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post #76 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 08:36 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Fixed that for ya.
Not sure what that "fixed"?

Telling her to "get over it" is unlikely to be effective, Blondi. It is likely to make her feel disrespected and that her feelings are not being considered, or even worth considering.

Qwerster, I think there is a fundamental mismatch here. You love your dog, and probably pets in general, and that is unlikely to change. You need to be with someone who feels the same, naturally.

Your wife should not feel ashamed of her lack of affinity toward pets any more than you should feel ashamed of your affinity towards them. You are both "right" in your orientation towards them. You just each need to be with someone who shares your particular orientation.

I do not love animals. I certainly do not hate them, either. And I am respectful to them when I go places where they are.

But I think it is a beautiful thing that many people do love them and want to care for them. I am happy for the joy animals bring to their lives, even if I do not share that joy.

We do not all have to be the same. We each bring something different to the world.

But in the case of marriage, the more alike the two people are in their values and preferences, the easier the marital journey is likely to be.


One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #77 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:05 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

I'm curious as to why anyone thinks telling her to get over it/suck it up/grow up is going to work for OP.

Pretty rude and disrespectful. In fact, I find it nasty.

Maybe we should all talk to our spouses like that whenever something bothers them.

Far more productive to discuss and see if you can compromise while respecting each others' boundaries.
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post #78 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:18 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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I'm curious as to why anyone thinks telling her to get over it/suck it up/grow up is going to work for OP.

Pretty rude and disrespectful. In fact, I find it nasty.

Maybe we should all talk to our spouses like that whenever something bothers them.

Far more productive to discuss and see if you can compromise while respecting each others' boundaries.
The dog has hair. The dog has always had hair and the dog always will have hair. To continually complain about it is fruitless and annoying. Clean it up and get on with your life.

You find it rude and disrespectful and nasty? That's a hoot. Telling someone to get over it after bending over backwards to meet their demands is nicer than telling them they know where the door is.
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post #79 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 11:44 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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The dog has hair. The dog has always had hair and the dog always will have hair. To continually complain about it is fruitless and annoying. Clean it up and get on with your life.

You find it rude and disrespectful and nasty? That's a hoot. Telling someone to get over it after bending over backwards to meet their demands is nicer than telling them they know where the door is.
Well I think it's a hoot that you find it productive to talk to a spouse that way.

In fact I find it downright nasty.

We'll have to agree to disagree. You can talk to your hb like that if you want, and you can tolerate it from him if you want.

Now that I think about it I think I find it cowardly if it is indeed a proxy for "there's the door". Have the stones to tell your spouse that you've done all you're willing to do and if it's unacceptable to them you understand if they want out..
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post #80 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 12:17 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

I have a sister-in-law that is very much like your wife. Yeah, he had a small house and moved to a very large luxurious one to have more space for the dogs. It didn't work! She made my brother gave up the two labradors that my brother's son (my nephew from my brother's previous marriage) grew up with. My brother took the dogs to the animal shelter to have peace in the household. My nephew (who lived with his Dad) was heartbroken. Like you, we are of Asian heritage. They married in their 30's as well.

Fast forward, my sister-in-law got rid of the dogs, got rid of the son, and got rid of immediate family members. She was even jealous of the close relationship between my late father & my older brother and was mean to my Dad when my older brother wasn't around. She would insult my father out of earshot from my brother; very disrespectful of an Asian woman not to respect my father as he was a kind and gentle individual. My late father told me about my sister-in-law in confidence and told me not to expose her behavior as it would affect his relationship with my older brother.

I have a respectful relationship (with once a close one) to my older brother. I travelled to visit my birth country in Asia from the U.S. with them once (on my brother's invitation). She picked a fight with me at the airport and made my brother choose between her & me. She won on that one too. She was simply nasty on that trip. I just ignored her on behalf of my brother. I'm glad that I was on my way home. My brother still reaches out to me from time to time, but my sister-in-law continues to manipulate and isolate him.

I am not a dog owner, but we had a dog while growing up. He died of old age at 22. I would strongly look at your wife as I believe that she has pulled a "bait and switch". I wouldn't give up my dog if I were you. The character of your wife is reflected on her attitude towards your dog. It is your life, so you must decide on what is best for you.

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post #81 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:29 PM
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Wow. Projecting, much? Just because OP's wife has learned that she dislikes living with a dog does not in any way mean she has the character of the woman you describe. Geez!
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post #82 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:53 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

Geez...a choice between a BSC woman and a loving dog. That's a poser.
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post #83 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 10:45 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

We need more info on what your marriage is like.
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post #84 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:02 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

Qwerster,
You need to carefully and accurately assess what is really happening here. In this type situation there are the mechanics and the emotions. The mechanics have to do with dog hair etc. But the emotions - are more likely about jealousy.

