How can I handle situations where people don’t understand my point, even when I communicate clearly?
An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for ‘pre-gaming’ my wife’s dinners?”. Here’s the full story for your context.
The Original Poster (OP) and his wife are both 32.
Since they got married and moved in together five months ago, OP thinks his wife has simply not made nearly enough food for him. This is not the kind of situation where OP is constantly agitated at her for incompetence or anything like that.
What Does OP Say
“I would be more than happy to microwave a burrito. I would be more than happy to whip up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But I cannot.”, says OP.
OP’s Wife And Her Tiny Dinners
OP’s wife has, every single night of their marriage, done the same thing: she’ll make OP a tiny dinner.
“I’m talking like a Chinese chicken salad with 30 grams of chicken and ten leaves of lettuce arranged fashionably with dressing.”, says OP.
When OP finishes eating, he’s still hungry because, for a 230-pound man who works a physical labor job, it’s not enough food.
What Happened When OP Tried To Communicate?
At first, OP tried to openly communicate with her, but she always took it horribly. She would adopt a thousand-yard stare, and then begin talking about how incompetent she is and how she can’t even make her husband a proper dinner.
OP would try to calm her down with “Oh honey that’s not the case! I just eat too much” or “Don’t worry about it. I can make a bit more.”
OP Is Trying To Be Positive
OP would try to be overwhelmingly positive. It never helped. She would always just get incredibly disappointed in herself, cry, and/or take it out on OP. Then she would make the same exact amount the following day.
OP Eventually Found A Solution
After the communication route failed, OP tried to eat the dinner as-is. It became hard for OP to sleep at night due to hunger and he lost seven pounds in the first month.
Eventually, OP figured out his own system. On his way home from work, OP started swinging by a fast food restaurant and getting himself a burger. OP would basically pregame her meals with some more calories.
OP figured it was a win-win, as what she doesn’t know can’t hurt her, and OP could have a full meal.
What Does OP Say?
“I would eat on my way home, walk in the door, pick at the salad or quinoa or homemade Mac and Cheese she made, compliment her for her delicious cooking, and later dispose of the wrappers discreetly.”, says OP.
What Happened Two Days Ago?
Two days ago, OP was on his way home and in line at a drive-through. OP’s MIL was coming out of the restaurant. She ran over and greeted OP.
OP asked her in a humorous way not to tell her daughter where she saw me because she’d take it badly, and she agreed, but then she narced on OP anyway. OP got home to a furious wife who demanded details. When OP provided the truth, she got extremely angry and looked legitimately hurt.
“I’m not good at handling confrontation and feel like I betrayed my wife in some way. Was I wrong here?”, asks OP.
Her Behavior Is Concerning
“It’s a little concerning that she goes full passive-aggressive when you say something to her. It sounds like she has a REALLY hard time when her carefully crafted mental image of herself is even slightly challenged. Not the jerk.”
Get Your Wife Some Help
“Not the jerk. Honestly, I find all the ‘what’s to stop you cooking’ etc. comments so off the mark; would you say that if a man was controlling a woman’s diet and guilting her for stopping for fast food or making a sandwich?
Clearly, OP and his wife have a set-up where he does a physical job and she mostly cooks, nothing wrong with that. She’s controlling his food intake and refusing to adapt to his dietary needs, she applies avoidance tactics when reasonably confronted, she is likely not eating enough herself for dinner based on the description of a typical meal.
All signs point to an eating disorder. OP, get your wife some help please.”
You Did What You Could Do
“Not the jerk. You have tried communicating openly and directly with your wife, but she refuses to hear you. You found a harmless way to fix the issue when she refused to make any changes.
Any chance your wife has an eating disorder?”
Double Standards, Much?
“Some many people asking why he can’t cook either didn’t read or have terrible interpretation skills. His wife is ridiculous and gets mad no matter what he does. There’s a clear double standard in this thread already.”
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