Patterico's Pontifications

10/31/2012

Must Your Dating Partner or Spouse Share Your Politics?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal via Hot Air Headlines about people who refuse to date folks who don’t share their political ideology:

Eight hundred miles from Ms. Davis’s side, in Winston-Salem, N.C., Charles Rawlings is a neurosurgeon, attorney, deep-sea diver and published photographer. Like Ms. Davis, Dr. Rawlings, 53, is from Tennessee, and he is divorced with three children to whom he is devoted. He leads underwater photography expeditions when he isn’t driving his daughter to cheerleading practice and representing patients in medical malpractice cases.

Each time he operates on someone’s brain, he recalls that “84,000 people die each year because of medical malpractice,” he says. He travels widely, yet enjoys the South, where his children “love their town,” he says.

Winston-Salem has offered slim pickings for a liberal thinker who says his new book, “It Really Is That Complicated,” “grabs the reader and propels them through the exotic (and erotic) landscape that is the foundation for male/female relationships.”

The city is “extremely conservative, politically and in its view on life,” he says. There are plenty of eligible women, with one problem: “They could be Miss America or a member of Mensa, but as soon as they say ‘I’m a Republican,’ probably in five minutes we won’t be talking.”

My wife was raised a Democrat and typically cancels out my votes for political office. Funny, though, on some propositions we agree, even though she or I might be bucking the party line. The thing is, she’s not a hard-line dogmatic liberal. I can see how it would be hard to live with someone who was constantly running down the free market, espousing group identity political views in a hostile way, and so forth. But Mrs. P. simply isn’t very political. We agree on a lot of issues, but she pulls the lever for the D and I pull it for the R.

(Does anyone actually pull a lever any more? That would be cool.)

I have to think we’re like a lot of families that way, and I think the world would be a poorer place were it otherwise.

There is more to life than politics. There are shared interests and values. You might like the same music; admire the same principles; have similar attitudes towards what makes a person worthwhile.

And you might think the other person is cute.

It seems to me that it would be a shame to throw all that out the window over politics.

That said, I would have no desire to date Sandra Fluke, were I not married.

Discuss.

118 Responses to “Must Your Dating Partner or Spouse Share Your Politics?”

  1. politics aren’t that important in real life that’s what the internet is for

    happyfeet (502829)

  2. Given the pathology and/or denial required to be a liberal, which is to say Democrat, I don’t see how I could look the other way. To me, the indication of her politics would speak volumes as to her core values. I simply would not trust how she would raise a child.

    Of course a conversion is always possible. However, the sagest advice I ever heard as to choosing a spouse was that the person you see before you today is the person you will see for decades. Do not make decisions based on the hoped-for. Make decisions based on what is.

    Ed from SFV (2fdffd)

  3. There once was a time when being a Democrat – or voting for one – could be understood or excused. Not any more.

    wasabi (1a4510)

  4. it’s worse at our house than Pat’s…

    i’m a USC fan and Resident Evil is a UCLA ticket holder.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  5. Back in the day (really not all that long ago) when pretty much everybody in America respected that decent people could have varying viewpoints and still love America, being with a partner who saw both the nation’s problems and potential solutions somewhat differently was not so big a deal–and could actually be amusing. That attitude sounds quaint and almost naive now to many people. I can definitely see that in today’s often nasty hyper-partisan milieu a political disparity is just one more thing that could make the already challenging dating world a real minefield.

    elissa (e165fe)

  6. Spice is a Democrat and always will be; I understand why and don’t try to change her (she says the same thing about me and my Goldwater- libertarian- Tea Party- Rational Anarchist politcs.) Everyone has faults. We agree on some issues, differ on some. We are agreed that we don’t want anyone else for a partner in this journey. We like spicy hot food, too. The doctor should look at someone who will challenge him rather than agree with him, it makes life more interesting.

    htom (412a17)

  7. Been married for 35 yrs, quite happily for the most part. That said, she’s a lefty and this election cycle has put a serious, serious strain on our relationship. I tend not to bug her about her beliefs, but now days she feels a need to attack me daily. Likely we’ll separate this week, she wants to move in with her sister.

    She is now a different person. Sigh

    Angelo (5d0534)

  8. Politics aren’t really the important thing, but values are. Also, I think, you have to have the same basic understanding of how the world works.

    I will try to pick a non-political subject to illustrate. I briefly tried dating a rabid feminist. We left a museum, and she was insistent that a 200 year old West African wooden mask was exactly equivalent, just as much a technological marvel, to an 18th century Venetian clock.

    Essentially, and I’m trying my best to be fair to her position, is that in her view West Africans weren’t capable of doing better. Therefore, if it was the best they could do then she was bound and determined to insist it was just as good as what the Venetians could come up with.

    This was her view, understand. Not mine. But clearly politics, being the art of the possible, reflects what people have been conditioned to believe is possible.

