American politics are dividing people more deeply than ever — and those divisions are even contributing to divorce. More than one couple has seen their marriage crumble in the last few years as people move increasingly to the left or the right of the political spectrum.
According to polls taken in 2017, around 11% of couples have ended their marriage due to their political leanings. For example, one woman stated that she ended her 24-year marriage after discovering that her spouse deeply supported President Trump. Her spouse’s political affiliations were initially just a source of embarrassment for the dedicated liberal, but they eventually became an insurmountable rift in their relationship.
Should politics really be that big of a deal in a marriage? Maybe so. It’s important for each spouse to retain their sense of individuality after marriage, but couples should generally be aligned around the majority of issues. When a couple’s political ideology divides very deeply, it can signal bigger problems about how differently the two people see the world and decide what is important.
Strong political differences can bleed into other areas of a relationship. It can affect everything from your spouse’s willingness to support your beliefs and causes to the level of respect you’re given for your opinion. As the woman mentioned above stated regarding her spouse, “He had no sensitivity for how I felt…and he would just laugh about it.”
Younger couples may have the most difficult time reconciling their political affiliations with their spouse. Among Millennials, about 22% report ending a relationship over politics. If your marriage seems to be falling apart over your political differences with your spouse, you at least have the comfort of knowing that you’re far from alone. Find out more about your options today.