I’m no expert on the Paleo diet – any diet that outlaws lentils makes me hyperventilate – but if it’s limiting enough that a significant amount of you and your children’s staple foods are verboten, then yes, it’s unfair of her. But that doesn’t mean that adjusting and compromising should be off the table.
Ground rules: If there are a few foods that are overly tempting to her, you can agree to not eat those in her presence. And you can agree that on nights she cooks, it’s Paleo-mania. But for the nights that you cook, you should be allowed to have a couple of additional dishes that you and your kids can eat in peace, and non-Paleo snacks they can consume as well. The best solution? Sit down as a family and come up with a dozen new recipes that are agreeable to both Paleo embracers and Paleo skeptics alike.
Friends can think many things are weird – our families, our money habits, the fact that we can eat an entire jar of dilly green beans in one sitting – but that shouldn’t always play a role in our decision-making.
You’ve thought this through and sound very self-sufficient. However, things might happen later in your life to make you crave a reconnection. So, yes, cutting ties at the ripe old age of 20-ish might be a bit stark. Instead, draw boundaries within the relationship you have without obliterating it. Calmly let them know why you’re leaving when they’re being abusive. Continue to build a life that’s true to your own ideals, which may help set an example.