    Her ‘tude irked me greatly. She embodied just about every unfounded prejudice, condescending sneer, and commitment to lying to people that undergirds modern liberalism. Everybody gets a trophy. Not because the trophy is supposed to make you feel good. So the person handing out the trophy can feel superior.

    Like I said, the relationship was brief.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  9. An ex-girlfriend and still very dear friend of mine is a Nader/Chomsky leftist. She’s a wonderfully sweet and loving person, but her politics are simply awful. It wasn’t the political disagreement that made us drift apart, just her moving to a new city to pursue her career (would you be surprised if I told you she was an academic?).

    JVW (f5695c)

  10. I used to agree with you, but modern politics has become too personal and polarized for me to date a leftist. It’s getting harder to find a woman with a brain in NJ, Mich less a conservative.

    NJRob (93460f)

  11. Much less*
    Sorry, I’m still on my phone since the power is out for the forseeable future.

    NJRob (93460f)

  12. It wasn’t the political disagreement that made us drift apart…

    That was the point I was trying to get to with the story about the feminist. It wasn’t the political disagreements. It was the fact I couldn’t respect her. She didn’t understand how the world worked, and if she tried to live outside the cocoon of academia or politics (she was interning as a Congressional staffer at the time) she couldn’t function.

    I think basic decency demands that I don’t say anything more that might be identifiable information. Just saying, she was not a competent or strong woman. So she gravitated toward an ideology that gave her unearned self-esteem instead of insisting she develop actual abilities that instead would have given her an earned sense of confidence.

    Her ideology told her she was entitled to special breaks. But that nobody was allowed to notice. Like that African mask/Venetian clock thingy. She could haven’t have cared less about the West Africans. She just didn’t want to admit that there was anything unfair about the deal she wanted to get for herself.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  13. There is, on the other hand, too much of a good thing.

    My significant other is as much of a fan of the Colt Lightweight Commander in .38 Super as I am.

    If I go on line to buy a K-Bar Becker Necker I know I’m getting two.

    The other day I did something to tick her off so I made up to her by getting her a Bowie knife.

    She’s not perfect of course. Who is? We let her friend the surgical nurse gut the hogs.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  14. I could never in a million years date, much less marry a liberal. She might be the hottest thing since Marylin Monroe and the sex might be amazing, but once in a while I would want to hold a conversation without feeling the urge to throttle her.

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  15. …and the sex might be amazing…

    Maybe I’m a wierd guy, but I think you have to at least like each other.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  16. If I refused to date people with whom I disagreed politically, I’d have to become a monk.

    I agree that values matter much more than which box one checks – for all the storm und drang, mainstream US politicians really aren’t that far apart (“Don’t blame me — I voted for Kotos!”).

    I dated a Republican operative for a few years, and our arguments were just part of the fun. It probably helped that she found some R positions horrible, and I am not actually a Democrat. We’d probably still be together if work hadn’t brought me back to California.

    There certainly are people I could never date because of political beliefs, but I tend to think they are outliers, and the feeling would be pretty mutual.

    Jamie (2169bf)

  17. Maybe years ago when there were still pro-America Democrats out there (think Scoop Jackson) it would have been possible to date a Democrat. But now, your party affiliation really does make a statement about your basic world view and beliefs. I grew up in California where the Dem party first lost their minds, and I simply never met any America respecting, patriotic Democrats until I was in my 40s. They were all Pelosi/Waxman/Berman types. Why would you want to partner with someone who fundamentally hates Western culture and all its values?

    MaureenTheTemp (b233ab)

  18. (For those who don’t know, Spice is my wife. We met in 1971 … have been together since 1975, married a bit more than 14 years ago. It’s a long strange story. There are people now, who knew us when we met, who say it was love at first sight and that they knew then we’d always be together, but we didn’t.)

    htom (412a17)

  19. I’m a Libertarian Republican and my wife is a liberal Democrat. We fell in love for many reasons, but one of them was not politics. We agree to disagree and don’t discuss our favorite candidates. Fortunately for me (otherwise it wouldn’t work), she is not a fire-breather and is only interested in politics to the extent she needs to vote. Occasionally, one or both of us will slip and a sharp skirmish will take place, but we always beat a quick retreat back to our respective lines. I will also occasionally ask her how she looks at a particular issue to understand how the other side is thinking and the response is often quite enlightening. Bottom line, we are happy and politics is a small and manageable irritant. The one place where politics has affected our lives is in our social circles. My friends and I don’t generally discuss politics and we’re respectful when we do. Her friends are all rabid Democrats. They became insufferable during the Bush years and I finally said, “No more social events with the religious fanatics. Have fun at the party. I’m staying home.”

    Laver10 (b731d6)

  20. What goes on between a man and a woman has nothing to do with politics.

    nk (875f57)

  21. A man leaves his mother and father and a woman leaves her mother and father. For each other.
    What could be greater than that, in any sense?

    nk (875f57)

  22. 21. What goes on between a man and a woman has nothing to do with politics.

