Post # 1
Last weekend SO really hurt my feelings and I haven’t had a chance to discuss it with him yet since we live an hour apart. This was on Sunday night after he had spent the entire day drinking in celebration of St Patrick’s Day. It was late (around 11 pm) and my SO brought up my cat in casual conversation. SO doesn’t like my cat because he is mean and tries to attack my SO and is basically the reason we aren’t living together. He doesn’t want to live “walking on eggshells” around my cat and I refuse to just give him up to anyone. So when my cat came up, I started talking about the living situation again because it bothers me since its an unresolved issue in our relationship. I don’t bring it up on my own usually, but when my cat comes up in conversation its hard for me not to try to resolve the issue.
So he got irritated and said we don’t need to talk about it. I didn’t like being shut down like that so I just got up and took my dog outside and he went into the bedroom. When I got back, I got ready for bed and got in next to him. I was still upset and said can we just smooth things over so I don’t go to bed upset? and then I said I know that it’s an unresolvable issue right now it just bothers me… but then he cut me off the rolled over to the other side of the bed saying “I don’t feel like talking about it all the time!” (in a very annoyed voice.) Then he fell asleep. I was so irrate at his response to me trying to smooth things over before bed that I almost packed up all my thigns and left right then. But I decided I would feel worse if I did that. I also knew that come morning he would probably be acting like his normal self and be sweet and affectionate and that his lack of patience was probably due to him being exhausted and somewhat drunk from St Patty’ Day.
THe next morning he acted super sweet (even sweeter than usual) and went to work and I drove home. I haven’t spoken to him about it since because I’d rather discuss it in person (this weekend). I’m concerned about the lack of healthy communication that night. I don’t want it to become his response to me when I want to talk to him. Of course, he’s never reacted that way before and it could be more from how late it was and that he had been drinking……. What do you think bees? SHould I be concerned? is this a red flag? or should I let this one slide because of the circumstances? The reason I ask is because as angry as I was that night, I’m not angry anymore and I don’t want to make an issue out of something if it’s not worth bringing up.
Also, on a side note, earlier that same day he asked me what shape diamond I like. So I know he loves me and is planning ahead for a proposal. Maybe this is why I’m stressed aboutt he communication issue… because I know this is going somewhere serious and communication is the ost important thing to me in a relationship.
Post # 2
I can understand why he didn’t want to talk about it, because he was tired and it’s not a resolvable issue until the cat’s behavior changes. If the cat gets used to him and stops trying to claw or bite him, he might be less freaked out by the cat. I would not want to live with an animal that routinely attacked me. You may be able to condition the cat to accept your SO, but every animal is different.
Post # 3
I guess if it is indeed an unresolvable issue and it’s just the same ground being gone over again and again I can see why he may not want to discuss it all the time if a resolution isn’t going to be reached. It probably seems unproductive to him. Not that this excuses him being rude to you about it of course but I can see where he is coming from. Pets are super important of course and I don’t agree with abandoning them but I can understand his frustration too if he feels like a cat that attacks him all the time is taking precedence over him. Not saying you are wrong, it’s a tough situation. How old is the cat?
Post # 4
Not getting into the communication aspect because honestly, that’s beating a dead horse. What are you going to accomplish talking about how you talk about a cat?
The real problem is the relationship with the cat and your SO. First thing is first: Get them acquainted. You can train aggressive behavior out of a cat, and I think this should be your focal point for the next several weeks. Have you ever seen the series, “My Cat From Hell”? Check out Jackson Galaxy, and give it a watch. There are plenty of great tips and pointers. Once you get the cat resolved, the tension between your SO and you will dissipate.
