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How to talk politics when your partner is on the other side of the aisle

Posted at 6:14 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 19:14:03-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Two topics we’re told not to talk about are religion and politics, but during an election year and when so many political issues are at the forefront, having these discussions with your romantic partner can be difficult to avoid.

“I think this last four years has really tested a lot of people," said Adrian Martin, a licensed marriage and family therapist with Omaha Couples Clinic. "I think there’s a lot of polarization that has occurred in society, and that is playing out in people’s relationships.”

Martin says some couples choose to take these issues head on while others agree to disagree, though avoiding these issues can cause them to come up in later arguments.

Currently there is a national debate as to the effectiveness of masks, and some couples may find themselves on opposite sides of this conversation.

“When you have a difference of opinions about something that feels really important to you, find a way to kind of settle yourself down, kind of stabilize your emotions, clear your head and be able to deal with the situation at hand with your partner so you can work together on it," Martin suggests.

Another conversation that may require this approach is whether or not to send your children back to school in person. Martin says, again, staying calm and facing the issue as a team will create a more successful outcome.

Ultimately, Martin says having diverse opinions can be a strength for couples if they are communicating in a healthy way. But if you find that you and your partner are having the same arguments over and over, it may be time to reach out to a professional.

“Marriage therapy or couples therapy doesn’t have to be a long term proposition," Martin said. "It can be short term work, it can be effective and really focused on the issue at hand.”

Martin says compared to the beginning of the pandemic, he’s seen a significant increase in couples seeking counseling over the past two months.