It has been five years since the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in its landmark decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. While thousands of LGBTQ couples have chosen to walk down the aisle during this time, many have also realized their marriage is irretrievably broken.
If you are thinking of ending your marriage, you should realize LGBTQ couples may face some unique psychological challenges. By understanding why, you boost your odds of emerging from your divorce in a mentally healthy place.
A recent Gallup poll indicates roughly 63% of Americans approve of marriage equality. That has not always been the case, however. On the contrary, members of the LGBTQ community fought for decades for equal treatment under the law. Accordingly, your friends and family members may pressure you to stay in an untenable marriage. You are not, however, responsible for the gay rights movement. Rather, you must do what is right for you.
Even though the law now provides many protections for LGBTQ citizens, many members of the community still have some internalized shame. This fact may make you blame yourself for everything that is wrong with your marriage. You may also not want your divorce to proceed in the public square. Fortunately, you likely have some alternatives to a bitter or protracted court battle. For example, you may seek an acceptable end to your marriage through mediation or another collaborative process.
Philadelphia is a metropolis with thousands of mental health professionals. Still, finding a therapist who is sensitive to LGBTQ issues can be difficult. If you have noticed meaningful changes in your ability to handle everyday tasks, though, it is essential for you to seek help. Nonetheless, you may need to try a few therapists before you find the right one for your situation.
Even though same-sex couples face unique challenges when ending marriages, you do not have to leave your divorce to chance. Instead, you may want to explore a friendly or collaborative divorce to help you better manage the process.