How to deal with friends with different political views

How to deal with friends with different political views

Headlines about presidential candidates fill our feeds. Emails about voter registration swarm our inboxes. Political opinions dominate our conversations. Arguments flood our Facebooks and, more importantly, our relationships.

It’s election season. And whether we like it or not, politics are on our mind. Now, there are some people who do enjoy election season—they thrive in conversations with people on both sides of the political aisle. But then there’s the majority: Those who would rather not talk politics… at least when it comes to talking to family, friends, or others with differing political opinions. However, sometimes it’s inevitable. A friend on Facebook shares an article that concerns (or enrages) you; a family member brings up the election at dinner; a coworker asks your opinion after reading something you tweeted. The possibilities are endless, but we all find ourselves in situations of the like, especially during election season.

So, how do we talk about differing political opinions without fighting? Is it even possible to have a productive conversation when friends have different political views? It’s a complicated dance but it can be done. Start by following these guidelines:

1. Consider time and place.

There is a time and place for everything. It might not be the time and place for a conversation about politics if:

  • You’re at work
  • You’ve landed on an already-heated Facebook thread
  • You’re already feeling angry or upset
  • You’ve never gotten along with the individual

However, if someone says something in person or online that you feel compelled to comment on, you can always ask them to have a conversation with you at a later date. For example, if your friend shares a controversial article on Facebook that you’d like to discuss with them, send them a message. Ask if they’d be willing to talk. Try: “Hey! I hope you’ve been well. I just saw the article that you shared. Maybe we could grab lunch and chat about it one day, if you’re interested!” This message isn’t confrontational—instead, it sets the scene for a calm, productive conversation.

2. Don’t set out to prove your friend wrong.

A conversation is an exchange of ideas. If your primary mission is to prove the other person wrong, you shouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place. Not to mention that changing someone’s mind is a huge feat (especially when it comes to political ideals). Think about it: How likely are you to change your stance on any given political issue? How likely are you to take the opposing party’s side? Probably not very likely. Research shows that people would prefer to deny new information if it challenges long-held beliefs and their worldview. So, don’t expect to prove your friend or family member wrong. They probably won’t buy into it. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to and learn from each other (even if it’s just how to communicate with someone who has different political views).

3. Stop thinking about what you’ll say next.

When friends have different political views, they have to listen to one another. Most of us are guilty of preparing our next spiel instead of listening to the person we’re engaging with. This happens all of the time, not just when we talk politics. Try to correct this bad habit; listen to what the individual in front of you is saying. This goes back to us feeling uncomfortable in the face of new information when it threatens what we know to be true about the world. In addition to withholding any expectations of changing your friend’s opinions, challenge yourself to push through any discomfort you might feel to hear your friend out.

4. Check your body language and tone.

What are you communicating? Not just with your words, but your body language, your tone, your gestures. Your words won’t come across as calm or friendly if you are…

  • Shouting at the individual
  • Pacing the room
  • Scoffing or laughing
  • Throwing your hands up in frustration
  • Using emojis in a sarcastic or demeaning way
  • Literally pulling your hair out

Stay relaxed. Keep the conversation friendly and respectful, both in how you talk to the individual and how you communicate with your tone, your hands, your facial expressions, (and even the emojis that you use). Fortunately, if you work to stay calm during your conversation, your body should follow suit and you shouldn’t have to think too far into it.

5. Practice calming techniques.

If you feel upset or overwhelmed at any point, take a step back to calm down. If you’re having this conversation online, walk away from your phone or computer for a minute to breathe. Inhale through your nose for four seconds; hold for four; and then exhale for four more. Repeat these steps until you feel relaxed. Only continue with the conversation when you feel like you can continue communicating calmly and respectfully. If you’re having this conversation in person, you can practice this same breathing technique. Or, if you need to physically remove yourself from the conversation (for the moment or for good), don’t be afraid to say so. Just let your friend or family member know that you’d rather not continue. Odds are, they’d rather change the topic too, if it’s going poorly.

