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This is driving me INSANE!! It's been an issue for months, we argue about it constantly, and it's such a little stupid thing that we're both just not able to solve for some reason. The longer it drags on, the more annoyed I get, so please help me find a solution before I explode!<br><br>
DP just took up mountain biking this summer, because he wanted a hobby and to get in shape, and his best friend (his brother) is a mountain biker. That's great, I'm happy he has a hobby that gives him exercise, but ever since he started we've had a huge problem with meals and balancing our needs. I need an objective opinion to tell me if I'm being reasonable or not, because I'm very vulnerable to being stepped on and controlled due to an abusive past. Maybe there is a solution I haven't thought of, or one that is completely reasonable that I should revisit.<br><br>
His brother has no kids and therefore obviously his lifestyle is very different... he can go out biking on a whim, doesn't have to worry about family responsibilities or being home for a meal at a certain time. He can eat dinner at midnight if he wants to. He also works a job where he theoretically gets done at 5 but sometimes it goes for an hour or so overtime.<br><br>
I like to have meals done before a certain time, for several reasons: I don't like cooking late at night, I don't like going to bed leaving the kitchen a mess, DD gets hungry, tired and cranky which makes me cranky and makes cooking less enjoyable, and the meal therefore less enjoyable. It's just overall not fun for me at all. The problem is, every time DP goes biking, he never gets home before 8:30 or 9... WAAAAY too late for my liking for meals. He has tried trying to get home earlier, but it never works, and it just makes me pissed off because I'll have dinner ready for 8:00 (which is already way too late in my books) and then he doesn't show up and makes excuses about how his brother was late off work and how he wanted to do just " one more trail" and that he "tried". So I end up eating the meal with DD alone... she barely eats, so I feel like I put in all this effort and mess for nothing. I don't like cooking a nice meal just for myself, especially if I had planned it for DP and I.<br><br>
Yes, I've offered many other solutions and he doesn't like any of them. He won't eat leftovers, so it's not an option for me to just leave it for when he gets home... he has food issues and OCD, which make this MUCH harder since much of his OCD is around food (for example, he can't eat leftovers or take food out of the house with him, won't eat day old bread, etc). I have suggested eating earlier, but he says he cannot eat less than an hour and a half before he leaves or it makes it difficult to bike... which means we have to have dinner at 4:30, which is also way too early for my liking. I can probably handle doing that for one or two days a week if he could tell me what days he would be going biking, but since his brother is such a #$%& unorganized person, he always just calls up and says "let's go biking now!" and then DP announces to me at the last minute that he wants to go biking. This has messed up everything, my meal planning has gone to shit because meals get shuffled around, food goes bad because I never end up cooking the planned meals, etc.<br><br>
I have also suggested other things, like having dinner at lunch time on biking days and then having him eat his "lunch" after he gets home from biking (which is bread so I dont have to cook that) but again his OCD kicks in and he doesnt like that idea. I also suggested having a light dinner of things like fruit and cheeses, but he also doesn't think that's a good dinner and doesn't like that idea. Plus I wouldn't want to eat that kind of dinner three times a week. I feel like I have offered up tons of solutions, and all he has given me is "I'll try to be home earlier"... and then he says <b>I'm</b> not compromising because I said I don't want to make dinner any later than 7:30 (when 5:30-6 is my ideal time) for what I feel like are logical reasons, plus I'm the one cooking!.... in my mind I've offered lots of solutions that could work for both of us, and the best he can do is one that <i>barely</i> works for me?<br><br>
I have told him that if he wants this to work maybe he shouldn't go biking with his brother because his lifestyle is just way too different, but he's not willing to bike alone because he says its a social thing. I have even said to him that he either needs to eat dinner at a reasonable hour with us and figure something else out with his brother, or find his own way to eat... I dont find that unreasonable but he says that is unfair!<br><br>
At the very LEAST he could work out a schedule with his brother so I know what days he's going to be biking, but we've tried that several times and it doesnt work... he will say monday, wed and fri for example but then it might end up being tuesday, wed and sat. We've also tried eating later- that doesn't work for me, we've tried having him make an effort to come home earlier, also doesn't work. We've tried eating earlier even, and that factors in a WHOLE other set of problems because DP tends to eat nothing all day until 2:00 and then he's not hungry for a 4:30 dinner.<br><br>
I feel like this whole situation is unfair to me, but I really don't know what to do. I want to find something that works for all of us, but it's just not happening. The only viable option I've thought of is starting to make dinner at 4:30 every single day... so that when he needs to go biking on a whim he can. But it still seems totally unfair to ME, it seems like the scales are tipped WAY to his side... am I being a bitch, or what? We've been talking over the last couple of days about how I am easily controlled, because I grew up in an abusive household, so it's really hard for me to tell when I'm being walked all over and DP is controlling and stubborn so he can't really tell either... if it were you, what would you do?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Sorry, just realized that this is SUPER long and a bit of a vent!
 

