DH bought us a dog, and now it's ruining our marriage.

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

@mountainrunner333:  this sounds like an anger issue to me…. He’s lashing at something that can NOT defend itself.


and if he is being physically abusive to the dog, you need to put an end to it NOW.

Post # 4
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@mountainrunner333:  Man, this is so hard. But because it sounds like the dog is quite well-behaved, and afterall an innocent animal that isn’t TRYING to push your husband’s buttons, you have a husband problem here, not a dog problem. Aggression towards animals is not okay in my book. It sounds like he’s deeply unhappy and that it’s not really the dog that is making him so angry. The dog is just a bystander here. Would he consider couple’s counseling?

Post # 5
4041 posts
Honey bee

@mountainrunner333:  I think him saying he only does stuff for your happiness is a cop out and is controlling. It sounds like he has an anger management problem that he needs to work on ASAP. This is not your fault or the poor dog’s fault. Your DH is a grown adult and has made the decision to adopt a dog that appears to be well behaved, he needs to learn how to control his anger.

The dog is not ruining your marriage, your DH is. You could get rid of the dog, but something else will trigger your husband. It could become things you do or if you ever have children, they could trigger him. His response to your dog’s slight misbehavior is over the top and sounds like borderline animal abuse, not cool. 

I wish you luck OP, but it sounds like your DH is showing his true colors and he may need to seek help/counseling to deal with his anger.

Post # 6
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@mountainrunner333:  I don’t think the issue the dog – there’s a larger issue with your husband’s aggression that needs to be dealt with.  I’d second couple’s couciling

Post # 7
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@meglor:  +1. I don’t trust people who hurt animals. 

Post # 8
3195 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010


+1 I don’t think the dog is to blame. Also, your husband needs anger management. 

Post # 9
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

@mountainrunner333:  Sounds like typical passive aggressive behavior, I feel for you. People who are 100% with you in the decision making phase and then bail and twist it on you with a ” this is what YOU wanted,  I just went along with it and oh by the way you ruined X, Y and Z for me… even though it is totally unrelated!” are extremely hard to ever negotiate with. I hate to throw the counseling word out there, but it is never easy reaching rational conversations/conclusions with people like this because they don’t see their behavior as wrong.

If his behavior has been picked up by family members, it is was there all along and maybe it just became ” normal” to you. Having a well behaved animal is awesome, and there’s no reason to lash out like he does over an accident or a playful nip. I would sit down when both of you are calm and collected and discuss some concerns you have. Frame it in a way that lets him know that not only have you noticed the behavior, it is worrisome to you and your future together and it won’t be tolerated. I would suggest individual counseling for him as well as maybe couples so that you two can learn how to communicate your needs up front ( i.e. moving for jobs) and not drag it up on the back end in fights.

Post # 10
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

It bothers me that he is physically lashing out at an animal who really hasn’t done anything wrong, and I find it hard to believe that, as an animal lover yourself, you are willing to subject your dog to this kind of environment. Your husband obviously has aggression issues… I worry about the safety of your pet. My first concern would be getting the dog out of harms way, and if that involves rehoming, so be it. After that, I would talk to your husband about therapy, because issues like this only get bigger in time.


Post # 11
976 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

have you told him his behavior is unacceptable and making you question your relationship? I’m assuming he is physically abusing the dog since you don’t want to say what he’s done. You and the puppy need to be in a safe environment away from your husband while you work this out.

Post # 12
6273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

I don’t care if it would make you sad or be embarrassing. You need to rehome the dog for the dog’s sake. You owe it to this animal to give it a chance at happiness, and the two of you taking it home was a tacit agreement to take care of it. If you are letting your husband be abusive, you’re failing to hold up your end of the bargain.If it pisses him off, tough. He shouldn’t have been an asshole to the dog.

Please do not have children with this man until he has sorted his issues out.

Post # 13
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Yikes. This is definitely a husband problem, not a dog problem.

Post # 14
765 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think the big thing I would be most concerned about is… if he acts this way towards a dog for doing what I would consider very minor things, I wouldn’t want to think about what would happen if you are thinking about children with him.

My DH and I went through an issue when we first got our dog which was more about primary responsibility of the dog, which my DH resented a few months after getting her. However, when I confronted him about it (ok exploded at him in a not-so-nice “WTF is your issue?!” way…) he admitted he was stressed stressed stressed between work and wedding planning and a mortgage and he was taking it out on the newest member. I asked him point blank “Are you going to treat kids this way when you’re stressed and pissy?” It made him see that resenting an animal incapable of taking care of him/herself was ridiculous and he’s since gotten over it and we split responsibliity.

So really what I’m trying to convey to you is this: I don’t know if its the dog thats causing your DH to act like this or the stress of something else and he’s taking it out on an animal that won’t argue back. It’s still not a good situation and I would definitely confront him about it. Like I said if he treats a defenseless dog this way, I’d be really worried if you were thinking about ever bringing a defenseless baby into the situation.

Good luck!

Post # 15
10877 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I agree with prior posters that this is an issue with your husband and not your puppy. 

It sounds as if your husband has built up a lot of anger and resentment for his having sacrificed his own plans and dreams for what he thought you wanted. For whatever reason, thus far, he seems to have been able to avoid taking his anger and frustration out on you.  However, unfortunately, the dog appears to be the target of his negativity.

I think you’re very wise to be concerned not only about the improper manner in which your husband is behaving toward your dog, but also that he could potentially behave the same way toward your potential future children.

I am not a professional counselor, but, it seems to me that your husband is feeling as if many aspects of his life are out of his control, and he doesn’t know how to handle that. His outburts likely ease the internal pressure of what he is feeling. However, they are not good.

I agree that some counseling is needed. I would begin with couples’ counseling, but it’s also possible that your DH may need some individual counseling as well.

Post # 16
2687 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@mountainrunner333:  I’ll never understand how terrible of a person someone has to be to abuse an animal. It sounds like your “D”H needs anger management classes, and get that dog to a home it deserves ASAP. If I were you, I’d be reconsidering my relationship as well. If he’s that way to a dog, can you imagine how he’d be to you, or god forbid your children if you ever have any? Kids are much more frustrating than dogs. 





Fuck it, +1 to everyone on the thread so far. 

@EffieTrinket:  also, +1000


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