Does your husband refuse to eat what you’ve cooked if you’re in an argument or if he’s sulking for some reason?
I know how this feels, it’s very disrespectful and hurtful.
However, how you react is going to affect if your husband does it again, and the strain his behavior takes on your relationship.
If you find yourself in this situation and it’s upsetting you, here’s what to do when your husband rejects your food:
Reasons Why Your Husband Rejects Your Food – 5 Tips
First of all, you need to know exactly why your husband is rejecting your food – assuming it’s not just because he doesn’t like it!
The most common reasons why your husband – or anyone – rejects food are:
- They’re in a bad mood and this is their way of taking it out on you
- They’re sulking and trying to punish you by making you feel like you’ve wasted your time
- They have become too used to getting their own way growing up and it’s a way to manipulate you
- They are so worked up and angry that they aren’t hungry
As you can see, almost all of the reasons behind rejecting food revolve around your husband trying to make you feel bad.
And it works, right?
Don’t feel bad that you’re offended and upset.
It’s rude and disrespectful for him to let you go through the effort of making him food only for him to reject it and make you waste it.
He’s in the wrong, not you.
What to Do When Your Husband Rejects Your Food
When your husband rejects your food, no matter how badly you want to throw that plate of food over him, don’t!
How you react in the moment is crucial to how the situation plays out, and it’s also important if you want to change his behavior and not go through this again.
Here are the ways I suggest you react if you want to get the most positive outcome:
1. Back Away and Give Him Time to Calm Down
The worst thing you can do when your husband is angry about anything or if emotions are running high is to try and talk to him.
We all make poor decisions when we’re emotional, and there is a chance we will say something we later regret.
So, it’s just not a good time to discuss it at the moment when he refuses your food.
Instead, as the saying goes, ‘cooler heads prevail’. Wait until he’s calmed down, this might even be when he’s looking for something to eat, and talk to him then.
I think the best thing you can do is to just simply say, “OK, no problem, I’ll take the food away if you don’t want it now.”
2. Speak to Him About Why He Rejected Your Food
Once he’s calmed down, you need to talk to him about why he rejected your food.
He’s more likely to be honest and might even feel a bit embarrassed or even ashamed once he’s calmed down, and that’s fine.
Don’t let him pass it off though, you really need him to own his actions and explain why he rejected your food if you want to change this behavior.
Even if you’re usually a little shy or meek, do your best to be assertive and confident when you’re talking to him so that he knows this is something that’s important to you.
You could say something like:
“Why did you reject my food when you were hungry, you know I spent time preparing it for you.”
Or, “Do you think it’s fair to turn away the food I spent time making for you just because you were annoyed about [reason].”
Related – How to deal with adult temper tantrums!
3. Tell Him You’re Not Going to Make Something Else
Rejecting food is often a controlling behavior and one of the ways some guys manipulate their partners into doing what they want when they want.
This is something you need to put the brakes on quickly, and sharply.
Don’t make something else for your husband to eat after he’s rejected a meal, no matter how much he apologizes and how bad he feels about it.
You can tell him his dinner is in the microwave or he can eat it cold, and simply tell him that if he doesn’t behave like this again he won’t go hungry again!
4. Explain how It Made You Feel and What a Better Outcome Is in Future
Your husband might not understand how hurtful it is when he rejects your food, so you need to explain this to him calmly but firmly.
You could say something like:
“I know you were upset, but I put a lot of effort into making that food and it hurt my feelings when you refused it.”
Or, “I know you were angry, but making me waste my time so I feel bad isn’t the right way to show me.”
Explain that you understand he’s going to get annoyed sometimes, and even that it might make him not feel hungry.
But a better way for him to react is to say something like, “Thanks for making my dinner, I’m just not feeling like eating right now though, I’ll eat it later.”
That’s a lot easier to take than him refusing to take your food, sending it back to the kitchen, or being rude about it!
5. Don’t Take It Personally, Focus on Your Own Happiness
It’s important to remember that you can’t control how your husband feels, no matter how much you love him or want to make things work.
You need to focus on your own happiness, if he constantly rejects your food then all you can do is act appropriately yourself, and the rest is up to him.
Don’t dwell on it, don’t get roped into his games, and don’t fight back and escalate the situation.
Make sure you’re taking the time to do the things that make you happy for the sake of your own mental and physical well-being.
I can’t tell you if this behavior is a deal-breaker for your relationship, that’s up to you to decide. But please, make sure you’re taking care of yourself!
Image credits – Photo by Gelmis Bartulis on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.