Alright you married restaurant significant others!

You made it to the next step of your evolution, which means, you either found out what works for you within the parameters of your relationship, are still trying to figure it out, or you’re really good at hiding the fact that you still have NO clue why you are where you are!

No matter!

Let me start off by saying… No matter WHERE you are, you are strong ENOUGH to be able to maneuver into the world of being MARRIED to someone in this very demanding, sometimes dog eat dog industry! You really should give yourself a round of applause.

(we’ll wait here while you do that.)

No really, What does that say about you? (Answer: that you have what it takes!)

If I was to guess, you’ve picked up enough tools, realized how this relationship BENEFITS you, and have begun finding opportunities where others might see lack! (Even if it looks like you’re just doing what you gotta do.)


  • Learning to embrace the times when he or she is working as a time to further your OWN dreams and ambitions.
  • Understanding how the independence that comes with being married to someone in this industry can SERVE you! or.. Maybe you don’t.

That’s alright, either way. I’m here at this step of your evolution to say that it’s alright that new challenges and frustrations ‘come up’. That didn’t rear their ugly head while you were dating. It’s only common that a new chapter in life, bring about new situations.

The honeymoon is over baby!

Back to the same ‘ol same ‘ol… but wait. Something is different. You realize this is IT. You have signed up for this “as long as you both shall live”. Hmm.. What might that bring up for you?

  • Maybe the holidays are a smidge more challenging now that you really want to be with your husband/wife.
  • Maybe there is a greater yearning to find time to be with your hubby…Your wife.
  • Maybe his/her career has taken off and you find yourself wanting to support your spouse, but conflicted about what that means for you and the future success of your marriage. (another opportunity to step into the unknown, perhaps?)

Let’s face it, it’s different now, you’re at a different place. You’ve said your vows. You want to continue diving into who you both are, as individuals, as a married couple.

I mean, I’m sure the topic has come up. Babies? Restaurant Ownership? What does that mean for both of you? How will this change what we’ve already accomplished?

SO much to think about!


Again, I want to stress that this is ultimately about being Okay with where you are. knowing that you’re at the next rung on the ladder. Recognizing and celebrating it; giving yourself PERMISSION to take it to the next level!

and damn it – if you could do this before, you definitely have what it takes to do it again! But this time…What if you

1. KNEW you weren’t alone and 2. went into this new chapter understanding and implementing new ways of thinking!

How far can you really take this? To make your marriage the MOST successful around! How will that change within your marriage and also.. (wait for it…) perhaps in EVERY other area of your life??


(yea I know…)

Let’s stay connected… Tell us:

  • What tricks of the trade have you found to create balance in your marriage?
  • What things do we all have in common?
    What are the usual suspects for getting stuck in our relationship?

So to remind you…

– you already DO have what it takes to thrive in your relationship! I mean look at’acha!
– you know that you’re in uncharted territory. (that’s why you’re HERE!)
– that you’ve conquered this beast before.. you trust you will arrive to thrive when you implement new tools for success.


What are they? You ask.
Good Question! (You’re so smart.)

Tools like:

Self Care (What does that mean exactly?)
Identity (And no, we don’t mean your drivers license) Who are you really?
Play (yes, this is an important tool for success!)
Focusing on YOUR dreams (not the ones you have a nite, silly! )
Creating a vision for the future (babies? entrepreneurship? financial goals?) You name it!

And a continuing focus on HOW to give yourself permission to take chances, and really LIVE an inspired life!

I know you can do it, Do you?

*Okay you married restaurant couples.. maybe you’re ready to take it to the next level and start a family. Officially are you “trying” or TTC (trying to conceive) – if so, check out an article with great references from fellow Significant Other and Registered Doula called Conception on a Budget



    1. laura says:

      I have only just stumbled upon this website and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to find it. It’s hard living with a head chef & not haveing a “normal” life and it’s hard for friends & family to understand. Thank you so much for this website

      • Hi there Laura! I’m SO SO glad that you are happy to have found us! What you said above is the EXACT reason why I wanted to create this site. It’s not easy and you’re right, not everyone understands. There are so many of us, feeling the way you do. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

        • Gabrielle peters says:

          I am married to a chef/restaurant owner that works 70 hours a week, we also have a 13 month old baby. I also work 3 days a week as a nurse. My problem is that my chef husband does not understand how much work i do around the house, my work and caring for our baby all day and night by myself. He says that when he has his 2 days off, he shouldnt have to get up at 5am for for baby, and he gets to do what he wants when he wants without the baby. this makes me very frustrated, as i never have time for myself, never get to do what i want, and I take the baby out with me everywhere. i love my husband, but i want him to realise that just because he is providing for the family financially, doesn’t mean that he can’t help me out with housework and baby care on his days off so i can have some free time as well. Any suggestions people??

