Whenever my wife and I go out for meals to a restaurant she has this habit of trying to feed me something from her plate. She gets offended if I refuse. She won't do the same thing at home, so I wonder what the reason is for her to be doing this. I frankly can do without it, how do I make her understand?
She has been socialised to believe that feeding a man will make her come across as a good wife in front of others. If she truly believed that feeding you made you respect and love her more, she would do it at home as well. So, in a sense you are lucky. Imagine her doing this to you all the time and not just when you are out. Feeding a loved one is portrayed in popular culture as being something romantic and she is just following the norm. It probably stems from her insecurities of not being a good partner, or a pressure to conform to society’s conventions. To make this behaviour stop, first ask what she enjoys about feeding you. Listen out for keywords and really understand what is driving her behaviour in front of others. Ask her how it makes her feel to feed you vs what she thinks it means.
ALSO READCandid Corner: Matter of fantasies
You can then express how the behaviour makes you feel. Use feelings and not just “I don’t like it”. Example: “When I get fed, it makes me feel incapable, childish, ridiculed, etc.” Most likely, her intention is not to make you feel that way but she is too busy with her own thoughts and self-validation strategies to notice. Finally set your boundaries and tell her that this behaviour is making you uncomfortable and that she should stop. You can always give her suggestions on what other actions would make her achieve whatever she is trying to do. Maybe you can decide to express in front of others that she is an amazing wife or she can replace this activity with straightening your shirt or jacket in public. Plenty of actions are available to showcase couple care and love to the world.
ALSO READCandid Corner: A sister's dilemma
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)