I read your article on the need to house-train pets before people get married, and I had to write about an experience close to what you wrote about.A co-worker in my office came home from work to find that her husband had brought home a full-grown Rottweiler. They lived in a small apartment with no yard; thus, the dog would have to share this small space with them. My friend is a headstrong type and was furious with her husband. She gave him an ultimatum: When she came home from work, the dog would be gone, period. Well, she came home the next day and the dog was gone, all right, but so was her husband, with all of his belongings. He had chosen the dog over his wife. They later divorced. Hopefully, he lived happily ever after -- with his dog.
S.A.K., Norfolk, Va Feb 19, 2006
This anecdote of marital conflict over an animal is very telling.Spouses should consult with each other about bringing an animal into their lives, ideally sharing in the choice as well as in the care of the creature. Only too often, the animal becomes an emotional support or outlet for just one spouse, leading the other to feelings of resentment and even jealousy. My guess is that the man in your story felt lonely in his relationship, already felt he was in the doghouse, and maybe could communicate better with his new dog than with his wife. Perhaps he was an inconsiderate little boy who never grew up, and since he could not control his wife, he got a dog to boost his ego.Another aspect of this theme is when ex-partners both love the same animal. Arranging visiting times post-breakup can be problematic and stressful for all concerned, including the animal. Sometimes it is best to make a clean break and not turn the animal into an emotional yo-yo to satisfy the needs of the separated couple.I also wonder how
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