    2. lss22 says:

      Hi There,

      I am in a similar boat. We met in the restaurant industry, then our schedules changed where we were both working in the day (it was great!)…..well we are engaged after having been together for 5 years. He recently got a promotion to executive chef and it made us move to a new town, where I am looking for a job and no nobody. I am losing my mind, staring at the computer screen, applying for jobs and planning a wedding, just eagerly awaiting his arrival at night. Right now he is going on a 15.5 hour shift and I still don’t know when he will be home. I love him so much and am really starting to hate myself because I am depressed and lonely yet I know he is doing this all for us and our (hopefully) future family. When we both used to work and go out at night it was different…advice would be great! I miss him but especially at night my mind starts to drive me crazy!!!

      • Hi there Lisa – If you haven’t got one thing to handle… you’ve got FOUR! You’ve 1. Moved to a new town 2. are looking for a job 3. Fiancee is now working CRAZY hours and 4. Planning a wedding! – I think (NO, I know!) I would be feeling depressed and lonely too! We’re here attempting to deal with our other halves working 70+ hours, here you are, not knowing a soul… trying to find someplace to work and plan a wedding! Let me assure you… you’re OKAY! Anyone who is going thru what you are now.. would also feel like they’ve lost their mind I’m SURE!

        My suggestion is to take one minute and fast forward PAST finding a job and planning a wedding. (That day will come, I can assure you!) Then you’ll only have the task of dealing with a HUSBAND that works crazy hours and learning about a new town (Hopefully you feel sorta okay with where you’ve moved to) These things are definitely manageable. Actually, exploring a new town (again, one that perhaps you are excited about) can be very exciting!)

        I can say two things for sure… you WILL find a job and you WILL get married. Those things are just time sensitive. The discovering a new town and learning to handle your other halves working/living parameters, are things that you will ALWAYS be working on.

        My suggestion is to cut yourself some slack.. you have ALOT on your plate right now. Give yourself permission to be OKAY to feel frazzled! (If you don’t want to give yourself permission… I’ll give you permission – I hearby bequeath you permission to feel the way you’re feeling… How you feel now will NOT always be that way.!)

        The husbands long hours, weekends….. and having to go to bed alone…. is OUR terrain. WE, your fellow Significant others, can TESTIFY that YOU CAN DO IT!!!

        I think the trick to get over this lonely and depressed feeling is to almost force yourself OUT of the house. Take your laptop to a coffee shop, go for a walk. Take a knitting class. If left to our own devices it’s easy to continue to be sad because we’re looking at our CURRENT playing cards thinking this is IT… and then we do nothing. We gotta force our next hand a bit in order to create momentum to move up and OUT of the situation!!!

        Again I want to say…. Anyone going thru THAT many transitions would absolutely feel a bit frazzled and off their footing. I know I would! Hope that helps!

    3. Jessica Monahan says:

      Oh wow!! I just stumbled upon this website and I wanted to wholeheartedly agree with Angie. My husband and I have been married for not quite two years but together much longer. We have a 17 year old. He has had jobs outside of the restaurant and nothing ever made him smile like being in a kitchen. He’s now a manager at a major steakhouse and loves it. It makes him happy, which makes me happy. This job even took us away from my family (who I am super close to) and I knew not a soul. I have coped with the long nights and going to bed alone and essentially being a single parent with making friends and joining groups. I started an alumnae chapter of my college sorority to help me make new friends. These women have been my support group. Join a club. Join a woman’s group at church if you go…(I don’t go anymore because it’s one of the only mornings that we have as a family due to my job). Know that there are other’s out there that feel the same way. Get out and do something, anything. Learn to knit. Take a pottery class. Go back to school. Whatever you want. The time that he’s at work, is your time to focus on you. Learn to enjoy the time and then cherish the time that he’s home. Good luck and breathe! This too shall pass.

      • Hi there Jessica! Thanks for writing! I could not have said it better myself! Sometimes it takes having someone show us what we have (the time do focus on ourselves), in order to really get the full benefit of it. I’ve found that a common way of thinking is “All this free time to myself, to do what I want to do… makes me feel like I’m being selfish, or not focused on the actual relationship, when everyone ELSE (in 9-5 relationships) are together all the time.”Yup. It’s true. There is no usual way around that, we are not in a “typical” kind of relationship. Once we understand how to view the playing field of our relationship… it frees us to be more ourselves, it allows us to sink deeper in relationship with our restaurant man/woman.

