The Blue-Collar Husband

Grease monkey, originally uploaded to Flickr by Rowan Peter.Do people look down on professional women whose husbands have “blue collar” jobs? Reader C worries about her fiance, a mechanic…

My question is this: I am an aspiring law student who comes from a poor background. I really have no idea how educated people *truly* look at those who have less of an education than them. I am looking at T14 law schools and am very excited, with hopes for southern Biglaw (Richmond, VA). My fiance is a mechanic – he loves his career and would not change it for the world, however, I am worried – will my colleagues judge me because of this? Have you ever seen it be a problem? I hope I don’t sound shallow but I feel like it’s a legitimate concern. I want to know if I should expect anything out of the ordinary, or if the occupation of spouses is nil when it comes to things like raises, promotions, assignments, etc.

First, congratulations to you and your fiance! Whatever I or anyone else may say about this topic, the bottom line here is that as long as you love each other, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If, when you start work, you find it’s a problem, chances are you’re not with the right employer for you anyway. (Pictured: Grease monkey, originally uploaded to Flickr by Rowan Peter.)

That said, you are likely to encounter some differing views on your husband’s profession. Readers have joked a lot that they would love to be electricians (set your own hours and prices, always in demand, etc.), and my own first thought was, “that’ll be great, because when you start to make real money you and he can buy a franchise or set up his own shop and really start to pave your own way.” But that may assume an ambition that isn’t there on the part of your fiance — maybe he has no desire to ever run his own shop or be a boss/manager. So let’s say he is just a mechanic — does it matter?

I say no, his profession does not matter: a happy spouse is a good thing. (Some bosses may even be more open to hiring a woman who definitely makes more money than her husband because they may see “stay at home dad” written all over him, whether or not that’s true.)

However, other things may have an impact on your career — for example, can you picture him in a tuxedo at a gala dinner? Will he refuse to wear a suit or more business-type clothes when you go to “bring-a-date” firm events? Can he make dinner conversation with people on “educated” topics? On a more basic level, are his table manners and his grammar good (or is he open to improving them)? Will he be understanding of the social games you may have to play, and be willing to support your social requirements at these events? These are the kinds of things that will alienate him (and you) at firm events, and they really come down to one of the main questions (IMHO) of marriage: are you both team players?  Is he a true partner?  If he is, then there should be no problem.  If he isn’t — well, you have bigger problems than what people think of his profession.

Readers, what do you think?  How do people view women with husbands in “blue collar” professions?

Comments

  1. Anon for this :

    On the flip side, at my husband’s small firm, I am the only non-SAHM. I definitely feel awkward about that, as there is a lot of daytime socializing among the wives and they are good friends. When there is a social event, I am a bit of an outsider, since they don’t really ask me about work and I can’t participate in the conversations about their bridge groups and volunteer groups (I volunteer, but not at the trendy during-the-daytime organizations), but we can usually talk about kids. I think sometimes my husband is a little embarrassed to be the only one with the wife with the career.

  2. I work with someone whose husband is what I would nicely call a redneck. While his job may not be “blue collar”, he is absolutely an embarrassment at social events and I feel like he’s a liability to her career since she insists on bringing him to every.single.social.event. He drinks too much (and often shows up to events drunk). He chain smokes at events. He wears a bolo tie with suits. He curses like a sailor and constantly complains that his wife works too much. But most importantly, he has awful table manners and treats wait staff so badly that everyone at the table gets embarrassed and uncomfortable.

    So I sort of agree with Kat, although a lot of you were offended — I’m less concerned with someone’s career or credentials and more concerned with how they handle themselves at an event. If your spouse makes your coworkers feel uncomfortable because of his/her lack of etiquette or couth, then that may become a liability to your career and you should consider not bringing your spouse to future events.

    • But all those qualities have nothing to do with his job. thats what I found offensive about her post.

  3. In my office, there are several young women who have husbands with non-professional jobs. One is a cook, one is a waiter, and the other a dive instructor. They are all wonderful husbands and fathers. The one young woman whose hubby is also a lawyer; well, he is a self-absorbed ass and a crappy dad. My husband has more of an office job but he is not college educated. He is also the better parent and very attentive hubby and unlike my first husband, has no problem at social events. Go for the blue collar man!

  4. Look, anyone that’s going to give you grief over this qua this is, I feel comfortable saying, a bad person. You can proceed accordingly.

