Liberal Wife, Conservative Husband? How to Make Peace at Home

Learning how to love someone who has different political views (liberal wife “versus” conservative husband?) isn’t easy, but it is possible. These tips for mixing politics and love will help smooth the rough edges of your relationship.

Whether you’re a “bleeding-heart liberal” or a “hard-hearted conservative”, in these polarized political times it’s easy for conversations to disintegrate into name-calling sessions. Those sessions are normally reserved for the elementary school playground or political debates in caucus or the Senate. It’s the last thing we want in our love relationships and marriages!

If your politics are having a negative impact on your marriage, you may find these tips for loving someone who has different political views helpful. This is a guest post by freelance writer Je’ Czaja…

Before we dive into Je’s tips for couples with different political views, remember that “agreeing to disagree” is the healthiest way to balance politics and love. If you and your partner haven’t figured out how to do this, you may find it useful to read How to Stop Walking on Eggshells in Your Relationship.

“He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.” ~ Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592).

6 Tips for Conservative Vs Liberal Couples

Researchers now say that liberalism and conservatism are influenced by brain structure, and arguments will not change brains; in fact, arguments won’t even change minds. According to a study conducted at University College in London, conservatives have smaller anterior cingulates and larger amygdalas than liberals.

The anterior cingualte is associated with judgments, optimism, and recognition of conflicts. By a complex feedback mechanism, the anterior cingualte checks conflicts against potential threats with the amygdala, which is a part of the brain associated with fear. The implications of the study are that conservatives tend to see any given situation as more threatening than liberals do. While the liberal is motivated to act in optimism that change will be for the better, the conservative is motivated to circle the wagons and fight off the threat.

Regardless of why our political views differ, we can learn how to love each other.

1. Accept your political differences

Conservatives and Liberals must accept that brains cannot be changed by slogans, arguments, or anger. In fact, according to several studies, arguments only harden positions, and logic and reason do not enter into the equation. (Mark R. Lepper, Charles G. Lord, Lee Ross, “Biased Assimilation and Attitude Polarization,” American Psychological Association, 1979.)

What scientists call confirmation bias is simply the phenomenon we observe in those we disagree with, and fail to observe in our selves: “His mind is made up, don’t confuse him with the facts.”

2. Remember how political views affect your perspective – and your love life

A Conservative husband can try to remember that he tends to perceive threats more often than most and that his Liberal wife is not an existential threat. She’s his life partner, and a fellow American who is less cautious and quite optimistic about the possibility of change for the better. The Liberal wife can try to remember that fear is a powerful motivator, and the Conservative is seeking to protect something.

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Are the roles of conservative husband and liberal wife pulling you apart? Read 4 Ways to Create Love and Peace in an Unhappy Marriage.

3. Know “different political views” doesn’t mean “wrong political views”

People range on continuums from cowardice to courage to recklessness; from laziness to industriousness to workaholic, and the category into which we place other people depends on our own position on the continuum.

According to Moral Foundations Theory, both conservatives and liberals hold values of fairness, not harming others, respect for traditions, and respect for authority. It’s just that liberals tend to hold fairness and not harming others to be more important than respect for traditions and authority, and conservatives tend to hold the opposite. Knowing how to love someone who has different political views is about accepting that they’re different — not bad or wrong.

4. If possible, avoid hot buttons

This is a solid relationship tip for all issues, not just political views! Hot buttons are words or phrases that cause knee-jerk responses. These can change over time and are used by one party or the other to solidify support for their cause. Current hot buttons are “socialism,” “immigration,” and “health care.”

5. Find common ground, in and out of the political arena

Liberal Wife Conservative Husband Peace at Home

Liberal Wife, Conservative Husband How to Make Peace at Home

Liberals and Conservatives, husbands and wives, are all Americans. Both want America to be a good, safe place to raise their families and pass on to their grandchildren. Liberals and Conservatives actually need each other for the country to function. A car will not function without both a gas pedal and brakes, and it’s best to keep both a left hand and a right hand on the steering wheel.

A marriage in which both partners have learned how to love each other despite their different political views can be stronger than a marriage between two Conservatives, or two Liberals.

6. Just be someone in love – not a Conservative or Liberal

In the end, we are humans, not conservatives and liberals. We want liberty and the opportunity to live, love, and find meaning in our lives. Arguments will not change minds, but people can change their own minds if they don’t feel threatened. Love, respect, listening, acknowledging another person’s concerns, and a little laughter will do far more to resolve conflicts than 500 pounds of “evidence.”