    4. Rachel says:

      I recently found this website and find it quite helpful to read all of this supportive and wonderful information. I recently moved from the north to the south. We moved because my husband was offered an executive chef position. The hours are grueling and I am alone quite often. Because our schedules are so different (I work days as a teacher), we never get to see each other, which is heart breaking for me. Trying to fit into a new place is not all that easy, and though I do enjoy the benefits of having a great deal of alone time, I of course would rather be with my husband. I feel such a mixture of anger and sadness, that I can never quite pin point which one I’m feeling at any given moment. Any feedback or sense of support would be most helpful.

      • Hi there Rachel. I’m so glad you found us. Sounds like you’ve got a few things on your plate right now – new job (for both of you), new town and knowing no one. Just the new job part would have a lot of us wanting to hide under the covers.(Especially in the cold, wintery months) Let me ask you… do you like the town you’re in? Is it quaint? Does it have any of the things you enjoy doing? And your new teaching job – have you met anyone that resonates with you? You said you feel anger? What messages of anger come up? And sadness? If I can guess that you’re angry at him that you had to move… leaving your friends and family. If that’s how you’re feeling, that really makes sense. It’s not easy leaving what you know. From where I see it, you made an awesome choice to give your husband the opportunity to soar in his career, a decision that we significant others make because we believe in our restaurant man/woman so much. How can you make this change an opportunity for you to find something to soar in as well?

      • Hiya Rachel… I’m so glad you find the website helpful! *Apologies for delay in response! That was my primary reason for wanting to create it! Where in the South are you? I can absolutely relate that having TONS of alone time in a new town can be very overwhelming.. almost like you don’t know where to start! What are the odds that your husbands hours are going to remain as intense as they are now? What are the possibilities of them being reduced as he gets acclimated to his new position? My own take is to take the time you need to get comfy with your surroundings… creating a “home base” feel of sorts… Then when you are feeling secure there.. you can venture out. Unfortunately this type of relationship is mostly about being independent… which is a GREAT opportunity for you to strive towards your own dreams and goals… Hope that helps!

      • Ha Ha! I see I already responded… Silly me! I didn’t see my original response! I hope things are starting to settle in and you’re feeling more comfortable in your new life! SO exciting!! A Fresh start!

    5. Stephanie says:

      So very excited to have found this site! My husband and I started dating young, at 15, and he started his culinary apprenticeship while we were still in high school. Twelve years later, we have been married for 2 1/2 years and I still have days when I struggle with being married to a chef. You think I would be used to it by now! I’m very excited to explore this site!

      • Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much for writing! Wow… you got together at 15 huh? Very cool! That is amazing!! I think it’s completely common that we’re going to have moments when we have trouble accepting the ins and outs of this industry. Just when life becomes comfortable.. something changes! So how do we deal with these changes.. when they happen is one of my goals. Look forward to interacting with you in the groups… or on Facebook! Make Sure you join our active FB group!

    6. Susan Mall says:

      How great to find you! I am a chef married to a chef and I think that is the key to our relationship working. I know EXACTLY what he is going through as well as getting to still be in the business without the exhausting 14 hour days! (I don’t work that many hours but HE does!)

      Years ago I learned that I needed to have my own interests, passions, hobbies and circles of friends. Girlfriends. Four years ago I started working with him at the restaurant as the catering director. It has been challenging to learn how to work with each other. He thinks of us as partners and I sometimes think of him as my BOSS and I am the employee. It makes for interesting days!

      Thanks for giving us Restaurant Widows a forum to support each other.

      • Hi there Susan! Welcome! I’d love to hear your take on what it’s like being a chef, being married to a chef. *No pressure* If you’re ever interested in guest posting.. the door is always open! Sounds like an AWESOME perspective you have!

        YES!!! *getting choked up* that is EXACTLY what am attempting to instill in everyone who visits. The underlying MISSION of Married to a Chef is to remind them of what they VALUE in their relationships!! Having your own interests, passions and circle of friends is NUMERO UNO in a thriving restaurant relationship! It’s SOOOO easy to focus on what I call, “The Grievances” if you don’t know what you bring to the table. Sounds like you already have this in process… Yay for you!

        Please make yourself at home here.. and definitely join our active FB Group (look us up!)

