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Woman Calls Out Boyfriend For Policing Amount Of Salt Used When She Cooks For His Family

woman adding salt to pot on stove
Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

I’m a salt addict. I put salt on my salt. I love to sprinkle salt on sweet things like ice cream, chocolate and peanut butter.

A dear friend suffered a heart attack very early in life and needed to have a Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD) implanted. As a result, he has to limit his daily sodium intake.

I’d never insist he eat my cooking with my preferred level of salt. But if a person didn’t have a medical condition, should I still alter my recipes to match their preferences?

A woman struggling with this question turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Unemployedbuffoon123 asked:

“AITA for being rude to my boyfriend after he withheld salt from me?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

My boyfriend (male, 30) and I (female, 27) are currently on vacation with his family. I have volunteered to cook most nights because I love to cook and am the best at it out of the entire group.”

“This evening, I was making a dish for everyone and asked my boyfriend to please get me an array of seasonings for this specific dish: msg, soy sauce, pepper, and salt.”

“He then said ‘if you’re using msg do you really need salt?’ to which I explained that msg is not salty—has 1/3 of sodium content to regular salt—and that dishes using msg will still typically require salt.”

“I was cooking outside on a griddle and the dish comes together quickly, so I was not able to go back to grab any additional seasonings. I realized shortly afterward that he did not include salt—just 3 of the 4 things I requested—when asked.”

“He said we didn’t need it. I tried the food, it was bland. So he then proceeded to put on additional soy sauce which it did not need.”

“It needed f*cking salt. Either way, I was defeated and needed to take it off the griddle,  so I served it as is, without salt.”

“Everyone upon being served said it needed salt and proceeded to salt their own dishes. My boyfriend stood by his decision and doubled down on his argument that you can’t remove salt, but you can add it and that he preferred how it tasted as is.”

“I was fuming because he has done this in the past and says I occasionally over-season/over-salt food. However, it does not happen regularly enough to be an issue—occasionally accidentally.”

“I do 90% of the cooking at home and he loves my food.”

“We argued about it and he stood his ground that he prefers his food less salty and that if I salted it that he would have been SOL and not been able to eat any of it.”

“However the amount of salt it required was not enough to be overly salted and that I know for a fact the amount of salt I would have used he would have happily eaten it.”

“I told him his behavior felt controlling and he hit me with I could’ve grabbed more salt myself, but again this dish if I stepped away would have burned quickly.”

“AITA for being angry and calling my boyfriend controlling for not just getting me the salt when I asked for it initially?”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I’m wondering if I’m the a**hole because immediately after dinner, I was so frustrated I went upstairs and have been rude to him/given him the cold shoulder since.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

A slim majority of Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Of course your boyfriend should be able to control the amount of salt—or other ingredients—in a dish… when he’s cooking.”

“His actions do sound controlling and also rude and ungrateful. Sounds like it might be time for him to put on the chef’s hat and gain some perspective or gratitude. NTA.” ~ tinyd71

“Not only controlling, but completely unreasonable. Everyone had to salt their food and he still dug his heels in and fought about how he was right.”

“This is not someone you can have constructive conversations with. NTA.”

“Not to mention, does he even know what makes restaurant food so good? F*cking butter and salt.” ~ committedlikethepig

“He won’t be able to eat it? That’s some childish sh*t. Tell him if he doesn’t give you the salt again, he has to find another girlfriend.”

“Seriously, he ruined your food, and ruined dinner for multiple people, because he couldn’t get the food exactly how he wanted it.”

“Please realize how selfish this is, and how willingly he did this.”

“Now think of what he will do if you say you need a medication that has side effects which inconvenience him. Is he going to withhold your medication?”

“Sounds crazy, but ruining dinner for a group of people over salt is pretty crazy. NTA.” ~ bloodorangejulian

However a considerable number felt everyone sucked (ESH).

“ESH. Normally it should be up to the chef how to season the food, and he shouldn’t be unilaterally trying to control that.”

“It’s a jerk move. And also, what does he think soy sauce adds to the dish if not salt??”

“On the other hand, if he has a lower salt tolerance and consistently finds your cooking too salty, that’s something you should take into account. It is possible to salt a dish later on, but he’s right that you can’t un-salt a dish.”

“So that’s also on you for just deciding on his behalf that he’s wrong and continuing to cook food too salty for his taste.” ~ antizana

“I feel like people are missing a key point that’s in the post. He has used his words.”

“And I bet he said she occasionally oversalts the food because it softens the blow, but it’s possible he actually dislikes it more often than she realizes and he’s trying to grin and bear it just to keep the peace.”

“Apparently it’s an issue that has come up multiple times, and using his words doesn’t work, but withholding the salt does. She just doesn’t care. I’m sure his side of the story would be very different.”

“This is ESH. ~ Zephs

“ESH. Your boyfriend more than you, but if the dude likes his food with less salt than you,  he’s just kinda right. You can add salt to it later if it’s undersalted, you can’t remove salt from the food if it’s too salty.”

“If this has happened multiple times before like you said, what’s the issue with just adding the salt later?” ~ rockdog85

“ESH. He should not have made a public issue of your cooking.”

“On the other hand, as partners, you should listen to, and be considerate of each other’s food preferences.”

“For the last 25 years, I’ve done most of my cooking without adding salt—and also being minimalist with soy—because I am the salt queen, and my partner prefers much less salt.”

“Rather than argue about it, we just worked out a way to suit both of us. Who does the cooking is irrelevant.”

“There is always a large salt shaker on the table, from which I pour copious amounts of salt onto my meals. Partner adds a tiny bit of salt, while gaping at the sheer quantity of salt I am pouring onto my food.”

“I do have to let guests know that I cook without salt, and that they need to add salt to taste.” ~ Kementarii

Some declared the OP was the a**hole (YTA).

“YTA. BF: ‘Your food is too salty for me. Could you please use less salt when you are cooking? You can always add salt to your plate, but I can’t remove it if it’s already been added’.”

“OP and Reddit people: ‘My food isn’t too salty. You’re lying just to be controlling. I know your taste buds better than you do. If you want less salt, you do the cooking’.” ~ Hey-Just-Saying

“Everyone has different taste buds. Your boyfriend might not like salt or might want to reduce his salt intake.”

“You’re basically trying to force him to eat more salt than he wants. You can add salt at the table, but he can’t remove salt from the dish once you add it.”

“So he’s not trying to control you, it’s actually you trying to control him. YTA.” ~ yojifer680

“YTA—as a person who over salts their food for most people’s taste, we need to cook our food towards the salt/spice level other people are comfortable with.”

“We can also pull out their food first and then season the rest to our taste. They can’t take the salt out of their food.” ~ No-Palpitation-5499

And a few saw no a**holes here (NAH).

“Is he struggling with high blood pressure or worried about it because it runs in his family? If that, NAH although he is borderline AH for not communicating that the salt control is related to a medical concern.” ~ VogTheViscous

“I don’t think he’s an a**hole for having a preference. I think you both need to learn better communication skills. NAH.” ~ ShreddingNomad

Maybe this couple should do their own cooking from now on.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.