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Woman furious with husband; 'Your diet is RUINING our marriage. I can't LIVE like this.' AITA? UPDATED 5X

Woman furious with husband; 'Your diet is RUINING our marriage. I can't LIVE like this.' AITA? UPDATED 5X


When this woman is upset with her husband's diet, she asks the internet:

"My husband's diet is ruining our relationship. AITA?"

My husband will only eat chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, and spaghetti-o’s. That’s it. When we go over to friends’ places he’ll actually bring some spaghetti-o’s to heat up in their microwave instead of eating anything else, even if our friends cooked a wonderful meal.

If we go out somewhere to eat he will only order chicken nuggets off the kid’s menu. If they don’t have them, he just won’t eat.

If I try to cook literally ANYTHING except one of his three food groups, he will claim he’s allergic to some random ingredient instead of just outright saying he doesn’t want to eat it. He’ll then try to guilt me for “forgetting” his allergy. Spoiler: We’ve been to the doctor and he’s not allergic to anything.

My husband just turned 36 this month. His food habits were sort of cute/acceptable when we were both in college and eating like trash, but now I’m genuinely worried about his health. I also find myself avoiding any sort of dining situations with our friends, which is so much harder than it sounds.

I’ve tried talking to him about his eating habits and just he brushes me off. Since I don’t cook his meals (the only victory I’ve had in this situation) he doesn’t think I have the right to “dictate” what he can and can’t eat.

I’m not his mother. I’m his wife. But I just want my husband, the man I love, to be healthy. What do I do?

We met when I was 19, in my sophomore year of college. We got married after graduation and moved in together shortly after. I didn’t realize how strict his “diet” was until after we were married.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

creaam7 writes:

LADIES PLEASE READ THIS. AGE MATTERS WHEN YOURE AS YOUNG AS EARLY 20’S. I've always found it extremely odd when young females are dating men who are 15 years older than them and then wonder why their relationship is not going well.

Any sane mature man would date a woman his age because he would understand that age difference really does show from 20s to mid 20s to 30s.

I'd say off the bat the age difference is a huge issue and it just shows how immature he is. I've experienced very little relationships where the man is significantly older than the woman and isn't significantly immature in the relationship or else they would be dating someone closer to their age.

And I get the appeal ladies, you guys want someone who is mature, has their shit together, have a stable job and if you're dating someone your age it's not as easy to find those qualities in a man.

I've always found it hard to date women who are any more than a few years younger than me. I'm not saying it's because those women are immature but you can tell there is a significant difference in growth, experience and how we both view life.

And if you find that you get along with him just fine in terms of maturity then you need to understand that it's either that you are way too mature for your age or he's way too immature for his age and that's why he's dating you, so he can feel more mature and responsible than he actually is.

And it's almost always because he's way too immature for his age. My opinion is stop dating a man child and find someone more suitable for you and your age.

I wish you the best of luck and please do not take this as ill judgement. But the fact alone that a man who's almost in his MID LIFE is eating meals like a 9 year old should tell you enough.


beef$ writes:

ARFID is a real disorder. It means Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. It's much more than the classical 'picky eating' that you see in children and it can last a lifetime. People that have it usually limit themselves to a couple of main comfort foods.

Personally, I had it all throughout my late teens and eating anything outside of my comfort zone would make me gag from the texture. I can't really tell you how I got past it besides time.

There are therapists that specialize in treating this sort of thing, but if he doesn't sound willing to try that then I'm not sure there's much else to be done. I will say it was deeply embarrassing to have to deal with this condition at restaurants, not being able to order anything all the time, so shame might have some part in why he's unwilling to seek help.

fappyd writes:

I'm seeing a lot of people throwing around ARFID diagnoses, and it's certainly possible that your husband has this, but before you start kow towing to it and trying to help him cope or whatever you need to determine if he actually has it because if he catches wind of it he could take it for granted.

I know a lot of people that don't have this disorder and just eat like trash because A: they don't like eating healthy and don't want to start, or B: they're assholes and don't know how to grow up.

I work with somebody that refuses to eat vegetables because "she doesn't like them," and claims that she's allergic to practically everything, but she eats the stuff she's allergic to because it tastes good (like meat and dairy) and only steadfastly holds to her refusal to eat vegetables.

