Can donkeys married to elephants thrive?
DEAR AMY: I need your advice on how to handle a growing problem. My husband has become increasingly conservative politically. He has moved away from moderate views and is now very right-wing. A recent poll he took ranked him in the most conservative 9 percent of people in the country. I have been a lifelong Democrat and continue to support liberal views. This has resulted in some heated arguments. My husband claims that if I don't agree with him it's because I'm not listening. He refuses to acknowledge any validity to my opinions. He criticizes and mocks any Democratic politician or supporter. In the heat of an argument, he has said that if I can't agree with him, we should just get divorced. I even voted for Mitt Romney to avoid a fight, not because I supported him for president. Can Democrats and Republicans have a happy relationship?Democrat in Hiding
DEAR DEMOCRAT: Democrats and Republicans can have happy relationships, but unhappy, combative and intolerant people probably can't.
I don't understand why you would value your own rights so little that you would throw your vote away on a candidate you didn't support. I also don't understand why you would disclose to your husband whom you chose to vote for in the privacy of the voting booth. This is your business, not his.
You should assume at this point that politics is a placeholder for other problems in your marriage.
If your husband is bullying, mocking or threatening you by playing the divorce card in the heat of a political argument, then you should take this as a sign that unless you and he find a new way to talk (and listen) to each other, your marriage is in deep trouble.
A marriage counselor could help you get to the bottom of your reactions to each other and help you learn to interact more respectfully. You should be able to respect each other personally, even when you disagree about politics.