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not politcally compatible

Posted by young5344 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 25, 04 at 12:43

My spouse and I cannot even talk about politics. We have 2 different views. It makes me angry that I have absolutely nothing in common with him in this area and cannot even talk about it without us both getting angry. We cannot even have a constructive debate. I'm discusted and at my wits end. I am retired and spouse still works. I am alone a lot and just want to talk to him about things that are important to me. A real problem in my marriage.

Does anyone else experience the same and what do you do about it?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: not politcally compatible

I had this problem with my ex. He and I were polar opposites politically, and oftentimes what started out as a "hey, did you hear about such-and-such?" turned into a nasty argument. I definitely feel your pain, and for us at least, there were so many other extenuating circumstances, that the fact that we couldn't even talk about current events without it coming to verbal blows was just one more nail in the coffin of our marriage. It seemed that my ex didn't want me to have an opinion that differed from his, and I wasn't willing to give up my own thoughts and ideologies, just to be "in sync" with his way of thinking.

I do think that you need to tread very carefully in this area. Political views oftentimes go to the very heart of who we consider ourselves to be, and when a couple argues over politics, it can feel very much like a personal attack. My suggestion would be that you find another friend or family member with whom to discuss politics, but I know that may not be the most practical advice. You live with the man and you want to be able to discuss events with him, and I do understand that pain you feel at thinking that you can't do that.

Have you and he ever sat down and really discussed the fact that you seem unable to discuss politics without arguing? Does he also wish to discuss politics with you? I really think that this is an area where a counselor may be very beneficial in helping you both to learn some new communication skills. What you want to be able to do is discuss openly and honestly, disagree amicably if necessary, and learn from one another. Would you and he consider seeking counseling in order to come to some sort of terms on this issue that would benefit the marriage? If so, you may very well be able to use the realm of political discussion to actually strengthen your marriage, and make you both more intelligent and informed individuals. Good luck!


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RE: not politcally compatible

Thank you. We actually did talk to a counselor the other day about this. My big heartache was he will not even let me talk. I don't expect to change his views or beliefs but I feel I need the opportunity to express mine by talking. The counselor did tell us to just avoid the subject entirely but did tell my husband that I am loyal and that is a good quality to have and he would not want me being any other way. Loyal meaning loyal to my political views.

He wants to change my views and that is another area that is a sore spot with me but we will continue to work on it. The counselor helped somewhat. This is my DH's counselor that he see due to dealing with adult ADD.


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RE: not politcally compatible

Yep--I'm one way, and he's the exact opposite.

He keeps saying that I'll change my mind and come over to "the dark side". Snort--not!

So far, in 10 years, this hasn't been a bone of contenion. We have a tendency to heat up a bit when politics are discussed, but I will not give him the satifaction of seeing me mad/irritated. I get to the point when I just sit on the couch and smile at him. He would ask why, and I popped out with something to the effect of how such inane prattlings could come from someone who was so well educated. That was a beautiful boom, to say the least. :)

I've no advice, but I just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one with this problem. ((((hugs))))


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RE: not politcally compatible

agree to disagree


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RE: not politcally compatible

I am a Democrat, my husband is a Republican, I am a Christian, my husband is a Unitarian. We can usually laugh about it. Not long ago we spent 3 weeks in a Honda Civic without a single harsh word being spoken. We came home, saw one Kerry commercial and fought for over an hour - so we aren't perfect. Fortunately, neither of us tries to convert the other. We are still more alike than we are different.

My father-in-law was driving my MIL to the polls to vote and when he found out who she was planning to vote for, he drove her home again. They didn't speak for a week. Mixed marriages are tough when one of the parties forgets that we are individuals first and a couple second.


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RE: not politcally compatible

James Carville and Mary Matalin - you may look to them for some advice. its still hard for me to believe those two are married.


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RE: not politcally compatible

Ditto on James Carville - I don't know how they do it, either, especially since he's so darned ugly. LOL

Before you were married, did you know your spouse's political affiliation? Did you just not discuss it? I can't imagine what your household must be like now after the election. it really is too bad that he expects you to change - why not him? I agree with another poster - you have to come to a compromise and agree to disagree if you ever want to get along.

I know with my parents, I think my mom just gets sucked in to whatever my stepdad thinks, which isn't always the most intelligent answer, that's for sure. I wonder if she just doesn't pay attention to what's going on politically and then whatever he says or thinks, she takes as the truth. Drives me nuts. I, on the other hand, am more politcally in line with my nearly 80-year-old grandparents than my parents. Oh well, what can you do.


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RE: not politcally compatible

When I married him he was not for the party he is now. Once we voted all seems calm. We have not discussed it at all. I like the idea of telling him that we will have to agree to disagree. Both of us are strong and stubborn on certain views. I don't try and convert him but I don't want to listen to his agenda either.


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RE: not politcally compatible

It might help to find a place online where you can discuss politics -- two major ones that I know of are freerepublic.com (Republican) and democraticunderground.com (Democrats) -- if neither of those fit your political persuasion, there's a ton of others online :) If you can fulfill your need for political discussion elsewhere, maybe it won't need to be an area of contention between the two of you?


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RE: not politcally compatible

The two things you aren't supposed to talk about in polite society are politics and religion - those are the two areas where my husband and I differ. He is a gun-toting Republican Unitarian - which pretty much makes him a minority anywhere he goes. I am a dyed in the wool tax and spend Democrat Disciple of Christ. We mostly have great discussions and only the very occasional argument. For his birthday I gave him one of those picture frames that frame 4 individual pictures. One was a picture of our eldest daughter with Ann Richards. The second was our other daughter holding a sign for a Democratic County Commissioner. I took a picture of our son with a John Kerry sign. I didn't know what to do with the 4th spot, so I put on a black sweater and dug out a bunch of old political buttons and pinned them on. I had one huge LBJ button that I put in the center. My son took my picture. My husband doesn't know what to do with the result. There are all his loved ones but.........do you hang something like that?


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RE: not politcally compatible

in this election year, no one is- and politics are about as vile as they have been since the Tammany Hall era...

but if that's the only thing that you can't talk about- find someone else to talk about it with. volunteer at a political watch effort- or go do something useful, and donate your time to one of the charities who exist to bridge the gap between politics and reality.


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RE: not politcally compatible

He is a gun-toting Republican Unitarian

Wow! I would love to meet your DH. What an interesting conversationalist he must be!

Unfortunately, I can't add more to the recommendations. Agree to disagree is really the best bet. The rare times I get into political conversations with family, I tend to smile sweetly and my favorite response is "Opinions vary" which means "I think you are totally out of your mind, but I am not going to be baited into an argument".

Alexa


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RE: not politcally compatible

My husband and I are both democrats and yet he won't discuss politics with me because everything I bring up, he says he agrees with me so why discuss it or he'll say he's already read the article I want to tell him about. This drives me crazy. I go online to a discussion forum to get my fix and to be able to disucss current events with like thinkers.


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