I’m having some trouble in my marriage and it’s becoming a larger problem with each passing day. My husband hates my cooking. I don’t mean he’s ambivalent about it, or just doesn’t care much about food, I mean he hates it. He complains about every single dinner I cook. It’s too spicy, too sweet, too peppery, too salty, too hot, too cold – the list just goes on and on. We never eat out at restaurants since we married and I’m beginning to understand why. Sadly, I didn’t realize this problem existed because we lived apart until marriage and he never complained about restaurants as we dated. I love food and cooking and I’ve been complimented on my meals from virtually everyone I’ve ever hosted, but not the most important person. It has gotten so bad that I no longer feel joy when entering the kitchen and I rarely host others for dinner as I’m worried they are just being polite when I cook.
What should I do? (I should note that I’ve discussed this with him, but he says he is merely giving feedback in an attempt to help me better my skills – feedback I’ve asked him to withhold.)
Dear Frustrated Foodie,
I have one question to ask you and I’m sure my readers are thinking it also.
Why are you still married to this person?
Your spouse hid this terrible side of himself until after you had walked down the altar. You were completely blind-sided by a man who stopped eating out entirely, and began a campaign of complaints about the thing you feel most passionate about. He spends his mealtimes listing all the ways your meal has ruined his mood, if not his life.
He’s even affecting your social schedule with his insults.
It’s time to wage a full assault. Make a delicious spaghetti sauce and then add an entire bottle of hot sauce to his portion – watch his face turn purple when he bites into it. Prepare a delicious steak and dump a mountain of salt onto his piece once it is done cooking – allow the salt to dissolve in the steak’s juices and then serve. Another revenge meal is to prepare a delicious scampi and then dump a bottle of ground pepper into his serving.
If he’s going to complain, he may as well have reason to.
In all seriousness though, don’t tamper with his food. It may actually be illegal and you could harm his health. What you can do is simple. Draw a clear line in the sand and stop cooking for your husband. Cook for yourself and only yourself. Please your palate and delight your culinary senses with a new creation of your choosing each night. If he tries to eat your creation, simply smack his hands away.
He is an adult and can cook his own damn meals!
Set up how you want this marriage to continue from here on out. If he cannot stop critiquing your meals, you simply won’t make him any. If he can learn to be respectful, maybe you’ll deign to cook for him every so often. My final piece of advice is this – if he can’t figure this out, leave him and pick up your next guy at a restaurant opening or food tasting.
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