It’s wonderful when we have a hobby or routine at home that we can share with our partners. It can be a great way to bond, have fun, and spend some time together after a busy day or week.
But when boundaries are crossed, it suddenly becomes much less fun, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
While they both loved cooking, Redditor Realistic-Baker5083 was having a harder time enjoying herself in the kitchen, because her husband wouldn’t keep his hands out of her cooking.
When she tried to talk to him about it, the Original Poster (OP) was surprised when her husband told her she had traumatized him with this experience.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for expecting my husband to ask before changing a dish?”
The OP’s husband a bit of an annoying habit in the kitchen.
“My husband (32 Male) and I (27 Female) love cooking. We’re both very good at it.”
“One problem I’ve always had with him is he tends to be very pushy with his suggestions on how to make a dish better, different, more exciting, etc.”
“I usually have no problem with this, but there are two situations I don’t want to change anything in a dish: if it’s my first time cooking the dish from a recipe, or if I’m craving a particular flavor from that dish.”
“When I say suggestions, I don’t mean if the dish needs more salt. He usually likes to come and taste what I’m cooking, and he will sometimes suggest adding spices or other elements that would change the entire flavor of the dish.”
“This is okay, but sometimes I don’t really feel like changing it up and I say no.”
“In these moments, he will push and push, to the point where I’ve simply resorted to just saying, ‘No,’ each time until he gets the point.”
It was especially frustrating when her husband didn’t listen.
“Today I was making a curry from a cookbook for the first time, and in the middle of cooking, I needed to tend to my baby, so I asked him to take over stirring the pot for me.”
“I guess he tasted it and started adding other things to the dish, even though this dish didn’t call for those things (basil, chili powder, and sesame seed oil).”
“When I came back, he told me what he did and I got upset.”
“He does this to me a lot and all I ask is that if I’m cooking, to please ask if you want to add anything or change anything BEFORE you do it.”
“I told him to please not do that again, and he said if he asked, I would have said no, and he wanted to show me how good these additions will make the dish.”
“I told him it’s not about how good it is, it’s about respecting me when I ask him not to do something without asking.”
Her husband started talking about his childhood.
“He told me when he was little, to encourage him to take part in cooking, his mom would always have him taste whatever she was cooking and ask what he thought it needed.”
“She would always add whatever he suggested, even if it didn’t turn out well.”
“He said by doing that, he’s made some 7/10 dishes turn into 10/10 dishes, because he’s not afraid to take risks.”
“Which I appreciate, but we split the cooking 50/50 – he has his days to experiment, and by all means, I welcome suggestions.”
“But sometimes I’m going to say no, and I should be allowed to do so without being bullied into saying yes or having to shut him down in order for him to back off.”
The couple couldn’t come to an agreement.
“We went back a forth a bit, with him saying I’m escalating the situation for no reason and to stop being so mean to him.”
“I told him I’m not trying to, I’m just trying to make him understand.”
“He said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll never make any suggestions again because I’m traumatized from this situation.'”
“I don’t get it. I just asked him to ask beforehand – the entire situation could have ended with a, ‘Sorry dear, no problem, I’ll ask next time.'”
“But I had to keep repeating myself and he said I ‘reamed him out’ by not just letting it go.”
“Am I really the AH for this?”
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a few clarifications.
“There are a few questions I’ve seen pop up a few times and I wanted to answer them here.”
“Why doesn’t dad take the baby? – I’m exclusively breastfeeding. There’s milk stored for emergencies, but I wouldn’t classify this as one, plus the baby is not comfortable with a bottle.”
“What spices did he add to this dish? – Sesame oil, basil, and chilli powder. The dish didn’t necessarily taste bad afterward, but that wasn’t the point. I wanted to see what it tasted like originally before adding my own flair to it.”
“Does husband respect ‘no’ in other aspects of life? – yes, lol (laughing out loud). He’s very passionate about cooking, and in this situation, he was extremely childish, but he’s never pushed boundaries in more inappropriate situations.”
“But she called it her baby! Not our baby! – Bad wording on my part. Husband is a fantastic father and has always been a team player in taking care of baby, hence him helping take over dinner while I do my part. Once I finished feeding him, it was dad’s turn to watch the baby while I finished cooking.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were really grossed out by the use of the word “traumatized.”
“He’s… ‘traumatized’ from this situation? Hahahahahahahahhahahahaha. Sorry. I don’t think I could have sex with him ever again after that.”
“Sounds like someone needs to go back and play cooking with mommy. NTA.” – Icy_Platypus9
“Tell him you’re traumatized by his repeated actions of ‘aggression’ in the kitchen without your consent.”
“No means no!” – formidable-opponent
“Do you realize how much effort you put into convincing others and convincing your husband over something so insignificant? Like, are you seeing yourself put all this energy into being reasonable and mature?”
“Only for him to stomp away from this ‘traumatized’? Why, because mOmMy lEt mE dO iT?”
“Imagine being a fly on the wall for this conversation and then consider how self-absorbed your husband is.”
