I Refused to Share a Secret Family Recipe With My Boyfriend’s Mom

7 months ago

Family recipes hold a special place in our hearts and kitchens, serving as more than just a collection of ingredients and instructions. Sharing a family recipe can help build relationships, but it also comes with responsibility. So it’s understandable why a Reddit user had a few reservations about telling her boyfriend’s mom a secret recipe.

A woman got into an argument after refusing to share her family recipe.

My boyfriend Nick and I have been dating for 3 years, almost 4 now. Before this incident I got along great with his family. I was invited to spend holidays with them, and we exchanged gifts on birthdays, so I thought we were pretty close.

Every year Nick’s family goes on a trip, this summer the trip was to somewhere I really wanted to go. I asked his mom, who was planning the trip, if I could tag along if I paid for myself. She said sorry no, but this is a family trip, and I wasn’t family yet. I told Nick, and he said no one’s s/o was invited, so I wasn’t the only one being excluded. I was still upset but dropped the subject.

It’s now fall, and the weather is getting cooler. Nick’s family was coming over, so I decided to make my family’s chili recipe to celebrate the cold weather. Nick and his family love my chili, so I made sure there was enough for them to take home. Before Nick’s mom left she asked if I could share the recipe with her, so she could make it for a work potluck. I told her sorry, but this is a secret family recipe. She asked aren’t we already considered family. I replied according to you, we aren’t. After that she went “oh ok” then left.

After everyone was gone Nick told me I was being cruel. I reminded him that his mother was the one who said I wasn’t family first, and she can’t pick and choose when we are. He said that was a completely different situation, and I was being petty. He left after that and has been cold to me for the past couple of days. I don’t see how I’m in the wrong here, it’s ok for his mother to deny me something because we’re not family but when I do it I’m wrong?

Later, the poster came with an update.

I had a talk with Nick and his mom. I explained how after all we’ve been through hearing her say I’m not family to my face hurt. And it made me feel even worse when she only considered me family when she wanted something from me. His mom apologized and said she didn’t mean for it to come out that way. She was trying to say the trip is like a reward for marriage or an official welcome gift.

Nick apologized too saying he didn’t know what his mom told me. He thought she just told me I couldn’t come not and that she didn’t consider me family. He admitted that seeing his mom sad overridden the rational part of his brain which is why he didn’t stop to think and immediately reacted in anger. Although we talked it out Nick and his mom are walking on eggshells around me, not sure if this is better than them giving me the cold shoulder though.

There was overwhelming support for the unnamed woman coming from her fellow Redditors.

  • “’That was a completely different situation.’ I agree with this. But not in your boyfriend’s favor. A trip is just a one time trip, if things don’t work out between you and your boyfriend, they don’t have to keep you invited for their future trips.
    A family recipe is a family recipe. Once you give it to them, they have it forever regardless. This absolutely requires more of a family status than a vacation.” beefsmoke / Reddit
  • “Yes, your response is justified. The stakes are much lower for a trip than a family recipe. I’ve seen people stop talking to family for sharing it outside of the immediate family. My grandma is one of those people and won’t even give me the recipes until she is dead.” imf4rds / Reddit
  • “It has nothing to do with the food itself. It has everything to do with mutual respect. Despite being around them for 4 solid years, she still felt the need to ’put you in your place’ by verbalizing to you that you aren’t ’real family.’ So, what was she expecting when she asked for the recipe?
    The answer would’ve been the same for anything, and yet you still made sure to make enough for them to take home. And if your partner isn’t on your team, then he never will.” OsaBear92 / Reddit

Conflicts about food and cooking are more common than we’ve thought. Recently, we wrote about a husband who got angry at his wife because she refused to only cook healthy food.

Preview photo credit sml674 / Reddit


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