Non Raw Husband - Help!
I'm new to raw foodism, and I was wondering if anyone has any stories or advice to share about living with a non raw spouse... Before, my husabnd and I would eat the healthy (high protein low fat) dinners I prepared together. Much of the time this was an issue between us as he is an extremely fussy eater who loves fast food. I was forcing him to be healthy.
Now, since I've gone raw, we're eating separate dinners every evening. Often I'm eating a green salad and some mangos while he's eating a big mac meal and a double cheese burger- washed down with a beer! I feel guilty about letting him do this but I don't want to try to change him anymore, it doesn't work. Besides, he's happy like this, he enjoys it.
My questions - Is this a sustainable way to live together? What happens in a situation like this when you have kids?
I'd love some advice or your personal experience!
Just my opinion mind you. I've been married for over 20 years, but that doesn't make me a marital expert by any means. But, this is what I've learned from it:
Trying to change someone is not a good idea. Even bad eating habits. (and religion choices too I've found)
It will put terrible pressure on your marriage, and the results won't be good either. It puts terrible pressure on YOU as well. You are blaming yourself for something you can't control.
You ask "Is this a sustainable way to live together?" - you eating one way, and letting him eat what he want- absolutely! That is exactly how you should be living! Don't feel guilty at all about respecting the fact that he is an individual that has the right to make his own choices.
My husband won't touch a veggie or fruit (except apple pie)- but we eat together all the time. And enjoy each others company. You don't have to eat the same foods.
Don't let eating raw, going vegetarian or vegan isolate you socially. There are salads at restaurants. Family get togethers- take a big bowl of what you know you will enjoy.
I wouldn't put the cart before the horse on the kids thing. If you have them, you compromise and work something out. Really, it doesn't have to be isolating.
sisterbecky gives great advice. I'm struggling with backing off and letting him eat whatever. It's hard not to try to convince them to do the best thing for them, but it only leads to tension. The other day we were at an espresso stand (he orders and I watch :) and he ordered a strawberry smoothie that was a packet of powder in milk. I couldn't hold my tongue and was upset because we have an awesome vitamix and lots of fresh produce at home :( I'm trying to learn though. I'm fine with him eating his burgers, but he has gotten a LOT healthier over time and no longer gets fast food. His burgers are bison or grass fed beef with whole wheat bread and lots of veggies - made at home. He usually has a big salad as well. When we first met his food groups were pizza, tortilla wraps, ice cream, and spaghetti. It's not an ideal diet now to me, but it's sure an improvement. He usually cooks his own meals and we eat different meals together. It's a little difficult from an ethical standpoint, but if you think about it, we're in the minority and seem odd from a social standpoint, so I feel lucky he is very supportive of what I choose to eat. I can extend him the same courtesy.
I hear you on the kids thing as well. I would want my children raised vegan at minimum while I am breast feeding. He's agreeable to that but wants junk food in their diet past that, including meat and candy. We'll see if we even have kids :) We're both leaning towards not, so it may be a non-issue. If we get pets, he'll be fine with feeding them a species appropriate raw food diet, so no worries there. I'm pretty sure if we do have kids, I'll have to compromise as well.
Good luck and I hope you find peace with your living arrangements.
Hi there, I wanted to let you know you are not alone! My husband and I just had our 3 year anniversary. I started getting into Raw about our 2nd year. At first I had no idea what I was going to do for our meals together in the evenings. What I first started to do was get a few good vegan recipes. Creative recipes that really make great dishes out of vegetables, grains, beans etc. If you make a good enough meal, they won't miss all the meat and cheese! My husband is not vegetarian and probably never will be. But what I found works the best is do not put the pressure on him to eat more in a way like you do. You will get no where and end up arguing. I stopped nagging and when I did that, I think he really started to think about his food choices more. If he still wants the burgers and other foods, then maybe serve him a helping of your salad too? Add in healthy stuff, then subtract the bad stuff, slowly.
