Woman sparks conversation after revealing how her family lives ‘separately together’ in the same house

A woman has inspired a conversation about unconventional families after revealing that she and her partner live in separate suites of the same house with their respective children.

Shelley Hunt, who lives in BC, Canada, and goes by the username @shellhuntful on TikTok, discussed her family’s unique living arrangement in a video uploaded to the app earlier this month.

In the clip, Hunt, who has two children, revealed that she and her partner, Peter, who has three children, live separately in the same house, with the 38-year-old explaining that the arrangement means the family lives “separately together”.

“My partner and I have five kids between us so we own a home that has two suites,” Hunt explained in the video. “We live separately, together. Blended, unblended.”

Hunt then went on to share a photo of her family, before showing where her partner Peter lives with his three children, as well as a glimpse of the suite where she lives with her two children.

“We’d love to find other families that live like this, I think it’s amazing, and I’d also love to hear if you have any opinions,” Hunt concluded the video.

In a follow-up video, the mother-of-two and her partner answered some questions they’d received from viewers about their living situation, with Peter explaining that he and his children live on the upper floor of the house, where they have three bedrooms, while Hunt lives on the main floor of the home with her children.

The couple also revealed that the suites have separate entrances and kitchens and that they are each responsible for their own respective space, with the only shared space being their laundry room.

According to the couple, who have both been divorced previously, they settled on the arrangement, which sees their costs split by square footage, when they were both in the market for a home early on in their relationship.

“Buying something that had two suites in it just made so much financial sense while also keeping some separation because we were so new in our relationship,” Hunt explained, adding that the arrangement was also good for their children as it keeps things “easy and simple”.

As for whether the couple’s children like the arrangement, Peter said he and Hunt think they get along better “because they do have space”.

While the families are separated most of the time, the pair said that they celebrate all holidays together as a family, and that they have dinner together a couple nights a week.

In regards to the benefits of their living situation, Peter acknowledged that the arrangement means his and Hunt’s responsibilities are clearly defined, explaining that it allows “very little room for resentment”.

“And then when you do things for each other and with each other, you really appreciate it,” he added.

Hunt’s initial video describing the unique situation has since been viewed more than 5m times, with hundreds of people applauding the couple for finding an arrangement that fits their needs as a family.

“Let’s normalise doing whatever makes people happy and is best for the kids!” one person commented.

Another said: “Life by design – designing a life that works for you not how society tells you it should.”

“I love that you’re doing what works for you! This is love,” someone else wrote.

Others were simply intrigued by the concept, which one person described as the “best idea in the entire world”.

Speaking to BuzzFeed about the arrangement, Hunt also said that she thinks the setup has strengthened her relationship with Peter.

“[Peter and I] started with a strong relationship, and this has definitely maintained the respect, love, consideration, and romance,” she said. “Our communication is amazing, because again, there’s not a lot of room for unsaid expectation and disappointment!”

As for the viral response to her videos, Hunt told the outlet that it is proof that people are becoming more open to nontraditional family structures.

“Every kind of family counts and is worth celebrating,” she said.

The Independent has contacted Hunt for comment.


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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