6. Know where to expend your efforts.

Finally, be smart about where you expend your efforts and what to devote your energy to. For example, if the person that you’re engaging with can’t keep their cool, isn’t communicating respectfully, or isn’t interested at all in what you have to say, this conversation is probably a waste of your time. But don’t feel so defeated. Redirect this energy and take action. Try:

  • Reminding your friends to register to vote
  • Donating to a cause that you really care about
  • Signing a petition on change.org
  • Writing a letter to your state senators
  • Talking politics with someone who will reciprocate respect

There’s a reason why politics are NSFW (not suited for work). Talking about politics often means arguing about politics. However, it is possible to have a calm, respectful conversation when friends and family members have different political views. Follow the guidelines above and give it your best go!

Things are heating up. The drama is real, and so are the tensions. In fact, I don’t think I can recall observing this level of vitriol, insanity and hatred in a presidential election in my 14 years of voting adulthood.

It’s as entertaining as it is scary. Sometimes I have to remind myself: Holy shit, this is all really happening.

The truth is, the 2016 run for the presidency is more of a circus than I ever anticipated it could be. I knew it wouldn’t be pretty, but damn. And the opinions of the people — the regular, terrified, everyday citizens of this nation — seem to be on track towards a social media world war like we’ve never seen. There are countless Instagram pages dedicated to the support of the candidates, Facebook groups, Twitter trolls, all with the mission of making their voice heard while tearing down anyone else who tries to battle their favored candidate.

I have to admit, though, it has been quite refreshing to see how active this upcoming election has made the Millennial crew. I’m really glad there has been a politically fueled fire lit under the asses of these movers and shakers because these are the issues that matter. And as we all know, we the Millennial people have the ability to change the world.

I have friends on my side of the political fence. I also have friends on the other side of this fence. Hell, even my husband and I have opposing political views at this point. But one thing is for sure: I am NOT about to let all of this political anarchy ruin my relationships. I’m a business owner, and I would NEVER let my views affect my success at any cost.

At the end of the day, whatever is going to happen, is going to happen. I have made my presidential desires clear, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that my dreams come to fruition and, in the meantime, I plan on sitting back, not engaging in personal political conversations and continuing to mind my own damn business.

Unless you personally have hit the campaign trail in favor of a certain candidate, you may want to play the next few months on the safe side of things, ensuring to not damage friendships, file for divorce and/or back yourself into a corner of opinions and anger. Because nothing drives tensions and unhappy feelings more than a person you care about not being able to see and accept your point.

Simple example, I will never agree with my husband’s love of country music, but you don’t see me posting about why the sound of country music makes me want to drive sharp objects into my skull, do you?

I am not a political expert. I am not even that radically political. You don’t have to listen to me. But you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

These are my three ways to not lose friends during this election season:

1. Keep politics off your social feeds.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and for God’s sake, any dating app you are signed up for — unless you feel like telling the world you just voted and feel so damn patriotic because of that, there is no need for you to share your political views with your friends and family. Whether others make it clear to you or not, they could be extremely offended if you, say, endorse a candidate publically who has personally offended a Facebook friend of yours with a racial slur or extreme declaration of nonsense. Politics and social media do not mix. Don’t do it.

2. Keep politics away from the dinner table.

Because nothing ruins a nice night out with friends faster than a heated conversation turned table-flipping argument faster than a comment like, “How could you actually LIKE that candidate?!” If you dare to swim these waters, I can guarantee you’ll never be dining with these people again. Politics is never a tasty side dish.

3. Think before you speak.

This is a tough one, even for me. I am full of thoughts — lots of thoughts at all times, wherever I go and whatever I’m doing. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of arguments to learn that my opinions about your choices, regardless of what they’re about, belong in my head and my head only, unless otherwise specified. Trust me, I’d love to tell you why voting for a certain candidate will drive our country straight into the ground, but I don’t, because you don’t care what I think. And what I think will not change the outcome, but I do think it could cost us our friendship.

So for now, I’ll keep my mouth shut, hope you choose to do the same and ride the wave of insanity for the next few months quietly. See you at the polls.

How to deal with friends with different political views

I was taught not to discuss politics with friends. The lesson — passed down from my grandmother to my mom to me — was a product of a time in which it was considered impolite to talk about divisive subjects. But in this election year, it seems like politics is the only thing anyone can talk about. Sorry, Grandma.

