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What is the divorce rate among couples where one is more educated than the other?

I am currently working on an MA. My husband's highest level of formal education is a few courses at a VoTech. This shouldn't be a problem among mature adults. But, several of my respected professors when I was an undergraduate had cautionary tales to share about attending graduate school when my spouse hadn't valued college education in general. They said that a lot of graduate students aren't with the same SO they started with by the time they graduate. DH and I had a lot in common when we met at a job corps in '03, but in that time I've been upwardly mobile and he's been horizontally mobile, if that makes any sense. Don't get me wrong, he's worked his ass off at his job, before he opened his own company. But he doesn't see that I, too, have worked hard. Both physically (two jobs and walking everywhere when preggo with DD1) and mentally (taking 7-9 college courses at a time to complete a double major WITH a minor) outside of the home, not to mention all of the domestic duties that somehow defaulted to me no matter what else was going on. I would love for us to still be together when we're old and grey and somewhat cyborgish, but I worry that a rift grows each year as I attempt to better our stations in life through intense mental labor and he sees me as this lazy moochy person. I hope that my lack of sleep and hormones are making me overreact tonight/thismorning.


Asked by AmourSpork at 5:47 AM on May. 1, 2011 in Relationships

Level 19 (6,638 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Unless you actually see a problem, you are overreacting. Don't let others fill your head with BS.

    Answer by Audrice1985 at 5:59 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • What your professors are telling you is a vast generalization; there are numerous exceptions. And honestly, just because someone has a college degree/education doesn't necessarily mean they're smart. Some of the stupidest people I've met have degrees and some of the smartes people I've met do not. If one partner has a higher level of education than the other and it is causing problems, those issues run deeper than the mere fact that one individual chose to go to school.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:28 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • Weird you say that, a good friend of mine who has no education past his GED...was just asked for adivorce by his wife....who is in her later years of medical school (i have no idea how far along she is, she is 29 though....& has been in college since he got out of high school)

    He is DEVASTATED! This whole time she has been breaking her back to get her doctorate, he has been the stay at home dad working at home also. His heart is so broken, it just kills me! But, i kind of saw it coming. She is so highly educated....he is not....i always wondered what they talk about when they are alone togehter. I remember how hard she fell in love with him though...

    My DH's first girlfriend, he was with for 6 years. They broke up right after she finished grad school....yeah....she found her a grad school guy & left my DH. He said he saw it coming...

    I think education levels can be important for some, but not all....

    Answer by samurai_chica at 8:18 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • If you love each other enough, that is all that is necessary to keep a relationship going. Just don't flirt with any hot, smart college is what ended both relationships i mentioned above....

    Answer by samurai_chica at 8:20 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • I am college educated and my husband is not. I have completed my education while married to my current husband. We always have had some things in common (religion, how we would raise the kids, friends, movies, foods, entertainment etc). However his family is largely uneducated. They have high school diplomas and most of the time nothing more. My family has a minimum of Bachelor degrees. It is a different way of looking at life. He has been taught to work hard. I was taught to work smart.

    Yes most of our argument stem from him believing he knows more than I do about a certain subject I am educated in. Or just in general. He does not like to admit he does not know about things and I do. Even with that we have so much more to fall back on. It does not have to cripple your relationship if you have a good foundation.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:34 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • I felt so proud of myself for accomplishing something that was hard and demanding. Only 10% of applicants to my program made it in, and I was one of them??!!  I worked my butt off to finish school...going to school full time in a very difficult program, working almost full time to keep my teeny tiny apartment/school paid for while eating baked potatoes or PB&J every freakin' day (to this day I can't eat baked potatoes), and having my uneducated boyfriend pouting on the couch because I was studying rather than sitting on the couch watching TV with him. He was completely threatened that I would make more money than him when I graduated, and I was still in school! It got so old that I couldn't do anything BUT break up with him. (cont)


    Answer by JawgaMom1 at 9:45 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • (Cont) It was right before graduation, so you could say it was underlying problems, or you could say that I just outgrew him. Our friends said "We wondered when you would break up with him. We've watched you outgrow him for a long time now." I was very much in love with him, but sometimes that isn't enough. You need to have common goals, common visions for your future, common views on money, and similar religions (I know that will set off a few people, but it's MY opinion).

    Thank God I outgrew him, though, or I wouldn't have my DH. We are both college educated and have similar visions for our life. He is amazing, hilarious, he gets me, and he is my best friend.


    Answer by JawgaMom1 at 9:46 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • My husband has a bachelors and I have my GED .... I dont know about anyone elses marriage but we have never had a problem stemming from our education levels.

    Answer by 2lilbumblebees at 10:55 AM on May. 1, 2011

  • I've known couples that that has happened too. One person concentrates more on continuing with eduation than the other one. It can cause problems in the relationship, but alot of things cause problems.

    Answer by meooma at 2:25 PM on May. 1, 2011

  • I don't consider education equaling intelligence. I have a couple of friends and a relative who would probably test in the MENSA range but have never attended college. Well, attained a degree. Insecurities can occur in the most successful people. If you and your dh are secure in who you are and accepting then things should be fine. Your dh probably doesn't see the point of all the education, you should help him understand why you are doing it.

    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 11:12 PM on May. 2, 2011