Should you blindly support your partner, even if you disagree with them? This is a question that came up recently in a session with a couple. One of the best things about having a life partner is the support; the knowledge that you have someone in your corner rooting for you and on your side no matter what. You and your best friend are each other’s staunchest supporters and greatest cheerleaders, right?
Okay, then suppose your partner feels strongly about something in a way that you don’t agree with. Maybe they are in favor of a political candidate or cause that you don’t believe in. Perhaps they have gotten involved in a cause or a movement that you are against. Should you support them? How do you reconcile supporting your partner when you don’t support what they do?
It’s important to separate the person from the issue. If you feel like your partner is on the wrong path, you can still support them as a person, but not the idea or cause. It’s possible to tell your partner in a loving way that you disagree, and that’s okay. You’re not obligated to be untrue to your own convictions or to compromise your values or integrity for anyone. You can still love and support your partner in the relationship while letting them know that you’re not in agreement. By the same token you can respect that the two of you have different views on this particular issue and give your side/argument but in the end, your partner is an adult, and they are perfectly able to follow their own path without your involvement. But don’t stand in the way of something that’s important to them.
Of course this excludes anything harmful or illegal. If your partner is pursuing dangerous behavior you certainly should try to intervene, but if it’s simply a difference in ideas, or beliefs, for example, your partner thinks the Earth is flat, you can just give your side, then let it go. Your job in life and your role in your relationship; is not to try to change your partner but to love them for who they are. There are plenty of successful couples who are on the opposite sides of political, religious and other beliefs. They simply love each other and agree to disagree.
There are certain core beliefs that some people have that would consider it a deal breaker in a love relationship such as monogamy vs. polyamory or fundamental beliefs around raising children, or even to have children or not. These are things that you find out about when you begin dating someone, and discover what these core beliefs are before you ever make a commitment to someone. As far as other ideas, if it’s not a deal breaker, let it go. Support your partner, be their number one fan and cheerleader, and wish them success.
The world would be a very boring place if we all felt and thought alike, wouldn’t it?