My head

When you can’t agree with your partner because their view is cringeworthy

August 31, 2015

kind

I received a late night SOS text from a friend who had just had a steaming argument with her partner of 5 years about same-sex marriage.

They’d never discussed it before, because it’s not particularly relevant to them but she was shocked to find him so vehemently anti marriage between two people of the same sex.

Shocked is actually an understatement. She was horrified.

Who is this guy she’s in love with? How could her kind, loving, open minded guy be so WRONG?

Could she get past this?

When you can’t agree with your partner because their opinion is cringeworthy it can feel like a bit of a biggie. I was totally in her court, but instead of jumping in and bad mouthing him for his beliefs I admitted something I had been keeping a secret.

I’m dating a Liberal.

Don’t judge me.

I’m not especially politically minded, but I do know that the Liberal Party and I do not hold many similar beliefs and our current government have disappointed me more times than Santa. Mind you, Labor is also shameful so really we’re in big trouble, anyhoo…..

Although we’ve been friends for 10 years, my guy and I had never discussed politics, and it was on one of our very early dates that it all came out over a brewskie.

I was perturbed.

We didn’t agree on anything political; most heatedly – asylum seekers. He’s such an emotionally intellegent, smart, well-read dude, how could he possibly have it so wrong?

He suggests it’s because he’s a realist and I’m an idealist, but I just think he’s a big meanie and I want to save the world, naturally….but I realised that day that we needed to create a conversational no-go zone to be avoided at all costs.

It’s not the asylum seekers, per se, that we argue about but the fact that allowing them right of passage encourages the black market enterprise which is people smuggling. He’s not anti-asylum seekers, but greedy, cavalier, and ruthless people smugglers really get his goat.

I argue for the humans, desperate for a chance of living in peace.

It’s a complicated subject.

(To be honest, it might actually be two different arguments but it seems like one but who cares because I’m right and he’s totally wrong)

After I admitted this to my friend I gave it all some more thought.

Do we need to have all the same views as our partners?

Of course not.

Fundamentally, you’d bloody hope you agree on most things because if you’re butting heads all the time it gets fairly boring, but as long as you agree on the important stuff that is directly relevant to your lives, then everyone is entitled to their own views.

Even if they’re wrong.

I threw it to my Facebook peeps and I got heaps of responses. I especially loved these two-

“Mine (husband) is a cringeworthy redneck. Hates cats, boat people and gay marriage – then will come out with some on-point, emotionally intelligent insight that floors me. I think that’s worse because he’s obviously got the smarts. We argue but it’s mostly productive debate. We agree on some big stuff too, though, so it all evens out.”

“My hubby and I have different views but we agree to disagree except when it comes to the kids then I am afraid we argue it out he likes sport it bores me so we have different television sets life can be interesting but he is a great bloke and I am a dynamite woman so life is good.”

Basically, if you fear your partners views are cringeworthy, maybe mention that while you respect their opinion you’d die of shame if they voiced them in certain situations and try to come to a compromise. Even cringeworthy opinions have a right to life, but keeping them contained may help your social life.

I brought up the people smuggling issue again the other night, to see if after all of these months we can talk about it like grown ups. We can’t.

I can’t.

Our irreconcilably different views on the matter escalated into the closest thing we’ve ever had to an argument after about 45 seconds, and my voice was raised and I was about to be unkind. So I said drop it.

The point is, you don’t always have to agree, but then you don’t always have to be right. So let it go.

It more important to be kind than it is to be right.

 Do you agree to disagree on anything major in your relationship?

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply adamjclements August 31, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Aaaaggghh! I can’t stand the ‘I’m living in the real world and your just being naive’ liberal fucking horseshit. It is THE most aggravating point in any arguement with these people. You’re a better man than me, I couldn’t do it. I can see your point though. My partner thinks Queen are like, amazing. I don’t. So we just don’t talk about them. I can’t help if I have better taste in music than her.

  • Reply Zanni August 31, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I think I mentioned this on your FB page, but my European husband has very different ideas about monogamy to me. We talked about it the other day re the whole Ashley Madison blow out, having avoided the subject for most of the 8 years of our marriage. I have to say, he’s pretty convincing. The trouble with most discussions is there is usually two sides, and I know a lot of the difference in our views comes from growing up on opposite sides of the world. We decided that if it came to us having to make a decision about our own relationship, we both valued openness and honesty before going off to have a secret affair – IF it ever came to it, and let’s face it, I still hope it doesn’t.

    • Reply Danielle September 5, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      That’s the beauty of a good debate, as long as everyone keeps their head and doesn’t get cranky. I agree about being honest. I think you’ll be ok. That man is pretty smitten with his three ladies.

  • Reply Helen K September 3, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Yes, we do disagree on some major things, which never fails to surprise me (because I am right, and he seems sensible and intelligent in so many ways). But sometimes I find that, if I listen rather than cut him off, there are some grains of truth with the reasons he has a different belief there too. I think we all need to work out what aspects are fundamental to the functioning of our relationship, what are ideas we strongly believe in but which we can pursue outside the relationship – and also, sometimes people can change their minds (hopefully).

    • Reply Danielle September 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Yeah, I find that too. So infuriating, right?

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