Upon navigating the internet this morning, I came across a couple of things. One was a little article promoted by a conservative Catholic dating service about the difficulties inherent in a marriage where the husband and wife have significant political differences. Especially, as the article stated, in the core issues -- abortion, gay marriage, what-have-you... The other item of interest was an article written by a conservative black man who attends a rather liberal black Baptist church.
Several people commented on the article promoted by the Catholic dating service. These individuals seemed to feel that it would drive them over the edge to have to be married to and live with a politically liberal person. Indignant and apoplectic they seemed to become upon having to entertain this thought even a tiny bit.
In the article written by the conservative Baptist black man, however, he discusses his pastor and the pastor's wife, who are apparently on opposite sides of the political spectrum. And this husband and his wife are seemingly quite happy with each other.
So, what gives?
As I have said before, I have been married for 25 years. I do not mean to lord this over anybody. I have witnessed enough to know that disaster can await any marriage, no matter how longstanding that relationship. But, my husband and I have seen each other through a lot over the years. This, therefore, is my two cents on this whole politics-in-marriage arena.
My husband has been pretty stable in his political opinions over the years. He is pretty conservative, but he also understands the importance of preserving a social safety net for the poor. And he has never, ever complained about paying his fair share of taxes, as he appreciates their necessity for the promotion of the Common Good. And my husband is a big believer in the Common Good. In the area of ethics and morals, my hubby is all in line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. And the Catechism of the Catholic Church is pretty much all about true justice and authentic love and real mercy.
I have tended, in my political opinions, to swing about rather wildly. I do not know why this is exactly, except to say that it is easy for me to see things from all angles. It is easy for me to see the truth that resides in almost all viewpoints.
So, how has our marriage and our love survived the times when I am swinging away from, rather than toward, my husband's point-of-view?
Maybe it is because I really love and accept HIM and he really loves and accepts ME -- unconditionally. And we know that we can count on each other and trust each other. We each know that the other strives to be a person of good character. We each know that the other really does want to know and believe and do the right thing. And we try to listen to each other. We attempt to truly understand each other, even when we don't agree. We strive to respect each other, even when we don't agree. Because we can see the truth in each others way of seeing things, even if we don't always have the same way of seeing things. And -- sometimes -- when we disagree and we talk honestly about those disagreements, we actually come to a position that is an improvement on each of our original positions. The two become one -- a better one than the original two.
Now, this does require patience. And sometimes it involves being annoyed with one another. And sometimes -- on my part, anyway -- it involves some foot stomping.
But, in the end, we love each other and enjoy each other. And, when the subject of politics has been beaten to death, we turn on some Van Halen and put on a little performance together in our kitchen. My husband is great on the air guitar. #EddieRocks