Learning to live together can be a hurdle for many couples, and the same can be said for married couple Michaela and Alex Akins. However, as opposed to learning that you both are used to sleeping on the same side of the bed or that one person snores, these two quickly noticed that their upbringings in different economic classes spawned habits the other wasn't familiar with.
You see, Michaela experienced homelessness in her childhood and early adulthood, as well as food insecurity. Alex, on the other hand, grew up upper class, and the idiosyncrasies each partner developed because of these differences can sometimes knock heads.
Recently, the couple shared their differing habits on TikTok in a three-part series that has been viewed over 8 million times.
In the first video, Michaela shared that, "When eating a meal, I always finish my plate because I was not allowed to leave the table until finishing my plate and was told I was wasteful if I didn't. My husband will eat until he's full like a regular human."
"I keep all of my receipts in case there's something wrong with something that I bought and I have to return it," she continued. "Alex doesn't keep receipts because if there's something wrong with what he bought, he'll just buy another one."
"I have a collection of jars in case I can reuse them. I was taught to never throw anything away," she said. "And Alex will throw away or recycle stuff when he's done with it."
Other notable differences include Michaela opting for store brand instead of name brand products; Alex has never bought a car, phone, or laptop himself, while Michaela has had to personally purchase all of her electronics; and Michaela's childhood dog was a mutt while Alex's was a purebred poodle.
For the third video, Alex took the reins to highlight some of the differences he has noticed, including, "Michaela keeps everything from every takeout restaurant we've ever ordered from," he said. "She also keeps all of our gift bags, which is great for holidays, birthdays, gift giving — it makes it a lot easier."
"Every time I leave a room and leave the light switch on, she will turn it off — even if I'm going right back in," he continued. "[And] I like to finish all of our leftovers, [but] Michaela will not finish the last of anything in the fridge."
"Everyone has differences in how they grew up, but if you can figure out the big things, then the small things will work themselves out," Alex concluded.
When considering why this inside glance at their home life was important to share, Michaela told BuzzFeed: "These things aren’t discussed very much, and I think many people don’t even realize how their socioeconomic status growing up shapes their personal habits as an adult."
In the comment section of their videos, the couple has noticed viewers mention their relationships and marriages ending because of an inability to reconcile their differences. This is something Alex and Michaela can relate to. Alex, in particular, admits to previously being frustrated with Michaela's habit of saving leftovers.
This level of communication, they believe, is key. "There is a struggle, but the severity of that struggle depends on the persons involved," Michaela said. "At first, we would have small disagreements over differing habits, and we would become annoyed with each other. But now, we have found our groove and either made changes in habits or decided some were so small that they didn’t bother us."
After watching their series, many have left anecdotes about the differences in their own personal relationships that they noticed but hadn't considered a deeper meaning behind before watching the couple's series.
And now I'm curious. If you're comfortable sharing, what differing habits have you noticed between yourself and loved ones that are based on how you grew up in different classes? Let us know in the comments.
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