Friday, August 29, 2008

How to Have a Mixed Marriage

Pin It My husband is working in Salt Lake now, which is a very good thing. It makes me really happy to have him around everyday. He's good people.

He commutes about 30 minutes to work, which is kind of a problem. Not because of the time or the gas, but because it gives him more time to listen to talk radio. After an hour a day of talk radio, he’s in the mood to come home and discuss politics, which would be SUPER, if we agreed about a single flippin’ thing.

When my husband and I first got married, he had no political opinions, so I happily shared mine with him. At the time I was a rabid Republican (something I blame on years of getting not quite enough sleep). He was quite thoroughly converted, partly because I was not just a Republican, I was a REPUBLICAN in capital letters - a legitimate, vote in every election, letter-to-the-editor writing, volunteer for political campaigns, card carrying friend of Ronald. I had ZEAL, people.

Over the last mumble-mumble years, I’ve gradually changed my outlook on a variety of social and political issues, and a few years ago I switched political affiliations, over to, um… {{looks around furtively, whispers}} …that other party. (Please don’t tell my neighbors. I live in Utah county, people. It doesn't get redder than that.) No, not the Democrats. I'm not THAT far gone yet. But I did make myself a bona fide Independent. My husband was shocked at first. He took it as a sign that I'd sold my soul to the devil and was getting ready to start wearing clothes made of hemp.

Even now, he's kind of amused and perplexed by how much my views have changed. I like to tell him that my heart grew three sizes one day, and I could no longer remain a political grinch. (Strangely, he doesn't really think that's as funny as I do.)

I’m very interested in politics, but I refuse to discuss them - not with my husband, not with family, and ESPECIALLY not with friends. This is mostly because I’m incapable of talking rationally about it. I slip back into my 15 year old self and end up saying things like, “You don’t even have an opinion, you’re only saying what Glenn Beck told you to say,” and then they start insulting NPR, and then I have to start knifing people.

My husband knows that I don’t want to talk about it ninety percent of the time, but he still tries, multiple times a day. “So your man Barack said that – “

“Zip it.”

“Come on, I just wanna talk to you.”

“No. No. You want to make me go crazy all over the place.”

“No need for crazy. Just a little casual, calm conversation.”

“NO. No politics. Ever. NO POLITICS EVER.”

He’ll roll his eyes, stomp away, wait ten minutes, then try again.

The good news is that our differing political philosophies have no impact on our feelings for each other. The way I see it, it’s kind of like being in a mixed religion marriage. I just hang on, love him the best I can, and have faith that he will eventually see the light.

(Hee. That last sentence is gonna drive him crazy.)

P.S. My new blog friend Casey, from Moosh in Indy, was nominated for the Hot Blogger Calendar for 2009. Apparently the contest was originally supposed to be not strictly about physical appearance, but about the person as a whole or something like that. She's doing pretty well in the voting, but is getting a little smacked around by a bunch of girls who decided to post sleazy videos of themselves in order to get votes. She's posted a video on her blog asking people to come vote for her. If you think funny is hot, or modesty is hot, or if you just don't like seeing everything get constantly skankified, go help her out.


  1. Hahaha! I love it! I switched parties, back in our California days. My heart grew three sizes too!

    (It's a must in Utah. Especially Utah County. If only for balance.)

  2. My hubby says why bother they're all crooks. Such a live wire that one.

  3. Loved this post. I'm a Democrat - my husband's a Republican - and man, do we get in heated discussions. I usually try to stop the political ramblings by then playing "Who would you rather?" with the various candidates we've been discussing.

    (Also, I should probably introduce myself - I'm Amelia, a fellow snarky, LDS, Utah blogger and first-time commenter here. I really love your blog. Thanks for letting me read!)

  4. Luckily, ours is not a mixed marriage. Where we used to differ is on blogs; I write at several and he didn't understand them at all. He eventually saw the light and came on over to the Dark Side. I am THAT good.

  5. Yeah, I have a tenancy to start knifing people over politics too...usually because they have no freaking idea what they are talking about and I have to do it just to get them to shut up!!

    Whoa. Sorry 'bout that. :)

    My husband and I pretty much agree on politics, though I tend to be a bit more *gasp* liberal than he is.

