Should i get back with my omnivore ex?

pumpkin

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Hi everybody,

I'd be grateful if I could get some advice :)

I was close friends with my ex for a year then together for 2 years. Originally I wanted a Vegan boyfriend and spent a year trying to find one, only to fall in love ever-more with my ex. Like all couples, we had a our problems but loved eachother a lot, and for me one of the hardest was him not being Vegan - I was born Vegan and have 3 Vegan brothers and sisters, 2 married to Vegans and 1 with a Vegan baby, so we really value it!

My ex changed his eating habits a lot. He cut out dairy for health reasons and began eating fake-meat and Vegetarian sausages, soya (TVP), seitan etc. He learnt how to cook basically, and would make these things himself at home when I wasn't there. Mostly he didn't eat meat in front of me.

He by no means identified as a Vegan or Vegetarian, however, and would happily eat meat at his mum's house, at work, and when at restaurants with friends. He basically said that the welfare of animals was not important to him like it is to me, that it's more health and environment that does it for him, but he's not prepared to risk social exclusion or ridicule in order to choose the Vege option at a restaurant (his friends really do make a thing out of it, and normally I'm the one on the receiving end from his friends or dad, though he sticks up for me).

I basically largely accepted his diet, or at least learnt to shut up about it and give him credit for having changed a lot. But recently he bought a house and the idea of me moving into a house where meat /egg products would be in the fridge and getting cooked just felt too much for me. I'm happy for him to do what he wants outside of the home, but just not in our home, otherwise it's not my home, if that makes sense. He couldn't accept this condition, saying he wants to feel free and accepted for who he is.

Due to this and various other reasons also affecting our relationship, about 4 months ago we decided to break up, Veganism seeming like a 'core' value that cemented our decision over all our other differences that arguably could be resolved and some of which already have been.

2 months ago I started dating a Vegan (I know, in hindsight this was way too soon, I just didn't realise it at the time) and found the experience incredible, I love being with a Vegan. But the longer time goes on, the more crazily I miss my ex, more I feel I can't get over him, the more I feel like food is the only thing I have in common with my now boyfriend and feel I've done everything wrong. My ex, too is telling me he can't get over me.

My ex made such changes in his diet in the space of 2 years, was it just impatient and demanding of me to pressure him to become Vegan / Vegan at home? Is there a solution to things like this? Or should I just give it more time and try harder to get over him?

Thank you everybody :)
 

amberfunk

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You need to spend time by yourself first before you get into another relationship. Your ex doesn't have to change his diet for you and you don't have to change for him. You have to decide what you value more. I would suggest you figure out what you want in the long run of life. How you want to raise a family and live your life.
 

Mark Mywordz

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The only rule with relationships is that there are no rules.
It's about the heart not the head. I don't think you should try to change your partner's eating habits.
 
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poivron

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I don't know if you're still reading this forum, but I just saw your post and wanted to express sympathy for your situation, which sounds really tough. I can totally understand why you wouldn't want to have animal products in your fridge; I wouldn't, either, and I wasn't even born vegan. It seems to me that you need to accept that your ex-boyfriend doesn't have the emotional strength to stand up to the carnist society he lives in. (Don't put it this way to him, but that is, in the end, what it is.) And he needs to respect your choice not to be exposed to the products of an extremely cruel industry in your everyday life. In other words, you might make a compromise together so that he will be allowed to be non-vegan when he is with his family friends, but that he will be vegan at home and when he's out just with you.

I'm watching a video entitled "How Vegans Can Create Healthy Relationships and Communicate Effectively" on YouTube. It's by Melanie Joy, a social psychologist and vegan activist. She suggests ways to word things that make non-vegans understand that you're talking about your own needs, rather than judging them for their choices and actions.

There is also another video, which you may be familiar with. It's by Dr. Greger, and it's entitled, "How Not to Die". He also has written a book by the same title. You might want to suggest this to your ex-boyfriend. The findings in there are so amazing that even though I didn't originally go vegan for health reasons, I now think it will be the health argument that turns the world vegan. (Note that if you're a guy who has friends who make fun of vegans, it might be easier to use the health argument to justify your avoidance of animal products than to use the animal rights argument. If I recall correctly, the video explains that one has to avoid animal products completely to get the health benefits. It's not enough just to reduce one's consumption.)
 

Forest Nymph

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I dunno. I've seen couples married or living together where one is vegan and one omni, and usually the vegan (male or female) sets the tone. You buy the food, do the cooking and tell him he can eat meat elsewhere. If he owns the house and you don't have a lease or mortgage together, I'm not sure I would risk it. Honestly, his family and friends sound like complete asshats, and you may feel more of that upon you living in His house.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't ever date an omni, and it's good that your ex basically became a flexitarian, but he's not a roommate, he's your partner. If you're actually going to live together and he won't change his diet, there have to be some ground rules. If he can't keep meat and eggs out of the fridge, can he get a mini-fridge of his own? Can he only eat these things when he's out?

