“She went on and complained to my father in law that this gal cooks non veg at her home.”

Sharing an email.

“… the minor issue of male attitudes against women at home.” 


It’s been 8 months of marriage “Lou Marriage”
My husband is a real sweetheart and supports me in every way.

He is Brahmin and I am Not. He is an occasional non veg and I am a hard core non veg. That’s the upbringing.

Since we both are into jobs so we do not stay with my in laws plus this was something mutually agreed 7 years ago into relationship.

Now the worst part.

My husband has not got issues with me eating non veg he knows all my stuff since we know each other for long.

I do not  get along with my younger sister in law very well, worst thing – she hates me and I do to her. She went on and complained to my father in law that this gal cooks non veg at her home.

So my husband and my FIL had a serious argument over it. They have a problem with my cooking non veg.

I do avoid it when they come over to our place for 4 or 5 days, but me and my husband had serious fighting over these things. I can manage not to cook non veg when they are here for few days but what about the time when they plan to stay with us forever?

Plus i think me being non veg should not be any problem since they knew this long before.

Should i confront the issue as when they keep on dropping me hints regarding this issue?

Oh I Forgot  when we go over to their place I eat whatever has been cooked no tantrums or issues on it. My MIL puts hell of a chilly powder which is not digestible for me at all.

Please help.

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An email from a DIL living in a Joint Family: Should I adjust or should I leave?

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

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How to be a Sanskari Bahu – Careless Chronicles


69 thoughts on ““She went on and complained to my father in law that this gal cooks non veg at her home.”

  1. Since your husband is more attuned to vegetarianism that you are, why doesn’t he cook for his parents when they’re in your home? Come to think of it, why don’t your in-laws cook for themselves when they’re at your house? Why does it fall to you to be the family workhorse? This is a prime example of an Indian woman objecting to disrespect, without objecting to the domestic subservience that made that disrespect possible.


  2. “but me and my husband had serious fighting over these things.”

    So you say your husband’s a ‘sweet heart’ and all, and was completely okay with you cooking whatever you wanted. And then you say that you and your husband have started fighting over this. Which is it?

    For you and your husband, I’d suggest couple’s therapy. There are many egalitarian therapists available in major cities in India, most of whom have returned from practicing abroad, so they’re most likely not going to go with the ‘please adjust’ routine.

    As for the ‘hints’ that your in laws drop–you can nicely and directly tell them that they cannot enforce their beliefs onto you, and you will never be vegetarian so they might as well stop trying. I doubt this is going to work because passive aggressive jerks become bigger passive aggressive jerks when dealt with directly.

    If I were in your position, I’d eat as much meat and poultry as I wanted in my house when they visit. That’ll give them a clear message that they can take their ‘hints’ and shove it up, you know where.


    • “passive aggressive jerks become bigger passive aggressive jerks when dealt with directly”
      How true , passive aggressive thing is toughest to handle as per all counsellor , mind docs etc…
      but I handled …I just left every thing , I caught the weakest points and blasted nicely .. Haalat tight …
      Well this passive aggressive stuff creeps back , just nip it at bud..
      Indian Society works on passive aggressive mentality hence it is tough to fight Indian Social Issues , Only way is Haalat tight karna..


      • That’s what I learned from my work environment when I was working here. Striking a direct conversation with someone regarding a problem will do nothing. You need to act in such a way that the passive aggressive person will be forced to directly confront you–like if the LW starts cooking and eating meat when her in laws are in her house, they’ll be forced to bring up the topic with her instead of ‘dropping hints.’


    • This struck me as odd as well. On the face of it, what is there to argue about? Presuming that the author has not left out any mitigating factors it seems to me to be fairly cut and dry. If the husband is truly a sweetheart and supports her in everything, then there’s nothing to debate. Let her in laws cook their own food for themselves.


