Wife Frustrated Her Husband Will Only Eat Food Prepared by His Mother

Elle Silver

Photo by Michael Burrows.

Mom's food is made with love. My kids adore my cooking even though I'm not the best chef. This infuriates the people who take care of them sometimes–such as their grandma.

My kids complain about their grandmother's style of cooking and say they like "Mama's food" better. Though this is annoying for Grandma, remember, my children are still children. The assumption is that this is just a phase they'll eventually grow out of.

When I was a kid, I had trouble eating food prepared by other people as well. I just wanted food my mom had cooked. Then my palate matured and now I love many types of cuisine, especially the meals prepared by my boyfriend.

But imagine marrying a man who will only eat his mom's cooking. This is one woman's experience. The frustrated wife took to Reddit to complain about the issue.

She claims that her husband won't even try her food. Instead, he’ll only eat the meals that his mom sends every day for his dinner. He also likes to spend the weekends at his mom's house, so he can eat all his meals there.

Understandably, this woman is at her wit's end.

This story, of course, has people wondering why she married her husband in the first place. The Reddit post received 21,500 upvotes in a single day.

Most of the commenters are siding with the wife. One person called her husband a "toddler." I'd say that's a pretty apt description.

Is this man a man-child?

This woman's husband indeed seems like a man-child. The concept of the man-child is an old one. The "mama's boy" trope was formerly introduced by Sigmund Freud with his theory of the Oedipus Complex. Though Freud's theory has since been dismissed by most psychologists, this doesn't mean they aren't still discussing the issue of the mama’s boy.

Pediatrician-turned-psychoanalyst Dr. Benjamin Spock warned about mothers creating sons who are too dependent on them in 1946. The term “Peter Pan syndrome” was then coined in 1983 by the psychoanalyst, Dr. Dan Kiley. A man with a Peter Pan syndrome is trapped in childhood.

I would say that a grown man who will only eat his mother's cooking is definitely still trapped in his childhood.

Overparenting is to blame.

This story sheds light on a greater social issue. Many experts today are saying that parents are not letting their children grow up.

Overparenting is the norm in our current era. That is impeding some men's development into adulthood.

This seems to be the case with this woman’s husband.

The issue of "enmeshment."

And yet, experts also say that a close mother-son relationship can be a good thing. Research shows that men who have good relationships with their mothers are emotionally better adjusted and have better relationships with women in general.

Research also demonstrates that men tend to marry their mothers–or at least they marry women who look like their moms.

However, the issue arises when a man has an unhealthy attachment to his mother, also known as "enmeshment." He can't break away from his mom's influence. He lacks his own distinct identity. He doesn’t grow up.

When a man who has this type of relationship with his mother marries, he can't differentiate between his new married household and his childhood home. A man essentially fails to be a man to his wife, and this is what seems to be happening in this husband's case.

A man who refuses to eat his wife's food and will only eat his mother’s? He has yet to mark a healthy boundary between himself and his mom.

No wonder this wife is so unhappy. Either her husband has to go to therapy to learn to differentiate between himself and his mother, or I fear this marriage is doomed.

What do you think? Do you believe this wife should simply accept that her husband prefers his mom’s cooking? Or are they headed for divorce?

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I write about dating, marriage, divorce, family, society, and the city I live in: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA

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