Dear Colleen,

I am in my fifties and after a long time mourning my wife, I have begun a relationship of late with an old friend. So far so good, we enjoy each other’s company and we both share our beloved Irish roots, something I think that really sealed us together. I like everything about her, and at my age this doesn’t happen regularly!

So I hate to be pessimistic, but I have one complaint that sometimes can overshadow the good. We are polar opposites politically! I am a conservative and have been all my life. I am a proud member of the Tea Party and I stand true to my conservative beliefs. It’s how I’ve been all my life.

She, on the other hand, is a flaming liberal! She is in a dream world when it comes to voters issues, and when the subjects come up (we try to suppress them) it ends badly. The time of year, the media and meeting fellow party members doesn’t help, and at the end of the day it’s impossible to avoid discussing and arguing.

We both agree on one thing – that we will never agree with the opposing viewpoints!

So, Colleen, my question to you is; can two people, of completely different viewpoints on important issues in life, be together in harmony? Or will it eventually break us? I have a lot to lose at this stage of my life, but I just can’t fathom some of her views.

Mike, Texas.

Well Mike,

Sounds like the good points outweigh the bad regarding this lady.

Are either of you aggressive about your viewpoints? If not, that’s great.

If so, then you need to think long and hard about this. One of you could be a ticking bomb inside and explode one day in the form of a major argument where hurtful things are said.

These issues are contentious, and like us all, you need to learn to respect other people’s opinions that aren’t like yours. After all, that is America in a nutshell.

But that’s easier said than done and if it bugs you enough to think less of her, yell or even keep you awake at night, then it’s not worth it, and ultimately she isn’t either.

But I think in every relationship you need tolerance, so this is where you need it. Focus on the things you do agree on – that you enjoy being together and that Irish Americans rule!