After many years of fighting for marriage equality, gay and lesbian couples can now get legally married in 36 states. While many in the lesbian and gay community have welcomed this right, there are others who -- for one reason or another -- want nothing to do with marriage. Unfortunately, this has led to a problem that many heterosexual couples have dealt with for years -- relationship woes that arise when one individual in a gay or lesbian relationship wants to get married and the other doesn't.
Marriage Isn't for Everyone
According to USA Today, a recent poll showed that 52 percent of those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community want to get married; 33 percent were not sure; and 15 percent did not want to get married at all. So what should you do if you are one of the 52 percent who wants to get married and your partner is in the 15 percent who doesn't and you are at an impasse? It could be time to seek the aid of a couple's counselor, who could determine why your partner is so against getting married. While it's hard not to take the rejection of marriage personally, it's very possible that your partner is deeply in love with you but has personal reasons why they are against the institution of marriage. Some of these reasons may include:
- Moral reasons. Some people won't get married until gay marriage is legal in every state in the union.
- Fear of divorce. Children who have grown up in families that ended in nasty divorces are often reluctant to re-live that nightmare.
- Wanting to avoid the financial responsibilities of marriage. When parties get married, their lives become legally and financially intertwined, which is something that some individuals -- whether gay, lesbian or straight -- want to avoid. Getting married could also mean that a couple may have to pay higher taxes.
- Feeling that you are more interested in the idea of getting married. Your partner may believe that you are more interested in the notion of getting married than you are in actually getting married to them.
- They are perfectly happy with your relationship as it stands. Your partner may truly believe that a wedding certificate is nothing more than a meaningless piece of paper and that they don't need one to prove their love to you.
The counselor will also encourage you and your partner to engage in honest communication with one another to discover:
- What it is you're hoping to get from being married. Do you believe that your relationship will be more solid if you have a wedding certificate attached to it? Or are you hoping to have children some day and you want to get married before you bring kids into your relationship?
- Whether you can continue a relationship with your spouse if they won't get married. If getting married is very important for you, it could leave you bitter and disillusioned in the future if you never do end up legally tying the knot -- especially, if you and your partner were to ever break up.
While marriage equality seemed like a dream come true for many gay and lesbian couples, it has also opened up the same can of worms that so many heterosexual couples have had to deal with for years. It has pitted the hopes and desires of one party wishing to get married against a partner who wants nothing to do with the institution of marriage. With counseling services, you and your partner may be able to better understand one another's viewpoints on marriage, which could, in turn, lead to a better relationship whether you end up getting married or not.