Portland Marriage Counselor’s Advice on Avoiding Same-Sex Divorce

October 24, 2011 by

As a Portland marriage counselor, I have helped many same-sex couples avoid divorce. Even if you aren’t able to legally marry in the state of Oregon, many couples still consider themselves married and have committed to a lifelong relationship with their partner. The pain of divorce is the same, even without the legal paperwork to deal with.

I believe that most couples are better off working through their relationship issues. If both partners are willing to put in the time and effort, it’s possible to reconnect, improve your communication skills, and become a stronger couple for it! Here is some of the relationship advice I offer same-sex couples as a Portland marriage counselor.

Communication is key. Good communication leads to a good relationship. Being able to openly and honestly talk to your partner about how you are feeling can help you to work through relationship issues and come to compromises together. As an LGBT couple, you may face more challenges than heterosexual couples, such as homophobia in society and a lack of support from friends and family. This makes communication even more important, so you can face these challenges together.

Remember your relationship is valid. You may have friends or family members who treat your relationship as less “real” than heterosexual relationships, and they may treat your relationship issues with the same disregard. You also may not be able to legally seal the deal on your relationship in your state. But that doesn’t mean that your commitment is any less legitimate, so don’t let it question your commitment to your partner.

Take time for each other. In my work as a Portland marriage counselor, I find that some same-sex couples are not comfortable being intimate with each other in public. That makes the intimacy you share at home even more important. Touching, kissing, and embracing one another is just as important to communicating your feelings to your partner as saying “I love you.” It may be even more important.

Talk to a Portland marriage counselor.  Seeking professional help is often the best way to work through issues together. It can provide a safe space for you to focus on your relationship and learn new communication skills. Same-sex couples encounter different challenges than heterosexual couples do, so find someone who has specific experience working with same-sex relationships. If you’re looking for someone, please feel free to contact my center to talk to an experienced Portland marriage counselor.