MURPHY?S LOVEJuly 25, 2012

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**DEAR STACY:**

*I married a man who I knew had different political
views than I did. For a long time ? 10 years
? that didn?t seem to be an issue, he had his
opinions (conservative) and I had mine (more to
the left). I actually used to find our debates to
be a turn-on. But now we have two little girls
and I am worrying that their dad?s increasingly-
Tea Party-like opinions about things could have
a lasting impact on them. I avoid social events
because I?m afraid he?ll say something embarrassing.
It used to be that we were from different
political viewpoints, but it?s starting to feel like
we have different values. Is this a good enough
of a reason to get a divorce?*

*? On the Left, Afraid of the Right*

**DEAR: LEFT,**

Are we looking for a ?good enough of a reason?
to divorce?

You are not the only spouse married to someone
with a differing viewpoint who is feeling
a little more pressured at this time of year (or
is it this time of every four years?). Thanks to
an unrelenting news cycle and lots of blinking
outlets for information, the regularly scheduled
arguing might just seem a little louder this time
around. But you just jumped from political debates
being a turn-on, to them being a reason for
divorce. That?s an enormous vault. Let?s look a
little more before we leap.

You aren?t too specific about how Husband?s
opinions could have a lasting impact on your
daughters, so I would rather not make assumptions
about the details. If you are worried about
their safety, then you absolutely should make arrangements
to keep them secure. But if you are
concerned about having their feelings hurt simply
by being exposed to a certain set of ideas,
remember that you can always be the personification
of the counter argument. In fact, together
you can teach those girls how to see various
sides to any issue. Not a bad thing to learn at
home.

But my suspicion is that your daughters? egos
are just a ?better? reason for you to get serious
about a rift between you and Husband. Have
you noticed other differences in recent years ?
thoughts on childrearing, conflict styles, interactions
with family members ? that also reflect
a shift in values? If so, please take the time to
talk with him in the presence of a third party
(clergyperson, couples counselor, etc.), before
making a decision about divorce. Being calm
and curious about his changes might help him
feel safe enough to really consider what?s driving
his evolution in the first place. Who knows
what you both might learn if you take some time
and start working on this together?

**DEAR STACY:**

*I live in a summer sublet apartment and my
roommate?s parents are visiting AGAIN in early
August. They were here for FIVE DAYS in June
to move her in. They came back to ?bunk? with
us for 4th of July, and now they?re planning their
third trip for ? fun? before they come back midmonth
to move her out. They stay in her room
when they visit, but they really take over the
whole apartment, not to mention MY LIFE for
4-5 days each time. I?m all for close families ? I
love my parents and talk to them on the phone
weekly ? but this is INSANE. I was expecting
a fun summer with lots of interesting stories,
but all I seem to have are details (and I mean
DETAILS) of their visits to all the Smithsonians
because they share them with me every minute
I?m home.*

*-Mommy and Daddy Issues*

**DEAR ISSUES:**

WOW. You don?t say anything about the size
of your sublet, but I?m assuming it?s not big
enough for you and a family of three on a biweekly
basis.

I feel for you, but really, you must know what
I?m going to say? All together now, Have you
said anything about this directly to Roommate?
If not, stop reading this and give her a call. Right
now. Just go.

This behavior is baffling, to say the least, but
perhaps Roommate has no idea how uncomfortable
this makes you feel? Maybe she feels just
as uncomfortable and would just LOVE an excuse
to get them not to make the drive into town
next month? Or she might have a good reason
for wanting all this Mommy/Daddy/Daughter
special time. Be calm and ask her to clue you
in. Let?s give her the benefit of the doubt and
see where that leads you. If she fails the ?Dude,
seriously?? test, then you can just meet them at
the door next time with a prorated bill for their
share of the rent and utilities, and chalk it up to
learning a life lesson about the right questions to
ask any future roommates. ?

*Stacy Notaras Murphy is a licensed professional
counselor and certified Imago Relationship therapist
practicing in Georgetown. Her website is www.stacymurphyLPC.
com, and you can follow her on twitter @StacyMurphyLPC.
This column is meant for entertainment
only and should not be considered a substitute for
professional counseling. Send your confidential question
to stacy@georgetowner.com.*

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