Portland Relationship Counseling: New Legislation Doesn’t End Problems Unique to LGBT Couples

December 1, 2012 by

For years, I’ve been working with committed same-sex couples in Portland relationship counseling so that they can overcome whatever issues they’re having and reconnect with each other, so I was thrilled with the news that the tide seems to be slowly turning and three new states – Maine, Maryland, and Washington – voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Hopefully, someday soon the same opportunity will be given to loving couples of all orientations in Oregon.

However, I wanted to take a step back from the excitement for a moment to acknowledge the fact that even with this huge victory, married LGBT couples are still going to face marriage issues different from married heterosexual couples simply because they are in the minority in our society. Because of this, it’s important to find people who understand and support what you’re going through when you have marriage issues.

Portland Relationship Counseling: The Issue Is More about Being in the Minority than Being LGBT

As legal hurdles are removed, the next step – which is really a concurrent one – is trying to deal with the lack of true understanding from heterosexual friends and family members. No matter what, there are parts of your relationship that some heteros are just not going to be able to understand, such as coping with homophobia, and this may cause them to say things that you find to be ignorant or even hurtful.

It’s important to remember that they aren’t deliberately trying to insult you, but that shouldn’t make you feel that your feelings are any less valid. How you and your partner address these moments with hetero acquaintances is something that can be a bone of contention that causes tension and arguments, but it’s something that you need to figure out by communicating with each other and compromising rather than fighting in public. With any luck, you’ll be able to come up with a solution that both of you can feel comfortable about and also serves to educate your hetero friends and make them more empathetic.

Of course, it’s not always quite so simple or easy when you’re dealing with the situation in the moment, so if you find that a lack of understanding from others is causing problems in your relationship, or if you can’t figure out how to find the words to speak about it, Portland relationship counseling is here to help.