They’ve had three children together
A woman who married her cousin said the revelation that they were blood relatives made her “sick to her stomach.”
Celina Quinones, 37 and her husband Joseph, 44, from Colorado in the US, met at a Halloween party and got on like a house on fire.
After agreeing to go on a date together, Celina said they became “inseparable.”
Just a few months later they got married and have gone on to have three children together.
But, after a decade of marriage, they made they shocking discovery that they were genetically related.
Celina told Truly that neither her nor her husband had the slightest idea they were related, and that they only discovered the truth after she started doing research into her ancestry.
Recalling the moment she made the discovery, she said: “We decided to do our DNA test and that’s when we found out. I was a little sick to my stomach. In my head, I thought we were supposed to get divorced.”
The results showed that they had a match of 62 centimorgan (cM). This is a unit used for measuring genetic linkage.
In this case, 62 cM meants the pair had the same ancestor eight generations back.
The results were clearly difficult to understand and accept for the couple, in particular Joseph who was apparently in “complete denial.”
“The DNA test has confirmed that we are third to fifth cousins,” Celina explained.
The pair did initially contemplate divorcing, but decided against this when they thought about what the impact would be on their kids.
She explained: “I started more thinking to myself like ‘Hey for our children, for our household we need to keep it together and stay together.’
“It was a pivotal moment for us because you’re not supposed to look at your cousin or be with your cousin and I didn’t mean it but it happened that way.”
Joseph added: “We’ve gone this far and it’s til death do us part in my books so I wasn’t gonna leave over something like that.”
After sharing their story on TikTok, they’ve been on the receiving end of abuse from people who have branded their marriage “sick.”
But the backlash has only made their relationship stronger.
Joseph said: “To the people who were giving us negative comments, it’s easy to speak on the outside without knowing the whole inside story.
“We found out almost 11 years later, three kids later… It’s just not something you break up and walk away from.”
The pair are set to celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary next month and say their kids have accepted the unconventional set-up.