What do you think – do you love someone who has different political views? Do love and politics – Liberal wives, Conservative husbands – clash? Comments welcome below, but advice on love and politics unavailable at this time.

Written by Je’ Czaja, freelance writer/illustrator and Standup Philosopher. Visit her profile or connect on twitter.


Are you unhappy in your relationship? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage and FREE relationship advice from Mort Fertel, founder of the Marriage Fitness Program.

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19 thoughts on “Liberal Wife, Conservative Husband? How to Make Peace at Home

  • Gloria landron

    I’ve been married to my stubborn conservative husband for nearly five years and it seems only to be getting harder. When he wants to start a political debate I try to stop it by saying, “we already know where each other stands on this, let’s not argue”. But he persists and we end up getting upset with each other and calling each other names like crazy or stupid. How can I get him to stop before it starts. It’s just not working!

  • Teresa

    The comments from conservatives are very disheartening, especially those written by Bill Cooper. I am dating a man who is polar opposite of me politically speaking. We avoid politics for the most part and when discussed try to find some common ground, although there is very little. In spite of this, he loves, adores, and respects me and I him. He would never call me names, tell me to “kiss his feet”, or insult me the way I often hear some conservatives do to liberals. He is always a gentleman, listens, and above all loves me for my interest in politics, and my empathetic and positive nature. I, in return listen and learn from him as well. Although we still disagree on most things political, we still RESPECT one another. I guess we are both mature and confident enough to realize you get a lot more with honey than you do vinegar and this includes respect. This was a great article, hopeful, pragmatic, and positive. Bill Cooper and my boyfriend may both be conservative, but they have NOTHING in common.

  • Liz Evenal

    No, I didn’t quite finish reading this piece but I was very offended by terms like “bleeding heart liberal” and “hard-hearted conservative”. Really!? Not all liberals are softy bleeding hearts especially with all this recent rioting and not all conservatives are cold hearted manikins. Majority of these conservatives are a bit too sensitive and dormant because unless they are really not happy will not go out and vote.

  • Cat

    Bill, why are you even on this site? Are you here to understand and learn? Or are you just another troll, calling names and pointing fingers. And Andrew, why do you assume it was written by a liberal and why does it matter? Again, why are you here? If you’re truly not looking for answers but for another way to bully and name call, please go elsewhere.

  • Cat

    Wow Bill, a huge amount of understanding and acceptance coming from you! For your information, Liberal is not a dirty word. Did you read this article?? It is this intolerance and absolute arrogance that is driving our country into the gutter! Twisted view? Liberals should “kiss the feet of every conservative you meet”? Seriously? I can only assume that you are either divorced or married to someone who is deaf and mute or someone who absolutely is in lock step with you and your views. UNREAL.

  • Jon

    Me and my wife have been married for almost six years. I met her when I was a Marine stationed in Hawaii. She was a college student and a very smart woman. I was never into politics till I began my college career. Growing up in a very strict Protestant household I naturally held biases of my own that I would later be able to acknowledge. My wife grew up in a liberal household. She was never really vocal about her opinions because I never talked about politics till I began my education. While I attended college the inlaws graciously allowed me to live with them till I graduated and could start a new career. During the election I was really vocal about my beliefs about Trump being a better candidate for president. My wife believes that I’m a racist, biggot, and a shovenist anytime I disagree with liberal beliefs. During the election we had multiple fights and I grew tired of it to the point where I made a rule where we wouldn’t discuss politics. The problem with that is that she constantly asks my opinion on certain issues that I completely honest about how I feel. I’ve always been raised to be vocal about my beliefs even if there unpopular. And my dad always told me that many men have died for me to have that right so I feel like I’m conflicted with being myself and not pissing off my wife. Even when “I watch how I say things” it’s never good enough. It’s created friction in our marriage where I’ve seriously considered divorcing her. If it my beautiful daughter wasn’t in the picture I probably would have. My daughter complicates things in the sense that I never want her growing up hypersensitive like one party’s people. Anyone’s advice would help me right now. I’m at the point where I’m afraid my daughter will grow up weak minded, void of logic and brainwashed by the extreme left.

    • soysos

      Hey Jon. I think you and I are in the same boat. My wife of 5 years is on the opposite end of the political spectrum. I tend to identify as more federalist libertarian, so hard right. If I voice my opinions anywhere she can see it, she gets upset, calls me a racist, and we don’t talk for a few days. the best advice I can give probably won’t help with how she sees your views, but it will help with how you see her. At all times keep it in your mind that you both want the same things, that on any issue you both want the same result. Then the disagreement becomes whats the best way to get there.

