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AIBU to leave DP because he's not very bright

(261 Posts)
williaminajetfighter Wed 06-May-15 11:16:42

It's brutal I know but I just don't think I can stay with DP any longer because I find him quite ignorant and not very bright, and it is causing huge problems in our relationship and communication.

I know DP had a pretty poor education, left school at 15 and so is lacking in traditional educational knowledge. Grammar, spelling are very poor as is his general knowledge of maths, literature etc. His parents did nothing to foster a love of learning.

But then there is 'learned knowledge' since then and he isn't intellectually curious, hasn't really picked up a book since school, barely reads a paper (except the Metro) and thus has a fairly limited worldview. He actually shows disdain for knowledge, IYSWIM.

Finally I just don't think he's very sharp so he doesn't pick things up quickly.

It sounds incredibly mean when I write it all down but it causes huge problems on an everyday basis. For instance things I've faced this weekend in our conversations:
(a) I tried to talk to him about politics but the conversation blew up because he's so uninformed and got angry when I used the word 'libertarian' (really);
(b) I tried to have a conversation with him about household finances (which I lead) but he hates numbers and got cross;
(c) I tried to have a conversation with him about some elements of childcare such as more natural ways of dealing with baby eczema or limiting paracetemol but he thinks whatever I read is nonsense because all parenting should be 'assumed' and
(d) I tried to talk to him about about being a vegetarian and having veggie-only nights for the children but he scoffs at me because he's read nothing about the merits of vegetarianism.
These are just a few things I dealt with over the weekend and a reflection of my day to day. The other day I made a reference to Pip from Great Expectations - a pretty well known tome - and he just looked at me blankly. It sounds trite but it's pretty wearing.

When we got together I found him 'light and fun' and the years after were heavily 'operational' focusing on getting a house and having young children. Now that time has passed and we have more time for each other I am finding that we are just not a meeting of the minds and his ignorance and lack of intellectual curiosity is really offputting. I would like to grow older with someone who I can have engaging conversations with and although he is a fine father and a supportive partner who has never cheated and is really loyal, I just don't think I can be with him.

It sounds so harsh but AIBU? Has anyone else experienced this? From his POV I suppose it's not really fair to stay with him if I think he's not bright!

tumbletumble Wed 06-May-15 11:21:39

It sounds like you are not compatible and get on each other's nerves, which is a perfectly acceptable reason to leave someone.

However, how old are your DC? If they are very small and you are in a sleep deprived state when you would find any partner annoying, be careful of making any big life decisions.

PS If you do separate, please don't tell him it's because he's thick.

Noeuf Wed 06-May-15 11:22:10

Well I feel exactly the same. I said 'annotated' yesterday and had to explain it.
But I think you, and I, will be slated.
I worry about the kids as they grow up and want them to have opportunities everywhere - difficult when half the input comes from dh and it's all a bit sneery.

AtomicDog Wed 06-May-15 11:22:54

Gosh- sounds harsh, yes. However, I think it's very difficult to have a relationship with someone that has a very different level of education from oneself.
Why do you think they call university the middle class dating club? wink

williaminajetfighter Wed 06-May-15 11:26:36

Thanks for all your comments and comforting to know that I'm not the only one. I'm sure I will get slated but hey ho!

DC are young, but as they get older they are more impressionable I am starting to get alarmed at the things he tells them and the 'ideologies' he spouts. Also we have very different ideas about education and when I spoke to DP about putting £ away into a Junior ISA to cover their future education, he laughed. It's depressing.

You're right - I should have got my MRS degree at University!!!

Hoppinggreen Wed 06-May-15 11:28:34

The problem isn't that he's not " very bright" it's that he has no curiosity or desire to expand his knowledge or way of thinking.
For whatever reason if you aren't compatible maybe you should think about splitting up

Hoppinggreen Wed 06-May-15 11:29:50

Cross posted with your last post - if he doesn't value education or have aspirations for your DC then that's an even bigger problem IMHO

BunnyLebowski Wed 06-May-15 11:30:44

This is baffling to me.

I couldn't date/marry/procreate with someone who wasn't intelligent. I would be able to tell on a first date and it wouldn't go any further.

How the hell did you end up with someone you are so incompatible with?? confused

So YANBU for struggling with your situation but YABVU for choosing him to have kids with and then moaning about something you have known all along.

KERALA1 Wed 06-May-15 11:31:33

This would drive me absolutely mad - no slating here. The problem is once you have recognised something as maddening all manifestations of it will get you even more frustrated This is something that will underpin everything really.

Sorry but I dumped boyfriends for this in past preferring to remain single rather than in a relationship with someone who was one dimensional.

Miggsie Wed 06-May-15 11:32:29

Not really BU - my brother is married to a woman who sounds similar to your DP, they have spent the last 15 years barely speaking and recently it has degenerated into separate beds and real hatred.

I think the issue is that he isn't interested in any ideas you have and doesn't look wider than his current situation - and you do.
If he sneers at your ideas then you are heading for contempt on both sides and unhappiness down the line, so splitting up now before you really resent each other would be a good idea.

williaminajetfighter Wed 06-May-15 11:33:02

Bunny - I ask myself the same question. I've come to the conclusion that because the people I work with are very interesting as are my friends, I got that 'intellectual stimulation' from other people in my life. I think I was bowled over by his support for me, which I needed at the time, and overlooked our mental compatability!