  5. My hubby, the Forester :

    Wow, this is a great topic. As the comments demonstrate, there are several perspectives on the subject. I am a senior level associate at a large national firm. I am also a wife and a mom. My husband of 4 years works in an ag profession and often has to shower before dinner. He is college-educated, and smart, but also shy and can be akward in social situations. There are both pros and cons to our situation – both from a career perspective and a personal one. As with any relationship, you will face challenges. If you have faith in your love for him and his love for you, are open and honest with each other, and focus on the important aspects of life, you will be fine. Yes, some people may judge, the same way they may judge the type of purse you carry or the type of car you drive, but do not let them get to you. Be your best at work and be your best at home. Fortunately, or unfortunately, modern women can have it all. We just have to deal with the struggle to maintain “it all.” Congratulations and the best of luck to you!

  6. law talking girl :

    Education doesn’t guarantee good grammar. My boyfriend has an MA in a social science discipline and has apparently never learned to use the word “gone.” Any time “gone” is the proper word to use he says “went.” It’s peculiar but kind of cute. Maybe it’s a regional dialect thing? He is from a Rockies state and English is his first language. More on topic, anyone who judges you for your spouse’s choice of work is a grade A douchebag who doesn’t deserve to be your employer, co-worker or friend.

  7. Clueless summer :

    Some people ARE jerks. At a law school Halloween party, I was introducing my SO to an acquaintance. It being a Halloween party, I said this is Boyfriend, he’s a trucker. Meaning, of course, that was his super low maintenance “do I have to dress up?” costume. She replied with a disgusted look and said “wow, really?”. He’s not a trucker but his Dadis, so we were unimpressed to say the least but honestly, to this day we laugh about it. So, yeah, people can be jerks…but I find as long as the guy is secure in himself and happy with his career, it doesn’t matter and you can make an inside joke of whatever jerk comments people make. I think it’s only an issue, or I’ve only seen it being an issue when the blue collar SO is insecure for whatever reason.

  8. One of my close friends from my BigLaw firm — she with an Ivy League law degree and who does hardcore M&A work (i.e., works all hours) — is married to a firefighter. She brings him to occasional functions and we (all her female friends at the firm) think it is totally HOT. I mean, go home to a hot firefighter who has not been doing due diligence all day, or go home to your husband who has also been doing due diligence all day and pretty much doesn’t feel like talking? I realize I am turning this into a Harlequin romance novel, but, still — it’s hot. We could give a shit what he does. We just kinda like looking at him. And we think she rocks.

  9. Anonymous :

    Just watch for the ones that want free advice/work on their cars, I don’t know about where you are, but lawyers can be a notoriously stingy bunch up here – they might need a reminder his billable rate is by the hour too. :)

  10. I think that a lot of comments point out valid concerns (him not feeling comfortable at events etc). But I think the bigger question is why I are worrying about this before you even start law school? If people were answering more negatively would you call of your wedding? Make sure you are not the one who has the problem with him being blue collar.

    • Right? I think the question itself at such an early point in time points to a much bigger and potentially more serious issue. She hasn’t even started law school & gotten that big law job… and so at the very least it’s 4 yrs away. SO many things can happen in that time frame.
      I think worrying about this is putting the carriage before the horse.
      So it makes me think the OP is coming up with issues to get out of it– even if she won’t admit it to herself. But then again, it’s typical for law school types to worry about the next 3 decades. ;-p

  11. When asked if my significant other is a lawyer, I usually respond with an emphatic “Hell no, I would NEVER date a lawyer… he’s regional logistics manager for a company that builds science labs and he’s SO NORMAL… it’s awesome”

    Perhaps that makes me a redneck in some snotty lawyer’s minds, but honestly, if they are that snotty, I don’t give a rat’s petut.

    There is something seriously wrong with the disconnect between the societal acceptance of men with lower/ non earning wives vs. the opposite situation.

  12. I am not a lawyer and don’t know many lawyers – just a few who are friends or family members. However, base on what I’m reading on this post and what you guys are saying, it makes lawyers come off as snobby, ego centric, egotistic and not down to earth. How hard is it to talk to a blue collar worker? Why does education even matter? Why can’t people at these functions you’ve mentioned talk about movies, sports or TV shows? Why would someone without a college degree have a hard time fitting in? You guys are mostly lawyers so if your professional world is so cold and baron, why do it? This doesn’t sound like something people would want to do for the rest of their lives. Why put yourself in such unpleasant environments?

