My husband is a great partner in so many ways: we parent well together, run the household perfectly, we love each other and our children. Yet we can’t seem to talk about anything outside of our jobs and our family without getting into a fight. Religion, politics, and social issues are off the table because we can’t talk about them without getting defensive and angry. I would love to have better conversations with him. How can I do this without getting into a huge fight?
You should come to my house for a little lesson in how to talk about politics with your spouse. Here’s an example:
Me: The healthcare law held up in the Supreme Court.
Husband: I know.
Me: That’s great, I’m so happy that pre-existing conditions will no longer be a factor for people who need insurance.
Husband: The mandate is unconstitutional.
Me: It’s not a mandate, it’s a tax!
Husband: [starts to say something]
Me: LALALALALALA I can’t hear you I love Barack Obama he’s the best you don’t know anything about anything LALALALALALALA.
Husband: You’re annoying. I’m going to mow the lawn.
We will never agree on certain things. We’re like Mary Matlin and James Carville if they lived in the country and spent their days mowing the lawn and eating pita chips. I don’t think I’m ever going to change my husband’s mind about some things, even though he’s totally wrong. He’ll never change my mind about certain things, which is good, because he’s wrong. And this is all okay, because we love and respect each other.
Don’t talk about politics and religion with your husband if you can’t do it without fighting and taking the arguments personally. If you want to find other topics to discuss, read books together and talk about them, or pick up the same hobby (volunteering, gardening, boating, macrame, shopping for bathroom sconces on the internet, cooking Indian food) and talk about that, too. You can always get involved in local government or talk to people on the internet if you feel like discussing politics and religion is essential to your well-being. No need to drag your husband into it.