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while you were out.

April 24, 2016 in Coping, Dreams, Expectations, Family, Life, Relationships

while you were outphoto credit

before you dive in, read here.

I don’t know what to say. It’s been way too long since I’ve written, I know that, I do… but still as I sit here, I still don’t know what to say.

Literally.

The past two and half years, have been both the best and the worst of my life.

Let’s talk about the two things that have made it the best… but first let me start by saying… I had (3) main dreams in my life: 1. to start a family, 2. to move back down south and 3. always have 10,000 in the bank (linked to my purpose). Well, in 2014, I found myself making 2 out of the three come true.

1. In October 2013, my husband and I had our amazing son, Leonardo.
2. In May 2014, my little family packed up and headed from the DC/VA area back to Savannah,GA (I graduated from Art School here in Savannah and fell in love with the south, told myself that if I ever had a chance to move back south, It would be a dream of mine) so my husband could teach cooking classes at a cooking school. *He still does this and I think still loves it.

These two things have literally been pinch me moments the past two+ years. I LOVE being a mama and… while I DESPERATELY miss the restaurants and the culture of the DC area, I am SO grateful that we headed south. The slower pace of life, the weather (no snow) and the lower cost of living have definitely been a welcome part of our decision that I know both of us feel no regret.  (The difference in daycare alone made it worth the move)

What has also been pinching me, in both a sad and lonely way, is the twisting and winding and unwinding in my heart, about the state of my restaurant relationship, that honestly I wouldn’t know where to begin, and wouldn’t be able to tell you where we ARE.

But I guess I’ll try.

It’s literally mind blowing to me how everything UNHEALED within ourselves, specifically with regards to our relationships to our own parents, unforgivingly comes to the surface when you become a parent yourself. I had a vague idea it was going to do so but I had NO IDEA to what degree both my husband and myself would have to face our inner demons ourselves and regularly and with fierce defensiveness, was a battle of survival of the fittest.

I’ll share three places in our lives where we find ourselves dueling.

1. TRIGGERS – BOTH of us, for whatever reason… are very sensitive when we hear the other person say that they don’t like how one of us is “doing it” with regards to parenting our son. From DAY ONE, about whether we should let our little baby cry it out or not (we were on opposite stands of this topic, guess which one I was on?) to even now that he’s a toddler and whether we should “let him get away with something”… The knock out drag out arguments around how BOTH of us feel like the other thinks they are wrong… I could write a single post on this. It is clear to me that this comes from both of us not feeling like what we want, how we want to parent and ultimately (unhealed stuff with our own parents) is important… and TRUST ME… I could share some stories that I either feel totally ashamed of myself for my behavior or also question what the hell I’m still doing in this marriage. Not joking. ***ALL WHILE IT BEING SO VERY IMPORTANT THAT OUR SON DOE NOT KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON BETWEEN US. IT’S IMPORTANT YOU KNOW THIS. At the end of the day, it BLOWS MY MIND how we’re all just little children inside.. ACHING to feel heard and validated. To feel like what we say is important too. Amazing how all this stuff comes up when we have to make decisions for someone else, day in and day out. Parenting is relentless. Never ending.

2. VALUES – While all this triggering was going on, who we are as people, our VALUES don’t change that much even after a little person who needs us 24 hours a day comes into our world. The fact that we both VALUE our independence… hasn’t. My husband still needs to go out and decompress after work… and I need time alone and in silence. (Even more alone time and silence are needed now after becoming a mama, as my sensitivity is now off the charts) since I am the primary care taker in my house, I mean my husband works at night… it’s mostly me caring for our son.) I was sitting with two women recently, talking about how my husband goes out once or twice a week still and I found myself conflicted when they expressed their dislike. “Girl, I wouldn’t let my husband do that.” and while I agreed that multiple times a week going out doesn’t work for me… It hit me. Saturday nights, when he goes out after his night cooking class.. is when I have the house to myself on a weekend. I don’t have to work the next day.. I look forward to the peace and quiet with a Saturday night movie of my choosing. It was in this dislike that I realized… Who my husband and I are.. hasn’t changed. We STILL need what we needed before Leo… now. Sometimes it works (like Sunday mornings papa takes Leo out for a few hours to breakfast and papa time, so I can have the house to myself) and sometimes it doesn’t (keep reading No. 3)  – but in case your thinking about having a family with your restaurant man/woman or are wondering what the hell is going wrong in your family’s experience now… this is part of it.

