An exception to every rule

August 10, 2012 in Everybody Else, Expectations, Life

As you already know, for the most part, what is written here at Married to a Chef, as well as on other blogs you’ve probably read on the interwebs, about being connected to these culinary men and women is, for the most part, what’s going on in most restaurant relationships around the world.

It’s not easy being connected to the restaurant world. It can actually be downright confusing and also quite unnerving, if you don’t understand the ins and outs, the “rules”, as it were, to maneuver though this kind of relationship.

Kinda like walking into an intersection with a blindfold on.

Am I right?

The whole purpose of creating this website and eventually manifesting my mission to unite us all is to hopefully give those new to their restaurant relationship a leg up when it comes to how to deal and to comfort and connect with those who are already knee deep, so that we no longer feel in the dark.

That said… I cannot deny or ignore that for every situation, with every rule… there is an exception.

There is the case for alternative circumstances in every part of the evolution of this restaurant relationship. I know… it’s not easy to hear/accept or even read about those significant others who have managed to land what seems to be the actual myth of what most people say about being married to a chef.

  • There actually ARE chefs out there that do cook for their beloveds every night (or almost every night)
  • There actually are restaurant men/women who don’t work 70-90 hour weeks, 6 days a week.
  • There are couples out there who do… regularly have quality time together. *Yes, including frequent sex.
  • Who actually are in a position to be HOME for the holidays.
  • There are restaurant families who actually CO-parent. 50/50… including but not limited to weekend family time.

I know… just reading these exceptions might push on your buttons… make you feel a twinge of the green monster, might make you sad, confused, yep.. maybe even angry.

I know.

I know it all seems unfair. “How do THEY get to be with their restaurant man/woman on a Friday night and I don’t.”

“Must be nice.” when you read about someone whose husband/wife actually enjoys cleaning up around the house or is able to have a getaway weekend.

Sounds so hard to believe when you know that for most of us… we’re living a completely different reality.

Boo. Hiss.

I’m here to tell you that what you’re feeling isn’t out of the ordinary and actually… is very common for all human beings.

As much as we’d like to think we aren’t… underneath it all, we’re all wired to want to be the same. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re unconsciously conditioned by our natural instincts, our upbringing, and our societys rules and regulations (in our case, what most of the restaurant industry is like) to have very similar experiences. Not to waver outside the lines, to stand out too much, or to “stir the pot”, but to blend in. It’s why 98% of us have the same challenges in the same areas of our restaurant relationship. With just a little thought, you can probably list five things we all have in common. Why?

It’s ‘the norm’.

A stereotype of what the entire restaurant industry experience is like.

Like the perverbial snowball rolling downhill, the perpetual forward motion of what it’s like being in the industry has gotten us to this point that within reason… we know just about what to expect.

Then someone comes along who seems to be ‘living the dream’ with regards to being connected to their man/woman in the industry, someone who most likely has a very different experience from us. These people are actually living what MOST people (who have no idea) think it’s like, being married to a chef. Almost on cue, we instinctively put our guard up, become easily annoyed and agitated and without thought,  judge them as being weird, somehow presumptious, or wrong. We might even go so far as to take action to criticise and attack them, just so they know that they need to remember they’re no better from us, just because their experience is different.

I mean, How DARE they!

Right? You want to know the most unnerving part about all of this? Underneath our agitation, frustration… even our attack we all want the very same thing.

To be different, special…


It’s no wonder why this is such a confusing and often irritating topic.

  • WE want the husband/wife who comes home for dinner every night (okay, maybe not every night but at least enough so that the kids recognize him/her)
  • WE want to be the one who gets to travel with our man/woman as they stage in different countries, looking for the next exciting opportunity.
  • WE want to be the one with the restaurant man/woman who gets approached to do a cookbook.
  • WE want our other halves to have the same energy at home that they do when they are at work.

We want that to be OUR lives.

And when we realize that RIGHT NOW, it isn’t that way, it’s SO easy to get all riled up and flustered instead of it giving us the EVIDENCE that with a little hard work, maybe shifting our priorities, we TOO could possibly be in those same shoes.