    • this was the same thing happened to me. i knew before marriage that my husband drinks a social drinker which i didnt mind, that too outside the home. But now its lile every alternate day in the home . If i ask him to stop, what he says is ….you know i drink even before marriage. i dont want to quit drinking. Either you adjust or just stay out of my life”.

      not sure how to handle. i thought very similar incident like this but reverse. 😦


      • There is a big difference between social drinker and alcoholic. It is not a similar incident at all. Eating meat or not is a personal preference that shouldnt affect the spouse. Drinking every alternate day can be damaging for the drinker as well as the spouse and can become an addiction. My grandfather died of alcoholism, nobody dies from ‘non-vegetarianism’.


      • Yea, let’s not compare eating meat to drinking alcohol. Apples and oranges.

        The LW doesn’t sound like your husband in that her husband knew that she ate meat on a regular basis while you on the other hand, thought your husband only drank on occasion. Do you see how they’re two different topics?

        Also–does your husband have a drink or two when he drinks, does he get tipsy, or does he get sozzled, or does he get black out drunk? Don’t lump all alcohol drinkers into one category.

        People who are raised to shun alcohol like it’s an evil thing generally develop very bad drinking habits. If he’s a normal person who has a drink or two, then perhaps you can join him?


        • There is really nothing wrong with having a drink or two every day or every alternate day. It certainly does not equate to being an alcoholic. Drinking heavily, though, or binge drinking, or drinking to get drunk, is harmful. I agree with Kay. People who are brought up to believe that the very taste of alcohol is sinful usually develop bad drinking habits. It’s far far better to have a drink every day than to get punch drunk once a week.


        • It is never any ‘better’ to have a drink, either everyday or once a week. And that is purely because of health reasons and NOT out of any moral issues.


        • Having grown up in a family where the men have a drink every night with dinner, I thought it was normal. In fact, in many cultures it is. That said, I would personally not prefer it, as I have seen how it becomes addictive and how some men are worse than others in tolerating alcohol as they age.

          However, medically a drink a day is not a bad thing, possibly even a good thing, as long as you can stick to a max of 2 25-20 ml drinks, according to my dad’s doctor.

          So I do see nagging a husband to stop everyday drinking as sort of similar to a husband nagging a wife about a specific food habit.


        • @B–exactly.

          In Gurgaon, you see tons of cars (even luxury cars) parked outside designated drinking areas. People (men) in these cars are tanking up on alcohol as much as they can because they cannot drink at home–their sole purpose of drinking is to get drunk. These people will never understand what it is to enjoy a glass of good wine with dinner.


        • we all (spouse and respective siblings spouses) were raised raised in No-alcohol homes, we have not become drunkards or even regular social drinkers most of us children see not much merit in having a drink, myself would only go for it socially or on a rare occasion, atleast a few cousins whose fathers had alcohol freely regularly have all the signs of becoming regular drinkers no weekend / party seems complete without drowning in a bucket of it. I see atleast 2 of them turning into a copy of the fathers which would not be so great for their health or wealth sadly.


      • I think what worries you is that your husgband is drinking more and more. Does his drinking affect his behaviour ?

        Apparently each individual has a different reaction to alcohol, some people can get liver illnesses while drinking moderate amounts. Maybe you could persuade him to have a blood test to check everything is alright ?


      • Aditi,
        Well that’s surprising, because in my experience when alcohol is strictly forbidden in a home then people tend to go to pubs or whatever to consume it. And because they cannot go to pubs every day they tend to get completely drunk when they do go. It’s a case of og big or go home which is quite harmful. There is nothing wrong with having alcohol socially as long as you can control yourself.


  3. I think a they shouldnt be bothering about what you and cook and what you dont when they arent around and you are not forcing your views on them. But if you are gonna be sharing a house then the dynamics change – both of you will have to work a common ground, meet each other half way. We have to make compromises with our room mates but it wont work one way. They might have known this for years but they are also used to their habits for longer, so it requires a great deal of compromise on their side.
    If you think its your house and they have to live by your rules then you should set the right expectations from the very beginning.


