Marital Frustrations and Emotional Eating/Drinking

It's not a good night tonight. Husband made me feel like crap tonight while I was in the kitchen. I decided to make the kids dinner and walk away before becoming upset. My daughter ended up making me a plate of food, not the healthiest of choices, but she's 10 and tried, and brought it to me. Anyways, I'm sitting alone in the bedroom, nursing a MaiTai and just wondering how in the hell do y'all do it? Granted, I've been with Derrick for 15 years, married 12 years, we've fought and made up and moved on. But how in the hell do you avoid the emotional eating and/or drinking. I'm only having this one drink, but I'm just so frustrated.

Basically the argument was me asking him not to waste food and he snaps back that I'm nagging. I remind him that he just got on me about spending too much money on groceries. He calls me a whiny b-word. Rather than saying something I'll regret, I just shut up and walk away.

I really want a vacation, alone, just to breathe and remember what it's like to be a woman, instead of a wife and mother who's always doing for others, but Derrick says no, and he's in charge of the money, so he has the last say. So, I sit here, frustrated and not knowing how to control the situation. I don't want another drink. I don't want gelato or cookies. But the sweetness takes away the emotional bitterness....however temporary.

Any ideas? Thanks.
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Replies

  • Well you said it right there at the end. That the feeling of getting rid of the bitterness is just temporary. I have been married to my husband for 8 years and been together for about 10 1/2. We have fought over the moon and back and still do. We started working with a tony robbin's life coach about a year ago and things have helped improve (I am not advocating for this although you may want to speak to someone to mediate the two of you and point you in a better direction). What I will say here though is you are right, the good feelings of eating/drinking or temporary and will actually have longer lasting bad feelings as you will feel worse later about what you ate/drank and probably the next day and so on.

    I commend you on walking away from a situation like that. I can also tell you that his comment was all about him. It's not you. He is having his own issue and he is spewing it out at you. So good for you for not taking him on. Although you might not be able to get a vacation alone I do suggest you two talk and you book yourself for some time alone (even an hour or two) however often you need just to recharge and just do what you want to do. You have to consider yourself important too. I know it is hard being a mom. I am a stay at home mom of a 2 year old and I am at her beck and call all day and even during the night. I do 99% of the parenting and although I love it I need my own time too. You need to do things that feed you. That make you happy and feel good.

    We have these goals that we ask for ourselves (to be thin or in shape) and those things will come to us if we let them. It's like being a canoe which will automatically go down-stream (that is where our goal is) and yet here we are paddling the opposite way because everyone does that. Everyone paddles the opposite way because it's harder. But that isn't getting us to the place we want easier...it's just prolonging our unhappiness and pointing us in the opposite direction of what we have already said we wanted. These emotional snacks do the same thing. That is you paddling upstream when what you want is down stream. I guarantee you if instead of eating something to comfort yourself and instead you went with how you feel and make you feeling better the most important thing (and remembering that he has the issue at the moment - not you - although it seems like it's personal). You can do this. The analogy is from a book I've read recently and really helped me. Hope it wasn't too confusing.
  • AleciaG724
    AleciaG724 Posts: 705 Member
    I'm not an emotional eater, but my thought is for you to pop a piece of gum, or mint (I like TicTacs) and go for a walk. Take your daughter with you or let her ride her bike so you can walk faster... The previous poster has awesome advice!
  • back2twentyfive
    back2twentyfive Posts: 36 Member
    Congratulations to you for having lost so much weight!

    Kudos to you for not escalating the argument!

    For me, emotional eating when I am stressed does not take away any pain that I am feeling. What helps me is remember the positive things I am doing and commend myself for them -- that's what takes away the bitterness. Looking at the glass half full, rather than half empty.

