I’ve been studying America’s pesky divorce rate for half an hour now and I believe I’ve made an important discovery. As a concerned citizen, then, it’s my patriotic duty to share this landmark finding immediately because the government is obviously suppressing the information. It’s Political Bickering Syndrome (PBS), and it strikes suddenly just prior to political elections. However, caution is needed, as PBS must not be confused with other marital conflicts like: “How Can You Wear White Sweatsocks and Sneakers with A Navy Blue Suit?” or “Isn’t it Time You Remembered to Put The Toilet Seat Down, Now That We’re Married 23 Years?”
PBS hits with the realization that, though we cherish our spouses, we’re never going to change their–and I say this with the utmost respect–bonehead opinions about anything. Especially politics. Without delay, PBS victims thrash their arms and yell violently. You’ve probably seen them at the mall. Couples who once chatted quietly about this candidate or that, now drop F- bombs, shout expletives regarding conservativism versus liberalism, and hurl the baby’s dirty diapers at each other, right there in front of Ralph (“Cowboy”) Lauren’s pristeen polo pony mannequins. It’s enough to ruin anyone’s shopping experience, especially having to witness their pulsating faces (the couples’, not the ponies’) erupting into Day-Glo shades of Radioactive Purple and Nuclear Orange. Let’s be honest: they’re unattractive–especially those wearing executive-length argyle socks, plaid shorts, and pith helmets. And those are the women.
Well, I refuse to let this straw break the matrimonial camel’s back, only to blight our great country, with its purple and amber majesty sprouting fruit all over the plains. Diligent research has concluded that the two fundamental causes of political discord are that: 1) one’s mate disagrees with one’s opinions, or 2) some other reason. Thus, because marriage is the backbone–not to mention the gastrointestinal system–of our country, couples must avoid, at all costs, political discussions with any persons, living or dead, regardless of race, religion, or tendency to trim toenails while driving on slow-moving freeways. Moreover, two highly respected journals (American Psychological Association and Kumquat Growers Monthly), warn couples to cease exchanging provocative comments such as: “take a flying leap” and “you’re full of it,” as these may cause unnecessary homicides and other inconveniences.
With regard to empirical evidence, if you were to spy on several couples that I know personally–and I’m not for a moment suggesting that you should–you’d learn that constant political bickering can exacerbate not only high blood pressure, but incontinence and an insatiable desire for stewed prunes. And these are not just couples who live in retirement homes.
Thus, to restore marital calm within our nation of amber waves of purple majesty, citizens must improve spousal communication immediately. That’s right. Even if Simon Cowell called you personally to announce that you’re needed immediately because you’re the next American Idol winner, you must say: “I can’t talk now, Si. I’m pulling my wife and myself up by our non-political matrimonial bootstraps. Call me tomorrow after lunch.”
Thus, we see that avoiding political discussions is vital to preventing divorce. The two examples below utilize the psychotherapeutic technique known as “DEFUSING,” which can assist in calming an angry mate in subtle ways.
ANGRY SPOUSE: Dammit, the only way to win this war is to bomb the hell out of all of ’em!
RECOMMENDED DEFUSER: Honey, what d’ya say we go out and have some pina coladas? My treat!
ANGRY SPOUSE: Politicians are all crooks. Throw them all out!
RECOMMENDED DEFUSER: Say dear, did you know that if we cut the tips off of rubber gloves and put them on our kitchen chair legs, we can prevent scratching our floor?
And so, we see that committing to eliminating PBS is the kind of commitment that has made America–with her amber waves of purple mountains–great. But just in case defusing doesn’t work, it’s probably wise to keep your toilet seat down, anyway.