Tag Archives: wedding

{Tracie’s Story} No “Steps” in this House

During the month of October, The Real Wife Movement™ will be featuring stories from wives who have blended families. They will share what they did to ensure their families thrived beyond 10 years.

Be inspired by Tracie’s Story.

Donnell and I met in 2005 and we married in 2006. (Yes we dated only a year before we got married.) When I met my husband, he was a single father of two young children and I was a single mother of one son.

When people find out we are a blended family, they wanted to know how we made it work. They asked questions such as: Did you let him discipline your child and vice versa?

I want to share our story to encourage you:

Donnell, Tracie, Antonio, Bria and Tyson

When Donnell asked me to marry him, one of the things we did was what we called a pre-family meeting with our children. We wanted to create an avenue where they could be open and honest with us from the beginning.

Now don’t get me wrong, we had our challenges with all three of our children, however we let them know up front that they would be treated the same, to include discipline. We agreed they were all our children.  We let them know when someone asked us how many children we had, we would proudly say we have 3 children; (2) Boys and (1) Girl.

My husband and I both came from blended families and it was obvious who the step-kids were and who the biological kids were: we were made to feel that way.

Because of this, we agreed to allow our children to make the decision about how they wanted to address us. We never pressured them to call us mom or dad and we made it very clear they had already had a tracie-and-hubbymom and dad. Our role would be that of an assistant, alongside  their parents. We never liked the words “step kids” or “step parents”. To us, it indicated they were the outsider and no one wants to feel like an outsider, right?

Donnell and I decided that even though we were blending our family, we would be a family with “No Steps.”

Tracie Douglas is a personal stylist, blogger, wife and a mom of three. She enjoys encouraging people and teaching the next generation of teen girls. Instagram @tracienichole_ FB: tracienichol Blog: tracieslookbook.com
Tracie Douglas is a personal stylist, blogger, wife and a mom of three. She enjoys encouraging people and teaching the next generation of teen girls.
Instagram @tracienichole_ FB: tracienichol
Blog: tracieslookbook.com

5 Tips For Making My Blended Family Work

And the Two Became THREE
And the Two Became THREE

Many people ask, “how did you make your blended family work?” With so much divorce in our society, I can see how this perplexes folks. My prayer is that these 5 tips will help you in this journey called, LIFE.

Christmas in Germany
Christmas in Germany
  1. Pray!!!! I am so serious about this. Bringing children and a spouse together is a totally different dynamic that can make or break a new marriage. I prayed so many times for God to give me directions on how to keep not only my mind stayed on Him but on how to keep my cool. If you don’t have a prayer life, I would suggest starting today. Something like, “Look God, I need your help.” That’s how my prayers always started.
  2. I had to make some adjustments. At first, I did not want Don to discipline Gabi. This caused so much anger and frustration at the beginning of our marriage. But God has a sense of humor, because I found myself on bed-rest 7 months into our marriage. So guess who had to do everything?? Don did! That included disciplining Gabi. Once I made that adjustment and trusted him to love her, the arguments in that area stopped. We had other areas to overcome but we both had to agree to do what was best for not only her, but also for the two children we created.

    Gabi visiting baby sister Doni
    Gabi visiting baby sister Doni
  3. We had to be okay with some things and not try to force it. I wanted to change Gabi’s last name to Barnett for the longest time. Every time we tried, something would happen. We even got her father on board with it but, he would change his mind right before we filed papers. Once I got over this thing that I wanted so bad, it didn’t matter. The funny thing about it is that, now she is married, and her last name is that of her husband.
  4. Let things happen organically. I wanted Don to be like my dad, but he is nothing like him. The more insisted he do things like my dad, the more he did the opposite which was, nothing at all. Once I eased up, he found his place with her. They both love movies, so every time a movie came out, they were right there. She ran track
    Gabi, Doni, Jakim 2003
    Gabi, Doni, Jakim 2003

    and he loved track, so he decided to be her coach. This lasted for years until she got to high school. Now that she is in the Coast Guard, she calls him all the time and some times I have no clue that they even had a conversation.

  5. We never used the word STEP.  We felt like that made an immediate division in the home. So from the outset, he was daddy to her and he called her is daughter. No one knew he wasn’t her biological unless we told them, which wasn’t often. She has written him beautiful poetry since growing up calling him daddy. She calls her biological father by his first name. This organically happened and I’m glad we made a choice to not use STEP in our home.

Was having a blended family easy? Absolutely NOT! However,  we had to make conscious efforts to have real conversations about what was acceptable and what was not. I love what Don and Gabi’s relationship has finally become.

How have you made your blended family work?

Want ways to improve your marriage? Pick up a copy of my book, Being a Wife Just Got Real by clicking book.
Want ways to improve your marriage? Pick up a copy of my book, Being a Wife Just Got Real by clicking book.

Real Wife Conversation at the Serendipity Jazz Coffeehouse 


The atmosphere was relaxing and quaint. The food was good and the menu was impressive.

I was pleased to have an opportunity to speak with older patrons about Washington, DC in their day prior to the event beginning. Everyone was friendly and the staff was extremely welcoming. Jesse, the owner, was awesome and he thanked me for coming. I loved chatting with him throughout the night. 

