Have you been watching the presidential debates with your spouse? I have first-hand knowledge of how difficult it can be when one spouse has a different view on political topics than the other spouse. This difference in opinions can make it a bit difficult when it comes to election time. To avoid this difficulty, I have just been watching the debates in a separate room from my husband. However, I thought that there must be other ways to get along so I consulted some experts. This is what they had to say:
How to get along with different political views
Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, Ed.S., LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist gives the following ways that you and your spouse can keep the peace during the elections:
- Limit discussion time and give yourselves equal talk time without interruption
- Agree to never try to win the other one over
- When watching political debates, definitely agree to no comments, out loud or under one’s breath
- Do pass on written materials for the other’s possible consumption
- Jot down notes regarding your thoughts of any materials, your points are much more liable to be ‘heard’ this way
Lesli M. W. Doares, MS, LMFT of Balanced Family Therapy and a regular contributor here at Newlywed Survival gives the following tips for when spouses disagree on politics:
- The biggest tip I can give is to find where the two of you are in agreement. Once you have identified common ground, it becomes much easier to be respectful about your differences.
- Keeping a sense of humor is also helpful. It is important to be clear with boundaries about the circumstances for teasing.
- Politics is one area where couples can agree to disagree.
- It’s okay to have discussions as long as they remain intellectual and respectful. Keep away from judgments and personal attacks.
Read Lesli’s latest article on Newlywed Survival: Three Things Couples Need to Do Before Having a Baby.
Do you and your spouse hold opposing political views? How do you handle it?