HappenstanceMarmite Wed 06-May-15 11:34:03

DC are young, but as they get older they are more impressionable I am starting to get alarmed at the things he tells them and the 'ideologies' he spouts

He will still spout those ideologies at them, whether you stay with him or not. Because he will still be their father and still be in their lives.

KERALA1 Wed 06-May-15 11:35:11

Yes how on earth did you end up married? I ended a long term relationship because he didnt read books - thought there was no point in fiction. Entitled to his opinion but personally just couldn't be married to a non reader.

Nolim Wed 06-May-15 11:35:16

whatever I read is nonsense because all parenting should be 'assumed'
What does this even mean?

Not finishing school is not an excuse to ignore the world around you.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 06-May-15 11:36:37


I think being broadly intellectually similar is vital.

comeagainforbigfudge Wed 06-May-15 11:37:04

What is his learned knowledge then? Did he go into some kind of apprentice-ship after leaving school?
I think you are being a bit harsh to say he is thick. We all have different learning abilities and he may have skills that you could never master.

Also, whilst you find it "off putting" that he isn't as intellectually curious as you, how do you think he might feel when you are discussing money/politics etc? If he had a hard time at school learning wise he could be embarrassed that you are talking about money as he doesn't get it to your level, he could be undiagnosed dyslexic and therefore picking up a book/newspaper is torture for him.

Politics - I'm fairly well educated and hate talking politics it's a mindfield as it is. Not everyone gets it, or wants to.

Everyone is different, you obviously had things in common that meant you stayed together and had kids. What are they?

My partner has a special interest in Japanese anime. Bores me to tears when he gets started BUT that's his thing. I don't judge him, I let him natter on, smile and nod, say encouraging things. But he never expects me to be on his "level" as such, because he knows it doesn't interest me.

Allthelittlefoxes Wed 06-May-15 11:37:36

I have some real sympathy with this - DH is bright enough (degree educated) but like yours is not intellectually curious, cultured or really interested in broadening his horizons. He also never reads books and has very entrenched views although I am making headway in getting him to see a different perspective to the narrow minded 'every man for himself' attitude that his parents instilled in him. He's a good man, I just wish he would maybe have an interest in art, theatre, literature, history instead of trail bikes, movies of the 1980's and motor racing.... But - no-ones perfect. It sounds a bit different with your DH as I don't think you really like him? Which is a perfectly valid reason to separate.

Noeuf Wed 06-May-15 11:38:18

We had kids really early on, we had a lot of fun, then as the kids are older and it's me helping with homework - DP didn't do any qualifications so can't help with any of it. He doesn't read, he watches sport and eats meat, he votes differently, it's all a bit boring now.

comeagainforbigfudge Wed 06-May-15 11:40:00

And he left school with a few scraped by highers. So I didn't meet him at uni or anything.

But I can see from other posts I'm going down the wrong track.

FaFoutis Wed 06-May-15 11:43:10

I don't think YABU. I have this a bit with my DH, but not as much as you do.

It is easy to think this doesn't matter when you are in the early days and the 'operational' (as the OP puts it) days of a relationship. My dh is attractive and funny, and a good partner. I was always more intelligent that him, but as time has gone on I have become more 'intellectual' and he hasn't. He often doesn't understand what I'm talking about and it is quite lonely. It isn't something I would leave him over but I would be happier if it was different.

Your DP probably knows, williamina, and gets defensive because of it. I don't know what the answer is though.

confusedandemployed Wed 06-May-15 11:47:40

YANB at all U. I agree with the majority - intellectual compatibility is essential. My DP didn't do a degree or anything and on the face of it is far less academic than me
He's not though, he has a massive thirst for learning and is far better read than me on many topics.

Timetoask Wed 06-May-15 11:50:06

Amazed you had children with someone so mismatched to you.
An important lesson for young people is: love and fun is not all you need, before getting married and having children make sure you are compatible and share similar values.

williaminajetfighter Wed 06-May-15 11:50:35

Noeuf - sounds like we are in a similar boat. I have to do all the homework and have discussions with the school. Even P4 grammar is getting beyond DP - he asked what a pronoun was the other day. sigh. I feel for you.

Nolim - my DP thinks that one just 'understands' how to parent and to go by instinct. Reading about parenting or having an 'approach' to parenting is 'liberal nonsense.' It is very disheartening. Our recent arguments have been about the amount of calpol he wants to give our toddler daughter. He would literally dose her with calpol everytime she cried. I tried to get him to read articles discouraging overuse of calpol/paracetemol and just won't have it - he can't see anything wrong with using overthecounter medicine, or else why would it be available??

Comeagain - I don't think he's dyslexic, just a general lack of interest in knowledge.

Thanks for all the kind comments everyone and for not calling me out.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 06-May-15 11:51:25

I suspect that a lot of his crossness is due to knowing that he doesn't know what you're on about and feeling "lesser" somehow.
My Dad and Mum were educationally miles apart and my Mum constantly felt that she was inferior somehow, and retaliated by being a reverse intellectual snob, if that makes sense.

DH and I are also on different educational levels, but culturally we're more of a match and he doesn't get frustrated if he doesn't know something, he's ok with learning new stuff - and I think this is your biggest problem area. Your DH digging his heels in (metaphorically) and refusing to try and improve his position. IF my DH was like that, I don't think I could stand it either sad

KERALA1 Wed 06-May-15 11:52:04

It's not education levels it's outlook

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