Day 3 of 14
Oh boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. This one is just plain, old ugly. We’ve all heard the stories about family members not taking gluten-free seriously. Even spouses. Makes my thank my lucky stars (again and again and again) for Mrs. Dude.
But this guy goes above and beyond in his assholishness and our gluten-free friend is asking for advice. It’s time for some tough love…for both of them.
Here’s the email I received:
Of all people, the one who has watched me be sick after contamination; the one who knows how terrified I am to eat at any restaurant (I have been glutened by a restaurant with a gluten free menu); he still doesn’t get it.
I have color-coded everything in my kitchen with RED being my “don’t use this for gluten” code. Still, he eats pizza, from the kitchen counter, wiping his bearded and mustached mouth with my RED dish towels. Served off of my granite counter top. Reheated in my toaster oven or on the turntable in the microwave.
I finally blew my top when I pointed out that he was using a red towel or utensil or wire mesh strainer marked RED to strain his bow-tie pasta and he dismissed my complaint with his usual “It won’t hurt you. You are overreacting. You are not celiac.”
His carelessness makes me afraid to use my own kitchen without first washing everything and drying with a fresh out of the dryer red towel. Every meal. If I get contaminated, the distress begins between 20 and 40 minutes and continues for 4 to 6 hours. This makes me afraid to eat. Even in my own home because of the chance of cross-contamination.
When even the people closest to you don’t understand and don’t respect this disease, I lose heart of ever healing. Since my blow up, my husband has made an effort to keep my red coded items separate in the kitchen, but still treats me as if I am “nagging” when I find him using them with gluten products. I need a kosher kitchen. Not to separate dairy and meat. But to isolate gluten from gluten-free by zones!
Ok…like I said. Tough love time.
First…to the woman who wrote the email. Have you been tested for celiac? The reason I ask is that there is no valid blood test to diagnose gluten intolerance, as far as I know. Have you been to a legit doctor and been tested for celiac with blood work and an endoscopy? Not that I am remotely excusing your husband’s boor-like behavior, but since it seems you are going to stick it out with him and his lame point seems only to be “you don’t have celiac disease”, perhaps a diagnosis will turn him back into a human being again.
5 years? That’s a long time. You’re more patient than I would be.
Now…to the husband. You seriously wipe your beard and mustache using a dish towel?? Forget if it’s red, blue, paisley or plaid? Ever hear of a napkin? Look, whether you “believe” in gluten intolerance or not, didn’t you take some vows some years back? Remember the sentence “for better of for worse, in sickness and in health”? Ring a bell at all? Dude, she already feels like shit that she has to go through the ringer to try to keep her home safe and stay healthy. Don’t make her feel even worse about it. She’s not asking you to eat gluten-free in the house. Just to respect her space, respect her wishes and respect her as a person.
If you can’t do that…gluten is the least of your marriage’s problems.