DEAR HARRIETTE: I am in an interracial relationship and have been for four years. With the election coming up, my boyfriend, who is white, told me that he will not be voting because he does not support either of the candidates. I told him how important it is to vote and that we should exercise our right. I offered to let him come with me so we can vote for Biden together.
He then shared that, if he were required to vote, out of the two major candidates he would most likely vote for Trump over Biden. He says he doesn't particularly agree with Trump's views, but he also does not agree with Biden's views. I told him that in the interest of our interracial relationship, Biden is more on our side, so we should support him together. My boyfriend strongly disagreed and dropped the conversation. He couldn't give me an answer as to why he would vote for Trump. Then he just concluded the argument by saying, "This is exactly why I will not be voting." What does this mean? I'm having trouble processing and coming to terms of what this conversation meant. -- Interracial Voter
DEAR INTERRACIAL VOTER: This election is more polarizing than any I have seen in my lifetime. While I am not going to tell you who you or your boyfriend should vote for, I will say that it is smart to talk about the specific views that each candidate has on issues that matter to you. Go to their websites and pull up their statements on the issues that you care about. Debate what they have actually said rather than what you have heard second-hand.
Instead of arguing with your boyfriend, ask him to explain why he thinks Trump would be better for his life and for yours. It is worth further discussion even if it is difficult. Essentially, you want to know each other's views about life and what's important to you. These candidates help to delineate certain values. You should get clear on what each of you feels about how to build the economy, the right to life, women's rights, health care and government support of the poor. Regardless of who you vote for, you should know if you two are on the same page on these key issues.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a stay-at-home mother, married with three kids. With our family all home a majority of the time, I have been wanting to pick up a job of my own. I had come to the decision that I want to take online college classes and finally pursue my bachelor's degree in education in hopes of becoming a teacher. I have been home-schooling my kids since the quarantine began; I think that I am pretty good and would love to teach other kids.
When I discussed this with my husband, he was totally against it. He wants me to keep my time and focus on our own kids and that any time I spend outside the home working is only going to take away from our family and household. I understand what he means, but plenty of families have two working parents, so why couldn't we? I really just want something to do that is my own. Is my husband right? Am I being selfish? -- Want To Get Out There
DEAR WANT TO GET OUT THERE: Do some research. Figure out if you can afford to be out of the house while your kids are growing up. You said you can take classes at home, at least during this extended quarantine period. If you can figure out a way to study and still care for your family, you may be able to have it all, so to speak. It may take time for your husband to come around. If you have the stamina to go for it, try it out.