This has often been described as the most important election of our lifetimes, with a global pandemic, racial unrest, and the soul of our nation hanging in the balance. The political climate feels personal, and debates between opposing sides have been tense.

Like others, I’m guilty of living in a bit of a virtual echo chamber. I received a liberal arts degree from a diverse college and have lived in New York City for most of my adult life, so the majority of my friends identify as liberal-leaning. My social media feeds are predominantly populated with posts from people who share the same ideological beliefs, which is partially why I was surprised to learn that one of my closest friends will be voting for a different presidential candidate.

Don’t get me wrong: I consider myself to be open-minded and genuinely enjoy discussing how people arrive at their beliefs. And perhaps my assumption that most people in my social circle would be voting like me was arrogant. But this admission felt like a bombshell. In our conversation, my friend was emphatic about her candidate — Donald Trump — being the better choice. Her tone was aggressive, like she had been waiting for airtime and now couldn’t get the angry words out fast enough. I was caught off guard.

Hoping to avoid conflict, I backed down, offering something about respecting her views. But I left the conversation feeling confused. This was a friend I cared about; throughout our years of friendship we had established a mutual trust and often exchanged candid advice. So why had I frozen when met with her impassioned opinion? It was clear that, for all my open-mindedness, I had no idea how to navigate the conversation in an honest way.

Scott Meinke, professor of political science at Bucknell University shares some useful starting points: “I think it can be helpful to keep in mind that people have a lot of different reasons for voting the way they do. The thing that you despise about a candidate might have little to do with the reasons a friend supports that candidate. It’s hard to do, but for the sake of relationships, it helps to remember that voting for a candidate does not mean a friend holds all of that candidate’s values or traits.”

Maeve, 26, from New York, who asked to use a pseudonym to protect her privacy, was deeply affected when she recently learned that one of her closest friends was a so-called “shy” Trump supporter. “It was a heart-sinking feeling because I’ve known her since we were both five. I felt like, do I even know her?”

The revelation left her unsure how to proceed. “I don’t want to be confrontational but I also want to hear what her rationale is in voting for him,” Maeve said. “It’s baffling to me and I don’t understand it. I can’t process it.”

Robb Willer, professor of sociology at Stanford University and director of the school’s Polarization and Social Change Lab, emphasizes that having these conversations is important. “We should run toward the fire. These everyday interactions are opportunities for persuasion, or at least the amelioration of partisan anger,” he says.

Cynthia, 29, from New York, who also asked to use a pseudonym for this story, has experienced feelings of discomfort on the opposite side. “It’s really hard. I don’t have experience talking to my liberal friends who are voting for Biden. I’m not going to be like, ‘I’m voting for Trump,’ so I have to lie.”

In lieu of lying or avoiding the topic altogether, how can we talk to a friend with different political views?

“It is helpful to approach these conversations with the goal of really listening and trying to understand the other person before speaking,” offers Willer. “This helps people feel respected and heard, while also giving you the information about them you need to make a persuasive appeal. But you don’t need to — and shouldn’t — forget your own views. Express them, just take the time to listen carefully before you do.”

Meinke adds, “I think why is a word to use in these conversations. If you ask genuine why questions about your friend’s views and vote, you’ll understand them better.”

MJ, 29, from New Orleans, who asked to go by her first name only, has several friends who will be voting for President Trump. “It’s weird to know they’re doing this and not feel disconnected from them on every other front,” she admits.

In communicating with conservatives, Willer says it can be helpful to “explain how your favored positions and candidates fit with conservative values and identities, like patriotism, liberty, protecting families, tradition, and religion.”

Peter, 29, from Minneapolis, is voting differently from some of his friends — and even his girlfriend. He asked to go by a pseudonym because of his profession, but he says voting differently doesn’t bother him. “People are complex and that complexity makes life worth living. How boring would The Avengers be if it were composed of Iron Man and then a dozen other worse versions of Iron Man? The Avengers are fun to watch because every member brings a cool superpower to the table. So it is with life.”