My husband and I eat different meals, also, but we almost always did before I ate raw because I ate mostly salads that he didn't love.
We prepare and eat our food together, so that time spent together is what's most important to me, not eating the same thing.
I think of it this way: I really dislike being told what to eat, so I don't tell him what to do, either.
We don't have kids, but my brother and his wife do, and she is high raw. It hasn't been a problem for them. She makes her own stuff, some of which the kids like, but she cooks for them. They eat a lot of raw, and what is not raw is healthy.
I guess it's all what you are used to.
Thanks for the great advice everyone, you have given me some great ideas! Going raw is a massive lifestyle change, but I feel it is also liberating. Before, I was a slave to food: always planning for my next meal, the stress of going on holidays, eating out or at people's homes, counting calories, ahh!!!
With raw food it's so simple (especially as I now plan to follow an 80 10 10 style lifestyle): fresh fruits and vegetables, as nature intended. Available anywhere in the world, practical, easy, no calorie counting, no special powders and such required.
You're really right, sisterbecky, trying to change people doesn't work. I might though, in a non confrontational way of course :) try to make healthier hamburgers, fajitas etc at home, and show my husband how to do it too. (Thanks for the tip camihearts raw!)
Bringing a big salad that I can eat when I go to other people's places is also a great idea. (I'm dreading doing this at my traditional French mother in laws place though, she's going to be personally offended, and call me ridiculous I just know it!)
This thread caught my eye as I've been through EXACTLY the same thing. Before I went raw my husband and I prepared and ate all our meals together - non veggie - and we shared junk food takeaways etc.
When I went raw EVERYTHING changed and at first it was ok, he thought I was going through a phase and I'd stop in a couple of weeks. Week after week passed and we were literally spending no time together as we lost that bond over food and we drifted further and further apart. I was angry at him for not wanting to change when I told him everything about the dangers of cooked food. I was angry he would turn his nose up at things I had made just to spite me. We argued and in the end it ruined our relationship. We went from about to get married to living apart and broke up. It was horrendous!
However, a year later, when things had all calmed down, we realised that we still loved each other and that food should never have got in the way of our relationship. We started seeing each other again and I'm pleased to say last February we got married! It's a real full circle thing and that's why I wrote about it in my book Me Raw: You Cooked.
My advice is learn to be patient with your partner. If they want to change it has to come from them - nobody forced us in to raw and that wouldn't be a nice way to come in to it. If you can make sure you at least eat together, even if you're spending time in the kitchen together making food - it's a real bonding time.
Make a raw dish for you and perhaps see if your husband/partner would like a bit as a side dish - if not, don't worry - all the more for you!
See if you can find a raw version of his favourite dish and offer to make it for him - even as a side!
Ask him to flick thorugh some recipe books and offer to make any dish he chooses.
Leave nice raw treats lying about the kitchen or the fridge without offering them.
People really don't like to be forced.
My husband makes the best raw curry. I managed to convince him to make it one night and when he did it was AMAZING. I made sure I told him that he has a special raw ability :)
Find recipes that can be easily adapted to be raw and cooked - there are some in my book or in the book at raw liberty website!
It's a huge issue for raw/cooked foodies and there's so much more info out there!
Hope this helps!
Seems like everyone has said it all, but to add and encourage you further, niccyhk, I'm also in there: me 100% raw vegan and he 100% junk food, and it's working and our love flourishes! In fact, I tell people all the time that it's a win-win situation for the both of us cos each gets exactly what they want at every meal!
it even gets to the point that it gives us extra opportunity to show each other love, making that effort to accommodate or treat the other one with his/her fave food. i love it that my husband considers me when we choose a restaurant, he's just short of telling my mother-in-law what she better make for dinner to please me!
So it can add to the spice of love, differences are often what makes us interesting to one another.
PS he personally thinks it's a hippie thing to do but nonetheless he's super chuffed that I'm in good figure and I'll keep it! time will so show the benefits of your raw eating, he'll love it and others will notice too