Advice Dating & Relationships

How to Cope with Political Differences in a Relationship

In this article, we’re sharing our tips on how to cope with political differences in a relationship…

Having differing opinions can actually be really healthy in a relationship, but political differences can create wear and tear over time. In today’s fast-paced and opinionated world, discussions about politics can ignite intense emotions and passionate debates. However, just like skilled firearms solicitors who meticulously handle sensitive matters, couples can learn to approach their differing political views with empathy, understanding, and open communication.

In this article, we’ll be exploring different ways couples can cope with political differences in a relationship.

Political Differences

In the UK, politics have played a huge part in our lives over the past five years with Brits facing a number of challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of living crisis and, of course, the UK’s departure from the European Union. While it’s perfectly natural, and even healthy, for a couple to have opposing political opinions, it can also lead to heated arguments arising in the relationship.

An example of this would be Brexit which, it is said, was responsible for putting a strain on around 1.6 million relationships due to arguments on the subject. In some cases, a major political disagreement can lead one or both partners to question their compatibility as a whole and, ultimately, result in the termination of the relationship.

How to Cope with Political Differences in a Relationship

While you may disagree with your partner on their choice of political party or a particular policy, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not suited. In this section, we’re sharing tips on keeping the ballot box out of your relationship.

Debate vs Argument

When we hold a strong opinion about something it can be easy to see that opinion as fact. When our partner opposes that opinion, the knee-jerk reaction will often be ‘you’re wrong’ – which is what leads to arguments. Agreeing to debate political differences in a calm and adult way can help to take the heat out of the subject by allowing each partner to explain their beliefs without interruption.

Limit Political Conversation when Socialising

If you and your partner have an ongoing difference of opinion on a political party or topic, perhaps avoid bringing up the subject while out with friends. It’s human nature to want validation of our opinions and beliefs however, one or both partners lobbying friends to take their side in the disagreement will often lead to resentment – and further arguments. Alcohol and politics are rarely good bedfellows, and this can lead to problems within friendships as well as your relationship with your partner.

Similarly, it’s a good idea to place political debate off the table on some occasions to keep open-minded and to learn.

Meet in the Middle

Although you may have conflicting opinions on a major political agenda, there’s a good chance that you both agree on at least one aspect of this. For example, you may disagree on the handling of child poverty by the different political parties but you both agree that this is an unacceptable situation which must be resolved. By finding common ground, you can then begin a more adult and less heated debate on the subject.

Remind Yourself it’s Nothing Personal

The danger with any argument between a couple, no matter what the subject, is that it can descend into personal attacks and name calling. If this sounds familiar, then rules need to be put in place to avoid this. Agree between you that, while you may disagree with each other on certain subjects, any conversations on those subjects should be confined to that topic and should not, under any circumstances, spiral into insults or offensive language.

It can also be helpful to come to an agreement that, should a political debate begin to get out of hand, one or both of you will instigate a time out using a chosen keyword or phrase. This will allow you to continue the conversation at another time with a clearer and calmer head.

No Hard Feelings

Politics has the power to divide opinion to the point of conflict as, in many cases, political decisions affect our lives either now or in the future. This can lead to an emotional reaction which can turn to anger and cause arguments. While this is fine for PMQs, it shouldn’t be allowed to endanger what is otherwise a committed and loving relationship. By putting down some ground rules, it’s possible to debate political disagreements without harming your partnership.