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Chapter 6 Couples Support

The following pages contain examples of couples support program and events sponsored by some Dignity Chapters. These are ideas, which you can use or consider when you create your own couples support programs and events.

"Our problem in relationships is how to have an ongoing intimate life with another person at the same time as we invite this completely unpredictable depth to have a significant place in our lives. It isn't easy to live with the power and mystery of another's soulful personality.... The only solution to this problem I know is for both parties to respect soul, to acknowledge the mystery that is inescapably contained in the soulful life, and to come to treasure that very unpredictability." 
— Soul Mates - Thomas Moore

Being in a same-sex relationship eliminates us from much of the support, both psychological and concrete, which heterosexual couples enjoy. Because of that, we need to create our own supportive atmosphere. The following are suggestions, which might be helpful if your chapter needs to build such a support network. Avoid forming a Couple's Committee. Being in a relationship is already a lot of work. One more committee takes time away from couplehood.

Support Groups: Solicit volunteer couples to facilitate a couple's support group. Get 4 or 5 (maximum) couples together once a month to discuss topics such as money issues, dealing with families, how to deal with conflict, control issues, communication.

Education: Offer educational/supportive topics for larger groups of couples about such topics as: legal issues of ownership, wills, children and child rearing, becoming pregnant.

Ministry as a Couple: Have couples perform their various ministries together, whenever possible (e.g. greeters, readers, homilists, etc.).

Retreats: Either formal or informal, directed or free-flowing, gathering couples for an extended time (e.g. 1-2 days) to pray together, discuss the issues of couplehood, break bread, relax and have fun together. These activities can be life-giving experiences.

Anniversary Recognition: Announce anniversaries in your bulletin, pray for couples during the Prayers of the Faithful.

Peer Couples: Encourage established couples to "sponsor" new couples.

Social Gatherings: Couples night at the skating rink or a couple's dinner dance.

These suggestions are meant to be guidelines to get you started. By no means are they required of any chapter. We would like to encourage each chapter to develop their own local resources and/or look to local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender agencies for committed support for those among us who have entered into a committed relationship.