Managing Your Relationship With Politics
How Important Is Politics In Your Relationship?
I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by News 2, reporter Carly Fynn Morgan, with the subject on “ The Politics of Love: Choosing a Partner Based on Party – WFMY”
As a relationship counselor, I often work with couples who share an interest that they favor and a few that they do not.
Politics like religion or even money tends to be a touchy subject in most relationships.
What’s really interesting about the impact of politics in relationships is that the subject is touched on very early in the relationship.
Consider websites like facebook or dating sites. Most of them have some sort of section that allows you to add in your political stance.
At the early stages of relationship building, people are already accustomed to searching for common interest and questions those that are not favored.
I strongly believe that couples can overcome challenges. Sometimes challenges are due to common interest. Such as a couple struggling with how to be more intimate.
At other times, challenges are focussed on addressing and understanding opposing views.
In couples therapy, my philosophy and that which I encourage couples to evaluate are focused on understanding and empathy.
Take time to understand the root of the differences. Practices such as counseling, meditation or self-help books can provide the platform for understanding why there is a struggle with loving your partner and accepting their stance. Once you are able to practice understanding a weight will be lifted.
The weight is lifted because there is a known cause versus an unknown. Take into consideration, your partner rooting for a sports team that you entirely dislike. A team that is completely against yours. Something like the Redsox versus Yankees.
Often the symptoms of worry, frustration or sadness are related to the sense of not knowing why your partner sides left or right.
Creating an internal awareness that this is happening. That this is your partner.
Imagine that you are stung by a bee. You feel the sensation of the sting on the arm. It hurts. You shout or scream. The pain stays with you for a few minutes. Then it fades.
Accepting a process can lower emotional difficulties associated with anxiety and depression. This is due to one achieving a level of understanding and preparedness.
While on the other hand, not accepting can lead to an increase in worry, anxiety or sadness.
Politics is a tough subject.
Consider turning on the news. With the recent shooting, you can scan news channels and just about any social media site and note the differences from one side to the other. When partners have differences, there tends to build an opportunity for conflict.
Conflict is something that is often natural in life. As such, it is also natural in relationships.
How do you deal with conflict in your relationship?
If a conflict is not addressed with empathy and understanding, then distance can take place. Before you know it, there is a shift in the relationship. A wrong turn. Leaving behind feelings of sadness, worry, or frustration.
In the practice of relationship therapy, the goal is to help couples understand how similarities and differences impact the day to day grind. To help couples grow together through the practice of empathy and understanding.
Below is a short video of what to expect in a relationship session:
To be able to respect boundaries imposed by differences.
To be able to say, I don’t agree with “this” but I accept your position.
Santos, J. (2018). Managing Your Relationship With Politics. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/dating-relationships/2018/02/howpoliticsimpactsrelationships/