  6. I don't like talking politics either -- especially with my husband. we don't always disagree, but he drives me crazy. mostly he just thinks everyone in the world is an idiot, so that never gets us anywhere....

  7. You know, people USED to be able to talk politics without knifing people. You used to be able to disagree without all the emotion attached. I wonder what changed and when.....

    I'm sure he thinks you'll eventually "see the light" too...hee hee....

  8. I converted my husband, at least for this election, to the big "D" way of thinking (although I don't party. Just issues). And we both love NPR. My eight year old called out from the kitchen last night (he was playing on the computer), "I know that voice. That's Barack Obama." (I was watching him accept the nomination). I almost gave his allowance a raise on the spot. Not because I care if he likes Obama or McCain but because he knows who they are. Totally due to NPR on the way to and back from school. Poor kid.

  9. Sue, I've been lurking for a while, but finally decided to comment.

    My husband is quite conservative, and a Republican. I'm more liberal, but registered as an Independent.

    We just don't talk about politics. Plain and simple. And it works. Sometimes, people are appalled that we don't discuss politics, or can have such divergent view points, but that doesn't define our relationship. We are unified on the things that matter and are important to us.

  10. If you ever just have to talk politics, you know where to find me.

  11. Oooooh! I love to talk politics and so does my hubby, so it works out well that we are on the same side. I can't even imagine if we weren't!

  12. My husband and I stopped talking politics about three years into our marriage. It was that or divorce or murder. John Birch boy marries Democrat from the people's republic of Davis. Not pretty. Well, we were pretty, but the fighting was ugly. Anyhow, now I'm much more conservative (I'm a 'decline to state') and he's much more apathetic. I used to like talking politics; now, whenever, the subject comes up I have a sudden inexplicable desire to discuss the recent weather, or how totally good the wanna-talk-politics-person has been looking recently. It works.

  13. Everything's different with Palin on the ticket, no? Get on board the estrogen train now... you won't regret it. She is awesome.

  14. I was a hardcore Republican too. I even went so far to be a {{whispers}}

    Then my heart grew 3 sizes too...

    My husband calls me a Pinko Comie now. I told him I would save him a seat in hell by the Air Conditioner for when he finally came to his senses.

    My Dad does the same as your Husband... only 1 step further--he sends me literature CONSTANTLY about how "Barry" (as he likes to call him) is the anti-christ.


  15. I am a republican. My husband is a democrat. Our marriage works anyway, partly because he is a SOUTHERN democrat, which is an entirely different beast, but also because we both think politicians are rats.

    But we still can't discuss immigration calmly. He starts tossing out words like "amnesty" and "felons" and I want to smack him.

  16. I could say DITTO to this entire post except the part about where you're unwilling to discuss it with anyone. Because I like fights WAY too much to keep my mouth shut on any topic, but especially this one, and especially with my spouse.

    However, we believe our "friendly debates" - which often end in wrestling, Chinese torture, and screaming - keep our marriage healthy.

  17. I'm blue too.

    It's so gratifying having so many people finally see the light :)

  18. p.s. We have a mixed marriage too; I'm a Democrat and my husband is a political atheist.

  19. My husband is Canadian so he spends most of his time being disgusted with the politics here in general. I'm a closet democrat but declare myself Independent and tell everyone I reserve the right to make up my mind and change my mind at any given moment. I prefer having that kind of flexibility when it comes to politics. Come to think of it, that kind of flexibility would be nice just about anywhere. :)

  20. My husband likes to yank my chain by saying he voted Republican--he wouldn't dare!

  21. We're mixed too. My husband is a republican and I'm independent. He is always wanting to talk politics and I'll talk for a few minutes but he's one of those "you're wrong if you don't see it my way" so I just give up. It's like talking to a brick wall!

  22. Husband2:58 PM

    First of many comments to come: As a Democrat your heart would need to grow for the shrinking wallet to pay for the increase of taxes that are inevitable to pay for all the socialist I mean social programs. (And don’t you people judge I have dedicated my life to help less fortunate then I)

  23. I made the kids watch Obama's speech last night, and Larry rudely fell asleep and snored in the middle of it. Not on purpose, but still...