      • Lil

        Hi Soysos, the advise you have given to Jon can help, it’s a good way of looking at things, that they both want the same things in the end. Which can be for the country’s economy to flourish, for everyone to have healthcare, or have good education system, to stop discrimination, to take care of a environment etc. And I hope that helps them. But for me, I will have questions about that. For example, is that really true? Do we both really want the same things, perhaps we don’t. I say this because I have come to believe that most people’s political views develops or stem from their core beliefs and values. Those are very difficult things to ignore.or change. So, for a Liberal, such as myself, I ask myself, “how can I care about someone who voted for a man who is divisive and who encourages discrimination against others who are not of his own kind?” In order for me to do that I would have to dig very deep to find one good reason why my spouse would support such a person to lead this great country, our home. And my spouse may try to say that he support some of the agendas of trump, but not all. And I would reply,”so for your one agenda you support, all of the other horrific things we have to embrace?” So how do we handle that?

      • soysos

        well Lil, a little self awareness goes a long way. you talk about division and discrimination coming from trump, but you don’t see what your doing. “how can I care about someone who voted for a man who is divisive and who encourages discrimination against others who are not of his own kind?” this line right here is exactly what you are doing. looking down on people you disagree with as evil. it all starts with respect. You need to respect his opinions as being equally valid, then listen, hear him out and learn why he feels the way he does. this may come across as harsh, but again we want the same things. we want to see an end to all the division. this is how it starts, talking to each other, with mutual respect.

      • mike morrison

        LIL, you are the EPITOME and example of why the solution is Divorce. Why should someone suffer marriage to someone as yourself that is a bitter wife/husband with contempt and sees their spouse as immoral? That’s a deal breaker by definition! it (IS) possible for a liberal and conservative to be together but only when they respect the other and do not equate their beliefs to morality. There is ZERO room in a marriage where one truly believes the other to be immoral. How would YOU feel if you believed in Woman’s Choice and your Husband called you a baby murderer? Would you “work it out” with him? (please)..Get real and GET OUT!!

  • Laurie

    Politics and love don’t only make “strange bedfellows” – they actually rip couples apart and cause all sorts of problems. Some couples who have different political beliefs simply don’t talk about politics at all. They can’t, because their conversations deteriorate into arguments.

    You sound like such a smart woman, Patriotic Housewife…looking for lessons, praying to God, venting your thoughts and feelings in safe places without infringing on your or his privacy…I’m just so impressed by your comments 🙂

    May peace descend on your home, and may your husband’s beliefs be tempered by reason and balance. I pray for your marriage, for unity and connection even if you disagree on specific political issues.

    Above all, may you and your husband remember that you’re on the same team, and that your souls will be forever united in love. That’s far more important than any political belief or voting decision!


  • Patriotic Housewife

    I needed to read this and will put these in practice! With this election so heated, I’m seeing a very ugly side of my husband. I would never have even considered marrying someone like this if his views were these when we met 16 years ago. I’m very middle of the road politically, an issue voter rather than party voter. Whereas, he is turning into something nasty, hate filled, and closed minded to even hearing another point of view. Even now believing in things he has stood firmly against in the past. I’m disappointed to learn he is this weak minded and easily influenced. We hardly even talk anymore because when he is home he’s got the news channel on where all they do is argue about politics. We certainly can’t talk politics, or else he will yell at me the way the opposing views on CNN or Fox yell at each other! Honestly, his views are embarrassing to me, hes gone beyond extreme! I have been praying that God will unite this division between us, while i wait, i will look for the lessons in it. Ugh! I can’t wait for this election to end!! OK rant over. Thanks for the article.

    • Bill Cooper

      Did you ever stop to think that it’s you that’s has a twisted view of the world?
      Did you ever stop to think that it’s you that would not be able to survive in a world without the ultra-conservatives that have the testicular fortitude to keep the peace that Western Civilization has brought to this violent world?
      If you haven’t then you are a typical Liberal and you should kiss the feet of every conservative that you meet, because you would be at the mercy of anyone stronger than you without them to keep you alive.
      Liberals would never be alive in a world without order. Perhaps that is why you hate us so much/

      • John

        Make sure to vote. And get your friends to vote. Liberals come out in droves and conservatives for some reason always stay home and think others will make up the votes.