Rita Mae Brown.
The only queer people are those who don't love anybody.
Relationships are tough, no matter what. If you’re in a relationship with another woman, though, you may face some unique challenges.
Being Mindful Of The Key Stress Points
As with any relationship, the big stressors tend to crop up: money, time, and family. The stress of living together might be further exacerbated by our tendency to jump in with both feet, perhaps not protecting ourselves (or our children, or our finances) in the bargain.
In addition, if children are brought to the table in a relationship, this can add more complexity. The blending of new families is tough even under the best of circumstances.
One other challenge that may have particular resonance for lesbians is emotional cheating. There is no real definition of it, however if one partner feels that the other is having emotional needs met somewhere else (either with intimate thoughts being conveyed to another, discussions about the relationship that more likely need to be happening together, or even just a sense of worth or affection from someone other than our partners), then this really needs to be addressed.
With This One Ingredient, Possibilities Expand
Of course, communication is the key to resolving any of our problems. It takes practice to be able to discuss these difficult topics, but techniques can be learned that help both you and your partner.
First, try to discuss whatever is bothering you in a time that you are calm, happy, and alone with each other. Then try some of these ideas:
- Start off the conversation with “I”: “I felt hurt when you didn’t acknowledge the front yard. I feel as if my work is somehow not seen.”
- Never use “never”. Or “always”. Or “Every time”. These can only enflame the situation. Keep it to a specific instance, and don’t bring up the past.
- Don’t bring up other people’s opinions of the situation. This is about you and her, and your feelings for each other.
- Listen to what she has to say in her response. Let her speak fully, and then repeat back everything she has said in order to make sure you have understood fully and processed it. (This part is really important!)
Kathleen Dwyer-Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director.
My hope for you is that you are able to find that calm place to talk about any issues today.