  4. Do not…I repeat Do not give up ur food habits for anyone….When they knew abt u being a non veggie why this issue?? Do they expect u to miraculousy turn vegeterian??
    It dosnt matter what u MIL does in her home but you and your hubby’s home is your territory….when they r at your place they are the ones who shld adjust.
    You dont cook non veg wen they r home thts fine…why make it an issue wen ur alone??
    Calmly tell your husband tht ur not going to change your food habits. U can keep seperate vegeterian utensils for ur inlaws if u wish. But dont give up something u like ….it will start frm food and slowly expectations will increase….So take a stand right now.
    Stop talking to u SIL…..


  5. In my home, I used to eat eggs and drink alcohol. I don’t change my habits when my parents visit. I also menstruate and I don’t pretend it’s untouchable when people visit. It’s MY home. Likewise, when I visit them, I didn’t eat eggs or drink alcohol in my parents’ home. It’s a question of live and let live. If they keep dropping hints about your food habits, you can maybe cook some non-veg dish for yourself right in the middle of their visit and if they protest, take the opportunity to tell them in no uncertain terms that you need to feel comfortable in your own home.

    I am totally against any kind of animal devouring or doing harm to animals, but if it’s your basic rights at stake, you need to put your foot down.

    Also, I agree with Kay. Is your husband a sweetheart or is he fighting with you and trying to deny you your basic human rights, that is, food?


    • Thanks for stating things much better than I could have, Fem. I agree with every word. While it is important to be courteous to visitors, you are in no way obligated to give up on your basic habits to convenience them. Why the hell is your husband taking issue with your food habits suddenly? A “Sweetheart” would know to keep his distance with his family and tell them in no uncertain terms to not interfere with you or your habits(unless it is some kind of addiction, of course). In this case, he’s clearly siding with his family and that automatically disqualifies him from the “sweetheart” endearment.

      I also strongly believe that if LW’s sister in law got married to someone who turned out to be a meat eater, these same parents would take no issue with it because he’s the all powerful son-in-law.

      Also, you say your husband eats meat also. Do they know that? Why this objection to you eating meat while your husband gladly partakes in it when you cook it at your home? Classic double standard!


  6. and while you are working this out with your husband – you might want to also talk about what your future kids might be eating at home 🙂


    • Good point. Both my husband and I are veg. When my kids were younger, naturally, they were exposed to a lot of veg food. Around 7 or 8, my older one started asking me if he could eat meat. He also asked me why I remain vegetarian. I told him I’m veg for health reasons, but he could choose to be non-veg and still remain healthy if he wanted to. We read up on meats together and found that chicken and turkey are healthy. I told him he was free to eat meat but I wasn’t cooking it for him. He could eat at a restaurant and when he’s an adult, he could learn to cook it himself at home. Thus began our journey with meat:)

      He would order a chicken dish everywhere we go. If we make sandwiches at home, he adds turkey slices to his. When I make salads, he adds grilled chicken cubes to his bowl. I gave the same choices to my younger one – he tried meat but didn’t like it so he chose to be vegetarian. So here we are 3 vegetarians and one non-vegetarian living and let-living without impinging on each other’s rights. I have the right to not cook meat, whereas my son has the right to eat meat, and both are possible simultaneously.


      • Kudos for the live and let live situation.
        But weren’t you questioned by people(husband,in laws,neighbours,all and sundry) why you wouldnt cook for your child,how could you deny your own flesh and blood the opportunity to eat healthy home cooked food(nonveg food) and push him to rely on outside food which god knows how it was cleaned and prepared in god knows what kind of oil etc etc etc?
        Weren’t you lectured on the numerous benefits of eating nonveg,for health reasons?
        Weren’t you asked to learn to cook nonveg at home for the sake of your child and when you refused how did you face being labelled cruel and bad mother?
        The above questions are a reflection of Indian Society.
        Anyone who faced these, is free to answer these questions.Thank you.


