Marriages, families & friendships break up because of 2016 election

Bloomberg reports that for 10 years, the American Psychological Association (APA) has been running a”Stress in America” survey, usually finding that stress is caused by three primary factors—money, work, and the economy.

Then came the 2016 presidential election.

So the APA added some election-related questions to its annual poll last August, and found that more than half of Americans (52%), both Democrats and Republicans, were anxious about the vote. Last month, just before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the APA conducted an additional poll to check on the nation’s mental health. The poll found that Americans’ stress levels in January were worse than in August: 57% of respondents said the current political climate was a very or somewhat significant source of stress. 


A Reuters/Ipsos poll of 6,426 people across all 50 states in January-February, taken 3 months after the 2016 election, found that the rancor has not dissipated as it has in the aftermath of other recent contentious U.S. elections. The gulf between Republicans and Democrats actually widened from hardening of ideological positions, which makes political compromise more difficult and increases distrust in government. (Source: Reuters)

The contention and stress show in workplace, marriage, and friendship.


According to a Wall Street Journal report, a new survey by BetterWorks Systems Inc. found that employees are spending a substantial chunk of their work hours reading, chatting and even clashing with their colleagues about politics, which leaves less time and attention for employees’ actual jobs. The poll of 500 full-time working adults conducted from January 31 to February 2 after President Trump’s first days in office found that:

  • 29% of workers report being less productive since the election.
  • 87% are reading social-media posts about politics during the workday.
  • More than a fifth read 20 or more posts, which adds up to an average of two hours a day spent talking or reading about politics.
  • 22% spend three or more hours each day on such activities.
  • Almost a third of those surveyed said their co-workers spend more time talking about politics than work.
  • Nearly half said they have seen a political conversation morph into an argument at the office since the November election.

Family and Friends

The January-February Reuters/Ipsos poll found that:

  • 17% said they had blocked a family member or close friend on social media because of the election, up 3 percentage points from October.
  • 39% of respondents reported arguing with family and friends over politics — a 6% increase since the height of the 2016 campaign last October.
  • 16% said they have stopped talking to a family member or friend because of the election — a phenomenon that more characterizes Democrat/Hillary voters, 22% of whom said they have stopped talking to a family member or friend.
  • Overall, 13% of respondents had gone beyond not talking to ending a relationship with a family member or close friend over the election, compared to 12% last October.

Arguing over Trump has become a bitter reality for many Americans. Some personal anecdotes:

  • Sue Koren, 57, a Clinton supporter in Dayton, Ohio, said she can barely speak to her two Trump-backing sons and has unfriended “maybe about 50” people on Facebook who support Trump. She said, “Life is not what it was before the election. It’s my anger, my frustration, my disbelief. They think our current president is a hero and I think he’s a nut.”
  • George Ingmire, 48, a radio documentary producer in New Orleans, said he broke off a close relationship with an uncle who had helped him through his father’s suicide because of his uncle’s fervent support for Trump. Ingmire said, “We had some back and forth and it just got really deep, really ugly. I don’t see this ever being fixed.”
  • LeShanda Loatman, 35, a black Republican real estate agent from Delaware who voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, has severed ties on social media with former co-workers and old friends over their support for Trump and their criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Rob Brunello, 25, a truck driver of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, said he’s faced a backlash from friends and family for backing Trump. Brunello said, “It’s been pretty rough for me. People couldn’t believe Trump could beat Hillary. They are having a hard time adjusting to it.”
  • William Lomey, 64, a retired cop in Philadelphia, no longer speaks with a gay friend he grew up with after they clashed on Facebook over the election. Lomey said, “Once people found out I had voted for Trump the stuff started flying. I questioned him on a few things, he didn’t like it, he blew up and left me a nasty message and we haven’t talked since.”


Political and partisan divisions even broke up marriages.

Gayle McCormick, 73, a retired California prison guard who’s a self-described “Democrat leaning toward socialist,” separated from her husband of 22 years when he casually mentioned during a lunch with friends last year that he planned to vote for Trump – a revelation she described as a “deal breaker.”  McCormick felt “betrayed” by her husband’s support for Trump: “It totally undid me that he could vote for Trump. I felt like I had been fooling myself. It opened up areas between us I had not faced before. I realized how far I had gone in my life to accept things I would have never accepted when I was younger.”

Eventually, McCormick’s husband changed his mind about Trump and wrote in former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich in November. By then, McCormick had decided to strike out on her own. While the couple plans to vacation together and will not get divorced because “we’re too old for that,” McCormick recently settled in her own place in Bellingham, Washington because “It really came down to the fact I needed to not be in a position where I had to argue my point of view 24/7. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing that.”

Some good news

The Reuters/Ipsos poll also found that:

  • Many people reported their relationships have not suffered because of the election. About 40% had not argued with a family member or friend over the race.
  • The election also enabled a significant number to forge new bonds: 21% said they became friends with someone they did not know because of the election.

