Though our country is moving, albeit slowly, towards acceptance and understanding, it’s still challenging for gay couples always to observe the same respect and recognition that heterosexual couples experience. Even in West Hollywood, where attitudes are more liberal than most of the country, gay couples experience bigotry and a feeling of isolation as the result of functioning in a dominant heterosexual culture. Here at WeHo Psychology, we understand all these stresses can take a toll on your relationship. Often, the societal and individual pressures of being a gay man are sometimes unintentionally directed at your partner, which leads to a less than fulfilling relationship.
From the feeling of “minority stress” to the lack of religious or familial support, gay men often struggle with many external issues in addition to the tribulations of maintaining a healthy relationship. But these individual stresses and unfavorable societal conditions are all the more reasons for keeping a relationship strong. In fact, it’s a testimony to the strength of same-sex couples to remain resilient despite living in a culture that’s not always friendly and understanding.
So how do you know when you and your partner need couples therapy?
Reasons couples seek out the help of a couples therapist:
The most important reason for attending couples therapy is if you or your partner feel things can be better. Perhaps you’re not struggling with one or more of the dramatic reasons listed above; you just want to learn how to communicate. If so, couples therapy is the perfect setting for building positive relationship skills that will leave you and your partner feeling fulfilled and happy.
We understand that it’s not always easy to address such conflicts, which is why many couples remain unhappy because they choose to ignore them. Sadly, these issues won’t go away unless they’re discussed and, as a result, some form of compromise can be reached. Couples therapy offers the ideal situation for getting these feelings out and letting the healing begin.
My job as a psychologist is to help lead a conversation between two individuals all while keeping the relationship itself as the primary focus. I won’t team-up or choose sides since couples therapy isn’t about finding out who the bad guy is and giving them the blame. What I will do is offer my expertise as a listener, and help couples realize what is making a relationship stronger and what’s hurting it, and, as a result, couples can begin to build from the positives.
Though the practice itself is no different between gay couples therapy and heterosexual couples therapy, I will take into consideration the socio-cultural impacts and external stresses that are unique to same-sex couples.
If your relationship isn’t everything you believe it could be, then don’t hesitate to contact us. As mentioned before, your relationship woes won’t go away if you don’t address them. Attending West Hollywood couples therapy isn’t the admission of a failed relationship, it’s the start of a new chapter; one in which both partners are happy and fulfilled.
If you have any questions about our couples therapy, please contact us.