When Richer Weds Poorer

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Starting tomorrow, I’m taking this class from Made to Flourish regarding ministering to blue-collar workers. As part of the pre-class assignments, we had to read this article from the New York Times about a marriage that illustrated the struggles of class differences:

The religious difference — he is Roman Catholic, she is Jewish — posed no problem. The real gap between them, both say, is more subtle: Mr. Croteau comes from the working class, and Ms. Woolner from money….Marriages that cross class boundaries may not present as obvious a set of challenges as those that cross the lines of race or nationality. But in a quiet way, people who marry across class lines are also moving outside their comfort zones, into the uncharted territory of partners with a different level of wealth and education, and often, a different set of assumptions about things like manners, food, child-rearing, gift-giving and how to spend vacations. In cross-class marriages, one partner will usually have more money, more options and, almost inevitably, more power in the relationship. [Read more]

To a lesser degree, this is true of my own marriage; while my spouse (unlike some other couples discussed in the article) does have as much education as I do, he otherwise grew up with fewer financial options; the article was really helpful in that regard. I’m adding the entire book that came out of this article series to my reading list, and I will report back here with some thoughts about the class as it’s undergoing.

Image: Pixabay

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About Jennifer Woodruff Tait

I'm the Content Editor for The High Calling at The Theology of Work Project, the managing editor of Christian History Magazine, and a priest in the Episcopal Church. I'm also the author of The Poisoned Chalice and Histories of Us.