Awkward Family Story: All in the Family

June 26th, 2009

When I was 11 my parents divorced and my mom married my dad’s brother. As if that isn’t awkward enough… when my brothers and I got older, we eventually had to break the news to our soon to be spouses. When I told my fiance, he said “Don’t tell my family.”  So came time for our parents to meet. Everyone introduced themselves. My mom, dad and stepdad/uncle where all there (yet another awkward moment) I guess as an ice breaker my uncle/stepdad says “So did Susan tell you I’m also her uncle”?  My fiances mom started coughing then started choking. The ambulance was called, but thankfully I know the heimlich and got the piece of food out right away. After that though my fiance’s parents left, and haven’t seen my family since. Can’t wait for the wedding… awkward.

(submitted by Susan)

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78 Responses to “Awkward Family Story: All in the Family”

  1. Hannah says:

    I married my fraternal twin sister’s ex husband. They had been amicably divorced for 10 years and I ran into him in a group with close friends 11 years later. We were just friends at first but one thing led to another. This was also after my sister was already happily remarried to someone else.Of course before i dated him, I asked my sister in advance as well as my parents and close friends. It was definitely weird but surprisingly not one person that knows us objected (to our face that is ;) )There were no kids involved. My sister is still my best friend. It’s actually not awkward at all anymore but it’s not something we bring up to people we don’t know or at dinner parties. When I began dating him and changed my Facebook status to in a relationship I got several wtfs???, April fools jokes, and shock but it all good now ;) )) life is too short to worry about others opinions!

    I’m fully aware that some people will think I’m a total freak, but I’m okay with it

  2. EMM says:

    I just want to let you know, I am going through a simmular situation except this is my father with his brother’s exwife. What made it worse, is that they denied it for 3 years and all of a sudden, I am supposed to be happy about it. Needless to say, they both hate my uncle and I am expected to do the same and this make me even more uncomfortable. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel every oz of your pain.

  3. Mel says:

    Sorry, I meant to say ‘embarrased’, English isn’t my first language so I tend to make these mistakes.

  4. Mel says:

    Sounds like you are more judgemental of your own mother than anyone else… Other than a Josef Fritzl situation, I cant really see why you should be embarrasment let alone ashamed. Unusual, maybe. Akward, not.

  5. lisa says:

    this sounds fake

  6. Maria says:

    My husband has this situation right now. His exwife who cheated on him, and left him broke and estranged from his children married his brother. They have been divorced for 5 years, but she still keeps him from his own children. He and his brother were very close. He helped him through the divorce. He later divorced his wife to be with his ex sister-in-law. My husband and I are happily married, but he still suffers from anxiety issues and trust issues which we go to counseling for. Now that his brother has married his exwife he isn’t speaking to anyone in his family because they don’t want to upset the brother. He is the favored child because he has had a tough life. Now my husband has abandonment issues on top of everything else. You may all joke and say we should be grown ups about this, but it truly is not a laughing matter.

  7. Jessica says:

    A friend of mine is currently pregnant. In June, she was still dating the father. But as of a few weeks ago she is engaged to his brother. I can’t believe that she in a matter of about two months, broke up with someone, started dating another guy, and then got engaged. Let alone the fact that it is the father’s brother.

  8. Fairytail3982 says:

    Sure, it’s a little awkward, but not all that uncommon. After my paternal grandmother died, my paternal grandfather married her sister who was by then widowed. So my Dad’s first cousins became his step-sisters. I can relate to the saying, “I’m so Southern, I’m related to myself!”

    Topical Quote: “…why don’t you just march those $12 pumps back to the trailer park and whip up some dinner for cousin dad?” -Caitlin to Dierdre on Spin City

  9. Jennifer says:

    Things like this are not uncommon. My mother does geneaology, and there was one family situation that took her months to figure out. Our ancestor, John Sr. married and had a son, John Jr. When Jr. grew up he married and had a son. Then, within a year, both Sr.’s wife and Jr. both died. So Sr. married his son’s widow, and had another son. Because of this, the last little boy was also his older brother’s uncle.

  10. Ashley says:

    My grandma did the same thing! Married her ex’s brother.

  11. Dave says:

    LOL. My friend Ashley had the EXACT same deal happen only her biological dad died of cancer then her mom married the brother (she was cheating on him while he was dying). We always refer to him in conversation as “Uncle-Daddy.”