        • Hi Aarti,

          I didn’t stop cooking for my child. I cook lots of healthy food for him at home, except it happens to be all vegetarian. So he’s not starving and he generally loves the food I make for him at home.
          As for eating out, we all go out as a family once a week. That’s when he can order a non-veg dish, while we all order veg.
          So, he has not turned his entire diet into non-veg so that he can only starve at home or eat outside – he eats veg food on an everyday basis, and eats non-veg when we all go out.
          When he’s an adult, if he chooses to eat an all-met diet, and since that is not possible to eat out all the time, he’s welcome to cook it at home. An all meat diet ain’t just happening right now, sorry, because it takes away my right to not cook it.

          Actually the question/criticism for me from my relatives has been, “How could you let him???” You see I come from a Brahman family and for generations (or so I’ve been told) no one has ever touched meat. Everyone was horrified I allowed my son to eat meat. My response – he can choose what he wants t eat. I don’t over-explain, or try to reassure anyone. If they can’t deal with it, then that’s their problem.


  7. I think you should have vegetarian options for them when they visit you, but you should be free to cook what you want whether they visit or not. No one should tell you what to cook or eat. I’ve been a vegetarian all my life and most of my friends are non-veg. If they host a party they always make sure there’s something veg on the menu for me. Same thing if we go out to a restaurant – we pick something that has veg options. Your in-laws don’t have to start eating meat and you don’t have to give up meat. Win-win.


    • Agreed. Having some vegetarian option if you know your visitors prefer this, is just basic politeness. But visitors don’t get to dictate what homeowners do.

      If you visit me, I’ll do my best to serve you food that you like. But if you visit me, and then tell me what I am allowed to cook and eat in my own home, then I’m going to make it abundantly clear that though you’re welcome to visit, this is MY home, and MY rules, if you can’t live with that, you’re free to leave.


  8. I think now you are just over reacting, sister-in-law hates you and you hate her as well, so thats squared off, you blame your MIL that she puts in a lot of chilly, if your FIL and husband and a argument over it, why do you care, they are father and son, they can argue or talk over anything that they wish to,you still stay apart from your in laws and eat/cook non-veg, so just live the way you want to, let father and son argue over whatever they want, let your sister in law hate you and you keep hating her.Problem is you are concerned what if the PILs start staying with you, so why should you put up with their eating habits and thats troubling you.No one questioning your choice of food, but when you are in a relation you need to be tolerant to others also, did you ever think why your husband never said anything about eating what you like (non veg), although he doesn’t.Give it a thought !Just think if your hausband drinks liquor at home or smokes, won’t you like him not to do that while your folks are at your place, or say they start staying with you guys(for any reasons), these are questions of perception and respecting people around you and in your lives.Learn to deal.


    • I agree. There has to be some give and take in every relationship. Just like the LW has issues with MIL, the MIL has some issues. Thats all fair and square as long as nobodys imposing. WHen somebody shares a house, you have to care abt being happy not abt upmanship.


  9. To LW,
    You mentioned that when you visit them, you eat whatever your MIL cooks, even if its not digestible.What is your husbands stance on this?
    Does he force you to eat food with too much chilli in it or do you eat it silently?


  10. Some tips for the LW’s husband:
    I am non-vegetarian, my wife is a carnivore [her term for can’t live without her meat :)]
    My mother and sisters are vegetarian, dad ate meat. I had a love marriage too.

    When we married, my mom threw a major tantrum, BAHU can’t eat non-veg, supposedly WOMEN in our family don’t eat non-veg (I am sure she made it up!)

    This is what I did:
    Every time she told me there was something DW couldn’t do, I would say sweetly to DW “Don’t worry dear, we will move to our house soon. There you can do what ever you want”

    Obviously this had the desired effect, the complaints turned to muttering. But as long as we ingnored them, we could basically do what ever we wanted.

