Title

What's the confusion about fusion?--differentiating positive and negative closeness in lesbian relationships.

Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3463-5704

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Publication Title

Journal of marital and family therapy

Volume

36

Issue

4

First Page

416

Last Page

430

DOI

10.1111/j.1752-0606.2010.00219.x

Abstract

This study differentiated between closeness and fusion in lesbian relationships, and examined whether age, adult attachment style, social support, outness, and relationship satisfaction were associated with these variables. Participants consisted of 77 women in long-term, lesbian relationships. Overall, women who reported showing greater closeness toward their partners were more satisfied in their relationships. Age and attachment style were better predictors of closeness and fusion than were social support and outness. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. Findings highlight the need for therapists to distinguish between positive and negative types of closeness in lesbian relationships, and avoid pathologizing high levels of closeness in lesbian relationships simply because they may deviate from a heterosexual norm. © 2010 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

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