Indeed, while it can be comforting to only associate with people who share your political views, it can also be limiting. I was stunned when Trump won the presidential race in 2016; clearly, I was missing a big chunk of the picture. So were many other Democrats, members of the media, and politicians, who failed to truly fathom the degree of discontent, racism and political division in this country. So how can we apply the knowledge and empathy we’ve learned over the past four years to the friends around us?

How to deal with friends with different political viewsWritten by Writer’s Corps member Colleen Gonzalez

In the current political climate, it seems almost impossible for anyone to cross party lines. And if our elected officials can’t bring themselves to be open-minded to opposing views, what hope is there for the rest of us? Navigating a relationship with a partner who has different political views than you do isn’t easy. But it can be done. One shining example is Mary Matalin and James Carville , both are high-profile political consultants. Despite their opposing political views, she’s a libertarian and he’s a democrat, they have been happily married for over 25 years.

Their secret? They don’t discuss politics at home.

But, unfortunately, that doesn’t work for every couple. So if you’ve met someone great, who makes you happy in every way except when they open their mouth about taxes and immigration policy, what do you do? Don’t worry, there’s hope. I make up one half of a politically different couple myself. And I can confirm that if you and your partner are willing to make your relationship work, there is no reason why blue and red can’t come together to make a beautiful purple.

Be Curious

How to deal with friends with different political views

I will admit that when I started dating my current partner, I had assumptions about his politics that made me unsure whether it would work out between us. However, I figured it would be unfair to not give him a chance to explain his beliefs. So I asked him questions, and he was more than happy to answer them.

It turned out to be what really sold me on him. He was not condescending in his explanations of his point of view and he didn’t make me feel stupid for not knowing what he was talking about. He was glad that I wanted to know more and encouraged me to keep asking questions. That is how you learn and no one should belittle or make you feel ashamed for doing it. Any partner, or potential partner, should be willing to help you find the explanations you are looking for, and not put you down for not knowing in the first place.

Listen

How to deal with friends with different political views

It’s easy to tell yourself you are open-minded. But when your partner has an entirely different viewpoint you may find yourself wanting to defend your beliefs instead of listening to theirs. It’s important to resist that impulse. If you’re taking the time to sit down and discuss a certain topic, both of you need to be really present in the conversation. Distractions should be kept to a minimum as you discuss. For example, keeping your phone in another room is a good idea. If your phone is nearby, you are more than likely to ignore what your partner is saying and inadvertently telling them that it isn’t important.

How to deal with friends with different political views

So how do you and your partner actively listen to each other? One way to do this is by reiterating the point you just heard them make by saying “This is what I heard you say, am I correct?”. This allows your partner to confirm this or correct themselves if it didn’t come across in the way they hoped it would. In return, your partner should offer you the same courtesy. The whole point of a discussion is to see how someone arrived at their opinion; Arguing over why their opinion is wrong is not.

Monitor Your Reaction

How to deal with friends with different political views

When you are debating a topic that you know both you and your partner are passionate about, there are ways to ensure that the discussion will not get heated. Before jumping in, take some time to organize your thoughts. By allowing yourself to take a breath you lessen the risk of saying something angry and disrespectful. If there is a point when voices are being raised or volatility is starting to take over, that’s your cue to take a timeout and return to the discussion when you are both level-headed enough to continue. Even a simple “Hey, this is important and I want to talk about it, but I’m feeling pretty angry right now. Maybe we can talk tomorrow?” can make a huge difference.

During the first big argument my boyfriend and I had over politics, tensions ran high and I could feel myself becoming angry and defensive. I was no longer listening to what he was saying. We sat in silence for an hour, uncertain about how to resolve the tension between us. In the end, we realized that it didn’t seem like we were going to find common ground with each other. And that is okay. It is normal for couples to have an argument, but when it involves disrespectful language or misplaced anger it is time to stop.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

How to deal with friends with different political views

There is nothing wrong with questioning your beliefs. Although, to be honest, it can be terrifying when it happens.

We allow ourselves to open to new ideas when we question what we originally thought we knew. Though, keep in mind, your partner should never force their beliefs on you. A supportive partner would not try to influence your opinions. Instead, they would tell you this is how they see an issue and that how you process that information is up to you.