The problem is simpler if it's primarily about the mechanics. If however, your wife is generally a jealous, insecure person you will discover over time that she finds reasons to dislike ANYONE (human or animal) who you are attached to.

I do believe that her reaction to the dog begging/crowding her at the dinner table is very normal. If you weren't initially supportive when she asked you to keep the dog in another room while you eat, she is wondering if the dog is more important than she is.

While her behavior is not overall defensible, it is also true that I think you've been very resistant to making reasonable accommodations.

There are a small number of major marriage killers: physical violence, financial infidelity, sexual infidelity or drug/alcohol abuse.

Most marriages die a slow - death of a thousand cuts. So if it was me, I'd make the needed compromises and then in a non threatening manner deliver this message: You are the most important person in my life. Hopefully I'm yours. Part of truly loving someone, is making space in your heart for their other connections: family, close friends, pets, etc.

I've done what I can regarding the dog. If you keep complaining about him, I'm going to start to wonder if there is room in your heart for more than just me. And that would be bad for us.



Quote:
Originally Posted by qwerster View Post
jld: Yeah it is a horrible situation for all three of us (me, wife and dog). And you are right about it getting worse later on. I have some serious decisions I need to make.



zookeeper: You are absolutely right - we married too soon. We are both in our 30s and mistakenly thought we knew each other (and ourselves) well enough. It would have served us well to have tried living together for awhile before we tied the knot.



MJJEAN: Thanks for considering culture as a factor. We are both Asians living in the US, and come from pretty traditional families. We do ask our parents for advice pretty often and for the most part, we listen to them. We just haven't done that with the dog issue because it is such a touchy subject for my wife. Our culture was also the main reason we got married so soon and didn't live together first.
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post #85 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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We need more info on what your marriage is like.
turnera: The marriage is actually very good...which is what frustrates my wife and I. She admits that she is unreasonable with this dog issue and made a mistake by not realizing sooner, but she is very caring and considerate in most other matters. If the marriage wasn't so good, I would have picked the dog and dumped the wife months ago. I have spoken to some of my long-time friends about this issue and they feel the same way as most of you do about the dog. They think what she is doing is unfair and I should not let the dog go. However, they also warn me that I will have a tough time finding someone else who complements me as well as my wife if I give up this marriage. I could very well get a divorce, have my dog for another 8-10 years, and meet someone better. Or I might end up with someone who likes my dog but doesn't treat me as well. Or, I could give up my dog, be sad/upset about it for the next 10 years, but have a loving wife for the rest of my life. I guess I'm trying to be careful to not just assume that the grass is greener on the other side. No matter what I choose to do, there is a huge chance that things could end up worse for me.

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post #86 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:02 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

Are you in the US?

Also, do you have a crate? A crate will eliminate the begging at the dinner table (never give a dog people food). I think someone suggested feeding him at the same time you eat. That would work if he were in a crate. Doesn't matter when a dog eats, they always want more & they want what you have. If he is socialized well, gets along with other dogs, cats, people, and kids, a rescue may be a better option.

Please know that whatever you feel if you give him up, your dog will feel the same. You have him in your life, but you & your wife ARE his life.
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post #87 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Qwerster,
You need to carefully and accurately assess what is really happening here. In this type situation there are the mechanics and the emotions. The mechanics have to do with dog hair etc. But the emotions - are more likely about jealousy.

The problem is simpler if it's primarily about the mechanics. If however, your wife is generally a jealous, insecure person you will discover over time that she finds reasons to dislike ANYONE (human or animal) who you are attached to.

I do believe that her reaction to the dog begging/crowding her at the dinner table is very normal. If you weren't initially supportive when she asked you to keep the dog in another room while you eat, she is wondering if the dog is more important than she is.

While her behavior is not overall defensible, it is also true that I think you've been very resistant to making reasonable accommodations.

There are a small number of major marriage killers: physical violence, financial infidelity, sexual infidelity or drug/alcohol abuse.

Most marriages die a slow - death of a thousand cuts. So if it was me, I'd make the needed compromises and then in a non threatening manner deliver this message: You are the most important person in my life. Hopefully I'm yours. Part of truly loving someone, is making space in your heart for their other connections: family, close friends, pets, etc.

