49 answers

Help - My Husband Is Driving Me Crazy!

Well, not really...but sort of.

Here is the situation. I have two kids under 3 - so getting dinner on the table is a MAJOR thing for me, but I DO manage to do it about 5 nights a week. Well, I'm developing a really bad resentment against my husband because often (I'd say maybe 2 nights a week) just as I am putting dinner on the table he says, "ugh, I don't want any," or "my stomach is bothering me...I'll eat later." Now, this wouldn't bother me if I was a terrible cook or something - but ladies - seriously - people don't turn down my cooking! I'm a really good cook, and it hurts my feelings when he doesn't eat the food I've made - especially with how hard it is to get it done with a 3 year old and a 1 year old.

Like tonight, I made a roasted turkey breast, mashed potatos, gravy, salad and rolls, and he didn't want any. Last night, I made a really good lasagne, garlic bread and a salad...and he didn't want any. Then, he ate a Lunchable each night at about 9:00.

He has always had a "nervous" stomach, and I know that sometimes work stress does get to him and he is the type that doesn't eat when he is stressed (I'm the opposite!) but this is hurting my feelings.

Do I need to just let this go?

This is not a deal-breaker for me - I'm not willing to make a big stink about it - just not a battle that feels worth it. Maybe I just need some TLC from some other moms telling me that they'd be hurt too....what do you guys think?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much everyone for your kind words/thoughts! This really helped me. I learned a lot about myself actually from reading your posts - I realized that the reason why this is "hurting" me is because cooking for my family is a big way that I show love, and it is part of my Italian heritage, so this just feels natural to me to "love" people by feeding them. So, him not eating feels like a rejection...but when I really analyze this...it isn't. He's just not really an "eater." Never has been, never will be probably. So.....maybe I need to trade in my cooking apron for a French Maid costume and just jump his bones more often...and then we could both just eat a Lunchable! Cheers!!

Featured Answers

Not to upset you more, but I would more concerned about my husband for not eating. Is he okay, maybe he should go see a doctor just to be on the safe side.

I am what my husband calls "IRON CHEF", so I know how you feel when he won't eat. I solved this problem by cooking only for the kids ( we have 4 at home 9,8,6,17mo). The few nights that I made only say mac and cheese and hot dogs, or broke down and make chicken nuggets from bag (I usually make them from scratch), he gets the message. He'll complain that it isn't what he would like to eat. I just kindly respond that I hate to waste food and throwing out leftovers because he decided he did not want to eat is wasting money, something we can't afford to do. He usually gets out of his stint.
If he really is stressed about something, talk to him. If I waited for my husband to tell me what is wrong, we would never talk about it. He wants the problem solved before he talks about it. I just listen at first and don't judge, or try to solve it.
I also donate the left overs to the missionaries that live in the next building. That way, I do not feel like I am wasting food. I know that they really appreciate it. I know my husband does too, although he sometimes has trouble showing it.
hope this helps

More Answers

I would be hurt, too! I understand your frustration...I have 4 kids-13 1/2, 5 1/2, 3 1/2, and 1-my husband is grateful when I get something more than just mac and cheese on the table :o).

I have a couple of suggestions...depending on your mood :o).

1. Make a nice dinner for you and the kids, but place a Lunchable on the table in front of his chair.

2. Have him call you in the afternoon and let you know if he feels up for dinner, or if you get the night off! (This is what my hubby and me do and it works out nicely :o)

3. Make dinner as usual, but place his in a container that can be stored in the fridge until he takes it to work the next day!

I hope this helps...Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

This would hurt my feelings too. But I don't think there's anything to do about it. It probably hurts your feelings because you may express love to your spouse through the acts of service- cooking being one of your biggest ways to care for him. I know thats how I am. Really, if you don't eat, you die, so as mothers and wives we actually sustain our families lives by feeding them. Its important and it makes us feel important and valued when our families are well fed. I also personally derive a great deal validation when my husband loves the food I make. Perhaps you are missing that validation and why wouldn't you? All you can do it let him know that you are missing that validation so he can validate you in other ways. You may also need to find another way to show your love for him.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh, man, he sounds like an only slightly different version of MY husband. (My complaint is that we have one kid who's a very fussy eater and when my hubby rejects the meal, it just encourages my son to do the same, and of course I'm trying to teach my son to enthusiastically try new foods and regularly eat healthy ones.) I suggest having a calm conversation w/ your husband (in private, away from the kids, when it's NOT dinnertime) and asking him what's up. It could be that he really is very stressed and uncomfortable (with the economy, I think EVERYONE's a bit freaked out) and can't relax enough to eat. However if this continues for a long time it's obviously not good for his health and he should see a doctor to find ways to relax or at least make his GI tract relax enough that he's getting decent nutrition. However, you should also try to find out whether something else is going on. For example, my hubby has a bad habit of going most of the day without eating at all, so late in the day he's starving. Sometimes that means he comes home and eats way more dinner and dessert than he should (so he's very uncomfortable the rest of the night), but sometimes he eats fast food on the way home so when he arrives he's not hungry anymore for dinner. Is your hubby doing something similar? Or maybe he has some kind of food allergy or intolerance that you're unaware of and the foods you prepare aggravate it, and he's reluctant to tell you that? Or maybe he's eating something at lunch that disagrees with him, so every evening he feels kind of ill? (Celiac disease? Lactose intolerant? Gluten intolerant? etc.) ... You should GENTLY explain to him that you feel a bit hurt and insulted that he's rejecting the dinner you've prepared, but if he really has some other issue going on, then you need to focus on solving his problem rather than taking it personally. Meanwhile, I would focus on his presence at the dinner table with family rather than whether or not he's eating. (When my husband says he's not hungry or his stomach is upset or whatever, my major gripe is that he wanders off to watch TV in the other room, leaving me to feed and clean up after the kids and meanwhile it's our only meal of the day we can share as a family and I want the WHOLE family present, no distractions, no TV, no phone interruptions, etc.) If your husband understands that the meal is quality family time and not just eating, and he's sticking around the table even when he's not eating, that's a positive thing and I'd focus on that rather than worrying about what he is or isn't eating (unless he's creating a bad eating example for the kids, in which case, maybe he really is better off in another room until the kids' eating habits are better established?) Ultimately I think everyone's health and bonding time as family are more important than what's being eaten. Meanwhile, if you're feeling resentful partly or mostly because you've put major effort into the meal only to have it rejected, start using faster, more simple recipes that let you get dinner pulled together very easily. Then if he won't eat it at least you won't feel like you've slaved over a hot stove for an hour with children whining at your feet and it was all for nothing. Also if he really does have a "nervous stomach," he might find lighter, simpler food more appealing (a bit of soup and grilled chicken, rather than lasagna and heavy bread, maybe?) I'm all about fast and easy for dinner! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

