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A House Divided

Yep…it’s voting season.

As November approaches, selecting our new leader seems to be first and foremost in everybody’s mind. People are constantly talking about the upcoming election, and social media is undeniably consumed with it!

Have you ever wondered about couples who can’t agree when it comes to politics? You know, a Republican in love with a Democrat. Simply put…how do they make it work?

For the past three years, their lives may have been fairly agreeable. But with the start of the primaries, all hell breaks loose. Like Abraham Lincoln said in 1858, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And he borrowed that phrase from Jesus Christ, almost 2,000 years before.

A house divided. A couple that disagrees. If they can’t agree, can they still stay together? How do they reconcile their differences? Do they go along to get along?

Fact: Professor Ted Huston followed 168 couples

from the time they were married until 13 years later. At the end of the study, 56 were divorced, and 105 were still married (spouses died in the other seven). Exit interviews confirmed that the divorced couples had the same number of irreconcilable differences as the couples who stayed together. Dr. John Gottman, author of Fighting for Your Marriage, confirmed this trend in his research, which indicates that 69% of disagreements are never resolved.

What do you think this means about compatibility?

At Happy2gether.org, we think it means that opposites attract. You know, you find an opposite and are fascinated, so you get married. After the honeymoon, you also discover that “opposite” is a synonym for “different.” Doesn’t everyone agree that if you roll and flatten the toothpaste you get more out of it than if you crush the tube? “I can’t believe she does that!!!”

So, can opposites be compatible?

The answer is maybe, and that’s final.

What we teach in our workshops

is that relationships based on agreement or disagreement, who’s right or who’s wrong, will be difficult, unsatisfying, and possibly end badly. However, if you learn the skills necessary to understand and make understanding your partner a priority, then life can be very fulfilling.

The goal of a successful relationship is satisfaction. If you have to win, if you have to be right, then join a softball team, but leave it on the field. Don’t bring that sort of competition home.

After working with hundreds of couples who learned the joy of understanding the person that they committed to, we can say with certainty that understanding wins every time…even for couples who were separated when they came to a Love for LIfe Workshop.

Is it possible to hear your spouse say something that you totally disagree with and have them fall in love with you all over again?

Sure. Try this during your next conversation. When they say something you disagree with, remember that this is the person you love more than anyone on the planet. Respond with, “Tell me more.” After listening a bit, summarize as accurately as you can, and then say, “Anything else?”

Whoa! That’s hard to do when everything in you is screaming, “They are wrong! How can they believe that? I disagree!” Turn that voice inside your head off and just continue to listen. Watch the face of your spouse. They should be smiling now that someone they love is listening for understanding.

By the way, those couples we talked about earlier? You know the 105 couples who are still together? They learned how to respect and honor the differences that made them a couple.

To answer the question…

can Republicans and Democrats experience a loving relationship under one roof…even on voting day? Most definitely!

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