I’ve always enjoyed cooking. I find it a great mix of art and science. Most of our marriage my cooking has been somewhat limited due to time pressure and working away from home. The last couple of years I am less busy, and I’ve been working full time from home, so my time in the kitchen has increased.
If find when I start cooking a new type of food I must stick close to recipes at first. Then I start to experiment. Eventually I get a feel for the food, and I can toss something together with little or no recipe. I understand how the flavours work, and what I can change or add. I’ve recently hit this point with soup, and now I can throw together a great soup with whatever we have around.
I find marriage is much the same way. When I start to work on any area of marriage, it’s strange and unknown. I have to stick to a script at first. In time, when I get a feel for the area, I can wing it. For many men romance is like this; at first, they just do what they find on a list someone wrote, with no idea why it works. Gradually they get a feel for it, and they start doing things not on the list.
Another thing I am finding with cooking as I do it more is it builds on what I already know. Many new foods are similar enough to others things I know well, allowing me to minimise or skip the tied-to-a-recipe period. Again, marriage is the same way. The better I get to understand my wife, the easier it is to apply my understanding to new areas.
I don’t know if this is a male thing or a human thing, but I know most men experience this in trying to work on their marriage. At first, they don’t get it. They want to make things better, but often they have no clue. Following a list is the best they can do. If your husband is following a list, don’t complain or feel it means he doesn’t care about you. He’s probably doing the only thing he can, and he’s doing it because he cares about you.
See his less than tasty efforts for what they are, and encourage him to keep going. Once he gets a hang of it, things will get better.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and real men cook!