    • agree! totally. am a lawyer by background but dont’ work as one anymore. it’s a ridiculous, constructed little world in many ways with lots of internal rules and nonsense. not that there aren’t exceptions. but yes, they are a special breed.

      • ps but people do it because they have invested the time/energy into the training/experience, they sometimes really like the work, the money, etc. variety of reasons. also some of them are the actual snobs and like the elitism feelings and behavior. :(

  13. “Will he refuse to wear a suit or more business-type clothes when you go to “bring-a-date” firm events? Can he make dinner conversation with people on “educated” topics? On a more basic level, are his table manners and his grammar good (or is he open to improving them)?”

    Yowza! Enough with the prejudiced expectations of “blue-collar”! I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that plenty of perfectly wealthy people are rotten conversationalists who chew like cows. Some of the most interesting people I know have a hundred bucks to their name and neck tattoos. And thank God for them.

    • :)

    • It's not that simple :

      Sure, wealthy people (especially the nonworking spouses and kids) can be as entitled and deathly boring. But it’s their club. They are members. A poor or blue collar associate who is there only by virtue of merit feels s/he’s there on a guest pass.

  14. Well I am a happily married lawyer to a lawyer (met in school) but was just thinking about this for others this week as both my mailman and UPS guy are rather hot and nice… tall, handsome, friendly. We had a big snowstorm in Seattle last week so I was around watching them out the window in the rough conditions chatting with all the neighbors, petting dogs, etc. and they’ll always been sweet to me. I was thinking: who can I hook them up with? (granted they could be married for all I know). But I thought through whether ‘professional’ friends would care about this and concluded most of my friends would give them a chance, but most of my friends are more creative types, have their own businesses, etc. and live oustide that box. And Pacific Northwest is different than NYC, DC etc.; people here moreso don’t care about these things. Cripes, in NY people looked down on me, for not being rich and not going to a good enough law school in their view. I say enough of that; if you live or work somewhere with that attitude, get out and go somewhere more human and less focused on the wrong things.

    ps if you live in seattle the cuties are in north cap hill area:)..

  15. Also just another add on how place makes a difference- when I moved west, it was a huge contrast to see how many educated-type Americans do blue collar jobs- ferry staff, drugstore checkout, mailmen, electrician, etc.; in all the east coast cities I lived in, this was much more stratified in terms of population/background/ethnicity. So I bet that what people are used to seeing/experiencing in their community plays into how they react to it. Here, it’s just normal to encounter people at parties that may work as a lawyer, doctor etc or blue collar job all in the same crowd- job isn’t seen as who you are.

  16. Seattle Lawyer Mom :

    I doubt many lawyers these days are going to say something overtly mean. I have heard of many different spouse occupations and I think I uniformly say “oh, that sounds neat” with an interested tone no matter if I’ve heard of the job, understand it, or couldn’t care less. You’re more likely to get people saying “oh that’s SO cool” in a too nice way b/c they want to be sure you don’t think they’re prejudiced, or people making comments about other things, when spouse occupations are not the topic of conversation, that assume everyone around has the same amount of money and societal background — like assuming everyone went to private school and has housecleaners. But if you and your husband are nice people and you work with nice people, you’ll end up getting to actually know and like each other and all will be fine. You might read the book Limbo — it’s a journalist’s investigation of what happens when a child from a bluecollar family first goes to college and thereby moves into the whitecollar world. Really interesting.

  17. It's not that simple :

    I went to one of the two top law schools and worked at what is considered to be one of the very best law firms after graduation. It could be awkward if your boyfriend makes embarrassing pronunciation errors, which was true of a guy I broke up when I went to law school, although that was not the reason.

    I once met a fellow student whose fiancé was a police officer. He seemed like a nice, regular guy, but frankly, I was shocked because we were both poor, striving students and it seemed as if almost everyone else was going to marry a lawyer, doctor, or investment banker. Another classmate believed she was condescended to because her parents were blue collar. One of my siblings went into a field in which s/he works with his or her hands, and one of my law school classmates assumed that my sibling had not gone to college, which was untrue.

    At a law firm, I had another friend from a very comfortable background who didn’t announce his marriage. I had the impression that he was embarrassed because his wife was an immigrant and a woman of color whose English was OK but not great. He was completely devoted to her. I assume his concern about the firm’s reaction was justified.

    I think that as long as you are excellent at what you do and appear polished no one will hold it against you that you come from a blue collar or poor background. But people will be surprised if your spouse isn’t equally polished and you show up with him at a fancy firm event.

