Belfast Telegraph

Will snob dump me for not being rich?

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona Hurley answers your problems

Dear Fiona, I grew up in a rough inner city area and although my parents worked hard, they weren’t educated and never earned much. They want us to give our children what they couldn’t give us so they made sure we worked hard at school.

My four siblings have all done well and I’m in the middle of a university degree. I’m in love with my boyfriend of four months but the problem is that I haven’t brought him home.

His family live in the wealthiest part of Belfast and he and his friends look down on people from my background although he doesn’t know that that is my background.

I avoid the subject altogether because I don’t want to ruin everything and it’s keeping me awake at night.

The only option I can think of is to end the relationship before he finds out and ends it himself but I really love him so is there any other way around it?

Student, Belfast

Dear Student,

The issue isn’t your background but your negative perception of it and your interpretation of what it says about you as a person. You should be proud that you have the personal qualities and parental help to overcome obstacles and negative expectations.

Your family is successful when the odds were stacked against you, and this is testimony to your parents’ love and integrity. Our past makes us who we are today, so if he genuinely loves you, he should accept your history. Just because someone’s parents have achieved material wealth, it doesn’t give them the automatic right to a sense of accomplishment or the right to patronise others.

You’ve got where you are today through hard work and that’s admirable. Your low self-esteem and inability to be yourself in this relationship are the real problems.

Love is about being secure that your partner accepts everything about you and it’s not about fabricating a false self in order to meet their expectations or to keep the relationship going.

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