Well, it shouldn't. Ah, but, what if voting for the other candidate will:
- Destroy the economy
- Weaken the nation internationally or militarily
- Lower the standard of living
- Cause a rise in crime rates
- Subvert the morals that the nation stands for
While voting for your candidate will:
- Cause an economic boom
- Strengthen the nation
- Increase the standard of living
- Cause crime rates to substantially lower
- Improve the morals that the nation stands for
Well, then this is obviously a tremendously important election and you should go and cast your ballot. But, once the counting is over this election Tuesday, do you assume the worst of those who voted differently than you did? Yes, you may say that some individuals are from special interest groups that would benefit from voting in a way that is not in the best interests of the people in general. But, how do most people make their voting decision?
More specifically, how does your spouse make their decision? Granted, they were misled, misjudged and were terribly misguided. But, were they out to do good or bad? So, once the counting stops, where does this leave your marriage?
An article in the Wall Street Journal that appeared during the primary season, discussed the increase in arguments that took place among couples who voted for the same party but preferred different candidates. During the month of October of this year, The Atlantic ran a piece that described the gender differences in voting patterns as of then. These different perspectives affect the type of discourse that is taking place among spouses. Some are losing their cool and becoming nasty.
It doesn't matter what you think of these two news organizations or any bias that might appear in their writing. The point that is not contested is that contrary opinions are leading to disharmony.
There are huge lessons to be derived from this mess that couples need to keep in mind:
- Two people may honestly weigh the evidence and arrive at different conclusions.
- A fundamental underpinning of a democracy is that you may differ in opinion but you don't deny the value of the other person.
- Votes count; marriage is on a higher plain.
- You should have a hierarchy of values in life.
- Every marriage will experience times when spouses hold different opinions (maybe several times a day).
- A strong marriage requires spouses to be able to discuss hot topics with intellectual honesty yet retain respect for the Godly person you disagree with.
- You may end up one day changing your mind and realize that you were the unreasonable one.
- Respect your spouse before, during and after a disagreement.
- If you forgot the rule mentioned directly above, apologize and be loving.
America was founded on the dream of a people to pursue happiness through freedom. Ironically democracy thrives when we value the right of people to hold opinions we may disagree with. Of course, this freedom requires guarding against abuse.
A marriage is founded on the dream of a couple to pursue happiness through kindness and generosity. It thrives when we value the right of our spouse to hold opinions we may disagree with. And, it absolutely requires guarding: We the People of this marriage...