    7. Alexis says:

      I bursted out into tears when I read about not having a normal life. I use that phrase all the time. I’m getting married to my exec chef fiance in less then 2 months. I still struggle everyday..why am i marrying him?? I want a normal life (like I had when I was growing up) something I know he will never be able to give me. I do enjoy my alone time. But I’d much rather be with him. And its true, just when things are going okay and you feel like you’ve gotten through a hurdle, thats when it changes. Then hes working on Sundays and we get less then 10 hours a week together at best. and I’m left thinking…what about when we have babies? am I gonna practically be a single mom?! If things stay like this I will be…then my mind starts to go and I get enraged with thoughts-Well thats not what I signed up for! (as I scream at myself in my head)but then I realize, Hey! wait! it is what I signed up for! what the F*#K! what am I gonna do! am I ever going to be happy in this relationship..will this marriage eventually fail. will our (non existant) kids suffer? and most importantly, will HE ever understand what I’m going through and what its like on this side of the table. Because its always about “his schedule” and what “he has to do”. And I wanna say, YOU CHOSE THIS!! You decided to live this lifestyle! so no, I do NOT feel bad for you!
      I’m having a bad day, obviously..ha! We’re almost 6wks from the wedding, he still has not done several IMPORTANT things on his “list”. And today, Sunday, which is supposed to be “our day” together, he gets called into work because his sous chefs are messing up. I am now furious, and mad at him, even though I know its not directly his fault. But when I look at the whole picture, I feel like it is. He chose to work for a company where he knew he would have long crazy hours. and he left a fairly cushy job in December, where his hours there were a wife’s dream. (left because his insurance kept lapping). Anyway…Thank You for making me feel like I’m alone, which I so often feel like..sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is all you need. 🙂 xo

      PS- registering was hard. Everyone is telling me “Register for corningware!! you need coringware!” am I’m like FOR WHAT!!! So I can make myself lovely meals for myself every night, and have something to store them in!! I dont have a normal life!!! I dont need normal people things! I’m alone 5 nights out of 7 sometimes 6. So who am I cooking these meals for?! I cook for myself. I dont need fu@#K^%G corningware!!!!!
      God that felt good 🙂

      • Hi there Alexis! Oh no… Please don’t cry! Can I tell you something? Are you ready? You’re NOT CRAZY!!! You’re not crazy to think what you’re thinking. You’re not crazy that you feel trapped. You’re not crazy to look into the future and see what you’re seeing. I’ve been in your shoes (well not 6 weeks from marrying him, but still, close enough) It took me leaving (I left because it wasn’t what I wanted.. NOT because I didn’t love him) and being with a 9-5’r for three years before I figured out that this relationship actually works for me. (psst: still doesn’t 100% remove those moments of “WHAT ABOUT ME!!!”/resentment, it’s more about MANAGING those moments than removing them.) You’re not crazy if you have no other perspective to go on. (Even if you do… until you experience the opposite, you really won’t know) I don’t usually do this.. but I am feeling compelled to do something I’ve never done. Tell it to you straight. (from MY OWN perspective) Here it goes….

        – You did not CHOOSE a “normal” path when you connected with your chef fiance. Yes, He might have a schedule (temporarily) that is more conducive to your lifestyle, but being married to someone in the restaurant industry is NOT like a 9-5’r relationship. Period. You’re right. Things change. He’ll change restaurants or positions. EXPECT THAT. Sounds like your parentals were either 9-5’rs, or your dad was and your mom was home. THIS is not that. IF you want that… THAT IS OKAY!!! The problem is we don’t trust ourselves and what we need. We kinda coast on auto-pilot, listening to everyone else but ourselves. That voice that’s screaming at you is telling you something. Maybe it’s time to listen to her. *NO, I’m not saying this relationship cannot work.
        – You really need to take a good hard look about what it’s going to take to “be okay” with the fact that you’re going to be alone alot. You KNOW his schedule (answer: Its long and inconsistent), that’s NOT going to change. YOU are in control of whether you know you can get to a place where you’re okay with this or not. Noone else can tell you how to “do” this but you. Everyone is different. (For example: my sister does not have the same value around independence that I do, and therefore, is in a relationship with someone who is around all the time. THAT IS OKAY! EVERYONE NEEDS DIFFERENT THINGS!) Honey, this is about YOU and what YOU need! Plain and simple. What do YOU need?
        – Everyone that’s telling you about Corningware…is most likely in a 9-5’r relationship. Home in the evenings and weekends. Honey (hope you don’t mind me calling you honey. It’s a term of endearment for me), they do NOT have the perspective that you do. They don’t operate under the same parameters… basically, THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

        As your resident coach and official chatty Cathy – I can go on and on…. If you want help with this… are ready to TAKE ACTION – I’m here. (see coaching page) You’re NOT alone feeling the way you do… question is… How willing are you to look at the uncomfortable, “I don’t want to look at this, please don’t make me” feelings as a testament of the love you have for YOURSELF and your future? *And let me tell ya (cause I really struggled with this myself – JUST because you might be thinking you can’t do this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with not loving your man. NOTHING.” You hear me?

