Politically Divided Couples – Can They Have A Happy Relationship?

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on October 22, 2012


CNN.com posted an interview with this Psychotherapist – Marriage and Family therapist, to discuss the topic of: politically divided couples. Can politically divided couples have a happy relationship? Yes they can says this relationship expert. With elections at the forefront, what happens when a husband and wife have differing views politically?  It is hard enough for couples to agree on everyday things (e.g., where to go to eat, parenting, temperature of the house, what TV show to watch), let’s add the challenge of differing political views. There could be an explosion, but there does not have to be says this relationship expert! Check out my interview with, and the on line article for CNN.com by Emanuella Grinberg entitled: What We Can Learn About Relationships From Politically Divided Couples.

In addition, find below my 8 tips for how to have a successfully politically divided marriage:

  1. Hear one another’s voice. You do not have to agree with another person to be respectful of their dialogue with you.
  2. Non conversion marital policy. Do not try to convert the other person, rather acceptance of differing views.
  3. Choose not to feel threatened by your spouse’s differing view. Recognize you can each have your own opinion and still feel loved, be loving to one another, and love one another.
  4. How you view the fact that you have a difference of opinion affects how you relate to one another. Choose to view the difference as interesting, exciting and positive. Decide that having differing views allows the opportunity for stimulating dialogue.
  5. Healthy individuation means that your own individual self, your beliefs, views, and self development all gets to grow and enhance as an individual while growing as a couple. You are separate individuals within a relational whole.
  6. Recognize you are not fighting against one another due to differing political viewpoints. Rather you are 2 sides of one coin. Both views can co-exist. You are on the same team with differing political views.
  7. Rather than viewing your political difference as a relationship divide and conflict which erodes the relationship, recognize that your political view does not define the relationship whole and rather is just another piece of your relationship puzzle.
  8. In a healthy marital relationship where you value and appreciate one another, where you are respectful and communicate with your spouse not at your spouse, then a political difference of opinion is simply just that, a difference of opinion.

If you would like to learn more tips of how to have a healthy long lasting marriage, check out: Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual. This practical book is an easy read that provides techniques, insights, and tips from me to you for any marital phase and stage.

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Follow Dr. Karen on Twitter or Facebook. Media Psychotherapist Guest Expert; Relationships, Parenting, Hot Topics In The News. Appears on: The O'Reilly Factor, FOX & Friends, FOX & Friends FIRST, America Live, Hannity, regular go-to for FOX Boston, and more. Can be heard on Radio: FOX News, 96.9 Boston Talks, and more. Columnist, quoted in various print media: FOX Business, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Care.com, USA Today, Parents, TIME, Woman's Day, and more. Owner/Director of Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, Inc. Based in Massachusetts. Author of: 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children and Dr. Karen's Marriage Manual. Copyright 2012.


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