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Veg/Non-Veg issue with wife

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by indusman, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. indusman

    indusman New IL'ite

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    Hello all,
    I am a 30 Sikh married male seeking advice from all the ladies out there. Mine was an arranged marriage a year ago. I am a liberal minded guy who has lived at many places as a bachelor with friends from almost any Indian community. In my opinion, eating preferences are best kept individual. I eat non-veg and have no issues with veg. people but they don't happen to feel the same way, and this I realized in a hard way after my marriage. My wife "hates" non-veg. This was an arranged marriage but I told her and her parents clearly that I do eat non-veg but "she need not cook for me". They interpreted the quotes as "I'll leave non-veg after marriage!". They somehow convinced my wife that by persuasion she would make me quit non-veg. In fact, my MIL and FIL had the same history where my MIL had a victory (These things I happened to know later).
    We got married and came to the US, the land of free (just me and her). Now, my wife first expected me to stop eating non-veg at all. To her, this was a way to show her "my commitment and love" for her, and I am not being sarcastic or anything, this was the case. The result was fights and more fights as I simply told her the fact that this was wrong on her part. Me cooking meat at home was simply out of question in that scenario. Slowly, I won my right to eat outside in restaurants.
    My wife went to India for vacations, and one day I cooked meat. On a phone conversation she asked me what I had cooked, and I told her the fact. She claims now that I broke her trust. She didnt expect that I would cook meat at home. I have never committed this to her and she acknowledges this, but me not cooking meat for 10 months was like a settlement for her.
    Now I simply can't take this pressure of being forced not to cook. I don't feel that I belong to my home. I am a good cook and many of my friends were "fans" of my non-veg cooking. If I tell my feelings to her, she accuses that I care more about my friends than her feelings (being selfish), and is insecure about me meeting/inviting my friends at home. That way she has made me a loner in my own house.
    I am a guy above all taboos and prejudices and have never forced my wife to adopt any particular lifestyle (food, clothes etc.). I don't even want her to cook non-veg for me. I don't consider her a cooking machine anyways, and help her in the kitchen in all possible ways. But she thinks that by leaving her parents for me, she has done the biggest sacrifice and now my concerns are trivial.
    I have contacted her parents in this regards but they say that compromise has to be made from both sides and so u should leave certain things for her too. My parents are helpless as they are very simple middle class individuals who have put all their lives in building their children's future.
    All the above said story can be repeated for alcohol. I am not an alcoholic. I am a highly qualified person who graduated from a premier institute in India and just finishing my Ph.D. I take alcohol occassionaly on parties and get togethers and have never been irresponsible about this. I sure don't hate alcohol and don't mind serving it to any guests of mine. I made a commitment to my wife that I would never take alcohol alone at home but only with my friends occasionally. She is not even comfortable with a bottle sitting idle in our home. She infact threw a half bottle of scotch away without consulting me. I feel as if I am a prisoner at home.
    She is a small town girl, with an IT degree, who has not seen any world beyond her parents. I belong to the same place and so thought that things would be fine. But I have been out form my parents home for last 12 years for my education and job.
    Now finally the situation is this, she doesn't want any presence of meat and alcohol in our home. She cries a lot. She knew that I took meat and alcohol before marriage. I feel deceived and controlled. My parents are sad about the whole situation. What is a probable solution?
     
