- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
I haven’t posted on weddingbee in a while, but I’m feeling distraught and not great in my marriage right now, and I know people here are quick to give feedback and advice.
A little background… My husband and I have been together now for 3 years, living together for 2, and married for 4 months. We’ve always been very loving and happy together, though marriage so far has be a little tougher than expected. We moved to a new city for new (much more lucrative for me) jobs 2 days after our wedding, and the transition has been difficult. The new town is much smaller, and I miss my old city and friends, plus my job has been very difficult to say the least. My husband hated his job and quit, so I am the sole breadwinner. That’s mostly OK because I make a very good living, and he has been incredibly helpful by doing everything at home, but all of this has been hard on me and has left me feeling kind of empty inside… I feel like we maybe made a mistake and it’s putting stress on what should be the warm happiness of newlywed life… (turns out money doesn’t buy happiness)
My husband has a dog, it is his baby and he’s had him since he was a puppy. A big bloodhound that is 8 years old. He can be sweet, but he has been hard for me to deal with at times because he is enormous (125 lbs), really smelly, unbelievably drooly (you seriously could not imagine the drool), and sheds a ton. Plus he doesn’t listen. I grew up with dogs, but they were medium-sized, not stinky like this, did not drool, and listened. I am a neat freak, and I am CONSTANTLY cleaning up after this dog (my husband really tries to do this so I don’t have to when I get home from a tough day at work, but the mess is impossible to keep up with).
When we moved in together, we weren’t sure if his dog (6 at the time) and my cat (then 13, I had had him 8 years at the time) would get along. Because the dog is his baby and best friend, I said if they didn’t get along we could find a new home for the cat (who is MY baby and best friend…) Well, the pets got along fine, but about a week after we moved in together the dog bit me. He had stolen a sock, I went to grab it from him, and he attacked my arm. Left a huge bruise, and eventually a scar. I was really shook up by this, and my husband came home from work that day in tears because of it. We discussed options, he offered to get rid of the dog, but I couldn’t bear to think about how sad he would be to lose this dog, and it had been a 1-time thing at that point. We found a well-regarded (and very expensive…) dog training facility and sent the dog there for a month, going on the weekends to work on training with him. At the end of the month they offered to give us a partial refund because our dog is not trainable…
The dog came back home, and things were mostly OKish. He listened better and would be generally sweet to me. The mess was still a huge issue (but we hired a cleaner), and I was still a little uncomfortable around him because of what had happened before, and occasionally he would steal things, get aggressive, and growl. I learned to let him just keep the things he stole because I didn’t want to get bit again… He had also become aggressive towards other dogs, getting in fights at the dog park (so we had to stop taking him there), and we decided he couldn’t be trusted around children or strangers (so we would cross the street when walking him if there were people, kids, or other dogs on our side of the street). It’s been like this for the last 2 years. Yes, we’ve taken him to the vet many times, and there are no physical health problems causing his grumpy aggressive behavior.
Well, since moving 4 months ago, I’ve been kind of down (as I mentioned above). The mess from the dog just seems to be compounding it. One particularly bad day I was bitching about the dog mess, and my husband, exasperated, said he’d get rid of the dog if that was the only thing that would make me happy. I said I couldn’t make him do that because he’d never forgive me (he denied that, but I know it’s true), but if he bites me again he goes, and if he even looks at our future children funny he goes.
Last night the dog was sleeping on the floor near the couch (maybe 5 feet from it). I walked to the couch to sit down, and the dog jumped up from sleep unprovoked and started growly and snapping at the slippers on my feet. This terrified me because it was completely unprovoked, unlike the other time he bit me, or the other times he’s growled and snapped. My husband scolded the dog, but I don’t feel like he completely grasped my terror. I felt like he cared more about his dog than his wife’s safety. I was in tears and said when we eventually decide to have kids the dog has to go, period. He said fine, but seemed like he was angry at ME. As if this dog’s behavior is MY fault. I felt like he should’ve been angry at the DOG for nearly attacking his WIFE.
I have tolerated living with this messy, stinky, enormous, poorly-behaved dog for 2 years because I love my husband, despite at times feeling unsafe in my own home around the dog, and despite absolutely not trusting him with other dogs or kids. I want to put my foot down and say the dog has to go, but I can’t bear to do that to my husband. I feel like he should be the one saying that the dog needs to go, because he cares about my safety and my happiness and our future kids’ safety (not to mention other kids’ safety, etc). I understand he loves this dog, but he should love me more, and I am completely angry and heartbroken that right now I don’t feel like he does (he says of course he loves me more…). I care about the dog also, and there are moments he can be so sweet (though still pretty gross), but I don’t think he’s safe, and we have poured lots of time and money into trying to make him better behaved and ensuring that there isn’t an underlying health problem causing his behavior, without success.
I just don’t know what to do. I feel so hurt and angry with my husband right now. Am I being unreasonable?