Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend’s Comments About Husband Cross the Line

DEAR HARRIETTE: I got married recently, and I now know that my wife is a horrible cook. We had never talked about cooking. I don’t cook, but I assumed that she could and would. I realize that this is old-fashioned thinking, but I believed it nonetheless. She is trying, but she really can’t cook, and it’s hard to eat what she prepares. I feel like a hypocrite in a way. I expect my wife to cook well, and I am mad that she can’t. What should I do? -- Bad Cook

DEAR BAD COOK: You have a couple of things to deal with. For starters, trying to run your life based upon an archaic conception of gender roles is not serving you, nor does it need to. Let that go. Instead, talk to your wife openly. Tell her you didn’t realize that she hadn’t learned to cook, as you have not either. Suggest that you learn together, and take turns preparing the family meal -- or even cook together, which creates another level of bonding for you.

Consider taking a cooking class or purchasing interesting cookbooks and perusing the recipes. Make it fun to learn to cook so that you do not insult her or judge your old ways too harshly. Instead, carve a new path together that is equally supportive.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)