        It’s about YOU and what YOU need.
        Thinking of you.

      • Just so you don’t feel so alone – I wanted to share with you a post I wrote about my story – I hope this helps.

        See blog post titled “Telling you my story, breaking the blog and feeling the fear and doing it anyway – Part ONE.”

    8. Laura says:

      Hiya everyone. I just found this site today and am glad to see that there are spouses like me, who deal with significant others in the food industry.

      I’ve been married to a chef for 4 years now. He’s Japanese to boot, so his sense of work ethic is doubled. He’s so passionate about what he does and I’m very proud of him. But it’s been a very hard road. And still is. The first part of marriage was me getting used to the fact that we would almost never have a usual weekend off together, or a holiday off together. He would not be home for dinner each day.

      I spend my days being very lonely, feeling isolated. On the days when he is home, I can’t fully enjoy our time together because I’m thinking of how many days it will be again before he might have a day off. We bicker a lot. We don’t have sex hardly ever.

      Both of us are 25 now, and I don’t know if I could ever stand having a kid in the future (when we’re not so poor). I’d essentially be a single mother. I’ve never yearned for kids per se, but the possible outlook of this situation makes me sad.

      In short, I crave human contact. I have no friends whom I can see even on a once a month basis. I’ve come to become accustomed to the hard aspects of his career, but I feel like it’s slowly jading us, and sucking the energy and hope out of life.

      • Hey Laura – Thank you for writing and I’m SO glad you found us! Firstly, if you are on FB, please search for the private FB Group titled Married to a Chef, it’s been the most convienient place for most of us to feel safe venting and connecting. I know you will find others in the exact same boat as you are. Secondly, I want to say that how you are feeling is similar to how many of us are as well. It’s challenging to find a way to that sweet spot in our relationships when it isn’t all or nothing. I wish I could tell you I have a magic formula but alas… I do not. I’ve found that it’s about understanding the ins and outs of what to expect… and then make it your own.

        You are both still very young. I am optimistic for you that you can both find a way to create your own rules in this relationship. For most of us with no restaurant experience, we enter these relationships with no idea what to expect and only after we’ve fallen in love and married them, do we realize what a pickle we’ve gotten ourselves into. It is my mission to hopefully help those just starting out to LEARN what they will be expecting and for those already in relationship… to UNLEARN what doesn’t work so to redirect us down a new path of understanding.

        All you have to remember is YOU ARE STRONG. It takes a strong woman (or man) to stay in this type of relationship. The fact that you have been married four years now says ALOT about your strength. Try to remember that, okay?

        Finally, As a coach, my clients are women like you… connected to someone in the restaurant industry and ready to figure out how to make this type of relationship work. If you’re ever interested in working with me, let me know and we can set up a complimentary ‘Taste’. You are NOT alone. I assure you of that.

    9. Amy says:

      I’m so glad I’ve found this site! It’s so wonderful to have fellow wives to relate to.

      My husband isn’t big time yet but were only mid-twenties and he just got promoted to Sous so it’s been a change. He’s so passionate about what he does and even loves to cook once he comes home. I support him fully but this promotion makes me even more sad despite my excitement for him working hard for his dreams. That means no more extra night off with him and he’s now salary, so technically less of a paycheck. I’m such a homebody so going out with the girls all of the time isn’t a way to fill my time. No kids yet, scared of single mom life also. What kinda things do you ladies do other than time with the girls?

      I’m usually a lurker on blogs/forums but I feel like this is one I should really try to get into!! Thanks for listening! 🙂 I saw the previous post and sent in my request for the FB group.

      • Hiya Amy! I’m so glad you found yourself here too! I’m totally curious… is being big time something that’s important to your chef husband? It totally makes sense.. one of the KEY values of a thriving restaurant relationship is ACHIEVEMENT! I wish both of you much luck on your journey!

        I have been exactly where you are… when they get promoted.. it’s almost like they start to dissappear. Your feelings of sadness is SO absolutely normal, all we can do when things change is GRADUALLY learn to shift with them. Take your time.. find where YOU are comfortable. Its not something that anyone can just master overnight.

        With regards to what I do besides hanging out with my girlfriends… I’ll share a few things. I’m a reader, I’m working on getting back to the GYM 3 days a week, I am actively studying my faith (A student of A Course in Miracles) and well… working on building my business. Find out what you like to do.. find a hobby (I wish I would be a more active knitter) or find out what YOUR dreams are.. and go out and do that!

