Sleeping with the ‘enemy’

To Amanda, the “enemy” describes her devoted and loving husband of 25 years, Phil, a staunch republican.

To Phil, the “enemy” describes his beloved wife and life companion, Amanda, a proud democrat.

Phil and Amanda are partners in a relationship where a large portion of the principles and ideologies they believe in and subscribe to are starkly different.  When I first heard about this particular couple, my first-blush reaction was one of disbelief.  How could a vibrant long-term partnership not only exist or merely get by but actually thrive within a framework constructed upon so many contrasting points of view?  Which led me to the follow-up question:  How important are mirroring core beliefs to the vitality of a relationship?

Can a romantic partnership bridge the obvious gap between hot-button topics like pro choice/pro life, gay marriage, death penalty issues, and taxes?

And putting aside for a moment whether it “can”…must it?

A belief that a partner must share and embrace parallel understandings about most, if not all, of life’s day-to-day happenings could be the very thing that is blocking an experience of our highest potential and greatest remembrance.  As we long for and seek to find relationships that support our already-adopted set of beliefs and firmly placed perspectives, perhaps we are overlooking the possibilities held within a relationship of distinction, one whose promise is to provide the highest and grandest opportunity for self-creation.  Conversations with God, Book 1, teachings say, “If the world existed in perfect condition, your life process of Self creation would be terminated. It would end.”

Couldn’t the same be true within the context of our intimate relationships?

Differences within relationships present opportunities to experience oneness without the requirement of sameness.  Whether our partners are interested discussing the most-recent debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney or having a conversation around last night’s yoga class or perhaps the day’s events at the office, a partnership will continually invite you to create a space and be present in the same way each and every time:  fully, mindfully, openly, and lovingly.  Not because the particular subject matters – politics, gardening, yoga, football, knitting, book club – but because the person with whom you share your journey, your beloved other, the mate of your soul, does matter.

Therefore, it is not important that we agree, but rather that we resist the temptation to be “right,” consciously inviting the full expression of life into our realm of possibilities.  And as life has demonstrated to us again and again and again, we are most often provided some of our grandest opportunities within the disguise of that which we resist.

In the upcoming 2012 election, Phil will vote for Mitt Romney and Amanda will vote for Barack Obama.  And they will thereafter continue on in their sacred journey, a partnership of their souls, expanding in the appreciation of their diversity and operating out of their deeply held belief that the essence of love is freedom.

And THAT is a concept that has my vote!

 (Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation.  She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at


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  • mewabe

    “Differences within relationships present opportunities to experience oneness without the requirement of sameness.”

    THANK YOU LISA, you are singing my song!!! So great to read this, a thousand thank you for putting it out there!

    Peace, harmony and freedom FOR ALL will indeed come when we finally embrace (and joyfully celebrate) differences, diversity, multiplicity of views, lifestyles, beliefs, cultures, etc, when we stop attempting the make the world uniform in the name of something we declare to be “true”, “right” or “superior”.

    Such a tough lesson for humanity, yet humanity is so richly creative, why would it want to suppress this creativity in the name of uniformity? Because it associates differences with conflicts.

  • mewabe

    A great conversation (or communication, or relationship) between people is when each person is heard and fully understood…understanding does not mean agreement. The two are often confused. A failed conversation is not one when no agreement is reached, but when there is no communication, no understanding of or by the other.

    The aim of all conversations should be understanding, not agreement (unless it happens)…understanding comes from respect, and maintains respect.

    The drive many have to impose their views on others (particularly ideological or religious) may betray their lack of conviction, of confidence in these views, paradoxically. They may attempt to make their beliefs stronger and more valid by forcing them on others, because there is a possibility that unconsciously they may not sense that these beliefs can stand on their own.

  • mewabe

    Another quick thought: conflicts are not bad, as long as they do not lead to fear, hatred and violence or oppression.

    Conflicts create tension, and tension is also necessary for growth…at least at this stage of our development as a specie, we need the ebb and flow of ease and unease.

  • rebie

    whoa! no thing really happens by chance. i needed to read it right now ;)) thanks for this beautiful piece of re-minder. love you lots! ;))

  • Regina Carpenter

    I have often read in spiritual books that people on different levels of awareness will not be able to communicate with each other. The person on the higher level will understand the person on the lower level, but the less conscious one will not be comfortable with the other. And to me, the person who would vote for Romney must be very asleep, and so how can he live in harmony with his wife who is much more awake? I speak also from my own experience. I am the only one in my family who has experienced a consciousness-raising, and so I spontaneously speak from that awareness and I might as well be speaking Greek, not one member of my family understands me. In fact they do everything they can to shut me up, they feel threatened by my truth.

  • Carla Fernandes


    Thank you for your sage words.

    I believe that our true nature is love and I’m learning that is to accept others as they are. As I feel that we are one, it’s the acceptance of ourselves also.

    Unfortunatelly, my education teached me that we should love others expecting and forcing them to change to what we think is the best way to be. I’ve learned with life that this way of thinking creates high expectations that our happiness will happens when our partner changes. So the blame, the accusations, and sadness appear in our relationships…

    I think that unconditional love is the anwser because it frees ourselves to be as we wish and also our partner.

    It’s challeging but not impossible.

    Thak you!



  • mewabe

    Why would someone want to be with a person s/he feel must change? This is such a widespread belief, and it is kind of like buying a house and starting to work on it, from top to bottom, to make it exactly the way we want it….except that a person is not a house, not an object.

    Someone who thinks another must change should not be with that person, but should attempt to find someone who fits that mental image (expectations) perfectly, until after many failures s/he finally understands that love has nothing to do with expectations or perfection, and finding love is not like going shopping.