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Can a relationship where you're from different social classes ever work?(26 Posts)
I've name changed for this.
I suspect I am being a snob but would like to know if others have been in a similar situation at all.
I'm in a fairly new-ish lesbian relationship (I'm bi). I have a teenage DD. My partner has a son. Things have developed quite intensely and we've been talking about the future a lot. I don't know if I'm getting cold feet in general about the speed with which things are moving and therefore looking for problems in the relationship, or if it really is an issue.
When we first met (first few dates) she had no trace of an accent. Over time, this has changed so that occasionally she speaks in neutral tones and other times her accent is very regional (don't want to give away which region for fear of outing myself, but imagine broad Yorkshire or something whereas before it'd been RP). Other things that have cropped up is her describing her son as "sexy", admitting that she gets takeaways or eats out most days with her son (i.e. McDonald's, KFC), smoking (not around him, outside, but she also still smoked a little when pregnant with him) and admitting to sometimes smacking him.
I'm not perfect in any way, but some of this stuff really sits uncomfortably with me and I worry that if the relationship continues and we ever did have a child together, how in God's name we'd ever be on the same page (I did extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, organic everything, didn't smoke...)
I like 'naice' stuff (not obsessively, but I guess I have quite middle class tastes). I like period features, sash windows and floor to ceiling books. She likes modern houses, PVC windows and TV. Most of my friends (not all) are professionals. Few of hers are.
I feel like a total bitch writing this because, at the end of the day, I do love her. I just don't know if that's enough and worry that our differences will become more pronounced as time goes on. I don't know if the issues are class/education, the fact that we're both women and mothers and so will automatically judge the other's child-rearing. Nor do I know if this can be overcome.
Has anyone had any similar relationships? Is mine doomed?
Her social class isn't the issue here! It's your different tastes in things that are the problem.
It's frankly irrelevant if your rode horses and ate at the dinning room table each evening while she sat at the kitchen bench.
As two individual people can you live together? That's your question!
If you have very different values and ideas of what is normal or desirable in a relationship or in life then you are going to find things difficult.
This doesn't have to be to do with your upbringing. Not everyone agrees with their family on what is "the right way" to do things, so two people who were raised in very different ways can still agree.
Personally I don't think that opposites attract... and it seems like you don't think so either. So when there's kids involved and you're not 20 anymore, I really think love isn't 'enough' by itself, there has to be compatibility and other things, don't you think?
I don't think you are compatible. You find her annoying. It will get worse.
I would find her very annoying too, and I see myself as working class.
I grew up on a council estate on benefits and DH went to a very well known public school. Wildly different life experiences. It's more about shared interests and values than class.
This isn't about social class, it's about different attitudes.
My husband went to a very expensive public school. I went to a state school and both my parents grew up in council houses. My parents have London accents. My gran is a proper old London bird. My husband's parents are professionals and quite well to do. Musband and I have similar attitudes on most of the important things in life, despite the difference in our origins.
This has zero to do with class. Which by the way I think you lack given that one of your reasons for not being together is that her friends aren't professionals like yours (that is being a huge snob by the way).
I'm not saying I would take my child to McDonalds or KFC daily (infact she has never been to either) but it doesn't make you a superior mother for going organic.
You say you love her but everything else in the post suggests you think you are better than her.
Either love her for her and let her find someone who will.
I don't think it really matters what background you are from as long as the love is there.
Just as an observer though, comparing sash windows to pvc windows at this stage of the relationship sounds hilarious, if you can't get over this this now, I'm not sure you'll have a future honestly.
Her class has nothing to do with this at all! I am common, very common especially my accent and I come from a working class family. However, smoking is disgusting, smacking children is not the way forward however, I resorted to it once when my child was non stop battering me (slight tap on the bum), I eat fresh, homemade food and rarely eat takeaways. She has different values to you that's all her class is irrelevant.
You are however, being damn snobby about her accent. Utterly daft in this day and age.
What does this have to do with social class?? She makes bad lifestyle decisions. So did lawson and satchi. Did you read about Lord Somerset recently? Class my ass.
You have mismatched belief systems. And WTF re regional variation in accent. Are you one of these people who write in to the bbc to complain that presenters have accents???? How very dare they.
Think you should send your op to your girlfriend and watch her run from you.
