Topic Archived Page 1 2 3 4 of 4 Next Last. Sign Up for free or Log In if you already have an account to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts. Boards Advice I'm dating a girl who is way below my social class.. Will this work at all? If this is a question for you, then break up. In this day and age, your generation doesn't need approval from your parents.
Arranged blue blood marriages are a thing of the past. If you end up in a relationship with someone who's personality clicks with yours, the relationship can succeed if you both want it do and work at it. All relationships require work. Now, if you two don't see eye to eye on important things, and don't feel understood or valued by the other, that can be a problem. If you don't see this person as capable of being your best friend, that could be a long term problem.
Get out of the 's, you live in a completely different time.
I get why you're thinking about class, but it's trivial. My sister and I grew up dealing with homelessness, and we're considered upper class according to tax income census. My dad's business became successful when I was in college, so he has money now too. I could date someone in my current class; someone who has plenty of money to spend. I could date someone who's a starving artist.
I broke up with my wealthy ex girlfriend who sapped my funds like a water bucket with a golf ball sized hole in it. Did she put me in debt? No, I have the funds. Was she part of my current class with her surgeon dad's money? Was it a bad relationship? Was it bad because of our social class? Not at all, she was too childish for me.
Welcome to Reddit,
I couldn't see her as a friend. I've dated up, and had good and bad experiences. I've had good and bad experiences dating down. Dating for class is shallow and pointless. If someone loves QuickBooks, they are probably really Intuit Since you don't care about social differences, you should be fine. Your other half is the one that is being cautious within reason.
Put yourself in her shoes: Why would he want to be with me? What do I have to offer him, etc.. That you like her and her humble upbringing isn't gonna change that. You need to convince her of that and you both will be fine. Just talk to her and ease her fears. Are you sure she's insecure? Maybe she's just joking around and knows that her upbringing doesn't matter to you. Is it possible that the mental stimulation just isn't there for you and instead of saying that you're blaming it on the fact that his family likes sub par jokes and does not have interesting conversations?
Maybe because even though he has a good heart and you do love him, you don't want to call him unintelligent, or not smart enough for you, and so it's easier to say, "well that's just the way his family is and how he was raised. That's a very good question and one I should probably dust off and face.
It's true, he can be a little less than intellectually stimulating for me at times. It's weird because he's very, very good at what he does professionally and has made a success out of himself as a result, but as far as his overall well-roundedness, well, it's just not there sometimes. So you're correct as you could be in that sense. I greatly admire his work smarts and respect his ability to make wise life choices, but damn if I sometimes feel like cracking a book at dinner. Oh, the things that crop up only after a few years of marriage. A few weeks ago I put a podcast I like on his phone in an attempt to connect with him more, which is a start.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Perhaps the focus needs to be on remedying this issue with us first. Well Broccoli, as with most adult relationships, these things are nuanced. He may bore me at dinner, but then makes me laugh my ass off an hour later. I could just as easily write 10 paragraphs about why I love my husband, but today this is on my mind, so here we are. I agree that in adult relationships, people know to take the good with the bad, but I think Broccoli's question is still valid.
It's awesome that you admire your husband's redeeming qualities, but I think you were being naive when you chose to marry someone who you can't carry a conversation with. Of course I can carry a conversation with him--he's my best friend. My response above did sound overly dramatic--I had just returned from 4 days with his family and was blowing off steam via my keyboard.
While it's true that our marriage is somewhat short on long philosophical talks about books and art, it's long on loyalty, integrity, honesty, foot rubs, back rubs, movies, gaming, hiking, cats, and dogs, and general feelings of security and happiness. I'd still take him and his family over any of the rich snobs I dated before him. I don't expect him to be all things to me, just as I can't be all things to him. But just because I love him doesn't mean I'm not going to sometimes reach a boiling point that propels me to seek the ear of random strangers on the internet in frustration.
Such is life and such is marriage. We grow, we evolve, we adore, we annoy. I'm sure he's wanted to post on here plenty of times about what it's like to live with me. It sounds like less of a class issue and more of a values issue. There are plenty of blue-collar families who would be horrified at the way your husband's family acted, and plenty of wealthier families who act like your husband's family. So the first step would be to stop making this about money, and focus instead on what it is about the behavior that actually bothers you. Someone else said something similar downthread, and I agreed: I appreciate the input.
What governs your husband's family's behaviour is probably every bit as It's a class issue. The class-linked behaviours exclude people from other social classes, and include members of the tribe. I'm the product of two families a bit like yours and your husband's, except my mother's background was working class and my father's was middle class along with very well traveled , and my mom's family's manners are impeccable. In my case, my dad didn't really like how his family did a lot of things, so they were united on what they wanted to pass along to their kids.