    The fact is I married DW for the person she is, not who she can be if she makes some ‘minor adjustments’, I don’t ever want her to change or be ashamed of who she is. The not making non-veg in front of parents, I wouldn’t do that ever! Why should you have to hide who you are and what you like? It’s almost like you are ashamed of your eating habits and follow them in secret!

    This was 7 years ago though, since then we took an onsite (perks of IT job) and saved like crazy. When we returned we bought our own house and have a 3 year old little princess together.

    To answer the question of what our little girl eats, well we have introduced her to all food that we know,and right now, she is a mini carnivore like her mother. We intend to introduce her to all cuisines that we know and encourage her to try out what ever she likes. If she decided to go vege or vegan someday, we will support that too!

    On the note of eventually living with my mother, I have taken the hard decision, she can’t live with us. Her inability to get along with my wife and attempts to turn our daughter against her mother (there have been too many incidences to list here) have convinced me that she cannot live with us without being harmful to our family. I believe that she will be much happier with with my sisters who live by her ‘women can’t eat non-veg’ and other crazy rules. We visit her occassionally and will continue to do so.


    • I am truly amazed (in a very complimentary way) at how you have handled the situation. Just wanted to know what gave you the courage/motivation to do what’s best for your wife rather than siding with your mother – the latter being the chosen path for most indian men, either willfully or through emotional blackmail from parents. Mine was a love marriage too, and my husband and in laws were ready to bend over backwards and said yes to everything I needed until the marriage day. But the second day after marriage onwards I’ve only heard one sentence from my ILs and husband “you have married into this family, you have to fall in line or leave this house”. I’ve tried every logical way to put across my feelings/needs but they dont listen, they think they are entitled to dominate me/taunt me/restrict my freedom even from my parents and use me as they please. Can this behavior ever be reversed and how? I’ve lost hope and now Im worried for my one year old daughter.


      • “Can this behavior ever be reversed and how?”

        At this point, I don’t think it can. They will always go out of their way to try and subjugate you to their own rules. The only thing you can do at this point is just not follow those rules. When they say don’t do something, do the exact opposite. If they react badly, deal with it then. But this is the only drastic action you can take at this point and still save your dignity.


      • Just wanted to know what gave you the courage/motivation to do what’s best for your wife rather than siding with your mother? Intergrity and Honesty! When I married DW, I promised to honor, love and supoort her, that I loved her just as she was. My mother too promised that she wouldn’t have to change. After marriage my family too went back on their word, they wanted her to fit their mold of what a BAHU should be. It was and is always left to the husband to decide if he too should turn coat, betry his word and wife. I choose not to. How could I tell this woman whom I love, who trusted me to become a part of my life, that those promises were a lie? How would I look into her eyes day after day for the rest of my life and know that she resents her loss of freedon because she trusted a Liar! I choose not to be a liar, to stand by my word, with the woman i love and the child we have created together.


        • I would just like to let you know, you’re a beautiful person. If ever they make human cloning possible (while making it possible to clone thought processes as well), please sign up. You’d make millions, I’m sure.


      • given the way my husband switched sides without thinking for a second about the promises he made to me as his wife – I couldn’t help but ask the question earlier to Mr ILoveMyWife. I guess I’m stuck with people who dont value being honest and keeping their word, instead they honor money and authority and being selfish. While it seems obvious and natural for couples to divorce/separate in the case infidelity on either one’s part, I wonder what can possibly be done about emotional betrayal in marriage? I know divorce/separation is always an option, but having a kid in the equation complicates it.


    • The type of honest relationship described here (@ILoveMyWife) is rewarding to the husband as well – a man would want a woman who feels like a best friend for a life partner – someone who’s his equal, who loves him, supports him, but is also happy and doesn’t give up on her own desires. It is possible for a husband and wives to be equals and still be loving and caring and supportive. The mistaken notion that many people in our society have is that to be happy, you have to have the upper hand. (Goes back to our hierarchical setups.) This mistaken notion leads to a lot of fear about treating the wife an an equal. And having the upper hand means that one partner has to give up desires and make sacrifices so that the other partner can be happy. So not true!! Marriage (or any relationship) is not a zero sum game. Ground rues based on mutual respect and love ensure that both partners can be equal and happy without becoming martyrs.