My wife's uncle refuses to eat anything that's not in a can and he criticizes other people's choice of food saying the stuff they're eating is gross when he isn't able to accurately identify it, but it's not like we eat extremely exotic foods. He looked at a mozzarella ball at dinner one time and had no clue what it was.

It was explained to him that it was mozzarella and he was like "like the cheese?" as if he couldn't wrap his head around the fact that there was a piece of cheese in front of him.

He decided what he liked to eat when he was 11 or 12 and never ventured outside of his comfort zone - he doesn't even try any other food. To have an aversion to something you must first be exposed to it.

And now, OP's 1st update:

It does sound like ARFID, and I agree that we need counseling. There’s a good counseling center nearby that I found last night that offers couple’s therapy, I want to try them first.

I’m going to bring it up to him tonight and really try to explain how much this issue bothers me, and how at the very least we should discuss this with a counselor to find a place where we’re both happy.

FYI. We started dating when I was 19 and he was 32. Looking back I definitely wasn’t mature enough for a serious relationship but he has always been thoughtful and understanding.

I never felt pressured to do anything I didn’t want to do and although the age difference was obviously noticeable it never felt like I was being taken advantage of.

(I’m sorry if my answer sounds canned, I’ve gotten your exact question more times than I can count!) Don’t worry, I was legal.

We met in college, he went back to get his degree after realizing his career was stagnant. We had a class together and ended up falling in love.

Admittedly I was kind of awed that an older man was interested in me, but he never ever made me feel pressured into anything, even as small as drinking on my 21st birthday (I have a history of severe alcoholism in my family, we ended up going to a nice dance night instead of clubbing.

He also completely stopped drinking without any prompting when he realized that I wasn’t comfortable being around him when he was drunk).

Update 2:

So, I did it. I confronted him when he came home. I brought up ARFID, which he seemed very open to. He seemed sort of relieved that it’s a fairly common disorder— some of you absolutely called it, he explained that he was extremely embarrassed and defensive when I had tried bringing the issue up with him before.

When I explained how much it hurt when he shut me down he seemed genuinely surprised. He had no idea this issue was so important to me. I’ll admit, I did cry a bit as I told him how worried I am about him eating himself into an early grave.

His foods are NOT healthy, and by the end of our conversation we both agreed to work together to overcome this.

We’ll be going to couple’s therapy this weekend at a local clinic. From there we’ll look into seeing a dietician and a specialized counselor for his eating disorder.

I called his mother while he was at work. I asked her about his eating habits as a kid, if there was any foods he sort of liked or anything he was really adverse to.

I like the idea of making weekly meal prep together, so there’s no surprises and we can collaborate on slowly introducing new foods. I was hoping this conversation would give me a good starting point when I talked with him.

His mother is a very sweet woman and told me all the foods he even sort of would eat, and everything he refused to. But she offhand mentioned that he has sensory processing issues due to his autism.

I asked her to elaborate and she did. It turns out he was diagnosed with autism as a kid. He even went to an after-school physical therapist for many years to deal with sensory issues.

He never told me any of this. When I spoke with him I didn’t know how to bring it up, so I just didn’t. I’m so worried he’ll deny it, or he’ll get angry with me for speaking to his mother behind his back, since he obviously doesn’t want me to know.

I want to stress that I never brought up autism with his mother. She mentioned it all on her own.

I feel lied to and manipulated. I don’t know how to bring it up with him, because right now I’m just starting to process it. I’m angry that he never told me.

His food issues are one thing, but not telling me about his autism (and seemingly intentionally keeping it from me, as he didn’t bother to mention it today either) is another.

After I spoke to his mother, it’s more and more obvious that the man I married isn’t who I think he is and has been lying to me for years. Right now I’m telling myself to wait until counseling this weekend before confronting him.

I don’t want our conversation to be out of anger. But I also don’t know how I could ever trust him again if he was so willing to keep such a big secret from me.

I spoke with my husband’s mother, who told me that he was diagnosed with autism as a child in a way that suggests she clearly thought I already knew. I confronted my husband about his eating but not the autism thing, and he was extremely willing to cooperate and seek counseling. I’m mad about being lied to about the autism thing.

EDIT: I will be bringing this up in counseling but I’m not going to discuss it with him until then as I don’t want to let my anger and hurt override my desire to help him.

As some people stated it is possible he doesn’t know about his autism; I really, really, really hope that is the case. I’m hurt not because he has autism (I really couldn’t care less, it doesn’t change who he is as a person) but rather that he never told me about it.

