Comment(s) of the Week: Be Smart About Respect

It’s a tie between two responses to our Your Call post Is Intellectual Inequality a Deal Breaker? — both of which are great advice for any relationship. First, Dannie said: 

This is a question that ultimately only you can answer, because only you know your priorities.  Is intelligence the most important thing to you?  On the flip side, can you handle her mistakes with grace, rather than condescension?  Also keep in mind that intelligence is not as quantifiable as we tend to think it is.  What is she better than you at doing?  I’m willing to bet that there are still a few things that she can teach you, even if she repeatedly uses the wrong “your/you’re.”  The bottom line is, can you focus on those aspects of her, or will they be lost in your frustration?  Keep in mind that you’re not perfect, either, and you might be able to be a great team.  If you prioritize her ability to Sudoku in under a minute, however, then she deserves to be with someone who will appreciate her completely, not someone who will resent or even look down on her year after year.

Then Ralphie said:

My wife and I are “intellectual equals.”  We both have many letters that follow our names.  She will still occasionally make “cringe worthy comments” that cause me to raise my eyebrows.  You can believe me when I say that I too have made my share of “cringe worthy comments.”  Unless she has some type of disability, I’d be hesitant to question whether she is as “smart” as you.  Maybe she has not acquired as many facts, or has not thought through issues/problems as much or as quickly as you, but that probably is not a question as to how smart she is.  The real question is whether the differences in your intellectual curiosity (and possibly educational background) is a deal breaker.  People of different backgrounds come together all of the time.  You need to decide whether the differences between the two of you is enough to be a deal breaker.


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