The voices in this book come from the stories of gay and lesbian partners who talk about their struggles over the years in building a life together. The stories reach beyond the obvious realities of sexual orientation to speak to the joys, sorrows, hopes, and fears of human beings who are committed to making their relationships work. Based on a life-span perspective, in-depth interviews of people whose relationships have lasted more than 15 years explored how partners adapted over the years. Each interview consisted of questions that focused upon dimensions of these relationships over time from the unique perspective of each partner. They were asked about conflict over the years, decision-making styles, ways of working out roles, the importance of social supports, and sexual and psychological intimacy.
The research upon which the book is based has continuity with the authors' earlier work on lasting relationships among heterosexual couples, including Lasting Marriages: Men and Women Growing Together (Praeger, 1995). Compared to marriages, relatively little research has been done on the development of same sex relationships. This book will be of great interest to all researchers and students of gender differences, marriage and family therapy, human sexuality, and interpersonal relationships.