I am hoping for some support or advice. I used to be about 90% vegetarian. About 3 months ago, I went 100% veg and 95% vegan. Most days, I actually cook in the Superhero category. Before I went full vegetarian, my husband was very supportive of my vegetarian choices and healthy eating. The recent shift has created HUGE problems for us. We used to cook together every night and share our meals in restaurants. Now my husband has stopped cooking and so I cook every night. He eats my meals, but when I ask how they are, he shrugs and says "Ok." At restaurants, he insists on a meat option, so we no longer share. He does not respect my food boundaries and often tries to entice me into eating meat when we are out.
I have tried really hard to make delicious interesting meals and share with him my thoughts on the issue. I even brought up the topic with our therapist, who turned the tables on me and told me I was selfish for making a unilateral decision that impacted our relationship so much. I did try to talk with him before I made the switch, but he would shut down.
My husband has read the book and is an avid environmentalist, so I am not sure why he is so adverse to my improved lifestyle. Things are so tough and discouraging with him, that it seems to threaten my resolve to remain 100% vegetarian and mostly vegan. I want this to be a permanent change. I also want to stay married to my husband. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Words of encouragememt please?
You know something? What that therapist said is deeply offensive. Did they get their degree from a mail order catalog? What a person eats is their own personal business and not the decision of ANYONE else. Not even a spouse. Now, if your husband is dead set against this change for himself, that's his god given right. But a little support and respect for you and your choices would be expected. Wow. I really hope things work out for you, dear. But whatever happens please have the strength to stick to your guns. You're obviously happy with the decision you've made, and you've put a lot of thought into this. They don't have to do it with you, but your loved ones should be understanding, at the very least.
Heeey Casey, I just wanted to say I'm so sorry you're going through this - and it kills me that not only are you indeed encountering this, but that you're FAAAAR from alone. I continued to be absolutely astounded by these kind of stories lots of Kind Lifers are telling - I will NEVER understand how loved ones can be so UNloving. And I cannot tell you how much I agree with April - how dare a therapist draw - and express - a conclusion like that. That is waaaay outta line in my book, sorry if that's harsh of me.
I just wish you and the others having these battles all kinds of kindness and a positive solution.
The only reason I can think of why the therapist and your husband are acting in such a way is that they wish they had such a determination and focus in life and are possibly jealous of yours. Don't let it bring you down though. There are like 7,000 people on this site..you are not alone.
I can offer you a little bit of similar experience with my fiance, who is an avid meateater. He had a hard time with my shift to vegetarian and then to vegan/superhero because, in his mind, it means we can't share meals anymore. After a couple fights, we managed to talk it out. Clearing the air of his feelings was helpful for him, and he then became very supportive. He also asked me, bluntly, if it were possible for me to be non-vegan one day a week, so that we could share something like a cheese-based meal. He admitted it was selfish of him to ask but that it would mean a lot to him. His candor and humility impressed me so much that I agreed. Whether you would be willing to make such a compromise (it is a huge compromise) is up to you, but it may be something you could offer him if so. That said, the comment from the therapist is awful and unfortunate because now he probably thinks what he is doing to you is perfectly justified. He may also be feeling guilty/judged because he can't/won't make the shift. No matter his feelings on it, however, you don't deserve a communication breakdown. He must be willing to talk to you for the relationship to work.
wow! i can't believe the therapist either. i'm not sure i'd go back to that one.
i totally agree with niki. it's about compromise. compromise for her is sharing 1 non-vegan meal a week. compromise for me is preparing my husband's meal anyways.
i know a lot of people can't and won't do that but i love my husband and the decision to live a vegan lifestyle is mine and it's okay if he doesn't agree. but it's about support in both directions.
i get him to prepare his meat the way he likes it but i'll throw it on the george foreman for him. i'll scramble and egg for him in the morning too. but he gets everything that i prepare for myself as sides. i also sneak vegenaise on his sandwiches and earth balance butter on his toast! i just told him about it and he loves it and doesn't care!
just have an open talk with your husband about the best way for you both to support & compromise. you'll work it out!
Thank you KLers for all your advice and support. I printed out your responses so I can have some support when I need it. Actually, things have improved significantly over the past week. My husband has made it back into the kitchen and is starting to cook vegetarian meals again with me. In general, he seems more supportive and definetly more willing to eat my dishes. There has been a lot of stress for him lately and the major stressor has recently been resolved, so I think that he is better able to cope with other changes in our lives.
As for the therapist, I was floored the day she said that. I have been going to her for awhile and really like and trust her, so that was out of left field. It has made me a little cautious with her. I am still going to her and probably just need to confront her about her comments and my reaction to them.
I apologize for the delay in responding. And sorry about the double post in the forum categories- initially, I wrote in ask Alicia and didn't get any responses, so I got sad and lonely and posted in the support category.
Thanks again for the support, it really made me feel validated and less alone!
I'm glad things have improved for you. My boyfriends was really supportive to start and then got a little frustrated with his food options. I have started making sure that I add grilled chicken for fish to his dishes and add cheese to pasta dishes after I have separated a portion for myself. The little bits of extra work are worth it and I appreciate that he is at least willing to try my veg dishes as sides.
My boyfriend and I have enjoyed shopping, discussing, preparing and eating lots of meaty dishes for as a long as I can remember. One week he went out of town for business & I watched Food Inc., read The Kind Life, and I knew I could never eat animals again.
I took a lot of inspiration from Alecia's "Kind" approach in thinking about how to deal with him. I decided that I DO NOT want to buy/prepare ANY animal products, BUT that I couldn't make that decision for him.
So we have compromised, of sorts (in a way that doesn't involve me eating anything from animals). We initially agreed we would cook together every other night. We cook "his" meat & unhealthy stuff like mac & cheese & I cook my kind stuff; the next night the kitchen closes & we each eat yesterday's dinner.
We BOTH get our meals as we like them, and in the meantime, I'm observing that he is increasingly taking to my food. I try to use words like Alecia just to describe my food in an appealing way (I think I called my quinoa last night sexy), but I also try to encourage any step he takes in the right direction while being completely non-judgmental about what is on his plate.
I accept that he may never change his mind, but I think I'm winning him over AND my drastic decisions to live KIND have actually made our lives and time in the kitchen together more interesting and fun.
I hope things have continued to improve. My boyfriend expressed the same concerns when I announced my decision to go vegan. He made it sound as though our relationship was over since we wouldn't be eating the same things anymore. What is it w/ men and eating??? Last night we cooked dinner together - he made his turkey manwhich and I made black bean burritos and collards, but we were still together, getting in each other's way. I also am still eating a little fish, so we can still go out for sushi, which is one of our favorite things to do together. Mostly, I realized it was his fear of the unknown - he grew up as a meat and potatoes guy. Once a week I try a new vegan recipe.
Talk to the therapist. If she doesn't respond openly, then find a new one. Maybe you have outgrown this one. A good therapist will help your hubby figure out why he is having problems accepting your decision and supporting you and will help you understand why he is resisting. Good luck!!!!
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