Not every couple with opposing political views can end up like Mary Matalin and James Carville. For some, politics can turn out to be a deal-breaker, and that is fine. However, if you find yourself pursuing a relationship with someone who is politically different than you, communication is going to be more important than ever. Don’t be afraid to talk to each other about your opinions and ask questions if you want to know more. The key is to always be respectful of each other’s thoughts and feelings. After all, love has no political affiliations.

In high school, I had a friend who happened to be Hindu. I was a staunch right-wing Christian at the time. We started a tradition of writing each other letters during school talking about what we believed, why we believed it and what it meant to us. Neither of us were preaching to the other; it was just an exploration of our belief systems with someone whose faith was completely different. I learned so much from her about peace and morality and why we try to lead good lives. And I also learned how to simply accept that not everyone will be a whatever-version-of-Christian I am. Not all of my friends, past present or future, will believe the same exact way I do.

Unfortunately, not everyone can operate as harmoniously as my friend did with me. I’ve failed many times when trying to wobble on the line between “my faith is the only way to go and you’re going to hell” and “oh, your faith is so interesting, let me convert!” I’ve been condescending, arrogant and just plain rude at times to people who I actually value and desire to treat with respect. For every successful inter-faith exchange I’ve had, I’ve probably created at least three messes in my wake.

There are even differences in belief between myself and my other Christian friends. I’ve got friends who share the same religious label as I do that completely condemn things I am passionate about, such as gay marriage. I’ve got friends who are Christians and are pro-life, Republican and subscribe to traditional gender roles. I’ve also got friends father on the left side of the spectrum than I am. These are all people who I love dearly, and who have been amazing friends to me throughout my life.

Obviously we want to have friends who are different than us. I mean, I don’t want to hang out with fifty clones of me because I would go insane from all the corny jokes all the mes would tell. Our friends have different interests than us, and they introduce us to new ways of thinking, great books, and also the wonders of Studio Ghibli (okay, maybe that’s just MY friends). But I think we like this idea in theory–but not in practice–when it comes to faith and religious beliefs.

Part of what makes us devout followers of religion is our strong belief that this is right. We look at our faith and say, this makes sense to me. This right here is how I want to lead my life. It cuts deeper than most other areas. So when we’re confronted with a different idea of faith, it can be hard to reconcile that that person believes this is right too. I don’t know why we always want to win, but we do. Sometimes it can feel like if we let them believe that their way is right, ours can’t be right, and so unless we condemn their whole religious belief system ours will have been invalidated.

That’s really sad. But I think it happens more often that we’d like to admit. I know I’ve felt that way at times. In order to peacefully coexist with our friends who believe just as strongly as we do, but believe in different things, I think we need to go back to the root of what our religions have in common.

Some of us share the same god, but we just follow it differently. Some of us read from the same religious texts, but we just interpret it differently. At the root of our religions, we all want to love and be loved and to lead a good, moral life. There are so many more things we can trace between our faith systems, so many more commonalities and similarities. Love and goodness are two great places to start.

We can also show our friends how we value them in our lives by remembering to respect them. Resist the urge to put them down at all because they find their rightness somewhere different than yours. We can mentally do this all the time without saying it out loud to them; but if we think a certain way about a person, that will always show through in our actions toward them. If we believe in our heart that a good friend is wrong about something, we can always engage with them about it in a respectful manner. But realize that after a time, nothing we say is going to change their minds–and that is totally okay.

It comes down to respect. Respecting that they have their own unique personhood, and they have all the rights that come with it. That includes the right to make up their own minds about what they believe and why. Loving our friends despite our differences of belief can be hard. I’ve always found that loving when it’s difficult is the best love of all.

How to deal with friends with different political views

Some couples embrace political differences, some don’t care, and others still consider having similar views non-negotiable. Given that we each have our own influences, history of experiences, psychological makeup, and subjective lens through which we view the world, some differences are bound to exist or arise. One person’s convictions may be another’s contentions. With an especially heated election season upon us, how do couples with strongly divided political views avoid being torn apart?

One way, according to Dailey and Palomares (2004), is through what they describe as “strategic topic avoidance”—essentially an effort by one or both partners to avoid certain topics that could lead to irreconcilable differences. Some choose not to discuss sensitive issues such as politics for the sake of avoiding the potential fallout, thus possibly preserving the relationship. This strategy may also serve to maintain privacy and one’s sense of autonomy, essential ingredients for a healthy partnership.

