No matter how adventurous we are, we are all creatures of habit to a certain extent. We enjoy what is familiar and even nostalgic.
But that does not mean we should disrespect someone who did something a little differently than we’re used to, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AquaF6374 was tired of her husband leaving her stranded at the kitchen table each night simply because his mother had made a “better” meal than she did.
When he became furious at her for throwing the food away that he’d left behind, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if there was another way to approach the problem.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for throwing out my husband’s dinner after he went to eat at his mom’s house?”
The OP never knew when her husband would eat at home.
“My (26) mother-in-law calls every night to ask what we’re having for dinner.”
“Then she brags about what she’s cooking to make me look bad, especially if we’re getting takeout.”
“I used to care but not anymore.”
“But what still bugs me is how my husband (28) would ask me to make dinner, only for him to go eat the dinner his mom makes at her home, which is 10 minutes away, and use the ‘that’s my favorite meal’ excuse.”
“I want to clarify that my husband only acts this way when it comes to food. He lived with his mom (attended community college) and loved and still loves her food and is used to it. She gave me recipes to make, and I try to do that, but he keeps switching homes just to eat what he feels like.”
The OP decided to make a really special meal.
“Yesterday, I wanted to surprise him by cooking one of his favorite meals.”
“Although I was busy, I took time off work to cook. I even went grocery shopping to get what I needed.”
“Later as I was setting the table, his mom called. I told him he didn’t have to answer but he did anyway.”
“As usual… she asked what we were having but acted surprised that I cooked this meal.”
“She then went on to tell him she cooked X meal and told him to come over.”
“He said ok, which shocked me.”
“I said, ‘Seriously?’ as he started dressing up, getting ready to leave.”
“He told me no offense but this meal (that his mom cooked) was even more of a favorite than the one I cooked, grabbed his keys, and left.”
It was time to make a statement.
“I felt awful. I took his plate, threw it out, and then ate my portion.”
“As I was about to put the plate in the dishwasher, he got home, looking angry, and saying his mom lied about cooking that favorite meal, and used it as an excuse to force him to eat dinner with her.”
“I was shocked, but he sat down, telling me to go ahead and reheat the dinner.”
“I told him no dinner after he abandoned it, as I had thrown it out.”
“He said, ‘What??'”
“I told him he disrespected my time and effort and chose to go eat with his mom instead.”
“He began yelling at me, asking if I really did that, and then called me petty and horrible.”
“Then he went upstairs, saying what I did was 100 times worse than what his mom did.”
The OP later felt conflicted.
“I definitely feel like I let my anger and frustration get the best of me, but it really felt unbearable having to live like this for so long.”
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 appalled by the husband’s behavior, especially his demand for heating up food.
“NTA. Why in world is he telling you to go heat up the dinner?”
“Did a T-Rex attack him and eat his arms on the way back from his mom’s? Did he try to catch a piano falling from the sky so it didn’t land on a child playing and all his fingers are broken? Did he anger a forest fairy and she cursed him and now he has two sets of legs instead of hands?”
“Or is that him waving a huge red flag????” – bewicked4fun123
“I wouldn’t have thrown out the food per se, but I totally understand the notion behind it. Stop cooking any food for him. Period.”
“You need to sit down and discuss this. This is not ok for him to do every evening. NTA.” – nerdyconstructiongal
“Ugg, he sat his a** down and told her to go and reheat his dinner after he left for what he considered a better option and then came back to settle for her food? H**l no.” – FuzzyPurpleFrog
“You’re in a toxic relationship when someone constantly compares you to someone else. That benefits no one.”
“He needs to step up or move back in with his mommy. NTA.” – xphile_9
“100% he is SO disrespectful. I wouldn’t make him a sandwich, much less cook for him.”
“I honestly don’t know why you would put in the effort. If my husband did that to me, he would be back living with his mother.”
“NTA. He needs to grow up.” – Typical-Garlic-7308
Others pointed out the mother-in-law was doing some serious boundary-crossing.
“NTA. Having a MIL (Mother-in-Law) that calls at dinner time, trying to entice him over, is a serious overstep.”
“And the fact that he goes, and doesn’t say, ‘Honey, how about we go eat over there?’ is absolutely bonkers.”
“Unfortunately, you are the third wheel in their relationship.” – LostCraftaway
“Your husband can either commit to eating at home with you, tell you well before dinner that he’s eating with his mom, or he can make his own meals.”
“Until he starts regularly making a choice to be home or go with enough time for you to plan and prep your cooking, cook enough for only you. He’s on his own.”
“I wasn’t going to say it because I feel it’s obvious, but I can’t help myself. This is much larger of an issue than dinnertime. There’s a profound lack of respect in your relationship.”
“Husband needs to snip the apron strings at the very least, but really needs to spend some serious time thinking about what a marriage and partnership actually means.” – notablemannersatall
“I have no idea why OP seems to have tacitly agreed to enter into a food-based competition with her MIL. The first time my husband pulled something like this, I would stop cooking for him.” – bewildered_forks
“NTA, but it seems that you are the third person in this relationship.”
“It almost seems like your husband values his relationship with his mother over you and she constantly uses food to reinforce the same.”
“Why are you in this marriage still?” – Jaangri
“Stop cooking for him. Tell him how you felt when you made the effort to prepare a nice meal and he decided to eat at his Mom’s. If he continues to do it, you won’t cook.”
“I also suggest a compromise. Pick two nights a week that he eats with his Mom.”
“If she calls on other nights at the last minute, he can gracefully decline. (Sorry, my wife has dinner taken care of. I’ll see you on Thursday.)”
“If she particularly wants to have him there for a certain holiday or anniversary, she should ask well before that day arrives.”
“You should consider asking her doctor to evaluate her for dementia because her behavior is weird. My aunt died of Alzheimer’s last week, but she did something similar.”
“She would call and lie to get attention. (I haven’t seen anyone all day, there’s no food in the house, my daughter wants to kill me, I’m dying and don’t want to die alone.) None of this was true.”
“She lived in a mobile home next to her daughter, and a 16-year-old grandchild slept over every night in case she needed assistance at night. The family brought her food regularly, she had meals on wheels for lunch, and her daughter made breakfast every morning and sent dinner.”
“She was surrounded by people who cared about her, but if she was left alone for 10 minutes, she whipped out her phone and started making these ‘crisis calls.’ By the time we arrived, she forgot she called.”
“Your MIL (Mother-in-Law) should be evaluated for a neurological or mental illness. Her behavior may not be able to be changed, but there are treatments available.” – Intelligent_Stop5564
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“I just wanna let you know that I will be sitting down with my husband soon (after he breaks the silence, I’m just giving him the space he said he wanted), and I’m going to show him this post in hopes he’d see how none of this was my fault.”
“I will also be pushing for couples counseling, though he’s always been against it, but we’ll see how things go…”
“I’m not gonna lie, I still feel upset and like my efforts aren’t being appreciated. His mom is definitely onto something with her little upsetting stunts. I realize how important boundaries are but also realize how enforcing them can be difficult.”
“I’m hoping and praying that we will tackle this issue so that our marriage won’t suffer, but if he’s still somehow unable to do his part, then that’s on him, and I’m no longer willing to go through similar stuff and just take it.”
While the OP wondered if she might have taken the situation a bit far when her husband refused to talk to her about it, the subReddit insisted the husband needed a wake-up call.
Not only did he need to grow from this, but he needed to do it before permanently harming his marriage. The argument might be over meals, but they seemed to signify something much more important.