A woman’s eating habits has the internet locked in debate—she doesn’t eat much, but she likes to order a wide variety of large entrees and refuses to eat leftovers. However, her husband’s solution also proved controversial: He wants to force her to order from the kids’ menu.
The original poster (OP), u/RelationshipFine8592, shared his solution to the problem in a post on the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole. He earned over 5,600 upvotes and 2,100 comments for his post, “[Am I the A**hole] for making my wife order off the kid’s menu or share a meal with me?”
He says that he doesn’t have a problem with his wife being a small eater, but he objects that she’s a “greedy eater,” saying that she prefers to eat a small amount of a number of different dishes. He says that when she does this at home, it’s “annoying but it’s manageable,” but dining out is a “nightmare.”
“She will order whatever can get her the most variety of options, ignoring the cost. She will add sides, appetizers, and [desserts] to her meal, only to eat one or two bites of each thing she orders. Maybe this would be manageable if she ate leftovers, but she refuses to so all the food just ends up going to waste,” u/RelationshipFine8592 wrote.
In an attempt to lessen the financial hit, he says he ends up getting small meals and eating from her plates—but the two have different tastes and he usually doesn’t like what she orders. OP had finally had enough after a recent meal however, and decided to fight back.
“I got incredibly annoyed when she ordered herself a full rack of ribs and an appetizer only to eat like 20% of each. I only ordered a salad so I could finish the rest off but I hated the sauces she chose for the ribs and most of the appetizer went untouched,” he wrote.
He told her he was tired of the pattern, seeing as he was usually paying over $40 for food she won’t eat. He gave her an ultimatum: either order two items from the kids’ menu or get a regular-sized meal that they’ll both share and enjoy.
Though she apparently thought he was joking, the next time they went out to eat, OP proved he was indeed serious.
“Well, last night we went out to a wing place. As we sat down, I asked for a kids menu and she got confused. When we started talking and I told her that she either needed to order off the kids menu or share with me, she got quiet and refused to talk to me and started saying that I’m insulting and belittling her. We ended up going out into the parking lot and having a fight before she got an uber home,” he wrote.
He added that things are still chilly between them, with her refusing to talk to him. Her dad also called him to yell at him over the new rule.
Food compatibility can sometimes be a source of trouble in relationships—and not just if one partner’s vegetarian and the other’s a devoted carnivore. Perhaps one partner is a grazer who likes to eat small amounts of food throughout the day, while the other prefers one or two big meals.
Communication is the most important thing to navigate food differences—as well as being key to solving nearly all relationship troubles, according to Marriage.com. Couples should talk about their difficulties before someone gets fed up and lashes out.
Relationship experts also differ on whether or not a spouse should set rules for their partner. While some say that sharing expectations for the other is a good thing, many argue against making official “rules” as both partners in a relationship should be equals.
Similarly, Reddit was split over the situation, with some taking the OPs side, and others taking his wife’s.
“Wasting food like that is a serious peeve for me. I’m going with a [Not the A**hole] here. But I think your execution of your frustration could have been better,” u/Saphira404 wrote in the top-rated comment with over 8,700 upvotes.
“[Not the A**hole] I would’ve taken the leftovers home for her to have the next day and only prepared my own food. Inconveniencing her in private not public may work better and won’t make you look like an [a**hole] (even though you did warn her),” u/cauliflowers-fluffy suggested. “That’s why it’s a good consequence to her actions! If she doesn’t want the leftovers she either has to make her own food, which judging from the post is a lot of effort for her, or she orders less food in future.”
“She’s his wife not his child. It’s not his place to discipline her,” u/glamourcrow countered.
“Yeah, thanks, this is the crux of the [Everyone Sucks Here judgment] to me. Her habit is super annoying, but the kid’s menu thing and the mandatory leftovers punishment are both things you’d do to a kid under 10,” u/yet_another_sock wrote. “Instead of treating a grown woman like a child, be an adult. Adults make household budgets. If you are no longer willing to pay for her wasteful habits out of your personal fun money or your shared fun money, you can split checks and each pay for your food out of your own fun money. She can spend her money how she likes and it won’t affect you.”
“Dim sum. Korean BBQ. Any place with a buffet. Hibachi. There are a lot of options,” u/eresh22 suggested.
“Other than a buffet, they won’t solve the problem of her deliberately over-ordering, though. I’ve yet to see a place that serves ribs that only serves full racks, so it’s not just variety she’s after, she’s also ordering excessively large servings. It’s like she needs to feel like she’s getting a massive meal even though she can’t come close to eating one,” u/calling_water argued.
“I knew my first marriage was in serious trouble when I started trying to figure out what ‘consequences’ would stop my ex’s behavior, because hurting me wasn’t enough. Then I realized I’m not his mom and the whole exercise was bulls**t. Though at least he didn’t bring his parents into the argument – further underscores OP’s wife’s immaturity,” u/MrsCoach wrote.
“This feels pretty paternalistic. They need to communicate. It’s not the husband’s role to provide consequences for his wife. Nor is it his role to say what she can and can’t order. He can draw a line and say he’s not going out with her, but he can’t parent his wife,” u/Here_use_this wrote.
“Totally agree. OP is parenting his wife. What she does annoys you but it’s not up to you to correct her way of eating. If it bothers you talk about it. If she keeps doing what she’s doing it’s really not a hill to die on,” u/Sassysewer added. “Knowing this choose restaurants that cater to small plates with lots of variety [You’re the A**hole].”
Newsweek reached out to u/RelationshipFine8592 for comment.