The Lilith Blog 1 of 2

April 27, 2017 by

How Trump Enriched Our Marriage

Protestors from the Women's March.

Protestors from the Women’s March. Photo credit: Shira Gorelick.

I struggle to see the good in Donald Trump. His words and actions frighten me. Early in the campaign, my husband described him as a used car salesman. Now we don’t joke. I still sometimes wake in the night with images of gravestones overturned, children passing out from gassed or polluted air, backroom abortions.

So, I was surprised when I realized the huge positive effect this presidency has brought to our marriage. 

My husband and I married 21 years ago, well into middle age. Like most second-marrieds, we treasure what we have together and give each other lots of space to grow individually. 

My husband is an extreme introvert. He is happiest reading action mysteries, watching tennis, nature films or action movies—not my genres. I’m happy he’s happy. 

I, too, am an introvert. My work as a therapist precludes my discussing the details of my day. I’ve always appreciated our silence. We’re not exactly the most exciting couple, but as we’ve moved into our seventies and eighties, we’ve anchored each other well. I never questioned our rhythm. Happily, we’ve hugged, cuddled, shared occasional observations and appreciated our quiet space.

Until January 21. Trump’s inauguration changed our daily lives. 

Both Jewish, both children of Eastern European immigrants escaping pogroms, both adoring grandparents, our bodies immediately went on the alert. We’ve always enjoyed reading the Forward; now we devour the front pages and commentaries, pointing each other to particular paragraphs in particular articles. We study newspapers and news magazines. We stay informed through the day and keep each other up to date. We settle in front of PBS for the evening news together. We watch Rachel Maddow nightly, relieved that good folks have the courage to investigate and speak up. We talk, talk, talk.   

We discuss the Trump budget much more than our own. We follow the money and try to connect the dots between Trump’s money and Russian ties. We cheered together when Ryan pulled the non-health care bill. We walk more and drive only one car to do our part in slowing emission gases. When we plan to share a meal with Republicans, we strategize about subjects to avoid and subjects to discuss (the weather, the children). We keep each other on topic. We are a team.

Trump’s presidency has had many unintended consequences, certainly provoking women to voice their thoughts and feelings. For this and more, I’m grateful. On our anniversary, I plan to send the President a thank you note for a more personal unintended consequence: enriching our marriage.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lilith Magazine.