At a 2003 meeting of the International Communication Association in San Diego, California, one presenter described political discussions as a type of “civic engagement” that had the potential to not only contribute to political tolerance on a broader level, but to strengthen interpersonal bonds. The extent to which two partners are able to respectfully debate sensitive issues such as politics may depend on the strength of the overall communication, a fundamental indicator of relationship success.

Find a Therapist for Relationships

Love Across Party Lines

A woman I worked with in therapy—I’ll call her Susan—was recently divorced and just getting back into the dating world. She was contacted online by a man who, at first glance, seemed to be a fairly compatible match on almost every level. When it came to politics, however, they couldn’t have been more different: she was a self-described “bleeding-heart liberal,” while he was a staunch conservative. Before agreeing to meet, both emphasized their commitments to their respective values and agreed to respectfully disagree—establishing an unspoken strategy of topic avoidance.

They went on to date for two years before they came to the realization that, in their case, love was not enough. “I believe that your political ideologies are a direct reflection of your core values,” Susan told me. “To have a good relationship, your values must be in line.”

The moment your relationship takes a turn toward disrespect, criticizing, or belittling, whether triggered by politics or other differences, it may be time to seek help.

So how did they make it work for as long as it did? “Humor. Definitely humor,” said Susan, who also cited other strong parts of the relationship and a variety of common interests. “I must admit that sometimes I saw it as a challenge—like maybe if I can change his mind, I can change others’.” Of course, trying to change a partner often doesn’t turn out well. It certainly didn’t in Susan’s case.

Of course, having polar opposite political views doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship is doomed. Witness Democratic commentator James Carville and his wife Mary Matalin, a Republican consultant. When asked in an ABC News interview, “How the heck did you two get together?” Matalin simply responded, “Love is blind, love is deaf.”

Most of us can relate to this sentiment, but how have Matalin and Carville managed to sustain a happy marriage over two decades, two children, and two successful and opposing political careers? According to Matalin, by not talking politics at home. They have a lot of other things in common and, as is apparent to anyone paying attention, a love and respect for one another that surpasses all else.

3 Important Questions to Consider

If you’ve come to an impasse in your relationship due to political differences, the following are some helpful questions to ask yourself when assessing its staying power.

1. Do you respect and accept your partner unconditionally?

According to renowned couples therapist John Gottman, the antidotes to contempt within any relationship are fondness and admiration, both of which can be maintained and strengthened by expressing appreciation and respect. One of the of the most popular and contemporary approaches to couples counseling, the Gottman Method emphasizes the importance of “nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.” The moment your relationship takes a turn toward disrespect, criticizing, or belittling, whether triggered by politics or other differences, it may be time to seek help.

2. Do you fight “well”?

The Gottman Method focuses on nine essential ingredients needed to make a relationship work, including the ability to manage conflict. When stark political differences exist, this could be the make-or-break factor. “As someone who has done a lot of work with couples … this is the moment when pressing the point about how ‘right’ you are is only going to damage the relationship. Both sides feel hurt, unappreciated, and treated unfairly,” said Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist in New York City. Her advice with election day fast approaching? “Let’s all practice active listening through November.”

3. Can you picture your life without your partner?

This one, I believe, is a no-brainer. If you find someone who adds happiness to your life, makes your world a better place and you a better person, whom you respect and love and cannot imagine living without, political differences may be trivial. Discussing any differences in the presence of an objective couples counselor can help you put things in perspective, nurture your relationship’s best qualities, and even recognize some differences of opinion as healthy.

I've (31f) been dating my boyfriend (30m) for almost 2 months, things have been delightful overall.

I've slowly started to find out over our conversations that he supports Trump, not a hardcore supporter – but believes overall Trumps character/moral as a person doesn't define him as a good president or not, and won't truly affect me or my future children . also commented that he believes a World War would be beneficial for the US economy. I'm a pretty optimistic person, and the thought of creating a war as a good thing gets me upset.

I've never been a very political person, but any input on dating/communicating and different political opinions would be appreciated! I really care for this man, but doubt there would be much of a future with some of these differences.

