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Who's being the arse here about dinner, me or DP?

(47 Posts)
Thurlow Sat 19-Oct-13 20:29:15

Prepared to get it handed to me here...

DP does all the cooking. Not every night as he works shifts, but if he's in he will do the cooking. He's a really good cook, and more importantly he enjoys it - he likes cooking, and he likes nice food. He's generally in the house before me and also does the shopping, so he's doing the meal planning, iyswim.

I can feed myself and the DC without it being junk, but nothing overly exciting. I can also make the odd meal, but the stuff I can cook he doesn't like: spag bol, jacket potato and salad, casserole etc.

If I make any comments about the food, I'm being 'ungrateful', apparently (I have to stress that he is a lovely bloke and our relationship is fine, so this is a minor thing but it's getting on my wick at the moment). So some days I eat things I'm not 100% a fan of. Not that it bothers me too much as I'm less interested in food, so I'm happy to have the decision taken away and a meal placed in front of me.

However, he can also make a thing about how he does all the cooking - when, really, he doesn't actually let me cook. He occasionally admits this is true.

I'm asking this tonight because I glanced at the recipe he's making and it said 'fiery dish', and I'm not good with very hot food, so I casually asked how hot it was going to be. He got the hump and said it would be nice to "be appreciated sometimes for doing all the cooking."

But my thinking is, he sort of takes control of it and wouldn't be over the moon if he came home to something I'd made, so it's hardly like I'm demanding he cooks... But then again, I'm not offering or making a meal when I'm at home and he's at work. Probably a catch-22.

Not sure if I've explained this properly. But if I have, am I being ungrateful or is he being a bit of an arse about it?

KittyShcherbatskaya Sat 19-Oct-13 20:34:14

Sounds a bit like me and DH, I do meal planning and cooking, and overall it's more healthy than he would like - less meat, cream, cheese etc. and more vegetarian and worthy! He has diabetes and I am trying to lose post baby weight so I feel justified. I do however try to ensure that I don't make things he actively dislikes, like aubergines or couscous, and that I do a couple of his type of dish each week. Could you and your DP plan together, or you suggest things you'd like him to make?

DoJo Sat 19-Oct-13 20:35:53

Well, for starters it sounds like he overreacted to your question - it's perfectly reasonable to ask if someone has considered your preferences even if they are cooking, especially if you would find it actively unpleasant to eat something that was too hot.

With regards to the longer term question about him cooking, perhaps this could spark a conversation about whether he does genuinely feel as though the fact that he cooks most of the time is bothering him. If he does, then maybe you could plan some meals which you could make that he would enjoy and agree to share the load a little. If he doesn't then he will need to accept that 'doing most of the cooking' does not mean that you have to eat whatever is put in front of you without having any input into what it is he prepares. You can be grateful for someone making you a meal and prefer it to be prepared in a way that you will enjoy - the two aren't mutually exclusive. It sounds like an issue that needs to be put to bed once and for all - either he prefers to cook and that is one of his household jobs, or he doesn't want to cook and you have a sensible discussion about it. He can't have it both ways.

BlackDaisies Sat 19-Oct-13 20:36:42

He's being a bit of an arse about it! I would just tell him you do appreciate his cooking, but not when it's something you don't like, same as he doesn't want to eat lots of the food you cook. You need to talk about menus together. Why should you eat "fiery fish" (which sounds disgusting by the way) just because you're supposed to be grateful!

KittyShcherbatskaya Sat 19-Oct-13 20:37:04

Meant to add that I can do the martyred thing about "I do all this work and you don't appreciate it" too if I feel DH is being unduly critical. It's a bit childish and I do want him to say if he doesn't like something, it can be a bit disheartening though if I've worked hard.

BillyBanter Sat 19-Oct-13 20:38:06

how is the rest of the housework split?

ImperialBlether England Sat 19-Oct-13 20:39:40

Are you working outside the home too? Do you do all the cleaning etc while he does the cooking?

