This year’s election was particularly divisive. There was a lot of tension between people supporting opposite electoral candidates. The heat of electoral debates rubbed off intensely on those couples who were supporting different political candidates. Their contrasting political opinions paved way for major arguments and conflicts in their relationships.
Trump supporters argued that he had some substantial plans to generate employment, combat terrorism and lower taxes, that is directly beneficial for the people of America. Their partners who supported the rival electoral candidate, Hillary Clinton, thought supporting Trump was ridiculous as he had made some very thoughtless and insensitive remarks about some communities. And since Hillary had some good pragmatic plans for the future of the American economy, she was a better choice for presidency.
Debates about the elections got critically intense, as both candidates were equally popular and were perceived to have an almost equal chance of winning till the very end of the voting process. Married and cohabiting couples who were supporting different candidates, like every Hillary-Trump supporter, also got into these “debates”. But since they share such a close bond it was difficult for them to keep it impersonal. So, when the partners contradicted each other’s opinions passionately, their debates sometimes snowballed into arguments.
If you and your partner are also one of those couples who had these arguments because of contrasting political opinions then there is something you should know. Arguments caused by different political opinion can take a toll on your relationships.
Here’s how your arguments might have harmed your relationship-
- During arguments people generally don’t try to understand each other’s point of view. They hear what the other has to say, to make a response and to prove their own viewpoints correct. If you have done this then you have created a barrier in the flow of communication in your relationship.
- In a healthy relationship you can have different opinions for things but you have to respect your partner’s opinion even if you don’t like it. If you have argued aggressively with your partner during election discussions and disdained your partner’s viewpoints, then there is a chance you might have disrespected their opinion.
- Another thing that people do when others don’t agree with their opinion is, judge them. You probably judged them for their preferred candidate. You also might have made them hesitant to express their feelings freely. Again all this creates a communication barrier in a relationship.
- What happens when we lose an argument? We feel bitter and frustrated. We feel angry with the person who wins the argument. If there had been multiple arguments about elections in a household and one partner continuously lost arguments, he/she would become irritable and might begin showing signs of passive aggression. That is definitely not healthy for a relationship.
Now, elections are over but the damage caused by election arguments in relationships still prevail. During those arguments most couples failed to realize that the elections are going to happen every 4 years and candidates will come and go, but they have to try to make their relationship last much longer. However if you and your partner have argued aggressively about the elections and feel that your relationship has taken a hit because of that, you should not don’t worry.
With conscious efforts you can restore your relationship like it was before.
- Now that the results are out the excitement of elections should be over. You should focus on your relationship. Apologize if you have said anything that might have hurt your partner.
- You should validate your partner’s political opinion, doesn’t matter if they supported the winning or the losing candidate. Even though the elections are over, it’s always good to know your partner respects your opinion.
- If you were a Trump supporter and your partner wasn’t, you should not brag about your choice. This was not a competition and just because your partner’s preferred candidate lost doesn’t make your opinion superior. Your partner must be feeling disappointed because of Hillary’s loss. You should be nice to them, you should do things to make them feel better.
- If you were a Hillary supporter, you might feel upset or may be angry about her loss. But make sure to not take that out on your partner. Your partner wasn’t the only one who supported Trump.
- Learn from your experience. Next time during elections, if you and your partner again choose to support opposing candidates, make sure that you don’t compromise on your relationship.
- Have healthy discussions
- Let your partner express themselves freely
- Listen and understand what your partner has to say
- Respect your partner’s opinion
- Say what you have to say but, make sure you don’t hurt your partner’s feelings.
Making these efforts is surely going to reverse the negative effects of election debates. Remember, you are not always going to like what your partner thinks and does and there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with them. But you have to ensure that the disagreement doesn’t turn into a conflict.