The political campaign season can be contentious when the person you love the most supports the candidate you like the least. Election decisions are easier if loving couples are on the same bandwagon, but almost one-third of marriages find partners at odds politically, according to data site FiveThirtyEight. That doesn’t mean the end of your romance—or marriage. How do you avoid getting upset if your partner is your political opposite?
Keep an open mind
Approach any politically-oriented conversation from the perspective that your partners ideas are just as valid as yours. Relationships need mutual respect to thrive. Mocking your partner’s ideas as ignorant or foolish won’t win you the argument, but will stir up bitter feelings.
Don’t assume your partner agrees with everything Trump or all things Biden. Don’t confuse the candidate’s views with those of your beloved. Your spouse is not a stand-in for the opposing party’s nominee, so don’t treat them as such.
If you dump frustrations with a candidate in your partner’s lap, you’re likely to put them on the defensive. They will feel you are blaming them for the candidate’s failings. You interpret their defensiveness as agreement and the fruitless argument continues.
Learn from their views
Value the opportunity to learn from them. You will become more well-rounded if you consider the other side’s latest talking points. After all, approximately half the country agrees with your significant other. Being politically challenged by your partner can help you take a critical, considered look at your own beliefs and examine the premises that lead to them. And on the other hand, hearing opposing arguments may help strengthen your political stance. At least you’ll have an insider’s glimpse at how the other side thinks.
Remember, winning isn’t everything
Winning an argument about the November election pales when compared to your growth as a couple. Whoever wins an argument at your kitchen table is not going to determine America’s future, but it might determine the future of your relationship.
Leave politics outside the bedroom
You can’t avoid politics altogether, but have a set of rules around when and where you should discuss politics. Give each other a safe space and don’t end the day on a downer. Avoid talking about politics or dispiriting news at bedtime or first thing in the morning.
Focus on the core beliefs you share
It’s highly unlikely you would be together if you did not share a common values system. You may not agree on all important national policies, but agreeing that you love each other and want to build a life together is more important in the long run. Keep your eyes on that.