What time is dinner, I'll bring the wine :) First, MAJOR kudos for the amazing dinners you manager to prepare with little ones I'm sure trying to get between you and the counter the whole time!! WOW! I understand your frustration with someone prefering a lunchable over a full course meal. Maybe with the meals you prepare, always have a 'stomach friendly' side since your hubby has a sensitive stomach. If he really is not eating because his stomach is bothering him, perghaps that would at least get hime to eat with the family..... I wouldn't worry to much, ONLY because of the issues he seems to have with his stomach. If he had no issues at all, send him to bed without dinner :):) Like I said before, I'll come help put a dent in the meal, and even help with the dishes :) Take care.

1 mom found this helpful

OH, I totally get it~! I'm such a brat, I make EVERYONE stop what they are doing and come eat my food as soon as it hits the table! You should ask him to please sit with the family to help teach the kids table manners and so the kids don't start picking up his bad habit of all of a sudden not feeling good and not wanting to eat. I think if you talk with him ahead of time and let him know you are cooking this meal FOR him (and the kids) and that if he isn't going to be eating he needs to let you know so you don't go to all the trouble it takes, you'll just get something simpler, like a sandwich, maybe he would put more effort? Anyway, I agree that it isn't worth a huge fight, but he does need to at least join you so at the very least you can get a few warm bites in! Good luck, and give your husband a big hug for being worth cooking for!

1 mom found this helpful

Let it go hun. I am going thru a divorce currently and looking back I see that some of the small things I could have just let go and avoided frustration for us both. If a lunchable makes him happy, let him have it. That just means more yummy left overs for you and the kids! I can see why it would hurt your feeling babe however I doubt that he is doing it in a spiteful way. Know that you are an amazing cook and this is about what makes him mentally happy. Nothing to do with you or your yummy cooking!

1 mom found this helpful

You need to let it go, it is not worth the effort to worry about it and to be mad at your hubby.
Sounds like he is stressed and helping him thru that would be in your best interest instead of getting mad that he doesn't eat...................Can you call him at work and see if he will be too stressed to eat dinner BEFORE you cook, if not, just the fact that you care enough to cook a great meal should lift his spirits even though he doesn't show it.
I have been married 47 yrs and this is too small to sweat, just get over it............................

1 mom found this helpful

Hi E M, I can feel your frustration, being a house wife and mother, is a job that no one can understand except for a house wife and mother. I think what i would do about this situation is, to saqy to your husband I 've noticed you haven't wanted to eat dinner the last couple nights, is there something that you would like for me to cook that I haven't cooked lately, by doung this, you can get to the bottom of something, without an attack on your husband or throw around any accusations. I dn't know about with yur family, but the family table is very sacred to our family, it's harder now with our kds grown with college and work schdules, but we still havr the family table for dinner when we can, so talk to your husband about the family table especially now why the kids are so small, I have know a lot of people who feedthe kids early then have adult dinner latter, we started the family table as early as our first born could sit in the high chair. In dealing with your husband, always use conversation in such a way, that it;s not confritational, your porpuse is not to start an argument, as many young and older wives are in the habit of doing, through the years of my 27 year marriage, I've have always asked my husband do you have a prevance for dinner tonight, usually he will say what ever you cook will be fine, every now and then he may want fresh fish or gumbo, something like that, and then I cook it. Hope this helps. J. L.

