By: Natasha Archary
Food fights between couples can cause more than heartburn and indigestion, especially when one partner chooses to not eat at home.
That was the verdict on the Kaya Drive with Sizwe Dhlomo this Monday when the team questioned whether the relationship turned sour if spouses or partners refuse meals cooked by their significant other.
For many, food is a love language like no other and the disrespect when a lovingly prepared plate of food goes untouched is second to none.
In fact, as one Kaya Drive listener shared, “I know even if I eat at work… if I don’t go home and eat what my wife cooks, it’s World War 5.”
Interestingly most of the women felt it was a big deal if their husbands or partners turned down their home-cooked meal.
Full from what?
In most households, the partner who does the cooking, usually the woman, takes the role of nurturer and caregiver. The other partner, generally the man of the house acts as the provider. With patriarchy still forming the foundation of many relationships, each gender has its roles clearly defined based on what works.
No two relationships are the same and for same-sex couples, the roles are split according to whoever is more comfortable or capable. In both instances, the partner who does the cooking is almost always offended if their food is untouched.
Nomsa from Alberton shared with Sizwe and the team that she takes it personally when her husband tells her he’s full.
“Full from what? Full from where?” her enraged voice note echoed on-air. Her stance is that as the woman of the household, it’s her role to feed her husband and children. One she takes seriously.
She described it as similar to a woman telling her man that another man paid for her bills. It makes her feel inadequate and incapable.
Food fights turn relationships sour
The bottom line is that food isn’t just nourishment. For most Kaya Drive listeners, it’s love on a plate.
Something to note with the responses on the show is that most of the men knew that they would be insulting their partners if they don’t eat at home.
According to psychotherapist Joyce Morley-Ball, sometimes food fights are only a symptom of another underlying problem that hasn’t been communicated. Concerns about being unappreciated or taken for granted often pop up when couples use food as a subliminal message to drive a point across.
The relationship turns especially sour when couples punish their partners by not speaking to them for days when one refuses to eat what the other cooks.
“Food shouldn’t be a burden, but something that people can delight in and have fun with,” says Joyce.
Listen to what Kaya Drive listeners had to say: