Home' LOTL : October 2009 Contents 49
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By Dawn Cohen
We made our love a priority, not money, but for the first time
after more than fifty great years, we don’t have enough,
because the law changes which recognise same-sex couples
reduced our pension. I have a well-off nephew who probably would
help out, but I feel ashamed to let him know our problem.
— Love Is Enough
You feel ashamed because you think that somehow you have failed,
but that is not the truth. You have not failed, you have succeeded.
For fifty years you have kept right on loving, despite the best efforts of the
law and society, to undermine your capacity to do so. You and your partner
sacrificed social acceptability, including the financial gains that can come
of that, to have yourselves and your relationship. In doing so, you quietly
achieved what new age social change gurus rabbit on about: you fought a
war with love, not violence, and changed the world for the rest of us.
In doing so, you made the recognition possible from which all the gen-
erations to come will benefit. Now the laws have come in, and yet again,
you must pay the price for homophobia. This time literally, for surely it is
homophobia that omitted the usual grandmother clause that would ease in
big financial changes to protect pensioners.
Ask your nephew for the help, knowing you are being called upon yet
again to sacrifice for social change. You have brought him, and all of us,
a richer and more diverse social world. You are heroes and veterans of a
bloodless war, and like ANZACs, you deserve your own club in every
small town and village throughout this country honouring your sacrifice,
not to mention a special old lesbians’ pension in honour of the sacrifices
that you made, and a special Lesbian Heroes’ day. The fact that there isn’t
one, is Australia’s inadequacy, not yours.
She loves her ex-husband like a brother. I can’t stand the
smarmy bastard. Do I have to keep being polite to him when I
would rather kick him in the balls?
— Ms Manners
You certainly feel strongly about him, and I would like to know why.
Did he harm her in some way, and she is disowning her rage, leaving
you the job of feeling it? Is she not holding appropriate boundaries with
him, and you are sensing it, even though it may not be about sex? Or are
you stewing in a toxic broth of jealousy of your own making that is poison-
ing your relationship? If you have felt these feelings before in relationships,
and have a tendency towards possessiveness, then resolve your own issues
first, before working out how he fits into your lives. On the other hand if
she is using him to keep her distance from you, or using you to express her
rage, call her on it. In couple therapy, preferably.
My new girlfriend is so hot, I think about her all the time. She
likes me too, but the weird thing is we have absolutely noth-
ing else in common. She is sporty, I like books. She is a party girl,
whereas I faint at the sight of a crowd. Is there any hope for us?
— Miss Matched?
Shared values are the most powerful predictor of relationship suc-
cess, not common interests or similar personalities. And shared val-
ues may be quite subtle, and not very obvious. Give it time and see what
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the writer and are not intended as a substitute for
professional advice. If you need medical or psychological help, see your local GP or psychologist.
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