Video: Love across the divide

Anna Weggel
Public Insight Network

Maren Christenson Hofer and Scott Hofer of St. Paul, Minn., consider themselves people of “strong opinions.” When it comes to politics, those opinions tend to be polar opposites. He’s a libertarian Republican, she’s a “yellow dog” Democrat. But unlike so many of the couples and family members we’ve heard from recently, the Hofers have found ways to disagree with each other without being disagreeable.

They knew what they were getting into: Their first date featured a discussion of tax policy. And after five years of marriage, they say they rarely fight. Instead, they focus on topics they do agree on, and in the best of times, learn from each other’s opinions.


“I would say that our ability to have a conversation where we have differing points of view has actually strengthened the relationship,” Maren says.

“I have seen many couples where any kind of disagreement really throws them off — it is such a rare occurrence that they really don’t know how to handle it when they disagree with each other.

“While I often disagree with my husband, I do always make an effort to see things from his point of view and he does the same for me.”


>> How is this election season affecting your relationships with family members, friends or colleagues? Tell us here.

>> Explore more stories about relationships shaped by politics on our interactive map.




Anna Weggel Analyst
Public Insight Network

Anna Weggel is a Public Insight Analyst, which means she spends her time crafting questions about upcoming story topics to send to sources in the Public Insight Network and then produces web, audio and video content featuring those sources.

Before finding her home at APM in 2008, Anna received her B.A. in journalism, was the editor in chief of The Minnesota Daily, and internship hopped through Mother Jones, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and the Downtown Journal. Anna's non-work life is held hostage by the stage -- where she performs improv comedy and shows with her lady bluegrass band.