Large UK Study Finds That Gay Couples Are Happier Than Straight Couples

Comments

1
You might also be happier if you can laze about the house til 9:38 before heading in to work.

Anyway, I'm sure that both findings of relatively more happiness for gay couples and childless couples probably comes from the fact that people in both sets are a hell of a lot less likely to have entered such relationships under pressure. It may surprise so many of Slog's readership which apparently is middle class at worst for background and uniformly college educated (because this is likely to be outside their experience), but many people still feel a lot of pressure to get married and start having kids. I'd bet that most of the unhappiness with those straight and/or child-rearing couples is that they caved in to those decisions, rather than entering them because their hearts were 100% set on them.
2
It's only my opinion, but it seems to me straight couples are more inclined to want to "change" each other. Generally, straight women and men don't seem to understand the opposite sex. So when a couple is the same sex, they are generally more tolerant of and understanding of, their wants and needs.
3
What I found most interesting were the results showing that fathers listed their wife as the most important person to them; whereas mothers listed their children as most important. Also, mothers were more happy than fathers, and fathers were unhappy with the amount of sexual intimacy they were receiving from their wives.

I've seen those results before, in my grad school days when I studied this stuff, but being reminded of it always makes me feel a bit sad even though it's not surprising given humans' evolutionary background.
4
So stop pushing your gay marriage agenda on us in an attempt to corrupt our miserable straight marriages with your happy gay marriages!
5
Why do think they're called gay? Duh
6
I would not be surprised if same sex couples also are better able to communicate well with each other. People who have had to deal with a lot of social crap tend to learn better communication skills. Figuring out how to tell your parents that as a male, you want to suck cock really strengthens those talking skills. Learning how to negotiate sexual intimacy does the same thing. Straight couples rarely include "what are you into" as part of their initial sexual encounters with each other. They should.
7
@1 add to that the fact that gay couples have to make a very deliberate choice to have children. It never happens on accident like it can with straight couples, who then often feel a lot of pressure to stick it out with each other, whether or not their relationship is any good, for the sake of providing the kids with a two parent home. I recently read of another study that found that parents - gay or straight - who have children by choice are happier than straight parents who have children unexpectedly.
8
@1 & @7: Like I wrote in The Kid... gay couples can't get drunk and adopt one night.
9
@8 - And if they do somehow drunkenly fill out the application forms to adopt, they can call up the agency and cancel that application when they sober up, and they won't have to deal with a horde of "cheery grandmothers" telling them they're going to hell.
10
@2--Maybe my gay perspective is showing here. I have close friends--among all parts of the spectrum (male, female, trans, straight, gay, and bi). I've often thought that a lot of the so-called mystique about the opposite sex would evaporate if, instead of straight men trying to figure out what women want, or straight women trying to figure out what men want, an individual straight man communicated with an individual straight woman so that they could figure out what they wanted as individuals and as a couple, without trying to project their partners' desires onto an entire gender. If they spoke to each other as individual human beings without trying to fit the discussion into some preconceived notion of what an entire half of the human race was supposed to be like, they might get a lot further and be a lot happier.
11
@ 10, that's how my wife and I do it.
12
@ 3, I think women are especially pressured to say their children are the best thing that ever happened to them, even more so than their spouse. Otherwise they're seen as almost inhuman, certainly not feminine.

"Pregnant women are smug" is stuck in my head now. Really, I think they're trying desperately to give their interrupted little lives a whole lot of meaning. Women who want nothing to do with kids accidentally get pregnant suddenly they're ultra-sensitive Maternal Mamas. It's easy for me to laugh at now, but I'm scared of children, and what they might do to my marriage.
13
"... but I don't want to be a huge drama queen or anything." Oh Dan - I'm afraid that ship sailed a long time ago.
15
@14, uh-oh, somebody's got a secret crush!
16
@15 - I'm flattered, but I don't know where he got the idea I have a six pack. Even in my younger, fitter days, I had nothing approaching muscle definition.

Wait, is this fanfic? Am I the subject of fanfic? Do I have fans?
17
Wait I'm confused. The gender disconnect in straight couples v. the gender concord in L or G couples seems plausible on average, but what about B & Q?

By virtue of being a bi male, would I be happier than a straight man would be if married to a straight woman? Would I be yet happier married to a bi woman? Even happier married to a gay man?

Should I do the selfless thing and marry a straight man to save him from straight matrimony?

Mac @16, I'm a fan but I only write slashfic about Seandr and Venomlash.
18
Re: Having fans. Of course you do, darlin'. (And often, so does ArtBasketSara.)
19
@ 12 - You had the right of it in your first paragraph. While I'm sure it's true that some pregnant women are smug, pregnant women are also scripted. The social correction for saying the "wrong" thing during your pregnancy is significant and pervasive. This is made worse by the tendency to treat pregnant women as communal property (strangers will touch you, ask you inappropriate questions, etc..)
20
@12 I'm scared of what kids will do to my marriage, too, particularly along the axis of our economic well-being. I like kids and want to have them some day, but "some day" will likely be when my fear of infertility outweighs my fear of child-rearing, or when my IUD miraculously fails. I honestly do not know how adoptive couples work up the sustained courage to go through with it but this requirement would certainly sort the wheat from the chaff.
21
Doesn't it just come down to the higher likelihood of having threesomes? Breeders aren't able to arrange that scenario as often. Not having a kid walk in makes it even easier!
22
Mr Ophian - Clearly, you'd be happiest married to another bi man, as Mr Savage so presciently advised some few years ago. Then the two of you can go take swing or ballroom dance classes that will require you to dance with every woman in the room, and when you reunite, each in a state of highly piqued interest, you'll both be delighted instead of calling your divorce lawyer. (I did wonder whether Mr Savage meant to apply his universal benediction bestowed upon Non-Partner-Derived Energy in this week's podcast to bi-inclusive situations.)

