It appears that the current polarized political climate is causing some couples to seek divorce and is bringing great tension between other couples. One reader wrote that his wife and daughters are very much against his preferred presidential candidate.
“We fight now. Everyday. And it’s the same ending every time with her yelling, “I don’t even know you anymore,” or “What happened to you?” I pray for some fairness. I’m concerned for future grandchildren but if these socialists allow other countries to penetrate our country’s values and ethics then perhaps it’s best I have no grandchildren to love and hold and watch grow. I’m so mad. I feel like I’m being cheated out of something and it’s causing so much strife I want to go to sleep. I have been getting counseling but honestly can’t deal with the lies and hatred surrounding my life right now. How can this be allowed to happen? I see no solution except to become a zombie and go along with the dismantling of our country for the sake of my marriage and children. This will also tilt the scale heavily in favor of a depression I may never recover from.”
To this reader and to others facing a similar situation: What you are facing is extremely difficult, but you are also in a very powerful position to serve your family, your country, and a higher calling. Your family needs your strength now more than ever, as well as your protection, courage, stoicism, and caring.
As I see it, you are in the trenches, on the front lines of our current ethics war—a war of perception of right and wrong and for the future of this country.
You have a choice to either pick up sword and shield and stand for what is right, or allow your moral senses to become dull—the zombie state you describe.
So how should you take your stand?
In this battle, your sword is logic and reason, and your shield is a deep inner strength that comes from virtues such as hope, faith, humility, and charity.
I would start by strengthening yourself, deepening your faith, and restoring your hope. Read material that informs and invigorates you (such as classics like “The Illiad,” or self-improvement books such as “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson” or “Man of Steel and Velvet” by Aubrey Andelin); listen to music (I really enjoy Beethoven’s “Egmont” Overture Op. 84, and I hear in it good overcoming evil); do physical labor or spend time in nature; seek out like-minded friends or a faith community. Step as far away as you can from the world of lies; it may help to take a week or two or more off from consuming news.
Regarding the situation with your wife and daughters, I think it is fair to request that politics or other sensitive matters not be discussed in your presence, at least not without prior agreement and not too often. Also as a courtesy, don’t listen to or watch news in family spaces. It might help to allow them to see your vulnerability when you make this request—tell them honestly that you are finding yourself at risk of depression and you love them and don’t want to fight with them anymore.
In tandem, make it a point to have some quality family time, do things together that you all enjoy, and spend time one on one. Also, see if there are things you can do to serve your family—do repairs around the house, clean areas you are responsible for, surprise your wife by doing some extra chores, or do a renovation project that makes her happy.
Consider, too, what makes your wife feel really loved. Look up the “Five Love Languages” (5LoveLanguages.com/quizzes/) and see if you can figure out which ones are key for her (if you can’t, then ask her, most women will love to answer this!).
As you work on strengthening yourself and repairing your family, I would put politics aside for the time being. What is happening is important, but it’s extremely hard to change an entrenched world view.
‘How Can This Be Allowed to Happen?’
Your question “How can this be allowed to happen?” is an important one to reflect on because it can really strengthen your ability to endure the situation.
In “The Art of War,” the great Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Here is how I understand the enemy:
Since the dawn of humanity, we have walked a path between good and evil, choosing at each step where we will place our feet, guided by our moral compass.
Yet for the past several decades, the moral compasses of Americans have been manipulated, adjusted a little bit at a time, so that most people haven’t realized what is happening. As you said, our country’s values and ethics have been penetrated. This is the demoralization process that is a necessary precursor to the formation of a communist society. In order to better understand this, I would recommend looking up videos of Yuri Bezmenov, a high-ranking KGB agent who defected to the West in the ‘70s, and in the ‘80s, began warning Americans of the signs of demoralization he saw here.
This process leaves people unable to discern right from wrong, and they are defenseless against ideas that seek to destroy them. The Epoch Times series “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World” has more details about how specific issues have been manipulated.
So as you prepare yourself for what lies ahead, it is important to set realistic expectations: high ones for yourself, and be prepared to meet irrationality with tolerance. The demoralization process is akin to a propaganda campaign; when people have fallen prey to it, they may actually be unable to rationalize due to their emotional reactions or a narrow framework of right and wrong. Done well, propaganda can make people believe that an event they themselves witnessed didn’t happen or didn’t happen the way they saw it, so it is extremely powerful and not easy to undo.
So if your spouse is angry, intolerant, or irrational, try not to take it personally and don’t see it as solely a weakness in their character.
And it’s important to have humility because we all have weaknesses in our characters and fallen at times—myself included. I have believed many things that I now understand to be wrong and I still have much to improve in my actions and thoughts. Sun Tzu’s advice, that in order to win a battle, you must understand both your strengths and weaknesses, is very relevant in our current war of ethics.
I’d like to end with a poem that reminds us to elevate above the mundane, remain steadfast, and keep our aspirations high.
‘Heaven Is Not Reached at a Single Bound’
by J.G. Holland
“Heaven is not reached at a single bound,
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round by round.
I count this thing to be grandly true:
That a noble deed is a step toward God—
Lifting the soul from the common clod
To a purer air and broader view.”
Do you have a family or relationship question for our advice columnist, Dear June? Send it to DearJune@EpochTimes.com or Attn: Dear June, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001.
June Kellum is a married mother of two and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.