Homosexual couples are happier...so what's their secret?
Sure, we all know a few blissed-out twosomes, but what makes their love so unique? Well, the answer may surprise you. In a study conducted at the University of Washington, San Diego State University, and the University of Vermont, same-sex couples report more loving feelings toward their partners, experience less conflict, and have more relationship satisfaction than married heterosexual couples. And today, when more than half of marriages end in divorce, we could all use advice about living happily ever after. Read on for secrets to their success.
They fight fair.
OK, maybe your patience could use some fine-tuning, or he hasn't nailed the concept of stacking the dishwasher. Sure, it's normal to occasionally get on each other's nerves. But studies show while same-sex couples have their share of conflict, they're better at keeping the peace than their heterosexual counterparts. In fact, these couples rarely resort to name-calling, don't re-hash past grievances, and most importantly, pick their battles. "Men and women have distinct arguing styles and since each gender can relate to each other effectively, resolution is a lot smoother," says Esther D. Rothblum, a professor of women's studies at San Diego State University. Another element to marital success: Humor. In the study, same-sex couples used jokes to diffuse tension. The key is to keep things lighthearted and make sure comments stay above--not below--the belt.
Household chores are shared.
We know most wives do the bulk of childrearing and chores, and husbands often bear the financial burden. But research shows that's not always true with homosexual couples--in these unions, cooking, cleaning, and childcare are split right down the middle. "In traditional families, the husband is expected to work long hours and women to maintain the household, largely because that's what people learned growing up," says Rothblum. "But in same-sex households, these stereotypes don't exist, and couples divvy chores based on who is better at what." So figure out which jobs you naturally gravitate toward and go from there. If your hubby doesn't notice when the doorknob's jammed, but is a whiz in the kitchen, consider turning over your oven mitts. Your role reversal will have a twofold effect: Your kids learn jobs aren't gender-biased, and you'll try your hand at something new.
Sex is a two-way street--sometimes.
When it comes to lovemaking, conventional wisdom says men are ready for sex in seconds while women need tons of coaxing into bed. However, researchers found in that in homosexual couples, men and women had similar sexual habits. But here's the twist: In gay couples, both men initiate sex frequently, and in lesbian couples, the women are both passive. If you've fallen into some predictable bed patterns of your own, take turns giving and receiving. By handing over the reins, you'll nix worries like "Am I doing it right?" or "Is he enjoying this?" and can focus purely on your satisfaction (which is really the whole point)!
What are the secrets to your relationship success?