Speak Up

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Security in Marriage?

A reader of DCW just wrote to me and presented some thought provoking questions. She is a chef girlfriend and has concerns about her chef boyfriend's late night hours. Especially the time between closing time and his arrival back home. Does anyone else experience this chef time travel? Occasionally- meaning about once a month- Erik has dinner with some of the other chefs. Most nights though he's too tired to go out. Plus he's not much of a drinker at all. But I know some chefs like to get a drink or grab a bite before heading home and if there isn't enough trust built into the relationship-those hours can feel like an eternity.

Another question the reader brought up was that if she were married to her chef, "would there be more security?" Would her worries go away? I say NO WAY. If you have doubts before getting married those doubts will still be there no matter what a piece of paper says. But that certainly doesn't mean there isn't any hope. Trust, in my opinion, can be built and cultivated as long as both people in the relationship are willing to work and communicate.

What do you all feel about the idea of marriage creating a more secure relationship? Did things change when you got married? Were they easier? More trust? Less.

Food is Love,


Mrs Chef said...

getting married doesn't bring on security. feeling secure with one person should come natural. related to the past post, my chef husband doesn't wear his wedding ring, ever. i know he's mines and he knows he belongs to me.

DCW Jes said...

I honestly don't believe that trust comes with marriage. It might come with time, but that is with any relationship, not just with a chef. I know sometimes when we first started dating (the first few months) I would get worried. Mainly because he lived with a female that was a little bit promiscuous (sp?) but that was my deal, not his or anyone else's. I tried to get to know her and the more I did, I realized she was a nice girl just not my type of girl to hang out with. But she got us our hotel room for our birthdays at the hotel she worked at at her discount and she still does stuff like that when his family comes to visit. But the trust didn't come with the piece of paper, it came with time and getting to know my chef. He doesn't really go out anymore. I met him when he went to the restaurant across the street from his restaurant. He never had girls talking to him, except me, and I would just ask him how his day was when I worked there, before we started dating. He claims he wanted to go out with me from the first time we met.

Tiger Lily said...

I think they need to go out...to see friends, to feel "normal" and to do things that are not work and not home. It stinks because they work so much and then on that night, even once a month, that you get the call at 10pm that they're not coming right home your mind goes to bad places...but trust me, the chef part has nothing to do with it. If they were "9 to 5er's" they'd go out too, it would just be at 8pm and not 2am. Trust is tricky and if you have no reason to not trust them, but still wonder or question, then you're the one asking for trouble. They love you, and they're not rushing home to you every minute they're not working doesn't mean they don't...it means they're normal and want a life! A life with friends and outside interests...and in the long run, that's a good thing!

Anonymous said...

My husbands hours at his new job have become a big issue! He was never a big drinker, never went out after work (unless it was with me before we got married and before I quit drinking!) However, he has been coming home later and later - a few times at 3 am! Once completely drunk.

Unfortunately, I can smell alcohol a mile away, and he comes home smelling like booze almost every night. I understand that he has a beer or two at the end of service - but with the late hours and denials it just seems like something is "up."

I know many chefs tend have this behavior, but I am worried because this is so out of character for him.

And, of course it comes down to trusting him and giving him space to have a life outside of us and the restaurant. But, I still feel like he is not being 100% honest about something!

And those hours between 11 and 2 or 3 are so horrible for me when I can't sleep!

Unknown said...

I agree with Jes that the trust and being comfortable with late hours comes with time. I just build the daily post-shift beer into his work time. He knows if he's going to be later than midnight, he needs to call and let me know what's up. I'm not going to lie, the first time he didn't call and didn't come home till 5 a.m. I was a very unhappy girl. Took me awhile to get over that, and he had to show me with his actions that he wasn't going to do that anymore.
But they do work a lot and need alone time and time away from the restaurant and significant other.
I think each couple just has to come up with a system that works for them. But letting your mind race and wondering what he's up to only hurts you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous...trust your gut. 9 times out of 10 if your gut is telling you something listen to it. A woman's intiuition is a powerful thing and when I FINALLY listened to that little nagging voice in the back of my head that something wasnt right...guess what..I was right. He was cheating.

Anonymous said...

