- 4 years ago
- Wedding: April 2009
Long story ahead…sorry, I felt like I needed to cover all the details.
Backstory: I grew up in a family that LOVES animals and always had pets around. I can’t think of a single person on my side of the family that would think of harming an animal or directing hatred towards it in any way. My husband of several years grew up in a family that ever had pets and holds a negative attitude about animals in the house, their cleanliness, etc. Why have an animal when you could just have kids instead type of attitude.
So: When we got married, both of us had been in school for 4 years and the thought of pets and animals were never discussed in detail. We got married pretty young after dating for a brief time. So, I guess that is where the first errors happened. We were just getting on our feet with jobs and a new city, and whenever the topic of pets came up we would usually brush it off because the timing was never right, and my husband had never had a pet before so I didn’t want to pressure him. Fast foward a few years, we are living in a house with a large yard, we have no kids, and the deal DH made with me was that after we had lived in a house for a year he would be ready to talk about pets and how they might fit into our lives.
Now, I always brought up the topic of dogs sensitively to DH because I wanted it to be a decision we made together instead of me nagging him. So we agreed that if/when the time was right, we could think about getting a dog. To be honest, DH would bring it up more than I would.
A few months ago I was having a ton of stress because of a work event coming up where I would be away from home for a week. I mentioned to DH that visiting the humane society and petting some dogs would help me relieve some stress and calm down a bit, so we stopped by. I guess that was the second mistake. There was one dog that latched onto both of us, and we spent a ton of time petting her and seeing how she behaved. DH tells me we should go home and get all the papers figured out to adopt her and that he would go back and get her the next morning! I was resistant but went along with it…probably third mistake there.
That dog wound up being adopted by the time we checked back in with the humane society. I must have had my hopes up more than I thought I did, because when I called DH to let him know she was adopted I started crying. 24 hours prior to that we weren’t even considering a pet! So that was a day or so before I had to leave on my work trip – my husband found another place a few hours away with puppies to check out. After I had left for my work trip my husband let me know he was driving up to check them out, and soon enough he texted me with some photos of one in particular that had latched onto him. So he got the puppy and bought everything we needed for it, and took care of it for a week while I was gone – this is the guy who came from a family that doesn’t care for animals and said he didn’t know if he ever wanted a pet. That was probably the next error, letting DH adopt the puppy.
I grew up with a lot of pets, but this puppy is hands down the best behaved dog I’ve ever seen for only being 7 months old. I take care of him 80% of the time – getting up in the morning to feed him/let him out, taking him for walks/playtime at the dog park, vet appointments, etc. I’ve tried to make the transition to having a pet as easy as possible and I can’t imagine a better behaved dog – he’s NEVER woken us up at night, been aggressive, or chewed anything up like furniture. The worst thing he’s done is have a few accidents on the floor (we have non-carpeted floors). He started to shed a little, but I’ve been on top of brushing and bathing him and vaccuuming the house. Our dog doesn’t lay on furniture or sleep in bed, so it’s been pretty easy.
ANYWAY, where it gets super complicated is the fact that I have seen my husband act overly aggressive with our dog when he’s misbehaved. If our dog play nips, my husband lashes out at the dog. I don’t want to go into detail about what he’s done. If our dog puts his head on the furniture, he lashes out at the dog. DH will say that he considers the dog part of our family, but then when the puppy misbehaves, he yells and says that he hates the dog, hates the way the house looks with a dog living in it, and hates his life with a dog. That he only did it to make me happy, and then suddenly starts listing numerous other things he does only to make me happy (the food we eat, the activities we’re doing together, etc…).
I had never witnessed my husband’s anger like this until we got a dog. I don’t know why suddenly he’s saying that he’s only doing things we do to make me happy. I don’t consider myself someone who nags my husband. I’ve brought up the fact that I would re-home our dog to make him happy but he won’t let me. As an animal lover I hate the idea of getting rid of ours and would be really embarrassed to re-home him, but I don’t know how to make DH happy otherwise. My mom is very aware of the fact that DH has a strong personality and has questioned me about his attitutes in the past but I always brushed her off. Now I’m seeing the way he handles conflict in a way I haven’t before, and frankly I don’t know how to respond to his anger and outbursts. I can’t imagine if he would react like this to a baby or not. I don’t know what to do. Suddenly I feel like he’s just living a life to keep me happy while sacrificing his own happiness, and now I don’t know if he’s on board with any of our life choices or if he’s just letting me get what I want so he feels secure knowing I’m happy. We moved to the city we live in for my job. He says he gave up his career so I could have mine. Maybe I’m overthinking all of this. I don’t know who to talk to – everyone thinks we are the model couple.
Can someone offer words of advice? Thank you.