Romantic relationships are a chosen partnership. We gravitate towards a person and decide that we are willing to put up with their shit because the sweet outweighs the stink.
All relationships have their points of contention. Arguments brew around household responsibilities, finances, or just the basic implications of adulthood. What is less expected is a political rift to pull at the delicate threads holding a relationship together.
Growing up politics were rarely discussed in my home. But even at a tender age I was very aware that my parents disagreed about some basic political elements. If my father brought up his opinion (always strong, often loud) my mother would have perfect control over her words but not her face. My mother’s disgust would be blatantly apparent from her tightly pierced lips, tense cheeks, and her difficulty retrieving her eyeballs from the back of her head.
I never understood how two people who seemed so fundamentally different in their core beliefs could find themselves married, much less married for the long haul. That was until I found myself in a very similar situation, without the ability to remain as verbally composed.
I met my husband when I was 16-years old. It did not take long for things to get hot and heavy. I often joke that we were simply too lazy to break up, but the truth is we have a strong connection and genuinely enjoy one another. We have similar drives, motivators, and we have the same end-game goal for life. We have had our share of frustrations, crises, and devastation but we have always come through them together.
Now that we are well into our adult lives together I have begun to realize we have some political conflicts that have developed slowly and silently. The recent political atmosphere has brought up conversations between the two of us that I never anticipated would have to take place.
I find myself bewildered that the man who I love, treasure, and admire more than anyone could possibly condone or even tolerate political moves that leave me feeling physically ill. The same man who I have witnessed display unimaginable levels of compassion inexplicably shows a level of perceived coldness with his political opinions.
When we have conversations that turn political I instantly anticipate a conflict. I internally say, “Oh that’s what we’re going to do tonight. We’re going to fight and I’m not going to get laid. Great.” I have very little control over my verbal responses and no control over my facial expressions when I am participating in a passionate argument. He is very aware of my disgust and frustration. Our mutual stubborn nature does not allow for concessions to be made or even considered.
As a nurse, a mother, and a woman I have developed a strong empathetic core. I see the grey in life’s situations. My husband has the mind of an engineer. He colors within the lines and only uses black and white.
I love him. I’m in this for the long haul. But I find myself viewing him differently when we have opposing political views. I question his internal priorities. I worry about what influence he is passing onto our children. I wonder if our compatibility will reach its limit.
Kira Gilbertson . Married: high school sweetheart deal… we’re pretty gross. Mom: three kids under 6-years old (the whoops baby is definitely drinking out of the dog bowl as I am writing this). Hobby farmer: chickens, bees, and a variety of rescue animals that needed some extra love. Psychiatric Registered Nurse: I have worked on an inpatient locked psychiatric unit for the past 12-years. I am a passionate mental health advocate and educator in my area. Student: I will graduate with my Master’s in the Fall of 2067. Writer: Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a kid. Not to toot my own horn but I’m pretty good at it… ok… TOOT TOOT! My articles on this site are under the pen-name Rnplusmommy http://tirednotdead.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tirednotdead/ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tirednotdead/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/imtirednotdead