Let’s talk about polarization, which can now be considered a commonly used catchphrase. We see the destructive effects of it everywhere in our culture. Conservatives against liberals, Democrats versus Republicans, Pro-choice versus Pro-life. The list is endless but the rhetoric is similar, “we are right they are wrong,” “we have God and free will, and with that comes the right of humanity, which is on our side, and those who do not agree are just plain evil.” No one recognizes merit in the other’s thoughts, words, ideology, or position we have become quick to jump to the conclusion if you don’t see it my way you are in the wrong.
The attitude and conclusions mentioned above can be seen on an amplified platform through news channels, specifically through Fox vs CNN, which is only contributing to the slow but steady pulling our Nation apart. This concept that there is only one right view or approach to a problem or a way of life is not just political it has seeped into our culture. From movies to video games, sports to ballroom dancing we pit groups against each other take sides and cheer for our team. Unfortunately in marriage, this idea of right or wrong, my way or the highway is poisonous. Unlike in politics or a Rambo movie, marriages only work if there is compromise. I am frequently asked at events what is the biggest cause of divorce to which I respond marriage and move on. No one really wants a dissertation on the problems of our society with their martini.
Looking back over the decades of divorces numbering in the tens of thousands I would say the primary reason people get divorced is a lack of communication. That same rigid preconception that I am right and you are wrong that infects our public discourse often infects the more intimate discussion between spouses. The idea that there is one right way and that way is mine may work in the Senate ( not really ) but it does not work in the bedroom or for that matter in the kitchen. Marriages that work have open communication a sharing of ideas and goals and the flexibility to see the other side and make room in your brain and your heart to consider the alternative.