I'm scratching my head to fathom why you're even 'seeing' her, let alone thinking of shacking up with her.
Nothing to do with class you just don't seem to like her very much, or at least her lifestyle choices.
Could you not just date but don't tangle your lives together too much so your different styles don't clash.
BeautifulVisit, so am I.
OP, you tell us you love your partner, but you haven't told us anything about her that you actually like which is quite telling.
I don't see the comments about her natural accent as being the issue here, more that she disguises it and it slips.
I want to be with someone who's comfortable in their own skin. I don't share similar tastes in everything with my DH but enough that we enjoy life together and don't worry about our differences.
It doesn't sound as though you'll be able to overcome yours as you don't sound all that well suited. It actually sounds stressful and a bit of a disaster that you'd even contemplate having a child together. I think things have moved along too fast.
I do think others are right - sounds as if you just don't much like her. And I have to say, I would be pretty uncomfortable with someone who smacked their child.
But 'When we first met (first few dates) she had no trace of an accent' - erm, no. Sorry. Everyone has an accent, including you! Lots of people find their accents vary a bit, so perhaps when she first met you she subconciously took on a more RP accent? Given it still shifts from one to the other it sounds as if this is normal for her.
Values is a better word than class. I worry ours are poles apart sometimes.
You feel like this now....
Don't move in together
Don't have a child together
There doesn't seem to be much is a basis for a shared life here. If you have kids, it's probably best to keep dating and family separate until you find somebody compatible with your values.
You do sound as though you feel your tastes/values are 'superior'. Rightly or wrongly, this will only increase as you move out of the honeymoon period and into reality.
FWIW, my DH and had quite different upbringings/values instilled in us. Now that we have DC, it's a real problem. The older we have got, the less flexible we are, the more we revert to 'what we know' and the more we clash. It is proving to be a real issue for us and one that we might not be able to resolve.
It's one thing to compromise, but another to live in a way/instill values in a child, that just isn't true to yourself.
At the risk of sounding bitter (which I'm not), love doesn't conquer all, and in the long terms it is friendship/shared beliefs and similar goals, that will see you through. I worry for your relationship.
It sounds to me there is nothing in this relationship for you in the medium term. Maybe you're infatuated, not in love.
It happened to me a couple of times - after the passion/lust died out, I could only think" why the hell did I date this person????"
In my opinion, a good indicator is if you like the person's friends. If they have nothing in common with you and you don't find them interesting, chances are you and your P would never be friends - and the relationship has no future (that's my opinion, feel free to disagree).
With my DH, we immediately got along each other's friends. Ten years later, we are still together.
Thanks for comments. It's all a bit of a rollercoaster and I can't see the wood for the trees. Sometimes it's amazing, other times it's just so stressful. Have spent half the weekend in tears.
I'm reluctant to break up with her but not sure there's a future either.
There is no future with someone who describes their son as 'sexy'.
Look, she's not really your type, is she? You don't have to have an intense relationship/family/future with every person you fancy. It might be time to move on.
Like many here have already said, this is not about "class" it is about shared values, tastes and mismatched belief systems.
This is not to brag, but to put things in context - I went to a top public school, am from a very upper-middle class professional family, have 3 degrees, traveled widely, hundreds of books which breed, well read, posh spoken accent, go to the theater etc, etc.
My DH left his state school at 16 with no qualifications, is a "manual" worker (farmer), rarely reads (except the Farmers Weekly), has a regional accent, rarely traveled, etc. etc...
You'd claim that we were completely unsuited to each other based on our backgrounds alone.
Yet, I am married to the most amazing man. We are good friends, have shared values, a shared belief system, shared senses of humour, we like each others friends, he is kind, thoughtful and I am thankful that he is my DH. Our backgrounds are irrelevant, because we are happy with each other and who we are. Yes, we have our "challenges" but they are through general daily life challenges, rather than anything to do with incompatibility.
If you are feeling like this now, it will only get worse. You probably need to really assess what it is that you love about your DP, and whether you actually really do love her. Then you need to work out where to go from there.
Of course they can work. I've been with DH for 25 years, I'm from a very working class background, DH form a very MC background.
As everyone else says, your issues are nothing to do with class, they're to do with values.
You do seem a bit narrow minded- do you think that only WC people smack their dc, smoke and eat takeaways all the time. They're are plenty of MC parents who do just that.
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