“How We Stay Together Without Going Crazy:” Reconstruction of Reality Among Women of Mixed-Orientation Relationships

Until recently, the literature that addressed the phenomenon of mixed-orientation relationships, in which the female partner is straight and the male partner is non-straight, has focused mainly on the men’s perspective. Most of the studies have employed a pessimistic tone, underscoring the obstacles faced by each of the partners.

This study was designed to understand how women of mixed-orientation relationships construct their reality within such a relationship, focusing on elements that assist them in maintaining those relationships. Based on the phenomenological paradigm, in-depth interviews with eight women in mixed-orientation relationships were conducted. The findings indicate that in order to adapt to their newly constructed reality, women reframe various individual, marital, and social aspects in their lives. Those reframing processes constituted a point of departure to developing a conceptual model, which outlines the journey to reality reconstruction among women in mixed-orientation relationships.

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