My mom also set a lot of boundaries with them. Manners are a way of showing respect for the people around you. They're not the only way, but they matter to you, then they matter to you. Nothing shameful about that. Forgot to add - there are a lot of people who, ashamed of their background or their socioeconomic status, will go out of their way to reject anything they think represents that value set. You see that shame exploited a lot in party politics. You lucky dog you, the best of both worlds!
It's cool your dad could recognize the benefits of your mom's upbringing. I'm not sure my husband gets it, but maybe I could gently mention it in the event we get serious about kids. And yep, I completely agree that manners are how you show respect for the people around you. That's why, to me this is not a discussion about napkins in laps for the sake of stuffiness, it's something much deeper than that.
Turns out part of the reason my dad's family were the way they were was the rampant Asperger's running through the family. I recognize these things as important and value them now, but getting there was extremely painful for me, especially pre-diagnosis. Hence my original edit. While it's for the best my mother pushed me as hard as she did, if my kids have the same challenges, things will be handled very differently. I wouldn't say you're being pretentious because you don't want your husbands family to feel ashamed.
People have their own definition of a good time, and sometimes those contradict each other which often happens when two family's from two backgrounds merge. From my own experience, my family is quite crass and I find it annoying because I like to have a conversation about things that actually matter So my interactions with my immediate family aren't very fulfilling to me and often a source of resentment.
But they're my family, I don't want to judge them for how they choose to interact with the world, we just don't gel. I shouldn't have to change for them, and they shouldn't have to change for me I decided that since I would never find crass humor funny, I could at least enjoy my family's laughter. Maybe you could turn a blind eye to the source of your husbands laughter and just enjoy his happiness since you only have to put up with this side of him once in a while. That's a very sweet sentiment, and I admire that you're capable of this.
I'm going to see if I can get there for sure, but I don't know if I'm big enough: It must be tough when the culture shock is so great within your own family, but you have some wise perspectives that have come from it, which is definitely a silver lining. I am not the person who commented, but allow me to say that being the 'defector' is a discomfiting position.
Perhaps someone can explain. Tuning it out is what I've done for years now, so I know what you mean. But doing it in your own family, that's something to which I can't relate. Sending hugs your way. At least you have Reddit, where you can discuss climate change and women's rights two of my favorite topics, actually! I'm gonna have to go against the grain of the other commenters here; I get why you feel the way you do. But you married him AND his family comes along with it. They aren't going to put their napkins on their laps and speak properly just because someone in the family's wife wants everyone to.
It's true, I know there's no "remedy. But I feel like I'm suddenly starting to really focus on it for the first time. I certainly would never expect them to put their napkins in their laps to please me, I would die of embarrassment thinking I had made them feel self-conscious or uncomfortable. I guess that's the missing link here: I was raised to concern myself with the comfort level of others--which is, let's face it, what manners are all about at the core--and these men telling fart jokes had no regard for those around them who were trying to eat.
I wasn't the only person at the table who isn't related by blood, or who wasn't laughing along. I completely feel you--what a disgusting situation. Would you be able to do something like "Jesus, Uncle Frank, would you mind taking your stinky gassy ass to the bathroom when we're trying to eat? My family was dirt-fucking-poor for a lot of my childhood, and if anyone had ever belched or farted or made poop jokes at the table, I'm sure we'd still be looking for our teeth behind the sideboard. Mama didn't play that. And now, neither would I, with my own kids. Thank you--I appreciate that you can relate.
I considered trying to play on their level but it's so awkward and unnatural, I mostly just sat there red-faced. Maybe I could ask my husband if he could not join in as a start. But then it's his family and his holiday, and I feel like a stranger in a strange land trying to dictate things. Just a question that I haven't seen anyone ask yet - have you informed them that those jokes make you uncomfortable while you're eating?
I haven't, because it's their home and while I'm uncomfortable with the jokes, I'd be more uncomfortable killing their fun in their own home at Christmas time, and making the evening all about me. The truth is if I could temper my husband's participation in it, I think it would be resolved. I wouldn't love going to their house, but I wouldn't feel like such a stranger in a strange land if I had a buddy, so to speak. And I wouldn't have to feel so turned off watching him go at it.
The good thing is, calling them out on their grossness doesn't have to be like scolding them. If someone is being stinky, saying "gross, now I can't smell any of MIL's wonderful cooking! You don't have to start of harsh! My boyfriend's family can be very loud and it makes me anxious. I talked to him about needing breaks here and there, and it's helped a lot! He can still crack jokes, as log as he speaks politely to you. Or gives you a reminder that he loves you after powering through a conversation with horrific grammar.
