Adversarial Marriage


I am married to a man who shares my political views. It is unimaginable to me having it otherwise, but I know mixed-political marriages and relationships exist. Look at James Carville and Mary Matalin–they actually make a living off of the dynamic (and frankly I wonder sometimes if it’s real). I saw them on a news talk show recently, and I studied them closely, trying to imagine what life is like in the Carville-Matlin household. She totally supports Herman Cain, and he was laughing at the man. I was inspired to do this cartoon, only I flipped the genders and political parties, giving the woman the upper hand in the race as it stands now.

Maybe marriages of political adversaries work well, and thrive on the fireworks….I’ll never know. Mine thrives on–among other things–solidarity in making fun of the opposition. And, of course, the whole political circus.

I also watched Gloria Cain last night when she was interviewed on Fox, and felt sad for her. My guess is she is living in a dream world; I don’t wish her ill. And while we don’t know the truth of the allegations against Cain,  I think she may be in for a hard fall soon.  Being married political adversary pundits is one thing, but married to a politician is quite another animal altogether.

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About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men, http://www.narrativemagazine.com/store/book/women-men
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6 Responses to Adversarial Marriage

  1. Ronnie says:

    Love this and sent it to my cousin who recently told me while her husband was watching Fox news, “The closer we get to the election, the harder it gets to live with him.”

    Could not imagine living with someone who did not share my political views. Thanks, Liza for the laugh!

  2. Adrien says:

    I had to send this to my husband because it made me laugh madly. I’m a left-leaning independent, he’s one of those mythical creatures known as the gay Republican, and we actually met by getting involved in rather animated debates on LGBT issues from opposing political perspectives. What’s funny is it took ages for us to realize we were saying the same thing in different words, while everyone watching our discussions knew it already and would just tell us to get a room. Once we really started dating and then got married, we found that our opposing political views actually gave us more respect for each other, as we tend to get in long discussions rather than nasty arguments, and we tend to teach each other things about the other’s perspective and experiences. Sometimes when we start teasing things get a little snarky, and we’ll rub things in about certain developments in the news, but it’s mostly playful and accepting.

    Though there have been times when he mentioned wanting to get into politics, and I honestly don’t know if I can handle that. Being the husband of a gay Republican is one thing. Being in the spotlight as the left-leaning, mixed-raced, entirely Bohemian husband of a straight-laced white gay Republican politician would probably kill our marriage, or at least turn things much less congenial and add a lot of stress. I couldn’t do what Gloria Cain does.

    …and wow, this comment got long. Er. Sorry.

    • Don’t apologize, what you said was really interesting. The notion that your differing views bring great respect is so great, admirable. Although we are both liberals, my husband and I disagree on a few issues politically–among them capital punishment–and it lends itself to some great discussions. But like you, if one of us were to go into politics, well then that would be a horse of a different color. It must be very stressful. Thank you so much for your comment, I appreciate it!

  3. rainer says:

    lol! do you think you may have swapped the political support/sex around because you were associating with the woman as yourself, and subconsciously thinking, ‘never would i vote republican.” even though i am in Oz, i love watching the unfolding of the US political circus, you have such …er…colourful candidates. cains alleged sexual harassment allegation have even made news here.

  4. Rob Husberg says:

    Due to whatever tech glitch, I did not get emailed this particular post: just now
    discovered it perusing your blog. Whew!…almost blew my perfect “reply” record!
    I’m actually old enough to remember arguing endlessly and intensely about
    politics with close friends, and then laughing and having beers together.
    (Yes, those days truly existed!)
    Personally, I always enjoyed having “significant others” with opposing viewpoints:
    it kept me on my toes. Though, now that I think about it — not always in bed.
    Perhaps that could be a reason I’m still single.

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