1 mom found this helpful

Edit: OK, so I was thinking about you and I had to write something else to you... Is it possible that you could change up the routine a little bit? Maybe feed the kids before dad arrives at home, then load up the kids into strollers and go out for a family walk to help daddy unwind? I'm still thinking about his general health and not so much thinking of your uneaten food (though I would still like to eat your leftovers!!). I think it would do all of you some good to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise. It will make the little ones tired for bed and you and hubby can walk off that stress, then maybe have a light adult meal (NOT LUNCHABLES!!) of a hearty salad or soup or something when he is ready to eat. Just a thought. i wish you all the best.

He eats a LUNCHABLE?!?!?!?!? What is he CRAZY??? Send me your leftovers, please... I will enjoy them, relish them and love them and tell you so each day. My husband works way too much, too. Some days when he knows that he will not be coming home early, he lets me know at the beginning of the day, so I will just make mac n cheese and the kids are thrilled. But many many days he will just be way too late to hold dinner and even if I do hold dinner, he does not want to eat as soon as he gets home. So my kids complain because I made salmon and rice and they want mac n cheese and I get angry because I spent a good deal of time making something that nobody except me will enjoy, and I won't even enjoy it because my kids are whining about the lack of mac n cheese!! I'm sorry for you and I know how aggravating it can be. However, I'm also concerned about your husband's health (as I am about mine) because it sounds like his lifestyle is affecting his body and therefore can cause health problems. I don't have any advice for you there, because I think the desire for change needs to come from within. I know that nagging my husband about exercising and eating better don't work too well for me, but when my man decides that he is going on a health binge, he does pretty well on his own until something breaks the cycle (usually a work-related event). Good luck to you. I would worship your gift of yummy food!!

1 mom found this helpful


I'm wondering if it might be possible for you to have a separate, "adult" dinner with your husband after the kids are in bed. This might be a destressor for both of you. Perhaps he needs time to wind down after work, and, let's face it, dinner with a one year old and a three year old is not the best place for adult conversation. Obviously, this is something you need to talk over with your husband, along with your own hurt feelings. Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Ok, How close to Corona are you? I'll come over & watch the kids for you if you'll make the dinner. I hate to cook, I think the reason I hate to cook is that my son the youngest was a very picky eater, he would come to the table and look at the food and say I HAAAATE THAT! I would say to bad that's what we are eating, then dad would come to the table and turn up his nose. I do most everything for my family Clean, Laundry, Cook, Homework, Taxi etc. And I work, I'm up at 4:30am and I don't go to bed till 10:30 or later. I'm exosted, we eat at around 8:00pm because that's when the family is all home if we are home before that I try to cook earlier. But at 8 I'm not wanting a big meal, plus there is no time to work it off. I'm tiered and want down time to relax, plus I still have to get kids in bed.

What drives me crazy is sometimes my spouse is to busy working and won't have time to eat until 4 or 5, but he won't tell me don't make dinner for me I ate late and I'm not hungry. There are things that I can cook that just the kids and I like, but he thinks I should call him every night and ask him if he will be eating. When his eating late might happen 3 or 4 nights out of a month. He doesn't think that him calling me these 3 or 4 times a month would be easier. Sometimes he wouldn't even have to call, he could tell me when he walks in the door or when he knows that it's time to make dinner. He just thinks I should be the one to do all the work. (by asking him).

I stopped making anything nice and big during the week. If it can't be done in a half hour then it doesn't get made during the week. I don't care who eats and who complains. I made dinner so you won't starve,(it's my motherly duty) if you don't like it make your own or shut up! (I don't see you taking over). I try to make a great dinner on Sunday everyone has learned that this is our one good meal that doesn't come from a box. I have more time to cook and prepare. If you complain to the cook you get to cook the next night. My youngest is 8 he has learned you eat what's on the table or you fix it yourself, he usually asks me while I'm making it, then he makes top ramen or a hot dog, or mac-n-cheese, he has even learned to cook a Jeno frozen pizza, or nacho's if we are eating taco's. If there are left overs we fix them the next night until they are gone. I usually don't make alot because everyone complains about left overs unless it's from Sunday's meal.

Make life simple for yourself, if no-one else cares then why should you put so much into it. Talk to your spouse, but don't complain, Just say: hey look I've noticed that I'm making a big meal for you and you aren't wanting to eat it, so I'm thinking of only making a big meal a couple nights a week, this will save us on groceries and me on time I could be spending with you or the kids. Please help me out with a schedule on nights you are definitly wanting to eat and nights you aren't. Then go into what foods you are interested in making on big meal nights and small meal nights. You want to know what he likes to eat and what he doesn't. This way on the nights he does want to eat you are fixing him things he likes and on the other days you can either fix just enough for the rest of you or do the quick chicken nugget thing. I would also talk to him about joining the table weather he is eating or not. Dinner only takes 15 to 20 minutes to eat, and this is a great time to visit with the family to know what everyone else is doing.

I know it's a personal thing for you, it was for me too, but it doesn't sound like he doesn't want to eat your good cooking, just maybe something lighter, ask him. But don't take it personal. Some of us are meat and potato's, and some of us are taco/burrito, or pasta and pizza kind etc. Go by what he says and make your life easier, kids love finger foods and costco sells them by the bag. Plus you can still by a big piece of meat cut it up at home to what you can use for a night then re-ceal in those ceal air tight bags, they last forever I have one and always by meat in bulk, I just take it home and separate it into what we will eat in a meal. Good luck to you! Remember I'll come over and eat it for you. J.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a funny story:

I usually never cooked...never cooked. When I did, the two times, I remember, he didn't eat my food. When we dated, I cooked at my house and he did eat my food and liked it. When I cook, it's good, really!

