Husband Hates Trump, But Not Enough. Wife Considers Divorce

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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President Donald Trump has been divorced twice himself, but according to New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, he’s now responsible for breaking up other people’s marriages.

It’s not exactly a new idea that political differences can lead to relationship strife. But the idea that political support for one person is grounds for ending a relationship or even a marriage appears to have grown out of the animosity of the 2016 presidential contest. (RELATED: Sarah Silverman ‘Scared’ And ‘Shaken’ At Sight Of American Flag)

Feminist author Jill Filipovic suggested that support for Trump was (maybe) grounds for divorce in 2016.

But of the couples profiled in the Intelligencer, most fundamentally agreed that Trump was the bad guy. The problem was, according to the women, that the men didn’t hate Trump enough.

“Sarah” argued that her husband, a military service member with two wartime deployments, should come with her to protests if he doesn’t want to feel “lonely.”

That’s not how my husband wants to spend his time. He’d say, “Yeah, I love a strong woman. Everything she’s doing is badass, I’m super-proud of her. But I want her to do less of it.” For me, the fact that he’s so uninterested in what I’m doing has fundamentally changed the way I see our partnership.

She went on to say that she would describe her husband as a feminist, but his unwillingness to be the only male in the room is a reflection of his “white male privilege.”

I’ve never thought, Maybe I should just stop all this and save my marriage. That would teach our kids something I don’t want to teach them. It almost feels like the 2018 version of the woman who gives up her career to stay home.

“Samantha” also feels disconnected from her husband, despite mutual hatred for Trump, because he asked her not to allow it to consume their time together.

He thinks Trump is as much of a blight on the world as I do. But throughout the hiring of the Steve Mnuchins of world, the white privileged men, and with every single Cabinet member and Jared Kushner and Ivanka, he had much less rage than I did. Eventually he was like, “We can’t go to bed talking about them and wake up in the morning with you still spewing about them.”

She says that Trump hasn’t ended their marriage, but as they go through counseling she’s noticed that “the rage that I feel, the toxicity I exhibit is something he often doesn’t understand.”

Only one couple, after a number of rough conversations, came to the point where they felt that both the pro-Trump and anti-Trump perspectives could “coexist safely.”

“Craig,” a liberal couple’s therapist, said that he was so upset initially after the election that he found himself unable to use the relationship tools he taught other couples to use. But after attending an event with other therapists dealing with the same problem, he saw a way out.

I began to recognize my own blind spots and that I was not allowing Debbie to feel safe with her perspective. When she started to talk, I’d cut her off and try to make my point. But as I started to practice deep listening, she began to feel less judged. And actually we began to have a deeper connection. We got married last January.

“Debbie” agreed that the transition was not easy, but that it was worth it.

As we listened to each other and listened to each other’s news stations, though, I think we understood the other person’s views better. I might not agree, but I get where you’re coming from.

Craig’s also been able to see liberals being pretty disrespectful about my voting for Trump … Since I’m not a racist and all these awful things, Craig has realized the generalizations people make about Trump supporters are not true.

For some, the political differences seem insurmountable. But others — like Democratic strategist James Carville and his wife, former Republican strategist Mary Matalin — have found a balance despite working in direct opposition. (He worked for the Clintons and she worked under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.)

Matalin left the Republican Party officially in 2016 — not because of Trump, but because the party had drifted away from her own more libertarian views.

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