23
I'd say a big part of it just comes down to not having all the gendered crap to deal with - who does the housework, what it says about you when your wife earns more, etc etc. Same sex couples actually have to talk about these things rather than go with the assumptions, or simply don't have to deal with it at all.

@ 12, you have a good point, but why the "little lives" snark? Unnecessary, and undermines your point as it makes you seem bitter and nasty.
24
@12 "women are especially pressured to say their children are the best thing that ever happened to them"

Yeah, my husband and I struggle with this a lot. Neither one of us ever wanted to get married or have children. But we were so in love and so connected and we eloped at a tiny chapel as a lark... and since both of us had managed to fuck people for over a decade without any children coming of it, I guess we thought we were immune, but a couple months after marriage-- pregnancy happened.

Our son is 2 and I'm about to pop with the second, and we love our boys and are very happy, but... sometimes we forget about them. It's too easy to edit them out of our conversations. We were close to 30 when we got married, so I feel like we are more individual than couples who got hitched around 20. All the time we say to each other "You're the most important thing in my life, you keep me going, I couldn't imagine my life without you." Then a couple minutes later "Well, you and [our son]." And then "And the new baby."

We miss our freedom, I miss working, we both miss having money... but we had a rocky start and wouldn't have stayed together but for the pregnancy, and we belong together, so that would have been a shame.

But yeah, I'm pretty sure we're in the minority or married couples who stayed together for the children- I don't know anyone else in that situation who's happy.
26
Mr. ven, @22, say, that's the ticket! I'll be sending out the wedding invitations and signing up for dance classes just as soon as I find Mr. Bi-right.
27
@25

I know how bad it sounds about the first one, but the second one was totally planned, and tubal ligation is free with a c-section, so that's what we're doing.

I have trouble keeping my son occupied all day (I live in the middle of nowhere surrounded by tweakers, so interacting with other families around here is a dubious idea at best). We planned to have a second kid so our son wouldn't be alone or just hanging out with me all day. And we wanted to do it quickly so that there'd be a minimum of years spent dealing with small children.

But yeah, I hear you about the "accident" method of procreation. I don't think even 10 minutes went by between the time I told my husband we were expecting again and when we talked of vasectomy/ tubal ligation.

I tend not to mention this (and forgetting to include my children in "what completes me") when speaking to people because the judgement sucks.
28
@23: Totally with you there. Gay couples don't have to spend any time purging the privileged/unprivileged dynamic from their relationship unless they're also biracial or mixed-ability or something else I'm not thinking of right now. Two men generally don't even notice that things they're saying might be fraught with gender problems and two women just don't say them. The problem is that women often get stuck with gendered roles by default, feel resentment, but also feel that their resentment is illegitimate or they don't know how to tell their male partner that they want the guy to stop it without also calling him a sexist, which they don't want to do. So they just stew in their unhappiness.
29
Only in America has something as profound as saying "I love you" been reduced to an everyday phrase that can be used to describe even the most basic, common affection between two persons and is actually considered an obligation between two partners-
Europeans generally find the Americans' casualness in saying these words weird. The thought is "if you have to say it, it's meaningless".
30
A cup of tea in bed is much more appreciable than an "I love you" !
31
Well, I'm gay, no children, and when I got home from work yesterday my spouse had a pot of tea waiting for me.

No wonder the right wing nuts hate me. They hate anyone who is happy.
32
Coming out is a personal growth experience. It's often painful while you're doing it, but once it's mostly done, it leaves a person in a better place. For many (not all) GLB folk, that means that when the next personal growth possibility comes along, they're more likely to go for it than to hide from it, because their experience in coming out has taught them that going for personal growth is more likely to lead to a positive outcome.

It's a lot easier to find happiness in life if you know who you are and what you want. In order to come out as gay in the first place, a person has to have some self-knowledge, and that self-knowledge about sexual orientation often leads a person to look for more.
33
@12, We’re in the same boat. I’m worried about going back to college, and he and I are both sorta lousy at housework and chores. He’s in school and it’s tricky enough to work in some sexy time after job/homework/dinner/Netflix and that's just with two of us in the house.

@ 23, Forgive me, I know many a single mom who has made a name for herself in spite of, or because of her children. But, I’m generally cynical about people and their inflated sense of purpose, so sorry about the “little” lives comment. Won't deny I'm bitter, my friends and family have been getting knocked-up since I was 16. I’m just lucky my mom recognized my need/desire for the pill when I was younger and too sheepish to ask for it...Sister was not so lucky (knocked up by a church friend-turned-husband), but I love her and those kids. What else can you do? Brother-in-law wants us to make cousins for them. That's how Christian breeders think: it's about filling quotas, not ensuring that a kid will have a safe and comfortable life.

I had a friend who used to cringe when I tried to tell her cute stories about my niece. She used to rage against the institution of marriage, and told me she didn't approve of my choice in husband. Fast-forward to her pregnancy and she’s speaking in clichés just like the Garfunkel and Oates song Savage has shared. And she's engaged now! Shit happens. Maybe I should send her the study ;)

Damn you queers, and not for the usual reasons!