As you may or may not know, an interesting pattern emerges when you look at the history of the Patterson family; what usually ends up happening on those occasions when John isn't trying to thwart Elly out of fear for what the neighbors might think or because her ambitions clash with his needs, he genuinely doesn't see the problem that agitates her. Case in point: Elly has spent years trying to cajole, plead and threaten her family in order to make them eat the overly large helpings of food she knows they hate because she knows better than they do. Her life is made worse because she's got a husband who doesn't see the problem. It doesn't make sense to him that she should obsessively gobble down everything in sight because he knows that it isn't the end of the world if Mike's plate isn't clean or if he isn't forced to eat foods he hates. What's more, he says so; the problem is that Elly would rather be miserable doing something counterproductive because to do otherwise would mean that she'd have to do something she hates and admit being in the wrong. Therefore, she makes herself pointlessly and needlessly upset because she's sort of stupid; also, she needs to be broken of the habit of compulsively cleaning plates.