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Parents overtly disapprove of fiance


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Old 19th March 2019, 3:25 PM   #16
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They are annoyed by totally ridiculous things like "he talks too much", "he's a slob", "he didn't go to college", "he is a terrible driver", "he texts you all day long, can't he leave you alone for a minute?", "he's rude".

I'm NOT contradicting the advice above, because I think it's on target. Consider that possibly the college aspect might be bothering them. Depending on THEIR (not your) hopes/expectations this may have them worried as not having a college degree CAN limit people's career prospects etc in life.

I have no idea of your situation, so possibly he has great prospects due to what he does. And possibly you don't care, no one else you're likely to be with would have a college degree, etc. I understand that it's not the only factor. I'm just bringing this up to suggest that hinting that he might get a degree at some future point might help a little to alleviate your parents' concerns, IF you're going to bother continuing to try to do that.
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Old 19th March 2019, 8:50 PM   #17
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I'm NOT contradicting the advice above, because I think it's on target. Consider that possibly the college aspect might be bothering them. Depending on THEIR (not your) hopes/expectations this may have them worried as not having a college degree CAN limit people's career prospects etc in life.

I have no idea of your situation, so possibly he has great prospects due to what he does. And possibly you don't care, no one else you're likely to be with would have a college degree, etc. I understand that it's not the only factor. I'm just bringing this up to suggest that hinting that he might get a degree at some future point might help a little to alleviate your parents' concerns, IF you're going to bother continuing to try to do that.
Yes, this absolutely bothers the hell out of my parents. They can't imagine that their daughter who has a master's degree would be with someone who didn't finish a degree.

It bothers me too sometimes, and when we started dating it was something I was uncomfortable about. But then I realized that his lack of a degree doesn't affect our day-to-day life at all. He's always had a well paying job and has no trouble finding new jobs (since we moved).

College education is incredibly expensive and time consuming as we all know. It would actually hinder our finances if he went to school at the same time as working full time, unless the employer paid for it. I already went through that myself, and it was not easy.

On top of that, he's not really the studious test-taking type. I find this annoying myself and I lecture him about it sometimes, but I realize that I can't change who he is or his personality. If you want to go to school, it's something you actually have to want.

Of course my parents don't see it this way. They think that not having a degree means that you are not intelligent, doomed financially, are a loser, etc.

I have dated other guys in the past that had degrees, but things never worked out with any of them.
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Old 19th March 2019, 9:11 PM   #18
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Plenty of highly intelligent people don’t resonate with academics and several of them are business owners. It’s fine if your fiancé succeeds without a degree but just be sure that you’re not staying with him because you’re digging your heels in due to your parents’ attitude toward him.
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Old 19th March 2019, 9:38 PM   #19
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I agree that he is not the sharpest when it comes to common sense. I even get exasperated and we get into arguments over things like this.
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I find this annoying myself and I lecture him about it sometimes, but I realize that I can't change who he is or his personality.
I hope you don't become as critical of him as your parents are of you. It would be a shame to carry their prejudices over into your relationship...

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Old 20th March 2019, 2:19 PM   #20
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Totally agree that college is not for everyone and insanely expensive. Degrees definitely aren't a magical train ride to success either.

Unfortunately, though it's also pretty much seen as a rite of passage for upper middle class folks (and many others) in this country.

Agree with the points above. One thing you could consider doing at some point is calmly pointing out some friends of yours who aren't doing so well. Along the lines of:

"You know, <Person A> and <Person B> both finished their degrees, but they <describe mediocre jobs or bad situation>. But H is doing great and <describe good career prospects>. I think I picked a winner."

I know this is somewhat superficial. It also might backfire a bit. But it may help to address a concern for your future that is probably at least part of what's driving their issue.

A lot of parents have issues with aspirations for their children, so you see e.g. the tiger moms, the dads who expect their kids to be top athletes, etc. It unfortunately sounds like that's part of what's driving this. Hopefully you can get them to see that your future with H is likely to be a bright one.
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Old 20th March 2019, 3:23 PM   #21
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Geesh, they’re called accidents for a reason. Next time they’re rude and cold towards him he should floor it and t-bone their vehicle with a taxi waiting in the street to take him off to work.

Then they would have a reason to complain.

Does your happiness not matter to them? Why are they putting you through this? I know a couple men who chose not to go to college to chase their dreams. They both own their own business and call their own shots. You won’t need a degree if you don’t have a boss that requires you to have one.

But it sounds like if he did have his degree they’d just find something else to disapprove of him for.
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Old 20th March 2019, 3:23 PM   #22
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Apparently they are right about him being a terrible driver.
Seems more like a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the parents.
They harassed the guy until he's so stressed as to forget he doesn't have the whole driveway to himself today.

They are doing the same thing to their daughter hoping to make a car-wreck of her engagement.

Not having gone to college doesn't prevent him from attending in the future should he decide it beneficial to his interest or career. That's a lame excuse to be so down on someone. I went to college - and the plumber next door is comparatively kicking my economic arse.

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Old 21st March 2019, 4:59 PM   #23
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Seems more like a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the parents.
They harassed the guy until he's so stressed as to forget he doesn't have the whole driveway to himself today.

