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controlling husband

(28 Posts)
conway Mon 13-May-13 15:44:00

Meal times a problem. My controlling husband likes to cook Sunday dinner as he thinks I cannot do it well enough. Unfortunately he has to dictate when we eat which is normally 8ish . This is too late for my 7 year old so I have to either cook for him before or let him stay up late. As it is a school next day I feel it is too late but would like him to be included. Talked to husband but won't budge so just end up arguing, then I feel a bad mum as 2 kids have heard the arguments.
Am I been ungrateful as he cooks a nice dinner for me and our 12 year old.

Windingdown Mon 13-May-13 16:09:25

You are not being ungrateful. He sounds like an complete knob. I'd rather eat KFC when I wanted it that go through that pantomime?

bollockstoit Mon 13-May-13 16:11:50

No you're not being ungrateful, he's being a dick. 8pm for Sunday dinner when you have young children?

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 13-May-13 16:20:54

No he is being an arse. Your DS would be on his way to bed at 8pm, not wanting to eat dinner.

I'd refuse to eat it. Can you not discuss it with him out of childrens ear shot?

NotEnoughJamOnTheBread Mon 13-May-13 16:28:08

8 would be too late for me as an adult, let alone a child. What time do you eat on the other days when you do the cooking? Any reason he can't start preparing it an hour earlier, is he at work or something or just sitting around?

larrygrylls Mon 13-May-13 16:41:21


Why is the husband controlling? He wants to eat at 8 (and is prepared to cook) and his wife wants to eat earlier. I can entirely see the OP's rationale but, were she to get her way, would she be controlling? This is a disagreement between two adults. Someone has to get their way or they have to compromise.

Unless this is part of a pattern of behaviour, it seems extreme to call him controlling. Personally, I would be curious to know why he wants to eat so late and make his 7 year old eat separately because it does seem a little perverse.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 13-May-13 16:46:25


You've written about your controlling H at great length before now and he has not changed. Did you expect any different now?.

Instead your two children are still hearing the rows; what are you both teaching your children about relationships here?. Damaging lessons, that's what. Look properly at what you are both doing to your children; this is no life for they or you to be a part of.

Please do not leave your children that particular legacy, a legacy of a controlling father and a subservient put down mother who never had enough guts to leave is a hard one to get over if it is ever possible.

Your children will not thank you as adults for remaining with such an individual because you were too worried/scared to leave/thought of them missing out on a lifestyle you had all become accustomed to. None of that will count in your favour ultimately and they could go onto despise you for putting your H before them.

Jemma1111 Mon 13-May-13 16:48:59

He is controlling , just tell him that you will be cooking dinner at whatever time you think reasonable and that you will be eating with your children .

If he wants to eat late then that's up to him , he can have his alone .

He sounds like a right twat

kotinka Mon 13-May-13 18:12:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 13-May-13 18:55:05

Larry it's controlling because everyone knows that 8pm is not a sensible time for a 7 year old to eat. Therefore by cooking at that time he is excluding a member of the household who needs to eat dinner. As it then seems to fall to the OP to cook dinner for her younger child, then she gets no benefit from the meal cooked as it saves her little/no effort.

conway Mon 13-May-13 20:47:03

Thanks for all the advise. He likes to eat late due to his up bringing as his dad was half French so ate late.
He just sits around playing computer games instead of getting on with the meal.
Yes,I have posted before but can't leave yet. I hope I can one day but at the moment am just trying to get a better job. I do hope I have the guts one day

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Mon 13-May-13 21:26:26

Glad that you're hoping to leave some day, OP. This sounds like a symptom of a very unequal marriage.

As a suggestion to ease things till then, can or indeed do you put a portion aside so that ds can have it on Monday? That way he's not totally excluded. And would ds be interested in cooking his Sunday meal with you earlier on? Alternatively, you could use the time when your H is cooking to do something else special with ds, so that it doesn't seem such a snub to him when he goes to bed "before dinner".

bountyicecream Mon 13-May-13 22:22:18

I know where you're coming from OP (also have a controlling EA husband and also planning my exit).

Our fight was that H wanted to eat at 8.30pm. I wanted DD to eat at 7.30pm, offered to compromise and bath her first and do tea at 8pm in her pyjamas. This was refused. 8.30 was her bedtime so I was busy with story time so we would end up eating just the 2 of us at 9pm with him moaning about it being too late confused

If you are determined to try to keep the peace until you can leave then could you do the 'Sunday' dinner as a family roast on Saturday night at 8pm when at least there is no school. And then either eat earlier with DC on a Sunday (with or without H) or do kids tea and then parents tea later?

