Red Husband Blue Wife: 4 Rules to Solving Political Differences
For couples, watching political debates or presidential elections might be an opportunity to spend quality time together and enjoy a glass of wine, candles and cheese, but for relationships on the opposite sides of political spectrum - not quite so much.
In this election president Obama won. According to CNN's exit polls, 55% of women and 45% of men voted for Obama. Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, said it’s normal for couples to disagree on presidential choices, although there’s evidence that many couples tend to be in sync about politics. Conflict is a natural part of marriage.
Opposites really don’t attract, recent research shows, it’s why people often marry people of the same race and with similar religious and family backgrounds. Sociologists call it “marital homogeny”.
The intriguing findings of a study published recently in the Journal of Politics suggest that politics plays a much more important role in the selection of a mate than personality or looks.
If this political season is bringing new issues to the forefront of your relationship — issues you’ve never discussed before, then these four key rules can help solve any political differences, no matter how far apart.
MATURITY IS KEY
Janna Little Ryan and Paul D. Ryan show that the key to surviving a mixed political relationship is maturity. Joanna has become the “stabilizing force in the family” bringing “the characteristics of a fine lawyer” to the relationship, being a problem solver and dealmaker who is mainly interested in finding common ground.
Political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, married since 1993, have made a career out their opposing views. Squabbling on TV is one thing, but pillow talk and politics for the average couple can get dicey, sociologists and marriage experts say.
"If a couple who doesn't share political views has a healthy relationship, then that speaks to other strengths," says psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days” written in collaboration with the best-selling author Alisa Bowman.