How to keep marriage by cooking? Tips from Vegetarians | How Not to Wreck a Marriage? As we sat down at the table for lunch, I was aware of a very tense atmosphere. I’d known my friends Michael and Kate for two or three
years, and I’d always thought they were happily married. But now, the feeling was definitely icy.
Kate was a good cook, and she’d prepared a truly mouth-watering meal that included some of my favourite food hummus and pita bread as a starter, a huge bowl of green salad with Kate’s special dressing, and I could smell a magnificent curry gently simmering in the kitchen.
How to keep marriage by cooking? Tips from Vegetarians!
It looked as if we were in for a good meal. But then I glanced over to Michael, and it seemed to me that maybe he didn’t quite share my enthusiasm. Kate picked up my thoughts.
“Mike wants his meat” she said, and her voice was quite sharp. I’ve told him I’m not going to cook it for him any more. I don’t have time to cook two lots of meals, and I don’t see why he can’t eat like the rest of us!
Oh I said. I didn’t particularly want to get involved in a dispute between husband and wife. But I also didn’t want to have a perfectly good meal ruined by a bad atmosphere.
Plucking up my courage, I said to Mike: ‘D’you miss it that badly, Mike?’ For a moment, I thought he wasn’t going to answer. Then with a visible effort, he began to tell me about it.
Vegetarian Wife and Barbecue Man!
‘Kate hasn’t eaten meat for six months now, but she’s always cooked it for me when I’ve asked her. Now she’s gone on strike. I know this is supposed to be a healthier way of eating, but I don’t see why I should literally
have it rammed down my throat. I just like the taste of meat, that’s all. I guess I’ll have to eat out from now on’
Mike was clearly feeling sorry for himself and there wasn’t much I could do to change things It didn’t seem as if he was in the mood to discuss it. But towards the end of the meal, after Mike had twiddled with a few lettuce leaves, and left most of his food on his plate, I decided to have another go.
‘Look, what’s wrong with you? I said. “You’ve left most of your food, and you’re not going to tell me that it didn’t taste good. Because I won’t believe you. So why don’t you get it off your chest?
He gave a wry grin. “Maybe I was acting bit childish. You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with the food, its okay. But I just miss the meat. You know I work hard, and feel I’ve got to eat something substantial, or I won’t have enough energy to carry me through the day.
How to keep marriage! Meat Lover Husband!
I need the protein. But you know there’s lots of protein in what we just ate I objected. He was also confusing his protein with his energy requirements but I wasn’t about to give him a lecture in home economics.
‘I suppose there is, he agreed. “But I’m used to meat, and I can’t do without it. I guess I’m hooked!
Kate gave me a despairing glance and went out into the kitchen. Mike’s tone of voice became serious.
‘Look, he said. “This happens at just about every meal now. I’m not eating properly, and I’m fed up with it. One of us is going to have to give way, and it’s not going to be me. Things have never been so bad between Kate and me. I’m beginning to wonder if we’re really compatible I’m afraid this story – which is a true one — didn’t have a happy ending.
A few weeks afterwards Kate moved out, and I doubt whether they’ll ever get back together. And I know that other people have had similar problems in this situation. So – to try to prevent it happening to you – here are some ideas that other couples have successfully used to get over the ‘meat barrier’.
How to keep marriage? Do It Together
If one of you is contemplating doing away with meat in your diet. The most important thing is to talk it through, together. Before you actually change anything. Don’t underestimate the impact this change will have on your lifestyles. Eating is one of the most fundamental of all human activities, and any major change is bound
to have considerable repercussions.
By talking it through together, and planning it together, you’ll ensure that all the consequences of your choice are good ones. I’ve found from personal experience that the couples who seem to have most problems at this time are the ones who don’t normally share other things together – where the wife always does the cooking, for example and the husband always does the eating.
Conversely, the couples I know who share the food preparation are invariably the ones who get the most pleasure out of it – and there’s at least as much pleasure in making food as in eating it. It’s easy to forget that, with so much instant and fast food around these days. So try rediscovering this special sort of togetherness for yourselves. If that sounds like a tall order, have a go at some of the suggestions that follow.
Tips to keep marriage!
A useful trick to involve males in the kitchen (who may have been badly spoiled by their mothers) is to appeal to their vanity. Certain aspects of cookery are more ‘technical than others, and these can be presented as an intellectual challenge for them. Here are some ideas:
• Give him a book about making soya milk and tofu (soya bean curd) and ask him to explain” it to you. This is a fascinating process, and will provide him with many happy hours! Hopefully, it’ll also produce some food too!
• Certain recipes have a macho sound to them, so ask him to try them out for you. In the same way as men enjoy grilling and barbecuing things, get him to try all the many different forms of curry (there are thousands), barbecue foods, bread (it’s very physical), anything with alcohol in, etc.
