The Problem of Fusion in the Lesbian Relationship



This paper is an attempt to outline a set of hypotheses about the kinds of issues that intensify the problem of fusion in committed lesbian partnerships. We consider also why the likelihood is so great of fusion occurring as a response to stresses both internal and external to the relationship. We have chosen to address the problem from a systems perspective because we feel that the most productive clinical interventions for lesbian couples depend upon an awareness of the problems inherent in the couple's attempt to define the rules of their relationship within the context of a larger system in which no rules relating to them exist. We shall outline our basic conceptual approach to the problem, offer case examples of a “fused” lesbian couple, and discuss implications for treatment.