Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend is Disgusted Whenever I Eat”

My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. Things for the most part are pretty good except for one thing: He gets disgusted with me when I eat. At first I thought, “Oh, hell no are you going to comment on what I’m eating!” The first time this happened was only a few months into the relationship, and we got into a huge fight. Well, after this, we had the same fight over and over. So, I’d just wait for him to go to bed; I’m a late-night snacker anyway — always have been. But after I started doing this, he would do an inventory of the cupboards and the trash, looking for any evidence of things I had eaten the night before. Now after all day at work you’d think he’d forget, but, no: I’d walk through the door and he would start in, commenting on everything I ate and saying things like, “I see you got into the Cheeze-Its last night” or “How was that ice cream?” I can never have dessert when we go out or at a party as he gets seriously mad if I eat a piece of cake and shakes his head with disgust — in front of people. (For what it’s worth, I’m a self-admitted yo-yo dieter. On my 5′ frame a ten-pound weight gain can seem pretty significant, but I’m currently about 135 lbs.).

I think this is a disorder — anorexia by proxy — or maybe just asshole syndrome, but it’s a huge problem for me and, even though he knows how it makes me feel, he will not stop this behavior and I don’t know what else I can say to make him stop. Any advice aside from dumping his sorry ass? — Late Night Snacker

Nope. I think dumping his sorry ass is the best advice I could give. That and “enjoy your ice cream!” Oh, and also, I recently rediscovered this delicious snack from my college years, which was especially tasty late at night (and maybe after a few too many Zimas), fyi.

I am 30 and my boyfriend is 55. We began having an affair during his marriage. At first it was nothing serious, but then he separated from his wife and it became more serious. We then had a long-distance relationship, which had its ups and downs. We have been in the same place now for ten months and it’s been ok. The problem is that I know he has said horrible things about me to his grown-up kids in the past, and, even though we kinda sorted it out, I’m afraid it will happen again. I try to trust him but it’s hard – I know his sons don’t like me and try to talk him out of things – and I know that he doesn’t stick up for me. He says it’s because he doesn’t want any hassle in life. He also doesn’t post anything about us on Facebook, so I feel like I am still a secret because we don’t live in our home country and I don’t think he really wants people to know we are together or to tell his sons that he loves me. — No Longer The Other Woman

You “kinda sorted out” that your boyfriend has been saying horrible things about you to his sons? Is that like how you kinda sorted out how your boyfriend was married when you met? And now he’s not? Guess that part worked out for you, but you know what? You were the other woman. Your boyfriend left his wife for you. You don’t get to waltz into his life and have everything be peachy keen. You don’t get to have his sons’ acceptance of you just because you want it. You are partly responsible for breaking up their parents’ marriage. I doubt they need to hear their father say horrible things about you for you to not be their favorite person. You don’t trust your boyfriend because he’s not a trustworthy man (oh, and also, because he says horrible things about you!). You know what he’s capable of and you know that at any minute — possibly even now — he could be cheating on YOU. That’s what you signed up for when you decided to pursue a married man. Have fun with that. Or, you know, MOA, and find someone who is both physically and emotionally available next time.

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

35 comments… add one
  • keyblade April 15, 2016, 8:08 am

    LW1- Your boyfriend has some nerve. Unless you don’t mind staying angry and resentful, get out.

    LW2- Boom. And wow.

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  • veritek33 April 15, 2016, 8:23 am

    Ummmm dump his sorry ass?

    I’m sorry I got nothing better than that. This sounds like controlling behavior that could lead to a lot more destructive behavior down the road. If he wants to inventory your food what’s next? How you spend your money? How you raise the kids?

    If he’s that obsessed with your eating and weight, something is wrong with him. Perhaps he needs counseling. He needs to love you for you. Being concerned about your health is one thing but making asshole remarks about the cheez its is just being a dick. I’d tell him to knock it off or you’re leaving.

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  • Vathena April 15, 2016, 8:46 am

    LW1, wow, your boyfriend suuuuuuucks. What a complete douche-canoe. I give you a lot of credit for recognizing that this is dickish behavior. Next step: dump his sorry ass. I can’t imagine why you’ve put up with this for so long!

