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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My fiance and I both have masters degrees from similar

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My fiance and I both have masters degrees from similar institutions. We also both have similar levels of income, and are on the same page that education is very important for our children. We have talked about our goals, and life dreams and are very much in sync. We make an awesome team. However, my family comes from 3 generations of physicians on both my mom & dad's sides, and I don't have anyone in my family who didn't finish college and most have advanced degrees. My fiance is the first person in his family to finish college. The closer we get to the wedding, the more anxiety I have about how our families are going to interact both short-term and long-term. It's mainly things like they use incorrect grammar (which drives my parents crazy), and don't have social graces or know how to behave appropriately in certain social situations. They are definitely blue-collar versus my white-collar family (some of them don't even have all of their teeth!). I haven't thought much about
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 6 years ago.
You sound a wonderful couple. Incredibly synchronised in terms of education, outlook, and expectations. It could hardly be better. Or could it?

Ask yourself this simple question - do I love my fiance? Do I love him enough to spend my life with him?

If the answer is yes, then, frankly his family's teeth have nothing to do with it.

You are an incredibly fortunate young woman, from an educated and cultured background. Given what you have said about your family background and obvious ability to support you financially through your studies, one would expect little less from you than what you have achieved.

Consider your fiance. He comes from a background of such a nature that for him to achieve much the same as you have must have meant much worry, deprivation, hard work and anxiety, both on his part and on the part of his family.

Do you have the grace to accept that he founding fathers of your country were basically refugees and peasants, and that all of what you have as a society exists mainly on the efforts of these brave people, most of whom were what we would call blue- collar workers. They fought the elements, native oppostion, disease and poverty. Where you are today is the product of their yesterdays.

How the world turns, when the people like you and me can be tempted to look at the lower orders, and hold in contempt their grammar, their accents, their lack of so-called culture?

No, young lady! Cultured speech and social graces are the privelege of thos who have the time,money and leisure to cultivate them. I'm sure your fiance has them, and perhaps it has taken him a lot of hard time and hard work to learn them.

Be proud of him. Try to remember that when his parents were growing up, they had little time, little incentiveand probably less money to worry about developing social graces - their mores are those of the people who made your life possibe. Now I know this is perhaps not what you wanted to hear, but if you love the man, be proud - yes, proud of his heritage, and if your parents have a problem with the social graces or lack thereof of his family, then indeed, they are poor in spirit.

You, obviously, are not. You knew what you were taking on. If they must, let them be contemptuous. You do not need to descend to that level. Be gracious. Don't look down on those less favored than you. If your parents must, then they must.

And on a final, and personal note, I don't have all my teeth either - but I'm still an internationally respected psychotherapist! The replacements cost $$$$$$$$! :)

I wish you both a happy and long life together.

Best wishes, NorrieM

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