Politics and Marriage: Lessons for EVERY Couple!

150 150 Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

It must be that time.  My mind drifts to politics — and usually to my exhaustion and disgust for the process.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I do believe we need a political process.  But, it is broken.  All that fighting.  All that looking at what is different.  All the ignoring of common grounds.

Both parties seem to ignore what the other one says.  Both pretend to have a corner on what is right.

Neither side seems to be able to make room to even contemplate the other side might have a point.

And forget working on compromises!  It is the “my way or the highway” approach.  And yet both sides need the other for balance.

Oh.  Did I mention that I am talking about the couples that come to my office for help with their marriage?

Sorry about that.  Sometimes, it seems that the couples are doing the same thing as the national political parties.

Just this morning, I listened for quite a while as each person let the other know what he/she had done wrong, how she/he should have done it, and why failure was eminent.

This morning, it was about parenting.  But it could have been about money, sex, religion, occupational choice, home choice, how the grass was cut, how the dinner was cooked, how the rug was vacuumed, etc., etc., etc.

After letting it go on a bit, I paused them and asked each to tell me what was RIGHT about what the other person had said.  That jolted them!

They had simply stopped considering this.  They were ready to tell me what was WRONG, not what was RIGHT.  But I pushed.

Then, sheepishly, the wife admitted “we agree on almost everything.  We really only have slight differences.”

I observed, “yet those slight differences have left you arguing for 20 minutes here, for over an hour last night, and my guess is lots more time over the years.”

Both were quiet.  But both agreed with me.

And that, to me, is the tragedy of politics, both household and national.  We spend so much time arguing our point, we refuse to listen — to REALLY listen — to the other side.  We make the other side into a caricature.  We pretend there is only one way, and OURS is it.  Even though we know, deep down inside, that this is a lie.

Perhaps it is human nature to do that, to argue and disagree.

But perhaps it is our capacity to rise above this that really shows our higher nature.

Working cooperatively.

It is a choice we have every single day.

Will we work for our common interests or just push against each other?

I constantly see the results of pushing against each other.

But just often enough for me to be optimistic, I see people rise above and work for the common good.

Your choice.  What will YOU choose today?

Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.

Dr. Baucom is internationally known for his methods and approaches to saving marriages. For over 25 years, Dr. Baucom has been helping people around the world to save, restore, and create the relationships they desire and deserve. He is the author of the book, How To Save Your Marriage In 3 Simple Steps, and creator of the Save The Marriage System, as well as numerous other resources.

All stories by: Lee H. Baucom, Ph.D.