His family isn't going to change and they don't need to as long as your husband knows that these situations are foreign and a little stressful, but his support will make it easier. People have given you lots of good advice, and I'm not sure you'll read this. But I want to add: In addition to everything else, it sounds like you really miss your family.
Is there a possiblilty of visiting home some time soon? I'm reading all of the responses! If someone takes the time to write, I'll certainly write back. I mentioned this upthread, but honestly, I barely see my parents and we see his constantly. The holidays are always rough for me because of this, and everything seems a million times worse than it is this time of year. I'm kind of amazed you picked up on my missing them from my post, to be honest. I am in the same situation. It was a lot to take at first. I questioned if I wanted to be with him.
I didn't like being around his family, even though they were otherwise nice enough people. Eventually I just came to accept it. I engage in the poop discussions because its funny and whatever. We just made a joke out of it "Ok - turning wrenches into sex toys - that's our cue to get out of here. Ive just come to roll with it and I get good crazy inlaw stories to tell my friends. I totally feel your pain though. And a a side note, a classy, polished lady who can break form without judgement and tell a great dirty joke has a lot of power ;.
Poop and dildos vs. I definitely respect that you've found a way to accept it and roll with it. How long have you been together, and how often do you see them? I'm actually a big fan of dirty jokes--my husband always says my sailor sense of humor was the biggest surprise to him.
But to me a blue joke is not the same as a discussion about poop at the dinner table. Have you given any thought to what you're going to do regarding the influence on potential kids? What is he like when he's with your family? And do you ever feel sad when you spend holidays with them, or miss having interesting conversations? I sometimes feel a sense of grief for all that could have been over the holidays we spend them mostly with his family since mine's on the other side of the country.
It's so helpful to hear from someone who can relate. Please, fix this somehow. I began to resent my husband's family mysteriously after many consecutive holidays at their house. You need to go see your family more often, you've got to. Not to be the ghost of Christmas future, but my mom has a terminal disease and I have done the trips so many times this past year.
Please don't wait to see your family. Hi OP, I can also totally relate to your original post, and I'm glad you're not getting ripped apart. I fully acknowledge that due to my upbringing I also can be a bit elitist or snobby in regards to manners, conversation, behaviors Yes, I can absolutely relate to this.
I feel uncomfortable and like a fish out of water sometimes when they're gathered around discussing the Kardashians or making poop jokes, and miss talking about philosophy and cooking and literature and space like we do at my parents' house. It can be hard to not be more critical of my husband after spending time there, and even find myself looking down my nose at him sometimes.
Like the top poster so eloquently put, I have begun to see it as a cultural difference instead of an intellectual or economic one. I put on my happy face, gently change the subject where possible, and sneakily pinch my husband when it's gotten too much and it's time to go. It makes me feel terrible which is a much bigger emotional burden in a way.
I need to employ this pinch technique, but then, is your husband not more like his own family than like yours? Would he even know how to interpret the pinch? OP, I too could have written this, except that the economic classes were switched my ex came from an extremely wealthy family; mine a staunchly middle-class one and the problem wasn't manners , but--far worse--decency.
Like, they knew which fork o use, but they were MEAN--cutting, sexist, awful--in private. This is the cross to bear in your relationship. Focus on what you can learn from his family and try to ignore what you dislike as much as possible. Think about what you'd love him to pass on to your children. Remember where that came from. Talk about it with him; envision the blend. If you want to re-create your upbringing for your children, that simply won't happen. Give that up if you've secretly been hoping for it. Also, maybe you spend too much time with his family.
Start your own traditions! Read the books he likes or watch the shows he enjoys or ask him about his hobbies. That will likely stimulate conversation better than you trying to get him to read Pride and Prejudice or Aristotle or whatever.
“With money comes a lot of expectations and baggage”
Haha, fret not, I am not standing at the foot of the bed tapping my toes until my husband cracks Pride and Prejudice. I do like it when we have shows and books in common--I turned him onto Serial and a few other things I thought were cool so we could talk about them, but for the most part we strive to learn about each other's interests. I have to push him a little bit in my direction, as I think my interests bore him, but he wants to make me happy which is what counts in the end.
I think your idea to create our own culture and tradition in our house together is so sweet. I mean we have that already: His math books and my trashy magazines. Why not capitalize on it and make a fun game out of it? I think you're right, this should be where the focus is. And also yes--I spend way too much time with his family. This will also be discussed! I hope he can hear me out. This is really tough.
Our feelings toward these things change over time and I can understand how you are now feeling repulsed by behavior that didn't bother you very much early on in your relationship. I was in a similar situation with an ex but it was way worse because not only was my ex's family crass but also incredibly uneducated, ignorant, and racist.
