Enjoying Your Lesbian Marriage

Enjoying Your Lesbian Marriage

Same-sex couples have finally earned the right to marry and the majority of Americans support the idea of same-sex marriage. Eager to have their relationship formalized and viewed as just as legitimate as heterosexual couples, many gay couples have headed down to city hall or their place of worship to commit to each other in front of friends and family.  But what about the “happily ever after”?  How can lesbian couples make sure that they continue to love, honor, respect and—just as important—enjoy their marriage, long after the rice has been thrown and the honeymoon is over?

Here’s some useful lesbian marriage advice:

A happy marriage starts before the actual wedding

Before you say “I do” you want to be certain that this woman is The One.  Research on lesbian couples has shown that lesbians are quick to commit and more impulsive than heterosexual couples, where the male can often put the brakes on committing too soon to a live-in arrangement.  

Fact:  Lesbian marriages are 50% more likely to end in divorce than heterosexual marriages.   So do some deep thinking before tying the knot, so that you won’t need to untie the same knot years down the line because you jumped in too quickly.  It is always beneficial to do some pre-marriage counseling to gauge you and your girlfriend’s compatibility, values, and likelihood of a successful marriage.

Choose well, and work hard

To enjoy your marriage, choose your partner well.  Once you know that this woman is the woman you truly wish to spend the rest of your life with, work hard to keep it that way.  Pay attention to your spouse, but also to yourself.  Carve out your own identity, interests, and passions.  You don’t want to become boring or have nothing to talk about when you are sitting across from each other at the dinner table.  Work hard to preserve the loving base of your marriage:  show displays of affection, both small—a little love note left on the counter for your spouse to find after you’ve gone off to work—to large—a surprise impromptu weekend trip to your favorite romantic hideaway.  What you want to avoid is taking each other for granted.  That is a sure way to drain the enjoyment out of a relationship.

Stay healthy for each other

Healthy people are in a position to enjoy their marriage now and in the future. On the physical level, this means eating healthfully to boost your immune system and ward off illness. Getting daily exercise so you increase your “good mood” hormones is important, too. On the spiritual level, practicing mindfulness, either through a formal religion, or some type of meditation, will help keep you balanced. Maintaining a healthy body and mind contribute to overall mental well-being, which, in turn, contributes to a higher level of enjoyment in your marriage.

Stay healthy for each other

Who does what to keep the household going?

In lesbian marriages, the gender roles are less-defined compared with a heterosexual marriage.  It is important that you both communicate how you want to divide up the household management chores.  Is one of you better at DIY-tasks, such as unclogging a backed-up sink or hanging pictures?  Is one of you better in the kitchen, enjoying menu planning and creating delicious meals?  To keep your marriage from going sour, you’ll want to strive to make sure the household tasks are distributed equitably and that you are both contributing to the smooth running of your home life.  Resentment can grow if only one of you is doing all the shopping, cooking, cleaning AND home repairs.  If you have the budget for it, consider paying outside services (a cleaning person, a handyperson) if neither of you is willing to take on certain tasks.  Outsourcing some of the more-unpleasant responsibilities of being married could save you a lot of grief.

Make efforts to prevent “the lesbian bed death”

According to the University of Washington, in a lesbian marriage, sex tends to take a back seat very soon in the relationship – sooner than hetrosexual and male gay couples. This phenomenon is known as the lesbian bed death.

But sustaining a long term romantic relationship without physical intimacy can be challenging. In lesbian marriage sex is as important as it is in a gay marriage or a hetrosexual marriage.So, lesbian couples must make efforts consistently to keep their sex life interesting. This lesbian marriage advice is especially significant because lesbian bed death is one of the most common reasons why they split up sooner than gay and hetrosexual couples.  Experimenting with sexual routine and trying out new things can help them retain their sexual drive for a longer period of time.

Remember the power of touch

In the early days of your dating, you probably touched each other often.  But now that you are in an established marriage, you may forget how important skin to skin contact is.  Take your spouse’s hand when out and about; massage their shoulders while you are watching television.  Physical contact has the ability to release the feel-good hormone known as oxytocin which helps you feel connected to each other.  Make sure to touch, even in a non-sexual way, at least once a day.  It’s a lovely reminder of how much you adore each other.

Check in with each other often

Set aside time to do a “marriage health and welfare” check in.  This conversation can be weekly or monthly.  Start with a question such as “What can I be doing to make your life easier/more enjoyable?”  This opens up the discussion in a positive way, showing that you want to hear how you can best support your spouse.  The goal of these check-ins is to prevent small conflicts from growing larger and perhaps becoming unmanageable.  It is also an excellent way to take the temperature of your marriage, and make sure that both of you continue to reap the benefits of your union.

Don’t neglect the need to be alone from time to time

The old adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is true for all relationships, hetero and homosexual.  Being married does not mean being fused together all the time.  Build in time away from each other into your schedules.  It could be a weekend alone at a spa, or an evening with your parents, just on your own.  All long term couples will tell you that it is important to spend time apart, if only for the sweet reunion that takes place once you return home.