  12. Nance says:

    OMG… this is like my in laws…. My father in law divorced my mother in law and married her sister in law! My husband’s cousins became his brothers!!!

  13. Larry N says:

    Be of good cheer young one,Your uncle/stepdaddy is probably your real pappy anyhow.
    I had an ex-wife from a family that had mostly married cousins for years.Ruined lots of my
    incest jokes.It’s not funny when it’s true

  14. tiff says:

    this story reminds me of my favorite family term: Funcle.

  15. Lil says:

    My mother and her mother dated the same guy at different times, and my mother and my sister dated the same guy at different times. Everyone thinks I’m joking when I say I had to move out of the county I grew up in just to avoid dating someone that one of my female relatives had already dated. And I’m really NOT joking.

    I suppose I should just be grateful there were no marriages involved.

  16. Laura says:

    You think that’s crazy, my grandmother married my grandfather AND my grandmother’s brother married my grandfather’s sister – which makes their kids double cousins…

  17. James says:

    should have liquored up the in-laws before bringing over the uncle/father

  18. R says:

    My wife’s father divorced her mother, them married her mother’s sister. So my wife’s aunt is also her stepmother and her cousins are her step siblings. I think this sort of weirdness is more common than people think.

  19. Mr. Black says:

    Consider it a blessing Susan…… The further away your in-laws stay, the better!

  20. Wendy says:

    Perhaps this is just my rural upbringing talking but why would it matter that the uncle is also the step dad? I don’t even understand why it would be brought up in conversation.

  21. Tocsnai says:

    Nice instincts. Always reveal your most awkward trait first. Makes a nice ice-breaker.

  22. stef mac says:

    And people thought double cousins where weird…

    See my one great aunt and uncle met eachother at their respective siblings wedding (my grandparents) and then married.

    the weird thing is the two families kids look nothing alike. One had kids with dark hair and the others where blondes

  23. 9021-iz0 says:

    this story is false

  24. Jenn says:

    Well, if you think about it, the in-laws might have thought the stepdad/uncle was Susan’s mom’s BROTHER, not former brother-in-law, which meant her mom married her own brother. THAT would definitely be choke-worthy.

    Susan, do you happen to live in a place called Port Charles?

  25. Stacey says:

    Instead of the family tree – it’s a family bush

  26. Sarah says:

    My mom’s dad is also my aunt’s uncle. My aunt is also my mother’s cousin. (To explain: Grandma married and had a daughter, that dude was a d***, divorced him and married my Grandpa)

    • Sarah says:

      Also, in the same vein my aunt (not the cousin/sister) dated my dad for awhile. Then one night she set my mom up with this dude she knew, and the 4 of them went on a double date. Halfway through my aunt takes my mom to the bathroom and says ‘Let’s trade.’
      They did. My parents have been married 40 yrs now and have 9 kids.

      But my aunt is just really into sharing dudes because now my aunt, oldest sister, and 5th oldest sister have all dated and lived with the same man. Sister #5 actually married him (they’re separated now)

      I have 6 sisters, and I gotta say, I must not have got that ‘share’ gene because the whole thing gives me the heebie jeebies.

  27. fearbiter says:

    Did you TELL them not to tell the in-laws? Cause that would make your uncle/stepdad a total jerk…not that he doesn’t seem to be one anyway…surely this info is best put on a need-to-know basis. Not to be used to childishly shock someone.
    Still funny that.

    • Katia says:

      It’s sorta weird anyway. Why volunteer that info anyway? (My guess is that he thought he was being funny, without realizing that for some reason, the fiance’s parents apparently would’ve been insanely offended by the truth, let alone the implication of what he actually said)

  28. Diasdiem says:

    “Oh yeah?” said Oedipus. “See if you can top this one…”

  29. JayP says:

    Now I have to find the lyrics to “I’m My Own Grandpa”.

  30. Lori says:

    would have been more awkward if he said he used to be her aunt! future mother-in-law might have done worse than choke

  31. Snickers says:

    My husband’s brother is married to his ex-wife’s mother- so before they were divorced it was two brothers married to a mother and daughter. What’s even stranger is the mother/brother combo are still married while the brother/daughter combo, who were close in age, divorced after a few years.

    So the younger’s couple children’s uncle is also their step grandfather.

    He had to explain this to me like 10 times before I got it.

    • baffled says:

      Uh. I think I need a pie chart or family tree or crayon drawing to understand what’s going on in that family. Seriously, whoa.

