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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I can't be the only one with this problem.

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 4 years, sure we've had our problems like any relationship, but in general we've just been getting to be closer and better and better friends over time, so it's been really good. The only thing is that he seems to have completely ZERO respect for the fact that I'm a vegan and that I belive so strongly in what I'm doing. When a conversation gets started about it (and it's rarely ME that brings it up) he starts saying things like "well if chickens value their lives so much why dont they just learn how to fly away?" and then he gets mad at me when I dismiss those kinds of comments. He says I try to "back out of the debate" by getting upset, but I would debate with anyone, anytime about it, if their arguments are serious. I can't debate with someone whos laughing and saying "so youre saying carrots are less worthy of respect than shrimp are?". i mean what the hell is that.

THEN, he asked me if I am going to insist on raising our children vegan to which I said, "yes, is that something that would bother you?" in all seriousness, and he tells me, "no, i'd give them steaks and burgers and all the milk they want, i'd do it right in front of you too" i couldn't tell if he was joking (3/4 of everything is says is joking, he has an overactive sense of humor) or if he was basically telling me "over my dead body are my kids gonna be veg)

so i dont know what to do. the kids issue isnt even an issue right now since were not planning on having a family until were out of college anyway, but i mean its the way he treats the issue you know?

has anyone else had a problem like this? i need advice


- laura <3
 

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I think the lack of respect is a big concern. He doesn't have to agree with you, but he should respect and support your decision. He should love the total package that is you, which includes your veg*ism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My husband is an omni. We both went veggie together, but then he went back to being omni after about a month of being veggie.

He actually supports my choice, but you'd never know to hear us jibing each other over supper--we tease each other a lot. (Him: "You can't eat that potato... it has EYES!" Me: "Very funny. So, how's your deathburger? Wait! What's that? Your burger is crying!" Him: "Ooh, yummy... animal souls are so juicy!" etc...) Sometimes if he's teasing and comes up with a particularly crass comment, I call a truce, and he's good about that too because he realizes there's a line between jest and hurt feelings. But overall, I don't mind the teasing because I understand that deep down, he really does respect my choice.

(For example, the last time we went to Applebees, I forgot that the dinner salad comes with bacon when I ordered. When they brought it, I was away from the table, and came back just in time to hear, "...my wife is a vegetarian. Could you bring another salad please, with no bacon?" Or if one of his friends or coworkers invites us to dinner, he pipes up with a friendly, "My wife is a vegetarian--is there anything you'd like us to bring?" I guess to some people, it might be annoying, but to me, it means that he cares about my comfort and he's not embarrassed for other people to know.)

But anyway, sorry to stray... I guess my question is... does he just enjoy nettling you? It could be that he finds you extremely CUTE when you argue with him. My husband has said as much to me.

It could also stem from a difference between debate styles of men and women. For many men, debate and verbal sparring isn't personal. They can full-out attack or even belittle another person's beliefs without meaning anything personal by it (debate as sport). Whereas women often feel that they are putting a part of themselves on the line when they debate an issue (attacking my idea = attacking me as a person). Now this is a generalization, so please--nobody jump down my throat--I acknowledge and fully believe that many men and women defy stereotypical behavior.

From what you've said about what he says, it appears that you're not going to change his mind through debating with him, and it's just making you pull your hair out, so I'd say... don't debate him. The next time he tries to bait you into a debate, how about just calling him on it? "I can see you're up for a debate, but I'm not in the mood. How about we catch a movie/go for a swim/something else?" If he persists, give him a big ol' grin that lets him know you're onto his game, and try to find out why he likes to argue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe I should have asked this in the first place but... is his being a non-vegan a dealbreaker for you? In other words, if he respected your choice but still continued with his non-vegan ways--for instance, buying a leather sofa and eating roasted chicken--would you still consider staying with him long-term (possibly even into marriage)?
 

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Secura-

Relationships are complex and difficult, and have no easy answers, but I am going to give you one, anyway


Dump him!

I am sure there are lots of good qualities in him, but lots of men have lots of good qualities (believe it or not, everybody
), just go find one that doesn't make you feel annoyed and disrespected all the time. He's trying to bring you down, and dismiss you. That's not someone who respects you.

ETA- although Molly's advice could be tried first. If it fails...
 

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hi secura!

i agree with ceryna that it seems your boyfriend has a lack of respect for your ethical beliefs. instead of debating him, you should stress why veganism is important to you, and how belittling veganism, he is belitting something core to your entire "being". he does not have to agree with you, but he does have to respect you - AND your beliefs.

my boyfriend were together about 4 years when i decided to turn vegetarian, and a year later i went vegan (about 2 years ago). he didn't agree with my beliefs at first, but he supported me 100%. after many conversations on the subject, he finally stopped eating beef and pork - which was a huge step since he was the type to eat a whole pack of bacon and double meat on his bugers
. he still eats chicken and fish on occasion, but rarely around me, and we usually frequent veggie restaurants. (he's still big on the cheese though).

maybe your boyfriend just doesn't understand the reasons behind your decision (i don't know, just guessing here!). just talk with him...he's someone who should be your biggest supporter! couples are teams, aren't they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks you guys, you're really helpful


ceryna - i agree, thats the most troubling part for me. even though i know his personality, id say literally at least 75% of everything he says, he says in a joking way. he still should know me well enough after 4 years to see that he's actually hurting me.

