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Can a Marriage Survive a Significant Political Divide?

Can a Marriage Survive a Significant Political Divide?

Many Americans will admit that no matter what side they were on in the 2016 Presidential election, it did feel as if they were on a side. Candidates and campaigns seemed to be focused more on “them versus us” and less on “all of us together” than ever before. Nearly a month after the election concluded, Trump and Clinton supporters alike are still at odds in the news and all over social media.

The contentious environment based on opposing ideals has impacted all aspects of peoples’ lives. For family law attorneys, this might mean an increase in divorce filings.

Our Connection to Political Figures

We generally like to think that politics are a separate entity from the rest of our lives – bureaucrats, legislation, Washington D.C., it all seems suit-and-tie and out of our concern. The truth that many spouses have come to see in recent months is that someone’s choice of politician can be a very real reflection of their own ideals and beliefs.

When someone approves of how a candidate says they will run the country, they are also to some extent saying, “That’s how I would run it” or “That’s how I would run my own life.” It might look like a vote for a new law or bill but it is actually a revelatory act that shows what interests someone most or even how their internal thought processes play out. If something that deep doesn’t click between two people in a relationship, the future for them might not be bright.

How to Turn Arguments into Disagreements

Getting into an argument about anything with anyone is usually a negative situation. What you actually want is a disagreement explored through debate, which can be healthy for relationships and marriages. If you find that you and your spouse are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, it doesn’t have to mean that divorce is the only option.

Keep these tips in mind to avoid arguments but benefit from debates:

  • Try to include a neutral family friend in any discussions for a third, outside perspective.
  • Don’t start a political discussion solely to try to change your spouse’s opinion; you should focus on stating your own opinion instead.
  • Incorporate humor into your debates to bring levity to an otherwise serious topic.
  • Each time you speak, make a mental note how long you spoke and give your spouse at least as much time to speak in return.
  • Bring up what political views you do have in common and see if those can be found in the views you do not share.

In the end, how you and your spouse deal with political differences is up to you. But for the most part, it is advised that you deal with them. Intentionally avoiding politics is akin to sweeping secrets under the rug, and no marriage is as healthy as it can be if it is rife with secrets. If you determine that you really cannot stand your spouse because of their diametric political views, you might want to file for divorce and list that in your reasons.

For legal help understanding your rights in a divorce or how to file for one, contact Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law. Inquiring parties can schedule an initial case evaluation with the firm’s Westchester family law attorneys for more information.