    LW2: WWS. This guy sounds like a dick too. But when one pursues a relationship with a married man, my sympathy is lacking. Next time, hold out for someone who is available AND treats you well.

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  • K April 15, 2016, 8:54 am

    “Things for the most part are pretty good” from LW1 and “It’s been ok” from LW2 – those are not glowing endorsements of the relationships. Both of you know you should move on. And LW1, I wouldn’t be able to deal with that – he definitely has some issues.

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  • jlyfsh April 15, 2016, 8:58 am

    LW1 I’m wondering why either of you has stayed. He obviously is unhappy and you are unhappy. I’m guessing he knows most people won’t put up with a daily counting of what they’ve eaten?

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  • jilliebean April 15, 2016, 9:06 am

    LW1 – I have a friend who was (WAS) married to a guy like that. For the record, she’s in amazing shape, super-thin and super-fit (but that shouldn’t matter anyway in terms of the commenting). And he STILL commented on EVERYTHING she ate, like “why are you eating cereal? you ate plenty for dinner”. She’s finally divorced from him but it really did a number on her self-esteem and I don’t think that will ever go away. So get away now, while it’s easier – gets a lot harder after marriage, kids, etc. He’s not going to stop behaving like this, you know that.

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    • Pleaseseeamentalpsycatrist February 21, 2022, 10:13 am

      So from what I am reading. I think you could have some unrecognized mental symptoms that need to need be evaluated. You could be Misinterpreting these behaviors from your partner and not even know it. A lot of these females are only here to tell you to leave him. Because that is the common female mindset is any behavior is a huge red flag. But in all reality there’s always two sides of the story. I would personally hate it if my girlfriend would even think this way. If you think this way you already have a problem

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  • Cleopatra Jones April 15, 2016, 9:07 am

    Ha ha Wendy,
    You’re mid-western roots are showing. 🙂

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  • bagge72 April 15, 2016, 9:08 am

    LW1: My boyfriend is a pretty good guy except for this one shitty thing he does to me every single day of my life, and in public in front of people- Said every letter writer ever. It is absolutely amazing that you found out about his asshole tendencies 3 months in and stuck it out for 5 years, that seem sort of like self abuse type thing.

    LW2: My boyfriend is OK, accept he talks shit about me to his kids – Said no letter writer ever until now. WTF, the only thing I can think of is Karma, but what is his Karma seems like he gets his cake and eats it too, dumps his wife for a much younger woman, he can treat like crap, and never has to worry about committing too. He sounds so dreamy.

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  • othy April 15, 2016, 9:09 am

    Puppy chow is great! Now I really want some, but I’ll just have my Chicago popcorn mix for breakfast instead. Sorry your boyfriend is an asshat, but the only real advice is to dump his sorry ass and removing his food inventory from your life.

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    • MaterialsGirl April 15, 2016, 9:29 am

      mmmm Chicago mix

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  • va-in-ny April 15, 2016, 9:32 am

    LW1 – When I first started seeing my fiance, I noticed that he always asked me what I had to eat that day – It threw up a red flag for me almost immediately and I brought it up after only a week. I told him that he was not allowed to have an opinion about when, where, or what I ate. Turned out, he was using meal times as a way to strike up conversation with me throughout the day. (Like, “Good morning! Have a good breakfast today?” “It’s finally lunch time! Having anything good?” “What’s for dinner tonight?”) So, it turned out that I was the crazy one in that situation!

    What you’re dealing with isn’t a cute misunderstanding… you’re being controlled and belittled (in front of other people!) and it’s not okay. Unless you have specifically asked for his help in keeping your diet on track (hey, we all need some help sometimes!), he is acting inappropriately. What if you ever had a child together? This type of behavior escalates! I know you’ve been together for 5 years and that’s a long time, so if you’re not ready to toss him to the curb, at LEAST get yourselves into some therapy to try to work through this so it doesn’t continue.

