People always say there are two topics you shouldn’t discuss in polite company: politics and religion. But we all hope that our marriages will be the exception, a safe place where we can talk about our views on those issues.
Elections get pretty heated—this year’s roiling campaign is especially tense. It seems that everyone’s emotions are running really high. It also seems like so much is at stake! What if it turns out that your spouse supports the other candidate, the one you can’t stand?
First, hold yourself back. Resist the urge to accuse your spouse of supporting the candidate who wants to destroy the world. Instead, try these tips for getting through this election season with your love intact.
Don’t Talk about Politics at Home
Famous political odd couple Mary Matalin and James Carville are a prime example of how opposites can make it work. She was a Republican consultant; he was a Democratic consultant. They have been together for more than 20 years and raised two kids together, despite their differences.
What’s their secret? Reportedly, the key to their successful partnership is leaving the politics at the door. It really comes down to setting boundaries.
Save your rants for your best friends or shout them from the middle of 16th Street Station instead.
Focus on What You Have in Common
Even though we have strong opinions about politics, those views are minor when it comes to the big picture. Remember all the topics you do have in common. Maybe you have a shared passion for helping kids in your community or you both just enjoy binge-watching a show on the couch together. Go out to a movie or take yoga classes together. If you can’t stop yourselves from getting aggravated by the evening news, do something else as a couple. Don’t let your differences about politics divide you.
Perhaps you set a rule not to discuss politics at home but find that is a hard guideline to keep. If you end up discussing politics anyway, can you set aside your need to be right? Fighting fair is an important key to the success of any marriage. That’s true no matter what topic you’re fighting about. Resolve to avoid name-calling and recuse yourself from discussions that get too heated. If you must discuss politics, stick to verifiable facts to make your point.
Work Off Some Tension in the Bedroom
A little bit of healthy debate can be a great way to get sparks flying in the bedroom—in a good way. Channel that political passion and intensity into your sex life instead. You may find that the election season becomes a whole lot more enjoyable!
Remember that Respecting Your Partner is Key
Respecting your spouse has to be the foundation of any marriage. It can lead to much bigger problems if you can’t respect the fact that your spouse has opposing political views as politics can be a foundation of a true deep belief system. Focus on your gratitude for your partner’s good qualities instead of your disdain for views you don’t agree with.
When you’re happy with your spouse and can’t imagine life without them, that’s what matters.
Having different political views than your spouse can be very frustrating.
When you feel strongly about the issues and the candidates, it can seem like the differences between you and your partner are too great. Just remember to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing because, ultimately, you and your spouse have come together already knowing that about one another and still have chosen each other for life.