Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Marrying the "Enemy"

A few weeks ago, my husband Daniel and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I've known him for over three years and he has made my life much, much better.

And yet, he pisses me off. Worse, I piss him off.

Why? Because we are a mixed marriage. But the problem isn't that we are of two different races, though we are (he's Norwegian-Swedish).

The difference is one of ideology. He's a Democrat and I'm a Republican.

My love will at times talk about politics and express his opinion of course. I usually cringe a bit, feeling somewhat unconfortable, wanting to talk about something else, than this issue that tends to divide us. At some point I might bring up another viewpoint which is more conservative and then he becomes unconfortable. And so it is, during this election year.

But the thing is, even though he drives me crazy with his liberal views and visa versa, I love him. I love him for his boldness, his creativity, his capacity for deep emotion, his love of children.

In the end, I love him because he is Daniel, not because of his political affiliation.

I sometimes wonder if "mixed marriages" like ours are becoming less frequent. The book, the "Big Sort" posits that Americans are starting to sort themselves into communities where people think the same. We live in cities or suburbs that are political homogenous and the same goes for other groups including places of worship.

Look at the Internet. People can go to blogs and read magazines that only support their own views. Conservatives can go to Fox News, Liberals to MSNBC.

In some ways, sorting ourselves might be easy. Not having to deal with someone who disagrees with you. No having to see that person as a- well, person, with thoughts and feelings beyond what they think about tax policy or the war in Iraq.

I live in Minneapolis, probably one of the most liberal cities in the nation. That means, most of my friends are liberals. I roll my eyes when they say something that goes against my views, but you know what? They are still my friends. And the thing is, they keep my thinking sharp and allow me to rethink my own views, again and again. Isn't there something in the Bible about friends being like "iron sharpening iron?"

If there was a wish I had, it's that people would start having more friends with people who they disagree with. It might be a more richer relationship than anything they have imagined.

I should know. I'm married someone that drives me up the wall.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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