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Is he on meds ....... yet? If he takes meds, he could probably "eat on the road" and be able to take longer weekend bike rides ... a little incentive for him.<br><br>
I think he needs to be there at dinner time <b>or</b> eat leftovers <b>or</b> let you know in advance exactly when he will be home. He is expecting way too much cooking from you.<br><br>
Doesn't he know how to cook? If he can call you 15 minutes from home, you can boil water for him.
 

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I think, given the ridiculous parameters he wants you to work within, he needs to man up and figure out how to operate the kitchen by himself. Even if that means opening a can of soup or popping a Hungry Man in the microwave. His problem, he can deal. Have a nice dinner with DD when you two are hungry.
 

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You want to know if you are being a doormat and letting your DP step all over you - yeah, you are letting him step all over you. He's a grown man, he should be able to figure out how to eat dinner on his own. If his OCD prevents that, HE needs to deal with it, go get meds, get counseling, SOMETHING. In any case, it's his responsability to deal with it because he's an adult. Speaking for my family there is NO WAY I could wait till 7:30 to feed my kids so if that's the only thing DP is willing to do, that would just NOT be a good solution for us, so I understand where you're coming from, that your DP's only solution is just NOT really an option for you. Do what you need to do for you and DD and let him figure out how to feed himself.
 

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I would be ticked off at this situation too and it's not something my dh would expect of me. Once in a while I am more than happy to accomidate him especially if I have advanced warning. But genarally he is either home for dinner, eats leftovers or fixes himself something.<br><br>
If I were you I would tell him that if he can't give you at lest 24hrs notice, than he will have to either make it home for dinner at 6:30 or fix himself something.
 

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I totally agree with the pp's. I think he is being way to stubborn.... its not YOUR problem that he cant get home on time, he cant eat out, he doesnt want to eat before...<br><br>
I think you have done enough. I would just say, "DD and I are eating at 6:30. I'll save some left overs for you or make sure there is pb&j. Have a nice ride dear."
 

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Also, i'm wondering if you have talked directly to his brother about how <i>his</i> lack of orginisation is making it hard to manage <i>your</i> life?<br><br>
Maybe if you told him he might be able to make and effort to stick to a scedual.
 

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I'd have no problem if my husband went out mountain biking and missed dinner if:<br><br>
1. It happened no more than twice a week.<br><br>
2. There was NO expectation that I would be cooking an earlier meal before or after the ride: he could pack his own food or cook for himself before or after the ride.<br><br>
It sounds to me like your husband is the one here who is unwilling to compromise. He wants to have his cake and eat it too: he gets time out by himself to exercise, leaving you at home with DD three nights a week. He expects you to hold everything and feed your family whenever he happens to come home, which is very late. He can't or won't eat leftovers, and is trying to force you to cook meals later than is healthy for you and you dd. He can't or wont eat on the trail. He won't cook for himself when he gets home... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
It is tricky that he had bona fide OCD...but what is he doing about it? Is he on meds, or is he just letting that slide? What did he do for meals before he got married and had someone to cook for him? Obviously he didn't starve.<br><br>
It sounds to me, honestly, like he is trying to be quite controlling. He is getting on your case for being unwilling to compromise, but in reality he is just saying, "Do it my way." Not good.
 