    Comment by nk — 10/31/2012 @ 11:30 am

    No, but if it is going to last there must be understanding. To the degree politics reflect understanding, then to that degree it impacts what goes on between a man and woman.

    If I can’t understand you, I can’t love you.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  23. Umm, that was not directed at you in particular, nk.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  24. My wife threw me out of the house because of my drinking. Not because I’m a libertarian-hippie-gunloving-cowboy-ecofreak farmboy, and not because she’s an Obamabot. ;)

    We had good times and we made a beautiful daughter.

    We appreciate each other’s couldabeen, still.

    No. Romney, Obama, McCain, Bush, Clinton, just are not even a smudge on our conjugal contract.

    nk (875f57)

  25. If it makes you feel better, you’ll always be a libertarian-hippie-gunloving-cowboy-ecofreak farmboy to me.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  26. I didn’t have cows, actually, the pasture was too poor, I had lambs. But I had the cowboy attitude. ;)

    Patterico sometimes likes to tease us.

    nk (875f57)

  27. When we met, my wife was a Democrat. She joined the party in 1980 so that she could vote against Ted Kennedy in the primary.

    Then she voted for Reagan. Smart 18-year-old.

    Pious Agnostic (7c3d5b)

  28. Carville & Matalin wed and bred. ‘Nuff said.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  29. Ah, the International Man of Parody resents the snakehead.

    SPQR (768505)

  30. 27. I didn’t have cows, actually, the pasture was too poor, I had lambs. But I had the cowboy attitude. ;)

    Patterico sometimes likes to tease us.

    Comment by nk — 10/31/2012 @ 12:05 pm

    I don’t doubt it; you’re a Greek. Not to disparage the Greeks, but the land like so much of the land surrounding the Med just won’t support cattle.

    What arable land is available is best put to producing olives and grapes. The hillsides to goats and sheep.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  31. 29. Carville & Matalin wed and bred. ‘Nuff said.

    Comment by DCSCA — 10/31/2012 @ 12:13 pm

    Seriously. Who thinks these two have any firm convictions?

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  32. Greek arable land produces grapes, olives, goats, sheep and pissed off Greeks.

    SPQR (768505)

  33. Patterico – what’s to discuss ? I fully agree with you about Sandra Fluke !

    (grin)

    Alasdair (e48598)

  34. Mrs. Reff was much more liberal than I back in the early days, just after college….but, to her credit, she is logical, and that makes conversions easier. Baby Reff, 28 and living in Denver, is a bit tougher, considering the surroundings. One good point: she HATES MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS, so, often I can find the logic that steers her into that arena, and make the good point. This political season has truly been easy, however, since she works in free enterprise, and has seen her business area fall off the cliff because people don’t have the extra money needed for her success….

    reff (754aa3)

  35. 33.Greek arable land produces grapes, olives, goats, sheep and pissed off Greeks.

    Comment by SPQR — 10/31/2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Small rocks and big rocks, too.

    nk (875f57)

  36. 36. 33.Greek arable land produces grapes, olives, goats, sheep and pissed off Greeks.

    Comment by SPQR — 10/31/2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Small rocks and big rocks, too.

    Comment by nk — 10/31/2012 @ 1:50 pm

    I think I see the problem. If your “arable” land is capable only of producing rocks of whatever size, hint: it’s not all that arable.

    Probably a huge reason why a lot of immigrated here.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  37. You know what, though — I think I would have a really hard time marrying outside my religion. I very much doubt that I would change affiliation at this point in my life, and I would want a life partner to share my religious values far more than I would want her to share my political ones. But hopefully I could fine someone who shared both.

    JVW (f5695c)

  38. There are more Greeks outside Greece than in Greece, Steve. Not just in America — Tarpon Springs, New Smyrna, Ypsilanti, Chicago, Astoria. You could have knocked me over with a feather in 1975 when I met a Greek working in Barcelona, Spain. I asked him, “Where are you from?” And he said, “Argentina”. I know a Greek lady from Kenya, another from Lebanon, another from the Ukraine.

    Listen, now. How else could all you people get something decent to eat if not for Greek resteurantors?

    nk (875f57)

  39. 38.You know what, though — I think I would have a really hard time marrying outside my religion.
    ….
    Comment by JVW — 10/31/2012 @ 2:15 pm

    Your business, no criticism. But we have Muslims in the family although we’re Greek Orthodox, and my daddy told me when I told him I had a woman I wanted to marry, “Why are you telling me? When I married you mother, I asked nobody’s opinion. Not my father’s, not my mother’s, not my brothers’”. I would say not even God’s.

    nk (875f57)

  40. nk, considering how things are going in Greece these days I’d be surprised if there weren’t more Greeks outside of Greece than inside it. A trend I anticipate will continue.

