Complexity in Sexuality and Relationships Part 1: Non – Normative Marriages

I want to do a… well, mini – series at the moment, on non – normative relationships and complexities in feelings and interactions that people may have. I’ll explain.

I found a link to a Facebook group a few days ago about a gay man and a lesbian intersex woman; Linda and Dennis Alfunso, who have been married to each other for over 30 years. They still are.

I’ll be frank, when I first saw this story, I was sceptical. American studies have shown in the past that marriages, where one person is gay and married to another person of the opposite sex, frankly rarely work out (the divorce rate is believed to be 80%).

When my scepticism subsided, my second reaction was that, love and marriage is not always clear cut. This couple do seem to genuinely care about each other. The man is actually the woman’s carer, as Linda has a form of Muscular Dystrophy.

When they first married, they did fall in love, and, because of that, Linda, as she described in the video, thought that she maybe bisexual. That thought was apparently debunked early on.

It really shows what love is, and the different ways that people feel it, regardless of orientation. It shows that sacrifice and commitment are the foundation of a relationship, not sex (although, let’s face it, for most people, it plays a part).

The article does say that they did “fall in love”. I’m not sure about you, but I’m guessing it was sparked by romantic attraction. So maybe we’re talking about people who are bi – romantic, but gay? Anyway, enough with the analysis.

What I’m getting at, is that people love in their own way. Obviously, not all relationships and marriages include sexual chemistry (including for non – aces, because, well aces, there’s very little likelihood that sexual chemistry will play a part of that, but moving on).

What I do admire about this story is the way Dennis and Linda have stuck by each other. I take my hat off to Dennis for looking after Linda during her illness, which apparently started pretty early on in their marriage. That’s something that doesn’t seem to be talked about these days (that’s the sceptic in me again!). Anyway, overall, nice story, I think. Really makes you think about, not just what love and sacrifice is, but also how different people experience it, even in marriages.

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