The first time I cooked, he didn't eat my food because he said he had a late lunch, therefore, wasn't hungry for dinner. I got a bit upset, but, I let it go. About a week later, he said he bought some chicken and had the idea that I cook it, so I did. I served his plate and mine. He then went into the kitchen and re-heated food that he had cooked from the night before. I was very angry and before he started eating, I asked what happened? He ignored me. Then, I said: I hope that you break your teeth with your food!!......he broke a tooth. LOL!!! I never cooked again. I still think it was funny!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I feel for you! I cook 6 nights out of 7 (never on Friday!) and I never know how many are here to eat. I am a widow, so I don't have to deal with a husband who won't eat, however I do have two teens and a young adult living here and whenever I cook a normal sized meal, thinking it will be just us, all their friends seem to show up! I swear they know instinctively when dinner is just about to be served. Then when I cook enough to feed a small army, there is nary a soul in sight!
But....back to your issue :). Try to ignore it and not make it a battle. Keep to your regular routine and set a plate for him. If he doesn't want to eat, ask that he still sit at the table with the family so that he models good behavior for the kids. Put the left overs in the fridge and send it with him for lunch. My husband did not like to share with me his work stress, so don't make that your focus. He may just need time to unwind before he can eat. Good luck. You sound like a good wife/mother.

I would be hurt too! I am a pretty good cook as well and while I don't get my feelings hurt if someone doesn't like my food for person dislikes, I would be hurt if it was something I new he liked and just didn't want to eat it.

Oh Honey!! I totally sympathize with you - if my husband did that to me I would go nuts! The evil side of me says to serve dinner to you and your kids and put one of those nasty Lunchables on his plate instead. The keep-the-peace side says to talk to him and ask what's going on. That seems very disrespectful and I would say there is something bothering him. His nervous stomach will only be made more upset by all the preservatives and junk in the snacks he is eating, but you probably both know that. You absolutely need to tell him that his actions are hurting your feelings - he has a problem right now, but if you keep it in and really start to resent him, his problems will only get bigger. He is being rude to you and if he really doesnt know that you need to tell him. Cooking isnt easy, and with little ones under your feet you are doing something a lot of mommies out there either cant or wont do. He needs to know that the meals you are making will keep him healthier and that you put LOVE into those meals too! I like to cook too, so I know how hard it can be and I know how proud you are of the masterpieces you create for him. I bet if you talk to him you will get to the bottom of it. If not, at least you will be able to explain your frustration to him. Good luck!

Not to upset you more, but I would more concerned about my husband for not eating. Is he okay, maybe he should go see a doctor just to be on the safe side.

Firstly; I'd have my feelings hurt as well. I work a lot of hours but cook most of the meals. (I’d say I cook well! It feels like the only vaguely creative thing I have time for any more). So to have the only grown up around not touch it. . . errggghhh!!!

So, I work lots and try to still plan and cook quality meals. However; when my husband and I were trying to talk about how overbusy and stressed I felt (and how underappreciated he felt - he works from home and does the bulk of the housework) he said he'd gladly eat take-out or something boughten if it made me feel less stressed. Lightbulb! Once or twice a week we do just that. It frees me up (and there aren't dishes to do either). I order something & bring it home with me, or we go out to something inexpensive.
Izabella (4) behaves well when we 'eat out at a restaurant' now too - it isn't always a “very special” occasion and she is learning to just hang out with us and enjoy the company.
Just reread your note - I hope that no matter if he eats or doesn't that he sits down with you and the kids to share that special and vital time as a family. That is so important - sharing stories about the day, eating together, laughing together. . . and the forum, as they grow, for earnest discussions that otherwise might seem too daunting to bring up at another time. My memories of my childhood suppers are a treasure, and I hope that our daughter is benefiting from our shared mealtime (almost) every evening. The laughter is the best benefit of this habit, I swear. And no, 2-under-3 is not too young to begin this!
I am sure you'll find a coping or communicating solution. The input from this group is diverse and surely something will click for you. Best - A.

Hey E.M. Just let it go. If you assume he will not partake in dinner, than you can't be dissapointed. Only make enough for you and the kids, and a small amount should he actually be hungry. Let him know dinner is ready, and even if he is not hungry, if he'll please join you at the table so that you can establish a family dinner ritual, that would be great. Be gracious, serve your little ones, and a plate for yourself, let him know, if he's hungry you'll make him a plate. Aporoach him with the intention that you just want him at the table, and it's not important if he eats or not.

A lot of times we tend to think of food as an extension of ourselves and a rejection of food is a rejection of us. Especially if we are Italian, Greek, or another food/relationship culture. It's not you, so don't take it personally.

May I come over for dinner? May I buy your leftovers?! Didn't read what the other people wrote, but am really impressed with your ability to cook and get it on the table at a specific time. Even before my daughter (she's 1) arrived - the only meal that got on the table was cereal!