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I think you have gone over and above to try to work with your husband here, and he is expecting too much compromise on your part and not enough on his part. OCD or not, he's an adult, surely he must have found some way to eat on his own before you were married?<br><br>
We had a similar problem with my husband coming home late from work often with no prior warning. He also has weird hangups about food, won't eat leftovers, doesn't cook, etc. There's not much we can do about the erratic work schedule. So, what we did was set our everyday dinner time a little later (7 pm) than we otherwise would have, but this time still works well for me and DD. That gives DH an extra hour to get home so he can eat with us. If he isn't home by 7, DD and I eat and DH fends for himself - we normally keep cereal/milk around and he just has that when he misses dinner. I don't mind too much making a meal for 3 if only 2 of us are eating, because then I have leftovers for lunch the next day (which I love!) This works for us and keeps the peace. Maybe something similar would work for you, particularly if you are adamant that this is as far as you are now willing to go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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"I have even said to him that he either needs to eat dinner at a reasonable hour with us and figure something else out with his brother, or find his own way to eat... I dont find that unreasonable but he says that is unfair!"<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><br><br>
You don't need to solve this- he does. Figure out exactly what you're willing to do- how late you will cook, etc., let him know, and then it's HIS job to either be there or make his own plans. Is he incapable of cooking for himself? He's not asking you to compromise, he's asking you to completely accomadate his wants without being willing to do anything on his end.
 

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Just wanted to agree with PP's, you are not the one being unreasonable, he is. What would happen if you told him before his next bike ride that dinner will be at 6pm? If he's there he gets a hot meal, if he's not, then he gets to create his own dinner solutions when he walks through the door. Period. OCD only goes so far in my book. This sounds way more like pickiness and expectations on his part that are way too freaking high and immature. you're not his mommy. he's not a baby. If he wants a hot meal he can have it with the rest of the family or he can make it himself, but you are not running a 24 hour diner and for him to expect that is really not cool.
 

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I would just stop letting this be an issue. The 3 nights a week he goes out biking, he can fend for himself. Just plan on you and DD for those nights. He can have leftovers, make himself a sandwich, whatever he likes. I would just let him know that you've thought about it and it really doesn't need to be an issue.<br><br>
Yes, I KNOW he won't see it the same way, but it's perfectly fair. You're willing to help out; if he's willing to eat leftovers (I know you say he won't, but for all I know he'd rather eat leftovers than prepare his own food) then you'd be glad to wrap them up for him. If he wants to make himself a sandwich when he gets home, you'll be sure all his favorite sandwich supplies are in the fridge. Oh, he wants a real dinner? Sure, hon, it'll be on the table at 5:30pm.<br><br>
THAT is a compromise. You're willing to eat alone (well, with DD) 3 days a week, and also to prepare leftovers or make sure he has his sandwich stuff or whatever. That's very accommodating.<br><br>
Ooooh, forgot to address the schedule stuff. I guess I'd ask him to make the schedule. Then I'd stick to it. He said Mon/Wed/Fri? And then suddenly Monday because Tuesday? Oops, sorry hon, I had the "two of us" meal planned for Monday, maybe you can eat a sandwich again tonight.<br><br>
He's not going to make any effort to change if you make all the effort. If he knows that you're going to hold him to a schedule, and if food is that important to him, then he'll make the schedule (and communicating it to you, and enforcing it with his brother) a priority.<br><br>
Now, I'm not talking with any experience with OCD unfortunately. But I think YOU need to do what YOU need to make yourself sane, and then be willing to be gracious about helping DH out within that structure (such as having some quick and easy meals ready for him to make or whatever). You're not going to change him by arguing, you have to just set your boundaries and stick to them.
 

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I would simply let him know what time I would have food ready. If he's not home, he just has to eat leftovers or fend for himself. This is very controlling behavior he is exhibiting. You and your child should be able to eat when you get hungry without having to schedule it around his hobby.
 

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Unfortunately, you can't solve this. Because it's not your problem, it's his.<br><br>
This is a classic example of someone wanting their cake and eating it too. Carefully wrapped up in "OCD" packaging. Asking yourself this, if he didn't have OCD, would you put up with all of his rules and requirements? If the answer is no, then why are you doing it now? (I know this sounds harsh, but I actually struggle with mental conditions myself and I KNOW how hard it is on my partner.)<br><br>
You DP isn't working with you, he's having a life and expecting you to support everything he does with everything he needs. We all have needs and wants and we all have to balance them. Why does he get to have all his needs and wants met without having to prioritize or sacrifice?<br><br>
I'm sorry that I can't offer up another solution. Honestly, from where I sit you've thought of every available option. He just doesn't like any of them. Something is going to have to give, and unfortunately, it's going to have to be from his side of the situation.
 