The event started off with Tiah introducing me and then I explained the reason why I wrote my book. The conversation took on a life of its own as men and women weighed in on the subject of being a wife. Before I knew it, 2 hours flew by with people still talking about love, relationships, sex, kids and divorce. 


Since I had an hour drive to get home, I wrapped up my portion of the discussion to begin the book signing. One gentleman loved my message so much, he bought 5 copies of the book to give away. Another guy bought 3. I believe the men enjoyed the conversation more than the women and I was glad they were able to hear the heart of a woman from a woman.

I have to say, I truly enjoyed this Real Wife Conversation and hope to incorporate more of them where men are involved and can not only be heard but also to hear relationships, from a woman’s point of view.

Do you think men should be included in conversations pertaining the roles of women in relationships?

What Was I Saying, “I Do” To?

Pronounced Man and Wife June 12, 1999

I was in my house the other day prepping for back to school, when I ran across a stack of our wedding day pictures. As I thumbed through each picture, I began to feel sad. I thought to myself, “I truly had no clue what I was saying ‘I do’ to.”

I actually found myself speaking to each picture as if the 1999 me could hear the 2016 me. I became so emotional, that I started to bawl in the middle of my living room floor, cradling my pictures with the love and care of a mother nursing her newborn.

After I got myself together, thoughts flooded my mind about how unprepared we are for marriage. Our vows vaguely came back and these few words I remembered, “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”.

WOW! Looking at those words 17 years later, I now see how heavy they are. Those vows carry so much weight but I feel, most people haven’t realized how serious they are nor are we prepared to live them fully and until death.

A Few Wedding Day Pictures

In those 17 years, Don and I experienced them all, except for death, thank God!

We stayed through rich (rich in love, peace, joy) times. We stayed through the numerous unemployed, food stamps, pre-foreclosure poor times. We stayed through (2) premature labors and our son being hospitalized countless times as a baby. We stayed through me kicking diabetes butt and embracing my hair loss together. We stayed through homeschooling, military transfers and sleeping on people’s floors with 3 kids.

As I think back, I realize that I said “I do” to things I had no idea would come our way. I’m thankful I didn’t quit. I’m thankful he didn’t leave. �I’m even more thankful we are in a place where I still say, “I do”.

I share Part I of our journey in my book, Being a Wife Just Got Real, Things I Wish I Knew Before I Said, “I Do”.

What are some things you and your husband had to overcome after saying, “I do”?

Does Your P Have These 4 Amazing Powers?

As a woman, I have learned over the years that people need a lot from us, especially our husbands. In my book, Being a Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Said, “I Do”, I talk about all the roles we play as a wife.

As I was lying in bed in Jamaica last week, I began to think about how powerful my “P” is to my husband. Before you get all uncomfortable and grossed out and click off my page to stage a boycott for indecency, let me explain: this “P” I’m talking about is my PROMISE.

When I promise I will do something for someone, especially my husband, I must remember the amazing power it has. For years, my husband complained that I would promise to pick up his dry cleaning, have sex, simply print off resumes for a job interview, etc., only to forget, ignore or just not follow through. I am recently realizing that this caused him to feel like I didn’t care about his needs.

So, I “promised” him that I would do better and be very intentional about my follow through. After all, I love this guy and want him to feel like I do care about his needs. I came up with these four amazing powers of my “P”. I hope they inspire you to use your “P” to its fullest potential.

  1. My “P”  creates a sense of commitment. For years, my husband felt he didn’t matter to me and that I wasn’t committed to him. I would brush him off and continue to, let’s be honest, disrespect him. Once the light-bulb came on in my thick skull, I began to keep my word to him and now he knows I will keep my promise. If I feel that I can’t do something, I am just honest and tell him upfront that if I can get to it I will, if I can’t, he is disappointed. This has reduced lots of tension and complaints.
  2. My “P”  creates a sense of value. Now that my husband feels like he matters to me, it added a sense of value to him. Unbeknownst to me, men need to feel valued and wanted. Keeping my promise gave him that sense of value in my eyes and he began to trust me more.
  3. My “P” creates trust. Let’s talk about TRUST baby….yeah, well, breaking my img_1298promises over and again for years, caused my husband to lose trust in me. Perfect example, I would tell him, “not now honey, later tonight”. Well, when night rolled around, her went straight to sleep because he didn’t trust me to keep my word, because I was guilty for not following through. Let’s just say, we both went to bed and woke up sexually frustrated, which led to arguments and no sex. I know, that’s stupid but that was my reality.
  4. My “P” creates closeness. Now that I keep my promise with my husband, follow through on keeping my word and don’t blow my husband off, I can feel how close we have become. This closeness has also led to more sex that is enjoyable for the both of us. So girlfriend, make sure you are intentional about using your “P” by honoring your commitment, which creates a sense of value, that builds trust which, leads to closeness in your relationship. (Whew that was a mouthful….)

Have you ever dropped the ball in using your “P” to its fullest potential with you honey? What can you do or have you done to become better in this area?