The Secret to a Successful Bipartisan Relationship

By KBJR News 1

October 5, 2012 Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM CDT

Hayward, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Reactions from liberal and conservative voters during this divisive election season are sometimes the perfect recipe for a heated conversation.

But what if your significant other votes differently than you?

Meet Ashley Gidley and Jared Shuman, a bipartisan couple who says it is possible to get along, despite political differences.

"I have pretty republican views—conservative," says Shuman

"I was heavily influenced by a high school teacher—a very liberal high school teacher," Gidley says in response.

When the two started dating, politics were not a primary topic of their conversation.

"We were kind of more interested in each other and really this is the first general election since we've started dating," describes Shuman as he remembers the early days of their relationship.

Though many of their political beliefs clash, they say they learn from one another.

"Whether we are discussing politics, our relationship—any common subject, I'll stop and kind of think for a second. Where is she coming from?"

Gidley and Shuman agree that if they did not have conflict in their relationship, it wouldn't be as fun.

On Wednesday night, they watched the Presidential debate with another bipartisan couple.

"Hopefully in the next two debates, President Obama will step up his game," says Gidley. "But I also think Mitt Romney has a lot to answer for what he said last night."

Though party lines may keep some politicians in Washington from reaching across the aisle, these two say they won't let their political differences keep them from walking down the aisle in April.

Gidley and Shuman do have advice for other bipartisan voters.

"Not just being bullheaded you know," says Shuman. "Putting up a wall and you can't pass though it. You can't reach through it."

"It takes a lot of being willing to listen," says Gidley.

"I couldn't have someone who didn't care or didn't challenge me."

The couple says they choose their battles wisely.

As the couple plans their wedding, they look forward to the vice presidential debate on October 11th.

The next Presidential debate is scheduled for October 16th.

Justin Reis, NNC. jreis@northlandsnewscenter.com