General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

You've been in the kitchen since 11 this morning. is it wrong for the spouse to eat elsewhere?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7785points) May 25th, 2009

ok guys. don’t get me wrong. i really am a great cook. but when i cook holidays like today, my wife still goes with the kids to her mother’s even though the food is right here.

i understand the family bonding thing with dads and moms, but what about the house where the food is cooked with just as much love and passion?

yeah i know: blood is thicker than water, but is it thicker than marriage with kids? i asked her just last night, “what are we doing for memorial day?” and she shrugged “nothing—what are we cooking?” that says to me “it will be an in-house holiday.

this happens every major BBQ holiday. would you go on strike? how do you manage holidays that include multiple families?

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25 Answers

figbash's avatar

It just sounds like you need to communicate more clearly what your intentions and her intentions are when it comes to each individual holiday and get real specific. If you know she’s going to be leaving, why pull out the stops to make a huge dinner?

You can also let her know the consequences of her decision. Tell her that based on the fact that she told you she’d be around, you put a lot of time and effort into dinner – time that could have been spent elsewhere. If she understands that it’s a little inconsiderate, she’ll hopefully stop.

I’d also compromise – if your spouse wants to go spend time with family on Mother’s Day, Memorial Day etc. tell them you’d like dibs on 4th of July and Father’s Day. Or, if you know they’re going somewhere for dinner, you can be the brunch person, or otherwise. Trying to fit everyone in can be emotionally taxing, but it can be done successfully and without hurt feelings or resentment.

Facade's avatar

Yall should have communicated better. Asking strait questions will get you strait answers.

cwilbur's avatar

Perhaps you should decide ahead of time whether you’re cooking there or going to her family’s, and all do it together? (It sounds like you tried to do that.) And then hold her to her decision. (It sounds like you didn’t do that.)

(Of course, you also have to be careful to not use emotional blackmail of any sort when you make the decision in the first place.)

It’s not unreasonable to pick one place or the other. It is unreasonable to decide to celebrate the holiday one place and then change your mind after the food is prepared.

charliecompany34's avatar

we actually in the past have fought about this.

i was clear sunday night that the food was all happening here. somehow, someway, the wife is encouraged to leave the homefront despite how much i’ve cooked for the day and the work week to follow.

i think because of when she was raised her parents always cooked holiday food anyway and still visited. but i was raised like where the food is, that’s where you generally eat.

Darwin's avatar

Sounds like your wife needs to make a decision and then let you know what it is. Preferably this would be far enough in advance that you would know whether to cook or not. Is there any chance you could take at least some of the food with you to the in-laws? That is what we tend to do in both my family and, when his parents were alive, my husband’s family.

You said “my wife still goes with the kids to her mother’s.” Does this mean she doesn’t take you along? If so, then I suspect you have bigger problems than not sticking to agreed-on plans.

Jack79's avatar

I don’t get it. Didn’t you already agree what you were doing?

There’s a huge difference between you deciding to cook and your wife making other arrangements (especially on a holiday) and you cooking for her and her just buggering off with no respect for your efforts. Don’t get me started on the blood/wedlock debate, I’m just hoping it’s nothing serious in your case and that she just feels she ought to visit her parents once a year for old times’ sake.

But I think that in any balanced relationship these things should be discussed. It’s not a big deal for her to eat at her parents’ place, but you should have agreed upon that as a family, and you should go with her.

DesireeCassandra's avatar

Have both sides hang out and have a bbq together.

charliecompany34's avatar

@Jack79 nope, nothing serious. it’s just a recurring holiday thing that gets under my skin. i love my wife, but she’ll say in one breath “we ain’t going nowhere—i don’t feel like being bothered—it’s a work day tomorrow.” and next thing you know she’s leaving.

it’s like she can’t say no.

Darwin's avatar

@charliecompany34 – Maybe she can’t say no to her parents. A lot of people can’t.

Do you at least get to go with her?

charliecompany34's avatar

@Darwin yes. i do have the option of going. she does not discourage that. i also enjoy going with her and have no qualms with the in-laws. when i am over there, we have a really good time. i just want what happens here at home as far as food cooked to be respected, since i put so much into it.