It strikes me that when you cook he's happy to say he doesn't like it. When he cooks you are not allowed to say you don't like it.

This is making me think of men with the BBQ and carving the turkey at Christmas. Everyone thinks they're marvellous, when really they're just doing something they enjoy.

I'm glad he's great normally but he sounds a bit of an arse about this.

GrandstandingBlueTit Sat 19-Oct-13 20:41:17

I was all set to say YABU when I started reading your post, but actually, of course you're not.

Why would he make something super spicy if he knows you don't like that sort of food? Surely he can just put in quarter of the tobasco, and half the chilli flakes... confused

He's point-scoring for reasons known only to himself.

Time to have a chat about it - but away from the kitchen while he's cooking so that it can be a bit more on neutral terms.

Scarynuff Sat 19-Oct-13 20:43:20

No matter how lovely it is to have someone cook for you, it's not lovely if it's food that you don't like. Especially when he knows you don't like it.

So he is being an arse.

pianodoodle Sat 19-Oct-13 20:44:32

* Why should you eat "fiery fish" (which sounds disgusting by the way) just because you're supposed to be grateful*

Lol the OP said fiery "fish" but I'd be just as unhappy with fiery fish grin

It does seem daft to cook something he knows you don't like then expect you to eat it gratefully.

I don't like hot spicy food and DH knows that so why would I be grateful throughout a meal I can't enjoy because it's burning me?!

If he does lots of cooking because he likes it then it isn't fair to moan unless you've refused to do it or told him he's expected to do it.

pianodoodle Sat 19-Oct-13 20:45:16

Sorry - that should have been the OP read fiery "dish"

pianodoodle Sat 19-Oct-13 20:46:08

Now I know how blackdaisies made the typo in the first place smile

BlackDaisies Sat 19-Oct-13 20:51:21

Haha, I realised I'd misread it after I'd posted. I'm sure it made my post a bit harsher, because the thought of fiery fish was so disgusting. Fiery dish not much better, but wouldn't have made me feel ill at the thought!

BackforGood Sat 19-Oct-13 20:54:05

I don't think it's unreasonable for one person to take the other person's preferences into account when doing cooking.
I do think it's nice to have people say "Mmmm, thanks, that was really lovely" when someone has clearly gone to the effort to cook.
As to who is being unreasonable - it depends a lot on how all the household work is divided. If you are sitting on your backside while he is cooking each day, then it would seem unfair, but if you are doing other jobs, or if you do all the clearing up or whatever, then that seems more balanced.

eatriskier Costa Rica Sat 19-Oct-13 20:57:10

I'm a little like your DH, I take over the cooking and don't really appreciate DH getting involved. DH is like you, he can survive and possibly (in his case) feed the kids without resorting to junk. However we have a division of labour that means he 'pays' for all this cooking by doing the washing up/dishwasher stacking afterwards! I wouldn't dream of making something he didn't like (well I made something poorly tonight and he wasn't overly enthused but I can't blame him wink). There's obviously meals he prefers and meals I prefer but there's a good balance and nothing that either dislike.

DH never thanks me for all the cooking, but then he does make all the right 'this is lovely' talk and noises so I do feel appreciated. Though if I made him a meal not to his tastes he wouldn't enthuse about it. And I wouldn't expect him to.

Thurlow Sat 19-Oct-13 21:00:04

Dish wasn't actually fiery, he changed it - which was why he was annoyed when I asked!

We do both work f/t, it's just his shifts mean he tends to be in before me so starts dinner. The rest of the housework is split pretty equally, I probably do slightly more but then he does do all the cooking.

Yes, it's true that he's allowed to say he doesn't like a meal I suggest but I'm not really allowed to say I don't like the sound of a meal he suggests. Though it's not like he makes a meal I genuinely don't like, I'm just not as big a fan of some things as he is.

