Mixed Marriages CAN Work

Photo c/o udfl.net

I was reminded yesterday that I married a Republican.  So what?   

When we got married, I don’t remember politics being a big deal or much of a topic of discussion (we were 25 & 26 yrs old).  Let’s see, Bush Sr. was President when we married in 1991, so the next big election was the 1992 Presidential Election between Bush Sr (and Quayle), Clinton (and Gore) and let’s not forget, Perot (and Stockdale).  This is when I noticed our voting records as being distinct and separate – I voted for Clinton and he voted for Bush, of course.   This was the beginning of the end, so-to-speak.   

It’s the ultimate in “opposites attract” (except I do have a vegetarian friend who is married to a carnivore who is also an avid hunter and has a slew of dead animals on her walls – that may be the ultimate).    

Now, I have been known to vote for a Republican or two.  I try to be informed and not be a straight party line voter – I really want to vote for the best person.  It’s a pretty idealistic view, I know.  I don’t always succeed, but I really do try.    

After being married for 19 years now, there are topics that aren’t worth discussing (maybe some other couples know what I’m talking about) and one of those, as we have discovered over the years,  is politics.  Why bother?  Nothing positive happens from these discussions.  Over the years we have developed rules for political discussions.  They have never been formally said or written, just understood between us (it’s as if we had a Vulcan mind meld).  

Unspoken Rules of Political Disengagement (URPD):  

  • Rule #1:  We do not bring up hot button party line topics such as. . . . . you name it
  • Rule #2:  We do not donate money to either political party
  • Rule #3:  We do not put signs in our yard during elections because it would just be confusing for our neighbors (We live in the most Republican county in the state and, I would argue, one of the top 30 Republican counties in the nation.  Needless to say, Democrat sitings are rare.)

Well, yesterday we began a discussion in the car that revolved around politics and it went nowhere fast.  It was totally my fault, I brought up the topic that lead to the death spiral.  What the hell was wrong with me? I broke Rule #1 of the Unspoken Rules of Political Disengagement.  In order to protect my husband’s privacy, I will not disclose the discussion.  However, I know he didn’t mean to sound like a stereotypical stuffy, middle-aged, middle-class, white male Republican that demeaned my gender (right, babe?).  I think sometimes he says things that he knows will send me over the edge just for grins and giggles.  Despite the gulf between us in the political arena, I love the big lug.  I just need to remember the URPD!!!  

How do Mary Matalin and James Carville do it?  They can’t avoid this topic.  Both of their jobs revolve around politics and they are in the spotlight frequently especially during Presidential elections – I’ve even seen them on the same news show (it was fun to watch).  It’s inspiring.  Really.  I would love to hear their table talk!  

The URPD also comes into play with my parents, my husband’s parents and a few of my husband’s golf buddies – I’m outnumbered.  Talking politics would be suicide and I’m not quite ready to lay down my life for a cause (pansy liberal!).  I do belong to a secret support group for Democrats in our area – it has 4 members.  We change the location of our meetings every time to protect ourselves.

Damn.  Uh, I think I just outed myself . . . . Hopefully, my neighbors will take pity on me by knowing that my vote for our city mayor, congressional seat, county commissioners, presidential candidate, senate seats, etc. will most likely always be negated by my husband. 🙂

Remember the URPD!

I Now Pronounce You Husband & Wife……

I’m usually not a very sappy person, but I have to admit that I love weddings.  We attended our nephew’s wedding on Saturday and I could have bawled like a baby, but I held in most of it (so as not to embarrass my children or husband).  To me, weddings represent optimism, joy, expectation, happiness. . . . . It’s a nice reminder that there are good things happening in the world despite the BP oil spill, Afganistan, Iraq, tensions in Iran, tensions in Pakistan, the Gaza Blockade, etc.

The bride looked gorgeous and my nephew looked dashing – they were giddy, happy, overwhelmed by the moment….etc.  They did the brave thing and wrote their own vows – the vows were so sweet and heartfelt.  It was a beautiful wedding and the reception was a lot of fun (lots of good music)!

My hope for both of them is that they have indeed each found his/her soul mate and will be one of the 50% of couples that stick with it through the good times and bad.  Whoa, where did that come from!?  Sorry, that sounded a bit pessimistic, didn’t it? 

To explain . . . . at my last hair appointment, my hairdresser who is all of about 24-25 said something very shocking to me.  Three summers ago, she was a bridesmaid in about 5 weddings (think “27 Dresses”) and was a guest at a few more.  The shocking news?  Three years later over half of the couples are now divorced and one of her friends is getting re-married.  What?!

I know you’re thinking, “Whatever.  You’re so naive, woman!”  Hey, I do realize that divorce rates are high, but come on!  After two years, they’re ready to call it quits?!  They couldn’t wait until the 7 Year Itch?!  They probably haven’t even finished writing the “Thank You” notes yet! 

I really feel for the parents that dished out for these elaborate affairs (some of them sounded really insane!).  Not wanting to be one of these parents in the future (because, well, I do worry about it), I capitalized on this information as a learning moment for the offspring. 

“It doesn’t matter how amazing your wedding planner is (don’t get me started on this topic), where your reception is held, what your ‘colors’ are, or what your dress or cake looks like!  That’s not what makes a marriage!”  

But, these elements do make for a nice wedding album – ONLY if you hired the right photographer! 🙂  Okay, enough of the “Debbie-downer” routine.

Attending weddings always makes me think back on my own (over 19 years ago).  It was a blur, but I have happy, blurry memories of it!  Look at us full of optimism and hope for the future!

To the June wedding couples in my family

My sis & bro-in-law (14 years this June) – Congratulations!!



My parents will be celebrating their  50th Wedding Anniversary  this month!  Congratulations, Mom & Dad! 


Here’s to the future!  Congratulations, Craig & Laura!