  11. Story of my BF’s life, almost. I’m vegetarian, so are my family. Their biggest objection to my BF (who is from a different state and refuses to disclose his caste) is that he is non-vegetarian. My mother has point blank tried to extract promises from him that he will give up meat. (!!!) Of course he’s refused, she’s sulked and then let it go. (On my part I was very angry when I found out this conversation had taken place, and warned her never to bring it up again.)
    Her latest statement is that she will never eat in my house when I marry him. To this I tell her to stop being a hypocrite , because she never ever followed these super-pious rules until I decided to marry out of the fold.
    They way I see it, I love her, and know that this is something that’s very important to her,but frankly, is none of her business and something that she needs to just accept. Also, the ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ is excellent couple-policy when it comes to dealing with unreasonable expectations.


  12. What is it with people forcing their food habits on others? My mother is a vegetarian and me, my dad and brother are hard core non vegetarians but I do not remember my mother forcing us to become vegetarians ever. I fail to understand that despite being so many other things in this world to worry about and to stress, we worry about how someone makes non vegetarian at home. Seriously is this how frivolous we are????

    Dear LW tell your sister in law to mind her own business and you stay out of hers and tell your husband to deal with it and move on. There are better things in life to do then worry about what someone eats really.


  13. LW, it is your house and your body. What you decide to put in it, provided it is harmless, should not be the concern of other people, but only yourself. It is your body. Not your in-laws. It is you who is eating meat. Not them. So why the big fuss?

    You already avoid cooking meat in their vicinity. This, in and of itself, is a huge, huge concession. Again, it is your house and your own mortal coil. You are choosing to consent to the wishes of others when it is not their concern at all what you do with yourself. You are not trying to kill yourself by eating meat. It is not a health-destroying habit. You won’t kill your husband through second-hand meat eating. It is LITERALLY nobody else’s concern, because it affects zero people save just you.

    My advice to you is, tell your husband firmly that he was well aware of your eating habits before he married you. He consented to marry you. If he doesn’t like what he sees, that is his problem now, not yours, because you are doing no harm to him or anyone else.

    As for your SIL, forget about her. She is not of any concern to you either. Let her hate you–it will only consume her, not yourself. She is petty and vindictive, and ultimately, these things will only destroy her.


    • I thought it was “their” house, but presumably, under feminist law, the house belongs to the wife only (and these days, even the houses built 10 generations ago belong to the bahu)

      I hope next time his wife’s parents come visiting, the husband here puts his feet on the table, turns the TV to loudest volume and gulps down a bottle of vodka while they are all sitting in the living room. Its his house, too….


      • “I thought it was “their” house, but presumably, under feminist law, the house belongs to the wife only ”

        Please point out where, exactly, in my comment I wrote the words, “This is your, the wife’s, house only and nobody else’s.” Please, go ahead. I’ll wait right here.

        I suppose I should stop saying that the house I live in is “my house” where I can presumably do as I please too? I mean, come on, my parents and my sister and my grandmother live here. It’s not like they should respect my sensibilities and preferences when I bring a bottle of wine home for my own consumption, something that causes no harm to anybody else. Thank you so very kindly for enlightening me. I shall now start saying, “our house”, and stop doing anything and everything the four people around me take issue with. I’ll start with not eating the potato chips and the chocolate bar that I bought with my own money, that I’m putting into my own blood stream. After all, it’s their house too, they should have a say in how I spend MY earnings! And I’ll immediately stop watching Friends, because my grandmother thinks its a stupid show. It’s okay, it doesn’t matter that I’m watching and laughing in the privacy of my own room, on my laptop (that I bought), with DVDs (that I paid for). It’s bothering her, I should stop.

