Post # 1
This may be the completely wrong website for this issue but I thought I would try. The biggest problem in our life is so petty but I think I’m jealous in the dumbest possible way. 6 months ago I moved in with my fiancé when he moved cities for his job. We will be here for another year and a half and get married when we leave. I came to the house with an alexandrine parrot named Hephaestion. He is never in his cage and I do not work in this new house currently so he is constantly with me, he was a re-home and we are very close. My fiancé had had no experience with animals… “didn’t get the allure of pets”.
My fiancé constantly works. He gets up at 4 to get ready and isn’t back until 8-11 at night most weeks. I am new in the city and I’m very glad that I have my bird here to keep me company BUT my parrot and fiancé are getting very close. I know that sounds super dumb, But first thing when my fiancé walks in the door he calls the bird who plasters on his chest. The bird screams when he leaves in the morning and cries for an hour. Every day on our door step there are toys my fiancé has bought the bird on amazon.
I knew when I moved up here that my fiancé was going to work extremely long hours and I’m OK with that, it’s only a year and a half more but I think it highlights the fact I am lonely when he chooses his awake time to be with the parrot. He honestly works harder than anyone I know and only gets 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night so I understand that he can’t always spend time with me when he is on service. I also really love my bird and I’m happy they have integrated well up here but I used to be his favorite… Since I know no one in the state I’m kind of alone except for my bird but whenever my fiancé is around I’m not only alone again but all of his attention is on the parrot. My fiancé now sends me bird videos more than he texts me love notes. I don’t know if I have construed the situation well but he and the bird are 100% obsessed with each other. The bird is all he talks about at work, He is his ring tone now (at least I’m the background), we have always talked about building a custom house together once we move and now he wants a bunch of bird customizations.
I think I would be fine with all of this, I would be very happy with our little family if it wasn’t for the fact that he is constantly working, so sometimes when he gets home after waiting for him all day I just feel like screaming “pay attention to me not the damn bird”! Everything else between us is honestly so perfect so if the biggest thing I can complain about is him getting attached to the parrot I guess my life is golden and maybe I just need to breathe and reevaluate. I have tried to bring Some of this up but I think he thinks I’m joking. He always takes the bird in the shower and sings to him. The other day I asked him why he Sings to the bird and not me, he replied “you arnt bird son” I responded “no I’m human fiancée” and he laughed. Sometimes I ask him to put the bird up so we can cuddle on the couch but the bird just screams and he lets him out.
Idk This situation is not serious enough that I’m going to get rid of him or get rid of the bird but all day I miss my fiancé and I wish he would spend more time with me when he was here. Writing all of this out I also realized that all the problems I have are very superficial and I’m thankful for the life and situation that I have.
Post # 2
Face it, he’s probably screwing the parrot. People in committed relationships shouldn’t spend time with other species without human supervision.
Post # 3
This is not a petty problem. This is a sign of a deeper problem. You need to get out, make some friends of your own. It was unclear whether you have your own job or not. When you communicate your issues to your FH, he needs to take you seriously. He needs to acknowledge that you need quality time with him. You need to understand that of course he’s going to interact with the bird differently than you. I baby talk my cats, but not to FH. It sounds like you upended your whole life for your FH, and you have no support network of your own in the area. Your whole life revolves around FH at the moment, which is not healthy. Birds tend to bond to a single person, and it looks like FH is the center of your bird’s universe as well.
I think it would benefit your bird (and you) to get him a birdie friend so he doesn’t get lonely or needy. Birds are flock animals, they really need bird friends. The main reason certain breeds are friendly with humans is because as infants, they are hand fed by humans. The bird mother is not permitted to feed them or it would interfere with the baby bird bonding with humans.
Post # 5
I would equate this to human relationships with children. Obviously, I am my children’s mother, and they will never have another mum, but at some point boys, especially, but girls, too, will bond with their dad. So even when they were really little, they would squeal and crawl toward the door in the early evening when they heard dad come home. They would want to spend all their “fun” time with dad. They still ran to me with injuries, but dad always got to be the “fun” parent. It IS the silliest thing to be jealous about, but many parents can relate.
You miss your Fiance, and that’s where your frustration stems from, not actually the parrot. The parrot is just an easy place to put the blame because you know you cannot change the situation. And it would be much worse if your Fiance really disliked the bird – there are too many threads with disagreements over his and her pets on this board. I understand you being upset, but remember it really doesn’t have anything to do with the parrot.
Post # 6
Parrots are extremely emotionally complex creatures and many owners can bond so intensely with their bird that it can absolutely happen.
What type of enrichment activities has your parrot been given since your move? Is it possible that your partner is more stimulating and interesting to the parrot? Maybe do some research on some new ways to enrich your parrots environment so that it doesn’t become so obsessed and dependent on your or your FH for stimulation.
