Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Husband on Wife-Imposed Rice Diet

What do you think about this man's situation? And what would you say to his new wife?

I love to eat.

What can I say? I'm a meat and potatoes, average kind of guy. It doesn't take much to please me. I
don't need a ten-course gourmet meal, and I'm not one to complain about a decent meal. My wife and I have been married for nearly eighteen months, and when we dated, she never said anything about not liking meat. But ever since we got married, all she wants to eat is rice. Sometimes she'll throw in some vegetables... but we never eat meat; she won't buy it!

When I asked about it, she said that she doesn't think we need it, it's unhealthy, gross to think about, and has made it clear that she thinks we're on this rice diet together. Forever. I work at a store in the mall, and we usually pack up leftovers for lunch (rice with an occasional side veggie). I've been so tempted to chunk it lately and go to the food court, but we promised each other that we'd not eat out. I mean, rice is good. But a little variety would go a LONG way.

Not to mention that I work right next to a Cinnabon shop and those SMELLS are driving me crazy. And then I drive past "Restaurant Row" on my way home from work. I don't want to hurt her, but this is ridiculous. It's not what I signed up for... I
thought we'd be eating good at home, maybe not super amazing meals every day, but at least some tasty stuff occasionally. That's one reason I made that whole "let's not eat out" promise.

I'm sick of plain old rice. I don't have to have steak and dessert every single day, but goodness... rice and veggies is getting old FAST.
How can this be fixed? Whenever I've tried to say something, she takes it as a complaint about her cooking and gets emotional and then things become even more tense and rigid. HELP!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As you're formulating your thoughts about his question, imagine if this had gone on for 10, 20 years. What kind of man would be able to deal with that?


Now, indulge me... go back and read the whole letter in light of marital intimacy. But make the length of time eighteen YEARS instead of eighteen months. It's OK, I'll wait for you. Seriously, go back and read it with marital intimacy/desire (instead of food/appetite) in mind.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Did you read it? Are you with me? Here's the point:

THE LURE OF THE CINNABON STAND
Christian men (particularly in an increasingly sexualized world that co-exists with what is often a "sex-is-worldly" mentality in the church) are like hungry men walking past Cinnabon stands and driving past "Restaurant Row" 24/7. If they come home to a warmed-over bowl of rice, they still *need* to exercise self-control, yes-- but they're much more likely to be drawn in by the sights and smells of the Cinnabon stand. And probably find themselves daydreaming about it in their weaker moments, even if they're never lured to go in and actually take a bite.

But if they're getting delicious, mouth-watering "food" at home, regularly, then, yeah, they still have to exercise self-control (I mean, lets face it, those Cinnabons do smell INCREDIBLE)... but they're more likely to be able to do so
, because they're well-fed and happy with what they're getting at home.

WHAT'S ON YOUR "MENU"?
If I'm serving up rice every day (or once a week or once a month or worse), I need to understand that there are Cinnabon stands out there, and I need to KNOW how hard it is for my husband to walk past them without buying one. Cause whether we like it or not, he's having to deal with it. So, maybe I need to learn how to make rice with a little more spice or sauce in the mix, or maybe I need to learn how to make stuff other than rice... to vary my "menu options". Maybe I'll even make him some to-die-for-delicious cinnamon rolls of my own. But whatever the case, understanding the lure of the Cinnabon stand, and how tiresome it would be to eat rice once a week every week for years on end, helps me as a wife to love my husband more, and to meet not only his needs, but his desires too.

I say all this to say to you married women out there: consider what's on your "menu". Are you unnecessarily limiting your husband's "diet" because of your own hang-ups? Is he on a starvation diet? Is he getting warmed-over rice in a crusty bowl again and again and again and again and again...?

Sometimes there are legitimate things (like abuse, addictions, and other similar marital issues) that limit our "menu options" for us. And sometimes it's the men who are serving up warmed over rice to their hungry wives. But I'm not talking to those people right now.

Statistics and experience in hearing from and talking to these women over and over again tell me that the all too common experience in many Christian marriages is similar to the rice example I've given above.

And all I'm saying is, it just shouldn't be that way.



[I should note that this idea is a piggy-backed idea off of something a friend of mine, Chloe, wrote when we were discussing this very idea of marital intimacy. Thanks, Chloe, for crafting a great word picture for this topic!]

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