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697574 tn?1273955747

Is it okay to marry someone without a college degree?

I went to 4 years of college and got my bachelors degree in psychology, now I am finishing up my masters degree in occupational therapy. My boyfriend went 2 years of undergrad and it didnt work out too well because he never went to class and partied too much. He says he doesnt learn from studying and reading books but has thought about going back but for now he does not have the funds to do so.  I do not think he will go back. He has been successful as a store manager but has been out of a job for the past year. He does not have enough money to do anything and I have been paying for most things, he feels bad but I keep thinking that if we got married I would bring in all the money and he would be home doing nothing. The main reason for divorce are finances. All of his friends never finished school and have retail jobs that allow them to enjoy the days during the week, while Im working hard at fieldwork trying to get my degree.
15 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Hm.  Well, on the surface----------  I think two people can be compatible with one having higher education and the other not.  However, you don't really sound compatible with your boyfriend.  

You are ambitious, have career aspirations and are determined to get where you want to go.  He's going nowhere fast.  I'm not trying to be harsh but it seems that he does not have the same outlook on life as you.  Sure, we all would love to party our way through college, bum around and not work.  But would you ever actually do it?  No.  Because it is not in your make up to be that way.  Why would you tie your life to someone that is that way.  Yes, he's going through a rough patch out of work in a down economy . . . but it is another thing in a long pattern that he has had.  

I'm sure you love him and I'm sure he is a good guy.  But I really think when it comes to setting ourselves up for a happy forever after, we have to start at the best possible place.  And I would not pursue this relationship any further as it seems you both are on separate paths in life.  

By the way, my son has been in OT for sensory integration disorder for over 2 years now---------  love occupational therapy!!!  Great career choice!!  good luck to you.
Avatar universal
My husband is finishing his college degree in 8 months. I don't have one. We're married, happy (sure we have our rough spots) and have two beautiful children. So yeah it's okay to marry someone without a college degree...IF you love them. I'll probably go back to school once our boys are in. For now I'm very happy being a stay at home mom. Of course, I do write. I have 2 1/2 completed manuscripts right now in the hunt for an agent so it's not like I sit around watching soap operas and eating bonbons all day with no path in life. AND I am a sports writer during hockey season. But no college degree.
Avatar universal
I think it's ok, IF he has a plan and is determined. Though he seems to be skating through life and taking it easy while you take care of him. I don't think you want to be fully financially responsible for this man. He might be really sweet, but you have to have things in common, like goals, etc to make it really work. I don't know if this relationship is going anywhere. I was thinking of doing occupational therapy myself, it has great options. Good luck!
973741 tn?1342342773
Oh Penswriter, I do absolutely think it is okay--------  I was talking about compatibility in terms of life's goals.  It would be frustrating for someone to desire things in life and have a partner that would never want the same things.  Heck, I'm a stay at home mom now------ degrees or not.  But my husband and I are on the same page about what we want out of life and for our future.  We'll work together.  That is what I meant.  Don't want anyone to think that I think having matching degrees is essential but the whole story our nice poster has told is what I based my answer on.  If he'd gone to college and was trying real hard to get it together and hadn't found a job yet, okay.  If he hadn't gone to college but had found his niche in life that supplies income of some sort, okay.  But when you have one ambitious person and one not, down the road------------  fighting happens.  Just my experience anyway and only my opinion.  
13167 tn?1327194124
I agree with specialmom.  I know guys who didn't go to college and they are very successful contractors,  or own a marina,  an air conditioning company,  etc.  

The problem with your boyfriend isn't that he didn't go to college,  it's that he has an extremely low work ethic and hasn't worked in a year and appears to be fine with that.  

I don't think he's an appropriate partner for any woman at this point,  a college educated one or not.  

13167 tn?1327194124
I went back and read your profile and you say he lost his job in March,  but here you say he's been out of work a year.  ??

If the truth is that he lost his job in March and has been looking diligently,  that's different.
Avatar universal
I think if your goals are the same and both agree on how to reach them it is one thing. The other thing is, that you have shown a resilience and a desire to accomplish something while your boyfriend has not. I think this could be a major compatibility issue with not only financial goals but personality flaws as well. My mama always told me you can fall in love with a rich man as easy as a poor man. Determined by the circles you hang out. Just food for thought.

I also feel like neither party should carry the other, but work together to achieve one purpose. Only you know your bf's heart and desires and whether he has the gumption to make it happen.
Avatar universal
To clarify, I am not talking about taking time off to rear children, that is a given and should b decided upon mutually between the two of you. IMO, raising children should give you all kinds of degrees itself.
Avatar universal
It is ok to marry someone who doesn't have a college degree IF you are content and willing to accept their level of ambition and motivation. It does not sound like you are.

It really sounds like you two are on two different paths.

