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To feel really inadequate compared to dhs family?

33 replies

Knickerbockerglorybuns · 18/04/2011 20:58

Name change regular. I probably am BU but I'd like some opinions please. Dhs family are all really clever, highly qualified and interesting people. His immediate family include a professional surfer, veterinarian, opera singer, lawyer, physicist, professional musicians, professional actress, millionaire ,martial artist, plus dh is doing a PHD and has a good paying job.
Then there's me- non existent numeracy skills, NVQ, SAHM, no great job prospects. I feel really stupid when we meet up with them. One of them is quite a nice person, but the others look down their nose at me because I'm not as educated and intelligent as they are.
What do you think? AIBU and a bit over sensitive or am I right to feel like crap around them?

OP posts:

Sidge · 18/04/2011 21:00

Well he obviously chose you for a reason.

Ignore them. They're only in-laws, you don't have to live with them!


onepieceofcremeegg · 18/04/2011 21:01

They might be really clever and highly qualified people. However from your description they are probably not very happy and I know which I would prefer to be. :)


LynetteScavo · 18/04/2011 21:02

Maybe you just haven't found your "thing". (It sounds like they have had a lot of opportunities.) You can't be that much of a bummer or your DH wouldn't have married you. I bet you are georgous and funny and kind.

Please tell me it's the surfer who is quite nice. I've already built up a mental image of them all. Grin


squeakytoy · 18/04/2011 21:02

Musicians, actresses, millionaires, martial arts experts and surfers are not necessarily educated OR intelligent.. talented perhaps.. but everyone has that opportunity.

Dont put yourself down, you obviously do have something special, because your husband wanted to marry YOU.


LynetteScavo · 18/04/2011 21:03

Oh, and you want to try being the underachiever in the family...not just marrying into such a family. Believe me, it sucks.


bubblecoral · 18/04/2011 21:05

It sounds like they may be clever, but it doesn't sound like they are very nice people. You have talents equal to theirs, they are just not measurable in the same way.


parakeet · 18/04/2011 21:09

If they are so intelligent then they should realise that the most important thing for their son/nephew/grandson/whatever is that he has married a woman who is kind and funny and makes him happy.

Is it possible that you are making incorrect assumptions about what they think of you? Try not to assume the worst.


KateBottomton · 18/04/2011 21:11

He didn't marry THEM did he. Perhaps they are tedious and boring to him. Perhaps they had ridiculously easy leg-ups in their careers that got them where they are rather than charasmatic personalities.

Don't mistake intelligence for luck, opportunities, education etc. They are really not the same thing. What is your NVQ in anyway?


MotherSnacker · 18/04/2011 21:14

Are you sure they are looking down their noses? Maybe you are interpreting it that way as you feel so inadequate around them.


emsyj · 18/04/2011 21:17

Wasn't it Elizabeth Roosevelt who said "nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent"?

Why are they better than you? They're not. Don't ever let anyone convince you otherwise. Education and money don't define you.


mamasmissionimpossible · 18/04/2011 21:20

I am in a similar situation. I'm a sahm, but dhs family are all Doctors, Lawyers, architects, hotel managers.

I was terrified the first time I met them that they would be talking things way above my level of understanding. However, they were not like that at all, and were really lovely and friendly.

I think I got extra brownie point for looking after their dgc very well. Wink

Try not to feel inadequate, being a SAHM is a very important job too.


KateBottomton · 18/04/2011 21:30

DH's whole family were privately educated and I was educated poorly in a deprived East End school.

They're alright. I get on with them fine. Okay people, but blimey are they thick Grin


TrillianAstra · 18/04/2011 21:34

Eleanor Roosevelt, yes, very good quote :)

If they look down their noses at you then clearly they are not very nice people, no matter how good they may be at surfing. I know which is more important to me when it comes to choosing who to spend time with.


emsyj · 18/04/2011 21:35

I am a lawyer. Ex magic circle, where I earned six figures. But my father is illiterate. I am very much working class. So where does that put me in the hierarchy, eh?


