a friend, is a friend, ... opinion?


TPF Noob!
Jun 27, 2003
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my really good best friend of 10 yrs (next to my hubby) thought she met her future life partner (she's 30yrs, he's 37)... he's a great guy, treats her like a princess, more than a girl couldnt want...

after him sending her a few emails, she noticed inconsistancies and mis-spellings.. she didnt think it was a big deal, could be a type-o ... then he started mis-spelling four letter words... a few weeks later she found out that her "dream man" cant read, he's illiterate.

she doesnt know what to do and asked me for advice, i cant really help her because i've never been confronted with this kind of situation. she bought him some books at 4th grade level and every third word he stumbled ... he couldnt pronounce the word "off" ... he pronounced it as "of" ...

he's 37 yrs old at this point ... do u think he can be helped since he's so far behind? ... if so, what kind of intervention would be neccesary to help him ... she's thinking of breaking up with him if nothing can be done ... u think this is fair?
oh god thats terrible dew
this is just my opinion of course but i think breaking up with someone (especially if they are your "dream" person) because they have been failed by the education system/ or society is WRONG.

of course he can learn
of course he can be helped.
if he wants to do it, then there are plenty of options for him.
im positive there would be adult literacy programs in the States.
they can help him.

the main problem is whether he wants to do it, and whether he can. he may be dyslexic or have any number of problems that caused him to be illiterate. it happens for a reason.
he may not want to go back over those problems, so they really need to talk about it seriously.
she can help him to try and read but buying him books designed for children with kiddy pictures may only destroy his confidence and make him feel stupid.
they need to go to a proper adult literacy centre. all they'd need to do is ring the local council or library and they could tell them how to go about it.

the main thing id be concerned with is that she may say things now to really damage their relationship if she's already considering breaking up with him over it. people at 37 who appear "normal" in every other aspect of their life,arent illiterate because they are "dumb". its because something went wrong in their life that caused them to slip through.

having a learning disability is hard enough without it then being the cause for the loss of a wonderful relationship :(

sorry if i said too much, this just really upsets the romantic and teacher in me :(
I'm also pretty sure there are courses for adults that can't read....at least we have them in germany....we even have spots on tv to make people aware of the fact that some persons are illiterate and that they shouldn't be left out, since there is a chance to help them.
At least it would be extremely unfair to leave him just because of that...
im really shocked about this, i've never been confronted with this type of situation .. and she's not the type of person that has a lot of patience .. i'm trying to be fair as a person, but she's my friend and im concerned about her future and the lives of her potential children's future.

she said to me that she wants to have children and he cant read them books or help them with their homework. i really feel sorry for this guy, but she's my friend and she's looking to me for advice.

my hubby and i have discussed this in full depth over the past week ... he doesnt think its fair for her to dump him ... im not sure what she should do.. im torn.

if it were my guy and i found this out when we first met, i would go the whole nine yards to help him, because i love him .. but i dont know if her love for him is that deep. ... she feels betrayed that he didnt come clean at first ... he said, "would u have continued to talk to me if i had?" ... she said, "probably not." ... he said, "so now ur gonna dump me because im stupid!" ... so he broke down and cried ... my heart goes out to him ... but i have lingering concerns about her future with him....

she also bought him an interactive reading/spelling tutor for computer, but he cant read the directions.. he also has problems with punctuations, creating sentences, capitalization, knowing the difference between run on sentences and sentence structure, doesnt know what nouns and verbs are.

basically, she wants to know if he can be helped at this point :(

i'll research adult literacy programs in here area and give her some places to call ... this is a mess
If he realizes that his life will be better if he can read, and wants to learn, there are many places that he can learn and teaching techniques are very good. He will have so much more confidence and feel better about himself if he learns.
that must be horrible :(

my hubby and i discussed this matter further and to be honest, we dont think he will want to change .. he's made it this far without question and has mastered this deception of hiding it from people ...

i mean, she had pretty much planned her wedding with this guy. he has a new job, he does somewhat mechanical work (of 3 months) and just found out he has to start writing evaluations of himself. his writing and spelling is so bad, their gonna find out. ... she wants to help him write it, but i think it will continue to enable him to hide his "secret" ...