Remember: The choices you make will define your life. If you are not satisfied with this person and you marry and have children with this person how will you feel if you for example continue to progress(- say you decided to get your Ph.D) and your husband is still an Assistant store manager or manager or whatever, and still has no degree or is not a  yet District Manager or made progress proportional to your own? Think long term. It is not wrong to have different goals and paths. It is just life.
Avatar universal
When my husband and I got married 4 years ago we were both in college. He has since graduated I have not. He has had the same job for around 3 years now. When it comes to me, I have had bad luck with jobs, and school. We manage to get by. I wouldn't trade my marriage for the world. When you love some, you love that person no matter what.
719902 tn?1334165183
There is something called Compatibility, but I do not believe that your level of Education has anything to do with it.  Now, I DO believe that your levels of Intelligence should be similar for a successful relationship.  
Take my situation:  I am 31 and a teacher, just finished my Master's degree last spring, along with working full-time and being a mom of 4.  My hubby is a 8 yrs older than me and high-school dropout.  Never got his GED, never really needed to, as a does physical labor and has all of his life.  HE is very intelligent but did not have the support at home to finish school.  No once really cared.  While he does not make a lot of $ (I am the primary provider financially) he works VERY hard, and I have total resepct for that.  I could not do what he does, just as he could not do what I do.  We have a very good marriage, and the issues that we do have occasionally have nothing to do with the difference in our education.
Like others have said, think about your priorities.  If it is important to you to have someone in a good career, then you may never be happy with your BF.  As you said, you feel kinda resentful, so I def think it is something the two of you should talk about.  Also, hold of on getting married until you are both happy with the positions you are in (financially and otherwise) so you don't end up regretting it when things haven't changed from the way they are now.
964234 tn?1331949207
I have a degree (business), my husband does not.  
He works a blue collar job and makes close to a six figure salary he only graduated highschool and took just a few college classes.  Most people I know with a degree don't even make close to what he makes.  Even before he made what he makes now it didn't matter to me one bit.  His work ethic is flawless and that is how he got where he is degrees in some cases are over rated, and only helps get your resume looked at a little closer.  Unless, you are going into a specialty like yourself.

When we moved in together 7 years ago we both covered our half of everything, he paying his half and me paying my half regardless of what either of us made because that is what we would have to do if we didn't have each other is cover ourselves.  We both contributed equally to our home, and our savings.  Of course if either of us needs a little more or needs help it's not an issue.  We have never once fought over finances.  Make it clear to him that you work hard, and you really don't care what he does but you expect the same from him, and in order for the two of you to have a future together he must be able to carry his weight.  
964234 tn?1331949207
Just wanted to add that this is just works in my house.  I understand that everyone is different and people have chosen different roles for each other in their homes that work for them.  With my husband and I already having careers in place this is what worked.  Now I am 36 weeks pregnant with my first child, so our dynamic could change some in the future =)
697574 tn?1273955747
Thanks for the advice. He lost his job last June 2009 and got a new job November 2009 and then was laid off the end of March 2010. Now he is not receiving unemployment and he will not take any job. His parents keep giving him money which is a burden and they keep telling him to move back home to get back on his feet but he wont do that. He was offered a job that paid $500 a week but didnt like the job so didnt take it. I didnt know he was not getting unemployment or offered this job until a family member told me. Now I want to confront him about it. Is it okay as a girlfriend to ask a question like that or should I not be worrying about his finances?
973741 tn?1342342773
Well, I think it is odd that he doesn't talk to you about these things in general.  Particularly that he was offered a job and didn't take it.  He could earn an income while he searched for a job he really wants------  let me rephrase that.  He SHOULD earn an income while he searches for another job.  Why do you think he doesn't keep you in the loop?  Most couples heading in a serious direction talk about such things as they are each other's confidant and his future is part of your future.  Do you think he is embarrassed?

Honestly, to me it was never that he didn't have a college degree and that you have one plus some . . . it was his work ethic and attitude about life that would be a problem.  I like ambition, I like those who try to succeed.  It doesn't matter how they get there or even IF they get there--------- as long as they are trying.  Your guy doesn't sound like he tries too hard.

I'd say that you could ask him about it.  But I'd include in the question-------- why you have to ASK him to talk about it.  And then I'd try to find out what he foresees for his future in terms of job, income, advancement.  If that is an awkward question-----------  that says a lot.  

All of this is just my opinion.  Another post of yours talked about how you'd like to move back and are only thinking of staying in Florida because of this man.  I might consider that there is a better match out there for you and possibly in the town that you'd prefer to live in.

You do seem to love him.  I think we always have to weigh the pros and cons in deciding who is a good mate for us-------- and try to make the smartest decision for a happy future together.  I wish you lots of luck! (and all of this is JUST my opinion.)
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