“Is EA an asshole for telling my husband that I won’t cook for him anymore if he decides to eat his colleague’s food instead of mine?”

Being in a serious relationship isn’t just about getting to know each other really well, like revealing your pet’s name or something you hated in college. It’s about connecting on a deep personal level, aligning your life goals, and managing your partner by helping them pursue their hopes and fight their fears. Unfortunately, not every couple achieves this.

Lately a woman told her story to the subreddit “I [Jerk]?, asking her members if she overreacted when her husband brought home the food his colleague cooked for him. However, almost everyone who read the anonymous confession thought that in fact it was her husband who was behaving inattentively.

However, one thing is certain. This family conflict, as unpleasant as it may be for the people involved, is a wonderful reminder that you should never stop communicating with your significant other.

This Woman Thought She Was Going To Surprise Her Husband By Cooking Him A Delicious Dinner

Image Credits: Live on Shot (not real photo)

But the man came home with food prepared for him by his colleague.

Image Credits: fauxels (not real photo)

April EldemireLMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 15 years of experience in helping couples improve feelings of friendship and reduce conflict, believes that all healthy relationships have healthy boundaries.

“Borders do not limit or restrict. They give you the freedom to express your needs and values, and respect your partner’s needs and values,” she said. wrote in psychology today.

According to Eldemire, setting boundaries is:

  • An essential antidote to codependency;
  • A prerequisite for emotional well-being;
  • A trainable skill that determines the success and longevity of any relationship;
  • Setting healthy boundaries can change your relationships and boost your self-esteem.

We all have different limits, small and large. They serve as an outward expression of our core values ​​and beliefs and reflect what we need to feel safe, respected and loved.

Eldemire said successfully married couples often set boundaries in the following areas:

  • Brother-in-law and family (for example, how often we visit relatives, how many personal details they need to know about marriage);
  • Privacy (for example, agreeing not to look at each other’s phones, not being forced to share details about the past);
  • Communication (for example, intolerance to shouting or name-calling);
  • autonomy (for example, the freedom to make your own decisions, work toward goals, or maintain friendships outside of marriage);
  • Physical space (eg, zero tolerance for violence, sex conventions, including when, where, and how);
  • Money (for example, do not hide money or debts from each other);
  • Home life (eg, expectations from shared parenting, household chores, quality time spent together);
  • Relationship rules (for example, the expectation of loyalty and fidelity, trust and respect).

Judging by this list, the author of the story and her husband did not touch on many topics. The therapist believes that for couples who want to stay together, there are at least four ways to set and respect each other’s boundaries.

Use clear communication. “Take the time to identify what is important to you in your relationships and in your life,” Eldemir advised. “What [do you refuse to compromise on] and in what ways are you willing to be more flexible? Once you have established your specific boundaries, use clear language when discussing them with your partner.”

This means using phrases such as “I disagree with a raised voice during a conflict.”

Next, set clear consequences. “Once you and your partner have discussed your boundaries—the “shoulds” and “shoulds” your relationship needs to be successful—the next step is to clarify what the consequences will be if and when the boundaries are not respected.” – Eldemire explained.

Let’s take the above example and imagine that you and your spouse agree that you will not raise your voice during a conflict. A possible consequence of yelling during an argument could be a pause and a 30-minute break.

“It is imperative that you eliminate the consequences of any violation of the borders,” Eldemir stressed. “Non-compliance shows your partner that you don’t respect your own boundaries, and if you don’t respect your boundaries, then why should they?”

This brings us to number three. Take responsibility. “Everything you do and say has natural consequences, whether positive or negative,” the therapist said. “For example, if you often criticize your spouse, he probably does not want to be intimate with you. But if you speak politely and refrain from yelling during an argument, they are more likely to feel safe and desire physical intimacy and connection.”

The same principle applies to respecting your partner’s boundaries. “Realize that what you say and do (or don’t do) affects your partner. Realize that you can slip along the way, especially if you and your partner are new to setting healthy boundaries. Take responsibility when you make a mistake, offer a sincere apology, and always return to clear, respectful communication.”

And finally, don’t be afraid seek professional help. Setting boundaries is difficult, so why not consult a therapist or other professional if you and your spouse want to save your marriage? “This can be extremely helpful, especially if you’re creating ‘big’ boundaries around issues like alcoholism, infidelity, or parenting,” Eldemire.

So perhaps all is not lost for the woman who shared this story. I think it depends on whether she and her husband believe in each other.

After reading this story, people said they thought it was more than just food.

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