Author Topic: Etiquette and your spouse  (Read 6594 times)

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Danika

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2013, 01:35:14 AM »
OP here. I console myself with the fact that I learned from this and didn't make the same mistake this week.

This time, I just stayed silent.

The background is that I'm trying to lose weight. So I haven't been allowing myself to buy myself donuts or ice cream. DH knows that if I'm going to eat a donut, if I'm going to allow myself the calories, I'll eat a chocolate long john with cream filling. No substitutions. There are about 12 different permutations of long johns at the store (butterscotch icing with custard, cream, chocolate or plain, vanilla with custard, cream, chocolate or plain, chocolate icing with custard, cream, chocolate or plain) It can only be that one or else it's not worth the calories.



I saw a donut bag on the counter. I assumed (correctly) that the other adult in the house purchased it. I assumed (incorrectly) that the contents were for either DH or one of the kids.

Two days later, I mentioned it to the kids (ages 3 and 5) and they said "Dada got you a donut the other day." So, first of all, it's now two days old. He didn't tell me about it. I had not asked for one. I peeked inside the bag and it was a chocolate frosted long john. I was ambivalent. On one hand, I was angry because he was foiling my diet. On the other hand I was excited because I love chocolate iced cream filled long johns. I vowed not to eat all morning and that would be my reward at the end of the day. Not healthy, but at least not too many calories if I ate nothing all day. I assumed it was for me, although DH had said nothing, because neither he nor the kids like long johns.

After the long day, I went to eat my stale long john. And just to be safe, I broke it in half. It was not cream filled. It was chocolate filled. And the chocolate filling they use at that store is a brown goo that does not taste like anything but mud. Not worth the calories. I was so sad. I ate the frosting on the top and threw the rest away.

The up side is that I didn't consume as many calories as I had feared I would because I didn't eat the whole thing. The down side is that I had starved all day in vain. And then I hid the leftover donut in the middle of the trash so DH wouldn't see it and be disappointed that it was the wrong thing.

We've been so busy this week he hasn't asked me about the donut, nor have I mentioned it.

flickan

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2013, 09:04:00 AM »
The up side is that I didn't consume as many calories as I had feared I would because I didn't eat the whole thing. The down side is that I had starved all day in vain. And then I hid the leftover donut in the middle of the trash so DH wouldn't see it and be disappointed that it was the wrong thing.

If you truly do not believe your DH meant to foil your diet then why not enjoy it as a side treat right away instead of agonizing over it and then remind him that you are trying not to have them though you appreciate the treat.  I have a lot of issues with weight control myself so I know how hard this can make things but I can't imagine putting myself through that much anguish over a stale long john.  You shouldn't have to endure that just to seem grateful.  To begin with I don't see how you were supposed to know you had something in the bag for yourself if he didn't tell you so if it had gone bad, well, it's just a donut.  And you didn't have any way of knowing it was for you.

Why not sit down with him and suggest a more appropriate treat for the future?  And as for the long john, it's two days old.  If you want to eat it, eat it, if not, toss it.  Tell your DH you very much appreciate the gesture.  I think honesty would be healthier all around.

Yvaine

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2013, 09:13:24 AM »
The up side is that I didn't consume as many calories as I had feared I would because I didn't eat the whole thing. The down side is that I had starved all day in vain. And then I hid the leftover donut in the middle of the trash so DH wouldn't see it and be disappointed that it was the wrong thing.

If you truly do not believe your DH meant to foil your diet then why not enjoy it as a side treat right away instead of agonizing over it

She doesn't like that kind, though. The bakery uses a chocolate filling she can't stand.

flickan

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2013, 09:16:11 AM »
The up side is that I didn't consume as many calories as I had feared I would because I didn't eat the whole thing. The down side is that I had starved all day in vain. And then I hid the leftover donut in the middle of the trash so DH wouldn't see it and be disappointed that it was the wrong thing.

If you truly do not believe your DH meant to foil your diet then why not enjoy it as a side treat right away instead of agonizing over it

She doesn't like that kind, though. The bakery uses a chocolate filling she can't stand.

Then why not toss it.  No guilt needed.  I can't imagine your DH would prefer you to eat something you didn't like that was two days old just to save feelings.