    Raising 4 kids is an amazing thing that you are doing. Kids, however, cost a lot of money and will cost even more as they get older. I mention that because the argument you had sounds like it was about your finances (not to waste food, not to spend too much). You and your husband may need to re-assess your budget and eventually, when the children are all in school, you may want to work/need to work part-time. From what I have read, the #1 cause of marital arguments is finances. So knowing that, it would be best if you and your husband can agree on a budget and stick to it -- just like counting calories!

    And if you do have an argument, and you can walk away from it, use the time as "Me" time -- try to do something good for yourself instead of eating/drinking because, as you said, you don't really want the drink or cookies, but you want time for yourself.
  • besaro
    besaro Posts: 1,858 Member
    maybe you could get a hobby that was your own, a book club with the girls? an evening class?
  • ChildrenCryinNCoffee
    ChildrenCryinNCoffee Posts: 477 Member
    Thank you guys. I appreciate the feedback for my rant. Derrick raised the white flag this morning, apologizing and giving me a hot coffee in bed peace offering.

    I'm definitely going to look into my own hobbies and trying to schedule some me time, in between raising four kids, running a household and being a full time PR manager to an artist. I can't even remember the last time I read a book, let alone peed alone in the bathroom without a toddler begging to keep me company or assaulting the door because I said no, lol.

    But I promise to try.
  • mactaffy84
    mactaffy84 Posts: 398 Member
    I'm glad things look more positive to you. I just wanted to say that I agree that you need to have some "me" time. I hope that you will follow through with that, it is REALLY important. As a wife and mother, we all put everyone else before ourselves, thinking (stupidly) that to do otherwise would be selfish. Well, it has taken me 30 years to realize it, but it is not selfish. It is absolutely vital to our health! Not saying that you put yourself first all the time, but you do need to carve out consistent time to do what you want to do. Good luck!!
  • AllOutof_Bubblegum
    AllOutof_Bubblegum Posts: 3,646 Member
    Your husband sounds like chauvinistic, domineering douchewagon.

    I don't know anything about how you choose to respect yourself, but I would NEVER allow my husband to speak to me in that fashion. Ever. And he respects me and my station in the family to never try. He would never even THINK to. And I won't even touch on the "it's my money, I have the last say on it" part. I can't even---- :noway:

    People will only give you as much respect as you insist on. Stop accepting how he treats you as acceptable, and you have a better change of making it change.
  • suremeansyes
    suremeansyes Posts: 962 Member
    The whiny B part put me over the edge girl. I let my ex talk to me like that for too many years. I'm not saying get divorced over it, but you need to stand up for yourself.
  • CoachJen71
    CoachJen71 Posts: 1,200 Member
    I have eaten a lot of frustration and resentment over the years. I am trying to do more of what you did, be the grown up and walk away. Good job!
  • lishie_rebooted
    lishie_rebooted Posts: 2,973 Member
    Your husband sounds like chauvinistic, domineering douchewagon.

    I don't know anything about how you choose to respect yourself, but I would NEVER allow my husband to speak to me in that fashion. Ever. And he respects me and my station in the family to never try. He would never even THINK to. And I won't even touch on the "it's my money, I have the last say on it" part. I can't even---- :noway:

    People will only give you as much respect as you insist on. Stop accepting how he treats you as acceptable, and you have a better change of making it change.

    Im not married but I agree with this.

    Maybe counseling or a new husband is in order...
  • randomtai
    randomtai Posts: 9,003 Member
    Your husband sounds like chauvinistic, domineering douchewagon.

    I don't know anything about how you choose to respect yourself, but I would NEVER allow my husband to speak to me in that fashion. Ever. And he respects me and my station in the family to never try. He would never even THINK to. And I won't even touch on the "it's my money, I have the last say on it" part. I can't even---- :noway:

    People will only give you as much respect as you insist on. Stop accepting how he treats you as acceptable, and you have a better change of making it change.