        Thank you for teaching me that simply because I share a space with four other people, I should immediately stop doing everything that I enjoy and choose to do (even if it has NOTHING to do with them), if it causes them the slightest bit of discomfort. I mean, yeah sure, the fact that I enjoy a nice beer when doing homework, or my chips and chocolate bar are things that don’t really cause them direct harm, but hey! The very fact that they are exposed to those certain things (and apparently the fact that they don’t have fully functional eyelids with which they can shut their eyes), is now my problem. You are so very thoughtful to enlighten me that my actions (that I do to no one but myself), is equatable to ignoring, disrupting, and outright disrespecting the relations of the person I love. I mean, yeah sure, consuming something that I solely put in my own body and turning up the TV to such a loud volume to directly cause disruption to OTHER PEOPLE is perfectly equatable.

        I did not know any of this. Thank you so much, oh kind feminist dismantler, for ridding me of my dirty, self-liberating ways. How foolish of me, truly, to think that I am free to do what I wish in this world, so long as I do not cause harm or disrespect other people. Nope. I should always be on the alert for when people are offended by the things I do for my own personal pleasure. After all, as a woman, everything I do is subject to scrutiny, as it should be. 🙂


      • There’s a feminist law? Give me references. Thankyouverymuch.

        As far as “gulping a bottle of vodka” goes, that is harmful. It causes alcohol poisoning and could kill someone to do that. So your analogy fails. Go away and please read some books.


    • //If he doesn’t like what he sees, that is his problem now, not yours, because you are doing no harm to him or anyone else//

      i totally agree, and the husband should divorce this lady if he doesnt want to accept her eating habits…or rather i suggest that she herself divorce her husband if he continues the tantrums…

      I think it is the best lesson women can teach to these controlling jerks..just divorce them if they are not willing to compromise


  14. I had this problem when I joined my PG nearly 2 years back. But unlike other PGs, its like an indp 2bhk and owner lives in another house & hardly interferes (the only rule is that guy friends shouldn’t sleep over).
    On my 2nd day flatmates said – “you cant cook non-veg here”. I was like ‘Shit… now what”. As a pakka Malabari Muslim I have non veg 3 times a day. I experimented with veg dishes. Flatmates too were nice and would giv me a bowl of whatever they cooked. In return I used to get cakes n stuffs. I ate non-veg from restaurants but hated it as it contained liters of oil.
    Then when I met owner to pay rent I said “you should have mentioned this particular rule.” He was surprised. He said there is no such rule and as long as I use my own vessels there needn’t be any issue. I conveyed this to my flatmates and made it clear that I was not going to change my food habits. Surprise surprise- things got downright nasty. Cold war for months.
    Then I guess they got used to seeing some non-veg always on the stove. We are good now.


    • My first rule with all room mates .
      1. I will cook my own food.
      2. If you use my vessel to cook when I am not there PLEASE wash the vessel
      3. If you eat the food I cooked, because you were hungry when You came , Please eat. But PLEASE inform me by text that you did, because I dont have to come home hungry and DO NOT find food !
      4. I will cook egg and meat. I will try to inform you earlier when I do that , because I respect your vegetarian options, because they had the option to move out if they didnt like, but then I would ahve the trouble to find new room mates that would be nasty by keeping the volume loud when I am asleep at 3.00 int he morning ( Being amicable helps )

      Results : room sharing was not bad because we established amicable rules – even bathroom cleaning. oily tub so on and so forth ! There was a meeting every 15 days or emergency meeting when required.


  15. Ganging up on the husband seems a little much. Since he’s not perfect like any human being, he might have been affected by something his father said, particularly since he himself doesn’t eat meat and in his mind has good reasons for doing so. This is not to say that the LW should give in, but painting the husband as the villain of the piece doesn’t seem constructive here.

