The Humanist Dilemma: Is My Spouse’s Support for Trump Grounds for Divorce?

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Civil War: I watched with particular interest as Anthony Scaramucci’s wife filed for divorce within days of him taking a job with President Trump. She cited, among other complaints, that she herself is not a Trump supporter. My situation, while it doesn’t involve publicly standing with the president or moving to Washington, DC, is similar, and I have been suppressing the idea of leaving my husband because of his support for this awful man and his policies (if one can even call them that). I know Trump will be gone in four to eight years, but I’m still finding it incredibly difficult on a daily basis. I can’t fathom how the man I married could possibly vote for and continue to laud such a monster. Should I follow my impulse to leave him?

—A House Divided Cannot Stand


Dear Stand,

I read something recently about a Trump-bump in divorce rates, and I can certainly empathize with how hard it is to live with someone whose beliefs are so counter to your own. It’s like trying to reconcile different religious views or, to a lesser degree, different tastes in music, art, theater, literature, science, etc. How do you continue to share your life with someone who wants to tear down what you hold dear, and who doesn’t live by the same set of facts as you do?

I doubt his support of a particular candidate is an isolated divide. Surely there must have been other evidence of differences between you before Trump declared his candidacy, a divide that perhaps was easier to miss when it didn’t have a name to delineate this particular basket of deplorable views. Before you call a lawyer, I suggest you try a marriage counselor to tease out what’s going on beneath the surface of your political differences. I’d also recommend a thorough medical exam for your spouse to rule out whether there’s an underlying physical or mental syndrome, such as the beginning stages of dementia (I’m serious). And surely you realize he (and large swaths of this great nation) may be thinking the same things about you (and me).

Every relationship has disagreements and incompatibilities, some of which may subside over time, and others that will only become more insufferable. You need to take a hard look at your entire relationship (i.e., whether the good outweighs the bad) and situation (including finances and any children) and decide whether the objectionable traits are baked in and will become increasingly intolerable, or whether you have a chance to make this marriage great again.