19 Truly Bizarre Relationships That May Seem Normal But Caused Great Controversy

Relationships are knowing that ‘the God who is there’ is all about relationship and very little about religion. It’s about knowing him, talking with him, being with him, and of course, being with his friends. I like being one of God’s friends!

Throughout history there have been many unusual relationships and love affairs. Some may seem normal by today’s standards, but in their time caused great controversy. This is a list of 20 bizarre relationships that you might miss.

1. Allen and Previn

In 1978, at the age of eight, Soon-Yi Previn was adopted by Mia Farrow and her then-husband Andre Previn who were on vacation in Korea. In 1980, when Soon-Yi was 10, Farrow began a long-term relationship with Woody Allen which lasted 12 years. In 1992, Farrow found naked photographs of Soon-Yi in Allen’s apartment and subsequently discovered that the two had been having a romantic relationship (at the time she was 22 and Allen was 56). Allen parted ways with Farrow and married Soon-Yi in 1997. Both of Allen’s biological children refused to see him. Allen and Previn have two adopted daughters.

2. Wilde and Douglas

In 1891, Oscar Wilde was introduced to the twenty-two-year-old Lord Alfred Douglas, an undergraduate at Oxford at the time and son of the 9th Marquess of Queensberry. The two began an intimate relationship which may have involved sexual relations, though Douglas later denied that this was the case. In the course of the relationship, for sexual satisfaction, Wilde would look on while Douglas entertained other young men for the pleasure of Wilde. The Marquess eventually found out about this “scandalous” relationship and sued Wilde and after a series of arguments between the two, Wilde took him to court. The case failed and Wilde was eventually charged with gross indecency and was sentenced to two years of hard labor. After he was released on May 19, 1897 he spent his last three years penniless, in self-imposed exile from society and artistic circles.

3. Caligula and Drusilla

Drusilla was Emperor Caligula’s favorite sister. When he became Emperor it is believed that he ordered her to divorce her husband after which she became his lover. She most likely had a great deal of influence over Caligula. When she died in 38 AD, he never recovered from the loss. He buried his sister with the honors of an Augusta, acted as a grieving widower, and had the Roman Senate declare her a Goddess as “Diva Drusilla”, deifying her as a representation of the goddess Venus or Aphrodite. Drusilla was consecrated as Panthea, most likely on the anniversary of the birthday of Augustus.

4. Lincoln and Speed

In 1837, Abraham Lincoln (aged 28) met Joshua Fry Speed (aged 23) when Lincoln moved to Springfield Illinois to set himself up as a lawyer. Lincoln tried to buy a bed from Speed’s store on credit, but Speed offered to share his room and bed instead. Previously Speed had heard the young Lincoln speak on the stump when Lincoln was running for election to the Illinois legislature, but the two men had exchanged only bits of conversation. The two ended up having a lifelong friendship, and upon the death of Lincoln, Speed and other members of his family put up funding to create a Lincoln Memorial. The bizarre nature of this relationship is not that the two shared a bed, but that it is an example of a now extinct version of “Romantic Friendship” – a term that described an intimate, but non-sexual relationship between two people. Romantic Friendships were very common until the mid to late 19th century when homosexuality was beginning to be defined. Other famous examples of Romantic Friendship are William Shakespeare and his “Fair lord”, and Emily Dickinson and Sue Gilbert.

5. The Tomainis

Al Tomaini was a giant who claimed a height of 8’4″ (though the Guiness Book of Records stated that he was 7’4″). Weighing 356 pounds (162 kg) and wearing size 27 shoes, Al spent most of his life as a circus giant. He was working with a circus at the Great Lakes Exposition in Chicago, in 1936, when he met his future wife, Jeanie Tomaini. Jeanie was born without legs and was only 2 ft 6 in (76 cm) tall. After retiring from the circus life, he and Jeanie settled in the circus community of Giant’s Camp, Gibsonton, Florida.

