She Just Got Married Blog
Opposites attract, and often marry. A dynamic, healthy relationship should allow partners to be complimentary pieces to each other, each with their own tastes and interests along with some shared ones to add some excitement to a relationship. No one wants to marry someone exactly like them -- that would just be boring.
That said, couples with differing world views may not know how to deal with one another and respect each others' opinions. Politics, religion, stances on social issues, any hot button topic really can be a point of contention, one that can drive a stake in your relationship, and even help end it. There have been some successful high profile marriages between people with polar opposite viewpoints, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger a devout conservative, and Maria Shriver, a sworn liberal born into one of the most prominent left-leaning families in the country, the Kennedy's. So how do they make it work?
Like most things in any healthy relationship, it all comes down to respect. These differences should come as no surprise to each other after tying the knot; like finances or plans for having children, it should be discussed at length before making it official.
To respect a differing viewpoint, you must first understand it.
Know where your partner is coming from on an issue, and see the rational points of their argument. To make it perfectly clear: you don't have to agree with it to understand it. Just show the respect needed to get what they're saying.
After understanding each others' view points, you must agree to disagree, and to disagree amicably and with complete respect for each other. You must not ridicule each others' stances, though a little jab here or there is great for taking some of the seriousness out of it. And absolutely do not try to change a partner's ideas toward an issue. People hate trying to be converted on a viewpoint, and your loved one will appreciate it even less -- and eventually, you will too after all the strife it has caused. Part of respecting a disparate idea is not to try to change it. Additionally, don't try to be sneaky about your attempts to change your partner's views. Making snide remarks about budgeting based on fiscal convictions will only be hurtful.
Ideological differences can manifest themselves in ways you would not have originally expected. It can cause arguments over what charities you donate to, what friends you keep, or even where you live and in what style household.
But what is most important is to find your common ground. Figure out what issues you do agree on, and go from there. Love should triumph over political or other differences. You don't have to think alike, nor should you -- that would just make for a boring relationship. Respect each other on issues you don't agree on, and embrace each other when you finally do find something you can both support.