“We are Two of the Lucky Ones”: Experiences with Marriage and Wellbeing for Same-Sex Couples

Heather R. Kennedy, Rochelle L. Dalla, Steven Dreesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Happy marriages provide protective health benefits, and social support is a key factor in this association. However, previous research indicates one of the greatest differences between same- and different-sex couples is less social support for same-sex couples. Our goal was to examine the extent to which formal markers of couple status (e.g., marriage) impact wellbeing among same-sex married partners. Using a mixed-methods approach, data were collected from 218 primarily White gay and lesbian individuals in the Midwest. Quantitative analysis revealed individuals in a prior formal union with a different-sex partner reported the lowest levels of sexuality specific social support and acceptance. Qualitative analysis revealed four primary impacts of marriage on support from family, friends, and co-workers: no change, increased support, decreased support, and a synthesis of mixed support. Three mechanisms prompting change in the family were identified and are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1231
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 29 2018


  • Same-sex couples
  • boundary ambiguity
  • gay and lesbian
  • marriage
  • mixed methods
  • social support
  • wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology


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