When it comes to human relationships and working with the same there is really no black and white. You’re talking about two unique individuals coming together to birth an equally unique and nuanced relational dynamic.
Hetero-normative and homo-normative couples might have their differences. This being said, when it comes to a comparison between relational conflicts that arise within the two, one must remember that there is a whole lot of overlap. Problems relating to communication, adjustment and unresolved resentment for instance can be present in both.
On the flipside, there are certain issues that in most cases are more unique or at least more intensely felt in homo-normative relationships as opposed to hetero-normative ones.
Unique Issues and Overcoming Them
We’re going to touch on two issues we feel though maybe not entirely unique are definitely more easily relatable to individuals in homo-normative relationships, marriages in particular.
The two we’re going to address below however include role establishment and stage discrepancy. We’re also going to touch on what you could potentially do to process and overcome said problems.
We’re not saying that role establishment is not something that comes up with more progressive hetero-normative marriages nor are we saying they aren’t toxic in such instances. That being said, it is more native to homo-normative marriage related relational interactions.
In many cases, a lot of the roles between couples are pre-established via social gender expectations. This is not to say that this is the healthiest way forward, but it does take an extra element of confusion off the early wedding problem table.
With same-sex couples, gender roles are not that clearly established. Often once married, individuals in same-sex couples realize that roles and responsibilities need to be settled or distributed. This is when problems often arise depending on which gender behavior each prescribes to and if or not there exists a clash.
This if left unchecked can often serve to create a lot of turbulence within a relationship.
A problem which is indeed quite unique to same-sex couples is stage disparity. This relates to when each individual within the couple or marriage connected with their true orientation and began on the associated lifestyle changes.
If the two individuals in a same-sex marriage are at different stages in their orientation process, this might lead to certain conflicts. Conflicts could include anything from contempt and irritation to straight out frustration and resentment.
What Does One Do?
In both these situations, the key is open, safe and non-judgmental communication. Of course this is easier said than done which is why sometimes it helps to seek professional support to work on your relationships.
Marriage or couple counseling for same-sex couples is one effective way in which you could endeavor to overcome your problems. The reason for this is a therapist will provide you and your partner a safe space to hash out and go over common relational particulars. You will have access to fresh perspective as well as a moderator to ensure that communication is productive and not needlessly cyclical.
In short, you streamline the process of working out your marriage and mitigate potential damages!
If you’re looking for same-sex couple’s therapy or marriage counseling in Palo Alto, just cycle back to our page and check out your options!