TLDR: Political beliefs exist on a spectrum, so it’s hard to have a black and white answer to whether you can have a happy marriage with someone who votes differently from you. But what matters most in relationships is being aligned on the values that are most important to you, so we encourage you to start there. Just because you vote for different presidential candidates doesn’t mean you aren’t aligned on your core values. We say use that as a starting point to figure out whether your differences of opinion are dealbreakers, or not.
Tango's Take 🔮
Today’s political climate is more emotionally charged than ever before. And when we in the U.S. exist in a two-party system, it can often pit us against each other. But remember, people’s political beliefs and underlying values tend to be more nuanced than what their political party stands for. So before you start making assumptions about beliefs and values, talk about it!
Our in-house psychologist, Dr. Rothman, has worked with tons of couples. Her perspective is similar:
“It is really important to align with our partner on our values…but it’s rare to find someone who aligns on every single value that you have in the exact same way. Generally, it is recommended that you have a sense of what values are most important to you, and to prioritize alignment with those.
Alignment might not look like having the exact same opinion/belief as the other… Let’s take Leah and Alan for example: Alan was raised fiscally conservative and believes that those who have a higher income should not be taxed at a higher rate than someone making less money. Leah was raised by liberal parents, but generally agrees with Alan. At the same time, though, she thinks the taxation system in the US is unfair to the middle and working class. Technically, Leah and Alan are aligned but Leah is in touch with some opposing beliefs – but not so much that she and Alan would argue about it. This is a slight difference that can be tolerated or maybe even accepted.”
What Dr. Rothman is essentially saying is that you’re probably never going to find someone with the exact same set of beliefs and opinions as you. When it comes to politics, it’s important to remember that just because you vote for different parties doesn’t mean your values are all that misaligned. In fact, many times you’ll find after having a more in-depth conversation that you’re aligned on most things - or at least the things that matter most!
So when it comes to contemplating whether you can spend the rest of your life with a Republican or Democrat (or if you’re not in the U.S., whichever party opposes yours), we say focus less on the label and more on what’s beneath the surface. By taking that route, you’re more likely to make a thoughtful, confident decision.