I've done what I can regarding the dog. If you keep complaining about him, I'm going to start to wonder if there is room in your heart for more than just me. And that would be bad for us.
MEM2020: This is a great response - thank you. I realized that jealousy definitely plays a role and have tried to make her feel like she is my greatest priority. Part of me doing that is making accommodations to keep the situation more amenable like moving the dog crate, not letting him into the room, cleaning the house every day, getting a fancy pet air cleaner to reduce dander, brushing him regularly, etc. I recently started keeping him away from the dining area and kitchen, and away from her in general. However, I have a feeling that all these things I do might just reinforce her jealousy/frustrations because she sees it not as me bending backwards for her, but as me bending backwards for my dog. Maybe I am doing it for the dog, but more importantly I'm doing it for my relationship which I cherish more than anything else. I just hope that one day she realizes this herself or is willing to see a counselor who tells her this.

We both have talked about how we don't have any of those major marriage killers you mentioned. All our married friends have a lot more serious problems than we do, yet we are the ones who are falling apart...because of a pet. I am planning to make all reasonable compromises for her, but when I run out of things I can do, I think I will have to deliver the message you mentioned.
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post #88 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Are you in the US?

Also, do you have a crate? A crate will eliminate the begging at the dinner table (never give a dog people food). I think someone suggested feeding him at the same time you eat. That would work if he were in a crate. Doesn't matter when a dog eats, they always want more & they want what you have. If he is socialized well, gets along with other dogs, cats, people, and kids, a rescue may be a better option.

Please know that whatever you feel if you give him up, your dog will feel the same. You have him in your life, but you & your wife ARE his life.

Siochain: Yup, I am - Northern Virginia. I do have a crate which he loves. I have never given him human food, and I don't think he even begs for food. He just likes the smell and comes sniffing whenever we eat, or maybe just wants attention or be close to us. Even when I leave food within his reach, he never tries to eat it. He isn't very food motivated, which made it really hard for me to train him when he was younger. I do feed him when we eat, and give him chew treats when he is done, but he eats fast (or we eat slow). He listens when I tell him to go though, so hopefully in time this stresses out the wife less.
Yeah it breaks my heart to think of how he must feel if I give him up. His original owners abandoned him and he was found by a rescue group. He is not the most attractive dog, was very shy, and nobody wanted to adopt him for a long time...which is what compelled me to bring him home. He is a good boy and if I ever do have to give him up, I will only consider doing it if I can find him a good home.
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post #89 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:30 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

You may want to check your adoption paperwork. Most rescues ask that you return the dog to them if something happens & you can no longer keep him. How big is he & what breed?
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post #90 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:57 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

For now - the message ought to be:

I'm doing this for you, because it's important to me that you feel relaxed and happy in our home.
------------
It is possible you will get this in return: If you really loved me, you would choose me over the dog.

One response to that is: I get that. And I also realize that the dog and I developed some bad habits - including bad dinner table habits - when it was just the two of us. I understand why his presence in the kitchen and bedroom was stressful for you. Thank you for being patient with me while we worked out a compromise.
------------
As for her using the dog in unrelated conversations, the best move is to see that for what it is. A weak persons power play. Expect it, and don't react to it. Stay on topic and stay calm. I'd make a large bet that if she runs that play 3 times in a row without any reaction from you at all, she will stop doing it without you having to call 'foul'.

That play, (dragging the dog into unrelated disagreements) only has as much power as you give it. The more agitated you get, in any discussion where the dog comes up, the more the subtext reads that: you love the dog almost as much or as much as your wife. The more relaxed you stay - the less worried your wife will feel about her standing in the house.

The core theme here is easy to describe, harder to execute: You are without doubt my highest priority, AND also not my only priority.

The more she feels, believes and accepts that theme, the better off you will both be.



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turnera: The marriage is actually very good...which is what frustrates my wife and I. She admits that she is unreasonable with this dog issue and made a mistake by not realizing sooner, but she is very caring and considerate in most other matters. If the marriage wasn't so good, I would have picked the dog and dumped the wife months ago. I have spoken to some of my long-time friends about this issue and they feel the same way as most of you do about the dog. They think what she is doing is unfair and I should not let the dog go. However, they also warn me that I will have a tough time finding someone else who complements me as well as my wife if I give up this marriage. I could very well get a divorce, have my dog for another 8-10 years, and meet someone better. Or I might end up with someone who likes my dog but doesn't treat me as well. Or, I could give up my dog, be sad/upset about it for the next 10 years, but have a loving wife for the rest of my life. I guess I'm trying to be careful to not just assume that the grass is greener on the other side. No matter what I choose to do, there is a huge chance that things could end up worse for me.
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