My husband and I usually get along very well. Despite having opposite personalities, we both agree on important things like staying home to watch crime shows and play Scrabble instead of going out. We both don't understand basketball, share a love of football and have a passion for finding the perfect piece of pizza. Yet, when it comes to politics the situation in our house is more tenuous than the West Bank. Can A Republican Date A Democrat?
We are a house divided. I'm a Democrat and he's a Republican. During the healthcare debate of 2010, we argued constantly. We even stooped so low as to bombard one another with passive-aggressive emails with links to articles that supported our respective positions. Eventually, we brokered peace, but not before feet were stomped and voices had been raised. We are not always at odds. I can admit that stimulus spending has been a little ridiculous and Dave agrees that there is a problem with healthcare in this country.
The problem is that every election season, our differences flare up, dividing our house with a domestic demilitarized-zone. We know how well that works for the Koreas. This election season, we are preparing our home, relationship and lives for the arrival of our first child. Inevitably, we've already argued over the political persuasion of this poor, unsuspecting fetus. When To Talk Politics In A New Relationship
I grew up in a rampantly Republican home. My parents took my siblings and I to rallies and demonstrations, we even met with our state representatives at the White House as little lobbyist. When I turned 18 and voted Democrat, I vowed never to force my beliefs, political or otherwise, on my future children. But now that the future is near, I wonder if I'll be able to maintain the respect and neutrality that my 18-year-old self envisioned. Additionally, Dave, who also grew up Republican, has made no such vow and is committed to raising our child to be politically aware. As much as I love his dedication to raising our child as an aware and responsible person, it also makes me worried. What if my baby's first words are "Drill, baby. Drill!" Could I handle that? Is It Possible To Date Your Political Opposite?
I recognize that parenthood is a journey filled with responsibility and challenges far greater than political quibbling. I also realize that in the end, the political choices of our child are not up to us, but up to that squirming little fetus, who is currently making me puke and want to eat jars and jars of caramel ice cream topping. And yet, I am worried about what we will teach our child about conflict and resolution though our political wranglings. Will our child grow up to be polarized? Afraid of confrontation? Apathetic? Or will our child learn to build consensus and disagree with respect and love?
I do love and trust my husband. I know that we share the same values and beliefs, even if we bicker over how to solve the world's problems. I also know that no matter how this child ends up voting, it won't change how we feel about our family or each other. I know this because we disagree everyday and we wouldn't have it any other way.
How do you handle political disagreements in your family?