    Just the same, it’s nice to know that you can get a glass of retsina and listen to a bazouki in more than one place, on a warm summer night.

    Yassou.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  41. Here’s my two cents:

    First, I think it matters whether or not the spouses are strong partisans. It’s easier for those who don’t have strong political views to compromise their views in the interest of their relationship. However, for those spouses who significantly disagree on politics or who develop more rigid views over time, I suspect those couples find a way to keep politics from playing an important role in their daily lives.

    Second, I think it becomes harder to tolerate strongly partisan views as we age. Most young married couples are working on their careers and starting a family so they have other things to talk about in their day-to-day lives. It’s easy to let politics become something incidental. However, as we age, it’s easier to disagree because we don’t have as many family/personal chores to occupy us and we don’t tend to worry as much about what the other spouse thinks of us. The love may remain but unless a couple has other shared values and interests — such as religion or a career/cause that both spouses strongly support — I think it would be difficult for spouses who don’t share core political values to respect each other.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  42. Seriously. It’s always been like this. Greece cannot sustain its population. The sea has always been the hope for young men. Where a sea is, Greeks are.

    I have my grandfather’s Ellis Island records. He worked his way to 78 East Superior Street, Chicago (price an apartment there now), working on the railroad.

    I had an educated Pakistani cabdriver this morning. We both agreed that the Afghanis are descendants of (Greek) deserters from Alexander’s army.

    And I have hijacked another thread.

    nk (875f57)

  43. My love never aged, DRJ.

    nk (875f57)

  44. Having said that, the political parties have become so dramatically different that it makes sense to me to exclude as potential dates/mates those who don’t share your politics. It would be exciting but I don’t think it would lead to a successful marriage or life to willingly pick a date/mate who embraces a completely different life view.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  45. nk,

    People we dated or married 20-30 years ago still basically shared our values. Our political differences were in methods, not goals. I’m not sure that’s the case anymore.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  46. Sorry. My favorite wife and I disagreed mostly on mint in the ragout. ;)

    We agreed on green onions, parsley and fresh dill.

    nk (875f57)

  47. Greece cannot sustain its population. The sea has always been the hope for young men. Where a sea is, Greeks are…

    I’m not Greek, paisan, but I’m Navy for a reason. Family business.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  48. My family kind of tends to intermarry? Jews, Catholics, Muslims. What my mother said when asked about it, “They all have the same thing [between their legs]“. Ολλες το οιδιο πραμα εχουνε.

    nk (875f57)

  49. Our esteemed host wrote:

    I would have no desire to date Sandra Fluke, were I not married.

    +

    Don’t know why not; you know you get to Fluke her on the first date.

    The snarky Dana (f68855)

  50. Politics is like money; if you both don’t have a similar viewpoint about it, you won’t be happy and probably won’t stay together.

    Unless one or both of you truly don’t care and then what I said still applies only it may take until the kids are gone for the break up to happen.

    Jcw46 (752544)

  51. My darling bride, who, like our host, cancels out my votes every year, and I have been together for 33 years, 5 months and 12 days, and I wouldn’t trade her in for Alisyn Camarotta.

    The very married Dana (f68855)

  52. nk, I get the sense you are feeling nostalgic.

    Not that I have anything against that. I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic myself. This whole Doherty and Woods deal brings it out.

    Speaking of the sea services, my DI wouldn’t have let me turn my back on a Sailor. My dad, the Senior Chief, raised me better than that.

    The thing just eats at me.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  53. I was always more of a libertarian than a Republican, and probably have more liberal views than most posters here.

    Mrs. carlito is full-on Fox News conservative.

    We do OK. Just one more thing to smile, grit your teeth and say “yes dear” about. It’s not the end of the world.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  54. If you have the time and the ingredients and you care. ALL THE INGREDIENTS ARE “DO I HAVE THEM AND DO I LIKE THEM”.

    A little olive oil in your seven quart pot. Medium to low heat.

    Throw in a chopped onion. A couple of cloves of sliced fresh garlic if you like garlic. Salt and pepper as much as you like. Store-bought oregano if you like it and you have it

    Do not not brown, transluce.

    Add chopped any meat you wish. Simmer.

    Keep the water low. You are not making a soup. The ingredients make their own water.

    Add fresh, green onions, parsley, and dill, depending on how much you like them, with a can of pureed tomatoes (if you have them).

    If you know how to cook, you’ll get it right, if not the first time, then the second.