    It is naive to say Why would you go to a law school/firm in which you didn’t feel completely comfortable? It’s the credentials/potential opportunities/money, stupid.

    • I have a friend who is married to a blue collar worker that immigrated here from Asia so his English is not good. He has a college degree from his country but it’s not very usable here. Anyways, she does tell me that she sometimes feels embarrass to bring him to office parties because he can’t really talk to anyone. I am sure the feeling is not uncommon for people in her situation but I just told her that no one really cares. The person who makes it a big deal is her and that she’s the one who needs to deal with it.

  18. Why not try to find the other woman in the office whose husband hates firm events and hang out with her at all those events. My husband works in healthcare…not really blue collar but he has very little college. He hates firm functions as well as civic events. SO… I have three co-workers that I try to hang with or take along – One whose husband hates the events equally, one with small children at home and one who is is single…. I usually ask one of them to accompany me to civic or firm events… they are my date. My excuse for my husband is either 1) he’s on call at the hospital – which is sometimes the case or 2) he is shy – and why not hang with so-so who isn’t.

    Tonight I am headed to a large civic event… my coworker is coming along so her husband can stay home with the kids. No biggie.

  19. This is just reality. People make judgements on others all the time and you get treated very differently base on your occupation. When I was a grad student, I attended a party with my then boyfriend (now husband) and one of the ladies there asked me what I did. They were all very corporate (MBAs at fortune 500 companies) and I said that I was still in school. Since I obviously looked over school age, she automatically assumed that I was a college drop out and am just now going back to school to better myself. Her response to me in a condescending way was “good for you” and she turned the other way and talked to someone else. :( She never cared to talk to me again.

    I find that people really do treat me different based on what they know of me and I’m sure that I’m not alone. Most of the functions we attend are from my husband’s work so people don’t know me. I am usually type cast as a stay at home mom because I don’t have much to say or don’t have much input about stocks and wallstreet. No offense to stay at home moms but some working women, not me, really think that way of stay at mom homes. Based on what little they know of me, they are not really interested in carrying a real conversation with me.

  20. Anonymous :

    I find it curious that so many posts are about what blue collar workers are or are not, when the OPs question is about how other perceive them. I’m not in law, but a similar field where many people do not know (professionally or personally) anyone who has never gone beyond college (let alone never gone to college), and unfortunately, the answer is that yes, humans judge other humans (not just on this, lots of things!). And some people will judge your relationship, and sometimes it will be people who you can’t make snarky comments to without risking something. I think most of Kat’s opinions in this post are weird, but I do agree with the final thought – are you two partners? If so, you’ll figure it out.

  21. For what it’s worth, I live in Richmond, but am not a lawyer. I have a master’s degree and worked in NYC and DC before moving down here. I do not think Richmond has the same expectations as those cities in terms of education/profession. I have found that people are not as interested in where you went to school (unless it was a VA school and you are talking sports) and what degree you have. I don’t think it will be a big deal what type of work he does.

  22. Oh my, I just saw this and had to comment, even though I don’t usually.

    As a person who grew up in the area where Reader C hopes to live/work with one professional parent and one blue-collar parent, I can tell you that that deeply affected my school experience.
    My mother, making a comfortable salary, wanted me to attend a private elementary/middle school. Lots of attorneys’ children also went there. I really couldn’t say whether your future husband’s profession will affect you in the office, but in the event you have children, I suggest that you examine the social dynamic of any private schools you might consider in the DC Metro area very, very carefully unless you want your kindergartner coming home asking if “only stupid people don’t go to college,” or some such nonsense. Although, the public schools in the area are excellent, so you might not ever look into the whole business.

    [I should note that the group of children I attended school with were a uniquely unpleasant, ill-raised bunch – I am not suggesting that all private schools across the area have this problem. The school itself, in fact, thought they were the worst class they’d seen in years. But at that age, you have to look to the parents to understand why.]

    That aside, I would like to say that I really enjoy this blog and find your writing helpful, and refreshing, Kat – usually. Your final paragraph here makes some very offensive assumptions. Occasionally I direct my mom to your site, if there’s something she’d like to read. While I’m sure she would find this fascinating, I don’t think I’ll tell her about it; tax season approaches (she’s a CPA) and she doesn’t need the stress. My family has been fighting this kind of prejudice our entire lives.

