent common ancestor is 7 generations back- in other words, they don’t share a grandparent, they share a great-great-great-great-great grandparent. Most people can’t even trace their families that far back. I think she is getting too hung up on language here. They are not cousins as most people understand them, and they do not share a grandparent. They are two incredibly distant relatives who happen to share a distant common ancestor. If their most recent relative is 7 generations back, that person probably lived in the 1700s. Also, your friend and his wife would share virtually no DNA- 5th cousins share 0.05% of their DNA on average.

u/D-Juice also mentioned,

This seems to be a very poor understanding of genetic relationships combined with terrible snobbery. Has anyone shown her what a sixth cousin actually looks like on a family tree? They share a great-great-great-great-great grandfather, who lived several centuries ago. Quite hard not to marry a relative if you’re counting that far back.”

u/countzeroinc added to this by stating,

“I think the visual of a family tree is an excellent idea to show her, and if she still is freaking out maybe make an appointment with a genetic counselor who can explain that she’s not married to her cousin. The problem is she has that label stuck in her head and may always treat him differently even after being educated. The fact she puked over a sixth cousin is a really extreme reaction and I’m afraid she won’t listen to logic.

Read: Woman Who Refuses To Date ‘Lazy Men’ Says Women Should Dump Boyfriend If They Don’t Gym 5 Times A Week

This image is only for aesthetic purposes.
Image Credits: Stock

Reddit Decided The Best Course of Action- Armed With Logic and Therapy

u/Tinkerrific had their own conclusions drawn about the DNA test and its consequences.

“The facts don’t matter at this point for this person. She has convinced herself of a specific truth and nothing is going to make her change her mind. Showing her scientific articles and having discussions with doctors, etc…will almost certainly have the opposite effect. She needs therapy where she can discuss her feelings about them and eventually she has to come around on her own and see her point of view as ridiculous. Whether she agrees to do that before going forward with a divorce is anyone’s guess. For right now, your friend should get a divorce lawyer.”

r/avoidthefaptrap mentioned,

“If they’re from the same geographic area, they’re likely as related as any two random people from that area. 6th cousins to my knowledge would share less than 0.1% of their DNA. Maybe even less than 0.01%, I can’t remember. This really puts them as related as ANY two people from that same area. It just so happens you were able to trace it back.” 

Other commenters of the subreddit had similar opinions about this incident. u/FreeTransSteph mentioned,

“I’m going to be very plain about this: Your friend’s wife is an idiot. Sixth cousins would share very little common DNA, and I’m sure this sort of distant-relative marriage happens all the time. It did in my own family- My father and mother were distant cousins, back to the 1820s when both had connections to the Avery clan. I didn’t find out until a few years ago, and I couldn’t have cared less. Maybe that explains why we were always fighting. Your friend’s dimwit wife out to calm down and do some research- unless she’s gone completely batshit over something so significant.”

Scientifically, we are all supposed to have some common ancestor if we go far back enough. But how far back does it have to be to not be problematic? What do you think?

Keep Reading: Man Wants To Know If He’s the Jerk For Closing His Pool To Neighborhood Kids After They Break His Rules


  1. They’re more than kissing cousins. Reddit. June 3, 2021
  2. Reddit user tells: ‘My wife wants a divorce after a DNA test revealed our ‘disgusting’ secret’.” 7 News. August 7, 2021.

    These stories are based on posts found on Reddit. Reddit is a user-generated social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website where registered members submit content to the site and can up- or down-vote the content. The accuracy and authenticity of each story cannot be confirmed by our staff.