    10. Courtney says:

      I found your website about a year ago when I moved to Denver from Boston to be with my chef boyfriend. I barely ever saw him so moving was the logical next step. He chose to go to California to try a new job but financially I wasn’t in a spot where I could go with him. He is moving back to Boston in January and reading the stories posted by you as well as others has helped me realize that some of the things I was upset about were so much bigger. I am a huge family person so realizing that he wouldn’t be able to be around for holidays was something I wasn’t sure I was ready for. But I also never thought that there were others out there in the same situation (being the “other” half.) Thank you Kerilyn!

      • Hi there Courtney! Welcome! I’m so glad you found us here! I have so many questions. Wow how brave of you! Taking a chance on a new adventure in order to continue your journey with your chef boyfriend! How long after you moved to Denver did he go to California? I can’t gauge if you are still together or not. Either way… I LOVE that you know yourself enough to know what does or doesn’t work for you. That’s the most challenging part, I think, is to really trust what we know is best for ourselves. I’m here if you ever need me!

    11. Courtney says:

      Yes we are still together, in March we will celebrate our 7 year anniversary! I was in Denver about a month. He had been out there for 4 years going to culinary school while I went to school on the East coast. We are at a turning point in our relationship because now we will be living together, whereas for our whole relationship to this point has been long distance with a few visits a year. It’s very exciting and I’m so happy to finally be able to be with him. I originally went to Denver because I figured that even though we had the few phone conversations (that lasted a minute tops!) at least I would be able to see him for an hour or so when he got home and when I got up. It was a really eye opener when I realized that his days off, when I wanted to do something together, he needed to sleep, and I was be spending a majority of the day alone. Learning how to work around that is difficult but worth it to me. Thanks for you support!

    12. Meagan says:

      Hi there,

      I am at a turning point in my career/personal life. My husband is the executive chef at a very busy restaurant, with the hectic schedule that entails. I am currently waiting tables at the same restaurant and just got accepted into nursing school. I already have a bachelor’s and am going back for more punishment! The thing is, I want to have children so badly, and am worried that having a career as a nurse, while taking care of our home and children will be too much to handle. Part of me fantasizes about being a stay at home mom, and finding passions outside of a traditional career (nursing). Any feedback from other wives who have gone through trying to balance their own career, that of their husbands, and a happy home-life? I don’t want my kids growing up with two absentee parents!
      sincere thanks, Meagan

    13. Dahlia says:

      I don’t know why I never thought of searching for a forum like this that catered to spouses of chefs! But I’m so glad that I did today, and equally relieved and emotional about all the comments and replies I’ve read…. I’ve been married for 4 MONTHS. My husband got a chef position in Key West 5 months ago, and I decided to follow him. He’s been a chef for nearly 14/15 years…. It was kismet! Everything was wonderful and amazing in the beginning. I eventually got a job. We were happily supporting each other.

      Then…. he got promoted! He’s currently transitioning from chef to Assistant Manager of the restaurant. And …. the past few months since the promotion have been very sad.

      I have been angry, lonely and depressed. My moods are so bad, I thought I was becoming bipolar. And as much as we would “talk” about how I was feeling (alone and neglected) and what he needed from home (no stress, no drama), nothing really felt as it should be. In the last 2 months, we’ve rarely seen each other. I feel like he’s distancing himself. And our house is “the spot” where all the other chefs come to chill after work, so he rarely spends time with me even when he IS home. He’s either too tired, needs some unwinding (tv) time or just restless in my company.

      I really thought – and somewhat still think – that I’m screwing up this relationship. Because by golly, he is an amazing man! And all I’ve done is burden him with my fears of us growing apart, my constant crying that i’m so alone. In a new place with a new job and everything, I just… felt so hopeless until 2 hours ago when I found your site.

      Thank you. thank you thank you thank you, for helping me realize that there IS hope. And it isn’t the end of the world, well at least, NOT the end of our very strained relationship.

      • Kerilyn Fox says:

        Hey Dahlia,

        Please forgive my delay in responding, my husband and I welcomed our first child into the family two weeks ago and I’ve been in the bubble of learning to navigate new parenthood up to now.

        I’m SO glad you found the website and are finding it helpful. I assure you you are NOT alone, there are SO MANY of us dealing with the VERY SAME FEELINGS, the isolation, loneliness, and a general malaise of feeling lost and unsure which direction to go, that it takes knowing we’re not alone to take that first step.

        Sigh… I wish I could tell you that where you find yourself is generally unique… alas, it is not. When they are moving up the ladder, it is very common for their stress level (and their seeing them in the daylight) to virtually disappear. I assure you you are not alone. It sure can feel like we’re going CRAZY when we have NOONE who understands what we’re going through. TRUST ME, you are not crazy… but what you are most likely doing is COMPARING yourself to the relationships of your family and friends… of 9-5’rs. The sooner we realize that our relationship is NOT like 9-5’rs, that it REQUIRES creating new rules and SACRED TIME… then we will continually feel not good enough when we are thinking our relationship has to look like those who have nights and weekends with their other half.

