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AIBU about DH and his 'can't/won't cook' role?

(97 Posts)
Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 18:13:34

May sound trivial compared to other issues here but it gets me down. Our DCs have left home recently, we get on quite well, but DH has never cooked. Been together over 25 years and I've cooked every day for 99% of the time. The only times he's chipped in is when I've been really ill ( in bed, after childbirth , after operations) when I've had to give him a list, a menu and detailed instructions on how to even heat food up and chop vegetables. Ironically his dad was a chef! shock

Anyway I've now had enough. He cannot cook anything- and I mean anything. I've suggested a basic cookery course, looked up these for him, suggested he tries to do 1 meal a weekend and focuses on just 1 thing- like a simple fish dish, or a chicken dish and he just doesn't listen to me.

I am utterly fed up with taking responsibility for food. If i come in knackered I cannot expect any food ready for me- not even a simple stir fry or omlette.

he lived alone till we married- around 30 and eats a canteen lunch so he'd never starve.

Any ideas?

Trills Sat 06-Apr-13 18:15:42

Any adult can cook, unless they have special needs (and plenty of adults with special needs can cook too).

Trills Sat 06-Apr-13 18:16:36

The problem is not that he "can't cook", it's that he has no interest in trying.

Suggesting courses will not help when he just doesn't want to.

What motivation does he have to make any effort?

superbagpuss Sat 06-Apr-13 18:19:37

refuse to cook and see what happens, or get him to agree to take you out once a week or treat you to a takeaway

HotCrossPun Sat 06-Apr-13 18:19:59

I think he is playing up. Nobody should need instructions to chop up vegetables. Cooking is not difficult.

It would really bug me that he is just refusing to even try. What does he give as his excuse?

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 18:23:14

His excuse is he is so hopeless he doesn't know where to start. sad

I have loads of food intolerances BUT the good news is that simple food is fine for me- bit of grilled fish and salad or veg and I am happy.

I don't know what to do next. I want to eat well and healthily- and ready meals are a no-no with my health issues- so it has to be cooked at home.

msrisotto Sat 06-Apr-13 18:28:19

Can't/won't cook = can/will starve.

DontmindifIdo Sat 06-Apr-13 18:33:47

I would sit him down and say you find it really rude that he won't do his fair share of the cooking, so you can either take it in turns to do the cooking, or you'll just cook for yourself and he can sort his own food out, his choice. Then offer cookery courses etc.

tribpot Sat 06-Apr-13 18:42:44

So he doesn't know where to start, but when you suggest a cookery course, what exactly does he offer as his excuse for not going?

I would have a week where you also eat your main meal out during the day, and you both live on toast for tea. Please don't tell me he can't cook toast.

Frizzbonce Sat 06-Apr-13 18:43:44

Your DH is just the far end of the 'can't cook won't cook spectrum'. There are variations along the lines of: 'You do it so much better than me' to deliberately making a hash of it so they never get asked again or complaining so much that it ends up being easier to do it yourself or constantly asking you questions so - again - it's easier to do it yourself. All strategies.

As Dontmind says - sit him down and tell him how upset and angry you are that he doesn't bother. If he can read then he can follow a recipe. Buy him the Jamie Oliver Ministry of Cooking book and ask him to cook from it once a week. Let him alone while he does it. I say this because my dad would have starved in a well equipped kitchen but if he DID try my mum would be bustling after him commenting and hectoring. (I'm not saying this is you by the way!)

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 18:44:12

My dh doesn't cook (he does lots of other stuff) but he is the chief washer up and bottle washer. I figure I get the best deal as I like to cook.
Does he do this?

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 18:50:49

Am having to pop back here in between- guesssmile- making dinner!

Our DCs think it's disgusting he can't cook- they can both DD and DS.

Pre marriage he would live on eggs for his 'supper' or cheese sarnies and fruity loaf.

He has a full dinner at lunchtime and we eat around 7pm- always healthy, simple no puds etc.

he agreed ages back he'd cook 1 meal a weekend- and did it once.

I have had the excuse "You do it so much better".

I have a cupboard full of cook books.

we buy weekend newspapers full of recipes for idiots.

I have shown him these. he walks away- ignores. Sighs. I feel it is disrespectful and although it's a tiny thing I had thoughts of leaving him as he knows how much this bugs me and does NOTHING about it. angry

He also doesn't do any housework but now I have stopped ironing his shirts.

I work from home so an eat any time. I think I shall stop cooking for him. see what he does. prob live on scrambled eggs and be happy- but where does that leave me? cooking a roast dinner for one? sad

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 18:51:38

He loads the dishwasher. Puts out bins. Does DIY when he can but is madly busy at work.

DontmindifIdo Sat 06-Apr-13 18:53:52

If he does the excuse that 'you do it much better' retort with "but I don't enjoy cooking, it's a chore, I'll happily eat a lower standard of food if I don't have to be the one to cook it."

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 18:55:24

Do you work outside the home?

SundaeGirl Sat 06-Apr-13 18:55:47

Get dramatic. Tell him he has this week to re-think his misogyny. You will not be held hostage to a life of domestic drudgery. He learns to cook and to clean and to iron or he moves out. Sorry, not what you wanted to hear but he won't change otherwise, your roles are too ingrained.

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 20:07:30

moondog- re. work- see my previous post- yes I have 2 p/t jobs! All self employed. My main job is as a writer/journo.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 20:21:33

If you don't think the split is even re workload, stop then.
I think my dh does more than his fair share so am happy to carry on cooking.

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 20:27:08

I like to cook sometimes but not 365 days a year and not if I have to micromanage meals if I am ill in bed for example!

I'd accept him cooking twice a week.

jjgirl Sat 06-Apr-13 20:28:21

Sounds just like my DH, I have told him next step is to see the doctor for a mental health plan and some sessions with a psychologist. If that sees no improvement we are getting a divorce as I refuse to be the wage earner, cook, cleaner and child carer when at home. With him gone that should be a 30% reduction in domestic chores as he is very messy and refuses to clean up after himself. And the home will be a lot more peaceful.

purplewithred Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:18

Insist. Be firm. Be inexorable. Just one night a week, he has to do it. Do not give in. Do not do ant part of it yourself. Mean it. Take it up to and over the wire. Say a simple thank you afterwards.

NatashaBee Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:23

I would buy him a kids cookbook to shame him, and get him to start with something simple like pasta, home made pizza, boiled eggs, curry with ready made sauces, that sort of thing to get him used to chopping and boiling things. There's no excuse for not being able to do those kind of meals.

ihearsounds Sat 06-Apr-13 20:43:01

You have internet. On internet is youtube. On youtube step by step videos of how to cook things. This is recently what a friends 13 year old ds did, plus went to the shop and bought all the ingredients. So if he can do this, a grown man is more than capable of doing it.

Sit him down. Tell him tomorrow he is cooking dinner. He can go on youtube for inspiration. You don't care what it is, as long as it's not eggs or cheese, and something more substantial of a sandwich. If he cannot be bothered, then why should you be bothered cooking for him?

Kernowgal Sat 06-Apr-13 20:45:57

Go on strike.

My DS1 is 23 and has ASD and learning difficulties and he can cook simple meals. Your DH is taking the piss!

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