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Educated woman/uneducated man - can it work?

(135 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.

RebeccaBunch Thu 16-Nov-17 00:30:24



RebeccaBunch Thu 16-Nov-17 00:29:54

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

Red flag here I think. You can't be yourself without him getting upset confused

That's no way to live your life.

GottadoitGottadoit Wed 15-Nov-17 23:40:49


GottadoitGottadoit Wed 15-Nov-17 23:37:42

Intelligence is more important than education and class. Does he say things that sound a bit thick? Can't live with that long term.

GottadoitGottadoit Wed 15-Nov-17 23:35:13

Haven't read the thread, but could've written your post. Been seeing a lovely guy but have kept him at arm's-length for the reasons you talk about.

You can have a good relationship with someone like this, but not a lifetime.

WeeMcBeastie Wed 15-Nov-17 23:26:49

I don’t think you’re being ‘snobby’ either! Educational background, intellect and class etc all contribute to a person’s personality and values. We also all have our own personal preferences when it comes to our choice of partner. I would be no more compatible with a stereotypical privately educated type who’d had everything handed to them on a plate than I would to a stereotypical person who had left school at 16 with no qualifications. I use the word stereotypical because there will always be exceptions. I know plenty of people who left school with no formal qualifications but have better general knowledge and common sense than I do! Howeber, As others have said, we are naturally drawn to partners who are similar in terms of class and values but who also share the same interests. OP, if you get on well, could you continue the relationship without marriage or living together?

valuerangeweetabixandmilk Wed 15-Nov-17 23:20:03

I am highly educated and intellectually confident. My job is where I go to use these facets of my personality.
It makes no difference to me if I use them socially or not.
If a man is nice, I would be attracted to him for who he is. He would have to be working, as that tells me he is motivated, but in what job I wouldn't care.
I think that the 'middle class' position you define yourself by is going to exclude many many nice parts about working class relationships and people.
I think he needs to meet someone less critical of his position.

Hellywelly10 Wed 15-Nov-17 23:14:21

Poor manners are a turn off.

Haffiana Wed 15-Nov-17 22:42:57

Z-O-M-B-I-E thread...

FabulousUsername Wed 15-Nov-17 22:22:04

What stood out for me is that you have to stop yourself from being too assertive or he gets upset. Can you see yourself living like this long term, having to monitor yourself? You should be able to be yourself in a relationship... I see why you're thinking of it as a 'snob' thing but I don't think you should have to change yourself to be with someone. He sounds like a great boyfriend but perhaps not a long term prospect. Which is perhaps why your intuition is telling you something isn't quite right?

Needanswershelp Wed 15-Nov-17 21:56:58

I dont think you are a snob. all i gotta say is at least he is working. let me use myself for an example. I have been dating this guy for almost 2 years, he is jobless, uneducated, has low-self steem. he is a great guy personally. I on the other hand is pursuing my education. while he sits at home and dose nothing. I cant wait until that day i leave his ass.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

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

Argh! Zombie thread.

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.

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.


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.

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

#where is the zombie#

<<looks behind sofa>>


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

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

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