Resources for Mixed-Orientation Marriages
I am a therapist who works with [Ed Note: heterosexual &] LGBT individuals and couples. Bisexual issues, in particular, tend to be marginalized. What information is available is full of bias and stigma, so there is a need for positive resources for those in mixed-sexual orientation marriages where one of the partners is bisexual. I hope you find these helpful. ~Betti Schleyer, PhD in Bi Women’s Newsletter: Winter 2013
Positive online discussion groups:
- Alternate Path: an affirming group for women seeking help with finding alternative solutions to divorcing their Bisexual/Gay husband. Provides positive discussions to help wives adjust to the news that their husband is gay/bi.
- Making Mixed Orientation Marriages Work (MMOMW): for straight spouses who are married to gays or bisexuals, and also the married gays and bisexuals themselves. Welcomes all those in this situation no matter how they have decided to deal with this within their own marriage.
- HUGS Couples (Hope Understanding Growth Support): A list for couples of mixed sexual orientation who are working to keep their relationship strong and growing. A positive environment where these couples can express their concerns, share their successes, and give and receive support and encouragement.
- Monogamous Mixed Orientation Marriages (MMOM): a support group for either or both members of a mixed orientation marriage or relationship working to remain monogamous. “Mixed orientation” means that the sexual orientations of the two persons involved do not match. This includes any combination of GLBTQS persons (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, straight). “Monogamous” means that the partners are sexually exclusive
Bisexual and Living Fabulous: support for bisexuals and those who love them - Positive Website for bisexuals. Includes a discussion site for those in Mixed Orientation Marriages.
Transcending Boundaries: Introduction to Mixed Orientation Marriages by Mark Rheault - Good description of basics of making a mixed-orientation marriage work, with links to resources
Positive stories about mixed orientation marriages:
- Top Five Questions Asked About Being a Bisexual Minister by Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards
- The Advocate (my perspective): A bisexual mom comes out by Mary Joslin May 25, 2004
- Ochs, R., and Rowley, S. (2009). Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World, Second Edition. Chapter 6, Relationships, pp. 115 – 133. Bisexual Resource Center.
- Orndorff, K. (1999). Bi Lives: Bisexual Women Tell Their Stories. Sharp Press.
Research showing that stable, satisfactory mixed orientation marriages are possible:
- Brownfain, J. J. (1985). A study of the married bisexual male: Paradox and resolution. Journal of Homosexuality, 11(1/2), 173-188.
- Coleman, E. (1985). Integration of male bisexuality and marriage. Journal of Homosexuality, 11(1/2), 189-207.
- Edser, S. J., & Shea, J. D. (2002). An exploratory investigation of bisexual men in monogamous, heterosexual marriages. Journal of Bisexuality, 2, 7–43.
- Jordal, C. E. (2011). “Making it work”: A grounded theory of how mixed orientation married couples commit, sexually identify, and gender themselves (Doctoral dissertation).
- Matteson, D. (1985). Bisexual men in marriage: Is a positive homosexual identity and stable marriage possible? Journal of Homosexuality 11, nos. 1 and 2: 149-172
- Wolf, T. J. (1985). Marriages of bisexual men. Journal of Homosexuality, 11(1/2), 135-148.
- Gustavson, M. (2009). Bisexuals in relationships: Uncoupling intimacy from gender ontology. Journal of Bisexuality, 9(3-4), 407-429.
Note: Research reviewed by Patrick RichardsFink, a bisexual activist, husband, father, student, and blogger in Central Minnesota.
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