I think you really need to evaluate if this is something you can tolerate for the rest of your life, especially if your husband isn't willing to permanently change small habits like shoveling food into his mouth. Also, you didn't mention kids. Are you going to be okay with any potential kids growing up with half of their family being okay with this kind of behavior?
We are on the fence about kids leaning toward no , but then again, what if it's a yes? It's definitely something to consider. His family has made a few vaguely anti-Semetic remarks over the years, which is delightful enough on its own, but I'm part Jewish on my mom's side, so it's especially horrible. They of course don't know this, or much else about me, because they're too busy discussing farts. I can't begin to tell you how much it bothers me.
I didn't include it in the original post because I didn't want to villainize them too completely, since they are still kind humans for the most part, not cartoons of awfulness. Was that a big part of why you and your ex broke up? How they react after finding out you're part Jewish will really be the tell of their character, more so than anything else - Not that they should be making these remarks in the first place, but if they continue to do so after knowing they are insulting a family member, then you have more than a manners problem.
In Australia we would call them bogans. Hard to define, but basically a crass, unsophisticated person, regardless of wealth, some other things like having a big tv and being quick to anger.
Since you're never going to change your husband's family, you're going to have to change your reaction to them. Forget about the grammar stuff, think of it as a dialect. Their conversations might not be interesting to you, but they're obviously interesting to them. See what you can get out of them, and use them as an opportunity to learn new things. Sometimes you get stuck in boring conversations with people you have little in common with. Find something you can enthuse about together food? Or ask them questions about their favourite topic. The gross stuff is another thing, but you can always put some whoopie cushions down and give everyone a laugh out of that.
What happens when you try to initiate conversation in a restaurant? Not talking over dinner seems boring to me. I won't comment on the "class issue" as I suspect you're probably just struggling to find the right term to use. I'm going to stick my neck out and say it's OK to occasionally lose your temper and tell people to start behaving themselves in your house.
I know your husband might come up with the fact it's his house too but you have a right to defend your space. I personally would have grabbed this guy by the ear and thrown him out the front door. I'm from what you'd call a "lower class background" what we'd call working class myself. As for your marriage to this guy, I'd suggest finding a counselor for you both. I'm not going to recommend divorce as I sense you love your husband and it is worth the effort to work through some issues.
I should have clarified that Christmas dinner was at the in-laws, so I would have been correcting their behavior in their house, which I could never bring myself to do. A counselor is always a good idea though, we have talked at various points about seeing one he sees one independently--funnily enough, because of his parents. But I'm a big believer in having a neutral party to talk to. I hope you can find a good counselor for the both of you. Or would it be appropriate for you both to see his existing counselor? I think she told him we need to find a new one for the both of us, which shouldn't be too hard.
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It's not a class thing. I mean, classes are real, no doubt, but having grown up poor and working poor then lower-middle class, I've been through some states. There are always going to be rude and crass families just like there can be super polite and educated poor families. Your SO happens to come from a less "rarefied" family.
I guess, suck it up and deal with it a couple of times a year. You and your SO can set up different standards for your own family if you choose to have kids. This isn't going to be a class thing or a genetic thing that must be passed down to future generations. That's true, thanks for pointing that out. I knew the word "class" felt wrong, but I wasn't sure how else to articulate it to get the point across.
Standards is a good one, but then that also places an inherent value on certain behaviors too. Also, good suggestion, but unfortunately I can't see them only a couple times a year since they live super close by. Maybe we can move? I know you don't really mean to do this, but frankly, I would consider a move if I were you. My husband and I have had some similar issues but milder, and with me on the poorer side. We met in college and have always been far away from them, with miles at our final destination.
To be fair, I feel similarly. I'm good with his for a week but on day 5 it is intolerable. And these are people who care about me and whom I deeply admire. We've disregarded opportunities to move close to either of our families and "I jus't cant live with them" is a massively valid justification. What is it about the 5th day!? I hit the wall, too, no matter how much I like people. Are you saying you're miles from both families? I'm gonna address some thing I haven't seen other commenteers have.
There's a lot of solid advice here, and I've seen a lot more people supporting OP than being rude. First thing I noticed is that you're really hung up on what YOU find appropriatea and interesting. I totally get being put off by fart jokes and what not, but the fact you mention multiple times how they never talk about anything interesting is just You realise the topics you find interesting aren't universal right? The topics discussed at your family dinners could be boring or rude to other people. Some families talk politics, some families would be appalled at the thought.
For someone who paints themselves as so worldly wise you really should have more of an open mind to what people are interested in. This does not include booger jokes at dinner fyi. On the flip side, you really should be married to someone who challenges and interacts with you on an intellectual level. You always knew your husband was like this, its not like he's done a since you've been married. Another thing I find interesting is dinner. You both have conflicting ideals of what dinner should be. While you see it has a more bonding experience he sees it as a time to eat.
