Intelligent hubby, but dumb wife

Or vice versa.
Is the marriage bound to last?

Dumb wife*,yes. Dumb Husband, unlikely.

*Here is to praying I get an intelligent wife.


I know it wouldn’t work with me. I have generally dated intelligent women, and thank goodness my wife (of nearly 9 years) is very intelligent. I did, however, date someone of slightly below average intelligence for a couple months after college. (she wasn’t dumb, but she wasn’t a super-brain, that’s for sure), and there was no way it would work and it was pretty obvious to both of us. We had a great time together, but our conversations were not exactly stimulating, and she would say things that just left me exasperated. (I did not vocalize these thoughts, of course).

I don’t think it’s necessarily something that will fail, but I don’t think it bodes well. In a marriage a LOT of your time is spent talking to each other and if one spouse is constantly thinking ‘wow, this person’s a moron!’ I don’t think it’ll work for very long. Though, one of my former coworkers, who is very intelligent, is married to an extremely dim bulb and it seems to work just fine for them. I can’t carry on a conversation with her for more than a few minutes without cringing, however.

My husband’s dealt with it fine so far…

Intelligent wife; dumb husband? Well, if every single sit-com and commercial on the TeeVee is true, I don’t see any problems.

Marriages sometimes work because to two people are quite alike, and sometimes they work because two people are quite different. You can’t tell simply based on the comparison.

I knew a couple, husband was a technical writing professor at a large university and really liked some big words, wife stayed home and was a complete fibbertigibbit but was as lovable as could be. Everyone joked about what a scatterbrain she was. They were a great couple. I don’t know what they talked about all those years but they got along great. Now I miss them.

My friend married a woman who isn’t necessarily dumb per se, but he is incredibly smart and she would fall squarely in to “normal to lower intelligence”. She’s not even super hot or anything.

They’ve been married quite a while, about 10 years or so. I don’t see any cracks in the veneer.

Quoted for truth. My husband and I are generally successful in our marriage in part because we’re so different. I’m not sure whether I’m dumber than he is or not, but we definitely have vastly different qualities, which is what helps our marriage along. It causes some pretty serious arguments sometimes, but overall it seems to work.

That said, I once dated a guy who was high all the time (for all I know he may have been smart, but I couldn’t tell because he was always toked up), which made him act like a complete moron. So we simply didn’t talk. We fucked instead. It lasted a few months, we never had anything to say to each other and when he did talk I wanted to slap him, and eventually the sex got boring, too. So we split up.

I think the key is finding some sort of quality (or set of qualities) that’s valuable enough to each other that you’ll want to stay.

Of course you can. That’s what generalities and stereotypes are based on. I don’t think anyone expects it to be a 100% rule; I’d bet that there is definitely a majority of people in the above situation that fall into one side of the comparison.

While there are certainly a lot of comparisons that wouldn’t be relevant; I don’t think this is one of them.

And my $.02 is that I would agree with the statements above that think Dumb Woman, Smart Man might work, but not so much the other way around.

Insufficient information. Compatible intelligence is not a guarantee of a successful marriage and incompatible intelligence is not a certain failure.

Relationships are too complicated to boil down to any one factor. What fails for one couple might be successful for another who have the same criteria but different personalities.


Then is the pair of intelligent hubby+intelligent wife, prone to failure from being at par, as there won’t be much to stimulate either?

Ok, fine, it won’t be a 50-50 split. But what if it’s 60-40? Given how many other factors are involved in a relationship would you try to prognosticate the success of a marriage based on relative intelligence? It’s more likely that other issues combine with this one to establish a predictor. Go back in time when gender roles were less flexible and you might find the mismatch to be an advantage. And I know many couples where smart woman/dumb man work out fine. You’d have to be dumb enough to not know you were dumb in order to not appreciate having a smarter mate.

One of my exes dated a lot of… how to say this politely… “dimmer” women before he met me. Nothing that required them to wear helmets, but they weren’t brain trusts. I asked him once, why being smart wasn’t a requirement of his (he was very smart). His answer? That, to him, sweetness, kindness, generosity, supportiveness, optimism, etc., were qualities he really looked for in a woman, not necessarily brain power. I couldn’t argue with him… I’ve had cynical MENSA friends and sweet community-college friends and probably the latter were better relationship candidates… not that intelligence is mutually exclusive from sweetness…

One part of the couple would have to be willing to parent a little bit. It could work, as long as the “dumb” part didn’t resent and the “intelligent” part didn’t overbear.

Now sometimes you see things in a different way. I’m book-smart, my other half is more street smart. Together we make a fine couple.

I looove the implication here. I didn’t know community college automatically made you stupid. Ignorance fought!

Intelligent:Dumb can work just fine. Intellectual:Dumb does not IME. And it’s usually the dumb one who can’t stand it.

There are plenty of intelligent people to whom an upbeat hiking partner is of primary importance. They are challenged all day at work and like to relax a bit when they get home. But a true intellectual, somone who wants to spend every moment reading 6th century philosophers and needs someone to dicuss them with, will make life utterly miserable for a partner who just wants to go see the latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.

I do also think that culturally in the USA there are more intelligent men who would be satisfied with a less-intelligent “help-meet” i.e. a woman who would keep the house and be comfortable in an old-fashioned housewifely role. Intelligent women do occasionally fall for the hot landscaper* type, but it seldom satisfies for long.

*Assuming here a landscaper who couldn’t make it in a more challenging profession; not a poet or lifelong student who does it to put food on the table.

Not only that, the wife will be smoking hot and the husband will be a slob.

At least you’re witty.