    You can always use a filler of fresh frozen giant lima beans and already boiled cubed potatoes, thrown in to make the ragout a stew for a one-pot meal?

    nk (875f57)

  55. Sex with Sandra F. is kind of off-putting. Let’s exchange recipies, better.

    I

    nk (875f57)

  56. My hubby is an oldtime Dem, but not really on top of things. Plus he has the PC mindset of a 60s lib arts student. So he always spouts the latest talking point he saw in the paper. Last time he went off on AGW I just said I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care…

    Spent my life worrying about the A-bomb so I’m not letting them jack me around like that again.

    carol (5a5d33)

  57. I think that when people meet their future mates, they are generally young and in lust as well as not yet having worked out their politics yet (even those Rock the Vote types). That comes with age, living life, a mortgage, family, commitments, and being responsible for maintaining a positive cash flow and flush bank accounts.

    That being said, it’s easy to see how two people end up married and opposite of one another politically. Perhaps their core values were similar, but as women and men face different sorts of challenges in their familial and professional roles, those can also result in different influences affecting them, as well as simply not growing together but independently of one another.

    Personally, if I somehow someway ended up married to a loyal liberal, I would be reminding myself that love covers a multitude of sins and make it work. :)

    Dana (292dcf)

  58. 57. My hubby is an oldtime Dem, but not really on top of things. Plus he has the PC mindset of a 60s lib arts student. So he always spouts the latest talking point he saw in the paper. Last time he went off on AGW I just said I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care…

    Spent my life worrying about the A-bomb so I’m not letting them jack me around like that again.

    Comment by carol — 10/31/2012 @ 3:33 pm

    If this is the guy you fell for, Carol, then I’m happy for you.

    I can kinda sorta see it, how you put it.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  59. I think that when people meet their future mates, they are generally young and in lust as well as not yet having worked out their politics yet…

    Exactly. I can see hooking up with Scarlett Johansson. And then having Scarlett Johansson not being everything I’d thought she’d be.

    I have no doubt Scarlett Johannson spends endless sleepless nights worrying about the possibility.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  60. Funny, Steve57. I do think when young and falling in love, lust trumps politics. And, even if there is a discovery that you might not be on the same page, it’s very easily pushed aside as inconsequential because there are compelling matters to focus on.

    The hope is at some level, you’ve hooked up with someone who has the same basic core values and after you get past the newness of things and move into the marriage and the more adult parts of life, you discover those similar values likewise ground your politics.

    Dana (292dcf)

  61. Dana, what you run up against is the fact you can’t change someone. No matter how badly you want to.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  62. Women seem to be more choosy about these things, but then when did women not look for an excuse for an argument. Too bad men are too kind to ….

    nk (875f57)

  63. Women seem to be more choosy about these things…

    Dude, have you seen the “write a guy in prison” websites?

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  64. … slap the s*** out of the dumb ibtches.

    nk (875f57)

  65. We’re on the same page, steve.

    nk (875f57)

  66. OK. After serious consideration, I’ve decided. I’ll give Scarlett one more chance.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  67. Even after comment #67?

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  68. what you run up against is the fact you can’t change someone. No matter how badly you want to.

    Ha. But that doesn’t stop women from giving it their all and trying! With your statement, you throw down the gauntlet to 99% of women. We have endless stamina and determination in our attempts to “change” our mates…to be more like us. It’s an inherent and insufferable arrogance that women come packaged with, unfortunately.

    Thankfully, after time we wise up and really see the immensely extraordinary person beside us, just as they are.

    Dana (292dcf)

  69. Why do woman do that, Dana? Is it the mothering instinct, the inner boss revealing itself, or something else?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  70. With your statement, you throw down the gauntlet to 99% of women…

    I’ve never been interested in 99% of women.

    OK, I don’t want to pull a Romney. What I’m saying is 99% if women wouldn’t put up with me. I’ve known that for years.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  71. Deeeep. This is getting deep. And maybe a little scary. I won’t name names. But none of the names I’d name if I were going to name names are girl names. :)

    elissa (e41bf9)

  72. DRJ,

    Heh. There are no greater control freaks than women. I think it’s because we are mothers and for a lot of years a big part of our jobs is controlling every aspect of children’s lives. They start out entirely dependent upon us to be born, to live, to survive, and finally, to make their way in this world. Control comes so naturally to us. Because we will need it.

    However, when it’s time to lessen the control (as kids age), women typically keep a death grip on still controlling everything and everyone. It’s a very unattractive quality.

    And unfortunately, when we get married, that annoying trait starts to make its appearance early on because, hey look, there’s someone to practice on before the real children arrive.

    So then women end up unhappily married to little boys. But some men escape it – and find someone who treats them like a man. Everyone is unhappy.

    It’s a darn good thing women have breasts. Sometimes we are so unattractive with our endless control issues, that at least we have those to make us fun. :)

    Dana (292dcf)

  73. 72. Deeeep. This is getting deep. And maybe a little scary. I won’t name names. But none of the names I’d name if I were going to name names are girl names. :)

    Comment by elissa — 10/31/2012 @ 4:45 pm

    Shirley you can’t be serious.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  74. It’s a darn good thing women have breasts.

