Couple nights ago I went on Ancestry.com to look up some of my roots and I clicked on one of those leafs and see that my great great grandfather’s last name was Douglas, my wife’s last name. So I did a little researching and it turns out it was the same family as my wife’s. So we’re fourth cousins thrice removed or something. I don’t know what to do now. What does this mean? She doesn’t know yet. Should I even tell her? Should I ask for a divorce? She really wants to have kids and now I’m scared. If I get her pregnant will we have a retard baby? -- Dean from Peoria, Illinois
Okay, a few things before we get started here… You’re actually third cousins with your wife. Second cousins would be if you shared the same great grandfather, and first cousins if you had the same grandfather. That being said, it’s not all that uncommon. I’m sure a lot more people out there have accidentally married their cousins. You take that risk any time you’re with someone of a similar ethnicity. If you want to be safe it’s best to marry people as far opposite from your ethnic background as possible. If you’re Black marry an Asian, if you’re an Eskimo, marry an Amish, etc. Otherwise there’s always the chance your fucking your cousin. Also, you shouldn’t use the R-word. The chances of your baby being disabled or having some sort of inbreeding birth defect is very small when mating with a third cousin. Does that excuse it? Sort of. I think once you get past second cousins it’s a free-for-all. It’s still legal to marry a second cousin in most states, though I personally wouldn’t recommend it unless you want a smaller wedding reception with bride and groom inviting a few of the same people.
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