he told her a story that he wanted to sign up for college classes, he showed up and found out that he had to take an entry exam (which is standard) ... he got up and walked out because he didnt want them to find out he couldn't read. :(
its kinda hard to figure it out right now because he's still trying to deny it ... then he admitted that he was in learning disability classes all his life ... he was a foster child and was raised by his grandparents that had nothing more than a 6th grade education .. his mom was on drugs when she gave birth to him ....

he can hide it some, because he's fairly well spoken (not a scholar, but decent) ... she gave me examples of exercises she went over with him ... she had him read this book, he was putting words in the sentence that werent there ... for example:

Jane placed the doll on the bed

he would read it aloud like this

Joan pluced the daull on the bad

she got so frustrated with him and started yelling at him ... "how could u not know this?" .. "this is basic remedial stuff!"

i told her to not teach him because she doesnt have the training nor patience :roll: ... its already put a strain on their relationship ... she doesnt see him as her equal and their is no action going on at this point (if u know what i mean *smug*)

but dyslexia could be something to consider ... keeping in mind, she just found this out one week ago ...
When I first started to read your post, I really didn't expect the level of complexity that this involves.

As I see it, there are a couple of key areas to this.

1. Has he tried and put real effort into getting past this challenge? Is it a matter of the system failing him? If these are the case, I feel she should try to stick by him and help him through this. In this situation, however, I think it is really important for her to only play a supportive role and not personally try to help him. This is too delicate a situation for her to try to resolve and the best thing she can do is be there for support and to help make sure he gets help from professional people that know how to handle the situation, and to look for signs of various possible learning disabilities.

2. The other possibility is that he has already given up. If this is the case, her pushing (or even just trying to help) can cause such a strain on their relationship that it may not be the best thing for either of them. I believe she at least needs to give things a try, but if she gets to a point where she honestly believe he has given up, it may be best for her to move on.

It sounds really bad to say, and it definitely isn't the "politically correct" point of view, but people take care of themselves first. If you are trying to help someone that doesn't want to be helped, you'll fail both that person and yourself.

Anyway, this has turned out to be a pretty long post...so I'll stop pretending like I know what I am talking about now. I'd be interested to know how things go...
Dew, if she wants the rship to continue at all, she needs to stop doing what she's doing.
I'm a teacher, half of my class are kids with learning disabilities.
She's already done some damage by yelling at him about it.

Its up to him, not her. If he wants to go to college and wants to do other things that require him to read, then he needs to make that decision. He can't do any sort of course or anything by pretending he can do it.

She needs to stop giving him the lessons. She's done exactly the WRONG thing and she's not helping him or herself. I think she needs to put herself in his shoes, if she can.

This poor guy needs to do this for himself. He needs to come clean with his boss or he will lose his job because he's been lying to them. I really feel for this man and I hope he helps himself.
i have a question for u all ... please answer honestly

ladies .. would u marry this man?
guys, would u want ur daughter to marry this man?

... putting rights and wrongs aside...

i honestly cant say that i would want my daughter to marry this man :? ... here's why ... he's reading at a 3-4th grade level now, lets say in about 3 yrs or so, he'd be reading at an 8th grade level (still behind) .. by fact he thought that he didnt need reading in his life shows character to me .. "im 37 yrs old, i dont need to read, i got this far" ... it shows me lack of empowerment and self preservation ... learning is a part of everyday life and if he's not willing to learn, then his mind is closed... if his mind is closed ... he's lost ... i gotta phone call to make :salute:
Dew said:
... it shows me lack of empowerment and self preservation ... learning is a part of everyday life and if he's not willing to learn, then his mind is closed... if his mind is closed ... he's lost ...

couldn't disagree more. i think he's scared. frightened that he may be mocked and ridiculed as you are doing.

rather than repeat everything mandy has said; i align myself with her comments completely.

if i put myself in his shoes and she treated me that way, i'd dump her in a flash.

she either accepts him as he is or she doesn't. who has the closed mind here?
i went from feeling sorry for him, to pissed that he would try to do whatever it takes to get my friend under wraps (which is not unusual for a man to do :p ) ... there is no way that he can advance in life without reading... he will be stuck in a remedial job and wont be able to support his family the way he claims ... she wants to have children, she wants to be a stay at home mom (which he agreed too) ... but he cant support them on what he makes now, if she quits her job....

