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Educated woman/uneducated man - can it work?

(124 Posts)
sparklet Sun 18-Jan-09 11:59:19

I'm divorced with a DD of 10 and have been with my current BF for coming up to a year. He treats me really well, is gentle and kind, we share some interests and he's the most wonderful lover I've ever had. We've talked about marriage and he's said he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but I'm in no hurry as I want to get to know him really well first.

There's one issue in particular I want to be comfortable with and please don't think I'm a snob but I can't ignore certain signs. I'm highly educated middle-class, he's skilled working-class (a carpenter) and simply not as knowledgeable/cultured as I am through no fault of his own. We do have lovely talks about quite deep things but I have to be careful not to use long words and can't really share my love of music and literature with him. His manners are a bit suspect sometimes too! He has a bit of a chip on his shoulder and I have to be careful not to come across as too assertive or he gets upset. Also I'm finacially secure and although he's generous to a fault, he's not good with money and has very little to show for many years of hard work and earning decent money. I can't see problems arising as long as we just continue to date but I'm nervous about living together/marriage.

singleandfabulous Wed 19-Feb-14 23:40:23

OP, I recently ended a three year relationship with someone like your dp. He was handsome, kind, honest and lovely but the differences just became more and more apparent. He didnt feel 'good enough' to join me at a formal dinner and felt 'uncomfortable' about going to the theatre so didnt. Drinks with my boss were 'excruciating' for him (my words not his). In turn, I felt uncomfortable in his local pub and really out of place with his family. I tried not to judge him when he licked his knife but in the end I became resentful that my life had been reduced to going to the pub on Friday night with his mates and watching 'man' telly on Saturday night.
The problem is that most women still take on the cultural life of the male partner, so you are in effect 'dumbing down' your life to be with him. While the honeymoon period is going strong, you'll push the differences aside but after a few years you will resent having sacrificed so much of yourself for so little in return. Tastes, lifestyles and habits are very important in a long term relationship

anapitt Wed 19-Feb-14 23:55:53

I've always wondered how ancient threads get revived. This one is 5 years old. Don't suppose op is around to tell us the outcome. ?

anapitt Wed 19-Feb-14 23:57:17

Very interesting debate nonetheless

LeadingToGadeBank Thu 20-Feb-14 00:24:22

Compatability is about attitude, not interests/education/social skills, etc. in common.

You don't have the correct attitude to make your partnership work.

ADishBestEatenCold Thu 20-Feb-14 00:24:50

Well spotted, anapitt. I hadn't even noticed!

(wonder if she married him? grin)

msdiamant Thu 20-Feb-14 00:30:05

In some ways it can be much more interesting when both partners have different interests, hobbies. He doesn't have much money but he might help you with children, housework, bring you a cup of coffee, cook a meal, clean after himself and be willing to change for better or learn new things. Not every DH can do it. And having a partner who is great in bed is a bonus. What would my DCs do if I shared my DH's interests in watching sport on TV? How many times a week would you need to talk or discuss books with your future DH? I am so glad that F1 is not shown daily but a weekend can be ruined.

msdiamant Thu 20-Feb-14 00:31:35

Damn, I have just wasted time on an old thread.

msdiamant Thu 20-Feb-14 00:32:33

Who dared to bring this thread again!?

VeryStressedMum Thu 20-Feb-14 01:01:27

When I met dh I was more educated than him and more knowledgeable and cultured, he was a carpenter.
We liked, and still do, different music and I love to read he doesn't. I still read and he still doesn't. I've always used long words he says to me what the fuck are you talking about.

I like talking about everything, politics, history current affairs...but you know what just because he had a different upbringing and didn't have the same opportunities as me doesn't mean that he's thick he's very intelligent and can quite easily and happily talk about those things with me and with others.

However, I also talk a lot of crap, watch crap tv, slob about in crap clothes, sometimes I have questionable manners..I'm not special just because I got an education.

