Abilene Campus (Residential)
Date of Award
Marriage and Family Therapy
Master of Marriage and Family Therapy
Committee Chair or Primary Advisor
Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor
Third Committee Member or Committee Reader
Mixed-orientation marriages (MOMs) are often misunderstood. There is a general cynicism in research literature and in the broader culture regarding the relational viability of same-sex attracted (SSA) individuals who marry someone of the opposite sex. However, there exist couples in MOMs that are resilient and attain satisfaction. The purpose of this study is to better understand how MOMs might become successful. By interviewing maritally satisfied mixed-orientation couples, the Model of Relational Self- Determination in Mixed-Orientation Marriages was developed. This model is separated into five stages that are organized around the experience of disclosure of the SSA spouse’s sexuality. Depending on what meaning and perceptions are constructed by the couple regarding this disclosure, they may gain the ability to suspend disbelief regarding the viability of their marriage, which informs their attitudes and actions going forward. Mixed-orientation couples who practice relational self-determination—or make consistent, intentional, and self-motivated choices to believe and behave in ways that benefit the relationship—may develop the fruits of those beliefs and choices in the form of a mutually fulfilling relationship.
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Ferreira De Melo, Isadora, "The Happiest Place on Earth: A Grounded Theory of Fulfillment in Mixed-Orientation Marriages" (2022). Digital Commons @ ACU, Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 457.
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