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Check This: Coming Out of The Political Closet

This week's Modern Love column in the New York Times is called, I Married a Republican: There, I Said It. It's a tale of a war protesting, straight-ticket voting Democrat who falls for a Republican. She decides to accept him because he says, "I vote for the best candidate. I read everything I can. I listen to them speak. And I vote for the person who can do the best job.”

Despite this, her husband's political beliefs plague her. She says, "love can sidetrack a person. Still, it did not feel good when I told myself: I love a Republican. It felt, in fact, like I had betrayed someone. Or many people." She is tortured by her husband's difference as friends make comments, and she becomes increasingly impatient with his point of view.

I agree, it's distinctly and wildly uncomfortable to be in a big group of people who assume everyone agrees with them — especially when they launch into a tirade or joke directed right at the heart of your beliefs — because how on earth could anyone think differently? I'm sure they think they don't even know any... of those people. To find out how this applies to any party or belief,

. Being a political minority is the last publicly accepted form of bigotry. We would shun anyone who would say something negative about a physical trait, and relegate some jokes and thoughts to the realm of "not politically correct." Why not this? Why is political bashing accepted?

I'm glad this topic is being discussed — though I'm personally not so thrilled that the "happy ending" was that her Republican husband "saw the light" and planted an Obama sign in the front yard, making it seem like, phew! She could finally love him again.

Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt compelled to hide your partner's beliefs? Do you feel like you have to hide your political leanings? Have you ever been discriminated against because of your party?