    Can I get an AMEN !!!!!

    A freakin men

    JD (436368)

  75. I have to suspect that, male or female, we have noticed the strong tendency of men to marry the woman/lady that they want … and if/when that woman/lady changes, it is not always well-received …

    And the equivalent tendency of women to marry the man/gentleman with the potential to *become* what the woman wants … and if/when that man/gentleman *doesn’t* change, it is not always well-received …

    My now-defunct yet respected mother-in-law observed to her daughter and myself that we “deserve each other !” … and she said it with a smile … and we agreed, merely observing “Who else would put up with us ?” …

    Alasdair (e48598)

  76. #76
    I’d venture that is pretty accurate.
    I’m fairly certain that my wife and I are having deeper problems and that politics are exacerbating them; but I can’t get her to tell me why she’s become so contrary.

    I became aware of it when I voted Libertarian instead of Obama (couldn’t stand McCain); at the time I figured it was cuz the kids went off to college

    Angelo (5d0534)

  77. Good comments with a lot to think about. Thanks, Dana and Alasdair.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  78. Hang in there, Angelo. I hope things work out for you.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  79. When the kids move out, there is less of a distraction or buffer between spouses’ opposing political views. The differences can become painfully intrusive to a previously balanced relationship. And because we’re more sure of ourselves and our beliefs in middle age, there is less tolerance and understanding of a mate’s differing view.

    For some couples, taking in boarders to provide a new buffer just might be a good idea.

    Or for others, perhaps the blunt opposition in views might just bring a much needed spark and pop into a long, tired relationship.

    Dana (292dcf)

  80. Steve,

    Incidentally, Scarlett J is already a divorced woman.
    You know, there are some Hollywood types who are so unique-looking, that they can’t be incognito at the supermarket. On the other hand, Scarlett can put on a baseball cap, a sweatshirt, a pair of shades, and not be recognized all day long—even in LA. She’s not statuesque, and she’s rather curvy—she looks like a typical nice-looking American female who is out running errands.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  81. Angelo, I by no means intend to trivialize what you are going through.

    My sincere advice: buy her something.

    Dinner. A dress. An Audi. Something.

    It could be totally the wrong thing. Doesn’t matter.

    It says, “I don’t know why I should be sorry, but I am. And I promise to figure things out.”

    What you need, my man, is room to maneuver. I’m not joking. I don’t know why your wife is P.O.d at you, and apparently neither do you. But if you give yourself some breathing space maybe you can figure it out before you get into a situation you can’t recover from.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  82. …she looks like a typical nice-looking American female…

    I’ve honestly never seen much wrong with that.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  83. This is a question that must be considered in conjunction with the possibility of divorce.

    I knew my ex was a single-issue (abortion) straight-ticket Dem voter when I married her. What I didn’t anticipate was that when we divorced, and when she became the primary custodial parent, that the kids would therefore be exposed to her politics at least as frequently as they were to her cooking.

    There is some tendency for the young to skew left anyway, but I that tends to be corrected over time with growing maturity (if one is blessed with that) and experience. So I remain hopeful.

    But our mixed-politics couple has spawned four very highly motivated and intense young progressives, and that has, from time to time, caused a sort of familial stress from which we’ve otherwise been remarkably free.

    I think it’s a bigger potential problem than many love-besotted folks ever want to admit.

    Beldar (b4a03c)

  84. This is a question that must be considered in conjunction with the possibility of divorce.

    I knew my ex was a single-issue (abortion) straight-ticket Dem voter when I married her. What I didn’t anticipate was that when we divorced, and when she became the primary custodial parent, that the kids would therefore be exposed to her politics at least as frequently as they were to her cooking.

    There is some tendency for the young to skew left anyway, but I that tends to be corrected over time with growing maturity (if one is blessed with that) and experience. So I remain hopeful.

    But our mixed-politics couple has spawned four very highly motivated and intense young progressives, and that has, from time to time, caused a sort of familial stress from which we’ve otherwise been remarkably free.

    I think it’s a bigger potential problem than many love-besotted folks ever want to admit.

    Beldar (b4a03c)

  85. This is a question that must be considered in conjunction with the possibility of divorce.

    Sometimes you’ve got to be willing to go all in and try for the win rather than guard against the loss.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  86. Beldar,

    My experience is that kids drive a wedge between united parents, in part because kids do that and in part because men and women tend to parent in very different ways. But I never thought about the scenario you describe.

    I’m not saying this to be flippant but why couldn’t one or two of your kids take after you?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  87. You think you have problems? My missus is a registered Green Party member and an avowed socialist.

    We’ve been getting along for over forty years now…but, we don’t talk politics much.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  88. …we don’t talk politics much…

    This is a serious question, aimed at people like Mr. Surls with whom which I often if not most times don’t agree.

    But if you have to avoid subjects like politics, what else do you have to avoid?

