real life

'If Donald Trump wins, my marriage is over.'

Eight-hour arguments aren’t all that unusual in long-term relationships, but gosh almighty did my husband and I have a whopper last night over Donald Trump.

It’s not that he’s a Trump supporter per se, he’s more of a Trump defender. Because he loathes Hillary Clinton so much.

Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself, because the thought that I am married to someone who can offer any sane defence of someone like Trump, of the things he does and says, makes me question my entire world.

We’re not the first couple to disagree about politics and we always have.

I’m a leftie and he’s conservative. How we ended up together, I’ll never know, but love and children keep us together, leaving us no choice but to either:

a. Never ever ever talk about politics, ever.

b. Talk about politics once, perhaps twice a year and get it all out in a huge, epic row.

In the movie This is 40, Pete and Debbie wonder why they fight. Article continues after this video.

Last night was all about option b, but this morning we’re both still feeling pretty upset.

So it goes without saying that I am heavily invested in the outcome of the US election today, dramatically declaring to anyone who’ll listen that “if Trump wins, I’m not going home tonight” or “if Trump wins, my marriage is over”.

I probably will go home, and our marriage won’t be over, but the very thought of someone so morally bankrupt, sexist and pretentious leading the free world makes me feel ill.

And the fact that my husband disagrees with me about something so significant and so important to me makes me feel like us being together is a huge mistake.

We love each other so much. How can we not be on the same page? How can I raise my children with someone so different when it comes to my own core beliefs?


How can I spend the rest of my life with someone who can say a nice word about a person who has treated women so poorly? I think of all of the years of sexual harassment I endured during my first decade of employment and I think of my daughter, OUR daughter.

There's nothing funny about fighting over Trump and Clinton. Image: Getty

The fact is that my husband dreads the thought of anyone mistreated me or our daughter.

So why on earth does he side with Trump?

It's all about Hillary, and that's where the argument went for the next hour or so.

He feels she isn't a good candidate for such an important job due to past controversies. Staying with her cheating husband has nothing to do with it. He claims the fact she is a strong woman has nothing to do with it either, but I don't believe him.

Listen: In a special episode of Mamamia Out Loud the team discuss the gut-wrenching results of the U.S. election.

I smell a faint whiff of sexism from him when we talk about Hillary, as though the fact she is a woman means she is held to different standards than a man would be in her shoes. And isn't that what women around the world have been fighting against their entire lives.

Equality... still a dream. A dream I sometimes wonder if I'll ever see in my lifetime. A dream I pray will happen in my daughter's lifetime.


The argument went from US politics to climate change.

"How do you explain the ice growing in Antarctica Jo?"

... to how we fight with each other.

"Why do you make it personal when we disagree?"

"Because it is personal," I replied.

"You are my husband and for you to say even one kind word about Trump makes me sick."

"But it's a discussion about politics and the economy. It's not personal," my husband said.

"Yes it is, because every time Trump says or does something misogynistic, he is making life harder for women, for me your wife and for your daughter. On that basis alone you should distance yourself from him," I said.

"But I don't call you an idiot," he replied. 

"That's because I'm not an idiot. You are," I said.

I dread the thought of a Trump-lead free world for myself, for all women and for my daughter. Image: Provided

Then climate change again, and then we both agreed to go to bed because we had an early day but continued to fight, furiously whispering to each other until he suggested sex as a way to make up.

"I'm not in the mood," I said, probably the second time ever in our almost 20-year relationship.


Today we made up over the phone, sort of, but I know we are both watching the election results with baited breath, not because we are afraid of the consequences of a Trump/Hillary win, but because we know that if Trump wins, I'm going to have a terrible night. It will probably result in another huge fight.

And if Hillary wins, he's going to have a terrible night. Which will probably result in another huge fight.

Are my husband and I normally so argumentative over politics? Well, yes. Do we disagree about politics, religion and refugees often? We sure do.

But last night felt different. Even though we fought about US politics, climate change, how we fight, climate change and then US politics, it didn't feel like we were fighting about any of those topics at all.

What I've suddenly realised is that the reason we fight about such things is because there are so many other, more real issues to fight about, ones that are way too close to home.


His family.

My family.

Our kids.

As years go, last year and this year have been the two worst years in each of our lives on profoundly personal levels, leaving each of us equally devastated.

But we don't dare discuss it. We would never split over Trump or climate change or left vs right but we could very easily lose our family by discussing any of these issues that are way too close to home and nowhere near being resolved.

In fact, I highly doubt these issues, in particularly the problems in each of our families, will ever be resolved.

So we fight about refugees and wars and politics and whether the ice caps are growing or melting (for the record, Antarctic ice is growing but not at a fast enough rate to replace the Arctic ice that is melting).

If at the core of our epic row is a desperate attempt at misdirection, a subconscious attempt at continuing our relationship after two of the worst years of our lives, much worse than when we were forced into bankruptcy during the Global Financial Crisis, I'll take it.

But when I take my relationship out of it, the thought that a Trump presidency is even a possibility makes me feel sick and leaves me distraught thinking about what sort of a world we live in where something like that could even happen.