A woman’s eating habits are the subject of debate – she doesn’t eat much, but she likes to order a wide variety of large entrees and refuse to eat leftovers. However, her husband’s solution also turned out to be controversial: he wants to force her to order from the children’s menu.
The original poster (OP), u/RelationshipFine8592, shared his solution to the problem in a after on the popular reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole† He earned over 5,600 upvotes and 2,100 comments for his post,”[Am I the A**hole] to let my wife order the children’s menu or share a meal with me?”
He says he has no problem with his wife being a small eater, but counters that she is a “gluttonous eater”, saying she prefers a small amount of a number of different dishes† He says that when she does this at home it’s “annoying, but it’s manageable”, but to go out for dinner is a “nightmare”.
“She will order anything that can give her the most variety of options, ignoring the cost. She will order side dishes, appetizers, and [desserts] to her meal, only to eat a bite or two of each thing she orders. Perhaps this would be manageable if she ate leftovers, but she refuses so that all the food ends up being wasted,” wrote u/RelationshipFine8592.
In an effort to mitigate the financial blow, he says he ends up getting small meals and eating off her plate — but the two have different tastes and he usually doesn’t like what she orders. However, OP finally had enough after a recent meal and decided to fight back.
“I was really annoyed when she ordered herself a full rib and an appetizer to eat only 20% of each. I only ordered a salad so I could finish the rest, but I hated the sauces she chose for the ribs and the most of the entree remained untouched,” he wrote.
He told her he was tired of the pattern, as he usually paid over $40 for food she didn’t want to eat. He gave her an ultimatum: either order two items from the children’s menu or get a regular meal that they will both share and enjoy.
Although she apparently thought he was joking, the next time they went out to dinner, OP proved that he was indeed serious.
“Well last night we went to a grand piano. When we sat down I asked for a kids menu and she got confused. When we started talking and I told her to either order the kids menu or share with me, she went quiet and refused to talk to me and started saying I insult and belittle her.We ended up going into the parking lot and arguing before she got an uber home,” he wrote.
He added that it is still chilly between them, and she refuses to talk to him. Her father also called him to yell at him about the new rule.
Food compatibility can sometimes be a source of trouble in relationships — and not just when one partner is a vegetarian and the other a committed carnivore. Perhaps one partner is a grazer who eats small amounts of food throughout the day, while the other prefers one or two large meals.
According to Marriage.com, communication is the key to navigating food differences, and is also key to solving almost all relationship problems. Couples should talk about their difficulties before someone gets fed up and lashes out.
Relationship experts also disagree on whether or not to set rules for their partner. While some say that sharing expectations for the other person is a good thing, many argue against making official “rules” as both partners in a relationship should be equal.
Likewise, Reddit was divided on the situation, with some taking the OP’s side and others his wife’s.
“Wasting such food is a serious annoyance to me. I’m going with a [Not the A**hole] here. But I think the execution of your frustration could have been better,” wrote u/Saphira404 in the top-rated comment with over 8,700 votes.
†[Not the A**hole] I would have taken the leftovers home for her the next day and cooked only my own food. Harassment her in private, not in public, might work better and keep you from looking like a [a**hole] (even though you warned her),’ suggested u/cauliflowers-fluffy. Therefore it is a good consequence for her actions! If she doesn’t want the leftovers, she either has to make her own food, judging by the mail, a lot of effort for her, or she’ll order less food in the future.”
“She’s his wife, not his child. It’s not his place to punish her,” you/glamorcrow objected.
“Yes, thanks, this is the crux of the [Everyone Sucks Here judgment] to me. Her habit is super annoying, but the kid’s menu and mandatory penalty for leftovers are both things you’d do with a kid under 10,” u/yet_another_sock wrote. “Instead of treating a grown woman like a child, you should be an adult. Adults make household budgets. If you are no longer willing to pay for her wasteful habits with your personal pleasure money or your shared pleasure money, you can split checks and pay for your food each from your own pleasure money. She can spend her money as she pleases and it won’t affect you.”
“Dim sum. Korean BBQ. Any place with a buffet. Hibachi. There are many options,” suggested u/eresh22.
“Except for a buffet, though, they won’t solve the problem of her intentionally ordering too much. I haven’t seen a place that serves ribs that only serves full racks, so it’s not just variety she’s looking for, she’s ordering portions too big. It’s like she must feel like she’s getting a huge meal, even if she can’t come close to eat one,” argued u/calling_water.
“I knew my first marriage was in serious trouble when I started figuring out what ‘consequences’ would stop my ex’s behavior because hurting me wasn’t enough. Then I realized I’m not his mom and the whole exercise bulls ** t Although he in any case did not involve his parents in the fight, this underlines the immaturity of OP’s wife’, wrote u/MrsCoach.
“This feels quite paternalistic. They have to communicate. It’s not the husband’s role to foresee consequences for his wife. Nor is it his role to say what she can and cannot order. He can draw a line and say that he doesn’t date her, but he can’t raise his wife,” wrote u/Here_use_this.
“Strongly agree. OP is raising his wife. What she does annoys you, but it’s not up to you to correct her way of eating. If it bothers you, talk about it. If she keeps doing what she does, it’s real no hill to die on,” u/Sassysewer added. “Knowing this, choose restaurants that focus on small plates with a lot of variety [You’re the A**hole]†
news week contacted u/RelationshipFine8592 for comment.