Can Republicans and Democrats marry each other and live happily ever after, despite their political differences? Rabbi Shumley says yes and talks with two couples who have found a way to make their inter-political marriages work.
Bree and Jared met online through their similar taste in music. Politics came up early on in their relationship and Bree, a progressive, liberal Democrat, says she was caught off guard by Jared's conservative, Republican point of view. "I thought 'Wow, I don't know if I can live with this—I don't know if I can continue in a relationship with somebody who has such differences morally than I do,'" she says.
From the war in Iraq to abortion, politics was a source of debate in the relationship, but Jared says it wasn't a deal-breaker. "We are both intellectuals, I like to think, so we had a passion for arguments," he says. Bree agrees and says after two years of marriage, their relationship is still going strong. She's even convinced Jared to become more liberal in some of his stances. "Here is my soul mate—politics weren't going to get in the way of my fulfilling my dream of finding my soul mate," she says.
When Brooke, a liberal Democrat, and Greg, a conservative Republican, first met, their political views were not part of the initial attraction. "There was something so charismatic and so charming about him, and he very wisely avoided the topics of politics and religion for quite sometime," she says.
As their relationship progressed, Brooke says she convinced Greg to support some of her political concerns, like reducing his carbon footprint by polluting less. Greg says he traded in his pickup truck for a small diesel car, and while he's still Republican, he says he'll gladly support more of Brooke's political concerns. "I live by one simple rule, and that's to do whatever it takes to make Brooke happy," he says.
"Marriage is not the choice for a best friend, it is the choice for a lover. Therefore, commonalities are far less important than attractive qualities. Political affiliation makes no difference whatsoever."