    I mean, come on – not being able to wear a tuxedo? How, exactly? They make them for men of all shapes and sizes regardless of occupation. And “refusing” to wear business attire when it’s appropriate? They’re adults who happen to not have professional jobs, not toddlers throwing a temper tantrum about what to wear to church. One can hardly survive in any field that works with clients – as many blue-collar jobs do – without reasonably good grammar. And as for “educated” discussion topics? Many blue collar workers are highly intelligent and well-informed; some aren’t. Just like professional workers! My dad is a carpenter and history buff. Bet he remembers more about 20th century Europe than all those attorneys who were history majors just because they were going pre-law. And if he doesn’t know much about some “educated” topic, he politely says so and asks for more information, like any sensible person would do.

    Interesting question – and interesting answers. I hope those commenters who say they have no prejudice against blue collar workers eventually overtake those who still hold these damaging prejudicial views.

  23. This is why I love living in the PNW. Its not so stuffy and for the most part, no one would raise an eyebrow if someone brought their own beer to a casual dinner.

  24. I wondered similar things as I started law school and met several students who came from a long legacy of lawyers. I learned that it really didn’t matter. It came down to what I made of it. My partner of several years is a long haul truck driver. I have never met any lawyers or law students who have looked down on him for his profession. In fact, they are interested in it and ask him about his various trips to different parts of the country, etc.

  25. I’m a small firm lawyer happily married for years to a roofer. He plays well with others, and anyone who turns up their noses because of his job are simply excluded from my personal life. I don’t need judgy people around me. That’s probably why I never aspired to Big Law. Yes, I’m being judgy about Big Law. I guess it goes both ways.

  26. Anonymous :

    I haven’t read the other comments, too may [and I don’t know why I don’t see these questions and comments until 4 days after they’re posted, Corporette emails are among the first I open].

    My first 2 ex-husbands hadn’t gone through college, the first had even dropped out of high school. I was snotty enough to think less of #1, notwithstanding that I had dropped out after 1 year of college. I wasn’t overly proud of #2 either. I didn’t give any credit for their being widely read. I thought they were not professionally ambitious. I probably wasn’t a good object of pride either. They were both nice guys, we just didn’t work out.

    Both of them became very successful in what they eventually ended up doing. Having spoken to each of them years later, they were still nice guys, had successful later marriages, and were happy with their work and their lives.

    My ex #3 was a nutjob who had graduated college.

    My last husband had a college degree, was a successful free-lancer, but not too ambitious. He was brilliant, accomplished, incredibly supportive, and was able to shmooz and charm all of the crazy and not-so crazy colleagues I worked with and had to socialize with.

    I think the question comes down to how do you and he feel about the differences in income? about the social “status” of your respective work. Explore how you and he will feel as you move up the professional and income ladder. And remember, hardly anything turns out the way we imagined or planned. How you grow together is critical. So your and his abilities to be together mutually supportive and successful, and your adaptibility and meeting challenges will count for more than backgrounds and status-y professions etc.

    Best wishes for much happiness.

  27. Single gal :

    I think that some of your colleagues might be judgemental. But I think that when it comes to things like promotions and assignments, it’s not going to matter. As long as you are a hard worker and get your work done.

  28. Athenaesq :

    I can relate my sister’s experience. She worked her way up to middle management in a big consumer products company. Her husband, high school education, was a brakeman on the railroad (coupled and uncoupled cars). She is retired now; they have been married 30 years, 1 child. Her husband, a very nice guy, was never comfortable with her work peers, all of whom had college degrees and many with MBAs. He resisted attending corporate functions and flatly refused to wear a tie. When they socialized out side work, it was always with his friends from the railroad. He is a bright guy, served as union steward for a while, has turned down promotions because he did not want more stressful work. Bottom line: they made it all work while my sister was still at her job, but he was far from an asset to her career and, in my opinion, held back her advancement. As a Biglaw veteran, I can say that yes, I think the original writer will be at a disadvantage married to a mechanic if she hopes to succeed in Biglaw . However, there are many areas of the legal profession outside Biglaw where such a marriage would not necessarily be a disadvantage.

  29. Reader C here!

    I know this has apparently been up and commented on for a week or so now, but somehow I am just now realizing it! I wanted to thank everyone for commenting and sharing your thoughts and opinions.

    I just wanted to weigh in on a few things.

