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Marriage/Relationship Issue

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Question
Hi,

My name is Gary and I was wondering if you could help me work through an issue I have. I'm not asking in the "gay" section because this question has nothing to do with being in a gay relationship.

What it does have to do with is a marital issue. My husband and I got married a year ago. When we met he had a little dog. I'm not a dog person. I don't hate dogs or anything. In fact, I like them. I just don't want one. I had one once and it stopped me from having the freedom I enjoyed so after that one I decided I didn't want another one.

My husband is VERY attached to the dog and since moving in together and getting married it just seems like our daily life revolves around the dog. Everything we do includes the dog. I have asked him to at least not let the dog sleep in the bed with us (which he did before we met) and to allow me one day a month that we can do something like go away for a night without the dog. But we don't do that either because he misses the dog and doesn't enjoy himself. It also costs $50 dollars a night to board her and she demands a lot of attention so nobody ever wants to watch her.  

I love him very much and have always figured if the dog brings him joy so be it. But the dog doesn't bring me joy and I miss having any time alone with him. (plus the dog is annoying.) I know I can't ever ask him to give the dog up and I also know the dog that is now 6 can live as long as 16 years will be around for a while.

So my question is, what can I do? I don't enjoy being home because of the dog but I enjoy being with him. I feel like my only break from the dog is when I go to work during the day.
(He works from home so he likes being with the dog all day.)

Any advice is much appreciated!
Thank you!

Answer
Gary,
The biggest problem is that you made the choice to marry knowing the dog was part of the package but figuring it wouldn't be a big deal. You both should have had an agreement up front about it. If you did and it's not being followed then there should be a serious discussion about the agreement that was made. If there was no agreement made then it seems now is the time for it to happen. If you have a serious conversation about it, you should point out that he is not married to the dog, but treats the dog if it has as much importance as you, which should not be. I would also point out how it makes you feel and the point of being married was to be with one another not one another and the dog.

Doc David

Marriage

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Dr. David Simonsen

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I can answer all types of questions related to Marital issues. I will tell you straight what I think your challenge is and ideas on how to get through it.

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You want someone who has the training, experience and knowledge to answer your questions. That person is me. I meet weekly with married couples and work with them through the challenging issues that come up in marriages.

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B.A. M.S. Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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