This is the year of miracles or nightmares depending on your perception of the world. The Cubs won the World Series, England voted to exit the European Union and Donald Trump was elected President. In America there might be some heavy debate over the Cubs, less over England, but Trump! Trump and the related topic of Hillary and the downfall of America are hot topics of which everyone is an expert. The truth is our Union will survive even a sub par-Presidency; look at Jimmy Carter.
The problem regarding Trump’s election is that everyone has an opinion. He is either the Devil or the salvation of America. No one is lukewarm about Trump. This caustic divergence has begotten protests or riots in the streets and predictions of doom. This is of no great consequence when the form of protest is print and clearly of more concern when violence hits the street. The reality is that we can avoid the news and picketing, at least most of us can.
Such is not the case when the Mason Dixon line is drawn down the master bedroom. In kinder times Democrat and Republican spouses have coexisted. This year not so much. Reports of Domestic Violence triggered by political polarization is ramped up. Divorces are even been filed based on political incompatibility. “How can he love me and and support Trump?” is a standard lament. This too will pass. Eventually it will sink in that America is strong enough to withstand the turbulence of transition, and life will go on and political debate will once again become a non-lethal sport.
The trick is to keep your marriage alive till then. Holidays are a particularly difficult time for marital discord. Psychologists say that holidays are stressors, meaning they heighten conflict and lack of comfort among family members. I suppose that is because holidays have a series of demands and expectation which lead to disappointment and frustration.
The trick is to sit back and understand that you are unlikely to change your spouse’s view of the political landscape. Regardless which of you is “right” your opinions will have no impact on how the world spins. I would suggest keeping your political opinions to yourself and discuss the Cubs, but I am pretty sure it is too late for that. The next best approach is to surrender. Say you understand the other’s view, you have thought about it and see the merit and you share those concerns but hope like Obama that Trump pulls it off. Or say that you think we lost a great leader in Clinton but you will give Trump a chance. If you can’t do that, as some people just do not like Crow, then ask your spouse to just agree to disagree and let the debate die.
Here is the thing. You’re married. You may have kids. You love each other. All politicians have good and bad point but once elected all the domestic strife in the world will not change the vote. Think, “Do I want to ruin my family’s holiday over things that cannot be changed or is gloating more important than hugging my spouse and kissing my kids?”. Politics this year have been a contact sport. Leave the gloves at the door and fight over what is important: cranberry sauce with or without berries . . . now that is a dilemma!