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Different financial backgrounds - can relationships work?

(14 Posts)
Beachy87654 Sun 10-Mar-19 12:03:40

Hello - name changed but been a lurker here for ages

Just this really - I met a guy, he’s lovely, we are getting on really well. He is very successful in his career and the more we talk, the more he seems to be from a different social and financial world (family and background)

I’m just a regular girl, from a working class family - successful job but not privately educated, well connected etc.

If it’s right I suppose it shouldn’t matter but has anyone experience of this kind of difference in a relationship? Do you have any advice?

Thank you

isseywithcats Sun 10-Mar-19 12:05:23

Though both my Oh and i are from working class backgrounds hes the high earner in our house and we work ok, i contribute on a pro rata rate towards the house and we go halves on big trips out and holidays

TwoRoundabouts Sun 10-Mar-19 12:08:19


One brother and his wife from completely different backgrounds but same common values. Married for over 26 years.

Basically check your values which include how to raise children align then you have a good chance of staying together.

Ginkythefangedhellpigofdoom Sun 10-Mar-19 12:25:40

I agree with two

It doesn't matter where you both started if you both have similar moral outlooks and core values.

Inevitably though there probably will be differences but that's ok too if you each respect each other and the others differences and are willing to compromise to accommodate a middle of the road outcome that means neither of you feel like your compromising your values for the other.

In a relationship you become a team and part of being a team is valuing what each bring to it.

Ginkythefangedhellpigofdoom Sun 10-Mar-19 12:36:31

Longer term though, you may need to think about having a conversation before you get too attached.

I think that's relevant for all relationships though!

What are both your ideas on children, schooling, finances or any other big deal breaking life ideas.

If fundamentally you are on opposite sides of certain things and there wouldn't be a compromise you could both be happy with then there isn't much point in getting emotionally invested because then you get stuck and unhappy.

An easy few examples may be having/not having children or
State/private education.
Boarding or not
Religious upbringing or not etc

If people were completely on opposite sides (in any relationship) then what's the point in pursuing a relationship to a point where these (or any other similar issues) become relevant?

Beachy87654 Sun 10-Mar-19 13:48:29

Thank you - sound advice on the shared values and outlook

I wonder also about families, when a new person comes into your life and you explain and describe them and their background

Has anyone had good or bad experiences of being welcomed (or not) into a family?

thecatsthecats Sun 10-Mar-19 14:42:38

My parents and my husband's parents are world's apart.

Mine are very academic, intellectual, have old fashioned tastes, very thrifty, not very sociable, very outdoorsy, not very appearance focused.

His are pretty lowbrow in their tastes, like plush but not very trendy furnishings, very spendy/credity, highly sociable, very 'city' in their tendencies (MIL thought our walk after our wedding - flat, 3 miles - was a 'proper hike'), and are quite up on their appearances.

However - it doesn't matter a bit. My husband and I are different to both of them, and we're the same as EACH OTHER.

We like vintage, upcycled hipstery stuff. We enjoy country and city breaks. We are savers, but not miserly with it. My husband's bookshelves are full of academic books, and I enjoy much trashier tv than my parents. We like to dress up, but we're ok slumming it too.

We like to say we meet in the middle, and since we both prefer the middle, and each set of parents enjoy their niche, it's happy days all around.

lyralalala Sun 10-Mar-19 14:47:55

It can work if you agree on the major things.

DH and I have very different backgrounds.

My parents were violent drug addicted alcoholics. I was essentially brought up by my grandparents. 3 bed flat for them and us 4 kids. Very little money. Holidays were a caravan an hour away owned by a neighbour.y grandad worked in a very manual job and my Nana did various cleaning jobs.

DH grew up in a nice house. Both PIL had professional well paid jobs. He and BIL had a nanny. Holidays every year etc.

However we’re fundamentally very similar. We have the same views on family, raising children and morals. The rest we’ve worked out as we’ve gone along.

Happyspud Sun 10-Mar-19 14:48:00

It’s about values, not family finances. My parents had no spare cash and had to cut back everywhere for us but they valued education, manners, hard work. I can comfortably be around anyone from any financial background thanks to the good lessons from them on how to treat people and how to value myself. I was also never taught a them and us attitude which helped. They never ‘othered’ or sneered at rich people or poorer people than us. Unfortunately a lot of people are raised with chips on their shoulders or snobbery, but financial upbringing should never decide a couples compatibility, values should.

bathorshower Sun 10-Mar-19 15:02:16

A much bigger financial question is whether one of you is frugal and saves while the other spends everything they have. That really will lead to conflict unless very carefully discussed and managed. I agree with pp that differences in your backgrounds need to be discussed, but I wouldn't have thought there would necessarily be anything insurmountable.

tealcoat Sun 10-Mar-19 15:07:30

Another shout out for having the same morals/values.

I'd probably count as middle class now but my parents defiantly come from working class backgrounds. My DH grew up in a massive house in a fancy London suburb, both his parents both retired in their early 50s and now live off their investments.

When we first met as students the only hint that his family had money was that he bought lurpac butter and branded shreddies. He has a posher voice than me but so did most people at uni anyway.

We both have a very similar outlook on life, and want the same things. I think parents make a big difference too, his are very down to earth and very non-judgemental. Our life together is pretty great and I don't think anyone would really guess that we had very different upbringings. He's since been converted to Aldi's norpac and own brand serial.

As a side note I do think what their family are like does make a difference. I once dated a guy who was stuck-up, I consistently achieved better than him in 6th form/uni yet his parents would find any excise to make me feel stupid by correcting my grammar or words like grass and bath. My DH's family have never tried to make me feel small and get on very well with my parents.

museumum Sun 10-Mar-19 15:09:37

I went to a very “posh” university and socialised with very wealthy people whose parents put up a marquee in the grounds for their 21st party etc etc. (I’m from a 3bed terrace).

Anyway, wasn’t an issue at all until we hit mid20s and it became clearer that these friends expected to get six figure jobs, the men probably expected their future wives to sahp so they could live in the stockbroker belt without worrying about school runs and that private school was a certainty and boarding definitely an option.
We’re still friends now but I could never be married to any of them.

GregoryPeckingDuck Sun 10-Mar-19 15:32:43

I think class is more relevant that wealth here. Especially if you intend to have children. If you are anti provate school or he want his children to speak in RP and not your accent etc. it turn parenthood into a battle. But if you are both open minded and accepting then it won’t be an issue. My BIL is seeing a very working class girl. Non of us care where she comes from (with the exception of MIL but she just like to put others down) so as she’s nice (which she is obviously). They have different political views and understandings of the world but they are both willing to share and sometimes be converted to the others thinking. Where they simply disagree they just respect it as a difference of opinion. But they are both good people. If either of you are prejudiced or immature this may make your relationship (which would already be difficult due to personality flas) a failure.

Marchinupandownagain Sun 10-Mar-19 21:03:05

DH and I joke that the difference between our families is that his grandparents had servants and my grandparents were servants. Factually true as well as funny grin

But I agree with other posters - what are your shared values? Also how much are your respective families likely to mix and have they a good tolerance for difference?

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