After 21-years of marriage, sheltering-in-place brought out the worst in a couple when it came to their new eating regimen.
Redditor “ProperBackground3” said she doesn’t eat as much as her husband—who had been out of work as a chef due to the pandemic.
But when he became a “food pusher,” the Original Poster (OP) gained 10 lbs from eating beyond her capacity.
She finally lashed out after he continued feeding her large portions of food, and their relationship hasn’t been the same since.
“My husband (37m[ale]) and I (37f[emale]) have been together 21 years married 18,” wrote the OP.
“I have a low capacity stomach. I am the type who orders a single burger, no fries and drink, and be full. It’s been a running joke in our marriage that I eat like the birds.”
Self-isolating with a resident chef began taking a toll on the OP’s diet.
“Anyway, he is out of work (chef) and we decided it would be best for him to extend his quarantine time due to him being high risk. Since then he has become a huge ‘food pusher’.”
“He asks if I’m hungry and I ask for 1 egg and he brings me 4. Or he insists on making my plate and gives me a large man sized portion.”
Raising concern about the food portion was instantly dismissed.
“What’s worse -for me- is when i balk at the amount he laughs at me and says he ‘has faith I can finish it’.”
“When I don’t he gets upset at me for wasting food. I feel like I’m being set up.”
“I have tried talking to him. I have tried being patient and telling myself he is overcompensating since he is out of work.”
“But I am have gained 10lbs and am constantly nauseous from overeating.”
She reached her breaking point and confronted the chef.
“Yesterday I was finally fed up and forcefully asked ‘Why do you keep doing this?’ He shut down and went for a walk. It’s been strained cordiality ever since.”
“AITA [Am I the A**hole] for getting angry my husband keeps trying to overfeed me?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
“NTA. My bf is a chef too and our appetites have dropped significantly since we haven’t been working out due to quarantine.”
“He still goes to work at a different job and sometimes I pack him a lunch for his break. I’ve been packing a seemingly ‘normal’ amount of food for him like a sandwich, an apple and some other snacks like chocolate or cheeses but he’s only been finishing half of his lunch since his appetite has plummeted.”
“Defs sounds like your hubby is bored and is trying to cook for you like a customer. Just calmly tell him that your appetite is just the way it is and there isn’t much you can do about it.”
“On another note though, do you guys work out a lot? For us, exercise is a surefire way to get us to eat more than we normally would.” – heyeve
In response to working out, the OP said neither of them exercise.
“His activity has decreased since he’s been out of work.”
“Hes used to being active 10-14 hours a day at work. I have always been stay at home so my activities haven’t changed.”
“House chores and a 2 mile walk with the dogs a day.”
Perhaps a better explanation might get the message across.
“My husband never really ‘got it’ when it came to my food measuring and portion sizes until I explained that this was for my health.”
“If he wants me to be healthy and live a longer, fuller life, this is what I, as a 5’3″ woman with a work from home job, HAVE to do.”
“He still overdoes it with my food sometimes, he’s never had to measure calories himself, but it’s better. He also sees how hard I work at it, which I think also helps.” – heroicwhiskey
Did anyone think of suggesting she start preparing her own meals?
This person did and also asked if there was something “more weird going on.”
“NTA. But I can see that as him being a chef maybe he’s missing his work a lot and finding it hard to get out of the habit of cooking a lot?”
“HOWEVER that being said.. you guys have been together since you were 16! He knows that this is what you are like.”
“And he shut down when you asked him why he’s doing this? does he want you bigger? Is there something more weird going on?”
“Me personally, i’d be telling him to back off or calmly explain that you’re making your own meals from now on as he obviously can’t respect your boundaries when it comes to food.” – tashuhhx
Perhaps this is an opportunity for the chef to flex his creative muscle by trying smaller dishes in the style of tapas or dim sum, as suggested by this astute observer.
“NAH – I can see it from both sides. Husband is having a hard time adjusting and OP is trying to be understanding and accommodating, but she has her limits.”
“I agree, I think he gets joy from seeing people eat and enjoy his food. He is probably having a tough time adjusting to only cooking for the two of them.”
“I can’t even get my mom out of the habit of cooking for a very large family and all of us kids have been out of the house for almost 10 years.”
“OP, I don’t think your husband is doing this out of bad intentions. Talk to him again and let him know that while you really appreciate that he cooks you great meals, that your body can only handle small portions.”
“See if he’ll adjust what he cooks to like tapas or dim sum style of cooking. See if you can push his creative chef skills to making small plates you may enjoy.”
“That way he gets to try out different kinds of foods to make, but they are still small portions.”
“If he still makes the large portion meals, can’t you save the rest to eat for another meal? Or maybe if he still makes too much, you can bring some to a family member, friend or neighbor. I’m sure people would love a chef cooked meal.” – beepbeep0101boopboop
But not so fast.
The husband wasn’t entirely excused for ignoring his wife’s concerns.
“I’d agree NAH except that he shut down and got upset every time she tried to have a conversation with him about it, which makes him kind of TA even if he is having an understandably hard time adjusting.” – charlottecunningham
“What a strange situation. I’d say NTA.”
“You should probably try to talk to him about it more, it seems very weird to me that he’d shut down and go for a walk when you bring it up.”
“It could be that he’s mistaking you wanting small portions for not liking his food, or he could have ulterior motives. Either way I think you should talk it out.” – rlcav36
Maybe the confrontation left a bad taste in the chef’s mouth.
But like Redditors said, a more loving and in-depth conversation—perhaps over a glass of vino—might be a good palate-cleanser.