Neither of you are wrong, its just conflicting. It's totally something you can compromise on though. It's not like you're both not seeing each other till the food is in front of you. Why don't you have the conversation before the food arrives? That way you get the bonding experience and he gets to eat his food uninterrupted. Lastly I really do think you need to look deeper than this. You've always known about his family and their behaviour, and only know are having a serious problem with it. The whole thing about despising him, daydreaming about being married to someone else. I feel like you're getting bored in your relationship and trying to find a scapegoat for it.
Of course I realize that topics I find interesting aren't universally appealing. I know that my family is its own clan with its own weird customs and annoying habits, I never meant to indicate otherwise. This post is about me feeling like a fish out of water around my in-laws. His family does not discuss much of anything. His mom likes her dog, so I ask her lots of questions about that, but she's on the quiet side so it doesn't result in a lot of back and forth.
His dad almost never speaks, so mostly dinners are about the sons cracking lude jokes and throwing bread rolls at each other. Last night the grandma and grandpa were there, and they have trouble hearing so it was tricky. I did strike up a conversation with his brother's wife for a bit. I suppose I'm defensive because honestly, I can talk to a brick wall and I love learning about new people and hearing about their stories. I am not sitting at the table with my arms folded waiting for someone to bring up Proust so I can show off, I'm sitting there waiting for someone to segue from farts, or to take my gentle lead when I do.
I don't think it's too much to ask that we talk about something--literally anything--except bodily functions and inside jokes from years ago at a holiday dinner with more than a few outsiders present. I like your the idea of fitting most of the conversation in before the food comes--I'm definitely going to pose this to him. I know he gets hungry: Maybe when we eat at home we could sit down for 30 minutes beforehand with a drink to replicate the restaurant experience so it feels like we're bonding.
And for the record I don't despise my husband--I feel sad that I gave that impression. I despise certain moments in which he's devolved into a frat brah doofus, but I love him for sure. He's my best friend. I just need to work out some kinks. And I fully realize that where he may bore me at times, I annoy the bejesus out of him at others. These things come and go in marriages, and I'm in a downswing for sure. But I know we'll get through it, especially with some of the great tools and ideas I've read on this thread.
Personally, I would sit your husband down and explain that while you understand everyone's different and acts differently, the way he changes around his family compared to when he's alone with you, bothers you. Tell him you love him with all your heart but when he becomes this other person with habits you find gross he becomes really unattractive to you and sometimes it takes days or weeks for your view to go back to the person he is when he's with you as the image of him being a 'slob' stays in your mind.
Explain you wish this didn't happen, you hate that when he becomes this person you're not used to if affects your marriage and the way you view him for a while, it sucks, you want to love your husband the way you normally do but you're having trouble with it, you wish you could change it and just get over it but it doesn't seem to be working. You certainly don't want having family dinner to affect your marriage negatively for a long while but you have no idea how to stop feeling like this which is why you have decided to talk to him about it as maybe together you can come up with a way to stop it affecting your marriage.
You're not asking him to change, you're asking him for help to stop something negatively affecting your marriage and while yes it's your thoughts and feelings that are doing this, it involves him too as there are two of you in this marriage and often it can take the effort of both of you to solve an issue. Saying this might be enough to get him to come to the conclusion he does need to change, but you're not forcing that conclusion on him, it would make it his decision to do so - plus he might have another idea on how to resolve it - he might be able to come up with a way that you haven't thought of.
After all, we all think differently and he has different ideas and a different way of thinking to you, as the saying goes two heads are better than one. I truly believe this is something you are going to need to talk to him about if you want it resolved as obviously 'sucking it up' isn't working so you guys need to figure something else out if you want it to stop negatively impacting your marriage. He might be able to help you think of it in a different way or something. But left alone it sounds like it will continue to build resentment and cause issues in your relationship.
Talking about it is going to be key. Can I just sit in front of my laptop and recite your first paragraph? Seriously though, I like your approach. I need to remember to keep it about me and my reactions, not about him. And two heads are better than one--it's easy sometimes in marriage to forget that things are a team issue, and the more you can come together to fight them as a team, the better the resolution will be. So, I was raised upper-middle. I had to go to etiquette class as a child. My parents are comfy. I have a solid career and decent lifestyle. I married blue collar from a blue collar background.
Some of what you mentioned applies. Some of the manners. But some not so much. We have some similar values. Basically, we kinda meet in the middle. I have come to love fart jokes. My husband has come to ask if he's using certain words right. And he turns to me for a pointer or two when we are at a fancy dinner with my work or something.
