Speak Up

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cheating with his Career

Comment from a reader on Are The Wives Doomed? How can we help this lovely chefwife out? I'd love to see many comments, which would give our friend here a cornucopia of our genius. 

I am just discovering this site, and read through all these comments... and my question is: is anyone Christian and has advice on how to make it work with a chef? How do you prioritize God- then Husband- then Family... when your chef is only prioritizing CHEF??

I am married to a chef/owner- 10 years- been together for 13 years- have a almost 3 and a 4 year old- and we are all *suffering* in this lifestyle. Back in the day I was the first to say how great being with a chef was- I had so much freedom to do what I wanted and still had a man that came home every night (eventually)... but I was lying to myself to make my situation seem ok because the loneliness and being second to a career is not the way we are supposed to live our lives. Chef first is NOT natural. Now, I understand there is a lot more that goes into all of our stories... it is hard to sum it up... but I had thought we were "soul mates"...but the whole time he has been cheating on me- with his career. 

First of all, I don't see why he can't be your soul mate just because he put his career. I don't use the term often, but my chef husband is still my soul mate even though he doesn't always put me a notch above his career. If a soul mate is a person who is absolutely perfect, then they are as impossible to find as mother who doesn't guilt, or a child who doesn't cry. And as far as lying to yourself- I know about that. Read it in a book I think, because it certainly would never occur to me to lie in order to create a facade for my family and friends. And if my writing skills are lacking here I'll go ahead and say I'm being facetious. I don't blame you for doing it. It worked for you at the time, it got you through. 

Have you told your husband any of this? Does he know how you feel about it priorities vs. yours? My number advice is always the same: communicate. Tell him as directly as you can what is happening for you. If at all possible avoid yelling, criticising, blaming, or worst of all, nagging. If Tim and Nina Zagat could rate my nagging, I'd get a 30. And considering your close relationship with God, I'm sure you've already prayed about it, but what about praying together? 

I can't wait to hear what the rest of the ladies have to say. 

Food is Love, 


Shannon said...

Wow, I am so sorry for you that you feel this way! If I were you, (and let's face it, we've all felt this way to some degree) I'd sit him down and talk to him calmly. My problem tends to be that I get emotional and then can't say all the things that I need to.

Once he understands how you are feeling, ask him for solutions. Get him involved in the problem solving. Find small committments that you can both make to start to change things. He needs to take some of the responsbility or you will wind up back in the same situation.

Maybe get your kids involved. Ask them what they'd like to start doing with daddy. If he sees that all of you want a chance, maybe he'll realise teh importance.

You may have tried all of this, so apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs. I really hope you can find a way to be a happy, loving and committed family.

Take care xx

Astrid said...

Is there anyone out there who feels that not only is "chef" the top priority, but so is the bar after his shift? Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the actual drink. It's what comes with it. Coming home 3 hours later at night (which means 5 am), sleeping later the next day (= no time to even have coffee together in the morning) etc. Am I the only one who is going through these feeling?

Lyndz said...

Yes, I completely get that! Me and my chef have been together for over 3 years, live together and recently got engaged. You have described it perfectly, it does feel like being cheated on by the bar. I understand the need to wind down after such a hectic day but that is the last thing on my mind after I have spent a weekend on my own, at the time all I can think is 'why doesn't he want to come home and be with me?'
When we first moved in, I could hardly stand me getting up whilst he is still in bed, him coming home late and I was already asleep. It was so hard, but eventually I got used to being on my own and just spending more time with friends. However recently it has become so much harder, my friends have moved away and we are scrimping and saving for our own house. I have other friends, but as with normal relationships they want to spend the weekends with their loved ones.
We have spoken about it, and he said he will always choose me over his job, but the last thing I could do would make him give it all up to do a job he hates!
We spent almost all of the week just gone not speaking to each other, just because we were asleep and at work at different times.
It is very hard but I am so glad I have found this site! I feel i don't have anyone that understands!

Daisy said...

I can't help but wonder whether or not we don't cut our husbands more slack than we should because they're "chefs". I completely understand the demanding nature of the job and the dedication it takes to make it in such a tough business, but where do we reasonably draw the line between "do what you have to do" and taking advantage? Aren't there tons of demanding careers out there? I wonder if we chefs-wives would feel differently about our chefs' choices/priorities if they were choosing to go to happy hour every night w/ co-workers at a law firm. Or something like that. I'm just trying to say that sometimes I think it's hard to figure out when you're getting the most your chef has to give and when they really are just putting you on the back burner.

Laura said...

When I find myself getting upset about my husband having to work when we were supposed to go out of town, or something of the sort, I start to feel like the job comes first. And there is a reality that the job is very demanding and time-consuming. Part of being able to deal with it is to just accept what it is. My husband always reminds me that I am his No. 1 priority, and even if it doesn't feel that way all the time, it does 99 percent of the time. But I do think communication is key. You partner's acknowledgment of your sacrifice is always nice to hear.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone!
I would like to say that finding this website has taken so much anxiety off my chest because I don't feel alone anymore...knowing that there are other women who are going through as me!

I am a 26 years old woman, married to a chef/owner and we have a 1.5 year old baby boy. In the beginning, when we were just dating I thought it was soooo cool to have a chef for a boyfriend! I bragged to all my friends about him and they were all so happy for me. I especially loved all the free time i got away from him. He would go to work at 10am and come home at 2am.,...I had all the time in the world for myself, yet still had my man come home to me at the end of the night. Once, I got pregnant ,I started to panic....I was 3 months pregnant, and we just decided to get married...I thought everyday how will i live like this? I will essentially be a single mom...Having a husband who works 14 hours a day and has one day off a week is going to make me hate motherhood because I will feel overworked and lonely at the end of the day, and it's true! The once "cool" job of my boyfriend turned into a "nightmare" job of my husband's.....I am constantly unhappy and find myself nagging at him all the time. I think that's mostly because I feel deprived and lacking some serious woman attention from him. The biggest concern I have is him stating back after work for some drinks at the bar with buddies and staff. This promotes him to come EVEN LATER, such as 4 am and sleep in late in the morning while I wake up early to take care of our son. This is something we always fight about. Talk about an unfair set up.........