Have realised it should read our mealtime fight (this was most definitely not out only fight)

butterflymeadow Mon 13-May-13 23:30:55

Oh yes, we had this one too, in fact the whole eating schedule was around husband now separated. He would cook elaborate dinners at thw weekend which were never on the table before 9pm, so I always ended up cooking for dcs first or trying to persuade him to start cooking earlier, or cooking for all of us myself even though I had been doing it all week, but that was okay because my dinners were not elaborate...
Oh yes, and when he was cooking,I would make sure dcs were bathed and ready for bed, if I was cooking,I would be bathing dcs afterwards.
Much happier now with the non-elaborate dinners which dc enjoy because they are not too tired to stay awake. Cooking for two hours, quaffing wine and listening to music is an indulgence when there are tired and hungry children, imo

Lweji Tue 14-May-13 07:02:30

everyone knows that 8pm is not a sensible time for a 7 year old to eat
Ahem, not everyone. ;)
It's a cultural thing, as well as family preference.

But, if the family usually eats at 6 or 7pm, then whoever cooks should aim for that time.

ScarletWomanoftheVillage Tue 14-May-13 11:48:08

I would just say to him, "it's not working you doing the sunday lunch, as you don't get it done in time for us to all eat together, so I am going to do it myself." Or am I missing something?

Can you not simply go and buy a chicken or something and then put it in the oven when you want to?

If you allow him to control things, then he will.

higgle Tue 14-May-13 15:52:58

I'm pleased iI'm not married to you OP - I struggle to get dinner on the table much before 9 and wouldn't take kindly to being criticised for it.

RootinTootin Tue 14-May-13 15:55:23

Is there anything that isnt controlling behaviour or EA on this site?

Leverette Tue 14-May-13 15:58:09

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Tue 14-May-13 20:27:58

higgle, sorry to hear of your struggle. More importantly, do you also have a young child who struggles with eating late? If so, maybe you could make a useful contribution to the discussion?

butterflymeadow Wed 15-May-13 07:14:39

lweji, yes, of course people in different cultures eat at different times, but I think, at least I would hope that the difference is that the decision is mutually agreed, and not one person asserting his preference over others, including tired and hungry children.

higgle, are your kids happy with eating that late? If so, not a problem. But if they are so tired, they cannot eat, then that is a problem.

scarlet, yes, doing it oneself was the only solution. But if the same becomes true of every household task, one has a problem. I cannot count the number of conversations and ways I tried, and I gave up in the end. I also think if you have not been in an EA relationship, you have no idea of the sulking and bad moods which can be caused by deviating from the decreed path. It is exhausting.

bollockstoit Wed 15-May-13 07:26:05

Higgle, would you struggle with getting Sunday dinner on the table before 9? I assume that the op's husband has not been working all day, and is simply doing this to be an arse...

higgle Wed 15-May-13 10:07:35

My children have always accepted that is the way it is. When they were ver small they had separate tea time but particularly at weekends we reakfast late, have late pm lunch and dinner fairly late evening because frankly there is far too much going on for us to be arsed to cook any earlier. In the week neither of us was ever home much before 6.30 and the children had prep to do at school until 5-6pm anyway. I don't think 8pm is late for a year old.

fedupwithdeployment Wed 15-May-13 10:29:07

It does sound very difficult OP.

DH and I usually eat about 8 or 8.30 during the week (I only get home about 7 and then need to see the children), but at weekends when we do a Sunday or Saturday dinner with the children (6 and8) we bring it forward. On a Sat it might be 7, but on a Sunday we'd aim for 6pm otherwise they are exhausted from the start of the week.

It sounds like there is a lot more to this, but from the dinner perspective, I think he is being idiotic.

LtEveDallas Wed 15-May-13 10:39:54

We eat 'later' than many of our friends, between 1830 and 1900, but Sunday Dinner is always at around 1700 so that all the pre Mon morning rush can get done.

I think 8pm is too late for a 7 year old on a Sunday, unless they are going to be eating it in their pyjamas and going to bed on a full stomach (which brings its own issues). DD (8) doesn't go to bed until 2100 on Fridays and Saturdays, but thats after a good hour of letting her evening meal 'settle'.

OP, until you are able to leave I think you should just cook something seperate for you and your children (It doesn't have to be a sunday dinner) and tell your husband that he is cooking for himself seeing as he won't take any else's needs into account. You don't need to make a fuss about it, just quietly get on with it whilst he's playing his bloody computer games.

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