I once wrote about intimacy and connecting in a restaurant relationship (You know, when do you see them/have sex with them) involves CREATING SACRED TIME. That is still true and frankly, more important now that we have a family. Sunday afternoons/evenings and Monday evenings are more important than EVER now. Any thing that comes up during this time that would take him or I away from this SACRED TIME, is discouraged.

3.  EXPECTATIONS – Yup. You heard me. How to say this nicely…..While YES, both of us are very independent people and I LOVE that about us…and while I don’t think I expected my husband to CHANGE… I sure did expect him to EVOLVE. Like I was.. and quickly. I have been ‘hit me upside my head’ surprised at how much resistance I have gotten that WHO HE IS (independent) needs to temporarily cease while we are learning this parenting thing. You know, getting the hang, creating a routine? I know, I know… part of this is the man vs. woman problem (women are more adaptable, multi tasking is in our genes.. men are more simple… dog like) *be nice Kerilyn.*  – As I had to learn ON THE FLY how to be a mother… it seemed like my husband relied on me to figure out the ropes.. and he’ll pop in when it doesn’t interfere with his thang.

I will admit that I still call him, in the middle of an argument, a “pop in parent”, not because he works different hours (which i am totally cool with STILL) – it’s that when he is here.. he’s still not HERE. The fucking phone addiction that I KNOW so many of you struggle with, I got it going on too. Part of the unspoken expectation on my part is that when he’s home, he’s HOME. But I truly believe that threatens his independence (and triggers his undiagnosed ADD) AND… brings up his unhealed stuff with his own parents, so in order to NOT face his uncomfortable feelings, he checks out.

Our therapist tells him that when, what he’s focused on, when he’s with his family.. is NOT his family… it’s the SAME as if he’s not there.

This is how I feel when my son is sitting on the floor playing and my husband is on his chair, looking at his phone instead of on the floor playing with the legos. I GET it… they don’t slow down at work, and being home with not much to do but play with your little one might sound like HELL to our restaurant men/women, but they need to GET that that’s what the EXPECTATIONS are, when you have a family. *or maybe I am crazy. mmm, nah, ask my therapist.

My expectation that yes… while I’m totally OKAY with you going out on Saturday nights… It does NOT work for me that you tell me, on a Wednesday night after your class ended, that you’re going out for a smoke (he’s a cigar smoker, bleh) and if I say no… I’m the bad person.

What? I have to remind you that you can’t just GO OUT WHENEVER YOU WANT?

You get the point, I know you do and let me tell you, this shit is EXHAUSTING.

What’s underneath this… is this assumption that my husband doesn’t understand what he’s doing…. when he ‘acts a fool’… I literally do not know if he does know but doesn’t want me to rain on his freedom parade.. or he’s just that stupid (remember.. simple… dog like) I don’t know. But what I DO know is it doesn’t work for me.

Finally – I will tell you I AM NOT PERFECT. I ended up having a C Section, was understandably bummed about that but then I wasn’t able to breastfeed which put me into a spiralling post partum depression and then we moved and then I wasn’t working (read: money probs) and then and then and then….. Who I was MYSELF changed, but to ME… it was more towards who I really am inside. Sensitive, empathetic… searching. Being a mama has allowed me to be who I really am inside… a neat freak who likes routine… who values independence and wants her son to find his own independence…. While on the OUTSIDE.. it probably looks like I’m a mess to my husband… who I am on the INSIDE is more resolved and certain than I’ve ever been and damn if that has been so awesome and SO… OUT OF CONTROL for my husband. HE needs to go out… I need to be OFF and in the quiet now. Same independence, just before Leo.. I would meet girlfriends, and be more social. I don’t have the energy for that, as much now. My husband really thinks that’s depression and we have had multiple therapy sessions about why I AM NOT HAPPY and I try to tell him I AM HAPPY.. just very differently than what HAPPY means to him (on the outside).

Becoming parents has made us drift apart and while we very much STILL love each other, it’s just different now. I’m just not sure we would ever be able to connect in the same, mutual happiness ways again. Before Leo, what united us was going out to dinner…. now… we still do that but then whether we let him read books at the table or (gasp) use our phone to watch PBS Kids app so we can eat in peace comes into question (you know, TRIGGERS) and it’s a vicious cycle.

At the end of the day, right  here, right now as I type this.. I do NOT know what’s going to happen. We’re in therapy weekly, definitely one step forward, two steps back, kinda progress. I think we both are happy we are doing this as a way of doing all we can to see if we can make this work. At the end of the day, we want to do what’s best for our beloved Leonardo, and I KNOW that both of us are commited to that. I am SO grateful for my husbands willingness to do therapy in the first place… but I wish that meant I knew what was going to happen.

