As they say, the best way to win someone’s heart is through their stomach. There’s nothing quite like hearing the comforting sounds of a homemade feast and filling your belly with delicious meals that express your love and commitment to one another. So it’s not just about food; it’s about bringing a sense of closeness into the relationship. Unfortunately, if your partner doesn’t respect your efforts, things can go downhill quickly.
Redditor Glittering-Ad793 knows this from personal experience. The 27-year-old reached out to the “Am I The A-Hole” community for advice after a relationship dispute with her 41-year-old boyfriend. A few weeks ago, he asked what she was cooking for dinner and began to openly express his frustration after hearing the answer.
You see, the user wanted to cook something from the leftovers in the fridge, but apparently it wasn’t good enough for the man. Instead of acting like a mature adult, he called her an “awful girlfriend” and accused her of letting him “starve” him. Feeling uncertain, the woman began to question herself and her actions, so she turned to the internet for perspective. Read on for the full story and weigh in on the situation in the comments!
Recently, a woman got into a fight with her boyfriend for cooking a meal with leftovers.
Image credits: Gelmis Bartulis (not the actual photo)
After being called a ‘horrendous girlfriend’, she took to the internet to assess the situation
Image credits: Charles Koh (not the actual photo)
We don’t have to agree with our partners on everything, but we have to respect them. Appreciation is a way of providing our loved ones with the value they need, so when gratitude is lacking, problems in the relationship begin to pile up. However, sometimes our affection for the person can make us forget or even ignore these negative behaviors. “If we’ve been conditioned not to recognize disrespectful behavior as wrong because of our upbringing or abusive relationships, we may not even register it,” relationship coach Marta, founder of MyCoachMartaTold bored panda.
“With enough repetition of contempt, name-calling, bullying or any other form of abuse, we become desensitized to it. Our internal system begins to recognize it as familiar and therefore perceives it as normal and safe (even if something is downright dangerous). Red flags don’t look red when they feel at home,” she added.
When it comes to Glittering-Ad793’s situation, her boyfriend’s actions can say a lot about how he views their partnership. “Even if we give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that her tone of voice was sarcastic or condescending when she suggested leftovers for dinner, or that the situation triggered something traumatic from her past, her reaction was always that of an emotionally immature and abusive person in his relationships,” explained Marta.
According to her, people in healthy relationships would have reacted differently. A romantic partner’s reaction would go something like, “I know, we have this in the fridge, but leftovers hurt a little.” I appreciate the offer, but I’ll just go to the store and get some cool stuff real quick. What do you want me to bring you? Marta noted that the way he talks to her “doesn’t sound like he has much affection for her or sees her as an equal partner.”
When our partners are acting extremely irrationally, communicating our limits and asking for behavioral change is key, the relationship coach explained. When we want to set healthy boundaries and talk about them with our loved ones, we need to be clear about what will happen if our partner doesn’t respect them.
“If the person then violates the expressed boundaries, we have to follow the consequences. For instance: ‘When you speak or act in this way towards me, I feel hurt and disrespected. I understand that this may not be your intention, and I ask that you please be careful with your words and your tone. If it happens again, I’ll leave the conversation. It’s something I do because I care about our relationship, and I hope you understand how important it is to me.”, she suggested.
However, if the offending behavior happens again, we must enforce the consequences by doing what we said when setting the boundary in the first place. “I can’t stress enough how important boundaries are to healthy relationships, everyone, not just romantic ones,” Marta added.
Redditors overwhelmingly sided with the user, here’s what they had to say
Many commenters have mentioned the boyfriend’s actions as immature, even though he is a 41-year-old grown man. Some even wondered if the age gap between them could be the reason for the way he treated her. “The 14-year age gap may or may not be significant, depending on the reasons and intentions behind it,” Marta told us. “Many couples with wide age gaps have healthy, loving relationships. However, sometimes we choose partners much younger or older than us due to past traumas, unmet needs, low self-esteem, self or the desire to be able to exercise greater control over a partner.
“My fear in this situation is that he finds it easier to deal with a younger partner and get away with this kind of behavior. If she also chose him because of his injury, there is a relationship dynamic unbalanced and turbulent.
Marta revealed that this story is concerning. She hopes the woman has someone to turn to, someone who can help bring her attention to the unhealthy patterns she seems to be in. eating crackers, and maybe she could have gone to the store instead, which tells me that guilt might be a recurring theme for her in this relationship,” she concluded.