I am really excited to share this podcast episode with you!
This was an interview I did with two people in a happy, successful marriage, despite their vastly different political views… and the fact that one voted for Donald Trump and the other voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US Election.
And don’t worry… this is not a political debate. In fact, I did my best to steer clear of that very thing and instead discuss the everyday things that make a marriage work when there’s a gap in beliefs like this.
There’s a lot to be learned about how to make your own relationships work from this discussion. Listen in!
Please share this podcast with anyone you think could benefit from listening to it.
Topics and time markers:
Using the details below, you can easily (re)listen to the parts that are most significant and important to you.
0:55: Intention of podcast: Helping others understand how to make relationships work even when there are significant differences
4:03: Mike’s background: grew up in a staunch military and republican family
5:57: Sharon’s background: also from a republican family but knew she was a liberal from an early age
7:05: They both switched political leanings depending on the candidate in the past (Obama, McCain)
9:15: But they had clear differences about Trump and have tried to manage it
12:06: Discussions became more polarizing and “spirited” as the election moved forward
13:32: Huge level of angst in the house
13:52: Making peace by having a moratorium on political discussions–more comfortable not engaging in discussions when they knew they wouldn’t change one another’s lives; sometimes dinners were cold affairs but often they had a nice evening
16:30: Every day there was potential fuel to be put on the fire, from the media
17:35: FB caused a lot of problems, they saw posts from one another’s very different groups, and they were caught in the middle
18:24: Very important to keep to the moratorium if you’re drinking cocktails/beer/wine!
18:56: Learning and maintaining the “Respect Process” is key
19:40: Benefits and Positives of having a “Mixed Marriage”
19:52: Gender differences, Sharon is a humanist, not a feminist
20:35: Mike didn’t understand the Woman’s March “What is this about?”
22:10: Mike’s issues with the march: “Liberal feminist anger march”, but he did learn from Sharon the need for more human rights
24:50: Jana asks how they had conversations that enriched their relationships instead of causing distress
25:50: Foundation: Underlying gratitude about their lives and living in America
26:40: Remembering that politics is one piece of the pie of life; and that they’ll always have differences–remembering all the ways in which they ARE aligned
28:20: Accepting that they won’t be able to change one another’s minds about certain things and deciding to love each other anyway
29:47: We agree to strongly disagree about certain things and still love each other
30:31: Having conversations about their morals and values is also foundational, and very important
33:50: What does respect look like? How is it applied?
35:40: Giving each other more respect for looking at things from other points-of-view and thinking critically
37:08: Mike wouldn’t allow bullying to happen when he coached children
38:39: a Leader is someone with a compass in his head and a magnet in his heart
39:17: Admiring one another’s accomplishments adds to their mutual respect
40:50: There’s always a negative way to bring up a subject and there’s always a positive way
41:36: Asking high-quality questions
42:31: Take a breath, take a step back, and laugh at something that you both think is funny
43:50: Everybody has to lighten up
44:10: How their relationship plays out on social media is lighter than other similar dynamics
45:30: Moving into questions people submitted
45:40: How do you keep things from becoming personal?
48:00: Not bringing other people into the conversation,
48:34: We do call bullsh*t on each other and try to be fair about it–what does this look like?
49:35: Importance of sticking to the facts
51:00: Back to taking things personal, article that Garrison Keillor wrote, Sharon found it funny and Mike did not; being sensitive to that
55:00: Making fun of each other light-heartedly (Hillary doll with knife)
1:00:50: Inside relationship humor is key!
1:01:30: Can we be on the same team if we have opposite political views?
1:02:42: Was there anything that surprised you about your partner during the election? And if so, how did you reconcile it?
1:11:50: Did the way you vote reflect your morals and values?
1:13:00: Positive sides of this election for people on both sides
1:14:19: Do you actually hear each other?
1:15:00: How do you make your relationship work, while being politically opposed? (always remembering that we’re the most important people in the world to each other, mutual respect, admiration, values, gratitude, and humor)
1:16:17: Not holding grudges; acceptance
1:16:38: Living in a land of mutual tolerance
1:17:25: Do you own guns?
1:18:35: Ven diagram, more overlap than not
1:20:09: How or why is this not a deal breaker for you, voting differently? (growing more as a person because of the differences, it’s also not boring!)
1:22:30: How do you envision moving forward into the future? Politics never have and never will dictate our relationships
1:26:23: Thanks you’s and closing