    As we are in a battleground state this year, I think things are going to be a little tense for a while.

  24. i've had to learn to bite my tongue and not say "i told you so!" to my formerly very red family members who have all come over to the blue side.

    wow, we used to have some fiery debates.

  25. Anonymous3:49 PM

    As a person in a mixed marriage (I'm mormon, he's not) I'm also hoping for him to "see the light!" This going to church at 9:00 am EVERY sunday by myself with 3 kids (that I popped out in 3 1/2 years) is WAY overrated! Don't make me bring up the fact that I have to teach the 4 year old's in Primary.

    What was the original post about again? OH yea, here's to hoping both of our husbands "see the light!"

  26. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Have you even been listening to anything "Both Ways Barack" has been saying? We are screwed (to put it nicely) if he wins. I don't have a political prefrence as far as Republican or Democrat, but as far as people go, I think we'd be better of with Mccain!

    (That's just my very humble, very anonymous opinion!)

  27. For the record, I STILL don't want to talk about politics. I just wanteded to try to shame my husband into not badgering me about politics. :>

  28. Maddison4:07 PM

    Great post! I am really interested in your experiences being a democrat in a predominately republican area. I am curious because I would love to live in the Salt Lake area but am unsure how I'd fair considering the fact that I too am a democrat. And also, how do you find it plays out within the Church. I've personally felt conflicted about it because of the differences of social stances among other things. Has that been hard for you, or do you simply stay mum wherever you go and whomever's there?

  29. Yeah Wiz, he does. He is sure that eventually I'll come back around.

    I think there are a lot of people who can still talk rationally about politics. I'm just not one of them. It's all about knowing my limits :>

  30. Yes, we had that same fight last night. He hates Bush, but seems to think that McCain is somehow better. I keep trying to tell him that they are the SAME PERSON EXACTLY. So now he's decided to do a write-in vote for Romney - argggh!

    I think he's got rocks in his head, but it doesn't matter because we live in Utah too and our whole family could vote for Obama and it wouldn't matter a bit - sigh.

  31. HA! I was a bleeding liberal when I lived in UT too. Of course I was an arch-conservative in WA...and my politics hadn't really changed any! I'm actually a moderate--liberal in some things, conservative in others...I too like Obama, although I'm not entirely sold on anybody yet. Just cuz McCain picked my Gov as his VP does not make me like him...actually I like him less for it. So I guess we'll just see what happens!!

  32. My husband and I have different tastes in movies, music, extracurricular activities, etc. But we pretty much agree on the political stuff! LOL

  33. Hey, who won the spaghetti?

  34. I so love you, Sue. And not just because we vote the same.

    It's because you can use words like "skankified" and not only do we totally know what you're saying, we totally agree.

  35. To Maddison - Come on and move to SLC. It is predominantly Democratic. Sounds like you'd be very happy in the upper Avenues - the most Democratic district in the state. Plus there are (heaven forbid) Democrats who are Bishops in my Avenues stake. I think you'd be just fine. Our Democratic Mayor Becker would welcome you too.

  36. Love it! After 20 years of marriage, we are slowly coming closer politically, but still don't discuss POLITICs -- or play Pictionary. My clues to a happy marriage.

  37. I too considered myself a conservative Republican and used to listen to Rush Limbaugh every day at lunch.

    And then I turned 17 and developed the ability to think about other people and their feelings.

    Luckily for me, my hubby is even more liberal than I am and we had date nights to hear Obama in Columbia, S.C.

    He is active duty Army, a dentist, and LDS -- three of the most conservative Republican groups in existence. Both of us have learned to keep peace in our extended families, neighborhoods, and wards by keeping our mouths shut.

    Although the rebellious part of me loves having people stare and whisper when we pull into church in our car covered with Obama stickers. You'd think we were smoking in sacrament meeting...

  38. Way to keep it spicy!

  39. Maddison8:15 PM

    Motorcycle Grandma ~ Thanks so much for the info! That's really interesting to me and makes SLC even more attractive to me - I was worried about the political climate.

    (Sorry, Sue, about the hijack!)