Join The Conversation
CollegeGirl CollegeGirl 9 years
Well, I hope I never attend any dinner parties with this woman. I hate the sort of mentality that anyone who has a differing political opinion is unenlightened or just plain stupid. The reactions of her family and friends were ridiculous.
kscincotta kscincotta 9 years
I'm surprised that so many people are so strongly against this woman. I mean, she didn't let his political preferences stop her from marrying him and she didn't force him to align with her. She didn't try to force him to attend a dem fundraiser she organized and actually seemed surprised he even wanted to go. Clearly, she respects how he goes about determining who he supports. I think it's unfair to jump all over her just because she was excited when his studious and thoughtful process led him to support the same candidate she was.
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
agreed hotstuff. is this one of those examples of a woman settling?? haha. sheesh, if she cared so much about his political leanings, how did she get down the aisle? pretty silly, if you ask me.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Sounds like she was desperate for a man.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 9 years
If it's that big of a deal to this woman that the person she is with thinks exactly like her, then she should go find someone who thinks exactly like her. My boyfriend is Republican and I'm Democrat. We've been together for 3 1/2 years and it has yet to cause a problem. When my parents go married my Dad was a Republican and my Mom was a Democrat. My Dad ended up switching sides about 7 years in, but that was based on some of his life experiences, not anything my Mom did. As for my boyfriend and I, we debate and argue issues all the time. To me, it's a great way to see how his mind works. We tend to agree on more than we disagree, but that could be because neither of us dovetails perfectly with the party platforms. His family on the other hand has the attitude that world would be perfect if there were no liberals (something they make sure to rub in EVERY time I see them). Seriously, if someone comments that there is a pothole in the road, the reason for the pothole is the liberals! You can't even argue with people like that because there's nothing to argue. My boyfriend, on the other hand, knows why he is aligned the way he is and can explain it intelligently.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
Well, it's ridiculous to think that way. He's a republican, not a serial killer. But republicans do the same thing--I have a very conservative background and it was always assumed that everyone was a republican. Being a democrat was considered very bad and we would always mock the liberals without thinking twice. I'm sure if there ever was a democrat or someone married to a democrat in our presence that it was very awkward to be around us. People generally hang out with people who think like them, so it's natural to assume that everyone around you shares your views. That's no excuse for being judgmental, but people just aren't thinking half the time. I try to be aware of this when I'm around people I don't know too well. On several occasions, I have caught myself before making a sarcastic comment about a candidate or political party (it's DC, these things come up a lot), but I remind myself that there are people who think differently and I should just stick to conversations about weather until I know how they feel--or at least hold off on the political jokes.
colleenb colleenb 9 years
I didn't completely hate the article until this line: "Uniting America, One Bipartisan Marriage at a Time."
hayworthgilda hayworthgilda 9 years
I get that it's supposed to be a light-hearted article, but that author sounds like a freakin' pill. Of course, she's publishing it in the echo chamber of genteel rich liberalism that is the NYT, so I'm sure the readers are all just nodding along, thinking "poor thing! how does she do it!"
megnmac megnmac 9 years
It all depends on how you approach politics - is it a structured, unmoving faith in your party? I have friends I can't even speak with, as they tell me how Dems wanted Iraq to go badly so they would be right... and I would never ever wish bad upon others! But most of my coworkers (lawyers) are educated and make decisions on values and with us it doesn't seem to matter who is on which side - we all see the shortcomings in both parties and all are able to discuss pros/cons in different policies or laws and really enjoy each others input...
ladygypsy ladygypsy 9 years
How horrible! I read a few blogs of people I find smart, witty, creative, etc. But once in a while, they'll drop some evil horrible "Republicans are the devil" or "Republicans are complete idiots" line and I'm just appalled. Even the people I work with are amazed when I tell them I have Republican tendencies. They see past the "strong defense" and "smaller government" part and think I'm ripping school lunches out of poor kids' hands. Republicans are not evil. And I think this woman's husband deserves better.
redegg redegg 9 years
I think it's sad that she lives her life so branded by labels.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Not good that you shut up, but the part about you telling that teacher off.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Good for you, annebreal. This article is building up on what is in most cases unfounded stereo types. It's not interesting and it's not good journalism in my opinion.
annebreal annebreal 9 years
I've never had to hide my political leanings so much as minimize them. I went to a private Christian high school, and as someone left-leaning, I was in a decided minority. Normally it wasn't a big deal, but some teachers were incredibly stupid, there's not a nice way to put it. And as someone who's outspoken and sarcastic, sometimes that was a bad combination. I actually got detention a couple of times for mouthing off so I learned it was a lot easier to just shut up. One example is my Bible class, where our teacher went on one of his tangents where he talked about how gay rights and gay marriage are completely bunk. I just kind of zoned out and ignored him until he said, like it was totally brilliant, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," and I found myself raising my hand and saying bluntly that he's the kind of person that make Christians look like redneck morons. Needless to say that didn't really fly. That was my bad, though, and a learning experience that sometimes you have to shut your trap and be respectful even if you truly have no respect for the person.
foxie foxie 9 years
...So much for donkeys being the open minded ones!
tundrababe tundrababe 9 years
I'm a strong Democrat, and have friends that are Republican. We even talk about politics, and it's okay. They just have different ideas than I do. When it comes to dating, though...I don't know that I could be with a Republican. Politics have so much to do with values, and I want someone who shares my values. I want someone who understands me.
Swen Swen 9 years
Ugh, I can't stand people like this woman. I agree with what Jossfan said: political beliefs aren't personality traits. This woman and all her friends judge everyone only on politics. That's a bit extreme. Republicans living next door? The horror! Come onnnn. Isn't a good neighbor someone who doesn't play loud music or let his dog wander into your yard? I didn't know being Democrat was also a requirement. I think it's good to have friends with all different viewpoints. It makes things interesting. I can see why the author was initially disappointed that he was a Republican because she is clearly very dedicated to her beliefs and it's an important aspect of her life. What I don't like is that she was so embarrassed of him, and also that she didn't hold any respect for his opinions. To her there was only right and wrong, and he was wrong. My boyfriend and I differ in our political beliefs, but I like to hear why he thinks the way he does, and sometimes I actually learn from it. This woman could benefit from that too. Her husband sounds smart and open-minded. I just cannot sympathize with this woman.
Princesskitty22 Princesskitty22 9 years
And her husband seemed like a pretty cool guy. Not very hard core either way. She was the one being (I can't believe I'm going to say this) divisive. Which she, of course, realized. Not that that stopped her from being so thrilled when he decided to support Obama that you would think he had asked her to marry him again. What happens in '12? Or if McCain wins? What if there had been a better Republican candidate? The idea that a guy who has been bi-partisan all his life will all of a sudden be a hard core Democrat just because of one candidate. He'll probably support a Republican again at some point. Sure, she's happy. As long as he believes what she does. What happens when he goes back? Then he'll be one of THOSE again. Ugh. Sorry for the rant. This really ticked me off for some reason. :rotfl:
Princesskitty22 Princesskitty22 9 years
:oy: Please. If her friend's can't accept him because of his political party, she needs new friends. Have we become so freaking obsessed with partisanship that it's become like a religion? "Oh, I'm not sure if we can reconcile our beliefs." Uhhh, ok. Last time I checked, we voted individually, not as couples.
jossfan23 jossfan23 9 years
Belief systems are different than physical traits ... no one should be discriminated against for a job, etc, because of their belief system (be it religious, political or any other beliefs that we hold) . But belief systems, unlike physical traits, can be right or wrong, therefore it is fair game to disbelieve, criticize or try to change what a person believes (as long as you are not in a position of power).
barbara20 barbara20 9 years
That article is awful - it makes me feel terrible for being a republican -- I am not evil. It's as though I have to listen to AM radio or read articles like this that just make me feel bad.
honeycreepshow honeycreepshow 9 years
I'm a very outspoken Democrat and I have a few friends who are very outspoken Republicans. We just don't talk about politics, because they're great people and we always have loads of fun together and get along perfectly. As long as we don't talk about politics, haha. Once we do, all hell breaks loose. So it's sort of an unspoken policy to not talk about politics.
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