Would it be out of the question to tell him that you have a little bit of pride in your cooking and that it's an act of enormous love and exceptional effort to get it put together for him and the kids and it hurts your feelings when he wants "lunchables" (are you kidding???) vs your home cooked meals. In your mind perhaps it's a gift of your love, in his mind maybe it's just a meal and cereal would be fine to keep his stomach from growling.

Was he this way before the kids? or is this new? In this economy and with most all of us looking at our wealth having been cut in half... I can understand not having an appetite!

Try sitting down with him on a weekly basis and figure out a menu plan for the week. He might be overwhelmed with all the food you are preparing. Maybe some simple meals would help out.

Then he can have a choice on what he would like for dinner that night. If he is stressed, a huge meal might not be something that he wants.


I'm not that great a cook and i also get upset - the point here is, you seem to be trying to get the family together for a meal and family time, as crazy as it might seem with the little ones. If the talk does not give him the message, try a strike! (no warnings) Do not cook for him for a few nights and he'll be craving your food! Feeding the kids are a lot easier, and that will give you a break! Better yet, leave the kids with him and go have your nails or hair done ;) he'll notice!

I'd be hurt and angry if it were me. My husband does something similar, except for that he just eats at certains times according to his workouts and calorie intake. I know. That's another story. He counts every calorie, every day. Well, since he eats on a schedule and I will not hold up everyone else's dinner for his schedule, I make him a plate and stick it in the microwave for him to eat when he is ready. He always ends up eating it at his next meal. If you do that and your husband still does not eat it, then it's definitely time to get angry. Stop making big dinners and stop making him dinner altogether and make him fend for himself from now on.

Men can be so clueless sometimes!

You are right to have hurt feelings. We all know how difficult it is to get dinner on the table. To have all that effort tossed back in our faces can be very hurtful and demeaning of our hard work. That said, I think you have the right attitude about not turning this into a huge deal because you already know that your husband has stomach issues. You certainly don't want him to eat if he's not feeling well.

I would suggest letting him know what a daily struggle it is for you to make dinner and how much it hurts your feelings when he doesn't eat. Perhaps he can call you earlier in the day and let you know ahead of time if he thinks he'll be able to participate. If not, maybe you could scale back dinner that night for you and the kids. I'm not crazy about how this solution leaves you at his beck and call, though. Perhaps if his stomach is too nervous to eat at dinner time, you can set aside a small plate for him for later (just a few ounces - a la lunchable size) since that might be all his stomach can tolerate.

You are so not alone. When my first daughter was about 4 months old and I was walking into walls from lack of sleep, I was bemoaning the loss of my intimate relationship with my hubby. I was feeling sorry for myself that he never made any special efforts to be romantic with me. Then it occurred to me that I could be romantic, too! So I spent all day preparing a romantic French picnic for us. I moved back all the furniture in the living room so we'd have a big open area to sit. I spread big, cozy blankets and about a dozen pillows everywhere. I went out and got special food and laid it out all fancy with trays, our best dishes, wine, etc. and basically wasted every ounce of what little energy I had making it a special, romantic surprise. The time finally came for him to come home from work. He walked in the door, surveyed our living room and the first words out of his mouth were, "Is this all we're having for dinner?" And then he wound up ordering in Thai food!! Do I need to say that there was no nookie that night? (or the next...)

You are not alone! Men can be really clueless about this kind of thing because, for the most part, they don't do it, so they don't realize how much effort goes into it. I guess the bottom line is to talk to your husband. Communication is the answer to almost any problem.

Best of luck to you!!

If your husband has always had a nervous stomach- especially when he is stressed out, I would let it go. However, I would request that he sit at the table so that you can be together as a family. From reading your posting, it seems that your cooking is something you are proud of (hey, I'll come and eat anytime!!), but don't let your ego get in the way. The most important thing about sitting together for the evening meal is not the food but the interaction. Good luck!

It might be that while at work your husband might have had a big lunch, and expecting the kids to sit through a full course meal might be too much to expect at this age. Maybe he's looking to have lighter meals, (that's why he's going to the lunchables).
Try to make your family meal time something short and sweet until the kids get older, when everyone can appreicate the gourmet chef in you. The important thing is to develop a family meal time when everyone sits at the table at the same time, you'll see as the kids get older they will enjoy it more, but now they won't handle more than about 15 min, and trying to sit through more than that is going to leave everyone frazzled.
I also suggest making something light like maybe just fish and salad, so much food at the end of the day might be good once in a while, but not every day. I feel your pain though, the same happened to me, until I learned it was the experience that was imprtant, and I lightened up the dinners I prepared.

E M,
Have you told your hubby how you feel?
Sometimes as wives and moms because we're so busy forget that our hubbies need us to tell them how we feel and what we're thinking. We can't assume they should know...
I've felt the same way even after 17yrs. of marriage it takes alot of work to communicate!
If he's under stress from work, why not skip the 2-3 course meal and do something more simple, keeping your hubbies stomach in mind!
I'm pretty sure it sounds like your hubbies not demanding dinner on the table every night, but you do it out of love for your family. But don't break your back if you dont have to.
Maybe he doesn't realize how he's affecting you when he does this. Men can be clueless sometimes!!
What helps for me is if I should talk to my hubby before he comes home to see how his day is going, what he feels like eating for dinner or when he's gonna be home. Then I get an idea of what to do about dinner.
If I dont have to sometimes I just do grilled cheese or something easy like that. Do you have a slow cooker? I've done alot of "leave it and forget it" dinners with that-soo easy!
Or maybe find some easy upset stomach remedies for him!
Then when he's feeling better give him a treat(later in bed) to show no hard feelings!
Works for me,
SAHM w/4kids

Hi E M

Do you have the food waiting for him as soon as he gets home? Maybe he just needs some time to unwind before he eats. I do agree with many of the posts here. First, talk to your husband. Second, stop making such huge meals every night. Maybe limit a larger meal to once or twice a week.

