I had an interesting conversation last night with a straight friend who reported how his girlfriend constantly complains when hangs with his male buddies. It’s not the first time I’ve heard about(or heard) a woman upset when her significant other spends times with his same-sex peers. And yes, I’ve heard the reverse, men who get upset with their wives/girlfriends for their girls’ night out — or similar celebrations.
Our conversation reminded me that the straight folks (at least the ones I know) in the strongest marriages all engage in activities with their same-sex peers. One of our readers enjoys a knitting circle with her female friends while her husband goes biking with his male buddies. It seems that same-sex social contact is essential to the strength of their marriages.
I wonder how this plays out in same-sex relationships. I have one lesbian friend who (sometimes jokingly) laments that her wife has a second spouse — the theater. Perhaps, that second “marriage” contributes to the strength of her first.
Let me just throw this out for discussion. It seems pretty clear that individuals in traditional marriages benefit by balancing their monogamous connection to a member of the “other” sex with associations in groups oftentimes composed only of members of their own sex. How then do gay couples effect a similar balance?