I know that the very mention of social classes is antiquated and elitist and gross even the word "class" makes me cringe with embarrassment , but it's also the truth. I don't know where else to turn because this is such a controversial topic, especially as it's told from my end of the situation. I'm just hoping to be as honest as I can and see if anyone else has ever experienced this, or can help me deal with it. Growing up, my family wasn't speedboat wealthy, but we were comfortable.
My parents placed a lot of emphasis on things like table manners, conversational skills, and education. I was extremely lucky to grow up the way I did. They both worked hard so we could afford to travel as a family and I could go to top-notch schools.
They wanted me to see the world and learn as much as possible, so I could appreciate what I had. Although they are wealthy and I grew up in a nice house, I never had a trust fund, or anything of the sort. I got a small weekly allowance throughout my childhood enough for candy, basically only if every single chore was done, and it was understood that I'd get a job starting my freshman year of high school.
Just putting this defensive little caveat in because despite the money they worked hard to keep me humble and I admire them for it. I've always worked hard--I built my career the old fashioned way, and although I enjoy a nice income, I personally am not rich. We rent our apartment. We follow a budget.
So, my husband comes from a solidly blue-collar background. His family money or lack thereof was never important to me, I married him for his loyalty, sweetness, and his good heart. Here's where I turn into a snob. Yesterday at the table over Christmas dinner, they were cracking fart and booger jokes, and his 31 year-old brother, lacking a napkin, wiped his mouth on the table cloth. They don't ask questions or have interesting conversations, and their grammar is hair-raising. Being around his family really brings out this horrible, belching, lackluster side of him, and then I have trouble pretending it doesn't exist when we're alone together.
I've known this about them from the beginning, and yes I married him anyway, however lately it's really been bothering me more and more and I don't know what to do. I start daydreaming about what it would have been like to marry someone whose background aligns with mine, someone to whom I can relate on a different level. I spend the entire time I'm with his family smiling and thanking them, and helping his mother with the cooking, etc, but inside I'm cringing and crying a little over the fact that this is my life now.
They live close by, so it would be tough to swing the twice-yearly visit thing. The effect lasts for days and has started to poke holes in my respect for him. I start to greatly resent the fact that he even finds these stupid, crass jokes funny. I start focusing on this side of him for weeks and months afterward. Lately it's becoming a much bigger deal when he misuses a word or shovels his food in his mouth without attempting to make conversation at a restaurant.
I'm starting to despise him for it things he can't help. I have, on occasion, asked him if he could slow down, put his fork down between bites and ask me about my day, but a it doesn't change anything long-term, he is innately who he is, and b I feel like an asshole every time I do it. It's not fair to either of us or sexy for me to assume the role of his mother.
I realize no marriage is perfect, and that his good heart matters more than his table manners, his grammar, or his love of witless humor. Trust me, I've been repeating this mantra to myself nonstop for the past 6 years. But I wouldn't be posting here if this wasn't really starting to get to me.
Sometimes I honestly feel like I might have chosen differently if given the chance. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? Let me add that I agree, it's best not to describe it as a money or class issue, but rather as a values issue. I haven't encountered families like mine who behave the way his does, so I let my own experiences and scope influence my phrasing. It's better discussed as a values issue for sure. I've fallen into a vortex of reading and responding to all of your lovely comments, and have forgotten to eat dinner or interact with other humans for hours now, so I'm going to sign off, but will read all of the new responses tomorrow.
Thanks again everyone, I really value each and every one of your insights. I feel like a totally different person now thanks to all of you--I feel way better equipped to handle this situation now, in both the long and short term.
Have a good night! I'm having trouble with the difference between my upbringing and my husband's--it seems to be creeping into our relationship in uninvited ways.