You do not have to fight with your spouse every time there is a politically-based discussion.

Your marriage may be made in heaven, but there are always some bumps in the road. If you and your spouse have different political affiliations and rest comfortably on the mid-line of your chosen party, it can make discussing political topics uncomfortable. Do not let the division upset your otherwise happy home. Here are some tips on how you can navigate the challenges of living with someone with differing political views.

Experiment with How Much You can Discuss

How many political topics are safe for discussion in your polarized home depends upon how you and your spouse handle hot topics. If either one of you has a hard time taking the emotion out of political discussions you need to pay close attention and see just when the discussion shifts from being one that is free of yelling and crying, to one that is out of control. Once one of you goes from discussing politics calmly and rationally, to raising your voice, crying, using insults or even inappropriate sarcasm, the discussion is no longer useful or helpful to either party. For some couples, it is almost impossible to discuss major political topics because there is so much emotion tied into it. If you and your spouse are both very level-headed you may have better luck overall and be able to discuss politics to some level, but finding that level you are safe at is important. If you continue to discuss political topics until someone is hurt or angry the political division then bubbles over to other areas of your life. Make smart choices when you decide how much to discuss and when so that you do not affect the happy partnership you have already created.

Find Topics You Agree On to Discuss Further

Even if you and your spouse are registered to vote under opposing political parties, there will certainly be some sort of common ground you can find and build on. Touchstone issues in the United States today can polarize groups, but can also cross party lines quickly and simply. Whether the topic you share the same views on is the death penalty, abortion, education, universal health care, or any number of other topics, you will surely find one or two where your views are the same. If the larger issues still divide you, explore less well-known issues to find a few where you can discuss your similar views. Having the outlet of these few “safe” topics you know you can speak about at home will help you when election season rolls around so that you can have constructive discussions instead of just arguing back and forth.

Use Your Different Views as a Building Block

Even if you do not have children, there are others around you that might be able to benefit from your situation. You are certainly not the only couple in your position, so if you have worked through some of the first issues that come with having a spouse with opposite political views you can then help others. Couples who are in the beginning stages of trying to navigate the challenges of discussing politics at home can benefit greatly from something as simple as telling them that they are not alone and that it will calm down if they just work through the challenges together. If you are a parent, sharing the realities of life is even simpler if you have your own real-life example to offer. Explain to your children that you and their other parent do not always agree on some of the biggest topics that matter to adults, but because of the love within your own family you understand that it is okay to have different opinions. This message can be catered multiple ways depending on how old your children are and the lesson can be applied to many aspects in life, even something as simple as which sports team to root for, or dealing with a friend who rubs their team’s win in your child’s face.