Your Non-Nuclear Family Stories

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

In the newest episode of Death, Sex & Money, Anna Sale talks to a woman who has built an "unconventional" family for herself, having married the gay father of her children. We take your calls about your non-nuclear family: how you make it work, the challenges, and lessons for others.

Comments [6]

jgarbuz from Queens

To List from NY

That is correct. That is the direction we are going back into. Primitive tribalism and becoming hunter-gatherers as the next collapse of civilization and new Dark Ages approach us rapidly.
Unless we are brave enough to create a new world where babies are produced in hatcheries, and nobody is "married" or parents to anybody. Brave New World.

Jun. 04 2014 01:18 PM
List from nyc

For centuries homo sapiens lived in non-nuclear family structures it's how tribes arose.
This 'new' arrangement sounds more natural than 1 man with 1 woman living under 1 roof.

Jun. 04 2014 12:14 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

I'm an adult in my 40s now, but growing up, there were a couple of multigenerational households in our family. These families, and at least one more family with whom we were acquainted housed a lifelong single man with them--men who began as a friend or colleague, but for whatever reason, didn't marry, and began lodging with the family, living with them the rest of their lives in all cases, and all earning the honorific "uncle" by all of us. There was also a single woman who rented a room from my grandmother who was an "aunt." She wound up getting married in her late 40s, just before my grandparents sold their building to move into a small apartment in their early 80s.

They were parts of family businesses, were part of our holidays, and for all intents and purposes, family. I never really questioned it as a child, and still don't. But it occurred to me that in the mid-20th century, there were probably a lot of single people who, for whatever reason, didn't or couldn't live in an apartment alone, and city families either employed or rented to them, integrating them into their lives at this higher level.

I liked having these additional adults around, and it certainly taught me that not everyone followed the same trajectory of school/job/marriage/children, and that if they didn't, it wasn't so tragic--there were people who welcomed them. Life was richer for it, and I guess it had some practical aspect for my forebears. In a couple of the cases, the men were long-term employees, as well.

Jun. 04 2014 12:08 PM
Nina Davenport from Brooklyn

My film "First Comes Love," currently on HBO On Demand, is a personal documentary about how I had a baby at 42 with the help of two close friends. Tune in!

Jun. 04 2014 12:04 PM

an extended family is not new
remember grama and grampa
and aunts and uncles staying within the family structure

i must say, that tho being a single parent may be laudatory
the balancing and modeling of raising a child with a partner
seems pretty basic in builing a next generation of healthy, flexible and
socially integrated kids

Jun. 04 2014 11:58 AM
John from NYC

My mother's parents moved in with us when I was in the 4th grade and lived with my parents until they died. I went to college and grad school, and moved out when I get married while still in school. My parents raised my sister's kid. I guess it was all pretty Non-Nuclear.

Jun. 04 2014 11:54 AM

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