Post # 5
Lollybags: The cat is about 4 or 5 years old. He doesn’t routinely attack SO (anymore) but he’s not an approachable cat. Even I, his owner, can’t just pick him up or pet him whenever I want. Petting only occurs on his terms and I’m generally the only person allowed to pet him. Even though he doesn’t outright attack my SO anymore, they still don’t get along. I do understand my SO’s point about not wanting to live with a hostile animal so that’s why we aren’t moving in together right now. My issue, and the reason why it bothers me, is that I don’t see a solution to the problem. I would only let my cat live with someone who I completely trusted and thats my sister or mom and I don’t think either are willing to take him. So in the back ofmy mind it feels like this will never get resolved and will always be a road block in our relationship. This doesn’t seem to bother SO, he just says “can’t I stil love you?” and i say “yes, 50 miles apart indefinitely”. I guess the reason I continue to try to discuss it with him is because I’m hoping he will change his mind and decide that living together is worth dealing with the cat. (however I also have a dog and one other cat that my SO has said he is ok living with- and it’s his condo that we would be living in).
I guess I feel better that you think that his lack of communication on the issue isn’t a red flag. Maybe I won’t bother bringing it up unless it happens again. Especially since we are going away for the weekend and I don’t want to create any unnecessary tension.
Post # 6
StuporDuck: They are accquainted and he no longer attacks SO unprovoked. I don’t see my cat’s behavior as being that bad and I’ve never had a previous SO say it would be an issue. I think my SO is a little uptight on the issue with the cat. He’s not THAT bad. Super annoying, yes. But not dangerous. I think my SO got scratched maybe a handful times in the first couple months we were dating and that’s about it. It’s just that he’s not friendly at all and not a pleasant cat to live with unless you already have an attachment to him, like I do.
Yes, I have seen the show and I’m thinking about trying some calming feline phermones. Also, I would use the soft paws on him but I don’t see how it would be possible for me to get them on him at all. I would defintely get bit and scratched.
Post # 7
NightOwl27: I would not be concerned at ALL about the communication that night. It was late, he was tired and drunk and wanted to go to sleep. It wasn’t the time to have that discussion, and I think his reaction was totally understandable. He probably should have apologized for the way he spoke to you, but I think you should also have apologized for bringing up a complicated discussion when he just wanted to go to sleep.
It sounds like you’re really vigilant with communication and you want to discuss things thoroughly, and that’s good. But you also have to know how to pick the right time to have those discussions, and that wasn’t the right time.
I used to believe in the “never go to bed angry” rule, but I don’t anymore. I like having discussions at night but my husband absolutely can’t do it because his brain just shuts off when he’s tired. I’ve learned that I get a much better result if I bite my tongue until morning. 9 times out of 10 I’ll wake up feeling better, and we’ll get the issue resolved in a fraction of the time it would have taken the night before.
Post # 8
NightOwl27: I wouldn’t worry too much about the communication that night. I really dislike going to bed when my Fiance and I are upset with each other or in the middle of an argument…but sometimes, you just have to.
If it’s late and even when you are communicating, you’re not getting anywhere, sometimes it’s just best to go to bed and let things cool down (especially if it’s a sensitive topic)
My Fiance and I have amazing communication and while he probably wouldn’t outright tell me “I don’t feel like talking about it” he has hinted in the past (quite strongly) that he doesn’t feel it’s an appropriate time to keep discussing this topic and that we’re not getting anywhere and it’s time for bed. And like you, that usually upsets me because like I said, I really hate going to bed feeling like the issue is unresolved, but a lot of the time it’s the best decision for everyone.
The cat thing is a bit of a tricky situation. I can understand his frustration. Do you think part of his frustration is him not feeling like he’s being heard or his concerns are being taken seriously? You said that every time he brings the cat up you try and resolve the issue? I would suggest just hearing him out (without bias because you understandably love your cat) and listening to any suggestions that he may have? I do think you two need to try your best to come to some sort of agreement where you’ve both felt heard and understood. The last thing you want is to let this issue keep going and him move in and end up resenting you when your cat does attack him.
Post # 9
NightOwl27: Im not sure what you would be looking to do by talking about it. And really that was a really bad time to try and have a conversation. I would be annoyed too if my partner was trying to discuss an unresolvable issue with me late at night when I had been drinking and was very tired. I also know that for communication to be productive, both parties have to be open to resolving whatever the issue is and have to put in the effot to make sure the communication remains productive and respectful. Sometimes though you have to respect it when someone says “I don’t want to discuss it right now”. I understand he probably could have went about telling you that in a better way but unless he does this all the time, while sober, and with enough sleep, I wouldn’t really worry about it.