  32. MJ says:

    My husband’s stepfather is also his uncle. After being married to my husbands Dad, his mom and he got divorced and she married his brother. It’s not so bad… we call him Dad. (His real dad died shortly after).

  33. Morag says:

    I don’t understand why they all had to meet on the same day anyway? Couldn’t mum and stepdad have met one day and dad met another day?

  34. kory says:

    OMG! I feel your pain. My dad married his brother’s ex-wife, so my step brother is also my cousin, and my dad is his step dad/uncle – just like your situation. It’s really hard to explain to people that it isn’t incest because it’s so damn confusing.

  35. Rachel says:

    What’s the big deal? I’ve heard much worse. The fiance’s parents are judgmental idiots for freaking out about that!

  36. Kdub says:

    I also raise your story. My mom is getting married to my sisters-husbands-brother…think about it….my niece and nephew with have an uncle grandpa. They are very much in love and all..but still odd.

    • JJ says:

      I got lost half way through reading what you wrote.

    • laurie says:

      It’s more weird to think that your sister and mother will be sisters-in-law, basically.

    • Bill says:

      I love twisted family stories.

      I had a friend school who had his niece pick him up in her car.

      (he was 15, she was 18. He has MUCH older married brothers and his parents were obviously pretty old as well).

      ……Uncle grandpa though…. that’s a new one for me….not awkward…. it’s awesome.

    • Katia says:

      So two sisters are marrying two brothers? Not that awkward. Two of my aunts married brothers. Strange coincidence, maybe, but not creepy or awkward. The part I don’t get is the “uncle grandpa” part. Wouldn’t that imply that someone is marrying a father-in-law? Otherwise it’s just a great-uncle, same as if they were only related by marriage.

      • Tracy says:

        Um NOOOOO! The sister’s MOM is marrying her husband’s brother! That means the sister and HER MOTHER will be sisters-in-law.

      • Tracy says:

        You don’t get the “uncle-grandpa” part because you misread the above…it’s NOT two sisters marrying two brothers…like I said in the other post, it’s the MOM and the daughter who are marrying brothers.

  37. XLscooper says:

    LMAO! Bless your heart! That reminds me of the time my brother and I (as adults) were standing in line for movie tickets and he was bored (which is a bad thing) so he said to me “Hey, if we ever get divorced will you still be my sister?”. I pinched him really hard.

  38. Betty Boop says:

    I am my own grandpa!

  39. jaime says:

    not really understanding why this is a big deal.

    • dr says:

      Really? It’d be cool with you if your mom married your uncle? I can think of few family situations that’d be more awkward, really. Fiancee’s family do sound like they overreacted – I mean, the awkwardness truly is with the Duncle situation, not anyone else – but it’s definitely really, really uncomfortable.

  40. Ashley says:

    Haha I think not telling them beforehand was a mistake. My Stepmom also has a stepdad/uncle and when she told me I was like BWAH?! and had to laugh and be weirded out about the situation for at least 15 minutes. :P

  41. Bryan says:

    My bet is that it was sheer surprise that caused the choking.

    And unfathomable amounts of awkward that had them leave.

  42. Aldous says:

    It’s Hamlet!

  43. Lea says:

    Actually, the mother marrying brother-in-law thing is more common than you think. I’ve known two people whose mothers did that. Of course, I do live in Arkansas…

  44. Angelle says:

    Not that uncommon, I’d guess. I see yours and raise you on the weirdness factor. My father’s father (my paternal grandfather) has a half-brother who is the same age as my father.(making him my great-half-uncle). They grew up together and were great friends. My mom actually dated my great-half-uncle before dating my father, and after my parents divorced, she eventually married him. Her married name was, of course, the same – and I had to introduce people to my “stepfather, uncle-so-and-so”… :)

  45. Julie says:

    That would SO stink! I used to work with a woman whose aunt, then mom, had been married to the same man. A guy who also happened to work with us. We used to call him Duncle Stan.

  46. SG says:

    Unlike Parker, I don’t think it’s a super religious reaction. It seems she was a little shocked to be introduced to someone whose first words to you are “I’m not just your future daughter-in-law’s stepdad; I’m also her uncle!” I can see choking on something–a bit of sandwhich, gum, your own tongue…

  47. Parker says:

    I’m sorry, but what’s up with your fiance’s family? Are they super religious? I can see that the situation is a little awkward, but over-reacting like this… I find it puzzling.

  48. Felix Nagel says:

    We really suffer with you…

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