In honor of tonight’s presidential debate, I figured it would be a good time to talk about politics… But, before you run for the hills, this isn’t a post about my political beliefs. Instead, I want to discuss how politics fit into a relationship — or, at least, how politics fits into our relationship.
I don’t have a problem with sharing many of my opinions on this blog. I also don’t have a problem with discussing politics in the right time or place. However, I decided long ago that Pursuit of Healthfulness is not the forum for that. So, even though I’m eager to cast my vote this year, I’m not going to write about liberals or conservatives, Obama or Romney.
Still, I think there’s a lot that can be said about the concept of politics without getting into the nitty-gritty of it. For example, how do politics play into a relationship when spouses have differing opinions?
I always figured I would marry someone with the same political beliefs. That’s how my parents are, so it just seemed natural — and easier — to me. But, from the very beginning of my relationship with Dan, politics was a big, ol’ nonissue. In fact, we didn’t even bring it up until we had been dating for five months. Even then, the conversation went like this…
“So, I think I can guess what political party you are…”
“Yeah, I think I can guess what you are…”
And we guessed. And we were right. And we were different. And the conversation was basically done.
Since then, we have had more conversations with greater depth on certain issues. Usually these have been spurred by stories on the news. As with any debate, there are simply times when one (or both) of us is less willing to concede or even consider the other perspective. There are also certain topics that I am more hard and fast on. There are certain topics that he’s more set in his ways about.
Most of the time, though, we are patient, open-minded and willing to hear the other point of view. In the end, I think that does more for our understandings of politics than almost anything else.
I remember watching an episode of Seventh Heaven where the mom and dad said they never told each other who they were voting for so as to keep the peace. Looking back, I feel sorry for that fictional family’s rule. That’s because, even when Dan and I agree to disagree, we both benefit from having healthy, mature conversations about issues of real importance.
P.S. Vote on November 6!