As a side note, I would be really annoyed with my partner if they had an animal in the house that tried to attack me all the time. Are you working with your pet on it’s behavior? Im just curious. Because that is putting your partner in danger if you aren’t and it’s not fair to the cat to be locked up or something to avoid any interaction between the two of them.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
NightOwl27: I think that night he was just tired and drunk, and that his lack of good communication isn’t a red flag in any way. I would just let it go, especially because he was acting super sweet the next day – so he probably feels a little sheepish and bad about being all wastey and impatient.
Post # 11
It sounds like your SO was drunk that night, and alcohol does have the tendency to make people “honest” about feelings that they’ve bottled up inside.
The main issue IS NOT the communication between your So and you. The issue is the relationship between the three of you – the 3rd being the cat. That is really unfortunate that you and your SO cannot live together because of your cat — and playing devil’s advocate, if I was your SO I would feel super sad and upset that I could not be with the person I love because of a unfriendly small animal.
I’m a HUGE animal lover and have two cats that I love like my own flesh and blood, but I do not believe that an animal should take precedence over your primary relationship — which is your relationship with your SO – esp if you’re on the road to marriage. I’ve seen this dynamic before with my BFF and her Darling Husband. They never lived together prior to marriage, and once they moved in after the wedding they would have these big fights over her cat and they actually almost separated because her Darling Husband could not stand her cat (the cat is not the friendliest in the world and if you pet him longer than a few minutes he will claw and growl at you). They actually received counseling regarding this issue, and in the end, it was clear that my BFF had to lay down some ground rules and boundaries with the cat so that her Darling Husband did not feel like his personal space and home was being run by the cat. I would encourage you to have a talk with your SO to see what boundaries would have to be in place regarding your cat to make your SO feel more comfortable if you guys were to all live together in the future.
Additionally, just know that trying to talk to a man when he’s tired, cranky, hungry, sleepy, drunk, busy at work, etc. are the WORST times to try to have a serious conversation with them. Most men will react the way your SO did – being irritable and shutdown – so don’t take it personally. I know you can’t sleep when things are uncomfortable between the two of you, but try to build more emotional muscle and endurance to be able to live through those moments, because you will have a MUCH better outcome when you can engage your SO into a meaningful convo when he’s in a better mood.
Post # 12
I would first ask, is your cat mean to anyone else? I only ask cause I had a boyfriend that my cat would religiously hide from whenever he was over. This was a cat that was super social with everyone. I think that Shithead had done something to my poor baby. Turns out I should have listened to kitty to start with. Animals know bad people.
Aside from that, if he’s looking to move forward with you, he’s going to have to make some efforts with kitty – kitty was there first IMO. I would chalk up the argument to the booze on the whole but maybe it really is a bigger issue that needs resolve.
Post # 13
NightOwl27: sounds kind kf like you’re overreacting. If the issue isng resolvable then hat is their to talk about?! Sounds like he is tired if beating a dead horse. Maybe you guys can have a conversation centered on what the solution will be instead of smoothing things over with no real resolution?
Post # 14
What’s there to talk about really? Your cat has behavioral issues with him, is this going to change by talking to him. I’m tired, i’m drunk the last thing I’d want talk about is my partners cat that “ocassionally” attacks me.
Post # 15
NightOwl27: – I definitely don’t see any red flags but I have to say, you are coming across as a bit selfish. I have a cat and am a HUGE animal lover, so I understand the bond we can have with pets; however, you stated that you hope “he will change his mind and hope he will see living together as worth dealing with the cat.” He has already stated he is ok with your other cat and dog in his condo, which IMO shows he is not anti-pets and willing to compromise. He also has legitimate concern over this other cat who has been aggressive to him in the past.
Your only solution seems to be that “he” be wiling to deal with the cat, who clearly makes him uncomfortable. You don’t want to get rid of the cat because that is uncomfortable to YOU. Unless your cat undergoes some serious behavior training, your SO is right and it seems from your SO’s reaction that you have discussed this, and discussed this, and discussed this… Really, what is left to discuss?? He is not budging and neither are you.
Compromises will need to be made on BOTH sides.