Before World War II, there was a concern, particularly with upper-level Foreign Service officers like Ambassador William C. Bullitt, regarding American diplomats marrying foreign-born women. He used his influence with President Franklin Roosevelt to encourage a rule requiring FSO’s to submit their resignation and formally request permission to marry foreign spouses. Many people felt that marrying foreign wives took away from American diplomacy and created un-American homes and embassies.
After the war, many men came back to the States and requested marriages to women they had met abroad, so the rule became unsustainable and was changed. Though the rule was changed, tensions prevailed between American wives and foreign-born wives, as they subtly competed against one another to show that they were classier, better educated or more suited to the role of the diplomatic wife. Read more