Dilemma: Our political views clash

Jo Brand / 10 April 2018 ( 05 September 2019 )

A reader is frustrated that she and her husband don't see eye to eye politically and writes to agony aunt Jo Brand for advice.

Dilemma: our political views differ, causing arguments

I’ve been with my husband for 40 years, but he’s becoming increasingly right wing, whereas I’m quite left wing.

We have less and less to talk about without arguing.

What should I do?

Dilemma: Brexit is dividing our family

Jo Brand's advice

I think there are probably several things you could do, starting with agreeing not to talk about politics and instead focusing on more bland areas of social conversation to avoid conflict.

It’s a pity you don’t enjoy a good argument… I do, I love it! Besides, even if you were both Labour supporters, you could still be arguing about the two wings of the Labour Party at the moment anyway.

I detect within your letter a more profound problem, however. You say, ‘We have less and less to talk about’.

Be honest, you don’t just talk about politics all the time, do you? Surely there’s some chat about the family, local news, friends, TV, the arts, sport maybe? And those are just a few possibilities.

There should be a wealth of areas to cover, but as we age together, things tend to go one of two ways.

Either we get sick of the sight each other, or we rub along companionably without saying much. You have to decide if the small(ish) problem of political divergence after a 40-year relationship is indicative of a major problem in your marriage, or not.

If you’re surprised and slightly offended by me saying this, then things sound pretty OK… Just tune out when he climbs on the soapbox.

If, on the other hand, you feel I’m right, maybe you need to think about how you can be more fulfilled and push out into the big wide world a bit more.

Reconnecting with your partner

Saga readers say...

'Does it matter? Neither of you have to agree all the time, and politics is the most volatile issue anyway, give up and steer clear! Neither is going to prevent the other's rights, so don't blow it up out of proportion. Anyway, a vote is supposed to be private. One could lie, and the situation be avoided, but they have chosen the truth. One point in their favour. Politics never has been. nor will be, a case of black/white. It is none of our business anyway, just an opinion.' Ann, via Facebook

'It matter enormously and irrevocably if one spouse has voted against the other's rights. That would be a betrayal of a considerable magnitude.' Minnie, via Facebook

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.