I've had countless conversations with gay men about the length of our relationships. Why are they short lived? The obvious, we don't have enough reasons to fight for our relationships. Too few of us "partner" in home purchases, even fewer graduate to marriage (commitment ceremonies), or raise children together. Simply put, there's no glue to keep us together; there's nothing binding.
About a year ago, my mom called me to tell me my nephew and his wife were considering a divorce because they couldn't get back on track. I was speechless because they had been married less than two years. Every few phone calls my mom had a new update for me. She even said on one occasion that she could tell my "niece in law" wanted to talk about it, but my mom decided she would stay out of it because she and my nephew (her grandson) never discussed what was going on in his marriage.
On one of our phone calls, I said to my mom, "Why are you calling me to tell me? You should be talking to them. Not to mention, you were at their wedding. You witnessed it. You're responsibility, along with all the other guests, is to hold them accountable for the vows they pledged that day. You're suppose to step in and speak up when they can't hear each other." That's the purpose of having a wedding and why the guests should be those closest to the couple; at least in theory.
Before I knew it, I was on a plane to Maryland. I wanted to sit with my nephew and his wife separately to get to the root of their issues. More importantly, I wanted them to know someone cared and wasn't willing to stand by and watch their marriage crumble without just cause. I told them "...people want long-term relationships, but run at the first sign of trouble for fear of looking like a fool to those around. The only way to reach ten, twenty or forty years of love is to go through the ups and the downs. We mistakenly believe that those who enjoy lengthy relationships are near perfect because they've lasted, but that isn't the case. They simply chose to roll up their sleeves to make it work."
Sadly, it's a rarity for gay people to have family or friends who rally in support of our relationships. It's a luxury we don't always enjoy especially if our families have no clue we're gay or if they don't accept us as gay, thus, we're left to sort out our troubles alone. Consequently, without mediation or some voice of reason we walk away before we even get started.
I asked myself two questions as I wrote this, "Who comes to our rescue when our relationships suffer?" and "What holds us together when love doesn't seem to be enough?"
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