I have learned to enjoy lawn games with beer. There's tons of stuff like that. Basically, I don't act like someone I'm not. I get teased about my vocabulary. But I don't act like a snob. I found ways to truly enjoy the experience. There is nothing inherently right about either lifestyle. It's enjoyable to cross those lines. Find where you can. I have the etiquette and the vocabulary. But I also now own a banjo and chickens. Your husband's family sounds like a hoot. We also meet in the middle, in so many eerily similar ways, like him asking me if he's using words correctly and me learning to play corn hole.
Enjoyment is key, and throughout this whole Redditsplosion I've really come to appreciate some of the things his family has that mine doesn't--like there's a lot of them and only a few of us, so even though my family is fun, his is way more raucous. Did you ever experience an adjustment period in your marriage with regards to your differing backgrounds? Or are you just fabulously open minded and socially evolved naturally? My mother in law likes to talk about scabs and colonoscopy exams during dinner. Luckily my husband says "MOM we are trying to eat!!!
One time she also started babbling about one of the cousins miscarriages out loud at a family event. Maybe you can ask your husband to pipe up and they'll take a hint. Other hand, if you don't see them a lot just suck it up. Thank god your husband puts the kibosh on it, I would love it if my husband did that instead of joining in. We do see them a lot unfortunately. Maybe a heart-to-heart with my husband is in order. Honestly I feel like the 'table manners' aspect of the affluent is vastly different, like others said. The thing is it might not BE a disrespectful thing for his family!
Like you mentioned, they are self aware to an extent and do restrain themselves in public, right? This is their family. The ones they hold closest, trust the most, love the most - you outright said that his family is a close knit one. You were raised to prioritize having an image - and yes, it's an image, respect is about image as much as it is about consideration for another - and being more Fancy, I suppose it could be described.
Different things restricted at the table. I don't think they do this because they don't have respect. But because they trust eachother. It's how they open up to those they don't have to worry over. You're a part of the family now; So they're going to be open with you. If you're uncomfortable, try to remember that alongside what others have said. They aren't doing it to spite your wealth or background, but because they don't prioritize restraint when around those they hold dear.
It's the culture shock thing paspartuu mentioned, for sure. Just do your best to remain level, don't start to judge them based on that - that's how snobs tend to emerge, honestly. There are reasons and mentalities behind everything, even things you personally find distasteful. It's possible to find solutions without having to paint over the entire family and consider them 'lost causes' and such. So yeah, just work on giving yourself 'doses' I guess? You could always excuse yourself from the table it's not rude to most people, don't worry, and they don't seem the type to urge 'staying until everyone's finished' I imagine after a while of listening.
Expose yourself to low-brow humor some, perhaps. It's not all disgusting - really, the disgust is what helps add to it at times! Comedy is misery, and disgust is misery: Take it slow, take it easy, relax and take deep breathes. Honestly I hold stigma against the affluent, myself, but it's not something about the individuals themselves.
Just the signs and ways that this gap is expanding. Edit And no, I don't mean you're wrong for thinking like this! Just trying to provide some thought as to why they might be so much more uh Wild at the table when in a private setting. The latter parts of my post were more concern with the US in general. If I may add on though, you say that he's 'less smarter' after these dinners.
Intelligence isn't some gauge or switch with multiple levels, right? People can be fools, but they wouldn't turn intelligent when sat at a table of philosophers. I think it's important to focus on not holding it out against your husband for all of this, at least not in full.
You're right, there definitely tends to be an emphasis placed on etiquette in affluent communities. Manners were a big part of everyone's lives when I was a kid--whether it's holding a door for someone at the bank, or making sure to thank a hostess for dinner. This sort of thing was just a part of life, and I certainly can't speak to whether or not it is prioritized to the same extent in other households regardless of money, I can say for a fact it was a part of life in my community.
That's why I mistakenly indicated that my economic situation growing up had something to do with this. You're also correct, manners are definitely about image as well as respect in a lot of ways, it's true. I think this is why lots of people today reject manners as stuffy and old-fashioned--they regard the whole thing as needless ceremony. My mom made a big deal out of making sure I knew how to make others feel welcome, not because it made me look good but because it was shameful not to.
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She wanted me to actually BE a person who, through my actions, was able to relay kindness and gratitude. This is why I could never in a million years single out one of my husband's family members for being gross, as others here have suggested I do. They welcomed me into their home, they've been nothing but nice to me. I owe it to my own sense of decency to show them respect, and for me that happens to come with waiting to eat until everyone is served.
So it can be a bit disorienting to try and figure out how his family shows their affection and regard, since it's clearly not through manners in the traditional sense. You made me realize that it may very well be the thing that bothered me most to begin with--the crassness--that signifies I'm loved. Pops in snob monocle in order to further investigate this odd revelation. Well, if I may say so, you HAVE been quite pleasant thus far - you've taken time to respond to each individual comment with a nice, detailed analysis providing your own thoughts, rebuttals, etc.