Post # 7
he gets trained daily, has foraging trays, stands in most rooms. He is fully flighted and isn’t in the cage unless I am at the store. He gets fresh chop as his main diet and hot food daily. One thing of note is that alexandrines are not monogamous unlike most captive parrot species so unlike greys and maccaws they typically don’t attach themselves to one person in a household.
I am currently not working here, I left my job and have yet to find anyone to work with in this state. I am an abatement falconer but released my birds when I moved. (3 year old red tail, I was hoping to not get into the falconry part as it needs an most people will have no idea what I am talking about but what is relevant is hawks are not like parrots) The property I am at now does not have facilities but I’m hoping to find someone here who will let me work with their birds on privately owned hunt land. I am licensed in my home state but no here yet. Fish and wildlife isn’t as accommodating here. My degree is in biochemistry/ molecular biology and I have thought about getting a part time job here to burn time at a boutique ect.
I do honestly really miss my life and getting to do what made me so happy every day but I know this is temporary situation and I am 1/4 of the way through it. I also used to drive for the Amish community in my spare time and always enjoyed the conversation. I’ve thought about Uber but I don’t think it would be the same. I went from a wealthy rural area being outside everyday walking vineyards and farms to Detroit.
Post # 8
I agree with pps that you really need to work on your social life. Join some meetups, volunteer for an hour a day, go to the gym etc.
Btw I think I love your fiance.
Post # 9
I agree with PP’s–you don’t need a job to improve your social life. I do believe that working on this would help you meet people and feel better. Like lifeisbeeutiful :
said… join meetup groups, start volunteering, take care of yourself physically, take care of yourself spiritually (whether that means going to yoga, meditating, going to an organized religious center, etc.).
I know it’s hard to put yourself out there, but it won’t hurt…it can only help. I’m not trying to sweep your feelings under the rug at all–I think your feelings are valid and also that I would feel similarly in your situation–however, I don’t think that you can change much about it. Like echomomm :
said, it makes me think of children in a way. Hopefullly, once you have more of your own thing going, you might not have as much of a focus on your fiance and the bird. Also, one other suggestion would be to make sure you guys are having some sort of “us” time, such as doing a “date night” type thing regularly, whether that’s once a week or once a month.
I saw that you mentioned you’re in Detroit, and a quick google search I found this article about different volunteering opportunities. Hope it helps!
Post # 10
What a cool set of skills you have, I can see how you feel stir crazy in an urban environment! MissMarple
has given some awesome advice. I double down on everything she said.
Post # 11
thanks, Iv thought about volunteering and just need to get on something and actually start. I think iv put starting new things on the back burner becouse of everything I had and gave up to come here. I got on Groupon and bought a month of daily exercise classes not far from the house, maybe I can meet some people there. I have gone from walking all Day to being sedentary which is the opposite of what most brides are trying to do.
We do do date nights, every 17 days or so he gets a day off and we always go out. I think he also does a very good job of being present considering the amount he works. He always leaves a notes on the mirror and texts me sweet things (when it’s not bird videos lol). I think he was trying really hard to like the bird because I honestly love the parrot and birds are a huge part of my life, but he slipped and is actually obsessed now. He wants a hyacinth macaw when we move (obsenly expensive birds) after falling in love with one at a bird show. I think I might be frustrated because i used to spend my day with very different birds and I miss that. Hephaestion has become the absolute center of Our lives here but as much as I love him I would rather have a falconry bird and that relationship again. I have always had birds in the house and when we bought the parrot I knew it was a 40+ year commitment that I will stand bt. My life has just changed and everything has become so domestic in every sense of the word. I can get through anything for 2 years in the end though.
Post # 12
btw thanks. I love him too. He is contrary as they come and he picked me out for a reason. He doesn’t like this city either It’s just something we both have to get through, hopefully we will be stronger for it.
Post # 13
A long time ago in an earlier life, I worked on a project listening to audio interviews with significant others (often spouses) who had followed their SOs to grad school. It was, to put it mildly, emotionally exhausting and depressing. All but ONE SO was clearly very very miserable — they had upended their entire lives to follow their SO, and the PhD experience was very consuming, leaving their SOs pretty alone and isolated. The city in which the school was located also wasn’t an easy city to make new friends in, making it worse. Most of them broke down crying during the interviews.
Except for the one girl who was pretty happy, who picked up a lot of hobbies to keep herself busy, and through which she met more friends.
So realize that your experience is normal — that it’s not really about the bird, and that you’re going to have to do what the one happy girl did and build a community for yourself.
Post # 14
OP, I agree that your skills and background are very cool. Have you considered teaching a bird related course at a community college or in a continuing education program?
Post # 15
Clearly the solution is to sit down and have a serious talk with your bird. Let Hephaestion know how you feel about his new infatuation making you feel like he doesn’t remember his true love and all you’ve been through. I think he’ll come to his senses.