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I agree with all of the PP.<br>
MY DH is OCD as well and I can totally relate (tho he has no issues with food). There have been times where hes used his OCD as a crutch to get what he wants without compromise. Those times sucked! Lots of arguing and such. Is he on Meds? If not, I highly suggest seeing a Doctor. Life is so much better now that he has medical attention.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>paquerette</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11588597"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think, given the ridiculous parameters he wants you to work within, he needs to man up and figure out how to operate the kitchen by himself. Even if that means opening a can of soup or popping a Hungry Man in the microwave. His problem, he can deal. Have a nice dinner with DD when you two are hungry.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Have dinner when you have dinner. DON'T get angry that he isn't home. Just have dinner. At 5, at 6, at 8, whenever you want to. REFUSE to engage in the conflict when he comes home mad about it.<br><br>
How exactly would he get fed if he were single? He gets to pretend that he's single (as far as eating goes) when he comes home that late.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SleeplessMommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11588530"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is he on meds ....... yet? If he takes meds, he could probably "eat on the road" and be able to take longer weekend bike rides ... a little incentive for him....<br><br>
Doesn't he know how to cook? If he can call you 15 minutes from home, you can boil water for him.</div>
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No, he's not on meds. I don't think he thinks he needs them. It's kind of crazy... he keeps telling me I need therapy and help for my problems but isn't really dealing with his own.<br><br>
Yes, he knows how to cook. It's entirely possible that he could cook for himself when he gets home, except I just dont think thats the solution for us. He doesn't eat "fast food" and would make a whole other meal for himself, which will just create more mess to clean up the next day and probably waste more food, not to mention we'd have to plan two different meals for that day and I already hate meal planning to begin with, and shopping for food.. he would probably hate that idea too. Plus, he's only "willing" to cook a few times a week if that, and I'd like him to cook for all of us on those times when he does cook because it gives me a break... I just dont see the point of me cooking a nice meal seven days a week for myself, and on three of those days having DP cook another, separate nice meal for himself...<br><br>
What did he do when he was single? He never was single!! We started dating when we still lived with our parents, I got pregnant, and that was that (see siggy!) We did live apart for a year, partly while I was pregnant and up until dd was 5 months old, he lived with his school buddies, and yeah I think a lot of the time he didn't eat right... he did cook for himself, but it was mostly the same things over and over, or frozen things, or his buddies would take turns cooking for each other. They didn't have any normal meal times or plans or anything... they just kind of cooked on a whim from what I observed.
 

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Yikes, he needs to get his food issues im check, that is absurd. He can open a can of soup or something. Why should you be a short order cook or a maid. He shouldn't be upset as *he* is making his own choices. If he needs to cook all the time b/c of his issues, it is a choice he is making.
 

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I would suggest you make and eat dinner at whatever time is best for you and your dd....6:00 or whatever and he can re-heat his plate when he is ready to eat. I'd say to loosen up a bit if you give him a hard time about not being home for dinner every night. Hopefully he will be home some of the nights but if he is out biking I'd just wish him well and let him get out and get his fresh air and exercise. It is a great activity. Re-heating a dinner plate is not "left overs"...it's the gift of a freshly made meal waiting for him when he comes home...wow, I'd LOVE that!! Good for him for not wanting "fast food" but you are still open and willing to cooking...he just has to warm it up.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>granola_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11590077"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">....or frozen things, or his buddies would take turns cooking for each other. They didn't have any normal meal times or plans or anything... they just kind of cooked on a whim from what I observed.</div>
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then how about having a couple of freezer meals in there for him to heat up?<br><br>
i also think that the suggestion about talking to the brother is probably good. does his brother know about this conflict and how much changing plans affect your family?<br><br>
maybe i'm not seeing something here, but what compromises or changes is he willing to make? he wants dinner freshly made at 8 right any night he goes riding, right? which means you change/adjust for his schedule... so what can he do to adjust for you?<br><br>
what about a late dinner night for him once a week and the other night he has to fend for himself?<br><br>
i'm not sure but it does seem like he wants an awful lot without giving much on his end...
 
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