ABS - MARRIED LESBIANS

 

HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE FAMILY: LESBIAN AND GAY SPOUSES, NORMAN L. WYERS, SOCIAL WORK, 1987, VOL 32(2), P143-148.

A 1983-84 study of the marital and parental behavior of lesbian wives and mothers and gay husbands and fathers is reviewed. Differences between the men and the women were discovered in five areas: overall demographics, marital history, marital problems and their impact, parenting issues, and dealing with homosexuality. Many similarities also surfaced. The author posits that if social service providers are aware of the characteristics described they will be of more assistance to these lesbian and gay clients.

MARRIED LESBIANS, G. DORSEY GREEN AND D. MERILEE CLUNIS, WOMEN AND

THERAPY, 1988, VOL 8(1-2) P41-49.

This article forms part of a volume devoted to therapy and lesbianism; in the case of married women lesbians, that is those co-habiting with men, at least for some time, various patterns are found. Some women remain in stable relationships with both a male and a female lover, others have no sexual relations with men, but have one or more female partners who may or may not be married to men. In general the married lesbians report little or no sexual satisfaction or activity in their heterosexual marriages, but mutually satisfying sex in their lesbian relationships. Some achieve a stable situation, similar to that termed triangulation in family systems theory, whereby the heterosexual marriage and the lesbian relationship are mutually interdependent. The majority of married lesbians are in their 40s or older and many remain very secretive since coming out might involve loss of income, status and family. Many are rather isolated drawing support from a few other lesbians or just one partner as to relinquish her roles is for the heterosexual older woman too threatening. However, should one partner change her life significantly, say through living independently of her husband or demanding more lesbian contacts, then the other partner may feel very threatened. A therapist who works with lesbians may find that many present for therapy when there is a shift in the balance of their lives, either self-sought or imposed from outside. Issues such as coming out or not and couples counselling are also important for a lesbian therapist to address since she is a resource and possibly a validation for other lesbians so should accept the challenge of constantly examining her own values and models in her work.

THE MARRIED LESBIAN, ELI COLEMAN, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY REVIEW, 1989, VOL 14(3/4), P119-135.

SUMMARY: The existing data on bisexual and lesbian women in heterosexual marriages is reviewed. The reasons for getting married in the first place, the quality of the marital relationships, the reactions of the husbands, and the relationships with children are described. Due to the inherent conflicts these women face in these situations, some useful therapeutic suggestions are offered.

HOMOSEXUALITY AND MARRIAGE, HANS VAN DER GEEST, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1993, VOL 24(3/4), P115-123.

Discusses the problems of heterosexual partnership, when one of the partners engages in a homosexual relation. Notes the biblical data on homosexuality and fidelity. Draws attention to the concept of the New Couple as a possible solution.

CROSS REFERENCES

BISEXUALITY

BISEXUAL WOMEN IN MARRIAGES, ELI COLEMAN, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1985, VOL 11(1/2): BISEXUALITIES: THEORY AND RESEARCH, P87-99.

A clinical sample of women who were currently or previously married were surveyed regarding demographics, homosexual experiences before marriage, problems in marriage, and sexual orientation. The average age of the 45 participants was 35.9. Before marriage, 21 (47%) were somewhat aware of their homosexual feelings but were much less likely to have thought of or identified themselves as homosexuals. Sexual difficulties were very common in these marriages (89%), the most cited sexual difficulty being a lack of sexual desire for their spouse (62%). Based upon Kinsey-type ratings, the sample could be described as almost exclusively heterosexual in behavior and fantasies before marriage. Some changes could be seen during marriage toward more of a homosexual orientation. The dramatic change, however, occurred following marriage, when the women reported even more of a homosexual orientation, tending toward the homosexual end of the Kinsey continuum. At the time of the study, a majority of the sample was, in fact, relating almost exclusively to other women. This study found that, compared to homosexual men who have been married, these women are more likely to marry at an earlier age, unlikely to be aware of their homosexual feelings prior to marriage, and more likely to terminate their marriage earlier because of conflicts arising as a result of their bisexual orientation and sexual dissatisfaction.

SEXUALITY AND RELATIONSHIP CHANGES IN MARRIED FEMALES FOLLOWING THE COMMENCEMENT OF BISEXUAL ACTIVITY, JOAN K. DIXON, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1985, VOL 11(1/2): BISEXUALITIES: THEORY AND RESEARCH INCLUDES, P115-133.

Some of the changes in sexual behavior and relationships with spouses and other females following the commencement of bisexual activity by women after the age of 30 were studied by conducting in-depth personal interviews with 50 women. Each partricipant, at the time of her first sexual activity with another female: (a) was married; (b) was at least 30; (c) was, with her spouse, engaging in consensual swinging activities; (d) was enjoying sex with males; and (e) had no history, prior to age 30, of sexual attraction to females. Generally, the subjects revealed high levels of participation in, and enjoyment of, sexual activity with other females, in addition to high levels of enjoyable heterosexual activity. Their generally happy and stable marriages tended somewhat to improve, as did their overall sex lives, and they saw their relationships with other females as significantly improved. Significant changes in sexual fantasies occurred. In all cases, sexual orientation became bisexual, but overall preferences for male sex partners did not change.

GAY

GAY FATHERS IN STRAIGHT MARRIAGES, GERD BUNTZLY, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 1993, VOL 24(3/4), P107-114.

The author bases his conclusions about gay parenthood on anecdotal evidence gathered from about 100 gay German fathers. First he notes how the religious ethic that surrounds the nuclear family stands in the way of a father's awareness and expression of his homosexual desires. Like van der Geest, he reports that many women are attracted to gay men and proceed to marry them. After coming to realize that husbands' homosexual affairs are transitory and do not constitute a serious challenge to marital and family bonds, a few couples have been able to preserve their marriages. In most cases the marriages collapse under the combined pressures of wife and gay lover both claiming exclusive proprietorship: "the 'love triange' can rarely be closed." The author laments the existence of all-male gay husbands and fathers to choose against marriage and parenthood.

OUT

AND THEN I MET THIS WOMAN, PREVIOUSLY MARRIED WOMEN'S JOURNEYS INTO LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS BARBEE J. CASSINGHAM, SALLY M.O'NEIL, MOTHER COURAGE PRESS, 1993.