TootsNYC

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2013, 10:09:15 AM »
Hmmm.  While I agree that the OP could have said "I'm touched that you thought of me", I think she actually should add "but I actually don't enjoy flowers".  I would much rather know this than continue to buy flowers for someone for 50 years.  A marriage is different from other relationships.  We should be able to tell each other what we like and don't like. 


I actually agree with you.

But I think you need to let several hours, maybe even a couple of days, lapse between these two communications.

Let the guy bask in the glow for a little while.

Heck, maybe you* should bask in the glow for a little while. Enjoy the thought, enjoy the gesture, maybe even enjoy the flowers (there -are- things that are enjoyable, so choose to wallow in them for a while, then throw them out).

Later, you* can say, "You know, I still love that you brought me a surprise, but I'm really not a flowers fan, I realize. By the next day, they're depressing," and then toss them out before they start to wilt.

*all you's are hypothetical

ladiedeathe

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2013, 10:18:44 AM »
Danika- this is a relationship issue, and a relationship with food issue.

He bought a spare doughnut and forgot to tell you about it. You didn't ask. After 2 days it's a stale doughnut. The wrong kind.

You starved yourself, which is never healthy or recommended on any diet anywhere. The stale doughnut wasn't the kind you like- you pitched it.

None of this is serious, or rude. Food is not sacred. A $3 doughnut he forgot about isn't a priceless gift or even an important thing.

Smile and remind him "Hey sweetheart, don't buy me any doughnuts unless I ask you to, please. I'm really working hard on the diet thing."

And maybe check out a counselor to help you redefine your relationship to food- I had to do that years ago and it really helped.
"Here to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Have chalice, will travel."

EllenS

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2013, 10:36:12 AM »
I really think a lot of this is timing.  Yes, it is important that your DH understands how to support you and make you feel special/treated, because he loves you and is actively trying to do these things.  He wants to know what will *really* make you feel loved, understood, and supported.  You have to tell him.

However, I think you can communicate appreciation of his heart and intentions, separately from the details of the actual gift/gesture.  Just like if your kid wrote you a love poem, you woudn't criticize the spelling.  (at least I hope not - my mom did that to me and it felt horrible.)  You deal with spelling at some other time.

audrey1962

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2013, 11:39:53 AM »
I agree with ladiedeathe.

SlitherHiss

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2013, 11:41:24 AM »
OP here. I console myself with the fact that I learned from this and didn't make the same mistake this week.

This time, I just stayed silent.

The background is that I'm trying to lose weight. So I haven't been allowing myself to buy myself donuts or ice cream. DH knows that if I'm going to eat a donut, if I'm going to allow myself the calories, I'll eat a chocolate long john with cream filling. No substitutions. There are about 12 different permutations of long johns at the store (butterscotch icing with custard, cream, chocolate or plain, vanilla with custard, cream, chocolate or plain, chocolate icing with custard, cream, chocolate or plain) It can only be that one or else it's not worth the calories.



I saw a donut bag on the counter. I assumed (correctly) that the other adult in the house purchased it. I assumed (incorrectly) that the contents were for either DH or one of the kids.

Two days later, I mentioned it to the kids (ages 3 and 5) and they said "Dada got you a donut the other day." So, first of all, it's now two days old. He didn't tell me about it. I had not asked for one. I peeked inside the bag and it was a chocolate frosted long john. I was ambivalent. On one hand, I was angry because he was foiling my diet. On the other hand I was excited because I love chocolate iced cream filled long johns. I vowed not to eat all morning and that would be my reward at the end of the day. Not healthy, but at least not too many calories if I ate nothing all day. I assumed it was for me, although DH had said nothing, because neither he nor the kids like long johns.

After the long day, I went to eat my stale long john. And just to be safe, I broke it in half. It was not cream filled. It was chocolate filled. And the chocolate filling they use at that store is a brown goo that does not taste like anything but mud. Not worth the calories. I was so sad. I ate the frosting on the top and threw the rest away.

The up side is that I didn't consume as many calories as I had feared I would because I didn't eat the whole thing. The down side is that I had starved all day in vain. And then I hid the leftover donut in the middle of the trash so DH wouldn't see it and be disappointed that it was the wrong thing.

We've been so busy this week he hasn't asked me about the donut, nor have I mentioned it.

You starving yourself for the sake of "obligatory" donut eating is absurd. You hiding the remains in anticipation of his potential disappointment is also absurd. I apologize if that seems harsh, but I hope you'll understand that it comes from a place of concern. You weren't obligated to eat a donut you didn't want. You weren't obligated to engage in unhealthy eating patterns in order to eat the donut even if you did really want it. Danika, this is your husband. You need to talk to him about this stuff. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, well, that's something that's way beyond etiquette and into the realm of a relationship/communication issue.