A definite concern is that he is eating Lunchables at 9 pm at night. Eating later can disrupt his sleep, but also all the preservatives in the Lunchables could possibly affect his moods and give him an upset stomach, headaches, etc.

If he still doesn't want to eat with the above suggestions, try setting aside a small plate that he can heat up when he does get hungry, something healthier than Lunchables!

Good Luck,


Well, I am going to make your request about me...lol.
I would cook every night for my family, then my teenage daughter became a vegetarian, and the hubby started to get home late from work due to a new job. So, I stopped cooking most of the week and only on the weekends. On week nights we would all fend for ourselves.
Now that his work is on a normal time line I started to cook again, only to have the dinner untouched because he is yet again coming home late. then he will crack open a beer and I would have to put all the food away. Argh!!!!!
On a good note, its easy to pack his lunch with the left over dinner.
So, you got no advise from me, just a mutual gripe! {{hugs}}

First of all YES I would definitely feel hurt too! Even though it sounds legitimate that your hubby is not trying to do this to make you feel bad, I still would be getting resentful, human nature!! What I would do is this: Talk to your hubby, tell him you are concerned about him and his stress (and also about wasting so much food and time!) Could you possibly call him or have him call you towards the end of his work day and let you know whether he would like you to prepare dinner for him or would he rather take it easy and eat something small later? That way YOU are not feeling forced to make dinner that HE may not even want in the first place!! Maybe he would rather you not make dinner for him but doesn't know how to tell you? It doesn't have to be a confrontational talk, just a question posed that makes it his choice. What a time saver it will be if he says, Whew, yes I'd rather just eat some lunchables later. But you could still sit at the table together and eat whatevr you have made for you and the kids at dinner time. He can just have some crackers or something? and tell you about his day to get the stress out? It's all worth a talk to clear the air on the subject I think!! Best of luck to you!

My husband drives me crazy too!!! But in other ways. I would suggest just not cooking so many nights a week, it would give you more time too for other things or just for yourself. He might miss it after a while and maybe appreciate it more. You are a patient lady I would have already said something and made a stink about it, I wish I could be more like you and pick my battles better...something for me to think about....I wish I had some better advice to give you...good luck


I say take a time away from yhe kids and reconnect with your husband fort he weekend. It would be a great time to talk , vent out , & possibly he feels neglected.
Hire a babysitter , or ask a favor from a friend or family member. Make an effort if you are unhappy with his responses , just pick your battles. You have mentioned he gets upset stomach when stress out. Help him cope up with everyday life challenges and pressures by kissing , hugging him , or take the effort to make love late at night and bring back romance in your life.
I have 3 kids & I work full time. I stay until 2am to spend time with my man some weekedays. It's tiring but def . I know meet his needs.
Here's some suggestions: Catalina Island day trip , Cambria ( bed & breakfast -wineries ) Solvang , Plam Springs. Good luck !

I too show love through food. Doing all that is really a part of your heart. However, your husbands stomach can not handle all that love. I would talk to him and ask him what he thinks his stomach could handle, so that he could join you and the kids for dinner. I am sure he has no idea that he is hurting your feelings or why that would hurt you. You will probably save a lot of time, and if he feels better, you will enjoy your time more.

I have been married or almost 13 years, I know where you are coming from. I am a stay-at-home mom of three(11,9,3). Dinner isn't always the easiest thing to get done. I myself sometimes let it go and other times I will make a comment about my feelings. EVERYBODY LIKES TO FEEL APPRICIATED!! Sometimes men don't get this. If you can't let it go, gently tell your husband how you feel. It can't change if he doesn't know it hurts your feelings. Maybe even try asking him if there is anything special he wants for dinner or dessert, or if he would like to go out to dinner without kids(if thats an option). Good luck, and know you arent alone.

Oh E M ~ I too would have my feeling hurt. I'm a cook myself and no one can walk through the doors of my home without my pushing food on them! However, maybe you need to scale it down during the week. Try somethng smaller, maybe tortilla soup and a wrap one night, perhaps just the turkey breast and a salad another night, I'd save lasagana for the weekend.

Talk to your husband first, just tell him you have noticed that he is not eating like he normally does. Ask him if you're making too big of a meal, perhaps he would like you to scale it down durng the week and safe the big meals for the wekends. He just may be exhausted after work and not have the energy to eat a big meal.

Tell him that it does take effrt on your part to make a nice dinner with the kids needing things constantly and you would welcome a break during the week, but you just don't want to waste the food or your time with the kids if maybe he wants something a little smaller.

Then on the weekends, you might find it easier to make the big meal with his occupying the kids for you.