They are doing the same thing to their daughter hoping to make a car-wreck of her engagement.

Not having gone to college doesn't prevent him from attending in the future should he decide it beneficial to his interest or career. That's a lame excuse to be so down on someone. I went to college - and the plumber next door is comparatively kicking my economic arse.
I can only hope that one day they'll come to their senses.

I agree that having a college degree has nothing to do with one's potential for making money. Heck my fiance makes more than I do currently.
I think for my parents the issue is not about money, but rather college is a symbol that you are smart, but more book-smart and a critical thinker rather than business-smarts.

I dated other men in the past who had multiple degrees, but that didn't improve our romantic compatibility one bit (shocker). They failed to connect with me based on other more important reasons like being jealous, shallow/materialistic, or "players".

What disturbs me sometimes is that my parents approved of only one of my old boyfriends. He had military training at the time and eventually went on to get a Bachelors, then an MA, and now a PhD (since we've broken up years ago). My parents still TODAY ask me "how's Doug doing? is he still doing his dissertation?". And they ask me AS IF we're dating or something. I simply answer "mom and dad, I don't care what Doug does with his life anymore, so I have no idea"...

They thought he was the bees knees because of his academic pursuits even though the guy couldn't hold a candle to my current fiance when it comes to conversation or having any charisma/personality at all.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 5:12 PM   #24
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I didnt see where your parents have college degrees, but if they dont, who are they to talk about having a college degree....and if they DO have college degrees, they are living proof that an education doesnt make you a better more successful person, since they are miserable judgmental snobs.
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Old 25th March 2019, 2:41 PM   #25
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They thought he was the bees knees because of his academic pursuits.......
I married into a family who were all education snobs, as well. I started my degree, but never finished. I was in the service, then attended a number of technical schools for certifications in the IT field. I will never forget the day that my (grown) niece (with her Master's degree) found out I made twice as much as her. She was livid. The same way having money does not make you cultured, having a graduate degree does not make you intelligent.
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Old 25th March 2019, 4:42 PM   #26
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It's not all about earning potential though.
It is more about prestige, status, esteem, privilege and ultimately class.
Being "academic" can be much more important to some than mere money. Money can be seen by some as "vulgar".

Family is important.
Choosing a bf who does not fit in with what your parents want for you, may seem rebellious and all about asserting your independence and "knowing better"...
BUT you may later find, that they were right all along, and you sold yourself short.
It is very easy to get into a situation where you want to prove parents wrong and stick in there even when it isn't turning out to be all that good.
Be aware of that trap.
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Old 26th March 2019, 3:52 PM   #27
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Elaine, I think you're completely right that many people view things that way.

The irony of someone with an MA or similar making less at a white collar job than the plumber next door has seldom been lost on me. Of course, the plumber has to deal with backed up toilets, flooded rooms, etc. on a regular basis, so that's not for everyone either.

Like the old saying goes, it takes all kinds to make the world go round.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 6:44 PM   #28
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It's not all about earning potential though.
It is more about prestige, status, esteem, privilege and ultimately class.
Being "academic" can be much more important to some than mere money. Money can be seen by some as "vulgar".

Family is important.
Choosing a bf who does not fit in with what your parents want for you, may seem rebellious and all about asserting your independence and "knowing better"...
BUT you may later find, that they were right all along, and you sold yourself short.
It is very easy to get into a situation where you want to prove parents wrong and stick in there even when it isn't turning out to be all that good.
Be aware of that trap.
This. Many people do not realize that social class is not only about income.
Education level and the means of earning income are stronger indicators of social class.

FWIW, I always found it difficult to relate to past boyfriends who did not go to college for academics.
They were tradesmen who were well compensated but they were not cerebral or well read.

OP, you have admitted that your fiance's low level of education bothers you. Your parents are just voicing the same concerns you have.
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Old 4th April 2019, 4:25 PM   #29
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Your boyfriend is letting your parents use him as a doormat, thus earning their disrespect. He needs to stop letting them sleep over and do them favours ASAP. Any disrespect toward him should also be perceived as disrespect toward you.

However, since you´ve obviously made it your choice to care more about your parent´s approval, you should leave this beta male immediately.
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Old 5th April 2019, 3:03 AM   #30
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my dad did ask "what kind of person wrecks a car in a driveway that is parked far away from you?".
You have got to stop allowing them to speak about your fiance this way, whether he's present to hear them or not. You clearly crave their approval, which isn't bad in itself, but you're craving approval from people who don't value the same things that you do and you're never going to change their mind about it. And your craving for their approval is also allowing them to insult him regularly, to his face and behind his back. You cannot let this go on. You should protect your partner instead of allowing people to dump on him over and over. He's getting dumped on because you're allowing it.

To fix this, you're going to have to be prepared to not have contact with your parents, if it comes down to that. It's up to them, really. You should set boundaries, like 'Don't disparage my fiance or me." Pretty simple. And if they can't stick to that boundary, you remove yourself and your fiance from the situation. Hang up the phone, leave their house, ask them to leave your house etc if they can't behave and be civil. And let them know why. They will either stop being nasty, or you won't be around them. If not being around them is the outcome, then that will be very sad, but that would have been your parents' decision, not yours.
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