Post # 1
My partner and I have been together for approximately 4 years and have not had any major issues/fights/disagreements/etc.
Last night, we played poker with his co-workers. They all have PhDs and work at Ivy Leagues. I teach at a local high school. While I am very bright, I do have impostor anxiety around his peers and he is aware of this. At poker (my first time playing) he first teased me about folding too much, then tried to give advice when I bet too much. At one point the group joke became the fact that he had to help make my decisions since we share a bank account…then the joke got furthered that he was funding the poker game (we split everything, but contributed to the game together via venmo for convenience) and that he had to make my decisions to protect his money. The implication became that I was too dumb to play a game that I was also too poor to actually pay for it. He didn’t defend me. I literally almost started crying at the table and had to leave to use the restroom. Once we finished, my partner immediately apologized, as he realized how upset I was.
My question is: how do you deal with a breach of trust? This event might sound small, but has had me crying for 24 hours now.
ETA – Don’t give me the “dump him” speech. We are not breaking up over this. I’m more looking for ways to deal with this, given he is very apologetic (on his own accord) and yet I am not ready to not be upset.
Post # 2
It doesn’t sound like anyone actually thinks you aren’t smart or don’t have money and they probably aren’t aware of your insecurities/that this would be a sore spot for you. It was just a bad joke, gone too far. I’m not sure how this is a breach of trust?
He’s apologized for it. Assuming this isn’t a pattern of behavior, you should forgive and move forward. While it sounds like he could have handled the situation better he also isn’t responsible for your insecurties. He should be sensitive to them of course, but you should also recoginize when you may be overreacting to a situation.
Post # 3
I think you might be reading a little too much into this? I’m sorry that you’re this upset over it but it seems a tad sensitive. I’m not really sure what advice to give you except sometimes you need to learn to laugh at yourself. I’m terrible at video games and when I play with Fiance and his friends they tease but I also laugh because I know it’s not a strength of mine. HOWEVER, there are plenty of things that I am good at and things that im better at than Fiance. I am sure there’s plenty of things you excel at! It sounds pretty innocent to me but in saying that, I don’t know the tone of the comments. Either way, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself next time.
Post # 4
hikingbride : catash : I’m aware that part of this is me being sensitive. They do tease each other within the group. One of them is, however, a clear and obvious bully. I have held my own around them for a while now.
That being said, this night was different. It was so different, that the second we left my partner apologized for the things he said. It wasn’t just teasing from the group — he threw me under the bus and made jokes he knew were sensitive to me. It was like he decided to mock my few pressure points in front of the group.
I think I have a right to be upset at him (perhaps not the group) and it is not all sensitivity. I’m just not sure how to forgive his bad judgement.
Post # 5
Can I ask what his PhD is in and if his friends are in the same field? I’m gonna guess.. math or business/econ?
I ask cus.. well.. having spent a decent amount of time with PhD students from an array of fields.. there are certain fields where I’d assume the nature of their comments were pretty vicious, unlike what pps think. Ive been to enough math PhD parties to take your story at face value…
Either way, know if they were serious it speaks to their intense insecurities and their awareness that they are pretty worthless people so they focus on their academic abilities cus it’s all they’ve got. In general all that worked for me with people like that was to spend less time with them, and when I do spend time with them I don’t let them off the hook. “Jack stop being such an arrogant piece of shit. It’s not attractive at all.”
If it really was all in jest.. well honestly it was still shitty. I think having a conversation with your husband that you are not to be the butt of his friends jokes, ever… And then just hopefully he doesn’t let it happen again.
Post # 6
hibeesknees : I’m so sad to hear he mocked you in front of them. I thought he let them say stuff to you and just played dumb.. but joining in so he could look cool in front of his friends?
Ugh. So not cool. Such a small, small thing of him to do. (Small as in small person.. not small as in insignificant)
Post # 7
I am so sorry this happened to you, and I understand your feelings.
I don’t think you’re just being “too sensitive”–we silly women are always so sensitive to the superior male intellect, after all. But from what you describe, they in an importantly intentional way sought to make you feel inferior, and that is likely a result of you having less formal education (rather than having, for instance, less wisdom or a lower-paying job. I’m not saying you have those things! I’m only saying that they were specifically targeting the formal education.). They sound young, immature, and, frankly, insecure themselves. And what kinds of friends are these to gang up on a buddy’s partner? This sounds like the behavior of YOUNG people–either young in age or young in mind. Remember, having an excellent formal education doesn’t equate to having an excellent character.