Good luck to you. Hope it all works out. I think you're right, this is not a battle worth fighting for. Just do what works but keep the communication going with him, then you don't feel the unnecessary resentment!

Wow. Yes, I would be hurt. However, I would move from hurt very quickly and try and get to a solution about this that you and your husband can agree upon. And, I would for sure be putting less effort into such nice big meals due to your time constraints with your children. The stores have plenty of easy to serve meals. Your hard work seems wasted, and that is not fair to you.

Again, you and your husband need to talk BIG TIME!! I assume he sits with you when you eat? If not, then your talk needs to be about more than just the food and his stomach.

Please know that although the women here can be helpful, it is your husband that you need to be talking to. NOT communicating with your husband is NOT an option, and he needs to understand that there is more involved here than just he and his stomach.

Good luck.

Have you talked to him about it how it makes you feel? He may be doing drugs? that's drastic, but you never know..... just let it go and don't cook so much next time. Just eat yourself with the children and enjoy. Let it go... if it still bothers you then you guys should talk seriously with each other on the weekend when he doesn't have a nervous stomach. Maybe he has a health problem and needs some probiotics in his system. Lots of luck and blessings to you my dear.

Hi there -

I empathize. I show my caring for people by cooking, so it would hurt my feelings too! But if I could gain some perspective and attempt to resolve the issue, I would try some new techniques:

- First of all, rule out any physical issues that might be affecting him.

- Ask your DH how important a family dinner is to him. If he doesn't feel it's that important, you can tell him why you think it is (studies show the family meal where people share events from their day is crucial, you spent a ton of time trying to make a nice time for the family to gather, etc) and hope he can hear you. You may just need to give it some time and have another go in a month or so after current issues die down.

- Ask DH for menu input. Maybe he doesn't care for particular items, or is in the mood for something light, or is trying to lose weight - whatever. What does he want for dinner (within reason)? Could you plan a menu in advance, and solicit his help in preparing the food?

- My older DD was a pill for a while around dinner when she was a pre-teen ("That's not cooked properly." was her fallback - and, like you, I'm a pretty good cook) - but in my house you're not allowed to complain without being willing to help fix the problem. So once I started soliciting input on the menus, requiring help with food shopping, and turning the kitchen over to her 2x/week so things were done to her satisfaction, the complaints magically stopped!

And IMHO, your DH saying "Ugh!" in front of your children is a NO-NO, big time - everyone needs to model great behavior!

Good luck!

I am what my husband calls "IRON CHEF", so I know how you feel when he won't eat. I solved this problem by cooking only for the kids ( we have 4 at home 9,8,6,17mo). The few nights that I made only say mac and cheese and hot dogs, or broke down and make chicken nuggets from bag (I usually make them from scratch), he gets the message. He'll complain that it isn't what he would like to eat. I just kindly respond that I hate to waste food and throwing out leftovers because he decided he did not want to eat is wasting money, something we can't afford to do. He usually gets out of his stint.
If he really is stressed about something, talk to him. If I waited for my husband to tell me what is wrong, we would never talk about it. He wants the problem solved before he talks about it. I just listen at first and don't judge, or try to solve it.
I also donate the left overs to the missionaries that live in the next building. That way, I do not feel like I am wasting food. I know that they really appreciate it. I know my husband does too, although he sometimes has trouble showing it.
hope this helps

I didn't read all the responses, so sorry if this is a repeat. First of all, hats down to you for cooking!!!! I have a 5 month old and I still haven't managed to cook more than a handfull of meals -and I used to LOVE to cook. When I do cook I tend to make extra and freeze it. Life is short, so if your man doesn't want to eat, freeze his portion. No biggie. Its his loss and if he's tummy is really upset then what can you really do?

Don't take it personally -I know its harder to do, but you are right, this is not a battle that is worth it. After all, he isn't doing this on purpose, right? If you do feel that he is, then of course I would have a talk with him.

Maybe try calling him before you start up your mad kitchen skills and see how his day is going. If he sounds out of sorts (or has been eating donuts or other things that will upset his stomach) then maybe you can just reheat food for yourself. That night you can concentrate your energy on making something fun for you little dumplings. (No pun intended.) :)

I would be hurt too, but it sounds like it is not his fault! If he does have a nervous stomach I can see how lasagne and turkey and gravy might be too heavy for him and some crappy processed cheese and crackers just might feel like something he could handle.

I totally know what you mean though. I make a delicious meal every weeknight with a toddler at my feet and a hubby plopped in front of the TV in his comfy chair (FYI< we BOTH work full time). Then most nights when dinner is ready he begs to eat it in front of the TV. I have made it clear that if I work hard to get a solid meal on the table, we are sitting down to eat it as a family at the table. The high chair will not ever be wheeled into the family room so that the three of us can eat while watching jeopardy, to me that is just wrong. Anyway, he knows how I feel, but he still asks at least twice a week if he can just watch TV "this one night"... Ugh.
I think as moms we often do not get the appreciation we are due! But then we have to ask ourselves, Why am I doing this? I do not make a nice dinner every night so that I can feel good about myself when my family says how wonderful it is and how hard it must have been to put it all together. I do it because I want all of us to have a real meal every night as a family. And that's that. Although the appreciation and accollades for doing things for my family are nice when they come, it is not the purpose of what I do, so when I don't get it, I have to be ok with that.
Does that make sense? It's hard to put into words, but I am trying to say is remember there are many reasons you do the dinner thing night after night, it's not just to provide hubby with sustenance.
I feel ya girl!