Update 3:

Well. It’s been a lot longer than the one week update I promised. I could make excuses but I won’t.

For those of you who don’t want to read my original post, I asked for help with my husband’s food preference issues and through talking with many people on here and, ultimately, his mother, it was revealed that he was diagnosed with autism as a child.

Some of the comments on my original post were... not so kind. I got a lot of accusations that still hurt me. Some just make me angry, particularly the person who commented simply “Please don’t bully him.” He’s my goddamn husband. Not a schoolyard friend, not a sibling, not a child. Infantilizing him doesn’t help his case at all.

Moving on. I was very upset as he had never mentioned anything to me. We’ve discussed all sorts of medical issues together but his diagnosis never came up.

I want to stress this: This isn’t a matter of me not wanting to be married to an autistic man. This is a matter of my husband keeping something important from me and causing me a great deal of stress that could have been avoided if I was aware of his diagnosis.

For example, I continuously pushed him to try new foods or attend concerts or visit loud amusement parks. I knew he wasn’t particularly thrilled about any of those things but they are all very normal couple activities that I wanted us to experience together.

Had I been aware of his autism I would have had a better understanding of how negatively these things affected him, and made more of an effort to integrate things he liked with things I liked (maybe a smaller local band, or a craft fair instead of an amusement park).

Update 4:

Anyways. That’s the backstory. Read below for the update. I confronted him about my conversation with his mother the night before our counseling appointment. I made sure to bring it up casually so I didn’t become angry again.

He tried to brush me off at first, saying he didn’t know what I was talking about. After talking for a bit he eventually confessed that he not only knew of the diagnosis but deliberately kept it from me. He said I was his dream and he didn’t want to do anything to ruin our “perfect” relationship.

I explained how him keeping this from me hurt me. I explained how I could have been there to support him instead of feeling like he needed to hide.

He said he wasn’t ashamed of it at all. He explained that it’s just not something that affects him anymore. I, again, explained how it affects me, but he didn’t seem to care. I didn’t show him the post I made but I used some of the advice from you all to try to explain why his autism really does in fact still affect his life.

We went to bed upset. The next day he acted like nothing happened. We ate breakfast (he had chicken nuggets), and went about our day. I kept expecting him to bring it up but he never did.

I didn’t have the nerve to bring it up again until later at the marriage counselor’s office. I spoke to the counselor so as not to seem accusing and explained that this was an issue that bothered me.

My husband actually laughed and said he assumed I’d “gotten over it by now”. When I explained that no, I really hadn’t, he got angry with me and stormed out. The counselor tried to mediate but it wasn’t much use as my husband went to wait in the car. I was worried he’d leave without me so I cut the meeting short.

Our ride home was quiet. It wasn’t until we got home that I said I was worried he was keeping other things from me too.

He said he’d been reading online about how women can’t understand autism and therefore he didn’t think it was important to tell me about it. I said that was the weakest excuse I’d ever heard. He then said that I’d leave him if I knew. I said if I left him it’d be because he’s a liar.

Apparently he told all of our mutual friends that he’d “just” been diagnosed with autism and I was considering leaving him because of it. Now many of our friends won’t talk to me and act very cold when we run into each other in public.

I don’t know what else he’s told them but I think he told someone I cheated on him as a fake account has been commenting horrible things about me and my supposed sexual habits on all of my instagram posts. I keep reporting them but then it seems like another just pops up in its place.

I haven’t decided if divorce is the right path. I know he’s been browsing “incel” and other bitter male-centric websites (one of his friends is a self-described “incel”) so I’m even more convinced that this isn’t the man I married.

I’m mostly just confused. I’ve been avoiding him at home and it feels like more of a room mate situation at this point. He doesn’t really leave his den until it’s time for work, and then he’s back in the den until bed.

It seems like everything is messed up, just from me wanting to help. I don’t even know what to expect at this point, much less how to move on from here.

Update 5:

I’m going to be discussing divorce with a lawyer. I don’t know how to bring it up with him but I’m past the point of caring. You’re all right; I dread coming home to him in the evenings, I dread if he will miraculously want to talk. This isn’t healthy for either of us. At the very least some time apart would be good.

That’s all for now. I don’t think I’ll update past this, as I’m already uncomfortable with how quickly this blew up. But I will be living elsewhere by the end of the month.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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