In between finding a job in my field I gave waitressing a shot. When my shift was over we would all get together for our staff meal and begin drinking really great beer and wine all which was on the house. I started developing a friendship with the chef and we got to know each other over many bottles of wine that were consumed till 4 and 5am most nights. He was easy to talk to and over all a really genuine and nice guy but he was also married! Now some girls have no shame in being the other woman or get off on more ways than one sleeping with the executive chef...not me! Thats something I never wanted any parts of and the next thing I knew it we were sharing a passionate kiss. I told him that this couldnt happen again and he told me more and more about his home life. He had already been separated once and described his wife as his roomate they didn't even share a bed. I guess looking back I could have been taken for a niaeve girl but I trusted what he said. The 5am days turned into 7am and 8am days we were stealing kisses when we could and texting when we werent together. Eventually he finally moved out and after a year of meeting we are moving in together and we couldnt be happier. He has a new job now and I joke about him and the waitress' but I know our relationship and I trust him and thats what its about. When hes done work all he is concerned about is coming home to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree about trusting my gut, however I realize that I have very deep trust issues from past relationships, and I think that it comes down to me changing.

Since the 3 am incident, he has been better about calling(a part of the problem is that his cell is always off!) when he is going to be later than usual.

I think I just need to relax and give him some space... I was just reading a blog on marriage that said, among other things,

"TRUST HIM... Cut him some slack and dare to believe in him."

This is something that i have yet to full do (obviously!) I keep analyzing everything he does and waiting for something bad to happen, proof that he's not so perfect. And, this is understandably driving him NUTS.

The problem is that we are married, and neither of us takes that lightly...and if I can't get over this now, then I think we are in big trouble!!

Hilary Battes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hilary Battes said...

Trust is a tricky things and you've all touched on some serious ideas and dilemmas here.

When two people come to a relationship they both bring with them years and years of trust issues. How your parents and past loves trusted you, how you trusted your parents and previous loves all play a part in how you trust your current significant other. But sometimes the trust issues come from the other party. If your boyfriend/husband has been caught cheating then he's created a platform for missing trust. But if he's done nothing to warrant mistrust and you're suspicious and causing stress on yourself and him-then I think you'd need to investigate your own past with trust.

My advice for this situation is the same as always: communicate. I've used this phrase several times and it has helped to avoid those knock down drag out fights as well as get some direct communication flowing. "I feel ____ when you ____". It may sound too simple or silly, but it works if you stay calm and let him know how you are feeling.

Good luck ladies.

Anonymous said...


I was just sitting at home at 7:30 on a Friday night thinking there MUST be a website for those of us whose signifcant others are chefs--those of us who know date night will bever be Saturday night! OKay, now I am going to go read everything.
Nancy, DC

Anonymous said...

Well it was better for a few weeks but had big fight the other night because he was late and had his phone off. said they seated people late and then was in a menu meeting w/ the owner. he was home around 2... it was also pouring rain out so i was scared for him! by the time he got home i was so furious it blew up into a HUGE fight, with me getting very little sleep before work at 8 am.

I don't know how anyone else deals with these issues. I am so sick of being exhausted all the time!!

And he wants a baby! I can not even imagine how hard these hours would be with a child!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone feel the opposite way? I sometimes think that I will be the untrustworthy one...He has 2 nights off and I am in my twenties. We just moved in together and he has just begun his chef journey (graduated culinary school) and now has been working for 6 months. I have full trust in him but in someways not full trust in myself. I have lots of friends and I go out on the weekends (of course which is without him). Sometimes i worry that I will do something to jeopardize the relationship, but then that means (in order to make sure of it) spending nights alone.

It is a hard balance- going out with my single girlfriends and male friends without my boyfriend can be a constant test of the will (not flirting, not dancing etc.)

Does this mean that I can't handle his absenteeism?


Anonymous said...

I submitted a comment before but it didn't get published. I want to say that I fully trusted my chef, even when he was coming home at 6 AM, drunk. I had no issues beforehand, I knew that he loved me. But he did eventually cheat, and now we are separated, and it's been the worst experience ever. Nine years down the toilet. I will never advise anyone to get involved with a chef!

Hilary Battes said...

I'm not sure why your comment wasn't posted. I publish all comments, unless they are nasty/vulgar/unproductive. It sounds like what you went through was awful. What a jerk.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time on this site. I was actually refered to it by my boyfriend who is a chef after i kept complaining about his hours. This is my first time dating a chef. Its an adjustment from the attention i am use to getting from a boyfriend. I often joke that his first girlfriend is his job and im the other woman. Its so hard. It is so good to know that i am not feeling this way alone. I also realize that i need to be more patient with him and stop complaing so much. Thanks for all the insight.