    I like being with a women, who, well everything’s fair game.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  89. Beldar, I don’t think you can make young kids into conservatives. It’s either inherent in them, or at best you can wait until they get older and gain a bit more perspective and wisdom and naturally gravitate towards our point of view. In any case, I am sure you are doing a very fine fatherly job of exposing them to the conservative point of view.

    I have a right-wing buddy whose son volunteered for Ralph Nader in 2000 as a sophomore in college. He’s in his early 30s now, married with a kid, trying to start a business, and he abhors Obama and the Democrat party. He jokes that he was really a misguided libertarian back in his Nader/Green days.

    JVW (f5695c)

  90. Frankly,

    I think it would be far more difficult to be married to one of a different or no faith than different political persuasion.

    So much of our politics is rooted in our philosophical and theological roots and beliefs.

    Dana (292dcf)

  91. I could marry a zany prog way before i could ever even think of marrying a scientologist

    that’s just who i am

    happyfeet (e5eb5a)

  92. Ack. So much of our politics is are rooted

    Dana (292dcf)

  93. Happyfeet – going to the Scientology open house was one of the more entertaining afternoons I have ever spent.

    JD (436368)

  94. Here in West Texas, wives tend to be the ones who decide on the family’s and their husbands’ religion, while husbands have more influence on the family’s and wives’ politics. But we’re old-fashioned that way.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  95. you’re very brave i just can’t feel comfortable in that sort of setting

    I never know what to do with my hands

    happyfeet (e5eb5a)

  96. 96.you’re very brave i just can’t feel comfortable in that sort of setting

    I never know what to do with my hands

    Comment by happyfeet — 10/31/2012 @ 6:44 pm

    Shooting a bow at an alligator gar isn’t an option?

    We in Tejas are full of suggestions for what to do with your hands.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  97. Before I hit the softball I just lobbed up, yes, I know, that’s not all we in Tejas are full of.

    There. I said it.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  98. If I was in my twenties I’d give Sandra a sip of my beer… and then magnanimously tell her to keep the rest of it… chug it down even. Because I scammed the beer out of the rethuglican frat boys down the street… wooo hooo, lets get this stimulus package underway… not to say she’s easy, just describing something that *could* happen..

    SteveG (831214)

  99. “But if you have to avoid subjects like politics, what else do you have to avoid?”

    I avoid ANY subject which:

    1. Can’t be resolved.

    2. Causes conflict.

    Works great for me.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  100. What the hey. As long as we’re partying on someone else’s dime let’s get the Mormon to pay for another beer run.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  101. “There is more to life than politics.”

    Yeah, and pretty much everything is more important than politics too, when it comes to your personal life.

    Starting with raising kids and moving on down the priority list, until somewhere on page 824, or so, you get to your views on politics.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  102. Dave @100,

    I’m glad it works great for you. And maybe I’m not smart enough to work things out. But it really is nice to come home, pour a glass of wine, and talk about anything.

    It isn’t like we agree on everything. But we can talk about it. I don’t have to tiptoe around a minefield.

    Steve57 (c8ac21)

  103. We don’t really argue about politics. She reads me things, I disagree, citing other sources, we bicker about whatever it was for a few minutes, move on to something else, movie, book, tv, neighbor, friends, cooking, … lots of things. It probably helps that we met and squabbled about politics for years before we started dating.

    The only thing “off topic” for more than forty years were my old girl friends. She didn’t want to know about them at all. Eventually … and I told Spice about Fran, and she thought it was sweet and nonthreatening and was angry at me because I hadn’t told her years ago!

    Women.

    Advice? Tell her (him) you love them every day. Try hard not to go to bed angry with each other (this will happen, both the anger and the sleep; try to avoid it, apologize when it does.) Budget the luxuries and the savings first. Hugs, kisses, touching, phone calls. (We spent years where one or the other of us seemed to live in airplanes.) Don’t keep secrets. If she(he) asks, tell. (They should be smart enough to understand that there are work things that can’t be talked about.)

    htom (412a17)

  104. Pat, love is different from everything else. You two are to be admired.

    My wife is not intensely political, but her instincts are similar to mine, so this is an area of relative harmony for us. She grew up in a society where the wealthy have enormous power and little protection is afforded to working people. She likes the fact that it’s different here. She is also very pleased that our daughter is growing up in a society that offers more respect and power to women than she herself knew as a girl. Finally, she’s the union member in the family. Democratic politics appeal to her in several ways.

    She is profoundly religious and that’s the respect in which we differ most. My response is to respect and support her practice of faith. She knows our views differ considerably in this area, but it’s not something that we talk about much or that affects our partnership and collaboration as husband and wife.

    Interesting question. Glad you asked it.

    angeleno (4abe2f)

  105. My Christian faith informs my politics. I cannot marry someone who is ambivalent or antithetical to my Christian faith (do not be unequally yoked), thus I cannot date someone whose politics are oppositional to mine. It is a morality issue.