6. Verlaine and Rimbaud

In 1871, Arthur Rimbaud – a budding young poet – (aged 16) travelled to Paris at the invitation of Paul Verlaine (a highly regarded French Symbolist Poet). When Rimbaud arrived in Paris, Verlaine fell in love with him and the two began a turbulent relationship which lead to the breakup of Verlaine’s marriage. During absinthe and hashish influenced nights, the two scandalized Paris with their obscene behaviour and violence. At one point, whilst drunk on Absinthe, Rimbaud stabbed Verlaine in the hand. The two moved to England and eventually Brussels. On the morning of 10 July, Verlaine bought a revolver and ammunition. That afternoon, “in a drunken rage,” Verlaine fired two shots at Rimbaud, one of them wounding the 18-year-old in the left wrist. Eventually Rimbaud asked the police to arrest Verlaine, and he was sent to jail for two years. The two met again only once and at age 21, Rimbaud stopped writing. He is now considered to be one of the most influential French poets in history.

7. Stuebing and Karolewski

Patrick Stuebing is a man living in Leipzig, Germany, who has recently been the centre of a heated debate around incest, due to his relationship with his biological sister, Susan Karolewski, since 2001. The relationship has so far spawned four children of whom only one, Sofia, remains with the couple. Patrick, an unemployed locksmith, was adopted and, as a child, lived in Potsdam. He did not meet his mother and biological family until he was 23. Today he and Susan share a small flat in an east German tower block on the outskirts of Leipzig. Incest is a criminal offence in Germany. Patrick Stuebing has already served a two-year sentence for committing incest. In 2004, Patrick voluntarily underwent a vasectomy.

8. The Bunkers and The Yateses

Chang and Eng Bunker were conjoined twins born in Siam (their condition and place of birth created the term “Siamese Twins”). They were joined at the sternum by a small piece of cartilage. Their livers were fused but independently complete. Although 19th century medicine did not have the means to do so, modern surgical techniques would have easily allowed them to be separated today. The two became American Citizens and became respected members of the community, owning a plantation and slaves. On April 13, 1843, they married two sisters: Chang to Adelaide Yates and Eng to Sarah Anne Yates. Chang and his wife had ten children; Eng and his wife had twelve. In time, the wives squabbled and eventually two separate households were set up just west of Mount Airy, North Carolina in the community of White Plains – the twins would alternate spending three days at each home. The twins died on the same day in 1874.

9. Nero and Sporus

Suetonius (c. 69AD – 130AD) wrote that the Emperor Nero fell in love with a young boy, Sporus, and loved him so deeply that he tried to make a woman of him:

He castrated the boy Sporus and actually tried to make a woman of him; and he married him with all the usual ceremonies, including a dowry and a bridal veil, took him to his home attended by a great throng, and treated him as his wife. And the witty jest that someone made is still current, that it would have been well for the world if Nero’s father Domitius had that kind of wife. This Sporus, decked out with the finery of the empresses and riding in a litter, he took with him to the courts and marts of Greece, and later at Rome through the Street of the Images, fondly kissing him from time to time.

As bizarre as that sounds, there is another even more bizarre relationship:1. Dumas and dos SantosJean (or Juan) Baptista dos Santos is said to have been a “Gipsey”, born in Faro, Portugal around 1843, to normal parents with two other normal children. He possessed two functioning penises and three scrota, the outer two of which each contained a single testis. Dos Santos claimed that the central scrotum had also contained a pair of fully-formed testes, but that these had retreated into his abdomen when he was ten years old. He also had a third leg. Fortunately for dos Santos, at the same time there lived in Paris a women named Blanche Dumas who had four breasts and two vaginas (and also a third leg). Dumas was working as a high class prostitute. Dos Santos travelled to Paris and it is believed that the two had a torrid affair. You can read more about this most bizarre relationship on Cogitz.

10. Dauveed

Relationship: Man and mannequin

This is item 10 on the list because I can’t, for the life of me, work out whether it is for real. In June, 2009, Dauveed (whose surname is so complex I can’t work out what it is) had a faux-wedding ceremony in which he married Clara the mannequin. He telephoned a media company and asked them to record the ceremony. They did so and you can watch the youtube clip here. From my research I have found comments by people who claim to have seen Dauveed with his mannequin walking around Hollywood which would imply that the marriage was taken seriously in his mind. Regardless of whether Dauveed really is in love with Clara or not, it is kind of nice to know that society has offbeat people in it to add color to our lives.