Sadly, I don’t.

I have thought many times about dissolving this website through the past two years. We were struggling SO MUCH that I would tell my closest friends, “What do I still have to offer these chefs wives? How can I be a coach, and try to help others when I am ON MY KNEES in my own restaurant relationship” but still, my kindreds told me to just go easy with myself and when the time came, it would feel right to write again.

I still don’t know if now is that time, but after a call with a chef wife a few weeks, ago, another chef wife and MAMA… talking about the SAME EXACT THINGS I am experiencing myself… I used my experience, not to tell her how to work through it, but to tell her she’s not alone. I think both of us felt better that we’re not CRAZY (it’s still SO EASY to compare ourselves and even our parenting methods to regular 9-5 relationships – NOT POSSIBLE) So I thought I’d write to say I’m still here, if you need me, you need to know I am still just as passionate about shining a light on the restaurant industry, what it’s REALLY like (you know, not what the Food Network wants you to see) and that I am in the trenches with you all.

I do not have all the answers, like I said, before you dive in you should read my beliefs on why I created this place in the first place, but I hope this might help some of you out there. I still believe we’re the glue that holds our chefs, and our relationships together. I KNOW we are stronger than anyone (especially ourselves) are willing to give us credit for… I just want to say that While I’ve been out…I have learned SO much.

Maybe so I could find a way to help all of you… who knows.

In the meantime, I’m here. If you want to contact me, email me at kerilyn@marriedtoachef.com *The website has been hit with a tremendous amount of spam comments over the years and so there have been a few comments that have slipped through the cracks, I’m sorry.*

I am finally finding renewed energy to rebuild my coaching practice in order to make my third dream come true. I have some availability with taking on clients, if you’re interested, and am working on a few other focuses (I’ve become obsessed with understanding FEAR and how it stops us from anything and everything in our life) and so… I’m still here working on Dream No. 3.

Finally – I am considering a Gathering in the Savannah,GA area…. if you are a chef wife or know one who would be interested, shoot me an email and let me know so I can coordinate.

Until next time… I’m here, doing this hard work with you.

Don’t give up *OR…. give up but do it because you know that’s what’s best for YOU. I mean this.

always,
Kerilyn

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GUEST POST: Gettin’ Married and Gettin’ Divorced

September 25, 2014 in Coping, Life, Restaurant Industry

lightstock_120134_small_kerilyn_

photo credit: Lightstock

Guest Post by Annie Wang from frites & fries  . You can also find her on her own site – j. annie wang

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Some of you have entertained the thought of leaving your relationship. Some of you may have even fantasized how much easier life would be if you weren’t worried about his (or her) health all the time, hoping that they have enough covers for the week to make rent, or praying that the big meeting with restaurant investors will pull through. I’ve been there. But there’s one thing that makes me a little bit different: my Chef and I are divorcing.

It all happened very quickly. One day I was engaged, then married, and then the D-word happened.  There’s so many reasons why this decision happened — people divorce for multiple reasons after all but I would be lying if I said the restaurant industry wasn’t a part of it; it wasn’t because I couldn’t deal with his lifestyle or hours — I just couldn’t deal with someone who couldn’t put me or us first. The us part was so severe that we never celebrated an anniversary, not even our first wedding anniversary. On our first wedding anniversary, I had a bottle of champagne signed by 20 of our closest relatives in my lap while I sat alone at home in tears. A “make-up” celebration didn’t even happen because of the restaurant. The restaurant was more important than our relationship. But he doesn’t deserve all the blame. I played my role too.

Our relationship started out strong: a rom-com like story of how it all began, an unexplainable chemistry. We were both passionate about our careers and we supported each other as much as we could. At one point, I felt like we could conquer anything and take over the world because we complimented each other so well. Knowing what his goals were as a chef, I was always behind him 100%. Eventually, I was so focused on him because I wanted him to succeed in New York so much. Gradually, I forgot about my needs and wants shortly before he started forgetting what mine were. Overtime, our lives were so deeply entwined but my voice was almost non-existent and I had lost myself. Perhaps I was so too immersed in the New York City restaurant culture (the gossip!). Perhaps my competitive spirit clouded my own ambitions. Perhaps I wanted the fairy tale to work out — in the dream world, he would have his restaurant and I would visit him with our two chubby toddlers before dinner service so we could work on our cookbook. But now, I can’t tell if that was his dream or mine now because our priorities were skewed and had been so for so long.

