Same Sex Couples Counselling Sydney, Central Coast and Online
All intimate relationships have challenges and same-sex couples are no different. Some challenges such as outside prejudice may be more prevalent and yet others such as effective communication, infidelity, betrayal, hurt feelings, emotional wounds are common to all relationships which share an emotional connection.
Parenting in same-sex relationship
"Australian families are characterised by increasing diversity – including a rise in the number of same-sex couple families.
The Australian Census started collecting information on same-sex couples in 1996. According to the 2011 Census, there were 33,700 same-sex couples in Australia, a rise of 32% since 2006 (ABS, 2012). Same-sex couples accounted for 0.7% of all couple households in 2011, compared with 0.6% in 2006 and 0.3% in 1996.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS; 2016) estimated that there were 48,000 same-sex couples in June 2015, accounting for 0.9% of all couple families. ABS noted that the apparent rise might partly reflect an increasing willingness for same-sex couples to disclose their relationship. It could also be the case that same-sex partners are now more prepared to form a couple household, rather than to maintain separate homes.
Of the same-sex families in 2011:
- 52% were male couples; and
- 48% were female couples
Same-sex partners were most commonly aged 35–44 years (representing around 30% of all such partnerships) and tended to be younger than opposite-sex partners.
Of same-sex couples, 12% had children, including adult children, living with them. (In the broader population the figure is over 50%.) A significantly higher proportion of female couples than male couples had children living with them (22% and 3% respectively).
An Australian Institute of Family Studies report (Dempsey, 2013) stated that approximately 11% of gay men and 33% of lesbians in same-sex relationships have children. Higgins (2002) noted that children in same-sex parented families may have been raised from birth by a co-parenting gay or lesbian couple, raised by a single parent, or conceived in the context of previous heterosexual relationships."
Source and more information: Same-sex Couple families in Australia
Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships
The legal recognition of same-sex relationships in NSW and elsewhere in Australia has increased dramatically in the last 20 years to a point where most jurisdictions generally provide same-sex couples with the same rights and obligations as heterosexual de facto couples. However, the extent to which same-sex relationships are or should be recognized continues to elicit much debate.
The Netherlands was the first country to introduce same-sex marriage in 2001. As of 26 June 2015, same-sex marriage is available in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, Canada,, Portugal, South Africa, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Uraguay. There are also some sub-jurisdictions of Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States that allow same-sex couples to marry.
The ABC News website provides a list of 27 countries where same-sex couples are allowed to marry. Also shown is the date on which the first same-sex marriage was performed.
Stages of healthy same-sex relationship
Blending - Stage 1 - Year 1
"This first stage entails the "unification" of the couple into a single unit. Each man is happy to no longer feel isolated and alone, spends most of his free time with his partner, and experiences strong feelings of romantic love and frequent sexual activity during this time. They balance responsibilities, household rules, and their mutual goals, as well as come to know each others' strengths and weaknesses."
Nesting - Stage 2 - Years 2 and 3
"The second stage is marked by "homemaking" or strengthening the commitment the couple has. They find compatibility though acceptance of each other's personality differences and styles, strengths and weaknesses, and needs and goals. The loss of limerence (or the "end of the honeymoon") is common during this time as well, but is paired with a more realistic view of the relationship and the partner."
Maintaining - Stage 3 - Years 4 and 5
"The third stage is when the couple balances their own individual identities against the couples' traditions and rituals. This can be a difficult time, as each may return to making friends outside the relationship, may begin new hobbies or interests, and may want to renegotiate previously set relationship rules."
Building - Stage 4 - Years 6 through 10
"The fourth stage is marked by the settling of any left-over issues from Stage Three, and the couple is left with the sense that their connection is "dependable" and that they know each other very well. They have established a new balance of dependence/independence and can now collaborate on goals such as career building, vocational changes, and retirement planning."
Releasing - Stage 5 - Years 10 through 20
"In the fifth stage, the couple comes to trust each other completely, with no need "to change him." The relationship is more likely marked by close friendship and companionship, and greater relationship satisfaction (Kurdek, 1989). Money and resources are no longer shared, so much as simply owned by both."
Renewing - Stage 6
"Stage six might be considered the "retirement" stage of the relationship, when the couple has financial security, more time for each other, and more time for their own thoughts and activities. While health issues may become more salient, also salient during this time are issues associated with the meaning of life, and a sense of productivity or stagnation across one's life, similar to Erikson's "Integrity versus Despair" stage of psychosocial development."