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POLL RESULTS: Puppy Love: (18 comments)

POLL: Puppy Love

Friday, April 01, 2011 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: My wife and I were recently married. There is one subject that causes a continuous argument for us: dogs. I want a dog and she doesn't. The real issue is that her father refuses to come to our house if we have a dog due to his allergies. He is unwilling to bend at all. Yes, even if we get a hypoallergenic dog that doesn't shed he won't come (they still have dander). Yes, even if we remove the dog prior to his visit and attempt to clean up any dander, use a HEPA filter, etc. he still won't come. We live in Michigan and cannot get an outdoor dog as our winters are way too cold for a dog to just live outside. Dogs are one of my passions and this is really driving a wedge between us. Any advice?
POLL: One partner wants a dog, and the other doesn't. What do you do?
 
54% (994) Don't get the dog unless both partners can agree. It's too much responsibility.
 
3% (64) Convince the anti-pet partner that he/she is wrong by bringing home an adorable puppy.
 
27% (508) Compromise. Get a goldfish.
 
14% (273) Relationship over.
1839 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Amanda
Lover

Posts: 30

Registered:
Oct 2008
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 12:38 AM (#58765)

I understand your situation. I'm a dog person too. However, your wife needs her father. I lost mine so I know. And her father has allergies and yes any dog can cause allergies and no amount of hepa filtering can definitely get rid of everything. Allergies are serious suck. You're just going to have to accept that as long as he is alive, you will not have a dog (not an excuse to kill him btw) and DEFINITELY DEFINITELY DO NOT BUY A DOG BEHIND YOUR WIFE'S BACK! That leads to so many shelter dogs or worse and would probably lead to the end of your marriage. Don't be a statistic. Compromise. Find something else that you both can enjoy.


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abb3w
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 12:52 AM (#58766)
In Response to Amanda (#58765):

Or, y'know, look into moving somewhere further south than Michigan, so you can have an outside dog?
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Killian
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Apr 2011
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 01:01 AM (#58767)

Or a 3rd option is to start helping out at an obedience school/shelter training dogs. More dogs, less hassle and peace is kept in the home. Just an idea.


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Coanunn
Lover

Posts: 11

Registered:
Feb 2010
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 01:44 AM (#58768)

I'll be brutal and blunt, either learn to live without that particular passion in your life being fulfilled or learn to be divorced. I don't mean to make a mountain out of a molehill but frankly if you are so concerned with this situation you would seek outside guidance that is the first sign that perhaps you and your wife aren't talking enough.

Issues like this don't go away, they become the reason it all went wrong in a sad story later on unless you take action to compromise and learn to communicate. It's simply relationship 101, you either learn to communicate and compromise or you learn the relationship won't work.


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bucketsgirl
Lover

Posts: 10

Registered:
Mar 2011
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 02:59 AM (#58769)

If something truly is a passion of yours and was something she was strongly against, why are you only just now finding it to be an issue? There's a reason why you talk about stuff like this BEFORE you get married, honestly. Now you are a little stuck.

Just a small note... is the issue really her father, or is she using him as a convenient excuse? Important to know, as you need to know if the situation will change once he is no longer a part of the equation (whether once he passes away, or if he moves to visiting is no longer possible, etc, or changes his mind). Otherwise you might get your hopes up, and be angry when you still can't have a dog.

Seriously, if you love animals there ARE ways to be around them without actually owning one. Shelters and rescues are always in desperate need of good volunteers. Find one close to your area and volunteer there a couple days a week. You'll be able to express your passion without causing marital strife.


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Han_Valen
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Apr 2011
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 08:44 AM (#58771)

Although I voted that this decision needs to be made by both parties, I think that the broader point is being missed.

Why does your father-in-law have such influence over your relationship/household?

Rather, what is so important about him coming over to the house? So he doesn't come to your house... big deal! When he wants to visit, you meet somewhere other than the house. When he comes to visit, her father stays at a hotel.

How bad are his allergies that he can't alter HIS behavior by medicating himself with over the counter Sudafed before visiting? Pet allergies can be annoying, but are rarely as life threatening as food allergies.

This is actually a concern about properly establishing boundaries between your relationship with your wife & your new extended family.
Would you change the wall paint because he doesn't like it? No. Then why is your wife choosing to cave about air quality?

Explore that more, it will be the thing that causes issues in the future.


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sgtrock
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Apr 2011
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 10:38 AM (#58774)
In Response to Han_Valen (#58771):

This. I voted "Relationship over," though. If she's putting her father's wishes that far in front of her husband's, I see only two possibilities: She's either not really committed to the marriage or she's using her father's allergies as a convenient excuse for some reason of her own.

