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Friday, October 21, 2011

Dichotomy and How My Liberal, Democratic Self Adores My Conservative Husband

My honey and I are complete opposites. He's a Republican, I'm a Democrat. He's an ACC fan, I'm SEC all the way. He's a total carnivore, I'm a vegetarian. He loves his aviation magazines, and I love literature. The yen and the yang. Polar opposites. The Steely Dan to my Black Eyed Peas.

But it works. And it works well. Over the past fourteen years together, our extreme differences have enlightened us. Not that we've pulled one another toward the middle, but we've made each other more understanding of a position that in the abstract we might find offensive. As we watch political debates together, we often find ourselves commenting on the same things. And often in the same way. Because our core beliefs aren't different. Family. Friendships. Loyalty. Being your best and achieving your most. Loving the underdog (literally and figuratively).

Our marriage reminds me on a daily basis why even when people think they're on the opposite ends of the spectrum of thought, belief, philosophy, and logic, they're actually side-by-side. We not only co-exist in our differences, we thrive and become better people by allowing ourselves to stretch our minds by the thoughts and beliefs of others.

Although I will always be frustrated by the futility of the way our votes cancel one another out on election day, I will never regret standing in line at the polling place with him and casting my vote. We re-index one another and bring an entire sphere of opinion into our home. While I might get completely frustrated by his opinions, I am always mindful of how blessed I am to have a husband who not only seeks truth, information, and intellectual growth on a daily basis. He also allows himself to be vulnerable to the constant bombardment of his wife's polar and (to him) potentially offensive pontifications.

In writing, and more importantly reading, we must open our hearts and minds to ideas and opinions that make us uncomfortable. We might read a book or magazine article that rips a shiver down our spine, but it creates dialogue and provides us with a perspective and empathy we might not have otherwise have had. Expression requires openness and openness requires an honesty that reveals not only our vulnerabilities but allows us to consider change.

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