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 | By Steve and Bridget Patton

SHE SAYS: I really disagree with some of the choices he made in the voting booth and I’m really struggling to understand.


HE SAYS: What’s the big deal? We don’t have to agree about every little thing. Can’t we just forget about this and move on?

Voting can bring out strong emotions. So even with voting behind us, a discussion about the election could still be an opportunity for growth in your faith, your political maturity and your relationship.

For instance, try saying to one another, with kindness, “This is what I understand to be what we believe as Catholics and this is how I applied it to my voting decision. Please help me understand what your thinking was.” If you still don’t agree, then agree to disagree.

This is a moment of trust in your relationship. Do you trust that your spouse acts with integrity and the interest of the common good when voting? Do you believe in your spouse’s faith and commitment to make careful decisions rooted in his or her belief in following the will of God? If you do, then trust that God has led them to do their best in an imperfect world.

We live in an increasingly polarized political world, with people reflexively demonizing those who hold differing opinions. We don’t have to live that way. If you want your elected officials to re-learn how to respectfully reach across the legislative aisle, then start by living it yourselves and respectfully reach across the dinner table.

There are many issues about which people of good faith can disagree. When it comes to making prudential judgments – like whom to vote for – two Catholics can faithfully apply Catholic teaching and still end up making different choices. The Church gives us this freedom of discretion; we should likewise give it to one another, gut-wrenching though it might be.

In the end, the most important thing is that you trust your spouse, that you communicate respectfully and lovingly, and that you remember that you are one before God, who guides you in all of your decisions.