“NTA, but maybe consider sending him to therapy (and no NOT couples counseling because I guarantee you he would never admit to being wrong while you’re with him in the room).”
“He’s never going to respect you. Because if he did, he’d understand the first few times you said no.” – smothered_reality
“What the f**k, OP? Traumatic? I used to handle airline complaints, and your husband is more ridiculous than that lady who claimed she got PTSD from almost getting charged excess baggage fees. Is he usually this dramatic?” – emi_lgr
“OP, please say this to your husband:”
“‘If me saying no, and standing up for my right to say no, is ‘traumatizing’ to you, we have a big problem. That’s highly offensive to me, and people with real trauma, and it honestly makes me look at you differently, with you trying to play the victim here.'”
“‘I am not your mother, I am happy for suggestions, but I have my own thoughts and preferences as well. You are acting like I shouldn’t be allowed to have opinions and preferences, and that only yours matter. That’s what you being upset says to me.'”
“‘I think it best that you don’t taste my food prior to it being served anymore, given you’re so offended if I don’t want to follow your ideas. You can flavor things as you wish when you cook, and I will do the same.'”
“Now on to my comment:”
“While it’s great his mother taught him to cook, and encouraged him to experiment, she also taught him to be entitled and selfish. He seriously thinks his opinions are the only ones that matter, and can’t recognize he’s invalidating yours.”
“You are allowed to have different tastes and preferences and to want things how you want at times. It’s offensive he doesn’t see that. So yes, yes he shouldn’t make any suggestions from now on.”
“Maybe, MAYBE, suggest discussing new meals after the meal. So like, ‘What did you think of that dish? Happy with the flavors? This is what I thought… and you?'”
“Then you can discuss what you may try next time, or if it wasn’t enjoyed and isn’t wanted again. If ideas sound good, you can write them down for next time. Suggest this as a healthier option for you both going forwards.” – Lexia_extreme511
Others were also uncomfortable with how the husband brought up his mother.
“Yeah no, hard pass. This guy has his own experimental recipe days and he’s interfering with OP’s recipes as well? He’s not a child to be coddled.”
“How he brought up ‘traumatization’ was also rather gross.”
“And the way he brought up how mommy let him do whatever he wanted was super yikes.” – Not-A-SoggyBagel
“It was actually revealing when he brought his mom up. OP’s role in his mind is to take over from mom and admire his brilliant suggestions. He is not trying to improve the dish, he is trying to get his ego boost.” – lellyla
“I’d like to point out that his story about cooking with his mom leaves room for the perfect argument. You aren’t his mom.”
“And why should he still be treated like a little boy learning to cook, anyway, if he’s so good at it? Additionally, if experimenting helped him out so much earlier on, isn’t it time you had a chance to try out new recipes?” – Lil-Chipmunk-3859
“I just hate that all you told him was no, and your husband (and people wonder why many women are afraid to tell a stranger no) because he didn’t like the answer behaved like this.”
“Like, he wants you to feel bad to say no to him and if you say no again, that’s what’s gonna happen.”
“Him acting like a child throwing a tantrum because you weren’t like mom and let him experiment (the fact he even brought that up doesn’t really help his side. He’s comparing you to another person, his mom outta all people).” – minahmyu
A few pointed out that the husband also effectively broke the curry.
“Also, OP has now specified he added basil, sesame oil, and chili powder to a curry dish.”
“Curry already has multiple spices that blend together to make a complex flavor profile. The chance that these additions actually helped rather than hurt is minuscule.”
“He just throws random s**t in and declares himself a genius.” – Temporary_Badger
“Basil and chili powder in a curry is going to make it chili? Or slightly weird Italian food?”
“It absolutely did NOT help the dish at all.”
“He’s just an ego boy whining cause wifey doesn’t coddle him like Mommy did.” – Simply_Toast
“You need to give him the taste of his own medicine. Start throwing random spices into his food the next time he cooks.”
“Tell him how you’ve changed your mind and now embraced his wonderful way of thinking, so from now on, every time he cooks, you will make sure to add half of the spice cabinet to make it more exciting and adventurous.”
“Don’t be afraid to take risks, throw soy sauce into his curry and ginger powder into his tomato soup. Go wild, OP, show that man what a truly creative chef you are, I’m sure he would love it!” – Important_Cost_7165
After receiving more feedback, the OP shared an update.
“Yes, I do think this argument was stupid and a dumb hill to die on for him.”
“I really hope today we can talk briefly about it and this won’t be a problem I’ll have to deal with again.”
“I have lots of great suggestions on what to say because of this post (and I’ve snorted laughing plenty, too) so thanks again, everyone.”
Though the OP was conflicted because of her husband’s response, the subReddit reassured her that her request was absolutely reasonable while her husband was not.
For some, his use of the word ‘traumatized,’ bringing up his mother, and refusing to listen were all red flags. For others, they were concerning elements that would need to be thoroughly addressed in order to protect the marriage.