11. Lot’s Daughters

Relationship: Daughters rape father

This entry has appeared elsewhere on the site but it definitely fits the bill for this list. First the appropriate Bible quote:
And the elder said to the younger Our father is old, and there is no man left on the earth, to come in unto us after the manner of the whole earth. Come, let us make him drunk with wine, and let us lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the elder went in and lay with her father: but he perceived not neither when his daughter lay down, nor when she rose up. And the next day the elder said to the younger: Behold I lay last night with my father, let us make him drink wine also to night, and thou shalt lie with him, that we may save seed of our father. They made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in, and lay with him: and neither then did he perceive when she lay down, nor when she rose up. So the two daughters of Lot were with child by their father. [Genesis 19:31-36]

It doesn’t really get much more blatant than that. The two daughters had sex with their father, Lot, in order to preserve his family line. Incidentally, this all happened shortly after they had fled from Soddom and Gomorrah which was destroyed by God for its immorality – ironic?. After the events described above, Lot had no memory of it (maybe it was the liquor) and nine months later the daughters gave birth to two sons, Moab (father of the Moabites), and Ammon (father of the Ammonites).

12. Munda Dhanda Villager

Relationship: Girl and dogIn India’s eastern Jharkhand, villagers ‘married’ off a young girl to a stray dog to ward off an evil spirit. The locals at Munda Dhanda village performed the ceremony as they believe it will overcome any curse that might fall on the family. Interestingly, the girl is free to get married later in life to a man without even seeking a divorce. Superstitions are widespread in India, especially in rural areas where literacy is scarce. The image above is from the wedding ceremony. The groom is on the left and the rather young bride the right. [Source]

13. Nejdet Boyanay

Relationship: Man and alienNejdet Boyanay (from Istanbul, Turkey) started to experience his first encounters with a mysterious alien entity in 1975 when he was 10 years old. According to his report, he was lying down in his bed and starting to fall asleep. But suddenly he noticed that he wasn’t able to move. Soon after he was visited by an alien. After that night he had at least two encounters per week with the strange visitor. He was touched by him and he says that the hands of the visitor were extremely soft and the touch was sticky like a jellyfish. Later he drew a picture of the visitor which you can see above. The “relationship” continued until 1996 even after Nejdet got married. In 1996 he decided to give an interview about his experiences but after he spoke with the reporters he had a strange accident in the shower because his alien visitor was angry with him for making the relationship public and he tried to drown him. [Source]

14, Caligula

Relationship: Man and horse

On the previous bizarre relationships list we mentioned the unusual relationship that Caligula had with his sister Drusilla, but he also had a strange thing going on with his horse Incitatus. Caligula loved his horse (though most likely not in a sexual way) so much that he bent over backwards to give it a life fit for the emperor himself. According to Suetonius’s Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets (the imperial color), and a collar of precious stones. Others have indicated that the horse was attended to by eighteen servants, and was fed oats mixed with gold flake. Suetonius also wrote that Caligula planned to make Incitatus a consul (though modern historians believe this may just have been a move to anger the politicians of the day). Caligula even procured him a wife, a mare named Penelope. The horse would “invite” dignitaries to dine with him in a house outfitted with servants there to entertain such events.

15. John Deaves

Relationship: Father and daughter

If you are currently eating your breakfast, might I advise you to put it aside for just a moment. On March 20 2008, John Deaves and his daughter Jenny were sentenced to a three-year good behavior bond after pleading guilty to two counts of performing an act of incest – an act which led to the birth of their daughter, Celeste. The “couple” met 30 years after John had left his daughter’s mother; Jenny was 31 and just two weeks after meeting, father and daughter had sex. Jenny Deaves said soon after reuniting with her father she began to see him as a man first and her father second. “I was looking at him, sort of going, oh, he’s not too bad,” she said. Mr Deaves admits that he “initially” thought having sex with his daughter was wrong. [Source]