Honestly, whether you should stay or go, really depends on how much you care about that person. Why I say this, is because my maternal grandparents never agreed politically. He was more "republican" and she was more "democratic". So, they had one rule during their 50+ year marriage. never discuss politics and focus on more important matter, such as taking care of their family and making enough to survive. They both lived a long and happy life together and were very much in love, despite having "opposing political views".

this is excellent, "old school" way of getting along.

but would it even work in todays world? highly doubt it. "you do you!"

Thank you for this input! I suppose you’re right in ways, but I guess what I’m getting at is if he doesn’t see how messed up trumps moral values are and how disrespectful he is towards woman, it’s hard to distinguish that from my personal views and stance on a value of a human regardless of race or sex or religion. Never would I have thought politics would be a make or break it till I remember an ex say “Obama should be drug behind a truck” people these days are cruel

Saying world war would be a good thing a pretty retarded thing to say. He obviously lacks humanity and cares more about monetary things.

as harsh as it would be, a world war NOT happening in north america? have you forgotten the military industrial complex? America would benefit greatly, however, war is no joke. way too much lost and I think this time it'd be different then it was in the 50s- too much poverty and middle class dying makes me think america in general wouldn't benefit as much.

really its a what if scenario, but america shot up so high in 50s and 60s while everyone else was recovering from termoil.

dating and politics are like oil and water.

I'm pretty liberal and politically, I'm more apathetic than anything. However, even I would draw the line at that comment, only those naive to the horrors of war or the truly psycopathic will believe war is beneficial for anyone. The economic boom that followed both World Wars was paid for in the blood of tens of millions of souls, many of whose names will be forgotten to the sands of time forever.

If you want to see what kind of person he is or whether he truly believes his political views, get him to watch Saving Private Ryan and see how he reacts.

I would personally distance myself from a person of such naivete or poorly empathetic world view.

Thank you for your input, I tried explaining that too about war aftermath – he thinks politics are stupid, but the older I get I realize how stupid it is to ignore what’s happening – even if it’s not affecting me personally – I can’t imagine raising kids with someone like that so seems like I know what to do already just needed some random opinions to help me

If you plan on having children one day, this man could be playing a huge part in forming their social and political identity. I dont want anyone who thinks Trump's behavior or anyone like him is acceptable for the office he is holding. I also dont want to be with someone who thinks global war is a good thing (war is expensive, it does not help the economy never mind the destruction of lives, the environment, and culture relics) and doesn't know how to think beyond a 10th grader's political understanding of the world.

People certainly do it. My stepmother wont discuss politics at all and my dad is a huge conservative to the point of lunacy but I know from having to deal with him that's not a relationship I want with anyone else. Especially not my best friend and life partner.

Ultimately it's your choice but I couldn't live with someone that was that morally bankrupt and ignorant.

Just two weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, news hit of the first divorce triggered by the election results (or at least, the first to go viral).

In an interview with Reuters, Californian Gayle McCormick, 73, said she and her husband of 22 years decided to split up after he mentioned that he planned to vote for Trump.

Though her husband ended up writing in former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich at the ballot box instead, the damage was already done.

“It really came down to the fact I needed to not be in a position where I had to argue my point of view 24/7,” she said. “I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing that.”

Though an extreme example, the story highlights how hard it is to love and maintain a civil relationship when you’re at odds politically. Like the McCormicks, 30 percent of married households contain a mismatched partisan pair, according to data site FiveThirtyEight.

If those couples weren’t getting into arguments before the election, chances are they are now, with each day bringing fresh executive orders, cabinet confirmations and emotionally charged POTUS tweets. It’s all too easy to get upset if your spouse is your political opposite.

How do you avoid the McCormicks’ fate if you have different political views? Below, couples who’ve been in mixed political marriages for years share their advice.

Rule #1: Don’t look at your partner as a surrogate for his or her party’s candidate.

Kerry Maguire, a left-leaning dentist who serves as the director of the children’s outreach program at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been married to her husband Thomas Stossel, a right-leaning hematologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, for over 20 years.

In that time, she’s tried to not confuse Republican leaders’ views with those of her spouse.