TG - Orlando

Anonymous said...

Marriage may or not make a difference on his faithfulness. But, I will say that the "Chef industry is a Huge temptation for our men. I have been with my Chef hubby for 8 years and we have a 3 year old daughter. I had that gut feeling many of you have talked about that something wasn't right. Our phone bill was high so I was looking over our calls and found a common number popping up at all hours of the day especially from midnight to 2am, plus picture texts and multiple texts all day. Come to find out the number belonged to one of the Waitresses. One who I already didnt like because whenever she saw me, she had this little sinister expression. I would fight with my husband about her prior to finding out about the phone calls, because he would defend her when I said I don't like her. Long story short and very shy of me walking out on him, he confessed to having an Emotional affair. He still swears that is as far as it went, but I will never know. bring a kid into the world with a father that is never around and a mother who has to live so lonely and neglected.

Honostly, if we didn't have a child together I don't know if I would stay with him, due to the later and later hours and not trusting him anymore.

If you trust your man get married, But I advise against and Chef Wife having a child. It isn't fair to

Anonymous said...

Well. I have dated now 7 chefs. YES. 7. I don't know why but honestly THEY FIND ME!

But after the 6th I said NO MORE!!! But this Chef told me he's the "anti-chef" I believed it but said no no no no. After 3 months of him being very persistent, he finally snagged an "anti-date" with me.

Now, we are for sure, madly in love. Talk about future and such.

But I do advise that it isn't just ALL chefs. You have to be sure to find the right one. Don't put them all in the bad group. There are some jerk Chefs. One of them actually physically assualted me on our first date!! But then. There are the 5% that are the most amazing guys. But they are HARD TO FIND!!

The key is communication and honesty. My ex was a huge liar. He would come over at 2 am, saying he was at work till then, but I'd smell alcohol on his breath and he'd be wasted! I am pretty sure he cheated on me with of course,--a girl from work.

The Chef I am with now. Is kind, loving, and honestly the nicest guy, let alone the nicest CHEF I have ever been with.

If your Boyfriend is going out for drinks with the cooks, have him text you and let you know. That's fair.

The best advice is just to be patient and have open communication with him. You don't want to nag, but you also don't want to be sitting at home at 2 am waiting for his drunk butt to come home.

PS. That girl who had a relationship with her Exec. Chef, when he was MARRIED!? And now you think he's not going to do the exact same thing to you? You're totally nuts. Once cheater always a cheater.

Anonymous said...

I had a gut feeling something was up, that someone had been in our flat, i asked, flat out lied, 3 weeks later his phone rings and its a girl she tells me that she came over to our flat after her and her friend met him in the street at 6am for drinks! He said he has a gf and apparently nothing more to it! I believe nothing happened, it was just him being stupid and drunk. But it has totally destroyed my trust months later im still trying to decide silly accident on his part or a sign telling me to get out before its 2 late!

Anonymous said...

Me and my chef have no days off together as I work an 8 -4 mon - fri and he has tues and wed off. Well we just had a huge blow up because he by fluke got 3Fridays and Saturdays off in a row! Yay. We spent one weekend together and now my parents are in town for this weekend. Well next weekend is our 2 year anniversary so I naturally assumed we'd spend all Saturday together. But I just found out he's planned and all-guys night for his best friend's birthday on Saturday because his friend is a father of 2 and rarely gets out. Which leaves us with dinner on Friday to celebrate. I feel like I got the short end of the stick and it's an indication of my future with him. He took all this time planning his buddy's birthday while our anniversary seems like an afterthought? Don't I have a right to be upset? He tells me I'm overreacting? I dint know what to believe.

Hilary Battes said...

Dear August 11th anonymous....I completely understand your frustration with an anniversary dinner that seemed to be on the back burner for your chef. It seems like more communication between you and your chef might alleviate sone of these complications. Was there anything that prevented you from setting a reservation/date for your anniversary with your chef? Was there something preventing him from letting you know about the party? For me, assumptions prevent me from checking in with Erik. I assume he's got the same priorities that I do.

It sounds like you are happy about the anniversary dinner, but unhappy with it's timing. My suggestion is to keep talking with your chef, let him know how you feel. And about the rough schedule- maybe you could still go our on the nights he has off? I know it's during the week but oftentimes in these situations I find myself celebrating holidays during the week or even a week later!

Good luck and please keeping touch!