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  2. bubai

    bubai Gold IL'ite

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    Hi there,
    Let me tell you one thing here, drinking has nothing to do with being a small town girl or a so called born-and-bred city girl……Me and my DH both grew up in big cities but we don’t drink. We don’t even drink in parties. We always opt for coke/pepsi/juice. The way you have written about your wife sounds like you have a superiority complex. That is not right. When you say, your wife has an IT degree and you are a Ph.d holder, what do you mean by that? There shouldn’t be any competition/complex between husband and wife. If you think you drink and that will make you smart and modern, you are absolutely WRONG!! And I am saying this from my own experience. Alcohol has nothing to do with intelligence/smartness.
    Here is a suggestion from me, never ever underestimate another human being by his/her place of birth, country or community. You will get nothing out of it.
    Now coming back to your food, have a good discussion with your wife. I think you both are at two different extremes. You are someone who can’t live without nonveg food and she is someone who can’t stand the sight of it. So to make your marriage work, you have to find a middle ground……Tell her that you are willing to compromise and she should compromise too. You can set different timings for cooking nonveg in the house. Sometimes you can just buy food from the restaurant. If you want to make adjustments, trust me you can do it, it has to come from both sides though.
    I have a friend and her DH is a tamilian Brahmin and he can’t tolerate the sight/smell of meat and my friend loves butter chicken. So they have an arrangement…..She eats butter chicken twice in a week. They eat dinner at the same time (while enjoying some TV program), but she takes her plate and eats on the sofa and he eats on the Dining table…..She always sprays the air freshner after cooking her chicken so the smell goes out….They are one of the sweetest couples we have known.
    Try to make some arrangements. Having marital fights for such a trivial issue is not a good sign. Try finding a solution for it. You can do it and you SHOULD do it.
    One more thing, if you know she is very sensitive about something, it is better not to discuss it with her at times….For example, what was the need to tell her that you cooked nonveg when she was in India? See this was something you could have avoided….My DH does not like it when I drink more than 2 cups of tea in a day. He thinks too much caffeine can cause insomnia, which might be true….But I am a workaholic, I am always working and I need my energy. Most days I get 3-4 hours of sleep and I do OK. If I am lucky, I sleep for 5 hours. Now I don’t work because I have to work, I work because I love my work, because I am very passionate about what I do. I travel quite frequently in my job and I can’t do all this without keeping myself awake and for that I need my daily dose of tea (usually 4-5 cups). Sometimes I tell my DH, sometimes I don’t (but he knows that….). I don’t seeing doing any harm to anybody by hiding this small thing.
    Choose your battles. Life is too short. Learn to live and let live.........:thumbsup
    Best,
    --Bubai
     
  3. saipavani123

    saipavani123 Silver IL'ite

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    [JUSTIFY]Hey :) Can't say about non-veg. But your wife thinks the same way as I think about alcohol. Many Women(not generalizing) especially small town girls are not comfortable with alcohol at their home or might be even husband taking it occasionally too... Your wife might be one of them. There is nothing wrong in she behaving so. I agree you had alcohol or meat before marriage. But now you are a MARRIED MAN !! Just as a woman makes lots of compromises while getting married so the man does. After all she is also a human being and has few expectations from you. Did she ever stop you from drinking at parties ?? You no need to feel deceived and controlled . It happens !!! You can't stay in bachelor life anymore. When ME becomes US you need to take care of interests of other person also while doing anything. That's a basic need of any married person (be it male/female) . If she doesn't like alcohol at home you can make simple compromise and don't keep any bottle at home.

    Sorry if you feel I am taking her side here. I am not at all . I am just saying YES !! You need to take care of her interests too. You might be looking after her well in all other matters. But that just not sufficient. You need to take care of her in every matter. Trust me !! Its not at all loosing your identity or your freedom. Its just compromising a bit to make your married life more happier. Even she must have compromised a lot to make this journey beautiful

    And yeah regarding meat JMO She should not have assumed you would leave non-veg after marriage.
    Do continue bringing meat from take away counters. Love her... understand her...IF necessary explain her. You take a step down and let her take a step down and come to common conclusion !! :)

    [/JUSTIFY]
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  4. indusman

    indusman New IL'ite

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    Dear Bubai,
    U have been real quick in being judgmental about me. I never said that drinking means being modern and well educated. I only said that I drink occasionally and I made my position clear before marriage.
    I simply mentioned our backgrounds for the readers, I am not attributing these as our "cause" of conflict. I mentioned that I myself belong to the same place. And what's wrong in saying that I am completing a PhD when I am doing that !! how is that a superiority complex ! I just mentioned this to emphasize that I am not a drunkard, completely overlooking my career or profession. I am ready to take criticism but I feel your are pulling wrong strings together.
     
  5. saipavani123

    saipavani123 Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Bubai ,
    I think OP said it as part of introduction. And regarding small town girl issue. He just said it to give her background too. He might not have superiority complex or whatever. :) He no where mentioned his wife is traditional and he is modern . JMO though. Sorry if I pointed wrong :)
     
  6. mithy232

    mithy232 Silver IL'ite

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    Indusman,

    No wife would feel comfortable with alcohol at home. Not so early in one year of marriage life. As Pavani said, you both can compromise and come to a common conclusion of you stop having alcohol at home and she allowing you to have non-veg.That would be better. :)

    You both have different views, which is right or wrong is not important here. You want a happy married life and so do not expect her to accept all your views. That will take a lot of time. Love her and she will soon give you the space you need. I don't support her....since you are more interested in finding a solution for this problem, I am telling you this.