It sounds like your partner was caught up in this situation and simply wasn’t thinking about how you were receiving this “teasing” (and I use that term loosely). I would make it UNDOUBTEDLY CLEAR that he is NEVER to behave this way again. He is never to join his friends in any running gag at your expense, he is never to stay quiet if THEY are teasing you repeatedly, and he probably needs to have a real conversation–at least with himself–about what he really thinks of these “men” (I also use THAT term loosely). I appreciate your decision not to break up with him for this, as breaking up doesn’t immediately sound reasonable–but if this becomes any kind of pattern, whether his friends are involved or not, you should take a closer look at your relationship. He has exhibited extraordinary weakness here, and it isn’t something to simply be “let go.”
Post # 8
I would handle it by telling your prince of a guy that you dont really want to hang around with him and his friends because the dynamic tends to turn him into an ass. But then I’m not fond of nasty, teasing, competitive people. They suck the joy out of life.
Post # 9
When people are laughing AT you, no, you don’t need to learn to laugh at yourself. You need to call them out on their bullying.
Even if it was done in good spirit (and from what you write I really don’t think so) it is incredibily rude to gang on the “outsider” to make fun of her.
He apologized, but did you explain him how everything made you feel? That might help to ease off.
Post # 10
I get how you feel. I also am often the butt of jokes and made to be felt like I’m not as smart as others in the room. I think people have a lot of misconceptions about me because I’m really feminine and do my makeup/hair regularly in an academic setting. I’m in a phd program and know how other phds are extremely arrogant. like a previous poster said, those in certain fields might be even worse
Just know that your degree doesn’t define your intelligence or anything about you.
Post # 11
hibeesknees : Sorry bee, I didn’t realise the he was also taking part. I thought they were just messing around but if you felt like you were being bullied then no, you don’t need to just learn to brush it off. You should have a serious talk to your boyfriend and tell him how you felt. You don’t want to break up with him so ultimately you will have to forgive him though.
Post # 12
Ivy leagues faculty and PhDs aren’t better than you. I attended one of those schools and worked in a lab for several years with a bunch of post docs. If anything, they admire people who didn’t go through with a PhD, hahaha. But I completely understand how you feel. I felt like I had something to prove too when I first started hanging out with FI’s friends. They’re all surgeons and I’m not. This was made especially bad when one of the rude friends asked if I was a gold digger while my Fiance was in the bathroom. But bee, this is the part where your partner is meant to come in. My Fiance found out, was pissed and cut that person out of his life. Discuss this with your husband so he knows what you’re comfortable with and what is crossing the line so he can steer the conversation away from it next time you’re with them. But remember this, you’re no less than them. And for what it’s worth, I don’t think they thought that either but were just having fun joking around and got carried away. I’m not saying that it’s right but I doubt they had bad intentions.
Post # 13
What about if you wrote him a letter explaining HOW YOU FELT during the incident, and then asked him to write you a letter in return confirming his understanding of your feelings and apologizing? Maybe if you had something concrete you could read and re-read, that would help. You would feel heard and could remind yourself that he is sorry?
Post # 14
I had a similar situation happen in the first few years of my relationship with my husband, except the person poking fun was a relative.
I was a broke law student and my then SO would cover dinner for me if we went out. I had saved money from working and would contribute when i could but it was never much more than the tip for the server.
Once at a lunch outing his relative started poking fun at how I live off of my parents (they graciously covered my rent while in law school…I never hid this bc I was proud my immigrant parents could afford to do it). When I pulled out cash for the tip, he literally said, put your parents money away. I. Fucking. Fumed. I left the restaurant in a pissed off rage and when my SO followed I told him how insensitive that was and how the joke stopped being a joke after the first 30 seconds. I demanded respect and told him that if he thinks of me in the same way then we need to split up. SO was upset that I was upset and agreed that relative took it too far. He called him and told him it was not cool and told him to apologize to me, which then he did. I still think of the guy as an ass though to this day.
Talk to your boyfriend and make sure he gets why this was not cool. Making fun of you like that is never ok.
Post # 15
needmoralsupport : that is so uncool. I’m sorry you have to put up with that crap.