Same sex couples share many commonalities with heterosexual couples. If you are having problems with your same sex partner, you may need to consult with an expert and well trained couples counselor to improve your relationship.
Some of the problems common to all couples are: Issues with communication, intimacy, handling conflict and family of origin issues, among others.
But often times couples of the same gender also face challenges such as lack of support from family, work, or religious environments.
These challenges may include:
1) Coping with homophobia in the family of origin, church or workplace
2) Relational ambiguity in the areas of commitment (To marry or not to marry? To have an open or a closed relationship?)
3) Behavior confusion linked to gender based expectations (What is a man supposed to do? How is a woman supposed to be?)
4) Developing adequate social support (the "families of choice")
How do you find the best and most qualified couples counselor? A good couples counselor should be able to assess whether and to what extent a couple's problems are connected to the particular challenges of being in a gay or a lesbian relationship as opposed to other issues common to all couples (communication, conflict, intimacy, etc).
It is important for a couples counselor working with couples of the same gender neither to ignore nor exaggerate the importance of lesbian or gay-specific issues.
Couples counseling for gay or lesbian couples can be helpful to improve a relationship. Couples counseling works. A good therapist can help same-sex partners deal with the general issues common to all couples, as well as the specific issues more common to same-sex couples.
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