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How, Exactly, Does Political Persuasion Affect Marriage and Divorce?

DiPietro Law Group, PLLC

What Does the Science Say?

The vast majority of spouses match up politically. Democrats marry Democrats, and Republicans marry Republicans. Sometimes, one spouse will be slightly more liberal or conservative than the other, but in general, political compatibility plays a large role in modern marriage. Thus, while the jury is still out on the likelihood of divorce among red and blue couples, there is little disagreement regarding the risk that marrying someone of a different political persuasion can hold.

Happiness and Likelihood of Divorce

Many researchers have explored both the happiness of Republican and Democratic marriages and the likelihood of divorce. Results of these studies are far from conclusive, as some researchers have determined that blue couples are happier, and others have found greater wellbeing among red couples. For example, in 2015, the Institute for Family Studies found that 67 percent of Republican spouses and just 60 percent of Democratic spouses reported marital happiness. Conversely, another study found that couples in red states divorce more frequently than those in blue states.

Politically-Divided Couples and Personality Traits

While couples can thrive when they don’t see eye to eye on political issues, it can be tough to keep such relationships harmonious. The end result is often legal separation or divorce, and unfortunately, the same political problems that plagued spouses while they were together can cause problems after they choose to go their separate ways. Those who disagree on political issues often hold stark differences in opinion related to custody, support, and property division.

The differences in opinion between Republican and Democratic spouses are rarely the chief cause of marital issues. The bigger problem may be incompatible personality traits, which are correlated with political ideology. Research from the University of Toronto indicates that those who label themselves as liberals are more likely to value compassion and empathy, while self-identified conservatives desire orderliness and believe it is important to maintain existing social structures. These different values are evident not only at the voting booth, but also in everyday life.

Politics can play a major role in marriage and divorce, but it is possible for spouses and ex-spouses from an array of ideologies to find common ground. If you desire an amicable divorce, you can achieve it with the help of a trusted family attorney in the Maryland area.

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