How about you? Take our poll!


8 responses to “Marriages, families & friendships break up because of 2016 election

  1. Pingback: KOMMONSENTSJANE -Marriages, family & friendships break up because of 2016 election — Fellowship of the Minds | kommonsentsjane

  2. I had to use the ‘other’ button, as my long-time [10 yrs or more] friends & yes, even Friends, have become wary around me and no longer bring up certain topics dear to my heart, such as the 2nd Amendment and gun control [My idea of ‘gun control’ is knowing your firearm intimately and how to use it]. Have I ‘lost’ friends & family? You decide.

    The far left [I guess] extreme is my two longest time friends, 45+ years, now understand that all my philosophic & poliitical commentaries & essays DO indicate I’m very different from how they knew me nearly 50 years ago.

    One, who is 5 yrs younger than me, I met when I was Peace Secretary for the American Friends Service Comittee in 1965 in St Petersburg, FL, where he still lives. He was especially vociferous of my various statements about Broom Hilda, finally saying that I didn’t know anything and shouldn’t be writing about US politics as I was outside the country. I guess Steve forgot to look on a map to see how very close Victoria is: we’re so far South we’re not far from Everett, WA.

    And my intimate knowledge of the Evil Duo of Duplicity and Deceit was based on revelations shared w/me by Dr Tom OBrien in the 2.6 years before he died, of the 2+ yrs when he was their major financial advisor, made many millions for them, then saw them as they really [ugh, puke] were, right down to the men in black suits making the most vile of threats to him & his family.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. It is not so much the person they vote for as it is for the policies they support. I cannot brook anyone who is sympathetic to Islam after knowing my experiences and my taking the time to educate them. I do not suffer fools or Islamophiles readily and will not go out of my way to defend them if that time ever comes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haven’t lost any friends. And if somebody doesn’t want to have anything to do with me over politics….well I guess we weren’t friends to begin with. I’ve been avoiding liberals, progressives, socialists and their ilk for as long as I can remember. I consider them a lost cause as most won’t let you get past presenting your thoughts before they start with the name calling, wild accusations, charges of racism, lies, mis-truths, one sided stats etc, etc.
    Best to leave them fester.

    I’m on the Bandwagon. And I’d like to help others get aboard. I’ll reach down to give them a hand up. But if you’re intent on pulling me down off the the bandwagon because it easier than pulling yourself up, I hope you like the taste of shoe-leather. Cause you ain’t dragging me off of the Bandwagon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • YouKnowWho . . . I’m 100% agreement with you. I feel that if people are Liberals or Progressives, then there is something in their mindset that tells them that they do not have the skills and drive to take care of themselves–they need the government to back them up. These are just not the kinds of people I want to hang out with. So sad, too bad . . . I’m outa here if you are a low life who needs to depend on Uncle Sam to support and take care of yourself.


  5. Alot of damage has been done in the past not just 8 years but longer. The dividing bridge is crystal clear. There really is a war now and once that is understood the rest is clear to me. There is a very long way to go and the powers that be are formidable indeed. Many of the tactics of the past around the world and in this country are being applied and unless someone knows a smidgen of history will not recognize this. On top of this we have a President who is being attacked by those who have been in power for a very long time and who either run or own almost everything. Americans as well as others are suppressed and feeling as though something is dying in front of their eyes as well.

    Here is one of my concerns and I’m sure it is yours as well…’if it were up to me….that is the first thing i would go after if possible, they have caused many problems in the past and continue to in their own special kind of lying way and people believe them to easily, naive’…to say the least. I’m talking about the press themselves.

    Shadow Gov’t – NY Times sets up hit squad

    If you go to this link on the right side you will see AP updates….you will see the world as well as what is going on with states.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t discuss politics with people I don’t know much anymore. If I do I’ll only feel like I need a shower. I like to be neutral, act neutral, and respond with neutrality. But, if someone comes to me and accuses me of white privilege, I’ll politely call them an anti-Semite.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Once again, here is proof that the family, defined as domestic society, is from ON HIGH and not subject to the diktat of any political oligarchy. For even when a family breaks up, it would normally lament the fracture that caused it, proving that family, AT THE ROOT, still matters, regardless of the meddlers.
    It has proved to be very similar with me: I have a family member who, although he still talks to me, WILL NOT ALLOW the subject of Frankenpope to be broached in any way, shape or form. Because, according to this man, Frankenpope is Love, and that Frankenpope can do no wrong, and that Frankenpope is steering the Ship through the Troubled Waters and away from the Rocks! Because there is no Conspiracy at all, But Of Course, that Vatican II is the Real Church, that Illuminati Freemasonry has not violated its borders or its walls in any way, and that the Kool-Aid has not killed us yet.
    Pray to Our Lady of Quito. I cannot stand the ruse many Catholics have fallen for, nor can I rouse them from their slumber: All I can do is tend to my own garden which, it turns out, provides more than enough work for me to do!

    Liked by 1 person

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