And side note: This is a HUMAN issue. Not a singled out (insert finger pointing at YOU) kinda thing going on here. We ALL feel and react this way. Including myself. I’m always working to see someone who has something I want (hello.. a thriving full time coaching practice) as something to work TOWARD, not something to be angry at because that’s not me at this time.

For example – When I read Caths beautiful posting on what it’s like being married to a chef… I was swept away with how amazing her life was like. It was like I was watching a romantic movie. She worded it so well I could almost SEE it happening before my eyes. Her post has stayed with me, because of the impact it made. Of course, life with my chef doesn’t quite look that romantic at this time, but I appreciated it for being something I could aspire to, if my husband and I really wanted to. I think that’s why I will always remember it fondly.

On the flip side, if we are going by our natural tendencies, it would be so easy to get agitated reading her words. To judge it as being “unrealistic”, even getting upset for flaunting it in our faces.

Why is that really?

Because deep down…past the “It must be nice” and the “Noone really experiences that”… what we’re really thinking is


Whether you admit it or not… somewhere deep inside you, the people and stories you read that agitate us on the surface are merely signaling to us our DESIRES.

Frankly, it’s stirs us up to admit that there are things in our lives that we want but don’t have… and when we see those things in others, it pushes on our buttons that WE don’t have it and so we minimize our disappointment by making comments or lashing out to make us feel better. It’s kinda like saying to ourselves, “Well since I don’t have it,  I’m not going to want anyone to have it and since someone else has it…I’m going to make them feel how I feel that I don’t have it. It’s actually our natural human reaction to


Take your favorite celebrity (or celebrity chef perhaps), they seem to have a very different lifestyle from most of us, they’re what we call “living the life”…why is it that we never get tired of always peering into their lives to see what they’re up to? It’s because somewhere inside of us we ALL want to be seen as SPECIAL and unique as a celebrity. Unfortunately, because of the reason I’ve been mentioning, it’s also why we watch their every move, making sure we are there in case they fall because while deep down we would LOVE to experience what their life is like, it’s a bit too far from where we are now… seems a bit too improbable (maybe even impossible) for us, so the easier, less vulnerable thing to do is to criticize them for their choices as a way of neutralizing the underlying belief that we are sad or disappointed that we are not in their shoes.

*Honestly, it’s why it was important to me to have the monthly featured story with significant others of celebrated chefs/restauranteurs. When they can share with us what their experience is, hopefully it will inspire us that WE TOO… can have a similar experience if we really want it! *more like, if we’re willing to do what it takes to get there.

Again… this is part of the HUMAN experience.

I guarantee you, those who have the things, the family life, the celebrity that you desire… even THEY are looking to someone else… wanting what they do not. (I’m sure even Oprah feels these twinges. Side note: I love Oprah.) I say with confidence that none of us are without this experience. It’s honestly what keeps us moving forward, reaching, searching for what we think will bring us what we desire.

TRICK IS to catch it before it becomes anger/ frustration/ jealousy… into someone to be inspired by, work toward and admire. Instead of being angry at Cath for having this romantic life with her chef, I am inspired that I TOO, can create a similar experience, if I really wanted to. She gave me the EVIDENCE that it actually exists, instead of not knowing at all.

The next time you read or see someone living the life, doing the thing that instantly pulls you to feel that twinge of jealousy or a feeling of “Must be nice”, recognize what is really going on is a signalling inside of your own DESIRES. A good indicator of the direction YOU want to be going in as well. Instead of it leaving you feel lack… let it fill your database with information to chew on and strive to accomplish yourself! *I mean, one of the key VALUES in a thriving restaurant relationship is ACHIEVEMENT

We.. are the movers and shakers in our world.

Because there will always be someone who is experiencing something we desire… whether it be where they live, how much money they have, what kind of help they have at home, or what they do to satisfy their purpose…. instead of looking at that with the thoughts that that’ll never happen to me and letting it push our buttons… let seeing them in their glory give you the KNOWING that you can have it too.. if that’s what you desire.

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”  – Napoleon Hill