With a major election just a week away, it is easy to become embroiled in political arguments, especially in the divisive culture we live. Arguments ensue on Facebook over hot topics like fake news, COVID-19, and court packing, and it seems there is no objectivity anywhere, even on the major news’ outlets. But what happens when this division is within your marriage and household? When your spouse is on a different team than you are, and it’s Democrat vs. Republican? How can you have healthy conversations about politics when you are both on opposite ends of the political spectrum?
You certainly don’t want the negativity on social media to seep into your marriage and cause a divide, so to get back on the same team means you will simply have to agree to disagree. Of course, talk about your views with your spouse; after all, communicating and sharing your beliefs with your beloved is a major part of marriage. However, to prevent animonisty from taking over, set up boundaries and rules. Discuss what exactly you are willing to talk about without letting your anger take control. Climate change? Taxes? Gun control?
Try to be as objective as possible; remember you love your spouse and took a vow to respect him/her. So, make an effort to listen to what he/she has to say. However, know yourselves well enough to avoid topics that are particularly sensitive. If you are passionate about the rights of the unborn, but your spouse advocates women’s reproductive rights, then this politically related topic may not be one you want to discuss as it will only ignite intense anger and will never be one on which you and your spouse will civilly disagree. Just don’t even breach the topic.
In addition to what you discuss, set up a time when to converse about your political views. The couple of weeks before and/or the day of an election is likely not the best time to broach your stances as the country is already mired in the throes of intense political debate. If you’ve both had a terrible day and are in bad moods, then it’s not wise to dredge up differences that can start a major fight. Perhaps a relaxing weekend or dinner where you have spent quality time together is the best time to discuss politics.
By doing this, you remind yourselves how much you love each other, building a foundation that can withstand a potentially hostile conversation. The antagonism surrounding politics does not have to take a foothold in your marriage as long as you set boundaries and remind yourselves how much you love each other. Don’t be like the men and women in Washington; agree to disagree, compromise, and show each other genuine respect.