    John Hitchcock (834063)

  106. Historical anecdote: the courtship of Jefferson and Varina Davis (his second wife).

    At the time, Davis was living with his older brother Joseph, a wealthy planter. Varina came to stay at the plantation. She was from a Whig family (the Davises were Democrats), and wore a brooch with the Whig emblem of a dog guarding a strongbox.

    Evenings were enlivened with readings from Joseph’s library (the best private library in Mississippi – and there was no TV). The titles included Greek and Roman classics, history, philosophy, and I suppose poetry, with discussions. Joseph urged his brother to court Varina, in spite of the political difference. When Varina stopped wearing the brooch, it was a clear sign of invitation.

    Rich Rostrom (f7a16a)

  107. (Does anyone actually pull a lever any more? That would be cool.)

    I used to until last year. NYC just switched to optical scanners. Can’t say I trust them, but I didn’t trust the old machines either, and at least this way there are paper ballots that could in theory be counted by hand as an audit of the machine count. With the old lever machines there was nothing, and I am convinced there were shenanigans.

    As for the main topic, I don’t see how I could love and respect a socialist.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  108. I’m coming to this thread late, but I wanted to contribute if I may.

    My parents and brother and pretty much all of my relatives by blood are extremely conservative. Because I had strong feelings about personal freedoms, I was called, lovingly, a “pinko.”

    Off I go to graduate school, where folks are every bit as much to the Left as my family to the Right. And in my twenties, I had this wacky idea I had a right to my own opinion. After all, most of my friends disagreed with me politically, but I still liked them okay; surely they would live and let live.

    Um. No.

    So in the Bay Area, in graduate school, I rapidly became tagged as a “fascist” (until I learned to shut up).

    Other that the late Marshall Tito, I am the only pinko fascist around. Sigh.

    When I met my wife, she was pretty much apolitical, but went along with the academic Left agenda. It sounds good, if you don’t think deeply about it, or about consequences. So when the subject of politics came up, and I slowly began to reveal my political leanings (as we came to trust one another), she was more bemused than anything else. Most politics doesn’t interest her.

    But when her family would rail about “stupid” Republicans, that began to irritate her. Those were my parents her folks were insulting. My brother. And me. I never argued, I just looked at her, and later, in private, asked her how that performance matched the “me so tolerant” self-descriptor of the Left.

    The more her parents went off, the better I looked. So my wife began asking me questions about what I believed, and why. And I told her.

    So she became a moderate Republican. And she intentionally listens to Limbaugh just to laugh at Leftists. Her parents are upset with me, because I “converted” her. The one time I spoke back to them about it, I simply said that their own prejudice and intolerance did that; I just sat and took it.

    Because the fact is, we love our partners, and hate to see them attacked or minimized.

    So that is how our “mixed” marriage went.

    I just wanted to chime in…because if I “only dated Republicans,” I don’t think I could have found many in academia.

    Simon Jester (7274ef)

  109. Women give men life and make life worth living. It was not politics I was chasing when younger. ;)

    nk (875f57)

  110. I don’t even want liberals in my country, much less my home. They are criminals, parasites and subjugators. Make war on liberals, not love.

    j curtis (20ebe0)

  111. Great comment, Simon.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  112. My eldest daughter(recently divorced) announced;”You can change yourself and you can change your underwear; but you can’t change your spouse.”

    Bar Sinister (664312)

  113. It is not love that varies when it variation finds.

    nk (875f57)

  114. __________________________________________

    Eight hundred miles from Ms. Davis’s side, in Winston-Salem, N.C., Charles Rawlings is a neurosurgeon, attorney, deep-sea diver and published photographer.

    The MD portion of his mind probably has long emphasized that fat, and not sugar, is what’s really bad for obesity and nurturing illness, the legal portion of his thinking likely believes that lawsuits are rarely a case of ambulance chasing, and his photo-taking side probably deems that the artistes who create images like “Piss Christ” are super relevant and very creative. As for his fondness for deep-sea diving? I bet he has a suspicion that water levels above his head are higher because of…anthropogenic global warming!

    Genetics must definitely be the source of many humans’ political slant. Moreover, intelligence and common sense — or fundamental logic — should never be seen as somehow mutually inclusive.

    Dr. Rawlings is well past his teenage and college years, so I imagine his ideology hasn’t changed much during his lifetime. He’s yet one more example that leftism is intrinsic or inherent in a variety of people. His politics are a form of arrested maturity.

    Mark (66bba6)

  115. The New York Times is channeling Patterico.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  116. What’s interesting about that NY Times article is it discusses how polar-opposite political spouses often try to resolve their differences and find common ground. That isn’t something I recall seeing discussed here at Patterico and it makes me wonder if many spouses really do that or if, instead, they do it but don’t admit it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)


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