I Despise Dogs But My Fiancée Loves Them

You have problems, I have advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated - in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.

Photo by kitty.green66.

This week we have a man who hates dogs and is marrying a woman who loves dogs. This one's going to be ruff (sorry).

When Your Significant Other Demands Free Rent

You have problems, I have advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated - in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.

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Keep in mind, I'm not a therapist or any other kind of health professional - just a guy who's willing to tell it like it is. I simply want to give you the tools you need to enrich your damn lives. If for whatever reason you don't like my advice, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now then, let's get on with it.

Hey, Patrick, please help.

My fiancée and I have an issue we should have resolved before we became engaged. If we do not resolve this issue, our marriage and relationship is off.

I hate dogs and she loves dogs.

I was traumatised years ago by dogs. I cannot stand to be around dogs, much less live with them. She loves dogs and refuses to give up her two dogs. She says I need therapy to help with my hatred of dogs and I say she needs therapy to help with her dog addiction. We love each other and truly want to resolve this issue.

What do you suggest we do?

Wrong Tree

Hey Wrong Tree,

Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and confirm that you definitely should have addressed this issue beforehand. Is this really something that never came up before you popped the question? I mean, I'm assuming you knew she had dogs. There was one probably licking your face while you were down on one knee. What was the plan here, Wrong Tree? You'd propose then she'd immediately agree to abandon her pups? Pets are basically considered family to most people, so this is a big ask.

That being said, there's bound to be a way to compromise here. If you were traumatised by an incident involving dogs, your future wife needs to understand and respect that. So, if you haven't already, tell her what happened to you in detail, and explain how any and all dogs make you feel now because of that. It's vital that you make this about expressing your discomfort, not about how you hate them. That may be true, but just saying you hate them is not going to make her understand. In your mind, all dogs remind you of what happened, but in her mind her dogs are different, so it should be different. For example, if I tell someone "I hate cake," they will just go "What? How could you hate cake? Here, try this one. This one is really good." But if I tell them a story about how my cousin choked on some cake then died in front of me, so I can't ever see cake without thinking about my cousin's wide, lifeless eyes... they might understand a bit better. You follow?

Of course, you need to understand and respect her side of this too. You jumped into this like, "Let's get married, but you have to ditch your kids." It isn't the exact same thing, but if she's one of those crazy dog lovers it pretty much is. And for the record, Wrong Tree, having two dogs is not a "dog addiction", so therapy isn't necessary on her end. From what I can gather, you have a problem and you're expecting her to bend over backwards to account for it. That isn't a great way to start things off. Marriage is a union, a partnership, a team; so you need to find a way to meet her halfway here.

Make her a deal: You'll honestly try therapy if she'll agree to keep the dogs elsewhere while you work through your issues. After that, you can reassess the situation. Maybe you can find a way to live around them as long as you don't have to interact with them (they can't sleep in your room, they need to be outside during the evening, she handles all the duties of taking care of them, and so on). No matter what, though, I'd recommend seeing a marriage counsellor about this. They will make finding that middle ground so much easier. This doesn't have to be the thing that ruins an otherwise loving relationship, doggone it!

Sincerely,

A Cat Person


That's it for this week. I probably didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. 'Til next time, figure things out for yourself.


Comments

    Looks like she needs a new man.

    P.S. Cats suck.

      Sure they do. Quiet and peaceful and interdependent, instead of barking codependent bum sniffers that leave crap everywhere.

        Yep, real peaceful having violent, terrifying sex outside my window at 2am and shitting in my garden. So tranquil. Lucky you can teach cats to do stuff for you - oh wait, they just view you as a food dispenser and make your house smell like cat shit. Yes, even yours. Literally anyone who's not a cat person can smell it.
        But it's sooooo adorable the way they kill 100 million native animals per year just for fun, right?
        Don't you even think about arguing with me. I have more. Way more.

        Last edited 24/01/18 11:57 pm

          Except that they also kill vast numbers of rodents, who kills far more birds than cats ever could.

          And humans are WAY more destructive than any other animal.

          Why do you want cats to do stuff for you? Is that how you relate to other beings?

          Cats bury their waste outside, cleanly and tidily.

          And I can't remember the last time I heard a cat yowling outside, but dogs bark several times a day, for no good reason, every single day.

          Well argued.

            'Except that they also kill vast numbers of rodents, who kills far more birds than cats ever could.'
            Most of those 'rodents' are actually small native marsupials which humans also mistake for rats, but are endangered.

            'And humans are WAY more destructive than any other animal.'
            I'm not comparing cats to humans. I'm comparing cats to dogs. Try to keep up.

            'Why do you want cats to do stuff for you?'
            If I'm responsible for their care, it would help if they'd listen when told to do something.

            Is that how you relate to other beings?
            Other beings I'm in charge of keeping alive, yes.

            'Cats bury their waste outside'
            In my garden. Or pretty much anywhere they have material to 'dig up'.

            'dogs bark several times a day, for no good reason'
            - Defending an owner
            - Alerting the owner to a possible intruder

            I've just listed two perfectly valid reasons why a dog SHOULD bark.
            Can you give me just ONE reason why domesticated cats should exist? Their domestication has contributed ZERO to the planet.

            IMO, they are a scourge, and every bit as vermin as rats.

              Sounds like we're going to easily convince each other of our positions.

              I choose to withdraw. This is going nowhere. That'll teach me.

                Good idea. It's best to know when you're bested by a rational argument ;)

                  Wow aren't you a hateful, small-minded thing? It is so clear how emotionally invested you are in your hatred and yet you have the nerve to pretend it is logic? OMG, this cat digs into your garden because it has a shitty owner and that's the ultimate proof that all cat are vermin and should be eradicated. Right, that's a very composed, intellectual and humane thing to say.

                  And when the other person decides to politely end the argument, you still have to get one over? What a piece of work.

    Calling pets "fur children" isn't just for giggles, it truely represents how a lot of people see their pets.

    They are loved every bit as much as human children, and asking them to dump them is simply not possible.

    Yeah - don't think it's healthy or rational to hate all dogs forever because of one incident (even a traumatising one) - that should probably be addressed (I'd say the same about the cake scenario as well - it's not the cake's fault).

    She will always love her dogs more than you. Learn to coexist or go your separate ways.

    Therapy ain't going to help. You have to want to change to change, and I can't see either of you changing. Look at how vehemently Ed Love and corvus are devoted - didn't take long for corvus to play the ad hominem card and then the "Love" is gone.

    My wife is a dog lover and I'm a peaceful, solitary cat lover. We knew this before marriage and it hasn't changed since. As is necessary for the peace, I've compromised and she got a dog. I like nothing about the dog. The barking, the smell, the poo, the digging, the chewing, the licking, the hair, the fighting, the vet bills, the overbreeding conditions, it all annoys me every day and I will never enjoy my backyard again. But it makes her giddy with love and happiness, so it's worth it. I've found interests that take me away from the dog. I figure it's kinda like kids - they make your life worse in every way, but you do it for the love anyway.

    There's no rationalising it - the cake story is a good example. Just make it clear that you are opposed, have been a for a long time, and that will never change. Some people don't like broccoli. They don't need therapy, they just need understanding that tastes differ. Either you can live with that or you can't.

      1. I don't think you know what 'ad hominem' means.
      2. An ad hominem isn't a logical fallacy if it's tangential to the argument being made, and not supporting it.

      Cats and dogs are not about 'taste' - one is objectively a superior domesticated pet than the other when all things are weighed equally. People are entitled to be incorrect.

      Last edited 29/01/18 8:59 pm

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