TootsNYC

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2013, 12:11:20 PM »
Also, separate the "bought me a gift" idea from the "I like the gift."

The loving thought is the thing to dwell on. Don't focus on whether you liked it.
Express lots of thanks for the thought. Later, say, "Honey, I love that you thought of me, but I want to ask a favor. Please don't bring me donuts as a treat anymore. I'm dieting, so I'm going to be really picky about what fattening stuff I eat. It's disappointing when the gift from you is not something that works for me, I get extra sad. So would you just skip all the fattening stuff? Balloons are great, though!"

Lynn2000

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2013, 12:35:19 PM »
I think this is a tough situation, and I sympathize. Your SO should be the one person in the world you most want to make happy, whose feelings you least want to hurt. Yet also, they should be the one person in the world you can be most honest with. And sometimes--maybe a lot of the time--those two things conflict. It's even tougher when you feel like your SO might not be thinking these same things about you--I'm definitely not suggesting the OP's DH is like this, but I've certainly seen threads here about SO's and other supposed loved ones who undermine someone's diet by buying them forbidden treats or buy them gifts that sound good to others but aren't what the person wants, so they can be all, "But I bought her flowers!!" :(

I like the idea of trying to separate the motivation from the actual gift. The metaphor about criticizing the spelling on a poem your child wrote for you is a good one, too. If you feel the motivation is good, start by praising that. But I think there's no reason why a person should have to hide their feelings about the actual gift from their SO--if they feel it's a little thing and they want to, that's fine. I guess I see the slippery slope, though--first you're claiming a $3 flower arrangement is fine even though you kind of don't like it, but what about something that cost $100? $1000? At some point it could become a matter of wasting shared resources on something you hate, because you want to spare someone's feelings.

That's kind of extreme, though. And, I do think that one can separate praise for the motivation and criticism for the gift in time--praise right away, then later on, hours or the next day or whatever, something about the actual gift. Even then, one can try to put a positive spin on it, like, "I really love X!" instead of, "I really hate Y (which was bought)!"
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Danika

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2013, 01:11:19 PM »
This is a lot of good food for thought, no pun intended. In the future, I will try to focus on the thought, and not say anything about the gift itself for a few days. I'll think of what EllenS said about a kid's drawing, and how I wouldn't focus on the spelling.

I have a hard time tossing things out - flowers I don't like, $.60 donuts (seriously, these long john's don't even cost $1, but I feel guilty wasting food). Luckily, I'm not a hoarder and I do give a ton of things away or else my house would be a pit. But I feel bad throwing gifts away right away. I'll put a time limit on them though, and toss flowers after 48 hours or so.

I do have issues with food. The last time I hired an educated nutritionist to help me with my food intake, I gained 16 lbs in 2 months following her instructions. I went from a borderline healthy weight/overweight to obese. So I'm scared to ask someone else for help in the future. I don't want to gain more weight. I've now finally only lost 6 of those 16 and am trying to lose the other 10+ by myself.

Lynn2000

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2013, 01:27:51 PM »
On the subject of flowers, they will decompose, releasing their nutrients into the soil to feed other plants and other organisms. That thought comforts me, if I can dispose of them in the yard or a compost pile or something. That way they aren't going to waste, they are participating in the natural cycle. :)
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Danika

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2013, 01:54:48 PM »
On the subject of flowers, they will decompose, releasing their nutrients into the soil to feed other plants and other organisms. That thought comforts me, if I can dispose of them in the yard or a compost pile or something. That way they aren't going to waste, they are participating in the natural cycle. :)

That's a good point. And the same with the food. They're wasted either way, if I'm not enjoying them.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Etiquette and your spouse
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2013, 01:58:11 PM »
On the subject of flowers, they will decompose, releasing their nutrients into the soil to feed other plants and other organisms. That thought comforts me, if I can dispose of them in the yard or a compost pile or something. That way they aren't going to waste, they are participating in the natural cycle. :)

That's the way that I feel about cut flowers.  They're going to die, and you're going to throw them out, unless you live in the Adams' Family house.  The compost bin will get a contribution.

But I hate to see food wasted, even if it goes into the compost bin.