While both of us had accomplished our original goals in New York (I finished graduate school and he had opened a restaurant in Manhattan as Executive Chef), our ambitions were stronger than our love for each other. One of the core elements of a loving relationship is having a supportive presence. In the early stages of our relationship, I always “understood” why he had to work late and why he couldn’t come to an event with me (work or personal). In retrospect, I should’ve pushed for that “me”-time in the beginning. If I did, I wondered, would we have celebrated a wedding anniversary? Would we have even celebrated an anniversary while we were dating? Who knows.

Do I regret being married to a chef? Nope. I learned a lot from it. Not just about being married to the industry but just marriage in general. Once the legal steps started, I learned a lot about myself too – about what I needed and what I wanted. There’s one thing that I have to thank him for though: if it weren’t for him, I may not have re-discovered my love for food or pursued my current career path. In fact, I would have never continued my career in food if it weren’t for him, divorce or no divorce.

Connect w/ Annie on  Twitter and Instagram

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Signed, Always The Bad Guy

September 13, 2014 in Coping, Life

bitch etsy

Photo Credit: House of Miranda

Before you dive in, start here.

Okay… so as you can probably assume, this subject hits home for me. Hence, why I HAVE to write about this. I’m going to do my best to not make this a bashing of my husband and of a good handful of chefs out there (perhaps yours?) but to take ownership of my OWN feelings and limiting beliefs.

No guarantees, but I’ll do my best.

Whether I actually am always the bad guy, or that’s just my perception (ding ding!), I KNOW there are so many of you, reading this, that also feel like they’re ALWAYS the bad guy in their restaurant relationships and so I write this not just for me, but also for those of you who can relate.

*And it doesn’t matter what stage of your relationship Evolution you’re in, my guess is you’ve probably already come across this feeling, at some point.

As I look back… I can honestly say I probably felt like ‘The Bad Guy’ from day one. (For simplicity’s sake, going forward, I’m going to simplify it and say TBG when appropriate) I wasn’t as understanding why my then chef boyfriend felt he HAD to go out with the Executive Chef after the restaurant closed until 5am. I definitely wasn’t as happy go lucky when, on his ONLY day off with me, he chose to go eat dim sum with a bunch of local chefs instead of spending time with me.

Not to mention my early failure to understand that he will NEVER be available on Valentines Day. (Or my birthday, Christmas, etc…)

Gosh, I can say that feeling like TBG was one of the primary reasons why I created Married to a Chef to begin with.

I wanted to find YOU… so I wouldn’t have to ALWAYS feel like The Bad Guy.

I wanted someone else who could understand HOW frustrating it can be sometimes, maneuvering through this type of relationship. (Read: understand how frustrating my man could be!) Someone who could unequivocally say….

“Kerilyn, I GET IT!”

Despite the YEARS that my now chef husband and I have been together, if I were being completely transparent, I have yet to completely surpass this feeling, and can honestly say that it’s probably the ONE thing that keeps me still feeling stuck in my partnership with my husband, when I let it.

Again, just because I am the creator and resident life coach here, does NOT mean I have it all figured out. NOPE.

I’m feeling like TBG, while it APPEARS my beloved doesn’t give one thought to how his decisions affect me. Or at least that’s my PERCEPTION of what I’m experiencing.

And I KNOW you know what happens, when I impulsively think I’m the bad guy…

Yep, I want to RUN.

*okay, I’ll admit it… sometimes I actually do. I have actually impulsively ran out of the house,  went for a drive/go to the movies/go grab my favorite sweet treat when I’m in the midst of the storm in my head.

I immediately think “See, I KNEW this would happen. There MUST be something wrong with me and I KNEW BETTER (read: I made a mistake/I’M a stupid head) and now I need to get the HELL away from him/this situation and be single again.”

Sometimes, I impulsively start planning and scheming my way back to my apartment on East Glendale Avenue where I was single and only had myself to take care of. Daydreaming of that time when I didn’t have to tell anyone what I was doing, that all my decisions were based around ME.

Then… after some period of time (which is what I really want to talk about today), I would calm down and remember that I have been through this before and I WILL get through this experience this time. I’m not so sure I’m conscious of it, but it’s only WHEN I remember that I AM strong enough… that I’m not actually the bad guy… that the rain stops and the storm clouds begin to part in my head.

