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post #106 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:43 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

I haven't read any of the replies to you, so I may have one of the less popular opiniont, but dogs are a HUGE part of my life, and my passion, so I feel the need to reply.

I rescued 2 dogs long before I met the man who would become my husband. He knew I had them, and is allergic to them. He lived, at the time, with his Mom, who also had 2 dogs (who shed a lot; mine have the kind of fur that is lost in small clumps). Both being rescues, came with their share of issues, especially the male. He's high-energy, is VERY protective of me, takes a long time to trust new people, and has a general dislike of men. He's a piece of work, but I love him dearly! H came over on our 4th date, and I had told him about the dogs ahead of time, just so he was forwarned to not move too quickly around the male dog. Within 5 minutes, he had that little furball wrapped around his finger, which is one of the reasons I fell for him in the first place.

I volunteer for a rescue society (in a background capacity; I don't foster dogs), and I started up a pet care business recently.

All this being said, my dogs were there long before H. They both came from awful backgrounds, and I made a commitment to them that I would love them and take care of them, and that they had found their "furever home". If H EVER said to me that he no longer wanted to be around the dogs, I would send him packing. They were there before him, and he knew about them on our first date, and was OK with them. We came as a package deal, just like you and your dog.

I don't plan on having kids with H, but know that if we were to, we would have to really watch our male dog around a new little one, but you can teach kids and animals to co-exist together with work and consistency. I think it's important for kids to have a pet for a variety of reasons. They can teach a child a lot, and sure animals sometimes aren't the cleanest, but neither are kids!

So, if I were you, I would be sitting down with your SO and having a good long talk about her changing her mind about your dog. She knew you guys came as a package deal, and maybe she was just trying to impress you, or appear easy-going at the beginning, but now that you're married, she doesn't have the right to just shun another life like that. Animals can't speak our language, but they CAN communicate; we just have to pay attention. Has your dog changed his personality? Become a little more clingy to you? I would think that he would be wondering what the heck is going on, and would be able to feel the different vibe.


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Originally Posted by qwerster View Post
My problem is a bit different from a lot of the other dog-related posts I have read here. I have a loving wife and a well-behaved dog, but she just doesn't like dogs. I have had the dog for 6 years now and had him when we started dating a couple years ago. We got married a year ago, but before that she seemed to like the dog. She never claimed to be a dog lover but never said she disliked them either, so I never anticipated any big issues. After getting married and living together in a house for a few months, she tells me that she now realizes she does not like living with a dog. She explains that she did not know this before as she would only stay over occasionally and have never previously lived with one.

He used to sleep in a crate in my room upstairs, but she didn't even want him upstairs at all. We compromised and I moved him to the guest room upstairs even though it broke my heart, and barred him from entering our room. I also make sure to keep the floor clean because she does not like his hair all over the place, and keep him off the furniture. He does not have any of the behavioral issues that most people in my situation complain about (no accidents/aggression/biting/chewing/barking/etc), and I take care of him 100%. He just likes to lick and occasionally beg when we eat, but I am in the process of training him to stop. She has also complained about him coming near the dining table when we eat, entering the kitchen, and just being near her in general, even though she has no allergies. The problem is, we live in a very small 700 sq ft townhouse so it is a bit hard to keep them separate, and I have explained to her that I can't keep him outside because it gets too cold here.

To her credit, my wife has been generally nice to the dog and has genuinely tried to make things work. However, anytime we fight or she is in a bad mood, she brings up "the dog", and how she doesn't like living with him. Our fights get bad because I get protective of the dog. She thinks that I should be happy that I get to keep him, and when I protest, she says that if I love the dog so much, she can move out. I feel like I'm always walking on eggshells with anything to do with the dog, and am terrified of him doing something she doesn't like. I thought things would get better over time, but her patience/tolerance seems to be decreasing to the point of fighting about him every week now. My wife loves me and I know she won't make me give up the dog right now, but that might change if/when we have a kid - she has already said she doesn't want the dog near the baby. I really want to make this work, but if things will get worse when we have a family, maybe I need to consider that being together might not be the best idea?

Sorry for the long post - I just wanted to be as detailed as possible.
My question is - has anyone else been in a similar situation too? Does anyone have any advice/tips on how to handle this?

Thanks for reading and giving your advice!


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post #107 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:55 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
But that's not really a solution for someone who loves dogs.
I know - I love dogs, couldn't live without my beautiful dogs. I just think it's the most logical compromise for both of them if they want to stay married. It would suck to be the OP though...no dogs for the rest of his life?? *shudder*
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post #108 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:04 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

by qwerster:

"Hellomynameis: I am actually okay with not having another pet. After my previous dog died, I told myself I would never get another one because it was so painful to lose her. I only got my current dog because I happened upon him at an adoption event and we somehow clicked =)"
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post #109 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:44 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Originally Posted by jld View Post
You had the dog before you had your wife. It is probably like a child to you.

