Brooklyn same-sex couples Elana Arian and Julia Cadrain recently fought for hats.
OK, it wasn’t really about hats. (Never so.)
Cadrain likes to keep things tidy. It’s really tidy. To the point where it bothers her whole family.
“I cleaned things up while they were still using them,” she admitted.
So when Cadrain found one of his favorite Arian hats lying down, he immediately scooped it up, but neglected to store it properly. Arian later discovered that her hat was accidentally crushed.
“I was unreasonably very angry about it,” Arian said.
They took a long walk and had an honest and peaceful conversation. Soon they realized that Arian’s frustration was actually deeper.
“One of the things that happened was this stress we both suffered as a result of the quarantine,” said 37-year-old Cadrain. The couple also teaches distance learning for their 7-year-old daughter while caring for their 9-month-old daughter. Arian, 39, a freelance musician, does a lot less work than usual. They have dealt with this in different ways.
“It feels like a very lesbian fight. Never yell. Never raise your voice,” Cadrain said. “It’s more tense and quiet, and a kind of process is heavy.”
But is there really a way to fight lesbians? Or is there a way to deal with the conflicts that are unique to gay men?There aren’t many studies to elicit, but studies that exist suggest, on average, same-sex couples. Resolve disputes more constructively Less hostile than couples of different genders.
There are always exceptions, and even the healthiest gay couples are not constantly exposed to iridescent utopia. They have the same problems as everyone else.
Otherwise, “I’m going out of business,” said Rick Miller, a Boston psychotherapist who works with gay and heterosexual couples.
Similarly, it is unfair to bring all straight couples together, and it is dishonest to suggest that they cannot be discussed in a sound way.
But male and female same-sex couples each have different strengths that help them endure, so we can all learn from them, Miller said.
As observed by gay couple researchers, some constructive ways to deal with discrepancies are:
Use humor to relieve anger
Joking in the midst of a hot moment can backfire, but when done properly, he says, “almost immediately the tension is released.” Robert Rave, 45, lives with her husband, David ForestIn Los Angeles.
Rave quoted a recent car trip. It ended the escalating debate about whether 35-year-old Forrest should rely on Google Maps for humor.
“For me, in principle, I’ll be self-evident, and David will just take the urine out of it and make me laugh,” Rave said.
A 2003 study To learn why gay relationships succeed or fail, we compared 40 homosexual couples with 40 heterosexual couples over a 12-year period. The findings show that same-sex couples tend to be more positive when raising disagreements when compared to heterosexual couples, and are more likely to remain positive after disagreements. Suggested.
“Homosexual and lesbian couples were milder to raise issues, much less defensive, and more humorous than heterosexuals,” said the lead author of the study and the Gottman Institute. Said Dr. John M. Gottman Partner, co-founder of. An organization that provides resources such as workshops and online courses to help couples strengthen relationships and provide clinicians with specialized training. “These were big differences.”
Dr. Julie S. Gottman, co-founder and president of the Gottman Institute, should take a break if you find your heart pounding during the discussion.
“Don’t think about fighting while you’re away. Instead, practice something distracting to help you calm down, such as reading a book,” she said. rice field.
But if you need to leave, you always have to say when to go back and rejoin the conversation. She added that the time to leave is 30 minutes and the minimum time is 24 hours.
Gay men are unlikely to enter a fight-or-flight mode when in conflict, Married Gottman said. It also reaches a solution faster than a gay couple.
It’s always important to treat your partner with respect, especially during discussions that you might regret later. When your heart is competing, “No matter what your partner says, you only perceive that you are attacking,” he said. Julie Gottman said.
And that’s why Rave and Forrest try to end the debate quickly.
“Life is too short to make everything dramatic,” Rave said.
A 2018 study It was suggested that members of same-sex couples are more likely to provide encouragement and praise than criticism and lectures when trying to influence each other, compared to couples of different genders.
Be aware of each other’s emotional needs
Unlike gay men, women who are married to women “always monitor and respond to each other’s emotions and needs, but because they do it to each other, they go back and forth.” Dr. Debra Amberson’s professor said. Director of the Center for Population and Research in Sociology and the University of Texas at Austin.
In contrast, the two men Reduce monitoringThis is not labor intensive.
“They are on the same page about it,” he said. Amberson has been studying gay couples for over 10 years. The two men discuss what they need to do and speak out when a problem arises.
If the couple has a similar philosophy of emotional monitoring, the chances of a conflict between them are reduced, Dr. Amberson said.
In heterosexual couples, women tend to react with emotional surveillance, but men tend not to know it and often do not, she added. Worried, frustrated, or upset.
Dr. Amberson’s latest research, Published in May, it examined the psychological sacrifice of providing the emotional needs of a spouse. Researchers have found that the well-being of women married to women seems to be less affected by the task of assessing and managing each other’s emotions than women married to men. In previous studies, this could be because lesbians are more reciprocal in caring for their spouse’s emotional needs and have greater appreciation for doing so. Suggests.
Strive for equality in your relationship
Same-sex couples can create their own dynamics because they do not have the traditional social role that defines what each member of the couple needs to perform at home or how they need to relate to each other. ..
Cadrain suggests that straight couples should be more negotiated and discussed, “don’t assume a particular role or job in terms of who is the earner and how the household is cared for.”
Arian can’t remember the last time she made the bed, but she has other responsibilities, such as becoming a family chef. Or Cadrain calls her “CEO of Food and Nutrition.” And since Arian has been a teacher for many years, she is responsible for distance learning and staying at the top of their 7-year-old school.
They usually don’t fight for chores. Because they try to split them based on what they want to do most and where they are best suited to complete the task.
“I think it has something to do with the lack of a gender role,” Arian said.
In heterosexual couples, researchers have found more power differences between members of the couple than between same-sex couples, Dr. John Gottman said.
“The same-sex couples we investigated were very conscious of trying to make the relationship of power more equal between them,” he said.
And if members of the same-sex couple disagree, they are likely to listen to each other’s perspective, he added.
Gottmans 2019 Study, assessment Of the more than 40,000 couples around the world who were about to begin couple therapy, same-sex couples were found to have better intimacy and friendship qualities in their relationships.
Recognize and appreciate your difference
According to Miller, each person brings their own luggage and their own worldview.
“It’s about really understanding these differences and similarities and coming up with ways to handle them together. That’s why we make healthy couples. And that’s across all borders, groups and genders.” He added.
For example, Cadrain and Arian said they sought to pay attention to different communication styles with each other.
“When I’m upset, I tend to be a kind of lack of communication,” Arian said. “I’m not proud of it.”
However, Cadrain likes to discuss things before Arian is ready. Simply recognizing those differences helps you manage conflicts when they occur.
Rave and Forrest also differ in many ways. Forrest likes to go out and be sociable. Rave is more home body. This is an issue in their relationship.
“It’s very important to have space for the person to be who they are, and not to be ashamed of what you want,” Forrest said.
Finally, when thinking about your differences, don’t focus too much on the negative.
“Don’t always look for your partner to be wrong, but look for your partner to be doing the right thing,” said Dr. Julie Gottman said.