Over the years dh studied, pushed himself and worked bloody hard he's now in a very good job. He's now just as, if not more, educated and knowledgeable as me.

VeryStressedMum Thu 20-Feb-14 01:02:21

Omg 2009 who did this??? Who!!??

VeryStressedMum Thu 20-Feb-14 01:03:34

Where's sparklet, I need to know if she stuck with him.

randomfemale Thu 20-Feb-14 01:06:00

#where is the zombie#

<<looks behind sofa>>


kentishgirl Thu 20-Feb-14 12:32:08

OK, I know it's a zombie thread but it's an interesting idea to talk about.

I couldn't be with someone I had to really dumb down to. After my last relationship I couldn't be with someone who didn't talking about the things I like to talk about either, even though he was intelligent.

It's not about class background, or education though, it's intelligence and areas of interest. You get dumb well-educated middle class people, and very intelligent less-educated working class people.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Thu 20-Feb-14 13:18:15

He has a bit of a chip on his shoulder and I have to be careful not to come across as too assertive or he gets upset. Also I'm finacially secure and although he's generous to a fault, he's not good with money and has very little to show for many years of hard work and earning decent money.


DistanceCall Thu 20-Feb-14 13:29:39

The fact that you need to dumb yourself down and avoid using long words or being "too assertive" is worrying, to be honest.

There's nothing wrong with not having had a good education - it wasn't his fault. But if he resents yours and feels threatened by your intelligence - instead of being curious, for example, and interested in learning - then it doesn't sound very good.

DistanceCall Thu 20-Feb-14 13:30:01

Argh! Zombie thread.

FelineLou Thu 20-Feb-14 14:11:06

A dear friend(with degree etc) close enough to talk "relationships" with was married to a working(physical) man.
They had a happy long marriage with all the ups and downs we all experience.
She accepted his taste in entertainment and he moved closer to hers.
They talked to each other.
Over the years they moved closer. Yes it can work but both should be ready to adapt a bit.

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Thu 20-Feb-14 14:13:05

"I have to be careful not to come across as too assertive or he gets upset."

Sorry OP, this would have me running for the hills.

QuietTiger Thu 20-Feb-14 14:38:22

This is not about "class" it is about shared values, tastes and 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 wealthy professional family, with the associated trappings, have 3 good degrees, have traveled widely, have hundreds of books which breed, am well read, posh spoken accent, go to the theater, like classical music 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 every day 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.

Yes, the relationship can work - DH and I are proof of that, BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, I don't notice our differences, I don't temper who I am or what my hobbies are with DH, I certainly don't measure my words so I don't use long ones, and I respect him for who he is utterly and I don't mean in a surrendered wife context, either - I mean in a I don't want to try and change him from who he is context.

WhateverTrevor83 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:06:35

I went to university and am m/class (on paper)... cultured? Erm - I'm a National Theatre season ticket holder... but apart from that I'd rather be in Wetherspoons than at the opera.

But for what it's worth - I love a bit of high-viz! And yes yes yes - absolutely people can be together even if they're from different backgrounds and have different upbringings etc of course.

BUT if he's got 'a chip on his shoulder' and she's worried about it - then no... they shouldn't be together. But because of snobbery/said chip-on-shoulder, nothing to do with 'class'.

Ooh I wonder what happened...

WhateverTrevor83 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:07:58

QuietTiger you're fella sounds great! LOVE a dishy farmer grin

NearTheWindmill Thu 20-Feb-14 16:13:12

It works for my mother. She's had looks and money - he's largely helped her spend it all but I don't think anyone else would have put up with her for 32 years and for that I give him a great deal of credit. He's not my father btw. At the end of the day he's a kind man.

Pippilangstrompe Thu 20-Feb-14 16:44:27

I wonder if she is still with him? It sounds more like incompatibility than anything more.

anapitt Thu 20-Feb-14 19:23:45

yes I'd love to know what happened to the op!

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