Until recently, marriage in the same-sex community has never been something easily obtainable — which puts a peculiar pressure on those within same-sex marriages to stay married — even when they’re deeply unhappy.
The likelihood that same-sex couples were going to face certain unique problems once same-sex marriage became legal nationally is something that was noted back in the early days following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on the matter.
Now that same-sex marriage is legal, many same-sex couples feel pressure from inside their own community of friends and associates. The more same-sex couples who marry, the more common it becomes — which makes each married couple a visible, if silent, testimony to why marriage equality is necessary.
Nor are same-sex couples immune to the pressure from outside their own community. When same-sex couples couldn’t easily marry, those with accepting families weren’t faced with pressure from loved ones to commit to a wedding (and a partner). Now, same-sex couples who date for a while or move in together face the same age-old question and unsubtle pressure that heterosexual couples have long faced: “When are you getting married?”
Frankly, as much as marriage equality has been a good thing for same-sex couples, some found themselves caught up in the fervor over the right to marry and married without stopping to determine if it was right for them.
Those same couples also face similar pressures from inside the same-sex community to stay married. The pressure they feel from family members and heterosexual friends is also similar — no one wants to see a once-happy couple get a divorce, but same-sex couples are often faced with a deep feelings of guilt over the issue. They’re not only failing at marriage, they’re failing their community as a symbol of marriage equality.
No one should stay in a marriage simply because of societal pressure — that’s taking a step backward into the past instead of moving forward. The best thing that you can do if you are feeling guilt and pressure to stay in a same-sex relationship when you’re unhappy is acknowledge the feelings, the unique challenges you face in divorce and maybe get a little counseling to help you through.
You certainly don’t want to respond by dragging out an unhappy marriage longer than necessary. For information on how our firm can help you through a same-sex divorce, please visit our page.