For that I can see why people would take a liking to you quickly; and you sprinkle your vocabulary with words most wouldn't think of using, but you aren't verbose either. Like, my family is dangerously close to the poverty line, slipping every year ugh , but I've been raised to have decent manners - partially as an individual choice, partially because of my community as well. Small town, pleasant enough, lower-mid class type of deal. I can understand feeling off though, for sure. There are some people that I do feel awkward around.
At the same time it's It's how you represent yourself but it's often not who you ARE. The most evil of bastards can act perfectly affable and polite, whilst plotting to murder Superman and whatever. Less reputable bankers, Doctors who've lost all sense of empathy and care and price gouge, etc. They act perfectly professional but Can you really say they're good people? It's all about the outside, not the inside. It's why I dislike the emphasis on manners.
Not because I dislike manners, but because I feel as though the country - the US - is becoming aristocratic in the more affluent communities, whilst the rest of the country is perfectly fine with a more 'as you are, who you are' attitude. It's a shame because first impressions, the outside, IS important. But it's a task of finding a balance: Their appearance and what a stranger may expect, who they are as people, and how they treat those that know them.
Flicks you monocle away So don't feel snobbish, but be careful of slipping into traps that we ALL slip into at one point or another. If I may say so myself, my dear Ms. But I still like to Crass humor can be coupled with sophistication, etc. The most scholary people in history tend to have rather perverse and disturbing past times that manners wouldn't give hints to All a fine, fine line.
There's being crass to a point and there's overdoing it. I think you should talk to your husband about the 'overdoing the joke' part. Too long of a train of thought, too deep into the murky septic tank! Thank you so much for the kind words! I've never had an internet interaction internection? I'm blown away by people's kindness, empathy, and wisdom here.
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I do hang around Reddit quite a bit under a different username: A stratosphere and a half away. But I was raised in the 80s when less got you more. Throughout this thread I've been trying to express my feelings about manners being about more than napkins in laps, and have been confused when others don't seem to see the value inherent in etiquette. But this explains it. Also let me just say I don't enjoy sitting around the table thumbing my nose at the plebians or discussing the merits of off-shore banking, I simply want to have a conversation about everyone's lives--what they did that day, their likes and dislikes.
And yeah, let's throw a rude joke in somewhere, but then you know, let's move on. And maybe the joke can have more to it than the word booger. So as for finding a balance between keeping up appearances and cultivating character, I honestly feel like I'm okay in that department.
I don't think I've fallen too far into a snob rabbit hole with my expectations of people. Then again it takes all kinds. I definitely think I'm going to need to talk to him tonight, though. This isn't even about class, honestly. My father grew up with a single mother in as blue-collar of a neighborhood as you can get for reference, most people there worked at a factory from the day they could work to the time they retired. But my grandmother taught my dad manners.
That just because you are poor doesn't mean you have to act like you have no class. My dad even got rid of his accent to sound more educated. But his family taught him this. Your husband's family taught him that it's okay to have no manners- probably because they never learned manners themselves. You need to make it abundantly clear that your husband's abysmal manners make you lose respect for him, and also cut back on your visits to his family's.
Teach him what good manners look like! Explain what would happen if he was at a business dinner or something and belched loudly or made a fart joke. I have explained certain nuanced parts of etiquette to him because I do actually worry a bit about how he behaves at business functions when I'm not there. The problem is he tends to hear me in the moment and then it escapes his consciousness--for example, he still eats so fast that his mouth is full the entire time at dinner and he is unable to contribute to the conversation.
At least his mouth is closed during all of this feverish chewing--thank god for small favors. He does care how he comes off to an extent , but it's like trying to explain colors to someone who has lived their life seeing black and white. It feels sometimes like these things need to be taught in childhood to really take hold.
Hopefully he remembers some of these things when I'm not around. Your grandmother is to be commended for prioritizing this, and your dad sounds awesome. I think you just have to frame it in such a way that it becomes important to him. Does he WANT that promotion? Does he WANT respect from his peers? If so, manners are extremely important! This isn't some elitist bullshit, this is a matter of behaving how you are expected to behave in public as an adult. Because he doesn't value manners, it is unlikely that he will see the importance of having good ones.
This has been my experience to an extent. It's weird because on the one hand he loves me a lot and worries about making sure I'm not uncomfortable, so he does "try" kind of , but on the other hand he seems incapable of really internalizing the importance of manners. I don't know how to teach him something so deep-rooted. I honestly don't think you can teach him this.
