While there are times in every relationship in which tension can arise, and I am always part of the guilty party--after all, as my mother and father would remind me, "It takes two to tango," or as one therapist says that if one person is having a problem in a relationship, then both people are--there is always the need in relationships to communicate with one another. And that communication means sharing the "good, the bad, and the ugly," to quote a movie by Clint Eastwood. But because we, who are LGBT, live in a culture that is still adjusting to our being openly present, and can some times be openly hostile, the need to communicate as a couple is heightened: we need to talk and listen daily, checking in daily, in order to maintain a relationship. Because of this "need" to communicate is intentional, some times our relationships may actually be healthier than our heterosexual counter-parts.
In a recent study of relationships at the University of San Diego, there is evidence that gay relationships may be healthier than our heterosexual friends: "It all comes down to greater equality in the relationship," Robert-Jay Green (researcher) said to UPI. "Research shows that lesbian and gay couples have a head start in escaping the traditional gender role divisions that make for power imbalances and dissatisfaction in many heterosexual relationships."
Click here for more information about the study.
Those in the beginning of a committed relationships, and those in larger family structures (e.g., with kids) have always been part of the evolutionary process of being and becoming a family. Families are not static but dynamic, either growing or dying, but never staying the same, day in and day out. For example, one of the latest ways we've understood "family" is from the 1940s/1950s model of the smaller "nuclear" family; before that, families were constructed around the notion of the extended nuclear "household." We who are gay and lesbian are simply encouraging all families to be healthier families by practicing good parenting, which involves good communication skills, which take daily practice. I speak and write not as an expert, but as one who understands the necessity of working on communicating daily. The "institution" of "families" asks for us to work hard, and be creative, in how we communicate with each other.
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