“Tom has nothing in common with Donald Trump except they both belong to the Republican party,” she told The Huffington Post. “Still, I have occasionally ― and unfairly ― dumped my frustrations over Trump in Tom’s lap. Not surprisingly, that can evoke a defensive response in him, which I sometimes interpret as Tom being in agreement with Trump.”

Highly charged events like the Women’s March in January have definitely triggered some emotions in the couple. When arguments get too heated and Maguire is responsible, she takes full ownership for stirring things up.

“His response to the Women’s March was, ‘Didn’t these people vote?’ And I wanted to tear my hair out and start talking about parallel universes,” she told us. “Then I realized that I was the one who set us up for the fight.”

Rule #2: Keep things in perspective.

Stossell, meanwhile, recognizes that President Trump’s actions offend his wife far more than they offend him. Like any supportive spouse, he takes it in stride and actively listens when his wife is unnerved by the latest executive order or Kellyanne Conway’s most recent claim of “fake news.”

“Kerry complains about him from time to time and that’s OK with me,” he told HuffPost. “The 20 plus years I’ve been married to her have been the best of my life and there’s no way political disagreements could compromise my affection for her.”

Rule #3: Remind yourself that winning isn’t everything.

They may have appeared in a pre-election video titled “Donald Trump Is Ruining My Marriage,” but New York magazine columnist Mandy Stadtmiller and her Trump-supporting husband, comedian Pat Dixon, are still very much married.

That’s partly because both realized that winning an argument about Trump means very little compared to their growth as a couple.

“If we disagree on a political issue, America’s future is not going to be determined by who wins a single argument we are having in our tiny Chelsea apartment,” Stadtmiller said. “It might determine our future, though.”

She added: “Challenge, disagreement and adversity can make a good couple grow stronger, more emphatic and more sensitive if you never lose your respect for each other in the process of spirited debate.”

Rule #4: Don’t bring politics to bed.

Alicia Chandler, a left-leaning attorney who lives in the greater Detroit, Michigan area, has endured four presidential elections with her conservative, Trump-supporting husband. In that time, they’ve learned to avoid placing campaign signs in their yard (”We do not need to let the whole neighborhood in on our dysfunction,” she joked in a blog prior to the 2017 election) and to avoid talking about politics or unsettling world news before bed.

“You have to give each other safe spaces ― and I’m not simply suggesting that term because the mere mention of it infuriates my husband and most other conservatives,” she said.

To protect her marriage, Chandler tries to avoid looking at social media while in bed.

“When I do, I have the bad habit of getting into a heated conversation about whatever the political crisis of the day, which is horrible because my brain has already shut down for the day,” she said. “Basically, I am more likely to lose any argument on an intellectual level and it ends the the day on a negative note.”

Talking about news of the day with your spouse is important, but Chandler stressed the importance of designating times of days where the conversation is politics-free.

Rule #5: Recognize the core beliefs you do share.

Micah Leydorf is a former congressional staffer and a conservative married to a liberal. When the divide between her and her husband seems great, she reminds herself that they ultimately share a common belief system.

“We may not agree on many important national policies, but we agree that loving people and loving each other are more important,” she told HuffPost. “We don’t argue when we discuss politics because we are united in our focus on living out our common belief in a loving God. You have to focus more on living out your core beliefs every day instead of just talking about them.”

Rule #6: Value the experience of listening to the other side.

In these hyper-partisan days, most of us consume a media diet that feeds into our preconceived beliefs and biases. Being married to your political opposite forces you to consider the other side’s opinions and hear their latest talking points, said Julia Arnold, a Minnesota-based blogger who’s been married to a conservative for nine years. Yes, she said, sometimes that means she’s forced to watch Fox News.

“The truth is, you may or may not believe that the media is biased, but either way I still find value in spending time with a variety of news outlets,” she said. “The way I see it, it’s helpful, not harmful, to watch and read a variety of media.”

Arnold added that being being married to your political opposite compels you to look at your beliefs and sometimes, even question them.

“Our relationship has made me more open-minded and less judgmental,” she said. “I hope my husband feels the same way. My marriage has made me look at things through more than one lens and I feel lucky for that opportunity.”

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