    Either way, it’s NOT okay. And, you shouldn’t put up with it any longer.

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    • Skyblossom April 15, 2016, 9:47 am

      It would be horribly abusive to a child to have a dad who constantly told them that they couldn’t eat and who constantly checked to see if they did eat.

      LW Get out before this guy destroys your life and if you want children make sure they have a different dad. Then ask yourself why you put up with this treatment for five years.

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  • dinoceros April 15, 2016, 9:42 am

    I don’t know why either of you LWs are still with these people.

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  • Stonegypsy April 15, 2016, 10:19 am

    LW1: What? He started making asshole comments about your eating habits super early on and you’ve now been in a relationship for 5 years? What the hell? Yes, dump him!

    One of my friends brought weed treated puppy chow to our mountain getaway. We ate a little and it didn’t seem to have any potency at all, so I spent all day munching on it….
    and was so, so, so baked by the end of the day. I have never in my life been that high. My memories of that night are fuzzy.

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    • kare April 15, 2016, 11:11 am

      Puppy chow is amazing. Weed treated puppy chow sounds dangerous for me. I would not be able to stop myself. Stil…off to research.

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      • Stonegypsy April 15, 2016, 11:25 am

        It would have been less dangerous if it had been *more* potent! The problem was, we were being super careful with it in the morning (and we had some untreated as well) but weren’t feeling anything, so I just started munching on it like it was normal.

  • wobster109 April 15, 2016, 10:22 am

    LW2: “Doesn’t want hassle” is a load of bull. I mean, he had an affair with you! What he’s really doing is being a coward, not owning up to his actions, and throwing you under the bus. Find someone who’s proud to be with you.

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  • Diablo April 15, 2016, 10:24 am

    LW1: You have to wonder what your bf is going to be like as you both age and put on weight. Is he gonna be a complete and utter pain in the ass about everything you eat for, like, 30 years? I can’t fathom why you didn’t tell him to go screw himself the first time he commented on your eating. That’s never okay unless you have asked for support in dieting and even then it is likely not to go well. For many people, it could even be dangerous, potentially triggering or exacerbating eating disorders. We are all so anxious about weight in this culture. Dump him instantaneously and find a cool dude who wants to get some nachos. (Sorry, its Friday, and I keep thinking of the supernachos at this one place. Is it 5 o’clock yet?)

    LW2: Seriously? Pull your head out of your ass. This guy is older than your dad, you broke up his marriage, he talks shit about you. You kinda haven’t kinda sorted anything out at all. This is never going to end happy. Find a gram of self-respect, dump him, and find someone available who’s not an asshole.

    And Wendy: your advice has been superlative this week, but I can’t conscientiously condone the drinking of Zima. There. i said it.

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  • honeybeenicki April 15, 2016, 10:38 am

    Mmmmm puppy chow. I’m a little concerned about whoever commented on the recipe that it could be used as an appetizer or a dessert. When I eat puppy chow, I tend to eat enough that it is a full meal.
    And for anyone who makes it, you can substitute cake mix for the powdered sugar (actually, I usually mix it half and half) to give a different flavor. Like Red Velvet. Yum.

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    • othy April 15, 2016, 11:32 am

      If you make it with corn chex, I think it totally counts as a balanced meal, with the protein from the peanut butter and the vegetable from the corn chex.

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      • MaterialsGirl April 15, 2016, 1:10 pm

        I strongly believe that puppy chow should be made with Crispix and NOT corn chex. Trust me

      • othy April 15, 2016, 2:27 pm

        I’d never heard of Crispix. It appears to be both rice and corn, meaning an even more balanced meal.

      • MaterialsGirl April 15, 2016, 4:02 pm

        and more surface area for pb chocolate/powdered sugar goodness

      • Ange April 15, 2016, 11:13 pm

        I’ve never heard of puppy chow before but it looks sinfully delicious.

        *keeps munching on Brussel sprouts resentfully*

  • Essie April 15, 2016, 10:50 am

    LW1. Get out. Now. This nonsense will eat away at your self-esteem over the years until it breaks you. And he absolutely, positively, should never, ever become a father. I can’t even.