Admittedly, calming down usually takes a while. Depends on how severe my feelings are of my husbands absentmindedness or my belief that I really am a stupid head. Because I know myself a smidge, I know this is one of the biggest places in my life that I sabotage myself. The messages I tell myself….

that I’m not smart enough to know what I’m doing/choosing for my life.

makes me act IMPULSIVELY when my husband does what he does.

I ran across this quote somewhere on Facebook a few weeks ago… as I read it I think I yelled YES! inside my head!

the impulse to jump ship

Anyone that has been in a relationship for more than a fortnight, can attest TIS TRUE…. the longer you know someone, the more opportunities you will have to WANT to jump ship!

You know when people say they get into an accident and their life flashes before their eyes? That’s an impulse. It’s done without conscious thought. It just happens. That’s EXACTLY how I feel when I get the impulse to run, when I think (or okay.. say to my husband from time to time) “See, there you go thinking I’m the bad guy!” All the memories from the past almost 15 years flash before my eyes, usually their the monumental occasions, like the decision to break up to be with a 9-5′r, and the decision to leave the 9-5′r and get back with my now chef husband.

These impulses stop me from being able to process what’s actually happening, and I am mindlessly REACTING out of habit. Or impulse.

The key to the quote above is in the last line…

“… defying the impulse to jump ship.”

Damn if whoever wrote this quote isn’t RIGHT ON… RIGHT?

How can we learn to DEFY the impulse to jump ship? Actually, how can we learn that it’s not actually our feelings that are hurt, not that we’re not really a stupid head, but an automatic impulse… and how to learn NOT to judge ourselves for having these impulses.

Putting your arm out to protect your children in the car is an impulse. Even if your children get frustrated or embarrassed. It happens, nothing to DO about it or judge yourself…just know it’s going to happen.

How can we learn that WHEN (not if) the impulse happens (AND IT WILL), that we want to get off this ship… that it’s not something wrong with us innately (or being THE BAD GUY), just an automatic response that has been created LONG before our realization of it.

Part of learning how to do that is to learn what MESSAGES we tell ourselves when these impulses happen. For ME… it’s that I’m an idiot (I think saying stupid head is kinder) the message is that I AM NOT TO BE TRUSTED WITH MY DECISIONS.

Yep, these messages play INSTANTLY when something happens that makes me knee jerk into thinking I’m the bad guy. I’m not even conscious of them in the moment. Where did these messages come from? Well, you probably can guess it… it’s a summation of the ASSUMPTIONS that I thought I was being taught by my parents, my teachers… etc…  It most likely isn’t that they said I’m not to be trusted, but because that’s the message I THOUGHT they were saying… that’s what I took in.

Is it TRUE that I’m not to be trusted? NO.
Do my parents think I’m not to be trusted? I really hope not.
Did my teachers think I was an idiot? I’d like to think not.

But who knows… that ONE moment when I was eager to do something and my dad didn’t think it was a good idea… or when I didn’t do as well on a test as I thought… that look in my moms eye when she sees the score… could’ve in fact PERMANENTLY created a message that I began to play….

over and over again.  Endlessly.

I am stupid.
I am not to be trusted.

It happens that fast.  To the point that it becomes my default. An impulse.

Does this make sense?

Then we bring these impulses into our lives.. we project them onto everything we see.. then life actually becomes what we are thinking already.. because we are telling ourselves some pretty nasty messages.

Here is the blow by blow of what happens in the moment… I am writing this to see if you recognize a pattern for you.

1. My husband handles something differently (like how we take care of our son or choosing to go out after service, etc)
2. I instantly, without any thought fire up the messages that I’m stupid for making this decision to be with him in the first place, that I should not have been trusted to marry him.
3. Because I don’t LIKE that feeling, because that goes against what I REALLY know about myself, deep inside (that I am smart and I am pretty damn trustworthy)… I end up yelling at him and/ or running away.

100% IMPULSE.

It’s a tug of war… the voice telling us that we are stupid and not to be trusted which doesn’t QUITE resonate with us… with the knowing (hopefully) that we got this far and are most likely handling SO much in our restaurant relationship – SO… to test this theory out.. we ATTRACT more situations into our lives. You don’t have to believe in the Law of Attraction (even though, I did learn about it in Junior High Science Class) to sense that there is something strange going on.. .when we think something… strangely sometimes happens.

