As Nationalist Walls Go Up Still Higher

This is quite a serious post. There is no levity in it. Based on what I’ve seen – we’ve all seen – in the last week and a half, I simply want to say this.

United Kingdom voters, as you probably know, voted on the 23rd of June by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union.

That EU referendum, we all also know, has bitterly divided politics here in Britain.

It’s decidedly one thing flinging insults at total strangers you disagree with – “insane,” “idiots,” “racists,” “Hitler,” “old white trash” – on social media. But this? We’ve discovered friends of ours – she, a non-British EU national and staunch “Remainer,” married to him, a British national and vocal Brexit “Leave” supporter – are practically on the verge of divorce over the referendum’s outcome.

Yes, that bad. We are stunned and very upset. In the weeks leading to the vote, their differences of opinion became so heated eventually they were barely talking to each other.

She confided to my wife that after the result came in she felt so angry and hurt – believing the British people did not want her here where she’s lived some 25 years – that she slept in another room away from him that night. When he awoke and discovered her there, he broke down and begged her not to leave him. [Ironic in a way, I know.] We haven’t heard his side, yet he apparently also refuses to tone down his opinions. She said as well that for the first time she wants to go “home” – meaning to her country of birth – and that his stance has only made things worse.

People, think calmly. It was a vote. It should not destroy marriages.

The myriad of complexities and issues surrounding personal relationships that bridge countries, what I’ve seen and experienced myself, and challenges such relationships may face, are a good part of my fiction. It isn’t all fun and games:

Excerpt from "Frontiers," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Frontiers,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

In real-life, my wife and I coming from different countries, early on I made it plain to her that if it ever came down to my having to choose her or choose the USA, I would choose her. My country be damned. It doesn’t love me the way she does.

No political opinion of mine that she may not share is worth losing her. I’d change my opinion first. At the very least, I’d say we may agree to disagree, and not go on and on and on about it, and shut the hell up.

In the current uncertain political climate, take a deep breath or two or three. It will pass. Above all, remember this: the love of your life, once lost, is lost forever.

3 thoughts on “As Nationalist Walls Go Up Still Higher

  1. Adele Archer July 6, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    So well put. Britain hasn’t been a nice place to be this last week and a half. Differing opinions have killed friendships and even divided households. I was so angry with my husband for not voting (he was logistically unable to vote on the day but had forgotten to set up a postal vote in advance) and on the day of the referendum, I was so upset with the result, I couldn’t bring myself to answer his calls. But I calmed down and got over it. Our friends are still our friends and we love the people we love. There’s no going back and we’re going to have to soldier on through. This is our home – all nationalities that were either born here or chose to live here; this is the place we live – and we’re going to have to make it work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • R. J. Nello July 6, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      And that was VERY WELL said, too. Thank you for that. The country will work through this. The future will be different than it would have been had the vote gone the other way, but that is life.

      Liked by 1 person

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