Cohabitation can present a lot of challenges, regardless of the relationship between the parties.
Whether it’s assigned college roommates or married couples, keeping the peace in a shared living space takes work.
One frequent point of conflict is food. Who buys it, who gets to eat it, and when it can be eaten are all things to work out.
College dorms are office refrigerators that often rely on writing names on food containers, but that shouldn’t be necessary at home. Or should it?
A wife and mother found herself in conflict with her co-parent. After her husband ate the key ingredient for family dinner, she lost her cool.
Afterward, she felt unsure of her reaction so she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for a sanity check.
“AITA for yelling at my husband over bread?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“Whenever I buy something out of the ordinary with a specific dinner purpose in mind, my husband manages to find it and eat it.”
“I am sure if I was planning to bake something and bought yeast, I would come home to find him completely distended and surrounded in empty yeast packets.”
“I usually stick to the same grocery list every week, and I feel like if I buy something out of the ordinary that is clearly an ingredient for a larger meal, he could at least ask before devouring it.”
“Last night, I bought two baguettes, which I have only ever purchased to make French bread pizza for him and our kids.”
“I bought these at 11 pm, and they were not even here twelve hours when I saw them on the counter, with the first six inches ripped off of each loaf, scanned the house, and saw my husband chewing.”
“If it had been one loaf, okay. If he had used a knife, maybe.”
“But the fact that he didn’t ask if they were going to be for dinner and then ripped the top off of both of them like that final boss bloater in The Last of Us that lumbers out of the hole and rips the guy’s head off, this is unforgivable.”
“He insists I should tell him when I buy things if they are for a specific purpose. I say I am already taking on the burden of grocery shopping and cooking, and the least he can do is ask.”
“Am I the a**hole here?”
The OP returned to provide additional details.
“Some pertinent information:”
“• We have two snack cabinets that he is free to snack from, not to mention whatever’s in the fridge.”
“• The bread was in a cabinet that is mostly ingredients.”
“• There was regular sandwich bread for the taking that was unharmed.”
“• For those who have stated that this is raccoon-like behavior, it really does feel like I am running a wildlife rehab operation, but the only patient is a 37-year-old software programmer.”
“• To the dude who said that my husband is going to ‘leave me for another woman who will give him peace,’ tell me you’re still bitter about how things ended with Sheila without telling me you’re still bitter about how things ended with Sheila.”
The OP summed up their conundrum.
“I yelled at my husband for eating two loaves of bread that were clearly for dinner.”
“Am I the a**hole for not stating as I took them out of the grocery bag last night, ‘These two loaves are for pizza tomorrow. Please don’t eat these two loaves of bread randomly tomorrow morning because you are bored?”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA. OP shouldn’t have to label every food item that comes into the house. Especially since this is a pattern, the husband should learn to ask first.”
“It’s not hard to say, ‘Hey, are you saving these baguettes for something? Because if you’re not, I want to tear six inches off each one and leave the mangled remains on the counter’.” ~ jmbbl
“The general rule in our household for ‘rare’ food items is:”
“1.) It’s probably for a meal plan, so ask first.”
“2.) If it’s just for snacking and there are two of them, it’s one for each of us (so one of us shouldn’t just dig into both baguettes like a monster).”
“3.) If there’s just one thing and it’s a special treat, we either split it in half and nibble at our own rate, or we only eat it at the same time (because otherwise, my wife snacks faster than I do and she ends up eating more of it).”
“All of that requires a basic ten-second conversation to establish.” ~ Wynfleue
People were very bothered by the husband tearing into both baguettes.
“My feeling is there is absolutely NO F’ing REASON why hubby should think it is okay to eat parts of EACH baguette.”
“Even if OP bought them just because the fact he tore off (or even sliced off) from each one tells me he is a complete AH, and I don’t know that I could live with that.”
“I certainly couldn’t be intimate with someone who couldn’t figure out how bad of a behavior that is.” ~ One_Ad_704
“He knows it pisses her off, so ruining both was deliberate.”
“I’d only make enough French bread pizza for myself and the kids and generally stop including servings for him in dinners I cook; it was me. FAFO, NTA.” ~ shelwood46
“NTA – You do mention that you usually buy all the same things every week, and the things you’re getting as special ingredients are… Special.”
“Surely a grown human gets bored of the same food every week, and apparently, this one reacts to that by hoovering anything new or different before engaging his executive functions.”
“Maybe tell him that if he wants something special, he should put on his big boy pants and at the very least put them on the list. Or – gasp – go grocery shopping with you. Or even… by himself?”
“Also, if he eats the ingredients for dinner, he should have to go buy replacement ingredients.”
“I’m honestly not sure how you convince an adult in a household with other people in it to care enough about others to not tear two baguettes in half just for himself. That seems like a basic empathy lesson.” ~ Kitastrophe8503
“It’s like he’s marking his territory. You are NTA.”
“May I suggest that whenever he does this, you simply refuse to cook unless he goes to the store and replaces what he ate. Also, hang a sign in the kitchen, ‘All food in this kitchen is for a specific purpose. Ask before mindlessly devouring’.”
“He won’t stop until he realizes the problems his actions are causing you. You have to make this his problem.” ~ IamIrene
“Sounds like there’s enough baguette left for wife and kids, so she should make pizza for them and none for him.”
“Maybe he’ll figure it out when he goes hungry for dinner. Or he has to come up with a meal, shop for it and cook for that night since he ruined her plan for dinner that night.” ~ Fabulous_Bison7072
“‘Sorry, you already ate yours.’ (Hands him a bowl of sauce, cheese, and pepperoni)” ~ Friendly_Shelter_625
Many advocated for the husband to lose wife’s prepared meal privileges.
“NTA, your husband is acting like a child and needs to learn some self-control. He definitely knows he’s in the wrong but doesn’t care and does it anyway.”
“He’s showing a big lack of respect towards you. If he did it again (especially with something obvious like two baguettes), I’d refuse to cook for him that night honestly.” ~ aquarius_dream
“NTA. When your husband sabotages meals like this, he should be the one responsible for replacing the entirety of the meal.”
“He needs to determine what he is making, what he needs to make it, and what the family will eat because obviously he does not respect the work that goes into meal planning and grocery shopping.” ~ elusivemoniker
“NTA. My husband hates asking if he can eat a food he sees because he feels he should be able to eat anything in the food cupboard.”
“However, he always asks if something is for something special. A lot of times, I announce to the family not to eat a certain food product because I need it for a recipe. Everyone respects this.”
“You should send your husband to the store to buy what he ate every single time he does this. If he refuses, don’t cook. Pack up the kids and go eat someplace else.” ~ Prudent_Valuable603
“Stop Making meals. He will figure it the f’k out.” ~ SupportThink5303
The OP returned to provide an update.
“Wow, I was not expecting this to blow up or for so many people to have such strong feelings about bread. Thank you for all of your input, especially my sister, who unexpectedly chimed in.”
“This may be the most validating experience of 7 years of living together. I shared this with my husband, and he accepted his AH status and apologized.”
“We are going to work on communicating better, and he is going to work on his weaponized incompetence.”
“He wants you to know he occasionally cooks rice and beans and lately has been making us late-night quesadillas when the kids are asleep. But most of all: ‘I was just hungry.’–my husband.”
It sounds like this couple is well on their way to working out a solution to their food issues.