I hate to be a pessimist, but I have lived in a similar relationship for a very long time now. The only thing I can say is that over time I find that I have not included him in situations where his lack of manners might reflect poorly on my career. Otherwise, I seriously try to overlook it.
I did make no bones about teaching proper manners to our children though. That was not negotiable, and they resented it as children. As young adults, they have actually thanked me for teaching them proper manners. I don't know who downvoted you. This piece of advice is so true to how long-married couples often handle these real differences of perception. OP would be happier, I suspect, if she could curb the behavior in the kids. With all due respect, this seems to me to be quite an arrogant way of looking at it.
You see it as a respect issue because you were brought up that way, but in the context of a party in his family's home, that clearly isn't the way they show respect to one another. In this context, the best way for you to show respect might be to smile along at their crude jokes and not judge their grammar.
Respect is about considering the comfort levels of the people around you - not following an arbitrary set of culturally defined rules. And while some of those rules may have good reasons behind them, that doesn't make them universal - for instance, you mentioned that you think your husband should put his fork down between bites, but to someone else that might imply dislike of or disinterest in the food.
Is your husband able to use appropriate manners at say a business meeting or dinner with your family? Do his family respect your home? If not, then I understand calling it a respect issue, but with his own family in their own home, that's not your call to make. You could ask him to alter his behaviour to make you feel more comfortable, but you also need to respect him by understanding that he wants to feel comfortable and relaxed with his own family. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to attack you and I understand that their behaviour makes you uncomfortable, but I think it would help you to step outside yourself a little and see your way as different rather than better - or even if your way is better in some respects, it doesn't make you a better person for having been brought up this way.
This conversation also makes me a little sad as someone who comes from a working class family though fairly well off financially and wasn't taught this kind of thing as a kid, particularly as in your other reply to the above comment, you say the commenter's dad is 'awesome' for getting rid of his accent to sound more educated. I know that the history of social classes isn't the same in the US, but I'm from the UK where it used to be the case that everyone on the radio or TV and all politicians had what was known as a 'received pronunciation' or 'BBC' accent.
Several of my older relatives took classes as adults to lose their regional accents. It was a really big deal when politicians with regional accents started to come to power. We're not talking about grammar or vocabulary here, just accent. That's not an indicator of how qualified someone is, or how intelligent, or how caring and respectful; it's an indicator of where they came from and their social class. It's just another form of discrimination, reducing social mobility. Etiquette is often similar, enabling people to identify others by social class and treat them differently on that basis.
Sure teaching this stuff to kids will greatly benefit them later in life but it's not an indicator of character. To be clear, I was certainly raised to be respectful, but was never taught anything like formal table manners which hands the knife and fork go in, no elbows on the table, not to start eating until everyone at the table has been served etc. Lots and lots of good, wise and kind advice here. I feel like this is an ear worm, you know, when that song you hate gets stuck in your head.
It's infuriating, but it's hard to focus on anything else. You obviously love your husband, but you can't change his family. It's time to slice a big old piece of acceptance and choke that sucker down. For what it's worth, I come from a family of simple means, and I was taught to be kind and helpful, to say please and thank you and to generally be a good person. But farts are funny. When I used to drink beer with pals, we'd have belch-offs. I really hope your in laws restrain themselves in public, but what you describe is happening in a private residence with loved ones who, presumably, enjoy and participate in the jokes.
And really, read a few threads around this place about nightmare inlaws, parents, spouses, siblings.. And count your blessings. Yes, I've been feeling positively fuzzy about how helpful and kind everyone has been on this thread. I was anticipating a cascade of anger and negativity. And your ear worm analogy is so spot-on! I'm going to remember that when I start to get down on myself for focusing so hard on this one niggling aspect of our relationship.
His family does restrain themselves in public for the most part , but to me Christmas dinner with 15 people, at least 5 of which aren't blood relatives and may not share the same sense of humor is not the time nor the place for the nuclear family antics. Just different strokes I suppose. And yeah, funny you should mention the nightmare in-laws--the thread about that on the front page today was a sobering read indeed. Honestly, you're really overthinking this. I'm not going to tell you your feelings aren't important, though.
I understand the issues you are having with your husband's family. The bottom line, or at least the impression I get, is that you take yourself far too seriously. I'm glad you acknowledge that there is nothing you can do about this, because it isn't power you should even want in the first place! Some families talk about poop, farts, and sex. Is that the worst thing in the world?
This has already been suggested, and I agree with it: Adapt to your surroundings. Either be quiet and power through dinner, or be a part of your husband's family. I'm not saying you or anyone should be wiping anything on tablecloths, but if you're feeling resentment because of this I feel like something else is stressing you out. This couldn't possibly be enough to warrant such a reaction.