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'My husband only eats 'kiddie food' and its ruining our relationship.' UPDATED 2X

'My husband only eats 'kiddie food' and its ruining our relationship.' UPDATED 2X

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"My husband only eats 'kiddie food' and its ruining our relationship."

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 bring 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 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 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?

OP provided some context:

We began dating when I was 19 and he was 32. Looking back, I admit I 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 despite the noticeable age difference, it never felt like I was being taken advantage of.

We met in college, where he returned to pursue 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 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.

OP provided an update:

So, I did it. I confronted him when he came home. I brought up ARFID, which he seemed very open to. He appeared somewhat 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 food choices are NOT healthy, and by the end of our conversation, we both agreed to work together to overcome this.

We’ll be going to couples therapy this weekend at a local clinic. From there, we'll look into seeing a dietitian and a specialized counselor for his eating disorder.

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

I like the idea of making weekly meal prep together, so there are 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 offhandedly 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.

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.

OP provided another 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 wouldn’t become angry again.

He initially tried to brush me off, claiming he didn’t know what I was talking about. After some discussion, he eventually confessed that he not only knew about 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 and how I could have been there to support him instead of feeling like he needed to hide.

He stated he wasn’t ashamed of it at all and explained that it’s just not something that affects him anymore. I reiterated 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 more like a roommate 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.

Here are some of the top comments:

Johoski says:

Wow. He escalated to a preemptive smear campaign to get in front of the story, instead of dealing with his wife and his autism/eating concerns authentically. He chucked the whole thing out.

danuhorus says:

The whole time I was reading my eyebrows rose higher and higher at a gradual rate, until they shot right off my face in the last couple of paragraphs. It went from “okay, he’s ashamed of his diagnosis, not great but it’s a start” to “welp he’s a tater tot, run don’t walk”.

bayleysgal1996 says:

I’m an autistic woman. We do, in fact, understand what it’s like to have autism. I know that’s kind of the least of this dude’s issues, but I’m constantly amazed how many men on the spectrum think we don’t exist.

matchamagpie says:

Yikes. The autism isn't the issue, it's the lying and now also the manipulation. And that age difference is the icing on the cake. I hope she really goes through with the divorce. Life is too short to be chained down by someone who doesn't add value to your life.

What do you think? Should OP go through with the divorce?

Sources: Reddit
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