    This times a million.... :noway: :noway: :noway:
  • baba_helly
    baba_helly Posts: 810 Member
    I normally don't comment seriously on these kinds of posts, but if my significant other ever called me an insulting name I would reevaluate the respect (or lack thereof) we had for each other.
  • peachynoir
    peachynoir Posts: 14
    How absolutely disrespectful.

    I think there is nothing more sour to a relationship than to use demeaning words toward one another. It sounds like he needs to be the one to walk away, not you - to prevent himself from saying things he just can't back.

    You also say he's in charge of the money, despite you being a full-time PR Manager... I don't know how this situation came about and I'm never one to judge how a couple handles their money but I suggest you put aside a little money here and there. Every woman needs a little mad money and to not feel trapped like that.

    Congratulations on being the level-headed one and taking a walk. That's big. I think finding alternative methods to relaxing will be the easiest way to avoid emotional eating/drinking... I, personally, like to color. Yep, color. It works. Maybe for you it is stretching, taking a quick nap, watching a guilty pleasure TV show, running a bath, etc. Find your something.
  • SherryTeach
    SherryTeach Posts: 2,836 Member
    You want to know how others have handled similar situations? Well, I got rid of the husband who treated me badly, raised two awesome daughters on my own, got friends, got hobbies, had a meaningful career and now have a significant other who is a real partner. It was the best decision I have ever made.
  • GetFitzy
    GetFitzy Posts: 17 Member
    It's great that he apologized (as he should). My one piece of advice is that I think you need to at least have a small bank account in your name. You need to feel empowered lady! You do not need permission, especially since you are working. I figured you didn't work and that's why you didn't have a choice about finances, so my advice was going to be for you to get a part time job. But if you work FT, then it's YOUR choice to save some money for yourself. Even if you can't do a lot, could you do $50 a month? $25? $10? Anything!
  • auzziecawth66
    auzziecawth66 Posts: 479 Member
    Your husband sounds like chauvinistic, domineering douchewagon.

    I don't know anything about how you choose to respect yourself, but I would NEVER allow my husband to speak to me in that fashion. Ever. And he respects me and my station in the family to never try. He would never even THINK to. And I won't even touch on the "it's my money, I have the last say on it" part. I can't even---- :noway:

    People will only give you as much respect as you insist on. Stop accepting how he treats you as acceptable, and you have a better change of making it change.

    I don't generally try to give an opinion on situations like this because you can't really know a situation from the outside looking in but talking that way is definitely incredibly disrespectful and uncalled for no matter what the situation. I think I would say maybe look into counselling like some others have suggested. Not cool :noway:
  • Fsunami
    Fsunami Posts: 241 Member
    It's not a good night tonight. Husband made me feel like crap tonight while I was in the kitchen. I decided to make the kids dinner and walk away before becoming upset. My daughter ended up making me a plate of food, not the healthiest of choices, but she's 10 and tried, and brought it to me. Anyways, I'm sitting alone in the bedroom, nursing a MaiTai and just wondering how in the hell do y'all do it? Granted, I've been with Derrick for 15 years, married 12 years, we've fought and made up and moved on. But how in the hell do you avoid the emotional eating and/or drinking. I'm only having this one drink, but I'm just so frustrated.

    Basically the argument was me asking him not to waste food and he snaps back that I'm nagging. I remind him that he just got on me about spending too much money on groceries. He calls me a whiny b-word. Rather than saying something I'll regret, I just shut up and walk away.

    I really want a vacation, alone, just to breathe and remember what it's like to be a woman, instead of a wife and mother who's always doing for others, but Derrick says no, and he's in charge of the money, so he has the last say. So, I sit here, frustrated and not knowing how to control the situation. I don't want another drink. I don't want gelato or cookies. But the sweetness takes away the emotional bitterness....however temporary.

    Any ideas? Thanks.

    Good morning. I read this and your update below & would like to help if I could...

    Im a 44 year old make who has been married 24.5 and with the same woman since I was 18.

