My Husband and I Don’t Always Agree on Politics, and That’s Okay
There’s a saying, “If we both agreed on everything, one of us wouldn’t be necessary.”
In life, and even in my marriage, this saying holds true. It’s okay to disagree with your spouse, even when it comes to politics. It hadn’t occurred to us to talk about it before we were married, but boy did we talk about it after.
In the first year we were married we had a joke during election season that our votes cancelled each other out. Our opinions fell on complete opposite sides of the spectrum when it came to government, politics, and law. Our conversations led to arguments. Neither of us was swayed by the other. The following election season we grew quiet, choosing not to talk about it at all. We filled out our ballots, sent them in, and didn’t utter a single word about it. A few years later we grew tired of the silence, and we developed a system that works for us, including some things to remember when we don’t agree.
These five things help us navigate our conversations and actions during the political season, and even in other heated areas.
1. Never go into a conversation to win.
When you see the other person’s perspective as purely wrong, and yours is purely right, it’s probably best to keep quiet until you can come into a talk with an open mind. You may not be swayed, and your spouse might not either, but I can guarantee that if you discuss it to learn, you will.
2. Keep a light heart when discussing politics.
It’s hard not to get riled up when talking about politics (just check your social media outlets and you’ll see how intense people can get in this season). However, once one of you has lost your temper, no one is learning anything anymore. Take a deep breath, and if you have to, decide to come back to the issue when you’re calm.
3. Remember where your hope comes from.
There are so many people who want you to believe that the world might end if a certain person gets into office, but so far that hasn’t been the case. The passing of a bill or any other legislation does not determine your eternity. Only Jesus has the power to save. Keeping that in mind makes the first two tips much easier, and it makes for a well-rounded conversation.
4. Be a good sport.
When the votes are tallied and new officials are named, when one party celebrates and another mourns, make an effort not to gloat or get mad at your spouse. Decide that your love for each other is stronger than your political affiliation. Hug it out and move on.
5. When it’s appropriate, bring your kids in on it.
Not all political conversations are for a child’s ears, but some are, and it’s good for them to see that you can talk about these issues without getting fired up. Ask for their opinions, engage them, and you may even find yourself learning from what they have to say.
These five tips have made a serious impact on the way my husband and I handle a political season. Instead of fighting or simply tuning the other person out, we’ve made it a point to talk through our thoughts and as a result we’ve grown together a lot more. My husband swayed me in a some ways and I swayed him in others. As a result, this election may be the first that we don’t cancel each other out on every issue. Overall, it’s important to remember your love for one another, to keep focused on what’s truly important, and know that it’s perfectly okay to disagree.