molly - "You can't eat that potato... it has EYES!" that sounds exactly like something he'd say!! except when he says stuff like that, i get the feeling that he's saying in sort of a "rolling his eyes" kinda tone of voice, instead of just joking with me in our usual way that we joke with eachother about stuff, because he gets all annoyed after, as if thinking of my veganism puts him in a bad mood. however he is the same way at resturaunts as your husband, one time we went to what used to be our favorite burrito place, and while i was still in the bathroom he asked the cook if the rice was cooked with chicken stock because he knows i hate when it comes time to ask questions. so at times he can be supportive, but other times i just dont know. Also, his being omni doesnt bother me at all, it would bother me if he wanted to buy a leather couch for a place that we shared, because i would feel uncomftorable sitting on it and looking at it everyday. but other then that, i know his beliefs and even though i disagree i still respect them, thats why i am so bothered by the way he treats me. i think i just need to really talk to him seriously about it, and tell him exactly whats on my mind, basically everything i told you guys. because maybe he really isnt acting this way out of disrespect for me, and in either case, i think he really doesn't know that it's bothering me this much.

thalia - last summer we went to disneyland and had a HUGE fight, i ended up breaking up with him in front of Cruella DeVille and a 5 foot tall dalmation puppet person (although we ended up getting back together before we came home). the way he acted after that broke my heart more than the actual fight. i mean, to this day he is still totally different than before that incident, i think he takes me more seriously in a way now, because he knows im not the same person i was when i was 15 or 16, he knows that theres only so much being pushed around that im willing to take. So, i mean, i dont WANT to break up with him over this, but at the same time i know that if its really not something he can accept about me and live with without constantly critisizing, then theres no way i can marry him and no way i will. were gonna have a big talk the next time its brought up.

i thought of another thing today, i know that he HATES change, everyone knows that about him. he got depressed when he moved to a new house, depressed when I moved to a new house, and then especially when i moved into my own apartment, anything new really freaks him out, i mean, they added a third lane to the freeway he takes to school and he was bitching about it for a month haha. so maybe this is just such a big change that he is taking some time to adjust? i dont know. either way im just gonna talk to him and tell him everything thats on my mind about.

thanks so much you guys you really made me feel better.


<3 laura
 

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You may not like what I am going to say but my advice is to give him an ultimatium(sp? either he learns to respect the fact that you are a vegan or you will find someone else who will.

He may not agree with your beliefs but if he loves you then he should respect them. My fiance and I have been together for almost 5 years( anniversary is next month
) A couple months I started to consider going veg but I was worried about how meals would work out etc, when I asked him about it, he was very supportive. He agreed to try some of my veggie foods as long as he could still have meat once in a while. Yes once in a while he pokes fun making comments like "but we're supposed to eat meat" but he always laughs and says "whatever makes you happy hon).
 

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This may osund a little extreme, but I think you need to tell him that he should shut the f**k up and actually respect you in some way. I know I may sound a little extreme in my view here, but i think that if he doesn't at least respect your decision, he's not worth having as a boyfriend. I agree completely with rainlily that he should give you respect, or you give him the finger.

Of course, he probably thinks that you're out to convert him. You shoudl make it clear to him that by respect, you mean that he shouldn't argue with you, and then provide the same old ****ty arguments that even OJ Simpson wouldn't be able to get away with, and that you don't mean that he must change his diet.

Obviously, veganism is a huge part of your life, and so is your boyfriend, which is why I think that the ultimatum idea is the best way to go about it. The worst case scenario is that he will get p*ssed off at you and leave you. This is one reason not to do it, so before you blame me for screwing up your relationship, I must warn you that if he's narrow minded, then it may get nasty. But hopefully, he'll get the point.

The issue of kids is a tough one. I'm in no position to say that I can relate, since Im a young fella, so I'd suggest that you sort it out between the two of you once he's learned some maturity. If he starts ranting, or going on about steaks and stuff, give him the finger, and move to a different room, and tell him to stop being an arsehole. That would be one way to settle it.

And BTW, have you checked out www.veganmeat.com because I think that you'll find it very interesting. It deals with the issue of omnis dating vegans from the omni's point of view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for that site, loki! thats pretty interesting.

now that i am hearing the way other vegan people's omni signifigant others are to them, i feel like one of those battered wives in denial in those sappy Lifetime movies. the more i think about it, the more i realize that despite all the GOOD things i love about him, my boyfriend can be bossy, controlling and mean. my family has been telling me this for 4 years but i never thought so myself. im starting to agree with them. i never thought i was that kind of girl. i think he's actually really insecure with himself, you can tell when we go out together, and just in general the way he acts. this is hard. really hard. im still gonna try just talking to him cause we havent had a real serious talk about this, but the more i think about it, the more i realize that i dont want to be treated that way.

when did i become like this???
 

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When I met Dave I was already veggie so I didn't really have a problem like that. He knew what he was getting himself into when he met me and he has been really respectful.

I agree that you should give him an ultamaduim. He is being very disrespectful to your beleifs. You need to express that feeling to him and tell him he needs to clean up his act. Can you see yourself defending you beleifs for the rest of your life?

Maybe he just pesters you becuase he knows it bugs you? I dunno. It sounds like you need to have a serrious discussion with him at the very least.....
 
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