Why do I have a separate page for same sex couples? Because although all couples generally face the same issues, there are some difficulties which are unique to couples in the LGBTQI community.
Your relationship may be in crisis, or you may be struggling with a particular conflict which resurfaces again and again without resolution.
You may be feeling distant from eachother, or there may be changes in your lives which are affecting your relationship.
As a same sex couple, there are other pressures and difficulties too.
One of you may be more comfortable with being “out”, and with your expression of that, such as holding hands and public displays of affection.
One of you may not be out to family members, leaving the other feeling excluded or perhaps even unvalued.
LGBTQI couples can face homophobia and discrimination which adds pressure to your relationship. Heterosexism, the saturation/proliferation of heterosexual identity and anecdotes along with the projected presumption of a heterosexual identity onto LGBTQI individuals can be a source of insecurity and anxiety.
Having children in Australia can also be challenging for LGBTQI couples. Unlike in some other countries where both parents in a same sex relationship can be on a child’s birth certificate, here the non-biological parent has to adopt. Further discrimination and further potential for pressure on the relationship.
Gender roles have different definitions in same sex couples, outside of cultural norms, which can leave same sex couples struggling without a “blueprint” of what a relationship should look like.
Remember lesbian bed death? The similarity of biological sex and gender role conditioning allows couples to have a high level of initial rapport and to merge deeply. They know what pleases someone of their own sex and can understand, give and respond. The loneliness of years in the closet (if there were years in the closet, and possibly thinking they would never find someone to love them as they are) intensifies the emotional high of the bonding. Because initial expectations often are elevated, disillusionment is intense when initial passion naturally diminishes.
Working with an experienced professional in a safe, understanding and supportive space can be very helpful with these issues.
Working together with me, you may find you:
- Deepen your understanding of the conflicts that are coming between you
- Learn to communicate effectively and gently with eachother
- Understand more how outside societal influences may be impacting on your relationship
- Rekindle your love and respect for eachother
- Feel connected, and rejuvenated in your relationship, with greater understanding, warmth, respect and love for eachother.
Sometimes though, relationships do come to their natural end and in these situations I can help with separating respectfuly and gently. I can also help with managing child related issues too.
Or, you may be embarking on a new relationship and this time you both want to do it differently, avoiding old patterns. Couple counselling at this stage in your relationship can help build solid foundations for your future.
As with any couple facing difficulties, the earlier you can get help the better. The longer we leave our issues to fester, the more entrenched they can become. Whatever stage of your relationship you are at, couple therapy can be very helpful.
If you would like to arrange an initial session or have any questions, please feel free to call or email me.