What to Do If Your Spouse Won't Cook Now and Then

How to Set Up a Cooking Schedule

Cooking Together
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If you are bothered by the fact that your spouse won't or doesn't want to cook a meal now and then, here are suggestions on how to deal with this issue.

  • First, don't use the word "help" in your conversations about this issue. Asking for help gives the impression that cooking is your job and not a chore that needs to be shared.
  • Don't nag.
  • Find out why your spouse won't cook. Could it be caused by inferiority, a could care less about cooking attitude, thinks that food is not that important, can't taste the difference between a jar of spaghetti sauce and homemade spaghetti sauce, thinks it isn't his/her job, hates cooking, views cooking as a waste of time, is lazy, etc?
  • Once you know the bottom line of your spouse not wanting to have anything to do with cooking, talk about how the two of you can compromise on the issue.
  • If your spouse refuses to cook, make a plan that you can live with. Perhaps you'll cook three nights a week and order in, eat out, or nuke frozen TV dinners on the other four nights.
  • Decide on a schedule. You can decide on perhaps two nights each with three nights of ordering in or dining out, or maybe each of you agree to cook three nights a week with one night to eat out some place special.
  • Some couples set aside one weekend a month to cook together and freeze quite a few meals for the month.
  • Be flexible. Holidays, illness, working overtime, getting together with friends or family, vacations, etc. will interfere with your schedule.
  • Agree to set some ground rules for the kitchen. Examples: When one cooks, the other cleans the kitchen. When one cooks, the other stays out of the kitchen. The one who cooks decides on the menu.
  • Accept that if your spouse prefers unadventurous meals, that is what he/she will cook. If your spouse likes to be experimental in preparing meals, that is what you will have to eat when it is his/her turn to cook.
  • Don't be a gatekeeper. When your spouse is in the kitchen, don't expect him/her to cook or do things your way.
  • If your spouse doesn't follow through and cook on his/her assigned night, then order food you know your spouse doesn't particularly like or fix yourself and the kids a sandwich or a cup of soup. Don't prepare so much food that your mate could also eat that evening.
The natural/logical consequence of not cooking when it is your turn to cook is not having a nice meal that night.