Piano - If he does lots of cooking because he likes it then it isn't fair to moan unless you've refused to do it or told him he's expected to do it - yes, that's exactly it but he doesn't seem to get that! And he doesn't get how many conversation go along the lines of - Him: "What shall we have tomorrow?" Me: "How about cottage pie? I like cottage pie. I could make it in the afternoon?" Him: "Hmm... no, how about I defrost that chicken and we have escalopes?"

I should have a conversation about it when we're not hungry or cooking. I just forget until I'm watching him make devilled kidneys and wondering if that's actually what I want for dinner grin

FastWindow Sat 19-Oct-13 21:00:32

If DH makes something I know is going to be potentially fiery I make sure I have sour cream for dolloping. Saves even asking. I know he can't resist 'just one more chili'

Still, sounds a bit defensive. Is he expecting criticism generally? That said, it gets a bit wearing making sure you're always suitably grateful. I don't expect a thank you for hoovering. But the odd 'house looks nice' goes a long way.

Thurlow Sat 19-Oct-13 21:02:32

X-posts - normally he gets in with DC at 4-ish, then when I get home at 6.30 I take over and do bedtime while he starts cooking, so I'm rarely sitting on my arse. Though I do occasionally, I'll admit that blush

But it sounds very much like your set up, eatriskier. I don't really care too much about food!

Lj8893 Sat 19-Oct-13 21:04:22

My dp does the majority of the cooking in our house too, in fact he does pretty much all the "proper" cooking.

I don't eat alot of meat, and he loves meat and although he has the odd moan that he can't cook steak or whatever, he would never cook me something he knows I don't like.

So I think your DH is bu.

Thurlow Sat 19-Oct-13 21:07:23

"Suitably grateful" - yes, that's how I feel sometimes.

Though I may be biased because he forgot to buy me wine on the way home from work tonight...

quoteunquote Sat 19-Oct-13 21:19:28

I live with a frustrated chef(he thinks he is the missing Roux brother)

We share cooking (well the DC also cook) so I the only one who doesn't see it as the best of fun,(DH sees it as a good way to unwind), do far fewer meals, but generally we eat what is put in front of us,

Keep some natural yogurt in the fridge to quell anything too fiery.

AgentZigzag Sun 20-Oct-13 00:30:14

Why didn't he just say he'd changed the recipe for you so it wasn't hot? confused

I suppose that's what you're saying, that he could have told you he'd remembered you don't do fiery, but like you say wanted you to sweat before a bit of 'suitably grateful' bowing and scraping.

But then people do generally make a 'fuss' about whoever's cooking, possibly because it's difficult to get it right and making food for other people is such a caring/social thing, enjoying their enjoyment.

It might just be an everyday routine chore, but it is nice to be appreciated for the effort.

MidniteScribbler Sun 20-Oct-13 01:38:56

Timing is everything. If I've spent time cooking a meal and while we're eating it the other person started telling me how they didn't like this or that about it, especially if that person did very little cooking themselves, then I'd probably be pretty upset. If the following week I suggest cooking it again, then that's the time to say if you want it less spicy, or with a different meat, etc.

Sunnysummer Sun 20-Oct-13 02:47:42

Maybe it's also about putting this into the context of all the other chores around the house, and childcare? Do you have to do most of those, or is it split pretty equally?

If you split the rest of the jobs pretty equally then he is going over and above and deserves some gratitude (though certainly not to the point where you have to choke down spicy food!), if not then maybe you need to lay out a full list of all the jobs that happen every week, choose together how you split them and then if he does choose to cook he will realise that it is his choice and could be worse. (Or if you are BU you will realise and he will be happy that way too. But I suspect that YANBU smile)

Yetanotherrandomman Sun 20-Oct-13 06:38:06

I was going to say YANBU but then I considered his reaction and wondered if perhaps you are fussy about your food. You speak positively of your DH, and on that basis it is reasonable to assume that he does take your tastes into account.

Now, my DW for example, she will serve a boiled egg, soggy pasta and raw carrot for dinner (which is the reason why I do all the cooking). That doesn't stop her from picking every tiny bit of fat out of stewing beef, for example, and picking me up on it. It gets really wearing.

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