For years, the Original Poster (OP) and her boyfriend enjoyed a mutual ritual of sharing meals. But as his habit transitioned from friendly sharing to unwelcome food theft, tension grew between them, culminating in a dramatic dinner outing where OP took a bold stand.
Early Days of Sharing
OP and her boyfriend, both 33, enjoyed swapping and sharing their meals when they dined out. This mutual food exchange was a pleasant part of their five-year relationship. Both of them loved this little ritual.
A Gradual Shift
In the past year, however, there was a noticeable change. Instead of sharing, OP’s boyfriend began eating more of her food. Initially, it seemed like a minor inconvenience, but OP’s patience wore thin as time wore on.
From Sharing to Stealing
The boyfriend’s habit evolved. Now, he would take food directly from her plate, even while she was eating. It went beyond casual sharing to something far more intrusive. OP tried to reinstate the balance by portioning out a share for him, but this tactic failed.
The Escalation Continues
OP’s attempts at establishing boundaries seemed to go unnoticed as her boyfriend took more and more. When portioning failed, OP resorted to not sharing at all. Even eating away from him didn’t deter him.
The Breaking Point
Frustration reached a climax, and OP finally confronted her boyfriend. She pleaded with him to stop consuming her meals uninvited. For a moment, he seemed to understand, and he apologized. After their discussion, a brief period of peace ensued. Mealtimes returned to their usual harmony.
Anxiety at the Dining Table
Their truce was short-lived as OP’s boyfriend reverted to his old habits, making mealtime distressing for her. The excitement of sharing food was replaced with anxiety and dread. The constant food theft made her feel defeated.
The Tactical Order
Two days ago, during a dinner outing, OP decided to take drastic measures. She ordered dishes she knew her boyfriend detested, hoping to safeguard her meal. It was a silent protest against his behavior.
The Storm Breaks Loose
Upon returning home, her boyfriend exploded with anger. He accused her of being petty and of embarrassing him intentionally. OP calmly explained her distress over his relentless food theft, emphasizing how it ruined meals for her.
Harsh Words Exchanged
OP explained her desperate need to resort to foods he loathed just to eat in peace, but her boyfriend lashed out. He branded her as “nasty” and “selfish” and called her a derogatory name before he stopped speaking to her.
Ruminating on the Issue
The atmosphere between them grew cold and distant. OP’s boyfriend had not displayed any other previous abusive or controlling behavior. She is caught off guard by his severe reaction to ordering food he doesn’t like.
Seeking Professional Help
Seeing a deeper issue at play, OP suggested therapy. Perhaps an external perspective could help them navigate this unexpected hurdle. Yet, her boyfriend declined the proposal, thinking it was an overreaction.
Reflecting on the Past
OP ruminated over their relationship’s timeline. She wished she had tried the unpalatable food tactic earlier. She wondered how this entire situation crept up on them and set a bad precedent from the beginning.
The Heart of the Issue
The core problem wasn’t just about food. It was about respect, boundaries, and understanding. The meals were just a manifestation of a larger concern. OP was left puzzled. She wondered if she had acted unfairly by using the food as a deterrent.
The Silent Treatment
The house was enveloped in silence. While OP tried to bridge the communication gap, her boyfriend remained distant. Their connection was strained as he pouted in the guest room and avoided her as much as possible.
An Open-ended Future
The couple’s relationship hangs in the balance. With unresolved tensions and a refusal to communicate, the future is uncertain. Both need to confront and address the underlying issues for any hope of reconciliation.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “The 18-24 month mark is, by the way, clinically considered the most common for abusive behavior to fully come to light. It’ll always be a small thing that seems easy enough to explain or can be excused as a misunderstanding, maybe a quirk. That’s how it slowly progresses until it’s just out in the open.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “It’s bizarre that he was embarrassed by your ordering food he doesn’t like – how would anybody but the two of you know? He’s searching pretty hard for excuses to make you feel guilty when you don’t let him take your food.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “He got embarrassed because you ordered food he didn’t like. And then insulted you for expressing your feelings!! None of that is okay. Your boyfriend needs help, and if he refuses to get it, you might need to rethink your relationship.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “I would get out as fast as you can. This is unpleasant controlling behavior. It’s not about food. It’s about him wanting to remind you he can take anything or do anything to you. You need to show him that’s not true, and if that means breaking up, that can only be a positive step.”