Can you see that it’s not that YOU are the bad guy, that he/she is a bad guy/wrong, or your relationship is doomed… but that this impulse happens SO FAST that we instinctively knee jerk most of our reactions. Then we attract more and more situations that look similarly, that the impulse becomes almost immediate. There is NO pause between what we’re experiencing and firing up of the messages we have unconsciously believed.

I’m not going to leave you with any sort of divine A-HA moment except maybe… after reading this, you can simply take a look at your own impulses, what messages INSTANTLY play in our minds… not to try to change them or deem them insane… but just take awareness of them. MAYBE if we can just take notice when we are reacting out of impulse… we can then start to create a distance from how fast the impulse occurs. MAYBE EVENTUALLY, we can learn to see it for what it is.. an impulse and not an accurate view of what’s happening in the moment.

Eventually. TRUST me… I am no where NEAR slowing down the impulse. But my awareness of it, after the fact, helps me to realize that when I’m yelling at my husband… when what I really need, in that moment… is a reminder that I am a SMART woman who is to be trusted with the decision to marry my husband in the first place, DESPITE the situation that is in front of me.

Again, does this make sense? I know I’m a chatty Cathy, but I hope the message you get from this is that you are NOT the bad guy. You and your restaurant man/woman/relationship are not doomed. What is doomed, HOPEFULLY are these devious messages we tell ourselves that prevent us from ever fully being present in our interactions with our restaurant man/woman.

What messages do you tell yourself that have created an impulse with how you interact with your other half that have you believing you are always the bad guy?

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Silence is not an option.

July 11, 2013 in Coping, Fears, Life, Restaurant Industry

Our lives begin to end

photo credit: pinterest

before you dive in, start here.

Read this quote again, isn’t that how you feel, right now?

Isn’t that what brought you to this website? You feel like your in silence with how challenging and frustrating being in relationship with someone in the industry can be?

Can you relate to the words “Our lives begin to end….” ?

Isn’t THAT also true? Wasn’t there a part of you that felt like a part of you, or your relationship was about to end… because you felt “in silence” with what you are always managing, and didn’t know how to get through it?

And if you’re in it for the long haul, are you still suffering in silence?

Let’s face it… the shitty parts of this relationship can be utterly unnerving.

The days/weeks/months on our own, the lack of consideration on our restaurant man/womans part when something changes quickly during their shift, and it’s hours before we hear from them again. The inability to fully be present while they’re at home because they’re mind (and hence their eyes and fingers) are constantly checking their email on their phone? The days when you REALLY don’t want to cook when you get home from work, another day of having to figure it all out, by yourself, makes you question your decision to be in this type of relationship in the first place?

Sometimes this type of relationship just plain sucks.

Add to that, that for YEARS, there has never been an outlet for us. There has been no place to go to relate to others in the same situation, to rant, to be comforted, to be helped back up.  I honestly cannot imagine how significant others of pre-internet times got by. I once heard a pre-internet significant other sort of comfort/defend herself when I said that these types of relationships are not easy, by saying it wasn’t that bad and that there was no sense in complaining about it because there was nothing she could do about it. Gosh, how that must’ve been SO TRUE for generations of significant others who had no place to turn to, somewhere to go to feel like they weren’t crazy and when they turned to their friends/family (in 9-5′r relationships) just confirmed that there was a need to be silent about how hard it is, because noone really understood.

Talk about isolation.

You could’ve been one of those lucky significant others who lived in close proximity to your other halfs husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, and created friendships to relate to that way, but still, everyone deals with things differently and maybe how one person deals, is not quite how you would.

THANKFULLY, that’s why I created this space. So I could find you. So you could find me. So we could find each other. To release the flood gates and allow the silence of those who came before us, suffering in silence to be set free. Thankfully there are more of us who are sharing their experiences online, bringing it to the mainstream, and connecting with our fellow significant others as a place to go to when they need to remember they are not crazy or alone. 

I can feel the decades of silence pouring out in our comments, our posts in our private Facebook Group, our moments of desparation when we simply need to be seen. The outpouring has been going on since the MINUTE I launched this website on Valentines Day, 2011 and it’s not surprisingly, why those who are new to this website, find themselves relieved to find a place to feel safe to not be silent. It’s why, in June 2013, this website was seen in 103 countries.

We’re talking a GLOBAL silencing here.

That said…. The only way we are going to shift how WE see ourselves in our restaurant relationships, and how we will be able to help others in the same place is to NOT be silent anymore. 

