It’s still six months until the election, and it’s one of the most heated political seasons we’ve seen in a long time. But what happens if your political views don’t jive with those of your spouse or partner? Can you be politically divided without it interfering with your relationship? Here are 10 tips to keep political differences from getting the best of couples.
Don’t bring politics to the bedroom – The bedroom may be the one place on earth that is designed to be a private refuge away from the world for a married couple. Let it be the space where you focus only on each other and let all the other issues take a rest. Don’t let differences, political or otherwise, intrude on this sanctuary.
Be careful involving in-laws – Even if you love your spouse’s family, be careful when talking about politics. It can be an issue that cuts close to the bone for many and you don’t want to find yourself on the other side of the fence in a heated stand off when you don’t need to. Find a tactful way to tune them out if they push their views and agree to disagree.
Know when enough is enough – Be able to have a boundary and abandon the discussion when things get too heated. Healthy debate is one thing, getting angry and nasty with each other is something else.
Find common ground between parties- Whatever side you and your significant other take with politics, there will surely be at least a few things your respective parties have in common. If you remove finger pointing and try to look at things a little differently, you may find that both sides actually support things that you both are in favor of.
Find nonpolitical activities – It’s great to be passionate about causes you believe in, but find time to enjoy each other’s company doing other things. Take a walk through a nature preserve or go to the restaurant you both love with one rule: No politics! Just focus on building the emotional connection between each other.
Listen to political shows with headphones – You can still watch or listen to the political shows you like, but you don’t need to impose on everyone else. You can still get as fired up as you like while letting everyone else off the hook for a while.
Turn debate into something fun – Debating opposing ideology doesn’t always have to be a red-faced, emotional catastrophe. Try turning it into a contest, such as “whoever’s candidate loses buys dinner,” or see who can come up with the best campaign slogans.
Don’t donate shared money – You might want to support your candidates and causes as much as possible, but it’s not fair to use “family” funds to do it when your significant other is opposed to them. Set aside money of your own that is earmarked for political contributions. Don’t deprive anyone else for your causes.
Do research on their party – Before you start telling your significant other how terrible their candidate is and that their causes are stupid, actually do research into it. Look past the finger pointing and slogans and see how they actually voted on issues. You may find that they voted in a way you agree with more than your own candidate. At the very least, you will be more informed and a better voter and you will be able to back up your facts in the next household debate.
Be careful when it comes to your kids: You want to raise your children to have good values, but don’t try to get them to take a side or let arguments get too heated in front of them. They may not be old enough to understand and it can be upsetting to see you both fight about it. Try to educate them on politics in general without getting too specific until they are older.