LGBT Issues Humans are designed to love. We believe that intimate engagement between partners is the golden road to personal growth and development. We are committed to helping you achieve peace and life satisfaction in your relationships
DEGREE OF “OUTNESS”
“A lot of people don’t realize that the experience of coming out actually is a fairly articulated developmental process, which affects all people differently,” says Dr. Ned Farley, professor and chair of the Mental Health Counseling program at Antioch University, Seattle, Wash., and president of the Association for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues in Counseling. Relationships often are strained if the partners are not in similar places within this process. In those situations, says Farley, “There’s always an increase in stress level, which is difficult to balance out.”
Difficult, but not impossible. Farley advises couples in this situation to learn more about the coming out process and to try to identify where each is within his or her coming out journey. “Identifying where they are and then talking about it is a huge step, because doing so allows one another to develop compassion and understanding for each other,” says Farley. From this point, couples are also advised to set forth expectations, and make clear-cut decisions about what these expectations mean to the relationship.
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