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Asked by Last Updated:

Am I dominating and how do we compromise?

My wife of 15 years hates my parents and forces us to not even talk on the phone for more than 30 minutes on Saturday once a week as she has decided for us.
When I told her I feel she is controlling me, she told me I am equally controlling.
When asked how, she told me that I don’t allow cooking meat at home.
I am a vegetarian and this is important to me as I feel very nauseous with the smell of meat.
We had discussed and agreed on this prior to getting married.
Also, I know how difficult this is for her, so I take them out to eat meat when they like.
She complains that it is not the same as eating home cooked meat, which I agree, but I really cannot stand the smell at home.
Am I being dominant? What should I do?

1 Answers

Andrew Answered:

As a fellow vegetarian, I get it. When I first got married my husband said I didn't have to cook meat for him if it made me uncomfortable or grossed me out, but I quickly learned that what my body had adjusted to, his couldn't handle. He was always starving!
Now I cook his dinners with meat and it doesn't bother me at all. Similarly, sometimes he will go veg for a few days.
I understand your reasoning, but I do think it is a bit controlling of you to tell your wife what she can and cannot eat, even if you have ethics behind your reasoning. Remember that YOU chose the life of a vegetarian. Your wife did not.
Can you find some middle ground? Perhaps she can have meat on the weekends (outside on the BBQ where you don't have to smell it indoors)/eat meat a few times a week?
Food aside, I think it's crazy that she will only let you speak to your own parents for 30 minutes a week. That is also controlling and I think you should both seek a counselor or an online marriage course to see why you feel the need to maintain an element of control in each other's lives.
There's a good article I think you'll enjoy. It's written by a pastoral counselor and it's all about who to compromise without sacrificing. It talks about communication and how to approach compromising as a couple. I think you'll find it to be a pretty interesting read: https://www.marriage.com/advice/communication/the-4-as-approach-to-communication/

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