Elections and Spouses
So elections were this past week and depending on which side of the line you stand you are either thrilled or dismayed.
Life has been so busy for us I was really worried that I was going to get wrapped up in the day’s to-do list and forget to vote so I put it into my phone’s calendar set to give me reminders all throughout the day. I didn’t forget. I voted. 🙂
But because things have been so busy, DH and I never got the chance to sit down and talk about any of the candidates or the propositions until after the election. No biggie. We tend to vote our own, sometime different ways, so this was not a “making sure we’re on the same page“ process, it’s just a way for us to talk about what’s on the ballot.
And that’s what was on my mind this morning, the fact that it is OKAY for husbands and wives to vote differently.
Perhaps you feel differently about this; it seems that a lot of couples I know say things like “well, I want to make sure our votes aren’t canceling each other out.” But maybe someone can explain to me what is so wrong with that? I mean… that is what VOTING is all about, right? What’s wrong with husbands and wives having different opinions about political stuff?
My strong feelings on this are motivated in part because of a memory: One election day, years ago, I dropped by a loved one’s house when she happened to be listening to her messages. One of the messages was from her husband; it was a detailed list of who and what she was to vote for when she went to the polls. I was aghast and my horror must have shown on my face because she explained: “…..He knows so much more about these things than I do… he is so much more informed and well read……“
That’s probably my issue with the notion that couples have to “be on the same page” when voting. I am pretty sensitive to gendered relationships in marriages, who has the spoken (or unspoken) right to the last word and who is seen as having more authority and expertise in the matter.
I don’t remember where I read this, I think it was in one of my books on the history of marriage, the quote went something like “The Husband and the Wife are one person and that person is the Husband”.
I do think incidents like the one I related above are rare nowadays, but it does have me thinking about how spouses handle election season.
And not just spouses, I wonder how unmarried couples handle election season. (Is there a large difference in how married couples handle political differences than how unmarried-long-term-relationship couples do?)
ALSO, I’m curious if it is different for same sex couples than for hetero couples. (Is there a large difference in how How het couples handle handle political differences than same-sex couples?)
I’m sure someone has done a study on it. Anyone know of one?
While a great many couples tend to have similar political leanings, I’m curious how it works out when they don’t. How does it work in your relationships?