CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - One local marriage counselor says national politics are causing marital issues in the Heartland as couples and families struggle to find middle ground, and the line between fact and reality continues to blur.
Counselor Bob Dale of Cape Girardeau said he has had in increase in clientele, some of whom claim that Republicans vs Democrats has become more of a "deal breaker" for relationships at home than party affiliation was in the past.
Dale attributes some of these differences to the rise of social media over traditional news sources.
"There are more sources now," Dale said. "Some are very polarized, some are not, but many people either pick a side or choose not to trust any of them… and that seems to be the big thing"
Dale explained that the resulting difficulty of verifying sources and information results in arguments among established couples over the pure existence of fact vs an ideological debate.
"We have a whole lot of 'I'm right, and you're stupid' going on today, and that's a judgment," Dale said. "When you start carrying your judgments into the conversation based on somebody's opinion, you're being a little bit shallow yourself."
According to the latest data available from the PEW research center, more than 20 percent of people view their opposing party as "very unfavorable" than did in 1994.
Dale said he rarely sees a person manage to convince their partner of an opposing viewpoint, and the most successful recoveries usually happen when people accept that they aren't going to change someone else's mind.
"Remember, that this is your relationship. Where it's understood that your political views are important to you… but this is your family. Shouldn't this be more important to you?"