Ask Gee: A house (politically) divided
Question: Hi Gee! My husband and I are on opposite sides of the fence politically. Do you have any suggestions for how to get through the upcoming Presidential election and also keeping my marriage intact? Our current strategy is that political discussions are off limits.
Background: When we first got married 22 years ago neither of us were interested in politics but in the past few years my husband has determined that he’s leaning Republican/Conservative and I am most decidedly not. 90% of our friends are Democrats and critical of the current President and administration and I know it makes him uncomfortable when any conversation turns to politics.
Answer: Hi Sandy! First I want to take this time to tell you congrats on 22 years of marriage. That’s amazing. I’m sure there are other things that has changed with the two of you outside of politics, but I’ll stick to just that.
A 2016 study done by Eitan Hersh, professor of political science, and Yair Ghitza, lead scientist at a political data firm, researched more than 18 million couples. About 1 in 10 married couples in the U.S. were comprised of a Democrat and a Republican. Furthermore, about 19% of couples involved a Republican or Democrat with an independent voter. So it does happen.
Instead of focusing on party affiliation, stick with specific issues. Where do the two of you stand on certain policies? If the focus is more about that, then it’s easier to navigate.
Too often we let affiliation get in the way of how we really feel about things. We will believe or not believe someone based on party affiliation. We get so caught up in who said what, that we forget to see which policy is actually in place to discuss.
As for when the two of you are among friends, just make sure that you guys are on the same page about where you agree and disagree. Now that you know that your husband is outnumbered, it’s up to you to make sure that he’s comfortable in those situations.
You’re a team that’s been together for 22 years. Remember those vows in the beginning about Husband and Wife.
PS. If he’s a 49er fan, all bets are off. Run!! *Just kidding*
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