I love you but I hate your politics How to protect your intimate relationships in a poisonous partisan world

Jeanne Safer

Book - 2019

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New York : All Points Books 2019.
First edition
Physical Description
ix, 228 pages ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Jeanne Safer (author)
  • Introduction: a house divided
  • The endless fight
  • Young and foolish
  • Family feuds I
  • Family feuds II
  • Relentless hope
  • Enemies no longer
  • Three Trump supporters and the women who love-or leave-them
  • What is a core value?
  • We love the things we love for what they are.
Review by Booklist Reviews

After over 40 years working as a psychotherapist, Safer has spent a sizable amount of time exploring intimate relationships. She has noticed that now, more than ever before, cherished partnerships—be they romantic, platonic, familial, or otherwise—are greatly endangered by our polarized political climate. Through a series of case studies, Safer explores how people with diametrically opposed viewpoints can maintain healthy, functioning connections. Readers meet leftist fathers who reject right-leaning, veteran sons; conservative husbands who toss the word "liberal" as an insult-grenade at the peak of an argument; and friends who email PowerPoints to their ideological opponents outlining why the other is wrong. The most fervent takeaway: remembering that we cannot change others, only change ourselves. No matter how persistent or prescient we may be, we rarely convince others to join our side. With this, Safer offers rules of engagement for mixed-viewpoint commingling that prioritize respect and care. What makes Safer, a vocal liberal, so qualified? Her decades-long career exploring the mind, and an equally lengthy marriage to a staunchly conservative commentator. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

It's no surprise that many books today focus on the theme of caring for one another despite partisan political beliefs. Safer (The Golden Condom; Cain's Legacy) tackles the strain of political differences on personal relationships by basing her work on more than 50 interviews with couples of mixed opinions, taking her analysis beyond the content of common disagreements to consider how they illustrate our compulsion to change someone else's mind about a given subject. She investigates core values and stresses an appreciation for multiple viewpoints, stating the emphasis should be on taking into account another person's feelings, while exhibiting kindness, respect, and a willingness to respond to form a deeper understanding. VERDICT An excellent choice for those coming to terms with a family member's alternate view. Another solid resource is Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers's I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening). Both are highly recommended. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Psychotherapist and podcaster Safer (The Golden Condom) offers empathetic and sanity-saving advice on navigating the mine fields of political conversation. Safer, a liberal Democrat married to a conservative Republican, shares plenty of hard-won tips from her own life, notably not raising one's voice, not discussing politics under the influence of alcohol, and, perhaps most apropos in the age of Facebook, not sending a partner unsolicited partisan articles or links on contentious topics. Cautionary tales of relationships gone awry are sprinkled throughout, including a story about female best friends who nearly ended their longtime friendship over a Trump-Hillary debate, and screaming fights between a liberal mother and her conservative teenage son. Safer encourages readers to examine their own motivations for discussions, and realize that most political fights in intimate relationships are not about politics but about a compulsion to change dissimilar views to align with one's own. She also advises readers to use humor to defuse hostility and to work to understand the viewpoints of others. This insightful, well-reasoned book will help readers negotiate the political differences in their relationships with the people they love most. (June)Correction: The author's last name was misstated in an earlier version of this review. Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Drawing from interviews with politically-mixed couples and her own experiences as a liberal happily married to a conservative, a psychotherapist offers a practical guide to maintaining respect and intimacy in a strained and increasingly divided world.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Provides advice for salvaging and strengthening bonds with friends, family, and spouses who may have different political views and shares insight from interviews with a diverse group of politically mixed couples.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A comprehensive guide to mending relationships that have been strained by political differences.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Do you thrust unsolicited partisan articles upon your spouse? Are you convinced that you can change your coworker’s mind, if you could only argue forcefully enough? Have you gone from befriending to “defriending” the people once closest to you? Don’t give up hope; Dr. Jeanne Safer is here to help.Since the election of Donald J. Trump, political disagreements have been ravaging our personal relationships like never before. This already widespread phenomenon will continue to grow unless we learn to fight it.From friends to relatives to lovers, no relationship is immune to this crisis. I Love You, but I Hate Your Politics draws from interviews with every type of politically mixed couple, as well as Dr. Safer’s own experiences as a die-hard liberal happily married to a stalwart conservative. The result is a practical guide to maintaining respect and intimacy in our increasingly divided world.I Love You, but I Hate Your Politics is sure to educate and entertain anyone who has felt the strain of ideological differences in their personal life. No matter which side of the fence you're on, Dr. Safer offers frank, practical advice for salvaging and strengthening your bonds with your loved ones. This book is required reading for any politically minded friend, relative, or significant other in the Trump era.