    LW2. Of course he’s badmouthing you to his kids. Even though he was screwing around on their mother, he’s trying to make you the villain, so he can keep his relationship with his kids. You’re the evil, scheming bitch who led him astray. He’s the innocent one.

    And if he has so little respect or love for you that he would do that, why are you surprised that he’s keeping you a secret from others? You’re not a partner, you’re the shameful little secret. The only question is why you have so little self-respect that you’d agree to be treated like that for so long.

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  • Miss MJ April 15, 2016, 11:06 am

    Whoa on the food counting! What the actual fuck? It’s one thing to comment when your SO ate the last of the ice cream and didn’t say anything so that when you went to get some it is all gone and the corner store is already closed, meaning you have to put on real pants and walk 6 blocks if you want to get more. (Dick move.) But, going through the trash and giving a running commentary on the food consumed? No. Just no. And fuck this “I cannot ever order desert when we go out” nonsense. I’m not a huge dessert person, but if there’s ever a time for dessert, it’s when a professional has made it.

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    • othy April 15, 2016, 11:35 am

      My husband did that a couple of times early in our relationship. I told him that if he’s the one who finishes the ice cream, he’s the one who has to put on pants to get more. He’s far more likely to surprise me with a sweet treat than flowers. He knows me well.

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  • juliecatharine April 15, 2016, 11:10 am

    DTMFsA. Yeesh ladies, aim higher. LW 1; I’m genuinely concerned about you. Your boyfriend is a grade-a asshole.

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  • girltuesday April 15, 2016, 11:22 am

    WWS. LW1 – enjoy your Cheez-its and ice cream.

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  • GertietheDino April 15, 2016, 11:29 am

    When you have to hide what you eat (I did this, I spent a lot of time in the parking lot and my food), it’s time to move on. Dump him!

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  • muchachaenlaventana April 15, 2016, 11:50 am

    my main takeaway from this comment section is that i should try puppy chow soon

    also LW1 and LW2– dump these asshats and aim higher. i really hope LW1 your self-esteem is able to recover– the guy you are dating is a complete and utter bag of dicks.

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  • Cassie April 15, 2016, 1:19 pm

    “Any advice aside from dumping his sorry ass? ”

    LW1, no, there’s not any advice besides breaking up. There’s nothing you can say or do to get him to stop. Besides asking him to stop (which you’ve done, and he hasn’t), you can try flipping him off every time, giving him the silent treatment, telling him, “I don’t need your comments on what I eat,” or just ignoring him. But the problem with all those actions is: they shouldn’t be required in this situation. Here’s how it should have gone: “Wow, I see you got into the Cheez-It’s!” “I don’t like it when you make comments about what I choose to eat or not. So stop.” “Okay!” And you never hear of it again.

    Your boyfriend of 5 years is a controlling asshole. There is no magic wand you could wave that would ever get him to stop–if there were, he already would have stopped his criticism and control. You say, “Oh, hell no are you going to comment on what I’m eating!” Except, he is. For 5 years. And for 5 years, he’s disrespected you, ignored your blatant statements to stop, cares more about policing you than your comfort, has made you feel badly, and most likely has affected your self-esteem. Why do you love yourself so little to put up with someone who treats you so poorly? It doesn’t matter if every single other aspect of your relationship is 100% picture perfect (which, realistically, is doubtful). His policing your food choices and critical comments are unacceptable. Thus, the only good advice is: end it.

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  • Kate B. April 15, 2016, 2:45 pm

    First, I have never heard of puppy chow. I will try it immediately. Next, LW1, dump him. I had a boyfriend who did this. Note the use of the past tense. It was the first of a string of controlling asshole behaviors that I put up with for way too long. LW2. I frankly don’t have much sympathy for you because you reap what you sew, but you do need to look at yourself and ask why you got involved with this guy in the first place. He is not a prize.

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  • bittergaymark April 15, 2016, 7:44 pm

    Are you seriously THIS fucking stupid, LW? This fucking desperate?

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