Core values are a huge thing. Affection, familiarity and sex are all awesome in the first five years are so, then you're going to start wanting to kill each other because you're such different people.

I think you REALLY need to think about this first. You could be compromising yourself by running back to him.
 
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Nekodaiden

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Hi everybody,

I'd be grateful if I could get some advice :)

I was close friends with my ex for a year then together for 2 years. Originally I wanted a Vegan boyfriend and spent a year trying to find one, only to fall in love ever-more with my ex. Like all couples, we had a our problems but loved eachother a lot, and for me one of the hardest was him not being Vegan - I was born Vegan and have 3 Vegan brothers and sisters, 2 married to Vegans and 1 with a Vegan baby, so we really value it!

My ex changed his eating habits a lot. He cut out dairy for health reasons and began eating fake-meat and Vegetarian sausages, soya (TVP), seitan etc. He learnt how to cook basically, and would make these things himself at home when I wasn't there. Mostly he didn't eat meat in front of me.

He by no means identified as a Vegan or Vegetarian, however, and would happily eat meat at his mum's house, at work, and when at restaurants with friends. He basically said that the welfare of animals was not important to him like it is to me, that it's more health and environment that does it for him, but he's not prepared to risk social exclusion or ridicule in order to choose the Vege option at a restaurant (his friends really do make a thing out of it, and normally I'm the one on the receiving end from his friends or dad, though he sticks up for me).

I basically largely accepted his diet, or at least learnt to shut up about it and give him credit for having changed a lot. But recently he bought a house and the idea of me moving into a house where meat /egg products would be in the fridge and getting cooked just felt too much for me. I'm happy for him to do what he wants outside of the home, but just not in our home, otherwise it's not my home, if that makes sense. He couldn't accept this condition, saying he wants to feel free and accepted for who he is.

Due to this and various other reasons also affecting our relationship, about 4 months ago we decided to break up, Veganism seeming like a 'core' value that cemented our decision over all our other differences that arguably could be resolved and some of which already have been.

2 months ago I started dating a Vegan (I know, in hindsight this was way too soon, I just didn't realise it at the time) and found the experience incredible, I love being with a Vegan. But the longer time goes on, the more crazily I miss my ex, more I feel I can't get over him, the more I feel like food is the only thing I have in common with my now boyfriend and feel I've done everything wrong. My ex, too is telling me he can't get over me.

My ex made such changes in his diet in the space of 2 years, was it just impatient and demanding of me to pressure him to become Vegan / Vegan at home? Is there a solution to things like this? Or should I just give it more time and try harder to get over him?

Thank you everybody :)


To the bolded first sentence of your closing paragraph - In a word, yes. I don't think people can be pressured into a choice like this without inwardly resenting it. He tried to bend for you but now he is defining his support of a cruel and unhealthy habit as "who he is". He's unwilling and unprepared to stand out for fear of ridicule and has said plainly he does not care for the welfare of the animals (and presumably not only this, but his own health and that of the environment and sustainability as well, as you would have likely have informed him).

From your description and his reaction it sounds as if ethical veganism was the main driver of the push. This would have never worked with me. Not because I have no heart, but if a person really believes animal products are needed for human health then they will see it as a survival issue and necessarily the ethical argument will become secondary and less important. I personally had to be convinced I was not a natural omnivore and that this adaption is unnatural and leads to our most deadly diseases. Then, and only then did the ethical and environmental arguments start to weigh in with force.

Be prepared for more battles. He knows this is a big wedge in your relationship and if he's unwilling to change (for his own reasons and convictions NOT compromise just to be with you), then he'll be working to break down your resistances. Slowly, over time.

In this, there will always be the ever present danger that your need for him will win out and eventually your ethics and health consciousness take a back seat to it. I happen to know a former vegetarian who's ogre of a husband worked on her until the point where she was actually proud of now being part of the "norm" and eating meat. Social acceptance and status, her big weakness. Now she has multiple diseases but she tells herself lies about the cause of them...and although she hasn't stated directly, various statements have revealed it's to keep the peace with her husband, who she secretly resents but can't even admit it to herself.
 
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pumpkin

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Thank you very much for your response Nekodaiden. I agree with everything you said. This post was from around a year ago now, but I think your comments will be useful for anyone else in this situation, and I was interested to hear about your reasons for change, considering I was born Vegan.

I never did get back with my omnivore ex. There was a period where I considered it and we discussed it, but being confronted with his arguments and complete rejection of who I am and my beliefs and what's important to me and realising J could never be truly myself with him just hammered it into me that I would never be happy with him, and we conclusively separated. It was utterly, definitely the right decision. I think I wouldn't go out with an omnivore again having gone through this.

Thankfully I have spent the last 9 months in a blissful relationship, very much in love with a Vegan man who I respect more, find more attractive and feel more respected by than any other man I have ever dated. So, to cut a long story short, I believe when we are strong enough to stay true to ourselves and our convictions, we increase the chances of finding happiness with someone who shares those convictions, someone who will be our ally in this struggle, and stand with us on the front line in the difficult times. I've got my ally now :)