    My thoughts: 1. Explain to him firmly that you wouldn’t like to change your eating habits in your own home. What are his reasons for suddenly opposing you eating meat? Any logical way to counter that. Do this once or twice and then just refuse to engage. He may take some time to get the point that you’re not going to cave in…but eventually I think he will.
    2. Ignore the comments of everyone else.
    3. If you really can’t ignore them, have a similar discussion to 1. one time. If they continue to be nasty, say if your meat-eating presence is such a pain, maybe you wont come over.


    • I think the issue is not that the husband is the villian, it’s that the LW sees her SIL as the trouble-maker but her husband as a sweet-heart when he is much more key to this story than the SIL. It’s the same old thing where women will blame other women in patriarchy before they ever blame a man. It is actually very important that the LW understand her husband’s role here, seeing as he is the one fighting with her over her food.


      • The SIL sneaking to the FIL just to stir up trouble does make her to troublemaker. The husband having an opinion on food that is cooked in his house is well within his limits. This is not to say that forcing his wife to conform is the right thing to do, but when one member of a couple feels strongly about something, they do try to influence the other person. Maybe he is a sweetheart except in most other areas, so that still qualifies him as a sweetheart? It seems like this is the one big area of contention, and we all have a few things we are not quite rational about.


    • “particularly since he himself doesn’t eat meat and in his mind has good reasons for doing so.” – I thought LW said that her husband is an occasional meat eater.


  16. Ah food. Probably the number one issue in our home. Can’t really offer any advice here.

    Hubby is pure veg twice a week and tries not to eat any vegetables on the 5 other days (salad is his nightmare), will insist in munching oily snacks just before meals, and eats after everybody else… grr… In the beginning, I felt much pressure to make food he would like, Indian style, it was stressing me out. Now I prepare food I like, and if he really doesn’t like it he’ll cook rice for himself or go without eating if he wants to give me tension. Seems it works better like that for everybody. But I do prepare pure-veg meals on his 2 veg days; since I believe it’s good for the whole family. I agree it’s difficult to come up with pure-veg meal ideas when you’re used to eating non-veg…

    I didn’t understand from the post how you are organised for food when your inlaws are not there ?


    • “Now I prepare food I like, and if he really doesn’t like it he’ll cook rice for himself or go without eating if he wants to give me tension.”

      This seems like a nice way to go about things. If you don’t like what someone cooks for you, go ahead and make what you like on your own. That way everyone’s happy and everybody wins. 🙂


  17. You cook what you want in your place. Let them cook what they want in their own place. Don’t let them stay over permanently. If cooking non veg puts them off, then cook it so that they will stop coming.

    If your husband does not like non veg cooking, let him cook whatever he wants for himself & have his own plates/whatever.

    Stop caring about your SIL


  18. Letter writer:
    Who cooks at home? And how do you and your husband handle meals at home? If I understand your letter, your husband has been raised to occasionally eat meat?

    “He is an occasional non veg and I am a hard core non veg. That’s the upbringing.”

    What you eat when you’re at home when your in-laws are not there is none of their business. Especially if they don’t actually have problems with your husband eating meat outside.

    Have a conversation with your husband. Does he plan to give up all meat forever, inside and outside of the house? He cannot ask that you become pure vegetarian if his folks move in and you cannot ask that they start eating meat. He, not you, and not his parents, can handle all of the communal cooking and the buying of new dishes and pans if they move in, since doubtless they’ll suddenly become pukka pure vegetarian Brahmins.

    I was raised ovo-lacto vegetarian. I am also that way outside the house, and my father and brother are non-vegetarian outside the house (including takeout). My father keeps cold cuts and adds them to his dinner meal for protein purposes, (which I think is gross) but I don’t say anything because it’s not my place. The pan for eggs is used just for eggs Under no circumstances does my father cook meat, but that’s because 1) my mother will not allow it since she’s lacto-vegetarian, 2)he never bothered to learn how to and was raised lacto-vegetarian himself, and 3)he does not clean up after himself so it’s a food safety issue.


  19. Pingback: “My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  20. Pingback: Fortune Mother Exchange : Mother’s cooking for Indian male children. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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