    1) Kat’s concerns (in her last paragraph) are the same concerns that I’ve had. My fiance (thankfully, IME) has no problem wearing a tuxedo, or tie, or attending networking events. Thankfully, he is well-spoken. For people who do not have a lot of experience being around “need-a-shower-before-dinner” types, concerns about speech and manners are definitely warranted. It’s gotten to the point where I have told my fiance that I prefer some of his friends do not come to our apartment because I feel they have a negative effect on our lives. (Think beer-bellied, Copenhagen-chewing, all-rich-people-suck-thinking, proud-to-be-poor-and-white-trash-acting types).

    2) The comments everyone has made about how males in BigLaw (and probably, in any type of law) love cars has also been a welcome thought that never crossed my mind. DF and I actually *do* have plans to start up a business focused on European cars (once I am making significant money to be able to afford the start up costs). It never ONCE crossed my mind that DUH – men love to talk about cars. I’m actually laughing at myself.

    3) Regarding children/finances, etc. As it is now, I make more money than DF, and we have completely integrated finances. I manage all monies and he is completely hands off, and it works that way for us. I have discussed with him, AT LENGTH, the fact that I will out-earn him for a few years (possibly more, depending on how/what happens w/ us opening up a shop) and he says he’s fine with it. I think children are the one concern we have – I want to send my children to a private school, and he is against it. Although, kids are probably 8-10 years away so I suppose we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

    4) Thanks to the people who commented on Richmond specifically. Part of me feels like it might be a more open and accepting environment down there, but then again, I have concerns because DF is from the DC metro area and I am from the PNW. We’ve mutually decided on Richmond because it has everything we want – close to family, affordable real estate, tons of local restaurants and shopping, historic renovation projects which are important to me for personal reasons/something I want to get involved with eventually.

    Overall, I plan to take the road of proud and supportive wife. If someone asks what my husband/fiance does, I’ll answer proudly and with a smile on my face that he is a mechanic. I’ll assume that it won’t be a problem, and if it turns out it is a problem, then it’ll just be too bad for that person because clearly, they are not worthy of being in mine, or my fabulous mechanic-husband’s lives!

  30. I’m graduating and going into marketing this year, and plan to move pretty high up into the business. My boyfriend is in school to be a high school band teacher, and even before either of us are finished with school we’re already getting comments about the difference in our career choices. His family wishes that he would go for a higher paying job and already refers to me as “the breadwinner”. My family supports his decision to be a teacher now, but sometimes worry that our plans will lead us different ways. Admittedly, he is not a very receptive person when it comes to understanding the games that I have to play in my field, but he’s learning how things work over time.

    Personally, I was a little skeptical that it wouldn’t cause conflict in our lives at first. But after watching him as he teaches band over the summers and how much he loves it I’ve come to realize that its his passion and that’s what really made it click to me that it doesn’t matter what we do or how much money we make. As long as we follow and support each other in our passions and dreams we’ll be fine.

  31. UniversityBased :

    I’m not in the legal field. I do work in Higher Ed., which includes a number of JDs, and, obviously, is mostly comprised of highly educated people. I think that the author makes some valuable points. I would add to her list the question of how comfortable your fiance is attending social events, not just whether or not he will do it. Speaking as a single woman, I’ve essentially given up hope of finding a less educated husband because the egos of the men I’ve dated don’t seem to allow for me being more educated and potentially earning more money, not that I’m particularly well off. I willingly concede that one of the big issues here is with the men in question, but, at 40 years old, I’ve dated enough of them to see that it’s problematic. (Being able to just talk about my workday and what I’m facing and expect him to understand the details rarely happens, and vice versa, in all fairness. With work being such a huge part of my life, that chasm is too much for me.) My similarly educated girlfriends of various races and socioeconomic statuses are in the same position. If you and your fiance are happy as you are and are comfortable moving in each other’s worlds then it’s an incredible blessing. Don’t let other people’s opinions stand in the way of your happiness. That much being said, you will experience some fallout: funny looks, the occasional rude comment, etc., so both of you should prepare for it and how you’re going to handle it.

  32. I am an associate at a mid-sized firm in a smallish southern metropolitan area. My husband is a painter. Although everyone with whom I work is friendly, he hates going to firm events because he says they are all boring. I think it has more to do with his self consciousness than the fact that firm parties are not drunken blowouts like his family parties. I usually can get him to go to the attorney Christmas party, but he inevitably tells me at some point in teh week leading up to it that he’s not going. It is a giant pain in the neck and causes a fair amount of tension.

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