It may sound extreme, but I would advise giving up the wife before giving up the dog. Tell her you are sorry, but you are taking her up on her offer to move out.
^This^ and then go out and get another dog so your dog has a play buddy. Maybe do this before you kick your wife out and it will take care of itself.
If you do decide to keep the wife and you end up having kids ,what's to stop her from having the same reaction to a kid. "Oh, I didn't know it would be like this". Be wary, you are being set up.

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post #110 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Originally Posted by PhillyGuy13 View Post
What a frustrating situation. By all accounts you have a good wife (except for the issue wit the dog) and a great dog.

Sorry if you mentioned it - how old is the dog?

Do you have any family in the area who may be willing to take the dog if it comes to it? Parents? I have a couple of friends whose parents took their dogs in, as they had to travel for work. The parents liked it - it provided an excuse for their kids to visit them more (to see the dogs)

I hope you are able to work out a compromise with your wife. What are your long term plans, as far as a larger home, kids, etc. I caution even if you work out a compromise now, having a baby may dig up this issue again (I don't want the dog near the baby!!!)

ETA- im not a proponent of bringing parents/in laws into marital issues, so I wouldn't get into the specifics with them. Blame allergies, work schedules, etc as to why you are making the request if you go that route.
PhillyGuy13: He is about 6 or 7, so my wife will likely only have to live with him for another 7-8 years at most. We both are new to the area so we don't have anyone we can leave him with unfortunately.

After a really bad weekend, we finally had a somewhat productive talk today. She finally agreed to see a marriage counselor. And she seemed to feel better about things when I told her I won't get another dog and will move to a bigger house when we have kids so there can be some separation between her/kid and the dog, at least until the kid is a bit older. I'm still wary and not very optimistic, but I will take any progress at this point.
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post #111 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Originally Posted by Síocháin View Post
If it comes to that, please pm me. I know a rescue in your area that may can help. They are a 5013c rescue. I work with rescues in my area and have 2 fosters right now. I'll be glad to help.
Siochain: Thanks for letting me know - I will definitely do that!

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Originally Posted by turnera View Post
You've never really answered my questions about what your relationship is like otherwise. Issues? Complaints? Feeling unsettled about anything? Did you read No More Mr Nice Guy?
turnera: Sorry, I thought I talked about our relationship earlier. It is primarily a good one. We have very similar values, we don't have any issues with abuse, and she isn't controlling in any way (other than the dog issue). I think we have a lot of the common fights that couples have...we usually get over over those but things get bad because there really is no solution to the dog issue other than giving up on the marriage, the dog, or her just sucking it up and tolerating the dog and me tolerating her moods. I didn't get the chance to read that book, but will try to when I get the time. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Originally Posted by Yeswecan View Post
Are you considering having a child with your W? She may not like a baby either.

In my world our dog is a family member. That simple. It appears your dog is family as well. Your W apparently sees a germ ridden flea bag. Truth be told, grandma has more germs.

It appears you have been hoodwinked. Your W should not have baited and switched.

IMO your W will need to suck it up because removal of the dog will do nothing but create resentment that will last the entire marriage. Furthermore, your W did not make any gripes about the dog prior to marriage. That does not sit well.
Yeswecan: Yes we do intend on getting a kid. She definitely wants one so I have no worried there. Her main concern is the dog hurting the kid, but he has never hurt anything ever and I plan on keeping him away from the kid until he is a bit older anyway. She does know she screwed up by not knowing this earlier, and knows that I will resent her if I give him up, so she hasn't made me give him up so far. She has said she will try to tolerate him, and I can only hope that her attitude towards him gets better over time. It might not, but we need to at least try =(
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post #112 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:20 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Her main concern is the dog hurting the kid
I totally get that. Im a HUGE dog lover but i get highly upset when i see vids or photos of dogs that are in really close proximity to babies/small children. As much as we think we know our furry life companions, We can't predict animals' behavior.

You must be very conscious about this concern and do everything you can to assuage your wife's worry. I totally get it.
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post #113 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 07:58 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

You may want to try hiring a dog trainer that you both work with so that she gets a little more in tune with the dog and so the dog responds more to her. It can be quite bonding. Usually we don't like what we don't know or aren't comfortable with, so if she becomes more comfortable with the dog and the dog responds to her, things will probably improve.
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post #114 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:17 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Originally Posted by turnera View Post
You may want to try hiring a dog trainer that you both work with so that she gets a little more in tune with the dog and so the dog responds more to her. It can be quite bonding. Usually we don't like what we don't know or aren't comfortable with, so if she becomes more comfortable with the dog and the dog responds to her, things will probably improve.
My sister commented once, years ago, that if children and pets are not well-behaved, other people will not want to be around them.

