The election is over.
Read that sentence as many times as you need to. Now, whether the election turned out how you wanted it to or not, we all know that everyone is happy that it is all over….for a little while anyways.
So…most people who know my wonderful husband know that he is absolutely in love with everything political. Since January he has had the amazing opportunity to work in the field that he is passionate about. I have been so very happy for him…but that does not mean that all of the craziness of the election season has been easy for us.
Having just survived my first of what will probably end up being many election seasons as a wife of a husband who works in politics, I would like to share some of my new found knowledge.
Below you will find 10 ways to survive an election cycle when your spouse works in politics. Consider it a free “How To Guide”…you deserve it.
Believe me this is going to be way more helpful than you might think. You definitely need to learn the basic terms and acronyms. After you get those down, branch out to the more party specific terms and such. With all of this new information you will be able to have conversations about what will be consuming your partner’s life. I promise that you will not regret this learning opportunity.
There will be a plethora of events to attend. Forums, debates, dinners, fundraisers, watch parties…there are a lot of events. The tone of each event will be determined by who is throwing the event and the location. Some are formal, some are catered, some are awkward, some are busy, some are even….fun. It is possible.
I will be the first to admit that I still feel awkward after attending a lot of these events. As the wife I never know exactly what my role is. Unless you need to help pass out stickers, serve food, or keep track of something, you are probably free to mingle while your spouse does the networking thing. Be available if they need you, but don’t be stuck to them like white on rice. You probably wouldn’t like that, so don’t do it to them.
If you are like me and don’t enjoy the idea with mingling with a ton of people you don’t know, I recommend finding a quiet out of the way place to stand or sit. You will be surprised that you are not the only one trying to do this. I typically find a spot and then spend the evening chatting with wives and girlfriends who are in the same boat as me.
While I don’t count attending these events as date nights, my wonderful husband always takes me out to a nice dinner or dessert afterwards…and that, my friends, does count as a date night. Do not skip out on this…never skip out on the opportunity for a date night.
This is one of the most stressful times of the year for everyone involved. Whether the polling wasn’t great, the candidate is upset, the opponent is being crazy, or if things are just hitting every fan in the building, there is always going to be something that your spouse needs to vent about.
Listen. Listen. Listen. Did I mention that you need to listen? Well, you need to listen.
Listen to all the venting because you might be the only person they trust enough to vent to. So…even if you don’t feel like it, suck it up put on your listening ears. Be calm. Add to the conversation if necessary. Offer words of encouragement.
Under no circumstances do you ever mention anything that was vented about to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
So…no matter which party your spouse works for, they are probably deeply committed to that party. When you see an elephant or a donkey you see an animal that might be found at the zoo or a farm. They see something different. They probably hate one and love the other. They see something that they are sincerely committed to.
Don’t make fun of it. Don’t try to stop it. Embrace it.
I have found that Amazon and Etsy offer super fun, cute, and affordable political clothing and accessories. Whether it be a tie, cufflinks, a catchy t-shirt, or a something else, your partner will love getting a present. It will also show that you know what they enjoy….you know your spouse…and that is pretty much mandatory whether it is election season or not.
So, be on the look out for American flag socks, elephant cufflinks, state seal tie bars…etc. It will very beneficial.
Time is going to start be consumed by everything work related and it happens very quickly. Just like events, things like door knocking and literature dropping can be a good way to spend time together. It isn’t a date, it is work, but it has potential to be fun.
Typically these types of things happen on weekends, so unless you want to spend your Saturday alone…offer to help. These events are often casual and offer opportunities to laugh and chat. There is also the drive to and from that can be fun.
Help as much as you can. It shows that you care and it will give you some time with the person you love.
Yes, you read that right. Communication never stops. Get used to it now and know that it will end when the election is over. Well, it might not end, but it will probably get better.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have been able to relieve a little bit of stress by helping my husband out with things on his “To-Do” list. Whether it is designing a flyer, a billboard, or even just proofreading things…every little bit helps.
From the very beginning it is important to make your number one mission to help your spouse AMAP (as much as possible).
Stress is not good. A stressed spouse is horrifying. Help out where you can and be happy.
You are welcome.
Schedules change an things come up. When things don’t work correctly they take more time.
I will be completely honest with you: This is where I really struggle. I love schedules and punctuality…and so does C.J. I have had to learn that things really do come up all the time and that the majority of these things are completely out of his control.
Be understanding and make dinners that can stay warm or be reheated.
When everything is in full force you might feel frustrated, defeated, and completely exhausted. I am sure that your spouse feels similar. His job is going to take its toll on both of you and I guarantee that when the election is nearing its end, you will both be ready for it to be over.
Stay positive and cheerful. Don’t distance yourself.
If your partner starts to feel that you are upset or that something is wrong between the two of you it makes it hard for them to focus on all the craziness that is their career.
Smile. Make them laugh as much as possible. Find a healthy way to get rid of frustration.
Love Is the Greatest
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Any other suggestions on how to survive an election cycle when your spouse works in politics?
Comment below and share your wisdom!