My Cousins Swapped Wives

Lefty Graves

** This article is based on nonfiction by actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I have a rather large family and extended family. When I was a teen, I visited my great aunt when two of her sons were there. Her sons, my cousins, were out in the backyard having a rather loud conversation.

It was impossible not to overhear the conversation. Both of my cousins had married relatively young. It had been several years, and they had several children when suddenly, they had an extraordinary epiphany.

My great aunt tried to turn the radio up louder, but I could still hear the conversation as one cousin told the other that the best and easiest solution was to swap wives. My great aunt just stared at the wall ahead and tried to keep up a conversation with me, but I could tell that she was having difficulty listening to the discussion at hand.

The brothers finally agreed to divorce their wives and marry each other’s wives. My great aunt stood and went into the kitchen for a few minutes. Then, she composed herself and returned to the living room where I was.

About six months later, I was invited to a double wedding. My cousins had divorced, and the marriage was to each other's wives. It was the most unique and strangest wedding that I had ever been to. My great aunt stood stoic in the foyer, greeting family as we arrived.

Today, the brothers no longer speak to one another, and the wives aren’t friends either. So family reunions are rather tense if both of my cousins and their wives are there. On the other hand, the kids visit with their parents and haven’t ever said too much about it.

I love my cousins, and both of their wives are very sweet to me, but I think it’s a bizarre situation. Has anyone else ever experienced relatives swapping wives like this? I’d love to hear your experiences or thoughts in the comments.

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming & more. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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