16. Pope Pius IX

Relationship: Pope and kidnapped sonOn the evening of 23 June 1858, in Bologna, then part of the Papal States, police arrived at the home of a Jewish couple, Salomone (”Momolo”) and Marianna Padovani Mortara, to seize one of their eight children, six-year-old Edgardo, and transport him to Rome to be raised as a ward of the state. The police had orders from Holy Office authorities in Rome, authorized by Pope Pius IX. Church officials had been told that a 14-year-old Catholic servant girl of the Mortaras, Anna Morisi, had baptized Edgardo while he was ill because she feared that he would otherwise die and go to Hell. Acorrding to Catholic Church doctrine, Edgardo’s baptism, even if illicit under canon law, was valid and made him a Christian. At the time, non-Christians could not raise a Christian child, even their own. Edgardo was taken to a house for Catholic converts in Rome, maintained at state expense. His parents were not allowed to see him for several weeks, and then not alone. Pius IX took a personal interest in the case, raising the child as his son (albeit a kidnapped one), and all appeals to the Church were rebuffed. Church authorities told the Mortaras that they could have Edgardo back if they abandoned their faith and converted to Catholicism, but they refused.Despite international protests (including those from the United States government), Pope Pius IX did not relinquish Edgardo who eventually went on to become a priest. He was also a vehement supporter of the Vatican taking the first steps towards making Pius IX a saint.

17. Kenneth Pinyan

Relationship: Man and horsies

(but so much worse than number 6)Kenneth Pinyan (June 22, 1960 – July 2, 2005) was a Boeing engineer residing in Washington who engaged in receptive anal sex with full-size stallions at a farm near the city of Enumclaw. He videotaped those sex acts and distributed them informally under the name Mr Hands. During a July 2005 sex act, videotaped by a friend, he suffered a perforated colon and later died of his injuries. Other factors surrounding the death were apparently that the deceased, concerned about appearing in a hospital with an unusual internal injury and the effect on his security clearance as an engineer for aerospace company Boeing, had apparently refused his friends’ urging to go to the hospital for several hours after being aware he was internally injured, and was either beyond treatment or dead when he finally reached the ER. The story was reported in the The Seattle Times and was one of that paper’s most read stories of 2005. [Source]

18. Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer

Relationship: Woman and wallEija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, 54, whose surname means Berlin Wall in German, maarried the concrete structure in 1979 after being diagnosed with a condition called Objectum-Sexuality. Mrs Berliner-Mauer, whose fetish is said to have its roots in childhood, claimed she fell in love with the structure when she first saw it on television when she was seven. She began collecting pictures of the wall and saving up for visits. On her sixth trip in 1979 they tied the knot before a handful of guests. While she remains a virgin with humans, she insists she has a full, loving relationship with the wall. While the rest of mankind rejoiced when the Wall, erected by the Soviets in 1961 to halt an exodus from East to West Berlin, was largely torn down in 1989, its “wife” was horrified. Having gotten over the “death” of her husband the wall, Eija-Riitta has finally found love again and is dating her garden fence. [Source]

19. Carl Tanzler

Relationship: Man and corpse

Carl Tanzler or sometimes Count Carl von Cosel (February 8, 1877 – July 23, 1952) was a German-born radiologist at the United States Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida who developed a morbid obsession for a young Cuban-American tuberculosis patient, Elena Milagro “Helen” de Hoyos (July 31, 1909 – October 25, 1931), that carried on well after Hoyos succumbed to the disease. In April, 1933, Tanzler removed Hoyos’ body from the mausoleum, carted it through the cemetery after dark on a toy wagon, and transported it to his home. Tanzler attached the corpse’s bones together with wire and coat hangers, and fitted the face with glass eyes. As the skin of the corpse decomposed, Tanzler replaced it with silk cloth soaked in wax and plaster of paris. As the hair fell out of the decomposing scalp, Tanzler fashioned a wig from Hoyos’ hair that had been collected by her mother and given to Tanzler not long after her burial in 1931. Tanzler filled the corpse’s abdominal and chest cavity with rags to keep the original form, dressed Hoyos’ remains in stockings, jewelry, and gloves, and kept the body in his bed. Tanzler also used copious amounts of perfume, disinfectants, and preserving agents, to mask the odor and forestall the effects of the corpse’s decomposition. In October, 1940, Elena’s sister Florinda heard rumors of Tanzler sleeping with the disinterred body of her sister, and confronted Tanzler at his home, where Hoyos’ body was eventually discovered. Florinda notified the authorities, and Tanzler was arrested and detained. After a preliminary hearing on October 9, 1940 at the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West, Tanzler was held to answer on the charge, but the case was eventually dropped and he was released, as the statute of limitations for the crime had expired. [Source]

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