Dating outside social class
Madison’s classmates made fun of her shabby surroundings. Even after graduating from college, marrying and settling into a middle-class life, Madison couldn’t shake her insecurity about her home.
Her parents couldn’t consistently afford electricity or indoor plumbing, never mind fancy appliances and wall hangings.
These pairs were middle class by the time I met them, but their different backgrounds still caused problems.
For example, Danielle grew up in a working-class family.
Though Jim and Danielle have been married for almost 30 years, they still treat money very differently.
Danielle, like many of the spouses who grew up working class, didn’t like to budget or develop a long-term savings plan.
She read design magazines and blogs obsessively, poring over the latest trends in closet organization and wall colors.
She redecorated frequently and was rarely confident in her choices.
Gina, who grew up in a working-class family, disagreed. Sometimes, talking through these issues presented its own obstacles, which defy stereotypes about how men and women talk to each other.“I go underground, back off, think about the situation, and then I’ll come back and react to it.” Anneka and William had to get used to each other’s emotional styles — ones that may have made sense in the classes from which each spouse came but that initially made less sense to each other.They also learned from each other: William to wait to express his emotions, Anneka to be more willing to feel and express hers.I saw this divide — between planning and going with the flow — flare up in other ways, too.One pair, Scott and Gina, fought bitterly over how to spend their free time. This tension affected how they raised their young children.
He learned to express himself freely (and often loudly).