Some slight disagreements are par for course in most relationships, as nobody’s perfect. But when it comes to food and cooking… things can get a bit extremely spicy. Case in point, redditor u/Throwar563577 shared the family drama that happened with her husband when her family were supposed to visit.
The thing that you need to know about the redditor’s husband is that he absolutely loathes the traditional Asian food that she makes for her relatives. So much so that he refuses to even touch the food. Another bone of contention for him is that his wife refuses to make any other meals until all the leftovers are finished. And considering that the husband doesn’t cook, he’s left grumbling and eating fast food.
Things got incredibly heated, however, when the husband threw away all of the food his wife had prepared for her family. They got into an argument, and things quickly got out of hand. You can read the full story in the redditor’s own words below, dear Pandas. It just goes to show how important open and honest communication is when it comes to chores and grievances.
Bored Panda reached out to pie artist and cooking expert Jessica Clark-Bojin to hear her opinion about the situation, what to do if our partners have issues with the smells and the flavors of certain dishes, and what lies at the core of confidence in the kitchen.
“With time and patience and a bit of humor you can adjust your palate over time,” Jessica points out. “Remember that at the end of the day the reason behind all the time we spend preparing traditional food and learning fancy cooking and baking techniques is to create memorable happy experiences with the people we care about. Food is just food. ‘Traditional food’ is love. The gentleman who chucked all of his wife’s cooking would do well to remember that!” Scroll down for our full interview with Jessica that delves deep into how to replace arguments over food with love and respect!
A woman shared how her husband disrespected her time and effort and caused a fierce argument
Image credits: Yuya Yoshioka
Here’s the full story, all in her own words
Pie artist and cooking expert Jessica explained that some dishes naturally have “very strong aromas,” so some people who didn’t grow up with those smells and flavors. For them, these can be “rather jarring initially.” However, there are various ways around this.
“If it is a significant concern for a couple, opting to convert a pantry or closet/nook into a dedicated spice kitchen—an enclosed cooking space with a special vent system to keep strong smells from entering the main kitchen—could be the perfect solution, albeit a pricey one! That’s not an option for most couples, however. If the larger concern is that one of the pair ‘hates’ the other’s traditional food, to the point of throwing away any instances of it encountered in the house, that requires a rather different approach,” Jessica explained to Bored Panda and launched into the possible solutions.
“The ‘offended’ party basically has three options, 1. Leave the house any time their spouse is cooking, and resign themselves to eating solo much of the time, 2. Guilt/bully their spouse into giving up a meaningful part of their life and never cook their traditional foods in the house again, or 3. Choose to commit to changing their attitude towards their partner’s traditional food slowly over time in an effort to understand and share more fully in each other’s lives. You can probably guess which one I would advocate for!” Jessica said. And we fully agree, the third path is obviously the best for a sound and healthy long-term relationship.
“Although ‘door number three’ is not for the faint of heart, with time and patience and a bit of humor you can adjust your palate over time. Begin with micro-exposures to the flavors you find most jarring. Rather than force yourself to eat a twelve-course meal of foods you have traditionally not enjoyed, start with taking just a few of the components, such as a certain spice or flavor combination, and add a bit of them to something you do already like,” the cooking expert shared with Bored Panda.
“Try adding a bit of curry powder to a baked mac and cheese, or tahini instead of peanut butter in home-baked chocolate peanut butter cookies. Over time you’ll get used to the flavors and will eventually become more amenable to trying a full traditional dish! It is an undertaking, no doubt, but if you care about your partner, and this is something very important to them, it’s probably worth the effort.”
If that doesn’t work out, you could always go for the old ‘quid pro quo’ approach. “You’ll take the time to learn about and get accustomed to their traditional food if they take the time to learn about something you care deeply about, like a particular sport or hobby of yours they don’t love. ‘I’ll learn to love kimchee if you learn to love listening to Steely Dan, watching WWE, and playing Magic the Gathering with me.’ That sort of deal,” she suggested.
I was also interested to learn more about confidence in the kitchen. In Jessica’s opinion, confidence comes from “manufacturing positive experiences” in the kitchen. Successes, large and small, are great for bolstering your confidence, but it’s also vital to remember to have fun.
“Nailing a complex recipe and creating something delicious that friends and family heap praise on you for is lovely, and a sure-fire way to encourage someone to get back in the kitchen for a go at another recipe. But simply having fun in the kitchen is also a great way to foster confidence and encourage experimentation,” she told Bored Panda.
“Baking with a friend, or friendly family member, and having a great time together even if everything is going sideways on you will keep you coming back for more. Baking together through Zoom with a friend works too! Just don’t take things too seriously, have a sense of humor, and learn to laugh at your disasters as you learn from them.”
Most redditors were firmly on the wife’s side. Here’s what they had to say about the entire drama
The redditor’s husband trashed all of the food his wife had cooked for her relatives who didn’t show up at the last minute. That was his juvenile way of ‘convincing’ his partner to cook some of his favorite meals because she said she’d only do it once the fridge was empty. Of course, things didn’t go according to his plan.
Though he ended up apologizing, his wife promised to never cook for him again. However, she was still unsure about whether or not she did the right thing, so she shared the story on the AITA subreddit, asking for a verdict. The vast majority of people thought that her husband was clearly the one who messed up in this situation and the redditor’s reaction was measured. However, what do you think, dear Pandas? Whose side are you on?
Dividing up chores at home can be a headache that leads to a bunch of drama if tackled incorrectly. A bit earlier, I spoke about chores with relationship expert Dan Bacon from The Modern Man. According to him, if we want to avoid unnecessary, ongoing arguments and building up resentment, we have to be prepared to have honest conversations about practical things like chores.
“Housework used to be seen as women’s work only, due to a man traditionally being the breadwinner and the woman staying at home all day. Yet, in today’s society, if both the man and woman are working, it’s more fair, loving, and respectful for both of them to contribute to keeping the house clean,” the relationship expert said.
“On the other hand, if a man is the sole breadwinner and the woman stays home all day, many people would agree that she should do most or even all of the housework. That said, no one actually ‘has to’ do anything in a relationship,” he told Bored Panda earlier.
“A woman shouldn’t ever force a man to do housework and a man shouldn’t force a woman to do it either. Instead, the couple should honestly agree on what they feel is fair and then go with that. If it feels unfair to one of them, resentment will build up, arguments will happen and they will feel less connected and happy as a couple,” Dan warned.
One way to move forward is to ask your partner if it’s fair, loving, and respectful for them to make you do a particular chore, e.g. cooking, all the time.
“Have a conversation about how it seems like there’s not enough time to do everything in today’s life, but also point out that you want to enjoy a more balanced life. Then, have a discussion about what adjustments you can make, if any, to live a more balanced life,” he said.
“Once you’ve achieved that, try to make some more adjustments and keep going until you feel like you have a more enjoyable, balanced lifestyle given the circumstances. Also, keep in mind the life of each family is different. It’s not possible to be exactly the same as another family, so be the best that you can be based on your circumstances.”