Marriage can be challenging even for the perfect couple. And, with the difficult challenges facing American families over the past few years, couples are struggling more than ever to keep their marriages intact. For many, this boils down to the complexities of politics and marriage.
Several controversial issues have been the focus of attention the past few years. Many people are now finding that the person they married doesn’t necessarily agree with them on the topics they feel matter the most. So, what do you do? Do you fight about politics or fight for your marriage?
When it comes down to it, only the couple in the relationship can ultimately decide on what is best for them. Married couples with different political views can still have a happy healthy marriage. Many relationships survive political differences using these tips.
Politics of Marriage
It’s not uncommon for men and women to begin relationships without talking about politics. And even those who do discuss politics before marriage and go to have a healthy relationship for many years might be unprepared for new political issues that arise. It’s difficult to know just how a husband or wife may grow or change over the years. A spouse may feel one way when they’re younger and a different way when they’re older. Life experience also helps shape political belief. Marital issues regarding politics that didn’t exist in the early days may suddenly come to light later on.
When it comes down to it, couples fighting about politics is not uncommon. It may not happen today. It may not happen tomorrow. However, the likelihood that spouses will always agree on every topic is unlikely. And that’s okay. If you’re not ready to end your marriage based on political polarization, then consider these important points to loving people who believe differently than you.
Believe You Can Love Someone with Different Views
The key to loving someone who believes differently than you are to find a common ground. In order to rebuild your marriage, you need unity. Think about these statements:
- My goal is to have a strong, happy, healthy marriage with my spouse.
- I believe that a Republican and a Democrat can have a strong marriage.
- I believe that political beliefs are just one aspect of my identity.
- I believe that our identities are much more than political ideas.
- I love the other aspects of my spouse.
If you and your spouse can both agree to most of these statements, then you’ve identified some common ground on which you can strengthen or rebuild your marriage.
All healthy relationships have boundaries. When you and a loved one have triggering differences, you may want to consider setting boundaries. There are a number of ways you can do this. One example may be that you both agree to not discuss politics at a specific time, such as breakfast or dinner time. If a specific political topic is the source of your differing opinions and marital issues, maybe agree not to discuss that topic. It’s also possible to set process boundaries. For example, your spouse may say that they’re willing to hear your opinion, but they don’t want you to provide it in a way that is disrespectful or vice versa.
Agree to Disagree or Walk Away
In some situations, setting boundaries isn’t enough. At this point, you need to decide if you, as a married couple, are able to agree to disagree with mutual respect, or if the differences are something one or both of you are unable to accept.
If you agree to disagree, then you may choose not to discuss issues that could lead to problems such as presidential elections, party preference, democrats and republicans, and any other politics affecting marriage between the two of you. Instead, focus more on family life, your romantic relationship, and working through other marital issues and differing opinions.
Agreeing to disagree could be just not talking about a specific subject, or it could be not mentioning politics in marriage altogether. You can also seek out marriage counseling for relationship advice and guidance. A marriage counselor may be able to offer you another viewpoint or provide you with the tools you need to navigate marriage and politics.
When is it Time to Walk Away?
No one can make this decision for you. There are occurrences of politics ruining marriage despite all best efforts. Husbands and wives may just not be able to overcome their political differences despite their marital status. For some couples, it’s just best that they go their separate ways.
If you and your spouse decide that this is just not something you can work through and you wish to divorce, it’s important to hire a qualified divorce attorney. You’ll want to make sure that you have someone educated and experienced in your corner to help you navigate the complexities of divorce. Even if you and your ex-spouse agree on everything else, it’s a good idea to have representation just in case. Divorce lawyers will also help you get all the paperwork taken care of and make sure you’re abiding by the divorce and family law in your area.