Married people with opposite political views

we live in polarized times but I still think this occurs a lot… Let’s hear your insights, tips and suggestions for success

Here are mine:

  • anonymous votes, never talk about it
  • specifically talk to parents about never bringing politics to spouse/ in laws (focus on topics such as the kids, general things, movies, etc…)

Who better to ask than James Carville and Mary Matalin?

Him: “I’d rather stay happily married than pick a fight with my wife over politics.”
Her: "(Fighting about politics) became a case of either shut up or move out.”

It’s only challenging if you equate political views with moral views. If you think people who disagree with you on issues are bad people, then you should first avoid relationships with such people, and second reassess your own moral compass.

I’ve never dated a fellow libertarian/conservative, only mainstream liberals and religious conservatives(one of whom I’m married to, despite being an atheist). The reason it’s never been a problem is that on my part, I don’t have a personal problem with liberals or religious conservatives, and on their part, they generally haven’t made politics a high priority in their lives. Not sure I’d fit in well with an Occupier or BLM activist or some other person for whom politics was very personal(like a union member whose job depended on a certain party winning).

It’s (I think) becoming more of an issue now since people are increasingly polarized, and because political views are becoming further clustered. Used to be that more people might disagree on individual policy issues, or even belong to different parties, but still agree on many issues.

More and more, party identification is part of ones identity, and the assumption of all that tribe’s political baggage becoming a matter of course. So people don’t just disagree on a few issues, they disagree on every single wedge issue.

I think this is really unfortunate.

Yeah, I don’t get the team mentality. Okay, I’m a Democrat, so not only am I anti-racist and in favor of social spending, I also have adopted the environmentalist lobby’s views on climate change and the teachers’ unions views on education, and the auto workers’ unions views on trade(but not on climate change), and the Palestinians’ views on the Middle East.

I lean Republican, but I don’t buy half the Republican platform and I could care less about what Republican interest groups want. I think that most people have heterodox views, but people who are involved with like minded people tend to swallow the whole doctrine. If you’re Republican now you can’t be in favor of a liberal immigration policy anymore, or be pro-choice.

That’s because no two libertarians agree that the other is a “true” libertarian.


Yes, I see this with the gun issue. It has become a partisan issue and it is unfortunate that one of the rights guaranteed in our bill of rights has become so partisan.

Coincidentally, this is an issue that my wife and I disagree on.

I can’t really imagine dating, let alone being married to, someone with radically different political beliefs.

One of my few necessary conditions for a marriage to have the potential to succeed is that the partners must have shared or compatible values and world views.

These days, the two major parties have such fundamentally different world views and values that it’s hard for me to see a marriage between a Democrat and a Republican can work, unless at least one of them is just nominally a member of their party, and is pretty much apolitical.

I’m a registered Dem, she a 'Pub. We have a lot of…discussions. Then we make our own decisions at the ballot, which are often different. I think it helps that we’re both kind of misfits in our respective parties, about which we harbor IMO healthy skepticism. Neither of us party-line votes. We admit we often don’t have the deepest understanding of policy issues and enjoy digging into them from different starting points.

I think the question is how you define “radically different political beliefs”.

For all the bluster and division in our country, nearly all Americans agree on the vast majority of issues. But those aren’t the issues that get talked about as “politics”. The issues that get talked about as politics are the tiny subset that we disagree on. And, because the way to get supporters to join your cause is to make them angry, we get more and more focus on the places where people disagree.

For example, there are precious few people in this country who think that we should be led by a hereditary monarch, or that we should nationalize the petroleum industry, or that women should not have the right to vote.

Those are all valid political beliefs that are currently held by large groups of people in some countries.

So, is someone with a different opinion on abortion, or gun control someone with radically different beliefs? Or just someone who agrees with you on 99% of political positions you could pose, but disagrees on the 1% that we’re currently preoccupied with?

(never mind)

Try having the conversation like you’re studying for the Newlywed Game. When the game show host says “How did your wife vote on this political issue?” you’ll have been listening so that you can answer the question correctly. Or pretend you’re writing a biography of your spouse. It’s not about “winning” the argument, it’s about learning more about your spouse.

We spend quality time together watching television, and laughing at both presidential candidates. And I’ve learned to resist urges to pontificate on my pet political topics. My DH listens patiently while I argue with imaginary pro-life opponents (“Rubio, have you formulated a financial plan to FUND all the Zika babies you’ve sworn to protect?” )and then he shows me his current wishlists on gunbroker. I hand over my credit card, because I know we need to keep buying guns as an investment. When I argue my imaginary opponents into certain defeat, I have to accept the unintentional consequences of jeopardizing our future 2nd Amendment Rights.

The moral of this story: Political conversations can be expensive. Budget accordingly, or don’t engage in them.