When you are getting married, you are making a conscious decision to accept your partner for all that they are. You have gotten to know the ins and outs of their personality, and by the time you say your ‘I dos’, you can name their favorite movie, their favorite band, and even their favorite show to binge-watch on Netflix.
However, many couples find themselves experiencing marital problems over their polarizing political views. As of late, divorces caused by political differences are becoming more and more public.
A recent divorce between a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, Lynn Aronberg, and her husband, Dave Aronberg was highlighted in recent headlines. Lynn said she felt increasingly isolated in her marriage, due to her husband’s differing political leanings and opinions of specific elected officials.
Lynn currently runs an international public relations firm, which publicized the separation, according to The Hill. She was seen on social media in photos with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania at an event.
In their divorce settlement, Lynn is receiving nearly $100,000 worth of benefits in exchange for the finalization of the divorce and is calling for Dave to pay for half of Lynn’s rent in a luxury condo in Boca Raton, Florida until next summer, according to the Palm Beach Post. She also is receiving a brand new BMW and $40,000 in cash.
According to these reports, Dave, a top prosecutor in Palm Beach County, Florida, is considering a run for the United States House of Representatives, as a member of the Democratic party.
Wakefield Research study
While many divorces motivated by fundamental philosophical differences do not find themselves to be as public as Lynn and Dave Aronberg, they are nonetheless occurring. According to a recent Wakefield Research study, 29 percent of Americans either married or in a relationship acknowledged the current political climate was causing tension with their partner.
The study also found that more than one in ten Americans (11 percent) has ended a romantic relationship over political differences. That number increases among millennials with 22 percent having broken up with someone over polarizing political views.
A study from Yale University, publicized by the Washington Post and Psychology Today, examined how common “mixed” political marriages are by studying a database of more than 18 million couples and their voter registration records.
They found that 70 percent of married couples were made up of individuals of the same political affiliation and were somewhat more likely to be Republican than Democrat, while nearly 30 percent of all married couples studied were of a mixed party affiliation.
In “mixed” political marriages, three percent of married couples are female Republicans married to male Democrats, while six percent of the married couples are male Republicans with female Democrats. This makes it so that almost one in ten married couples contain both a Republican and a Democrat. According to the study, 19 percent of married couples are a Republican or a Democrat with a registered independent.
While only 30 percent of the marriages being monitored in this study being of “mixed” political leanings, it happens frequently enough that boundaries within the marital relationship can be quickly set up, in order to avoid marital conflict.
Difficulty of understanding
However, if these boundaries ever get crossed, a divide in the relationship may begin to form. This type of divide creates tension within the interpersonal relationship in a similar fashion as any other difference that sets up a paradigm where one side feels the need to make the other side “see it their way,” according to Psychology Today. The act of convincing is the part that can create the tension itself.
Despite the differences in political opinions, there are people out there that are able to allow others to be different. It requires a level of open-mindedness and patience, giving other people the benefit of the doubt. This is assuming that there is something valid in their viewpoint, as well as in your own. It requires the ability to keep your emotions calm.
Understanding can be a hard concept for people of differing political viewpoints, and it can get even more difficult during the marital conflicts that can spark a divorce. The emotions of what a city, county, state, or country could be facing weigh on those with passionate political opinions, and those can often be placed above what is felt in the relationship, making the relationship very difficult to be self-sustaining.
This was the case for Daniel Morales, who is pursuing a divorce with his wife during the 2016 presidential election. According to the New York Daily News, they had always argued about immigration, but when then-candidate Trump made a speech denouncing Mexican immigrants in 2015, the divide grew.
Morales, a Costa Rican immigrant living in New York, noticed his wife siding with the Republican candidate more often, while he began siding with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton more often, creating continuous conflict. After the election, he announced their divorce on Twitter.
Awareness of political leanings
Attorneys and marriage counselors have been called on to handle these situations. Many of them have not come across so many at the same time. New York-based attorney and psychology of divorce specialist Lois Brenner told Fox Business that she has never seen so many couples fighting over politics in her 35 years of matrimonial practice.
She sees the divide rooted in narcissism, an antisocial personality disorder, and even obsessive compulsive disorder, due to her perception that spouses come across as being in need of agreement with one another.
However, more and more people are becoming more aware of the political leanings of those in their lives. They are beginning to understand how one another feel regarding an issue or a candidate and are becoming more active in forming their political voice.
While this may create tension within relationships, the couples at odds need to rely on the existing trust established between the two of them and give one another the benefit of the doubt. Because without that type of trust, it is difficult to sustain a healthy relationship.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.