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My husband and I haven’t always seen eye to eye on social and political issues, but we weren’t always polar opposites. Lately, though, our viewpoints have become drastically different.
I’m a fairly outspoken person when I’m sharing an opinion I truly believe in. Unfortunately, my husband makes it difficult to discuss topics that we don’t agree on. He likes to argue — a lot — whether he’s right or not. I, on the other hand, will only argue if I know I’m right. If I’m not sure that I’m 100 percent right, then I will say I’m "fairly sure" or "pretty sure," maybe even throw in an "I’m 80 percent sure I’m right."
You’d think after seven years of marriage, 10 years together total, my husband would pick up on that, but he hasn’t.
A couple of months ago, we went to see my in-laws, and when I saw the Trump signs in their yard, I asked if it was a joke. My husband looked annoyed that I’d even said that and answered that of course his parents would be supporting Trump. They’d support anyone running against Hillary.
My husband and his dad are more alike than he’d like to admit. The older my husband gets, the closer he is to becoming his dad. I know better than to bring up anything remotely political in front of my father-in-law, because it won’t end well. No matter what I say, I won’t change his mind — I’ve tried. In order to keep family peace, I don’t bring up any controversial topics, which means I have to bite my tongue sometimes. I honestly don’t think my mother-in-law always agrees with him, but she won’t speak her mind. The Trump signs made me sick to my stomach, but I didn’t want to start anything during our visit. So I let it go.
Days after we left my in-laws' house, I watched both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention on TV; my husband watched Netflix instead. I watched the RNC because I'm fascinated by why so many people support Trump, and I also wanted to see what crazy-pants things might happen. I was looking forward to the DNC because I was interested in seeing whether the Democrats would be able to pull the party together as one, and there were a few speeches I wanted to hear — in particular, those from President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton.
While watching the DNC, I posted a comment on Facebook that mentioned how exciting it was, whether you supported her or not, to have a woman presidential nominee — the first in our two-party system. There was a time, before Obama, that I didn’t think I’d see an African-American president in my lifetime. So the possibility of having two unconventional, i.e. non-white-male, presidents back-to-back is an exciting time. I love that my daughter can see in her young life that she truly can be anything she wants.
I also mentioned what moving speeches President and First Lady Obama gave and that I was proud to be a Democrat.
I didn’t think it was an over-the-top comment to be called out on, but that’s exactly what happened.
Two weeks later, my husband saw his parents, and his mother asked how he felt about me writing pro-Hillary posts all over Facebook. According to my mother-in-law, my one post turned into me blanketing my page with posts about how amazing Hillary Clinton is.
My father-in-law told my husband he should know what I’m posting, and he needed to get a handle on me for putting that garbage out under my name. I’m glad I wasn’t there at the time.
When my husband got home from the store, he told me I was busted. I was confused. When he saw my face not registering what I could be busted for, he tried to clarify that it was because of my Facebook page. I’m not on Facebook very often — maybe once or twice a month at most — so, again, my face was blank. I could tell he was getting frustrated that I had no idea what he was talking about.
Finally, he said his mom told him all about my posts supporting Hillary Clinton. I started laughing, which wasn’t the reaction he was looking for. I explained that it was one post that I’d forgotten I’d even written, not numerous posts. It wasn’t even strong Hillary support but more the excitement of a woman being the Democratic nominee. He said he was embarrassed to know his wife was supporting Hillary Clinton on Facebook. I countered that it’s MY Facebook page, not his, and I can post what I like.
It was then he told me he would divorce me if I vote for Hillary Clinton and would rather I not vote at all. He then added his dad thinks he needs to get a handle on me.
Say what??? Seriously? Divorce after seven years of marriage because of one vote? He did not say it in a joking tone, and all I could do was stare at him in disbelief. He can’t vote, which is his story to tell, so we are a one-vote household.
He went on to tell me what a terrible choice I was making, and how could I support a murderer (Benghazi), a criminal (the infamous emails), and a liar (again those emails)? He explained she’s not supportive of women because she prevented women from coming forward and accusing her husband of rape. I knew if I continued to stand there and listen to him, it would turn into an ugly argument, so I walked away and took a shower.
As I was in the shower, I began to get more upset. How dare he tell me what I can post, who I should support, and what I can do? I was angry his father would be so rude to tell him to get a handle on me.
By the time I got out of the shower, I was raging full force. I told him it was ridiculous to tell someone you would divorce them because of a post on Facebook, and I would continue supporting Hillary (and voting for her), so I didn’t care to hear his opinion on the issue. He could forget ever getting a handle on me — how rude is that to even say? — and if he felt so strongly, then I’d be sure to pick up the paperwork to file for divorce after I voted since I’d be at the courthouse anyway.
Maybe I didn’t handle it so well. I rarely yell in my house, especially around my daughter, but this was one time I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I stormed away to the bedroom and shut the door.
For the most part, we’ve avoided talking about it — until last week's debate. You know the one, where Trump said it makes him smart that he doesn’t pay taxes, that he’s repeatedly audited by the IRS. Wanting the housing market to fail and that taking advantage of it made for good business. How amazing his 10-year-old son is with computers, but there are also 400-pound hackers to be scared of.
I knew better than to watch the debate in the same room as my husband, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t hear him. He happily said Hillary was stumbling on her words and was doing a terrible job in the first few minutes of the debate. Then Trump started talking. My husband kept walking into the room I was watching in to give me a play-by-play. I gently reminded him that, yes, I was also watching it and didn’t need his updates, but it didn’t stop him from repeatedly barging in.
When I was appalled Trump said he was smart for not paying taxes, my husband said it was smart to find loopholes to prevent having to pay taxes. He went on to agree that making money from others' misfortune was fine.
Then it happened. Trump went too far. He went on a tirade about his lack of support of the Iraq war and asked for someone to call Sean Hannity. I could hear my husband in the other room telling Trump to shut up and just stop talking. He even started making fun of Trump. I never thought that would ever happen.
It hasn’t changed his mind, and he still doesn’t want me to vote for Hillary, but I don’t think he’ll be packing up on Election Day.
Well, I’m about 50 percent sure.