DH and I have been having some differences in opinion lately because of our very different economic upbringings - I was raised in a middle class family where my mom stayed at home but my dad had a very good job - we went to public school and didn't have lots of luxuries but we certainly always had enough money and lots of opportunities.
DH is from a lower middle class East African family where both of his parents worked but money was always a struggle. He had very limited opportunities but has managed to be successful with the opportunities he was given.
He recently completed an MA in the US and we are in a transition period and have limited financial resources.
To him, providing money and providing financial security to our family is most important. I work part time in a very flexible job right now that allows me to work around dd's schedule and be with her most of the time, but I'll definitely be ending this job at the end of this academic year. He would prefer I get a full time job for financial reasons and does not want me to be at home full time. He feels like he needs to jump into any opportunity that opens up regardless of what it is and pursue any job that can pay him well, whereas I am more concerned about how it will affect our marriage and kids and whether we are pursuing careers that are meaningful and a positive use of our skills and education. He always seems to be in "panic" and "survival" mode whereas I feel like we have options and tend to be more optimistic about the future.
I feel like he has come from an area where he saw people struggle because of lack of money, so that is his overwhelming emphasis. I come from a background where I have seen people struggle from lack of positive relationships, so that is my emphasis - wanting to build a strong marriage and a good relationship with my children. I am trying to see it as a good balance and us making each other aware of a different extreme that should be avoided. He commented today that he doesn't want his kids to grow up and hate him for not providing them with enough opportunities. I said I didn't want them to grow up and hate us for working 60 hour weeks and never being around while they were growing up.
I think we are reaching a point where we are better able to understand where the other is coming from but it's really frustrating...when we were dating and first got married I felt like we were on the same page with so many values and now I'm just seeing these HUGE differences lately (we've been married 4 years and together for 6).
I'd love to hear of couples who have also come from very different economic backgrounds and how it affected your relationship, and advice is always welcome!!