we're stuck on he's gonna learn .. but what if he doesnt? ... what if he says he's gonna do it and its deception like before? ... he's already excercised his ability to lie and deceive ... he's been dishonest.. what makes her think he's telling the truth now? ... he's been lying to himself for 37 yrs. and most important .. he doesnt think he has a problem ... the first step to recovery is admitting. ... u cant fix a problem u dont think u have...

my hubby thought it was unfair for her to dump him because of that, ... but i asked him, "would u want our daughter to marry him?" ... he said, "no." ... i said, "well, she's somebody's daughter too." ... "she should marry him because its wrong to break up with him?" ... "i get to marry the man of my dreams but she cant, she has to be the sacrificial lamb for the sake of humanity?"

anywho.. their relationship is over... she sent me a private message.. here's some of its contents...

what's up, girl. I'm up early...it's like 2:15am. I came home and took an early nap so I'm up now. Jeff called me today from work all hysterical (did I spell that correctly)? Talkin' about he's gonna ask his boss can he leave work cause he cant work thinking about me. Talkin about there is no reason to live and that he has "nothing" he only has 2 daughters. I was like, you lose your job then who will want to be with you. So by lunch time he was fine. I explained to him in detail that this is not my dream. Nobody in their right mind wants a man who can't read. He is still in denial saying he can read and just has a spelling or pronunciation problem. I'm like, you need to admit to yourself this is deeper than that and until you do you will not be able to get over this.

I'm so pissed off! He used deception to keep me in his life and that's not a fair game. Doesn't matter about "love" I'm now turned off. That's the bottom line here...I'm turned off and pissed about the lie he told and deception and trickery he used to keep me in his life. I wasn't given a fair chance to make an educated decision of whether to stay with this man or leave early on. He keeps saying but what about love, that's what should matter. That matters but that's not going to carry us through life. That's a part of it. I'm so turned off!!! I don't know if I can recover from this and be able to want to be with him again.
sorry but this thread has actually wound me up.. :(

I think there has been some closed minds on both parts...
My personal opinion is that WTF does it matter that he can't read??? My girlfriend can't surf but I'm not gonna dump her! She never told me that she couldn't - that doesn't mean she's deceived me!
OK so he hasn't really helped himself here.. but 'if he's made it this far, why should he try to change?' A lot of people get settled in a rut and never try to realise what potential they have. It takes a lot for some people to change their entire outlook on life which is what she's making him do. I'm not surprised he's having problems... He probably feels like **** anyway knowing that his daughters can read better than him but that doesn't mean he's dumb... I stand by what Manda says... My Mum used to teach adult education and a lot of the people she taught basic english to were high level employees and employers of major companies!

And that sentence "Nobody in their right mind wants a man who can't read" REALLY does piss me off and it reminds me that there a plenty of selfish, intolerant and impatient individuals in todays society .. and that depresses me.

I think they both have learning challenges.
His challenge is one of admitting to himself and trying to find the want to improve..
and her challenge is to accept imperfections and not to just give up at any slight obstacle..
Both require patience... sadly something that seems to be degrading in modern society.
she's not the most patient girl on her block by far :lol: ... but at this point, i can relate to what she's saying by putting myself in her shoes...

for me, i have standards, my "ideal" man is educated, intelligiant, know the importance of a family unit, worldly and clever... i dont think i would have been attracted to my hubby if he didnt have these things...

she's a somewhat dramatic person, but i've known her for over 11 yrs and watch men come in and out of her life ... she feels strongly about her men being educated and family oriented (she's even left men that didnt want children)... this issue for her will never die ...

i think its time for him to take some ownership of this as well, everyone else is the blame, but himself ... im the one seeking help for him, while he sits up like nothing is wrong .. he needs to take some action for himself, not to get some girl. ... he should have done it for himself a long time ago ... he's 37 yrs old, middle-age is knocking on his door... why bother? .... why should she spend the rest of her life fighting a cause she doesnt want to fight? .. its over ... the man is history.. he obvioulsly doesnt care or he'd be on the phone to the illeteracy league, not me... he has not taken one step to improve himself ... i've never met the man in person but im jumping through hoops to "save" him ..

my hubby can cook better than me, i think thats hardly comparable to this issue :eek: ... but we're a team and our relationship is established, there is nothing we cant overcome ... she's been dating this guy for 3 months and she has nothing to loose ... a part of me still feels sorry for him, but i dont want him to cause her a problem (because it will be my problem) ... i think he should get off his bum and take some action ... but i dont think he will ... he still denys it....

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