Anonymous said...

Yes, we cut them too much slack! I work full time at a job a care about, take care of our new baby by myself, run all the errands do all the cleaning, all the cooking (you know they never want to cook at home), I go to everything alone including all our family events. Our lives revolve around my husbands work. When he gets home he just wants to sit and veg out. I understand that working in a michelin starred kitchen is stressful, but so is being their partners! My chef stopped drinking, I think it would be too much if he was still going out every night, especially with the new (first) baby. Love to you all! -Sarah

Courtney said...

I feel the same way! Do you have kids yet? I was okay with the lifestyle until we had a baby. It became SO much harder (sorry). But my advice would be to wait until he is the boss or an executive chef to have children, so he can set his own schedule and maybe have some weekend days and holidays off. We should chat! It would help so much to have someone to talk to about all of this :)

Lyndz, England said...

Hi Courtney, no we don't have kids just yet but maybe in the next few years, although the frightening thought of doing it all on my own is putting me off slightly! My fiancé is already the head chef of the bistro pub (we live in the south of England) and recently has put in place alternate Friday or Sunday evenings off - this is great and a huge step forwards but as soon as he misses one I get resentful and upset. I can even hear myself being difficult with him when he tells me, but I just can't pull myself to get over it in that one moment. I agree, we should chat! Where in the world are you living? :)

Alicia, California, U S said...

Mine is also a Michelin star rated chef! I am so proud of him, but as a newly engaged couple, it is difficult for me to be alone so much; it feels like I have to go to his restaurant to see him sometimes, and lately I feel like all he wants to do is go to work...especially if he doesn't get his way in a minor argument. I try to be grateful but I can't help but feel resentful. Will it always be like this? Do I really want to spend the next thirty years alone and married at the same time?? Any advice would be great, ladies. Thanks! <3

Anonymous said...

Karen - London
My chef husband and I have been together a few years now, married for 3 and have two gorgeous boys 3&1 and to be totally honest with you all I feel like a single mum that just has someone that brings home a pay check at the end of each month.
When we first started dating I was a Head receptionist in a hotel where we met so his hours never affected us because mine where just as bad but when I gave up work just before I had my eldest son my whole world was turned upside down.
I have never been so physically and emotionally drained and most of all lonely which in turn ends up as me just being a complete nag when he does come home.
All I can say is you just have to get on with it because it is never going to change and the more career driven your chef is the worse it gets.  My husband is now an Executive chef at a private casino in London and works hander than he has ever done before and he also has two other jobs aswell (day/night and weekend) he is at home to rest his Head for 5 hours a night and maybe one or two days a month!
I have finally reached a point in my life where I have decided life is for living and I really do LOVE my chef and any time that my children and I get to spend with him is sooo precious that we should make the most of it and be as happy as we can be.  And if that means raising our babies alone and doing all the DIY and mow the lawn and all the other things that are required of a mother and a housewife and a husband then so be it.
I'm tired of being angry and wound up all the time so I am just going to let things go and just request that I get some me time at least once a year and maybe at least one date night every 3 months or so (yes sad but true these requests will be an improvement in my life)

To All You Desperate Chefwives out there I feel your pain and its such a relief to know that I'm not alone.

Thank You Hilary for returning my sanity and I will now be reading your blog on a regular basis to cheer me up :-) x x x

Anonymous said...

Thank you ladies for this blog/comments. Reading this has helped me finally make up my mind to leave my chef after 7 years and two kids.
I am a chef myself, but I adapted my career to suit my family life. His career is just something we all have to suffer through.
There's more to life than the waiting, being forgotten, being left out, making comprimises, shushing children at 11 am on a weekend "so daddy can rest".
When we do see him he's distracted and on the bloody phone to the restaurant all the time. We don't even own the place- he's the head chef.
I look forward to my new life where I can plan and do things with my kids with no fear of upsetting Chef and his super ego. He can enjoy himself at work- he's happiest there with his real "family"!
Good luck ladies and don't sell yourselves short- many of you really are, by what I can read here xoxo

burningredroses said...

I am so happy i found this blog. I have know my chef for a long time. He always puts everything else before me. Maybe i am selfish but i dont know if i can do this. Why would he want to marry and have children and build a life when he is not here.

Anonymous said...

I am new to all of this and have only just begun dating a chef. When I am with him, I feel like it could last a lifetime. But when we are apart, I begin to wonder if he feels the same for me. He gets home at 2 am and I do not hear from him much, we have to reschedule our plans pretty frequently, I almost feel like I'm bothering him. But on the other hand: he does want to see me and he makes that happen every time he does have a day off about once a week., he talks about the places he wants to take me and things he wants us to do together.... One day, he says he misses me (just doesn't feel that way). I'm honestly ok with his career. His ambition is one of the things I love about him. And he is at the top already, he still has almost zero free time. I just struggle a little because if he was any other man in any other profession, I would actually think I was the wasting my time chasing someone who wasn't interested......simply because he always has something going on that's more important. Sometimes I feel like a booty call running out at 2 am to see him for a couple of hours. But because I understand now that this is a chef s life, I'm HOPING that the way he makes me feel when I'm with him and the fact that he genuinely seems to plan on having me around for things, is an indication that I mean something to him. TS- Baltimore