Just something to think about, OP.

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 #115 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:25 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

I agree with this; we can never predict an animal's behaviour! When I was born, my family had a rescue dog who loved my older sibling, but hated me. I was a baby, and took away attention from him. When Mom fed me at night, he'd growl and spit at me, so she kept us separated for a long time. But, by the time I was toddling around, the dog was toddling after me, ready to give kisses or share some food. By 2 years of age, I totally bonded with him over our raspberry bushes, as I'd go pick them to eat, and also pick some for him. :-) But those initial months, my folks were wise to keep us separated.

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Originally Posted by lucy999 View Post
I totally get that. Im a HUGE dog lover but i get highly upset when i see vids or photos of dogs that are in really close proximity to babies/small children. As much as we think we know our furry life companions, We can't predict animals' behavior.

You must be very conscious about this concern and do everything you can to assuage your wife's worry. I totally get it.


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post #116 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:48 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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PhillyGuy13: He is about 6 or 7, so my wife will likely only have to live with him for another 7-8 years at most. We both are new to the area so we don't have anyone we can leave him with unfortunately.

After a really bad weekend, we finally had a somewhat productive talk today. She finally agreed to see a marriage counselor. And she seemed to feel better about things when I told her I won't get another dog and will move to a bigger house when we have kids so there can be some separation between her/kid and the dog, at least until the kid is a bit older. I'm still wary and not very optimistic, but I will take any progress at this point.
Pets are wonderful. They are Kings in the deck of life. Spouses are Aces. They trump every other card. If, in the future, if you do not bring in any more pets and she is comfortable with that, then all is good.
It is my belief that humans who have no love for animals are humans who have a limited capacity for love of anything. Animals are our co-existing living family. I exempt spiders! Hate them. Animal lovers are more trustworthy, in general.
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post #117 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 10:44 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Yeswecan: Yes we do intend on getting a kid. She definitely wants one so I have no worried there. Her main concern is the dog hurting the kid, but he has never hurt anything ever and I plan on keeping him away from the kid until he is a bit older anyway. She does know she screwed up by not knowing this earlier, and knows that I will resent her if I give him up, so she hasn't made me give him up so far. She has said she will try to tolerate him, and I can only hope that her attitude towards him gets better over time. It might not, but we need to at least try =(
I can guarantee you the family dog will guard that child. Understand dogs see us two leggers as one of the pack. The kids becomes the pack. As far as germs, really, grandma will have more germs than the dog. Protection of the home and family, you betcha the dog will be the alert one when being alert is needed. ADT and other security systems are great. A security system that has teeth and barks is one of the best IMO.

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post #118 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 11:24 AM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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Yeswecan: Yes we do intend on getting a kid. She definitely wants one so I have no worried there. Her main concern is the dog hurting the kid, but he has never hurt anything ever and I plan on keeping him away from the kid until he is a bit older anyway. She does know she screwed up by not knowing this earlier, and knows that I will resent her if I give him up, so she hasn't made me give him up so far. She has said she will try to tolerate him, and I can only hope that her attitude towards him gets better over time. It might not, but we need to at least try =(
You two cant even co-parent a dog, and you want to add a child to this mix? Doesn't seem wise. And do you have to adopt? You said you intend to "get" a kid, so, curious....

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

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post #119 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:47 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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You two cant even co-parent a dog, and you want to add a child to this mix? Doesn't seem wise. And do you have to adopt? You said you intend to "get" a kid, so, curious....
^^^excellent point.

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post #120 of 143 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:55 PM
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Re: Wife realizes now that she does not like living with my dog

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I can guarantee you the family dog will guard that child. Understand dogs see us two leggers as one of the pack. The kids becomes the pack. As far as germs, really, grandma will have more germs than the dog. Protection of the home and family, you betcha the dog will be the alert one when being alert is needed. ADT and other security systems are great. A security system that has teeth and barks is one of the best IMO.
I can guarantee you that dogs are unpredictable. There are numerous examples of the "protective family dog" turning on a family member, quite often a small child.

So please, don't go around saying anything to the contrary because it's reckless, unsubstantiated and just plain wrong.

Here's some required reading for you @Yeswecan

Why dogs bite children

Help the dog bit my baby

My dog bit my son's face

My dog just bit my toddler

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