        I understand the desire to not want to upset him because he works so hard but part of this is about YOU and what does and does NOT work for you. It sounds like living at the hang out place for all the chefs to go to does NOT work for you. It’s okay to tell him that. It doesn’t mean you don’t support him. I know it’s hard…all you want is to be with him in a happy place.. but sometimes we don’t realize that by trying to make him happy is NOT doing anything for your health or sanity.

        That said.. you also have a tell tale sign of a thriving relationship.. you see his VALUE. You see his amazingness. We are typically their NUMBER ONE FAN, even when they don’t see it. It’s hard for them to see it sometimes because they’re feeling this constant pressure to be better, do better and that can be so blinding. Most of our chefs are mostly blinded to how much we do for them… doesn’t make them crazy.. makes them driven and striving to achieve.

        Secret: He picked you because he knows he cannot do this alone. Sometimes they know they need a virtual bitch slap to help them out of their intense space.. and for you to help them back onto the path of a semblance of a “normal” life. I know it doesn’t seem like it.. but it’s true.

        If you are ever interested in chatting one on one.. in a coaching relationship.. My clients are significant others like yourself who want to move from where they are.. (frustrated, feeling alone) to where they want to be, in a place of knowing their worth and value, and then living from that place in their relationship – email me at

        If not, take care and good luck. *Oh and if you want to join the private facebook group, check out The Village page, for a one time fee ($15) you can be invited to join hundreds of others in the SAME boat as us.

    14. Emmy says:

      Stumbled upon this site looking for ways to adapt to the long hours my partner works! Made me smile it’s difficult somedays as i’ve moved from another country, living with two step kids and adapting to him working in the resteraunt field again. He has done cook/chef work since he left school and always somehow ends up back in a job he loves and hates at the same time.

      The late nights are often the lonely time for me previously when I arrived he worked nights at a gas station which I loved as got to see him during the day as did his kids, it swapped due his hours being cut. His kids are leaning on me for all support and emotional bonding but there are some days where they sit and complain we never see dad anymore he’s either working or sleeping. I’m fortunate he is a homebody and woul rather come home than get drunk with co workers . A big plus as i know in his younger days and a few years back he would happily stay out till the wee hours of the morning and come home plastered leaving me stressing over him driving home drunk (yes a crazy worry) or sit up waiting till wee hours to make sure he got back safe. I remind kids there is a life we have to live to keep a home and do nice things as a family on his 2 days off. We have a son with behavior issues so he arranged for his days off together alongside of me suffering a small bout of depression last year so he can spend time with his son and daughter, but it’s difficult hearing dad can you come to my recital, dad can we play a game on x day and seeing their faces crushed when he has to say i’m sorry i’m working that day or i’m to tired to play.

      His family are great n supporting us but they forget sometimes I am a foreigner with no family for support myself while being thrust into being a step parent role and dealing with stuff i’m new to while adapting to his long hours. I’m so lucky he tries his hardest to spend time with us as a family, but there moments where I go is this right for us? Is there another job where kids can see you more? But in the end I know whatever job he goes to he always reverts back to cooking it’s what fits him best and I wouldn’t change that. I never go to bed angry at his hours, we don’t argue if somethings changed n his schedule, if he is working on a bbirthday or a holiday we arrange the party to be on his day off so he doesn’t feel excluded and guilty for missing birthdays or holidays.

      Best advice I have is make time for you!!!!!!! You come first if you suffer everything else falls around and if you need support in something ask, when I had a small bout of depression last year due to mssing my family in another country I spoke to him and said look I love you all but, i’ve been so focused on you and the kids my emotional health is sliding slowly I need help, I need time where we all see you for a few hours outside of sleep and mooching mode, and please we need to arrange a day where the kids are off having fun with their ffamily unit because if keeps happening I don’t think i’ll be able to cope with correcting my emotional well being and supporting two kids who are dependant on me for stability is difficult when i have no support myself. He spoke to his boss arranged for days off tpgether and when able he arranges for a day here where kids stay at grandparents once every other month for a date day or night so that we can reconnect as a couple. It helps ease that sense of I live with someone but we don’t have the ordinary couple relationship.

