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re: uncooperative spouse

Note:  I talk about cooking m**t for my SO, so if that
offends you, delete now.
Diana says:

Shelley asked if there were any other people with 'an uncooperative
spouse' and unfortunately there is at least one: me ! I'm not really
following a ff diet, I just try to eat as healthy (low fat) as
possible and vegetarian most of the times. My boyfriend really
doesn't like this and always complains 'Where is the meat?' and
things like that. He sort of really dilikes vegetarians, it seems...
 I don't mind cooking meat for him and others, but I
don't think that I have to do this every time I cook for him.

Sounds all too familiar.  My SO of almost 20 years felt very
very threatened by my turning almost vegetarian and VLF a
few years ago.  I got a *lot* of comments on the change-over,
none of them positive.

But you know what?  He's now quite supportive and eats all
the VLF dishes I prepare.  He also eats vegetarian along with
me at least 3 times a week, sometimes more.  *And* he has
learned to cook using no oil.  And believe me, that was no easy
task for him to believe that food can be cooked that way.  Yes,
he still likes to have that pat of butter on his veges, but he puts
it on the serving on *his* plate only.  I've also noticed that pat
is getting smaller and smaller over time.

How did I get him to change his attitude?  Well, first I had to
change my attitude towards changing the way he ate.
Second, I demanded RESPECT for my food choices.
Third, he demanded MUTUAL RESPECT for *his* food choices.
(read those last two lines again)

We had lots of, err, conversations about food.  Turns out he
was afraid I'd never cook him meat again.  Then, he developed
a fear that he'd have to share his meat with me (we're talking
beefy boy here - born and raised in cow country - Texas).  Once
I looked him straight in the eye and told him I didn't want to
change him, I just wanted to keep him around for my old age,
and I would never covet his beefsteak, he relaxed a bit.  Then
we worked out a compromise.  I fix vegetarian and several times
a week will fix a piece of meat (whatever) to put on his plate
just for him to eat.  I would not give him grief about it and he
would not give me grief about what I chose to eat.  Period.

Hey, it works.  Now, mind you, it just about kills me to fix him
that portion of meat, but I do it anyway.  We've progressed to
him being served meat with *all* the fat cut off of it - meaning
no skin on the chicken and no fat at all on steak.  And he gets
the best meat - chicken breast (he isn't too fond of dark meat),
nice strip steaks with no marbling, that sort of thing.  That way
when he forgets and starts to complain about eating vegetarian,
all I have to do is remind him that he eats the best meat when he
gets it and invite him to ask the other guys at work how often
they get really nice steaks.

Roasts, hamburgers, ribs and other types of meat, he gets when
we eat out because there's a limit to what I'll cook.  He bought
and installed a brand new super-powerful vent-a-hood for over
the stovetop so that when I cook his meat, the odor gets
sucked right out of the house right away (made me very happy,
a diamond ring has *nothing* on a good vent fan!!).

I hope I haven't grossed any of you out too badly, but this is
how we handle the differences in the way we eat and still
remain good friends with each other.  Just remember, demand
some respect for your life choices (and give respect for the
other persons - even if you don't agree with it).

Sam    (short for Samantha)
"To find a friend one must close one eye - to keep him, two."
- Norman Douglas