Tell him that he should think about opening a restaurant. Most men have their own distinct ideas about this, and you never know. He might just end up doing it! Even if he doesn’t he’ll have learnt something useful in the kitchen.
How to keep marriage! Recipes together!
• Try creating recipes together. You can start by asking him to suggest improvements to standard recipes, and then ask him to show you what he means. It’ll set you both thinking!
• When you’re feeling reasonably confident throw a small party at which he can show off his newly acquired skills.
Does it take longer to prepare? That’s a question that gets asked a lot. In the early days, of course, it’s bound to take longer, because you’ll be experimenting with new recipes and doing a lot of learning,
However, there are very many meat-free dishes that take less than ten minutes from start to finish, and you’ll find these useful when you’re pushed for time. Also, remember that you can use your freezer to keep left-overs, which again can be used at short notice.
Personally, I don’t mind if I’m working in the kitchen for half an hour or so – it’s more interesting than being stuck in front of the television.
Know Why You’re Doing It
You will be quite amazed at the amount of interest your decision to go meat-free will create amongst your friends (and it’ll probably make you a lot of new ones). It’s certainly a fashionable thing to do at the moment, which may, of course, put some people off. You might even get fed up with people asking you about it. Other people
are bound to be extremely curious, and many of them may even give it a try too, as a direct result of talking to you.
The first question that you’re inevitably bound to get asked is: ‘Why don’t you eat meat any more?’ It always helps to have a ready answer. Since this is a matter of personal preference, you’ll just have to sort this one out between yourselves. Out of interest. I’ll tell you what I usually say: “Mainly because it’s healthier, because I don’t need to kill other creatures in order to eat, because it wastes a lot less of the world’s resources, and because I’m just crazy about ratatouille.
I usually find that covers pretty much everything! After a few seconds, when my questioner has fully recovered, they’ll probably pick one of those subjects, and want to talk more about it. That’s fine with me, it’s a good way of getting to know people.
What Shall We Tell the Children?
This is not always so easy. Children can be extremely conservative in their tastes, and sometimes nothing will change them. But, like Joe, who you’ve already met, many children are deciding to reject meat these days, and you may find that, after discussing it with them, you’ve got an unexpected ally.
Their age is perhaps the most important factor. Leaving aside the nutritional aspects, which well consider later, most young children (up to seven or eight) won’t cause any problems, and will thrive on a fresh food diet, tending towards the bland.
But after that age the problems may start. Children today come under such intensive pressure, from advertising and from their peer groups, that any non-conformity may be almost impossible for them to sustain. You can’t expect kids of this age to be unduly concerned about their own health (although you should be, because you’re
setting up a lifetime’s eating habits for them).
How to keep marriage! Economic arguments
Nor can they easily grasp the economic arguments of the gross waste of world resources, although they’ll be quick to empathize with pictures of famine and starvation. The only answer here is to tell them the truth – about where their hamburger comes from. I remember being genuinely shocked when I was a child after learning that meat was literally dead animals.
Somehow, I though that meat was co-operatively produced between humans and animals, with no violence and no slaughter. Perhaps that idea wasn’t really so stupid, because we do give children that impression. Those jolly, smiling, half-human, half-animal caricatures of piglets that you see decorating butchers shops, and the happy pig wearing a straw boater and striped butcher’s apron gaily wielding an axe – all these images are pure marketing fantasy.
intended to conceal the ugly truth of the slaughterhouse from us The vast majority of children feel a naturally dose kinship with animals, which can be greatly enhanced if they keep pets. Unlike adults, kids can be totally unhypocritical if you are honest enough to tell them the truth about the process of meat production, then
you are putting them in a situation where they can take a properly informed decision for themselves.
Living in the fantasy of children!
They will quickly work out for themselves that a tremendous contradiction exists between the cuddly image of animals that the meat industry’sells them on the one hand and the harsh reality of meat production that exists
on the other.
But we must have the courage to be absolutely honest with them. It’s far too easy just to let them carry on living in the fantasy world that’s been created for them, where animals are cuddly friends and where ‘meat is a disembodied object that comes nicely pre packaged from the freezer shelf in the supermarket That isn’t being honest, it’s just conning them.
So what do you tell them? Again, it depends on their age probably a good idea to find out how they think meat is produced first, and then correct any inaccuracies they may have That, by itsell may be enough to get them thinkine for themselves which is often all you need to do the moral justification, if they are interested is quite simple.
They wouldn’t kill and eat a cow or a chicken for themselves, would they so it’s not neht to pay other people to kill animals, just because you’re not prepared to do it yourself You could also point out that adults frequently try to avoid the consequences of their own decisions in this hiehly irrational waythere are plenty more examples