Darwin's avatar

@charliecompany34 – Have you tried writing her a letter about your feelings? Maybe the two of you think you are communicating but you aren’t.

charliecompany34's avatar

@Darwin hmmmm, i’ve always been pretty good at writing it out to her. might have to try that old approach again. it generally works.

chyna's avatar

What about having the in-laws come to your house since you are cooking? Maybe you can make the arrangements by calling them, saying we are cooking here for memorial day, come and bring the watermelon, see you at 1:00.

justwannaknow's avatar

If you know it is going to happen regardles, then just plan to go no matter what she says. Less headaches. If she don’t go, then whip some thing up or go out to eat.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I think you have four options: you call your inlaws and tell them what you’re bringing, or you call your inlaws the week before and invite them over, you invite lots of friends over for that day, and make it an entertainment event, or you pick a time that’s not the holiday, and you tell your wife how you feel. It sounds like there’s a lot of expected mind-reading going on.

charliecompany34's avatar

@chyna
@pandoraboxx
see here’s the thing. i see what is coming up on the calendar. i am the first to say, “ok, what are the plans for the holiday” like a week or two in advance. but my in-laws do not work like that. they make stuff up on the day of. i am a planner. my sister-in-law, unlike me, is a planner at the last minute. she’s like: “oh wow—today is a BBQ holiday family day—let’s have fun and eat things.”

2 o’clock in the afternoon she’ll bring 5 pounds of chicken wings to be grilled and the night becomes long. this is what i try to avoid, so i just cook at home on my own pace.

the wife dont want company because her sisters and family are not good at leaving.

casheroo's avatar

That’s weird. She just went over for the holiday? I can answer how we manage holidays, with multiple families..
We always do Christmas Eve with my family, and Christmas Day with my husbands family. We rotate the other holidays between family. We just work it out, and manage. Plus, it means we never have to cook, so thats a bonus.

Supacase's avatar

I think it is inconsiderate of her but, judging by what you said about her family’s lack of planning in advance, she comes by it honest. Her family is also inconsiderate to think everyone else’s plans should come to a halt because they have decreed at the last minute that they are hosting some big dinner. I think I would stop cooking. Then if she doesn’t end up with plans one holiday and also doesn’t have food at home, maybe she will understand your side of the situation a little better.

My husband’s family is similar except their problem is being consistently late, which pisses me off no end. One Christmas his mother was 2 hours late and we couldn’t reach her on the phone. Everyone was getting so worried when she finally waltzed in and said she had been doing laundry. I have started just eating at the time I set regardless of who is there on time.

RedPowerLady's avatar

The first thing I thought about was your relationship with her family. Why are you not going along? Why did she not want to tell you that she was going with her family?
It seems like the root of this is really improving your relationship with her family.

Other than that. I think your wife should be excepted to tell you in advance where she is going on holidays. That is what a family is all about. And you should all be together.

Clair's avatar

yea, i agree with casheroo, you gotta rotate and be totally open about everything. dealing with family stuff is exhausting to me and jon, but it’s gotta be done. we go to family crap together but we also cook together so we would not have encountered your beef. even though i am head chef, he’s always there beside me. and usually the whole family is involved. but if ya’ll are not a cooking family then you most certainly have to be more open and communicate more. it’s just gonna get worse.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

You could make confiscating car keys the first step of the cooking ritual…

Darwin's avatar

Don’t forget to disable the phones so the family can’t call and lure her away.

Jack79's avatar

and of course lock the doors, perhaps tie her to the chair just in case

jerrytown's avatar

I would be heated if we had plans to have dinner and she ended up leaving. i think its super disrespectful to ask you whats for dinner and then tell her parents she doesnt have anything going on.
We usually do holidays with any family nearby since we move so often

Val123's avatar

Maybe there is more of a “party” atmosphere at her Mom’s….lots more people? I just don’t understand….do you just start cooking without talking to her, without asking what she wants to do? That would be a passive aggressive action on your part, In which case, shame on you! I’d go to my mom’s too, just to piss you off for being so assumptive and inconsiderate.
On the other hand, if you guys have planned ahead of time that you’ll be eating at home, and she does that, then shame on her!

boy did this Q throw for a loop! I’m going, “Boy you start Thanksgiving early! Then I got to BBQ holidays???? Doy, look at the date, Val!

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