Neither of us see ourselves as traveling a path alone.
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 were committed to making their relationships work. You may come to know them, as we did, by listening to what they say about relationships that lasted for more than fifteen years. To a considerable extent, their stories are our stories.
This research has continuity with our previous studies of lasting relationships among heterosexual couples ( Mackey and O'Brien 1995). Compared to marriages, relatively little research has been done on the development of same-sex relationships that have lasted ten years or more ( Dorn 1991; Johnson 1991). Since the mid-1980s, there have been appeals for studies that would allow same-sex partners to tell their relationship stories through in-depth interviews ( Peplau 1982, 1991).
Based on a life-span perspective, an interview guide was designed to explore how partners adapted in their relationships over the years. Each interview consisted of questions that focused upon dimensions of these