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How Not to Let Politics Hurt Your Relationship

How Not to Let Politics Hurt Your Relationship

By Amy Leigh Mercree for YourTango.com.

Don’t turn your home into a political war zone. Use these tips to find common ground instead.

Sometimes love is blind, especially when your partners supports the opposing political party. But, even a loving relationship can combust when those contrasting viewpoints lead to conflicts.

Every four years, couples that usually coexist peacefully are faced with an emotionally-charged challenge: election season. These relationships are put to the test, but there are simple strategies that can be used to improve the odds of staying together after we’ve elected a new president.

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1. Always respect the passion. Make an honest effort to understand how passionate your partner is about his political views. You might be surprised at how peaceful the conversations can be as long as there is mutual respect. All political war zones aren’t laced with minefields.

Even if his political views are impassioning, take time to understand where he’s coming from. For example, if you’re a democrat that is pro-choice and he’s a republication that believes life begins at conception, you should respect his position and hear him out on it.

The key point is that you will most likely never change his mind about his beliefs. So, respect how passionate he is about politics and find common ground.

2. Take time to cultivate a soul connection. During trying times — like election season — set aside time to connect every day. This bonding time should extend past the usual chit chat and dinner prep. Consider it soul time.

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It might be 30 minutes after the kids go to bed or right after work. The length of time doesn’t matter. It’s about the experience.

You can sit together, entwined comfortably, and just appreciate that closeness. It can be as simple as hugging and listening to each other’s heartbeats for a few minutes. The importance of this soul connecting is to simply take time to feel the happiness and positivity flowing between you.

The key point is soul connecting transcends the daily grind of life. It is about cultivating positive energy between you and your partner.

3. Make kindness your number one priority. It is a relationship life raft. Being kind can prevent a lot of relationship problems. Take a moment and think back on the big fights: How many spawned from unkind words or behaviors?

When politics come up in conversation, choose kindness instead of anger. It will change everything because the starch will be taken out of the debate.

The key point is kindness is the balm that soothes all wounds. Make it your top relationship priority.

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The good news is election season is finite! Choose to respect his beliefs even if you don’t agree with them, make time for regular soul connecting and always be kind. Your relationship might survive the presidential election after all.

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Dating Across Political Lines: 3 Tips To Make It Work.

Read more: Dating, Life, Love, News & Issues, Relationships, , , , , ,

Written by Amy Leigh Mercree for YourTango.com

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29 comments

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4:15PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I strongly agree with what Laurie R. said.

It's one thing if the disagreement is over how to reach the same goal, like disagreeing on which politician or party will best protect the environment, human rights, et cetera, but if people take opposite positions on actual ISSUES that is another matter in my opinion.

If you have a strong sense of ethics, you can't have a truly close relationship with someone who is working against you - struggling to create the kind of world you are struggling to prevent, or to destroy what you are working hard to protect.

6:05PM PST on Nov 14, 2012

@Ron, I love that comment "I would never marry a Republican any more than one would marry me.", I think that should be the quote of the day! :)

7:57AM PST on Nov 12, 2012

It is through a mutual respect that relationships thrive! Great article.

8:39AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

Thanks, Chad M! Glad to hear a success story about this topic!

8:22AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

My mom and step-dad are complete opposites when it comes to politics (mom = liberal and stepdad = hardcore republican). . .but everything else was so great in their relationship that it didn't really matter. Yes, during election season my stepdad has a field day with Fox News' 'coverage' of things and there are a few arguments, but at the end of the day they actually do a lot of the things you mention in this article. Great job on helping us remember that basic human love, kindness and connection are more important than the ebbs and flows of political tides.

8:22AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

My mom and step-dad are complete opposites when it comes to politics (mom = liberal and stepdad = hardcore republican). . .but everything else was so great in their relationship that it didn't really matter. Yes, during election season my stepdad has a field day with Fox News' 'coverage' of things and there are a few arguments, but at the end of the day they actually do a lot of the things you mention in this article. Great job on helping us remember that basic human love, kindness and connection are more important than the ebbs and flows of political tides.

8:00AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

It is a fact that there are many couples who are dealing with this issue right now because it's election season. It's meant to provide general strategies for relationship harmony to these people who have already chosen to be together in spite of differing political viewpoints. Love is usually their motivator and those of us who consider ourselves "romantics" can understand how love, compatibility in most other areas, and the spark of passion are worth navigating political differences.

7:59AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

It is a fact that there are many couples who are dealing with this issue right now because it's election season. It's meant to provide general strategies for relationship harmony to these people who have already chosen to be together in spite of differing political viewpoints. Love is usually their motivator and those of us who consider ourselves "romantics" can understand how love, compatibility in most other areas, and the spark of passion are worth navigating political differences.

4:29PM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

I can't imagine this kind of split in a relationship like marriage, serious dating, or close friendship. Those relationships have to be based on some shared core values and world-view -- or, at least, for me, they do. The advice is good for relating to family members and old friends and co-workers, where everyone wants to preserve the relationships lont-term, but they are not necessarily based on deep accord on the important things.

5:01AM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

Eu fora da internet sempre digo a politica é um jogo sujo porque não respeita os direitos humanos a politica numa sociadade moderna tem que ter politicas novas onde os direitos humanos é a rainha de todas as politicas o direito civico é o direito de todos os cidadãos e de todas as classes sociais por isso qualquer cidadão tem o seu direito de protestar dentro do seu pais a democracia é a rainha de todos os humanos estou de acordo com este artigo obrigado Care 2

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