Just goes to show tis all silly and meaningless.


emsyj · 18/04/2011 21:36

Eleanor, Elizabeth - whatever - in my defence I have had a LOT of wine this evening


(£3.29 from Aldi)


Katisha · 18/04/2011 21:37

It's quite possible that they are not looking down their noses at you en masse.
Are you sure you haven't written them off in the way to say they have written you off?
I only ask because I have a SIL who has been determined since the word go to have a chip on her shoulder about me being more academic than her. It honestly was never an issue for me but she decided it was. I have had to walk on eggshells around her ever since.


MissBetsyTrotwood · 18/04/2011 21:41

He chose you .

You chose him.

Enough said! None of the things they've done or been define them in entirety.


Knickerbockerglorybuns · 18/04/2011 21:44

Thanks for the words of support. It all has helped. Yes it's the surfer who is nice to me. Miss her when she's away following the waves (doesn't come to the uk often)

OP posts:

defineme · 18/04/2011 21:58

Where you get to in life is down to chance-where you were born/what your parents were like/did/were born, all manner of smaller chance things too. People look at self made millionaires and think they got there because of sheer hard work-bollocks- some people work incredibly hard all their lives and get no further than the factory line. IQ has very little bearing on educational success compared to other environmental factors.

In short, no one is better than you, they're just different. It's really interesting to have such a variety of people at family gatherings-relax and enjoy. If they're not nice people then that's another story.

If you're not content with what you have change it, but if you are then please don't think that having a professional qualification or a job that gets you on a stage makes their lives any richer than yours.


nijinsky · 18/04/2011 23:28

I'm in a quandry whether to respond or not, because I'm going to sound horrid. But being perfectly honest, being one of "those people" myself that you describe, I do get bored sometimes speaking with some of the less educated or well rounded of DP's workmate's girlfriends (for some reasons, engineers rarely have professional wives or girlfriends I've noticed). I don't look down upon them, and I make plenty of effort, but its more that some of them have done so little in their lives that they don't really seem to have much to talk about, and don't make much effort to keep the conversation flowing. I actually get the impression they look down upon me, more than the other way round, and they sort of disaprove of me somehow.

Now, I know several SAHMs who haven't worked for years, but who travel and have interests outside the home, and they are great to talk to. You have a great opportunity to become an interesting person because you don't have a stressful professional career holding you back.

But I doubt very much that with family members, unless they have a real problem with their attitude, that they actually look down upon you. They probably just accept you without thinking about it too much.


FabbyChic · 18/04/2011 23:30

Having a brain does not make one a nice person.

Personalities keep people together not what they know.

Some are not attracted by intelligence, some are.

I couldn't be with someone who is thick, I'd get bored.


Goblinchild · 18/04/2011 23:32

I know some very academic people who have such specialised talents that they can be quite thick in other areas which do not need Phds.
I'm married to a prime example.
Swings and roundabouts.


vanimal · 18/04/2011 23:50

I have a PhD, am self-employed, very successful, and yet when I meet DH's friends wives, I feel very inadequate because I don't cook or keep a home half as well as them. It's ridiculous really. Don't allow yourself to feel inferior like I do.


Ciske · 19/04/2011 00:16

It sounds like your DH's family has quite a varied bunch of people in it. Chances are the lawyers feel a bit self-conscious about not being as creative as the singers/musicians, who might wish they were as organised/funny as you (or whatever your superpowers are!), and the millionaire will be fretting about whether he should retrain as a vet or focus more on his family, because you seem so happy with it.

Most people are very self critical and wish they were more like others. Be open-minded, talk to them, and you might find you have a lot more in common than you expect. I mean, fancy jobs aside, these are ultimately just normal people with normal worries and interests.


TechnoKitten · 19/04/2011 00:27

How can anyone infer from the original post that these people are "not nice" or "not happy"?

Just because the OP feels they look down at her - they may well not do, she may perceive it that way because for some reason she feels inferior.

It takes skills and talent to be a good SAHM and bring kids up well. They may not be skills that require a post grad qualification but they are needed.

Sounds like a good varied mix of people to me.

OP, if you are concerned about your numeracy skills why not take an evening class? Or go through homework examples with your kids and learn with them?

For the record, I would class myself as extremely happy (and my friends would class me as nice!) and I fall into the "highly educated" group.

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