      Believe me the lovey dovey stuff takes a backslide when he comes home so tired or hurting, that he barely has the energy to shower and climb into bed. I will cuddle upto him if he isn’t aching to bad but for me his sleep is important he understands if I need to cuddle because sometimes it’s the only way I can have some affection without feeling guilty that he may loose sleep if try to do more intimate things. I don’t get angry but you know there are some days when i’m wanting to go oi I want a bit more than cuddling but I have to bite my tongue because that side of the relationship is the one that often that leaves him feeling exceptionally guilty due to his tiredness or schedule. I completely understand and support that it would be a chore if forced to be intimate when your so tired and hurtng that is another reason we arrange a date day/ night without kids so can do couple stuff go to movies, be affectionate without being in parent mode. It’s needed and a huge mood lifter for us both.

      If I need someone to talk ot I pop to a friend she worked in cooking industry and has a family of her own so understands both sides of the coin missing family, work hours and she is married to a partner who has worked in cooking industry too while she stayed at home.

      He has learned from his previous marriage the do’s and don’t of working and conducting stable relationship and my biggest one is if s/he wants to go hang with friends let them I never begrudge him time out because in the end it can’t be just about eachother. I only request if suddenly popping to frends just gve me heads up so I don’t get worried always say have fun love you and see you when get up tomorrow. Yes some times i’m sat going but it’s 2am havn’t seen him all day ugh. Though we do send about 3-4 texts to eachother at work in the end I know me and his kkids are the ones he comes home to every night the job is done out of love to support us as a family because he wants the better things in life for his kids. He loves being at home and wishes nothing more than the thought of being able to have a weeks vacation which starts nov time, when he was between jobs to try make up for loosing time we went fishing, movies, he played games with kids till wee hours of the morning during their vacation.

    15. Laura says:

      Just stumbled across this site while searching for any advice on how chefs manage a personal life. My husband and I have wanted to open up our own place, a bakery/café, for a long time (my dream actually but he was quickly on board). We’ve talked about culinary school for awhile as while I can most certainly do the baking, neither of us knows the first thing about running a restaurant. A couple of years ago he was laid off from his job and we decided it was now or never for him to go to culinary school. This summer he started his externship and they’ve decided to keep him on full time. It’s great news and I’m happy for him but I’m finding his schedule hard to deal with. I work 50-60 hours a week, usually 9 to 7 or 8 pm, M-F. He now works 2/2:20 pm to 10/10:30 pm, usually Friday through Monday. It’s been hard to deal with not having a full day with him and nothing whatsoever getting done around the house, but at least I still got a few evenings with him. Now school is starting back up again and the restaurant wants to bring him on full time. He has school two days a week till late in the evening and then every other day of the week he’ll be working till 10/10:30. I’m starting to have a mild panic over the fact that I will see him only at night for bed and Saturday morning. I suffer from a major depression disorder and while it’s usually under control, I’m finding that my down swings are becoming more frequent and I can’t tolerate being alone all the time. Plus, my anxiety is through the roof because I can’t do everything in the house myself over the weekend and when he’s home by himself, nothing gets done. He won’t ask to take a day off or to switch to a different shift. I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years and I’ve never had a job where you can’t request a night off if you need it and as there’s a number of other cooks, he wouldn’t be leaving them high and dry (he’s working as a cook in a large hotel). I keep telling myself that it will get better after school is finished but it doesn’t stop me from worrying. I keep thinking of all the things we usually do and how we won’t get to do them anymore and I get worried about the holidays. At least when we are able to open our own place, we’ll be working together on it. So now that I’ve babbled on, I guess I just want to know how everyone handles it. I try to avoid talking to him about it as it just makes him feel bad and then says he’ll quit and go back to office jobs where he’s miserable and I don’t want that.

    16. Ema says:

      I have had one of the worst days as a chef wife, today. Didn’t really stop crying once, until now. I’ve never been a fighter, we’re both pretty laid back, but man…are we ever fighting these days. I’m a 9-5er. He’s had maybe 4 days off (and not a Saturday or a Sunday) in the past 4 months. I could not tell you the last time we ever had a full day off together. I’m fortunate enough to have a great boss that understands my husbands hours and is ok with me changing my M-F 9-5 schedule once in awhile. I’ve tried countless times to plan something with my husband during the week, but he’s never followed through. I am really lost with what to do next. I do not want to give up on our marriage.

    17. Krystal Roberts says:

      I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog. There are not to many people who understand the struggles of marriage in the restaurant industry. I am actually an assistant pastry chef at a restaurant and my husband is a jr sous chef at a separate restaurant plus we are both in culinary school. I graduate in 2 weeks and he graduates next semester. It is a miracle when we get days off together and the time we do have off together is spent catching up on homework, sleep and family time with our kids. It is so nice to be able to hear others stories and struggles.


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