Now, before I go on, I’m not talking about protesting on the Capital or boycotting your loved ones restaurant. No. That’s not going to help us. We need to share, when asked about what it’s like being connected to this industry, to be honest. Share your experiences, educate those who have NO IDEA. The perception is that it’s all glitz and glamour and YOU know what it’s really like. 

Why not share it?

As someone who believes that change comes from within, I felt the need to share what frustrates me because I KNOW I’m not the only one. I’m sharing my experiences, NOT because I’m brave, but because the only way I’m going to find help, is to SAY SOMETHING. The only way I’m not going to feel alone is to talk about the things that make me feel lonely.

And also, I’m not talking about BASHING the restaurant industry or our other halfs or their superior either (even though you might want to sometimes), it’s about speaking up, using your voice and even sharing how strong a person has to be to THRIVE (yes, you can use the word endure, it does feel like enduring sometimes) in this type of relationship.

Even though, there have yet to be a man come forth from their silence, I KNOW YOUR OUT THERE TOO!!! I know you’re reading this along with your fellow women significant others, who are needing to be supported. Even MEN need get their frustrations OUT!

Men, let’s break the silence!! 

And finally, and most importantly, I want to talk about the silence we feel from our restaurant man/woman NOT to speak about what’s frustrating us. I’ve heard from so many of you that your chef husbands think this website is FUNNY. Like, ha ha, amusing. I’ve actually told others what I do (I’m the creator and resident life coach of Married to a Chef, supporting significant others in the restaurant industry, because MOST people have no idea what it’s really like.) and they say “Oh how cute (or funny).”

Really? Cute?  Funny?

Of course they think it’s cute.. they have NO idea. They’re still in a deep trance that it’s all non stop VIP events, and guest appearing on some Food Network program.

It’s up to US to tell them why NO… it’s NOT CUTE.

It’s up to US to share how it’s somewhat similar to the wifes of policemen and fireman (minus the constant danger, but sometimes I wonder)

And to our restaurant men and women who want us to keep our mouths shut… to NOT speak of how challenging this type of relationship is for fear of them being judged for being an absent husband, a narcissist, an uncaring human being (I mean, wouldn’t most people think we’re being neglected with how alone we feel sometimes????)

OF COURSE THEY WANT US TO KEEP QUIET!

While this is their passion, this is a BUSINESS. They want to keep their jobs, keep their dreams, keep their reputation intact… so OF COURSE they don’t want us coming in and saying “Well, actually, my husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend DOESN’T walk on water.”  while their eyes bug out because you might reveal their innermost secret.

THEY’RE NOT PERFECT!! THEY’RE STILL FIGURING SHIT OUT AND MAKING MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY!!!

*Sorry for the strong language in this post, but I feel it’s necessary.

They didn’t create the unwritten rules of this industry. The glorified “Chefs are Gods, they do no wrong.” rule that they willingly bought into and we are all mandated to keep the myth going. Try to cut them some slack (TRY) that I’m sure that in some little way, they wish it could be different too. I’ve mentioned before, this is a well oiled machine that’s been running a LONG time… they either hold onto what keeps it going… or they will inevitably be thrown off.  We have the power to make a subtle shift by sharing our experiences and beginning to share a new paradigm. The “I love being married to a chef and it’s NOT because of why you think.” paradox. :)

Let me ask you a question… Have you ever thought that in my postings… that I have publically BASHED my husband?

I want to say no. I am talking about such a broad stroke, that these scenarios, our frustrations can be discussed with chefs, with those in the restaurant industry around the WORLD. This is a UNIVERSAL experience we are all having with some small specifics thrown in. We are all more alike than different.

That’s another reason why staying quiet will NEVER help anyone else. Even if it’s someone on the other side of the globe from where you are.

YOU can help your fellow significant others. Start by speaking out, not by publically revealing your other halfs flaws (even if they’re most likely something at least 1000 of us can relate to) but put your teacher hat on and EDUCATE when you speak.

You just might make the difference between someone who is REALLY struggling to find the way… and leaving them to suffer in silence.

YOU found your voice here… now it’s your chance to pay it forward.

SILENCE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION.  

*One way to speak up… be a guest poster here. SEE HERE.

 *Another way is to contribute to our mission and get the perks of being a part of your larger, global Village. SEE HERE.

*Finally, another way is to create a local meetup group of significant others so you can meet with and release some of that pent up frustration you have inside. Trust me, it really helps to see someone in person in order to feel like you’re not crazy for feeling the way you do. (If you do create something like this, let me know, and I’ll promote it.)