    First of all, you deserve credit for being able to identify what triggers the emotional response. And in your mate's defense, he deserves some credit for realizing that he was wrong in his response (or he wouldn't have made the peace offering). As a guy, sometimes we lash out at those we love when we are under stress. I think that goes both ways.

    That being said, you may want to evaluate a few things that jumped out at me - these are observations, not judgments (we all have our own buckets to carry):

    1) In a partnership, NO ONE is in CONTROL of the money.NO ONE HAS THE LAST SAY, unless YOU specifically agreed to that condition. Shared resources = shared decisions, because the responsibility for the debt is on both. I had the same issue with the grocery bills for 20 years. The way we solved this? I use mint.com to track expenses automatically. Once I realized groceries + dining out is about 19% of our budget, I was ok, because that's about normal. If you net $4000 per month and your food budget is $800, who really gives a **** how the pie slices up? If one month, the groceries are $600 and dining out is $200, and the next month its a $400/400 split, how the cake is cut matters not. We haven't had an argument about it since. I grew up. Unless he does the shopping or listens to the news, he needs to realize groceries are a variable cost & the price of most grocer goods (ESPECIALLY PRODUCE) is skyrocketing (about 10%)

    2) If your daughter is bringing you food to help you with over the emotional hump, that would appear to be a learned behavior on her part. YOU have to decide if that's a behavior you want her to learn or develop. In essence, do you want her to have a healthy relationship with food or not? That decision is based on what you and your husband model, which is only up to you two.

    3) If he throws away $10 worth of food, he knows it. You know it. So why fight about it? When the blowups happen, they are usually not about the matter at hand, but the underlying things behind it. The event is just a trigger for the argument to occur.

    If you shut up and walk away, you swallow your response and your pride and the pressure comes out in other places......and YOU LOSE YOUR SELF - RESPECT IN THE PROCESS

    From what you've described, it sounds like you have the foundation in place, you just need to work on the window framing, so to speak.

    What I mean is that you have a long marriage commitment already in place & a child that is getting older. He apologized. Those are good things.

    Fixing the framing of the windows? You and he (or you and a marriage counselor) may need to address what appear to be control issues on his part. The money thing sticks out like a sore thumb & as described, seems to be a control mechanism, whether intentional or not on his part.

    The control issue is what has to be addressed, because:

    1) Partnership = equals
    2) Addressing it reduces the need or desire for emotional based eating/drinking.
    3) You want to model good behavior so your daughter grows up to be a strong, independent woman

    Better communication leads to shared goals which steers you away from the arguments that trigger the learned responses. Its behavior mod.

    And? Yeah, Mrs Fsunami and I argue. But I don't call her a *****. Ever. The arguments aren't allowed to get personal, not matter how hot we are at each other.

    I think there's plenty of hope and plenty for you two to work WITH. You just have to determine what youre going to work ON.

    Thanks for listening.

    Fsunami
  • Chevy_Quest
    Chevy_Quest Posts: 2,012 Member
    As a 52 year male married to my wonderful wife for 20+ years the thing that jumped out at me was the name calling.I would never call my wife something demeaning ever in anger and even as a joke. She is my equal partner and she works just as hard as I do, just in different ways.

    This is one of the threads that restores my faith in the MFP community. There are a lot of really nice, thoughtful, and practical responses.

    I know that fixing, getting out of, turning around a "disrespectful" relationship is not as easy as snapping one's fingers. But I know that the one thing you can control starting today is to value yourself and take care of yourself physically.

    We really wish you the best here.:smile:
  • blupanda12
    blupanda12 Posts: 54 Member
    Early on in my marriage, I told my husband that I found it very disrespectful to use names like that even in jest. It took a while, but eventually he came around to my point of view and has stopped using them. Perhaps that's a small area to start amidst all the great advice here. Open communication can do wonders if both people are willing to listen.
  • Ferrous_Female_Dog
    Ferrous_Female_Dog Posts: 221 Member
    Couple's therapy.