When You Come From A Wealthy Family And He Doesn’t

February 9, 2018  |  
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We’d like to think that life isn’t some old, Shakespearean play in which only individuals from families of “similar standing” can marry. And look—it’s not like that, but there is no denying that when two people get together from drastically different financial backgrounds, everyone feels it. They can’t help it. In fact, many individuals from wealthy families don’t realize just how privileged their upbringing was until they become seriously involved (platonically or romantically) with someone who didn’t come from such an upbringing. When you are going to build your life with someone whose family had significantly fewer means than your own, there are bound to be some awkward moments. You can’t not address it. This is especially true when it’s the woman coming from a wealthier family, because men have hang-ups about being providers. Here is what it’s like when your family is very wealthy and his isn’t.

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Only your parents can help financially

There might be times when you and your partner need some financial help—maybe a cosigner on a home, for example. Only your parents will have the means or credit to help you with that, leaving his parents feeling a bit useless.

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Splitting the bill at family dinners

When your two families go out to dinner together, your parents need to be aware that your boyfriend or husband’s parents can’t afford the types of places your parents can. Sometimes your parents will just have to foot the bill.

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His parents apologize for the accommodations

When you and your partner stay at his family’s place, his parents constantly apologize for the accommodations. They assume when you and your hubby stay at your family’s place, you stay in a much nicer guest room.

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He’ll feel bad accepting gifts

Your partner will feel guilty accepting gifts from your parents that are far more expensive than anything he can afford for himself. He also doesn’t want his parents to see the gift and feel bad that they couldn’t afford it.

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You have to create boundaries with your family

You have to tell your family to stop attempting to lend your partner money or encourage him to start a business he doesn’t want to start or take a job he doesn’t want to take.

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He worries your parents think he can’t provide

Your partner often asks you if your parents approve of him, or if they wish you’d wound up with someone more, “Like them” (aka wealthy). This makes you deeply sad.

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Large family trips may not be an option

Having both of your families go on a trip together may not be an option. Handling all of the finances and the who will pay for what will be too stressful.

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His family may be shy to have yours over

Your partner’s family might be timid about hosting your family for meals because they worry their home isn’t up to your family’s standards. It really can be tough to get your parents, and your partner’s parents, to develop a relationship with these types of insecurities occurring.

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You always have a safety net

If you can’t afford to pay for something, you have a safety net. You feel bad leaning on it in front of your partner, who doesn’t have one.

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He has no safety net

Your partner doesn’t have a safety net. If he needs a medical procedure, for example, he may have to turn to you or your family, but he could be too proud. You might often find that he’s hiding the fact that he needs money from you.

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He worries you don’t think he can provide

Your partner worries that you don’t think he can provide for you, and perhaps your children one day. You’re not worried about it, but you spend a lot of time assuring him of that.

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He can fear his favorite places aren’t good enough

Your partner can feel insecure when he takes you to his favorite haunts—particularly those he grew up with. He can fear that you’re comparing them to the upscale places you spent time at, and even pitying him.

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His parents might wonder what your angle is

His parents can look at you suspiciously, wondering what you’re doing with their poor son when you come from such wealth. They might sometimes hint that you’re trying to change him.

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Your parents might wonder what his angle is

Your parents, meanwhile, can worry that your partner is just after you for your money. This will cause quite a few fights.

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Things will balance out

Eventually, everybody will get to know one another and realize that all (or at least most) people involved have good intentions. They’re just looking out for their children and loved ones. Your partner will drop some of his insecurities about his background, and your family will stop worrying that he can take care of you because he clearly will.

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