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It’s time – PART TWO.

February 7, 2013 in Coping, Expectations, Favorites, Fears, Life, Relationships

Before you dive in, read here.  And if you haven’t read PART ONE yet, DO HERE.

Feel BETTER?

I hope so. Hopefully you are really beginning to GRASP how NOT CRAZY you are.

It’s NOT EASY being connected to someone in the industry.

All the things you are feeling, the REASON why you’re not crazy is because MOST of us are right along with you!

I wanted you to fully soak in a whole post where you could go to when you needed a reminder.

You are NOT crazy, nor are you the only one feeling the way you do.

*Reminder – there are always exceptions to the rule.

THAT SAID.

We’re never going to move from the place of always feeling resentful (and crazy) if we are not willing to look at why it is.

WHY do we feel crazy when our other half seemingly behaves so unaware?

What’s BEHIND these feelings?

We can’t just go ahead and continually blame them for doing what they do, without understanding what’s going on within us to create such frustration/anger/sadness,etc…

WE are responsible for our own choices… our own actions (and inactions)

We are POWERFUL and STRONG.

NOT helpless.

WE decide what does and doesn’t work for us, right?

RIGHT?

I mean they are only ONE PART of the relationship, right? It takes TWO to meet in the middle, right?

It can’t be that it’s JUST their fault and that’s it.

So I ask myself, when inevitably some of the statements from PART ONE ring true for me…

WHY am I accepting this?

Why am I choosing to let this continue, without changing course or direction?

What is BEHIND why I’m continuing to experience frustration and not peace?

As uncomfortable as it is, how willing am I to really look at what’s causing ME to be frustrated, in order to release myself from it?

How willing are you?

As I was recently researching a hypothesis about WHY they do what they do, I’ve discovered The Peter Pan syndrome , a phrase coined by psychologist Dr. Dan Kiley about typically men who choose not to grow up, stating:

“The Peter Pan Syndrome (PPS) describes men, who are childlike in their relationships, their ability to handle responsibilities, and their pursuit of pleasure. “He’s a man because of his age; a child because of his acts. The man wants your love, the child your pity. The man yearns to be close, the child is afraid to be touched. If you look past his pride, you’ll see his vulnerability. If you defy his boldness, you’ll feel his fear”

The other side of the coin in that scenario is something I found quite eye opening and shocking to me. – The Wendy Dilemma.

“The Wendy Dilemma describes women who are very dependent upon their mates in a special way. They mother their mates, treating them like immature children. It is not uncommon in my practice for these women to state, “I feel like I have four children, instead of three, because I have to treat my husband just like one of the kids.”

Wow, right?

It’s SO EASY for us to see how our significant others might not want to grow up, but SO challenging to see why they feel it’s okay to do that.

I mean, we’re calling a Spade a Spade here, right?

When we understand what’s BEHIND the reason we get frustrated and angry, feel sad and alone, we have a much greater chance for liberating ourselves from it and creating a new way of being.

Why am I mentioning this?

I mention these two hypothesis’ to help us not feel so ALONE, when really what we want is to understand what is really going on.

Especially if this has been happening for years, right? Most likely in our frustration isn’t just about what they’re doing, it’s about not understanding WHY they’re doing it and WHY it affects us so.

For me, finding this information has been like turning on a light, for myself, my relationship and as the captain of this ship. As a coach, I’ve always understood that there is motive and reasoning behind everything we do, that it’s always about the cause and not the effect, but HERE… it’s explained so clearly that it can no longer go ignored or misunderstood.

  • You’re NOT crazy but you might be feeling like you are because you don’t understand.
  • You’re NOT crazy but until you really look at what’s BEHIND what’s causing you pain, the crazy will be all that you see and feel.
  • You might be feeling CRAZY cause you know that somethings going on here but can’t put your finger on it.

What do I do now?

Honestly, whatever you want. YOU have the choice. You can use this information to find some sort of peace within yourself, a confirmation that you’re NOT crazy; maybe you can continue to do your own research to help you understand the concepts behind these philosophies, or you can partner with a professional coach or therapist who can help you move forward to help liberate you from what holds you back from THRIVING in your restaurant relationship.

Or nothing at all.

Maybe these two possible explanations do not ring true for you at all, only you know.

Either way, I still maintain that you are not CRAZY for feeling the way you are, that there IS a reason behind why this is the way it is.

It’s totally up to YOU to discover what that is.

How do you feel? Care to share in the comments? Did this FREE you or frustrate you even more?

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