With so many strong opinions about war versus peace, many couples find themselves taking different stances on the events in Iraq. People are very passionate about their opinions in this area and, if not careful, you and your partner could isolate one another over this issue. Here are some tips to help you ensure your partnership remains strong.
Agree to Disagree
At The Institute, we believe that a strong couple is made up of two strong individuals. When making a commitment to your relationship, you agreed to work together to meet your individual goals while navigating life together as a couple. It is alright that you have different opinions about issues like war. One of the greatest things about our country is that we can process the facts and develop our own thoughts and reactions. At the same time, it is important you respect your partner’s beliefs — even when you don’t agree.
Write a Letter
Many individuals are writing letters and sending emails to political leaders expressing their opinions about the events in Iraq. If you and your partner disagree on the issue of war, maybe it is time you send them a letter. Sometimes it is difficult to share your thoughts on subjects where a great deal of passion is involved. A simple conversation over the news may turn into a full scale argument. If you are having trouble communicating with your partner about current events, take a few minutes and put your rationale, thoughts and concerns in a letter or email for them. Even if your opinions differ greatly, it is important to understand where each partner is coming from.
Use Your Support Network
In a long-term partnership, there are going to be times you need a support network outside of your significant other. If you want or need to talk to someone about the war and differing opinions with your partner make it hard to discuss it with them, utilize other friends and family members. It is important not to keep your thoughts, feelings and questions bottled up as this will weigh you down and possibly create resentment toward your partner.
Ask for Help
We have been contacted by individuals who are rethinking their partnership because they feel very strongly about their opinion on Iraq and are disturbed their significant other doesn’t agree. If issues surrounding the war have created major tension in your partnership, don’t be afraid to seek the help of a counselor or other professional service provider.
Our new guidebook, The Commitment Conversation, has tips for having discussions with your partner about sensitive issues. You can download a free copy or order the workbook version by clicking here.