My wife and I welcomed our first child together four years ago and have been raising her vegan since she was born, something her mother insisted we do, despite my serious concerns that it might negatively affect her development.
I’ve always been a big meat eater, I like nothing more than a good steak, but my wife decided to switch to a plant-based diet when we started trying for a baby and she was convinced that played a part in our being able to conceive.
When our daughter was born, my wife insisted that we raise her vegan too, which I was really worried about to be honest, but I agreed because I wanted to give my daughter’s mother everything she wanted at the time!
Cut to four years later and my daughter is thriving. She loves food, she has a big appetite just like her dad, and it’s something I’ve really enjoyed sharing with her.
Maybe a year or so ago I was having a burger for lunch (my wife wasn’t) and my daughter was fascinated by my food. I thought there was nothing wrong with giving it a little flavor to see how she handled it, if she gave her a stomach ache or something, and she loved it.
Since then I have been giving him bits of whatever meat I am eating when my wife is not around. Which was great until recently when I slipped up and gave him some chicken at a picnic without even thinking.
My wife freaked out, started yelling at me that I was ‘poisoning’ our daughter and that I had no idea how she was going to react to the meat. At that point I had to confess that she had actually been feeding him meat for a while and that admission sparked another furious argument.
Now my wife is threatening a divorce and says she doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to trust me with our daughter again. I get that she’s upset that I kept this little secret from her, but I can’t help but think that she’s overreacting.
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From, Carnivore Confusion
Dear carnivorous confusion,
I am reminded of a musical that was performed for years in New York called ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’. You married your wife, who ate meat, and she suddenly stopped doing it and now she expects your daughter to do the same.
While I understand your wife going vegan in an attempt to conceive, demanding that your daughter follow the same diet seems rather selfish, if not difficult, when you know her husband continues to eat meat.
Of course, your daughter will want to try whatever she’s eating. All children want to copy their parents, and especially when it comes to forbidden foods.
In fact, the worst thing you can do, unless it’s due to allergies, is to ban a food group altogether. Oh silly new mother that I was, I banned sugar for years. It was only much later that I discovered that whenever my kids went to someone’s house, they would demolish the snack drawer and any sugar they could find on their own.
Frankly, I don’t think you did anything wrong and I agree that your wife is overreacting. These kinds of impositions on other people’s behavior can be a need to control, often masking anxiety or fear. It’s worth getting to the bottom of that.
First, you must have an honest conversation. I think it’s worth getting your pediatrician to step in. Not only to make sure that her daughter gets all the nutrients she needs, but also to verify that her daughter’s behavior in wanting to eat meat is normal. I suspect that her pediatrician will confirm that there is nothing wrong with her daughter eating meat.
Living up to someone else’s standards of perfection is exhausting and unrealistic. It’s one thing to intend for your daughter to be a vegan, but slip-ups, even those you unknowingly (or knowingly) perpetrate, are bound to happen.
It is much better that you agree, as a family, to intend a vegan diet, with the recognition that your daughter can try the foods she wants. Even meat.
The best food advice I’ve ever heard is from Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, who says, ‘Eat food. Not too much. Especially plants.
Ten years ago, I met a boy. He was handsome, charming, and I really thought he was going to be the man who would make all my dreams come true in a romance novel style.
But little by little things began to change between us. He cheated on me, he was always controlling and constantly criticized me.
He said that I was a terrible person, that I couldn’t cook, that I couldn’t take a good shower, that I shouldn’t smile because my gums were too big… He once put a knife to my neck because I had to go to work. event. She strangled me for how I boiled an egg. Then finally he beat me, locked me in a room, and left me there for hours without food, water, or even a chance to go to the bathroom.
Eventually, I found the courage to run. And I have never looked back.
But now, a decade later, I still can’t imagine letting anyone else into my life because I’m afraid I’ll end up in the same situation, or maybe worse. I haven’t kissed a guy or been on a date since it happened. I’d love to find a way to move on, but I don’t know how I’ll ever get over it.
Can you help me please?
From, Haunted by the past
Dear Haunted by the Past,
Dear Jane Sunday Service
I once read an interview with Russell Brand, in which he expressed his disbelief at his relationship with his wife: ‘Sometimes I feel like a refugee in my house with this woman, this calm, beautiful woman, who in the most beautiful way possible ‘I don’t care what I do.
She’s not interested, in the most charming way. ‘Oh, that sounds good.’
I wish we could all let our partners be who they are, instead of trying to make them who we want them to be. Accepting people on their own terms is one of the most difficult challenges, but it brings with it the greatest gifts.
I am so sorry that you were in such an abusive and horrible relationship. I’m also interested in your first comment about your expectations of a relationship: that it should be a novel-style romance.
The strongest relationships I know are forged in trust and friendship. In fact, every time I see a friend in love in the purest romantic style, I know there will not be a happy ending.
Relationships that feel like a dream, like something out of a movie, where you are charmed and treated like a princess, are actually the most dangerous, because you are being ‘love bombed’.
Love bombing is a form of psychological and emotional abuse where someone will use excessive attention, flattery, and praise to manipulate you into a relationship with them. They invariably end up being narcissists, abusers, or both, as you sadly found out.
So now that we’ve cleared that up, I suggest two things.
First of all, get yourself a therapist so you can deal with the trauma you’ve been living with for ten years. Talking to friends won’t be enough – you need an absolutely safe place and a person who can give you the right tools to help you get through this and ensure you don’t get involved with anyone like this again.
I encourage you to make some new male friends and once therapy is underway go on a few dates, this time being aware of the red flags and red flags.
Slow and steady is how it should be, no flattery, romance, and flowers, no matter how good they feel in the moment.
wish you all the best