    Take care!
     
  7. Coffeelover

    Coffeelover Platinum IL'ite

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    Takk to your wife in detail about the situation. You are being honest and open. After sometime, she will understand. "Give and Take" policy is very much needed in married life. Good luck. :cheers
     
  8. vmtaurus

    vmtaurus Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi
    This seems just a simple problem of adjustment from both your sides. One year is a very short time for adjustments..it takes almost 3-4 years to even come to understand what one person needs or wants from each other!
    My MIL was a pucca tam bram who married into a hardcore telugu non-brahmin household and was forced to cook non-veg, but thats just her. I would not for the world do it, as I'm not conditioned for it, nor agree to it. I infact do not like egg too. But my husband though a vegetarian likes egg, and he cooks it himself..thats a neutral ground we both found. :)
    So, basically I'm trying to say that both of you need to sit down and TALK, without crying or emotions and look at it rationally. DO NOT involve your or her family. This is something between the two of you and the two of you should sort it out. Once you reach out to families, a small issue gets blown out of proportion.
    Middle ground would work only if both of you work at it, and it seems like both her and you don't want to work at it. She probably is not used to this lifestyle and is finding it difficult to adjust to it, and is reacting by rejecting it outright. You are used to it, and need to wait for her to get adjusted. It takes 1 yr, 2 yrs and sometimes more for a person to get used to a way of life.
    It was good that you cooked non-veg the first time when she was away, and she needs to understand that this is your house too..the kitchen cannot be a territorial ground!
    Me thinks its a time of adjustment and coping with the habits of each. All of us don't have perfect lives, and we might not like somethings our spouses do, but we learn to live with it.
    Both of you look at the relationship on a broader perspective...do you really want such a minor issue to get so blown out of proportion?
    Good Luck :thumbsup
     
  9. Malavika81

    Malavika81 Bronze IL'ite

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    OP, maybe you should have discussed these issues in detail before marriage? I personally think your wife has no right to infringe on your choices in food or drinking ( as long as you are not alcoholic and obnoxious when you drink... which I think you are not). My husband eats meat and I took up vegetarianism when I was young but I absolutely have no problem with his food choices and nor is it my right to infringe. As for alcohol, we both drink socially and at home so no issues there either.

    I maybe the oddball here to support you and your preferences in food and libations LOL Maybe you should talk to your wife and sort this out. From my standpoint, I do not see anything alarming or offensive about your choices and ideally, your wife should understand you. Maybe you can refrain from cooking meat at home as a trade off but I think your wife throwing your scotch bottle out is barmy. Tell your wife that one or two drinks a day is actually good for your health and maybe she can take it up as well, if she is interested. Maybe make her some of those fruity cocktails like MaiTai or Pina Colada and she might start to like it.
     
  10. vidhkarthik

    vidhkarthik Bronze IL'ite

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    Am sure my post will not be the popular opinion...but I think you are right in asking what you want.

    She married you knowing well that you eat meat and you dignified her respect by not cooking meat at home when she is around. What more can be done? Meat eating is an individual choice and no one should force their opinions in an adult relationship. You are being fair by letting her live her vegetarian lifestyle - She should learn to accept this maturely or talk to you sanely about compromises instead of crying and screaming and making a fuss.

    With regards to drinking, as long as it is within the limits and is not a problem - basically as long as it is social drinking, I wouldn't mind it. but....its just me. I have not seen or heard anyone in my friends circle who have had problems with them or their partners drinking socially. I have also heard that some women find it very offensive that their partners drink even socially. So..maybe you should sit down and tell her that you are not addicted to this and its a social thing and arrive at a neat, sane compromise like grown ups and without bringing in parents or ILs here.

    Throwing the Scotch bottle without even asking you was such an immature act. My husband would have gone bonkers if I had done such a thing.

    BTW...Budai - That was some judgemental note you had written here. Am sure the OP did not even think of the possibilities in which you interpreted his statement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010

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