Sunday, January 9, 2011

More MOM Research

By Mister Curie

Mormons for Marriage had an interesting post that I saw this morning on mixed-orientation marriages.  Apparently the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy has recently published a review of the research that has been performed on mixed-orientation marriages over the past 20 years.  The post is an interesting read and the actual article even more so.

From the article's discussion, which I thought was a pretty apt description:

Mixed-orientation marriages are fraught with complexity, as reported in quantitative, qualitative, and case study research. Gay, bisexual, and lesbian spouses must manage homoerotic feelings or activities while maintaining their marriage and considering the needs of their straight spouse. Pressure from within is described in these data as arising from tension between societal expectations, love for spouse, and same-sex attraction; fear of losing one’s family; developing a  cogent sense of self while compartmentalizing feelings and behaviors; dealing with ambiguity about one’s sexual identity across contexts; and being able to live intentionally and with integrity. Renegotiation of sexuality within marriage is a challenge for both partners in MOM, as is finding a network that accepts and supports both the individuals and couple as a whole. Friendship and love between spouses, along with shared children, led to family life and community integration. These were reported to deter couples from separating and to enhance their general life satisfaction.

And regarding the wives in a MOM:

Straight women in MOM experienced an array of responses after their husband’s coming out, ranging from outrage to relief. Such women’s experiences were often conceptualized in terms of loss, shock, and sadness. Responses included isolating themselves, feeling humiliated, seeking counseling, and attempting to renegotiate or dissolve their marriage. Many women sought counseling to reorganize their feelings and thoughts about their marriages. Sexual practices in marriages that endured included monogamy, celibacy, menage a` trois, open marriage, and variations on an agreement not to discuss extramarital sexual activity.


  1. I laud your courage to speak out about these issues. You draw a lot of attention to yourself and Madame Curie. You two are very strong individuals. Much of the anecdotal info you share here in your blog seems to have been confirmed by this research. I have always enjoyed what you post. It isn't an easy journey that you and Madame Curie are on but it seems that you two are committed to making it work. I would like to get my hands on the study. There are a lot of interesting studies about human sexuality that are coming out. So much good research out there these days. Too bad most of the members of the Church are unexposed to it and don't recognize the heartache they cause by not being informed.

  2. Thanks for posting this. Yours is one of the first blogs I followed after coming out to myself and my wife more than a year ago. I told my wife before we got married that I was attracted to guys, but it took me 15 years to understand what that really meant. My story is way to long and complicated to bring out here, but we are working hard to make this marriage viable and happy for both of us. In this process I have more or less left the church behind, but I still attend on Sundays to support my wife and kids. It's very hard to belong to an organization that doesn't accept who you are.

    Thanks for your insights.

  3. ProgresivMormon- There is a lot of interesting research out there, and I really enjoy research!

    Andy - thanks for commenting. I'd be very interested to hear your story sometime. I'm glad that you are following mine.