  40. I just found your blog. I love it. I used to be a Republican with a capital R as well. I switched. A lot of my friends are Republicans and we just can't talk.

  41. My mother practically throws herself under a bus whenever politics come up just to switch the topic.

    I always try to remain calm, but I get impassioned, and people view my passion as yelling for some reason.

    So I've moved to a non-discussion policy too. I believe what I believe, you believe what you believe, but for hell's sake, please don't preach in RS that I'm probably going to go to hell for voting how I vote. Seriously, that does bug me.

  42. Hey Chica! Because I love your blog, I've given you a Rock on Sistah-Friend award! You can see your blog listed on my blogroll at

    Don't forget to check out the rules and pass the love along!

  43. Anonymous1:33 AM

    Love your blog but seriously?! Is nobody paying attention to what a liar Barack is? we might as well put the United States in a hand basket to HELL if Obama wins. I don't really like McCain either, but definitely the lesser of the two least McCain isn't an Arab and he has served in the military and SAYS the pledge.

  44. Oh yes, sure, Barack will send us to Hell.

    I mean, honestly people, get a grip. Neither candidate will "send us to Hell"; both candidates are decent people.

    It's that kind of hyperbolic nonsense that makes good people, like Sue, not want to participate in civic discourse.

    For the love...


  45. Janet2:55 AM

    Uh, Barack isn't Arabic, and wait, WAIT, what's THAT? Barack saying the pledge?

    Sounds like someone's been reading email forwards again!

    (so cute!)

  46. Shocked, just plain shocked.

    Its hard for me to keep quiet when there is so much at stake. I too can hardly not get passionate about issues. But having your heart grow three sizes would not mean becoming democrat. but I am going to stop that line of thinking.

    (Leaving blog shaking head in disappointment, wondering where the country is headed)

    I do think you and your husband should talk politics. You BOTH just need to agree to be willing to each others points and counter points and then give way to rational thought and be honest with yourselves.

    Good luck with your "mixed message"

  47. That's funny. My husband won't vote because he "doesn't know the issues." I tell him to just vote for the person I tell him to vote for, but that doesn't work for him. Grrr.

    Speaking of voting, voted for your friend in the calendar.

  48. Oh Jed. Obviously you are not familiar with the concept of "teasing your spouse." Or humor in general for that matter. But thanks for your good wishes.

  49. Hee hee...I seem to remember Brillig being similarly afflicted when she was in your neck of the woods.

    Of course, it's all greek to me, but I still think you're a hoot.

  50. Can I tell you how much I LOVE when people post anonymously and fill their comments with a bunch of ignorant lies?

    Brave AND classy -- you'll get a lot of people to believe what you say using that method -- keep it up!

  51. We don't discuss politics in our house either. That may change tomorrow when I stick the Obama sign in our front yard. :)

    Hey, glad you talked to your friend. I'd wondered about that.

  52. Hmmm... your heart grew three sizes that day? Perhaps you should see a doctor about that. Enlarged hearts (aka cardiomegaly) aren't very efficient and often cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body. Especially the brain. This could lead to dizziness, hallucinations, poorly chosen votes, etc. Let your husband help you through this unfortunate time, hopefully you'll be in good working order again soon...

    ; )

  53. I knew you were a smart lady.

  54. My husband thinks Ann Coulter is hot and he actually carries an NRA card in his wallet.

    Let's just say I refuse to discuss any politics with him...

  55. Anonymous7:25 PM

    I don't know if you'll ever even read this cause it's an old post, but I was just introduced to your blog and LOVE IT! I have to say that I am a recovering Republican also, and I too live in Utah County. None of my family or friends even know and I wouldn't dare tell them. I would react just like you described if they even said anything negative to me. I had to bite my lip in nursery the other day when some of the other parents were bashing "the other party" and just assuming that everyone in the room agreed. UGH!! Very frustrating. One day I'm going to be brave and come out though. But not yet. I know too many people who read this blog so unfortunately I'm going to be an anonymous poster. Sad, I know.
    And by the way, I DO come from a mixed religion marriage. Can you believe it? A democrat living in Utah County with an inactive do I survive?? :)