Hi E~

I understand your frustrations as my husband has been having those same types of stomach issues. He too has also been very stressed; but he has also gone to the doctor about his stomach. Has your husband? I could say on one hand to STOP making dinner completely like I did for a while because even my kids are so picky it's rediculous. However, your husband is a big boy and if he doesn't want to eat, I'll come over and eat what's his! :) In all seriousness though, just hang in there. If he is stressed, some understanding would be good for him. It would be good for you to talk about your feelings. You sound like you are taking wonderful care of your family and the kids eating healthily is what matters most since they depend on you for that. I know all the food preparation can be time consuming... and then clean up... it's not always the most enjoyable thing. I think there are valid reasons why you feel upset and those need to be addressed and discussed so you and your husband are on the same page. And also, take a good look inside yourself to see if your frustrations are more than just his not eating dinner some nights. That may be the easiet vent for other things that are bothering you to escape. It all needs to be worked out together. I think you just feel misunderstood and underappreciated from the sound of things. Just remember that your cooking is filled with love and nourishment and it makes home feel REALLY nice for your family. One day, they will love to come back to home cooked meals and how special you truly are in the ways you show love!!


Has he always been this way or did this just start? talk to your husband, you know he has a nervous stomach mayble there are foods that he cant eat. maybe let him do some of the cooking or planning the dinner. is he trying to lose weight maybe hes having a BIG lunch. if not then maybe you guys should talk to a doctor. Good luck

I'd just make smaller, less work meals and if he says something just say "Well I decided why do all that work if no one is going to eat." You can go into more detail if needed. Don't sound mad just matter of fact. Maybe you could do a bigger meal once or twice a week. Less work less left overs.

OK, obviously the big thing here is you haven't talked to your husband about it. And the more you keep it inside, the more resentment you are harboring. This is bad for you when you are so busy.

So I would say to put all these emotions inside until you are having a nice relaxing time with your husband, maybe watching TV together one evening, and bringing it up to him then. Don't bring it up when you are mad because you will fight and that builds the cycle of resentment.

Wait until the two of you are having a 'together' moment and bring it up. More than likely, since you are calm and clear-headed at that moment, he will be more receptive in hearing you.

If the perfect moment doesn't seem to be arising, send him an e-mail. But again, write it when you are in a good mood. You'll know the mood is right when you feel good enough that you hardly care if he's eating your meals. Take advantage of such a moment. And send him an e-mail then.

The results should amaze you.

While I completely sympathize with you I think you need to focus more on your husband than yourself. Like you said he won't eat if he's stressed, so complaining about it would only make it worse. Instead of getting upset when he says he doesn't want to eat, ask him what's wrong and then listen. Maybe just talking about it will relieve some of the stress and he'll be able to eat. If not I would suggest not making extremely fancy meals or anything that takes longer than 30 minutes to make because if you're not expelling so much effort with dinner you can't get too upset if he doesn't eat.

what a nice husband, he doesn't expect you to work so hard with your fancy cooking. I'd stop the cooking and save it for the weekend. Enjoy the time off, you already got your hands full.

Hi! Well, my feelings would be hurt too. However, to fix this situation, I would arrange a time to sit down to talk to your husband about this. Timing is important, (as I am learning). I would approach my husband something like this, "Honey, when you get a few minutes, I need to talk to you about something." Sometimes we literally have to schedule
an appointment on our daily planners. When your talking time comes, make sure neither one is emotionally upset, or stressed-out, as this will make the communication difficult.
Then, I'd say something like, "My feelings are hurt when you don't eat dinner after I put alot of time, effort and love into preparing a healthy meal. We need to work out a way
of planning/so you'll eat dinner when I've prepared it. If you think you're not going to eat, please give me a "heads-up" so I'm not upset if you don't eat. Besides, lunchables are not very healthy to eat, especially with a sensitive tummy. So please try to eat a healthy dinner when I've made it."

Can I join you for dinner? <wink>

No, seriously, I say cook for you and the kids and let your honey do his own thing. If you feel like making something like you described above for you and the kids, great, enjoy it, and he can have cold leftovers. If and when he starts complaining, you can nicely point out that you got tired of cooking for "ugh, I can't eat that!"

My husband has/had a hard time making it home for dinner on time, because he'd have lots of late lunches. So, I started cooking for me and my sons. If he makes it, great, if not, his loss. At least my sons still have the joy of a family dinner and we have a great time discussing current events, school or something we've read in our books.

Not surprisingly, my husband decided he was missing out and is now more consistent with joining us...and I'm not a good cook! <g>

Good luck!

I do get my feeling hurt when my hubby does that! Either tell him it hurts your feelings and at the LEAST he needs to sit at the table with you while you eat or give him options of what he wants for dinner each night so he'll want to eat. I stop making dinner every night because it's not all that appreciated....I had to give up, cause you're right it's not a big stink...but you are worthy of your feelings and you should let him know.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.