Marriage and Political Differences

It is a commonly accepted, unspoken rule that one should never discuss religion or politics in polite company. The reason is that conversations involving these issues usually become heated and cause conflict. As of late, divorces and marriage problems that are being caused by political differences are becoming both more frequent and more public.

A survey conducted by Wakefield Research in 2017 examined political differences and how they have impacted Americans’ romantic relationships. The results revealed that more than 1 in 10 Americans (11%) have ended a romantic relationship over political differences. This number jumps notably among the younger generation, with 22% of Millennials having broken up with someone over political differences. When the effect of the current political landscape was explored, it found that more than 1 in 5 Americans (22%), including 35% of Millennials, know a couple whose marriage or relationship has been negatively impacted specifically due to President Trump’s election.

Public Displays
When public figures, celebrities and athletes lives are publicized on the Internet and social media, the disagreements are amplified and harder to address.

Perhaps, one of the most highly publicized examples of a marriage affected by politics is Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to President Trump and his former campaign manager, and her husband George Conway, a lawyer and harsh critic of Trump. It has become clear that their diametrically opposed political views have undermined the foundation of their relationship and family, and the couple has taken a step back from their careers to focus on their family and personal lives.

In the case of the Aronbergs, Miami Dolphins cheerleader and PR firm owner, Lynn Aronberg and her husband Dave, a top prosecutor in Palm Beach County and a prospective Democratic candidate looking to run for the House of Representatives were recently highlighted as the latest couple to publicly acknowledge that politics played a significant role in the demise of their marriage and ultimate divorce.

In some instances, things may not work out if you and your spouse hold fundamentally opposed political views. However, it is possible to remain happily married in spite of your opposing views. There are ways to meet on neutral ground and develop an understanding of why your spouse holds the views they have.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Acknowledge your partner’s opinion as being sincere and equally as important as yours.
  • Focus on specific issues that you both agree or disagree upon versus focusing on your differences.
  • Be willing to respectfully disagree, because agreeing on everything is unrealistic.
  • Be open to gaining insight into the reasons behind your spouse’s opinions.
  • Do not compete with your partner to be “right.”
  • Do not insist on proving your partner’s opinion wrong.
  • Don’t make it personal.
  • Monitor your emotional reactions and step back when things become heated and you feel yourself losing control

Employing these few tips will take you a long way towards developing a truce. If your relationship is important, yet you find yourself continually at odds with your partner’s beliefs and opinions, it might benefit your marriage to seek professional guidance. These are tough times that we are all living in, but with open communication and mutual respect, a marriage can survive.

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