My Wife is a Terrible Cook – Do I Tell Her?

Dear Crabby,

My wife and I recently got married, and she has been doing a lot of cooking for us. I’m not sure how to say this, but she is really, really bad at it!  Her food is burnt and flavorless and tastes nothing like my mother’s!  Should I tell her? What do you recommend?

Sincerely, Shocked New Groom

Dear Shocked New Groom,

Ah yes, the joys of youthful ignorance!  There is but one reason you see a skinny, old man in the attached picture, and it ain’t cause I’ve been “Sweating to the Oldies” with that Richard Simmons goofball either!  Mrs. Crabby almost burned our first place down the day after our wedding trying to make me some toast.  I took this very seriously and started dropping hints about her taking lessons from my mother or maybe taking a class or something at the church to learn how to cook. Let me tell you how that went over! You ever heard of the “Cold War?”  That was nothing compared to the next several months of our lives. After talking to my father about it, I learned that none of these women learn how to cook when they are growing up! It’s like some unwritten rule in some handbook somewhere. And it’s a sworn secret that no man is ever to learn of it until after he’s locked in on the marriage deal. I’m serious! And it turns out that your own mother’s cooking is actually lousy too – you just don’t know any better.  It’s as if they must have been trained by the Masons or someone to keep this secret no matter what. So my dad introduced me to two things: coffee and bowling.  Turns out that no one really likes either one, but the coffee burns your tongue and helps numb down some of the senses so you can survive the shock, and the bowling is so you can join a league and get at least one night a week out of the house to get something decent to eat with your buddies.  Now there is another development since my father’s time that I will give you for free – Scrabble!  Not for you, you nincompoop, for your wife to get out of the house and play against her girlfriends!  No sane-minded, upstanding male would actually enjoy playing that overrated spelling bee on a board. But think,  that’s two nights you might get some decent food. Finally, I came up with the “Traditional Sunday Dinner” campaign where I told the Mrs. that she works too hard all week to have to cook on Sundays too. I always offered to pick up chicken from KFC for the family after church.  Other than that, it is our husbandly duty to smile and pretend to like whatever the old lady slops on that plate! It’s not the end of the world son; there’s even a few meals that I have asked for seconds on in the last 50 years.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

Pondering a problem?  Stuck in a rut?  Dear Crabby can help you out!  Email your questions to

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at