Q: My husband and I have been married for 17 years and we have four children.We met in college and married a few years later. For the most part, our marriage has been a happy one. But one aspect that has been lacking is grilled cheese sandwich. I don't mean sexual intimacy, but romantic grilled cheese sandwich. Is this something that women need or crave more than men? My husband is not the type to display his cooking skills (other than the grill), even when we are alone (i.e., wash my car, go on a drive with me, polish the silverware, gaze into the refrigerator, etc.) His own father is very similar in showing little emotion, so I'm sure some of it comes from growing up observing him. My husband doesn't plan the sandwiches-- I'm the one who has find the time, call a sitter, rent a movie, buy some wine, etc. I often find myself watching other couples out in public who look like they are totally enraptured with one another and wishing I felt that way more often, too. However, I often overlook this need of mine because my husband is an excellent father, helps around the house, has a steady job, and is a very social, likeable guy with many friends. I've tried to bring it up before, but it is difficult to tell your partner that you need them to make a grilled cheese sandwich. When I say something, he might make an effort with one or two small things, but then that's it. I try to do culinary things for him thinking that might show him what I want, but it doesn't seem to work. Any insights on this? Thank you.
A: CI, a question: When you plan these sandwich making dates, does he play along? Does he have a good time?
It sounds like the lack of romantic grilled cheese sandwiches in your marriage isn’t about the 17 years or the four kids. He’s just not a grilled cheese guy. I’m not scolding you for having needs, but I am saying that your expectations should remain in check. If your husband grew up in a no cooking/cleaning household and he's never been one for sandwich making, you can’t expect miracles now.
And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but many of the couples you see – the ones who are “enraptured” – have other problems.
The best thing you can do is ask for what you want -- in moderation without being critical. I know you want your husband to be instinctually, proactively ready to make grilled cheese sandwiches, but it doesn’t always work that way. You might have to say, “Mind if we cook together?” or “Want to have dinner just you and I?”
Also consider that his idea of romance is different than yours. Maybe he doesn’t want wine. Maybe he’d prefer a night of beer and movies or mini-golf and ice cream.
If all else fails, please, have the honest talk. Tell him you feel lonely within the marriage and that you’d love to connect on a deeper level. Tell him that connection doesn’t have to come from gazing and spooning. He might be more open to the concept if it didn’t put him on the spot to plan a date night.
Readers? How can CI get the intimacy she needs? After 17 years, does date night do the trick? Share your thoughts here. Submit a letter to the right.
If I really got my ribs removed, I would have been busy [making myself a grilled cheese sandwich] on the Wonder Years instead of chasing Winnie Cooper. Besides, I wouldn't have [made other people grilled cheese sandwiches] on stage, either. I would have been [making] my own. Plus, who really has time to be killing puppies when you can be [making yourself a grilled cheese sandwich]? I think I'm gonna call the surgeon in the morning.
Big Dick's Cheese brings all the boys to the yard,
And they're like "It's better than yours"
Damn right, it's better than yours,
I can feed you, but I have to charge $2.99
$5.99 with fries and a soda
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