Don’t Tell Your Wife She Doesn’t Cook Like Your Momma

By May 18, 2016February 6th, 2018Uncategorized

The newlywed years are a blissful, wonderful time for your marriage. You’re on a high from getting married, honeymooning, dreaming, and building your new life together. At some point, that high will begin to dissipate as you ease into the rhythm of everyday life.

When you’re in blissful ignorance of one another’s shortcomings, you’re not wasting time on lobbing criticism at each other. Everything the other person does is beautiful, and you make it a point to show gratitude for one another for the most seemingly mundane things…that is, until the mundane takes over, and you become critical.

Tripping Over Memory Lane

After the newness of your marriage has begun to wear off, it’s easy to fall into nostalgia for your pre-married life…or to compare yourselves to others (including your family of origin–and that’s where we’re going to focus today). Throwbacks to your childhood become a problem if they generate resentment toward your spouse, because something that might’ve been important or comfortable for you before you married is no longer part of your life.

A great example (and the inspiration for our tongue-in-cheek title): Mom’s cooking. (This applies to husbands who are the primary cooks at home, as well.) Let’s say your spouse took up cooking duties in your new home, and the food he or she prepares isn’t exactly as palatable as what you grew up eating. Or maybe it’s just different, and you miss what you had.

It would be very destructive to your spouse to judge him or her with a statement like, “You’ll never cook like my mom,” “My mom’s pie was so much better than this,” or, “Dad knew his way around the kitchen…why don’t you?”

If you miss your mom’s (or dad’s) cooking so much, ask if she’ll prepare your favorite dish when you visit her. Don’t belittle your spouse in your home because he or she hasn’t yet mastered a specific delicacy from your pre-married life. And, whatever you do, don’t use that meal at your parents’ house to make a point with your spouse.

Your point will be loud and clear. But it won’t get the results you’re looking for.

Trying to recapture the past in your present life can lead to discontent and dissention. When the nostalgia of the “good old days” invades the maybe not-so-good days that come after the honeymoon period is over, spouses can quickly find themselves kicked off the pedestal they were put on…by the very person they married!

When you find yourself getting lost in your own memories and longing for echoes of the past in the life you’re building now, remember that your spouse has his or her own set of memories. Whether your spouse voices their opinion or not, they have plenty of comparisons they could choose to make, as well.

It’s normal to miss the old days, especially after you’ve made a big transition in your life. Marriage is a huge change! In all its wonder and loveliness, it still rocks both of you to your core. Give yourselves time to adjust without leaning too heavily on the past.

Blaze Happier Trails Together

When you feel uncomfortable with the way your spouse is doing or handling something–particularly if it’s something that was done much differently in your past–try to focus on the value of their efforts. Your spouse loves you, and is trying his or her very best to please you. Being critical will not produce a better effort next time; it is more likely to create a less satisfying result on the next try, if a repeat attempt is made at all.

Shift your energy toward building your new life and traditions together, in the here and now. Perhaps you can agree together on elements of your past lives that you’d like to incorporate into your shared home. Focus on what you’re creating together, not what you’ve left behind.

Don’t let the past take away from the present, or steal the joy from your early years of marriage together. Keep enjoying one another, extend the honeymoon period as long as possible, and relax…you’ve got plenty of time to figure out this cooking thing, and everything else.

And remember, there’s no shame in ordering takeout.

How did the expectations you brought into your marriage affect your early years together? Your spouse’s? How did you unite to build new traditions and a home all your own? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!




  • Tim says:

    Just a couple months in to our marriage I made that exact mistake. My wife made a plate of spaghetti and sat it down in front of me, and before my head thought about what it was about to say, I blurted out those famous words, “That’s not how my mom makes it!” Believe me, that was the last time I ever said those words again. Thankfully I learned that lesson early. By the way, as it turns out, my wife’s spaghetti is better then moms, ………but don’t tell mom that.

  • Nostalgic says:

    I’m in far greater danger of longing for the honeymoon phase of our life together. I spend a lot of time wishing he still looked at me like that, or that he still pursued me like that, or just kissed me like that, or even pursued God like he used to. I would never dream of comparing him to my father or anyone other than the person he seemed to be when we were first together. Pointing any of that out seems as detrimental as making an unfair comparison, though, so I usually just try to see his many other strengths. Hard to let go of that “other” guy, though.

  • Hopeful says:

    My husband and I both came from negative backgrounds and brought a lot of baggage into our marriage. We were committed to making it work and after 41 years we are still working on improving our relationship. We read your Love Talk devotional most every night and pray together, which has been very helpful! Since we have worked together for so many years we have been forced to work on our respect and kindness toward each other and understanding each other better. Otherwise, we would be in big trouble. We know God is working on our rough edges. We are thankful that He is working on us each day!

  • I’m glad that my wife doesn’t cook like my “mamma” –she over-cooked almost everything. The first time my wife cooked pork chops (that weren’t as stiff as Chinese Stars) I was very pleasantly surprised… I now love ’em. Having been a bachelor, I am intentionally appreciative for every meal I don’t have to prepare by myself. My wife is confident that I’m a fan of her culinary skills, and can receive feedback about cuisine I’m not particularly fond of without becoming defensive or insecure. I’ve found that intentionally creating a familial culture of appreciation, affirmation, and encouragement works wonders in motivating your mate… and your kids. –A grateful guy.

  • Bob says:

    I lost the love of my life in 2014. God provided me with a new wife and believe me I have to be careful what I say in many situations. It is difficult at times but God has helped me change. I have to remember she is different and I love her for who she is.

    • Kris says:

      I am sorry for your loss. I find it interesting that you call her the love of your life when you now have a new wife. I am a divorcee in love with a man who is also divorced. But I, at times, feel he is having trouble letting the ex-wife go. So, I am extra-sensitive I guess. I’m trying to avoid being the new wife to a man who still thinks of his ex as the love of his life. Do you feel that passes with time?

  • ericsavard says:

    This application is great with regard to our spouse’s cooking and we (I) could also avoid criticizing the other spouse’s, cultural background, driving habit (as long as there is not threat to life or health ;)), ideas of a good family vacation, child rearing styles, cleaning style, day planning. All these have sparked conflicts, arguments and nasty fights in our marriage and if we just approached these “concerns” without criticism and without belittling the other, fights can be averted and instead, we can encourage each other and both grow and develop new skills and be a blessing to one another. Thanks Les and Leslie

  • Paby says:

    Some people are just lazybones careless and fruity my wife can’t cook she will but most of the time there is no consistency we also use to clean together now the house is a mess since she stopped cleaning and organizing with detail like we used to do now she says she doesn’t remember any of that and that I have always been careless, I started being careless after her, my life as single was clean and with bleach all around the house but she doesn’t remember that’s how careless we are now, but my goodness her cooking one day decent but not good the next day burned fk then you show her how to do great things and she never will care or remember not even following a recipe fk.

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