Does “Shackin” Up Hurt Blended Families?

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Let me first off say that I don’t ascribe to any cohabitational living as “shackin’ up.” I do have to admit that in my former days of ministry I did my share of condemning people who lived together as a couple without being married. So it’s fitting that I am currently living with my fiance and our 3 kids. I was recently having a discussion with someone I’m close with, and they were inquiring about my marital status. I don’t have a problem with discussing my current choice of lifestyle as long as the person I’m speaking with has some damn sense. But what really intrigued me was how the individual praised me for the work I do as a parent, but was less encouraging regarding my relationship with my fiance. I didn’t take offense at all, but it led me to think if not being married had any affect on the blending process of our family.

I love my step-seedlings like they’re my own. I’m sure that I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to protecting them, or providing a structured home life. I can’t see in any way, shape or form how being a loving, strong, responsible parenting partner can be20171231_204207_Film5 (1) disruptive to the blending of our family. However, when it comes to morality and issues of spiritual convictions then there is some room for debate. I always want to exemplify the type of man the girls would ideally chose for a mate. I have often told my fiance that I think it is appropriate to be married if we’re going to live together, but I’ve never felt like we undermined our parental guidance of the kids because we were unwed. What could be any possible disruption to the kid’s development due to me and their momz not being married?

As a PreNup Pops I always consider the outcome of my efforts when parenting my step seedlings. It’s important that I don’t overlook the moral aspect of my impact on their lives, while still embracing the reality of our family. People get divorce, some parents never marry, and that’s life. As much as I would never want any of my kids to experience divorce, or unplanned pregnancy, I have to consider that the moral construct of the world is extremely diverse. I can’t afford to be morally neglectful, nor socially ignorant in my parenting. Preparing my step seedlings for adulthood requires that I inform them of the realities of life as it is, and not as I “ideally” would like it to be. It’s never easy to be informative about morality when the world we live in is so polytheistic and contradictory at the same time.

My fiance and I do all we can to provide a household that embraces individuality with unconditional love. We don’t hide from the kids the fact that our family encompasses different kindred backgrounds. All the kids know they have different dads, errrbody know that their extended families aren’t the same, and we’re cool with having “Thanksgiving” at different homes every year! We make it a point to focus on how much “more” love they are able to experience because of their extensive family tree. I love our family, and whether my fiance and I are married or not, our family is just as valued, special and acceptable as any “non-shacked” family!


  • Meek Calhoun

    You sir are the hammer! (you hit the nail on the head) It’s so funny, ironic I guess how people want to judge you for “shacking up” but NEVER offer any practical, useful, or effective guidance on how to have a lasting marriage. Primarily because their string of marriages ended in divorce or their current relationship is sexless and dead!! 😳🤷🏽‍♀️ You do what you know how to do until you know how to do better. I’m so free of the hypocritical, judgemental rhetoric from those that couldn’t last a Day in your shoes! Keep the posts coming!! You’re gonna help more people than you know with these real, genuine conversations!!!

    • Keith McDaniels

      That’s whats up! Too many families are ridiculed for not being prototypical. The truth is many ‘traditional” families are no better off than so-called “shackin'” households. I just want there to be authentic representation of what “today’s” healthy loving homes really look like. Thanks for reading my blog and giving feedback. And if you don’t have time to read my blog post you can listen to the blogs now on my podcast site or download them to listen on the go!

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