Those two possibilities tell me that she's either a daddy's girl or unable to tackle the hard issues head on. If she refuses to budge, it's time for this guy to move on. This issue will NOT go away.


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Kyle_Voltti
Lover

Posts: 11

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 11:11 AM (#58775)

it's probably not a good idea to get a dog or try to force the issue. the real question is "Is her father really that allergic to dogs or has he simply been conditioned to being allergic to dogs" when was the last time he was tested to see what his level of sensitivity is? could allergy shots be a path to helping him with dogs?


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ckaminski
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Apr 2011
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 01:52 PM (#58778)

Allegra, Claritin-D.

Seriously. My parents have 18 dogs, 19 cats a shitload of rabbits and a few chickens. All of which I'm allergic to. I simply have to quadruple dose my allergy meds before visiting.

Your wife's dad is a douchebag.


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Archwright
Lover

Posts: 19

Registered:
Oct 2010
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 03:37 PM (#58779)

The father-in-law argument reeks of straw-man.
There is no reason why the inlaws need to visit you, or stay at your house long enough for allergies to become a problem. They can stay at a hotel or you can go out when they visit. There are options.

In all honesty, how did your relationship get this far?

I'm willing to bet that you two have opposite feelings on kids, too.

If you two have opposite feelings about your passions be ready for a long, terrible marriage... or a swift annulment.


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NunyaBidness
Lover

Posts: 83

Registered:
Apr 2008
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 01, 2011 - 04:40 PM (#58780)

My allergies are bad enough I must wash hands after touching an animal, and that's after three years of shots. It was much worse before--literally choking to death.

So this could be that significant.

However, it also sounds like she's using that as an excuse. It may not be a rational response. It may be a phobia on her part.

So the first question is did he tell you this, or did she tell you this?

Second question: Why did this never come up before you were married? If dogs are such a "passion," why haven't you had one recently enough for this to be an issue? It sounds like you may be exaggerating the importance of this matter yourself.

If he visits often enough and is allergic enough for this to be a legit medical issue, then you need to concede.

If not, you need to discuss it, possibly with a counselor.

If after that, a dog is more important to you than a wife, you need to get divorced, because you both have problems.


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zmortis
Lover

Posts: 76

Registered:
Jun 2009
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, April 02, 2011 - 09:20 AM (#58787)

Let me sumarize: The writer states- they want to be in control of the terms of their relationship. Their relationship partner replies doesn't want to be under their control.

Wait, this isn't about who's in charge in your relationship? You certainly could fool me.

Dog/No Dog is a non-issue. Who's running the show is what's really at stake here. My advice is this relationship is already over since it seems this is what the real fight is about.

If this isn't the case, then no-dog is the clear answer. No matter how you paint it, having a dog (a child or any other responsibility) shouldn't be pressed upon a relationship which isn't jointly prepared to handle it.

If this is a deal breaker for you, then the deal is broken, and you are a fool for not having figured this out before marriage.


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whutaguy
Lover

Posts: 14

Registered:
Jun 2009
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, April 02, 2011 - 08:20 PM (#58789)

I am assuming that you (the OP) were an adult before you got married. It seems that a dog wasn't important until after you got married. If the dog was important, you'd have gotten one earlier in your adult life because that are easier to get than a serious girlfriend. If you had the dog previously, this wouldn't be a question.

The dog isn't important. The old man won't last forever.


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sukobiru
Lover

Posts: 2

Registered:
Apr 2011
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 05:42 PM (#58791)

Let me get this straight ... someone seriously wants to put the dog ahead of a human? I love my dog, but if it came down to having to choose between either a relationship with a human or a relationship with an animal, I think the adult decision is to choose the human, and it is childish and selfish to want to choose the relationship with a dog over the human one. If he goes with the dog, then his wife will feel resentment forever.


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abb3w
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Sunday, April 03, 2011 - 10:39 PM (#58792)
In Response to sukobiru (#58791):

"Adult" is almost the right word, but not quite. The limit is in the language, however. Abbreviating far too much evolutionary neuropsychology, a pet dog is a foster-child that will never reach full adulthood.

Mind you, not being able to keep a puppy is a lousy reason for having kids; however, I've encountered worse.
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lwj2
Lover

Posts: 33

Registered:
Feb 2008
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - 06:24 AM (#58803)
In Response to Han_Valen (#58771):

Some allergies can't be controlled by OTC meds. Some can't be controlled by meds at all. Any allergic exposure can increase the severity of the next occurence. Additionally, what this is about is a lack of communication.


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lwj2
Lover

Posts: 33

Registered:
Feb 2008
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Tuesday, April 05, 2011 - 06:39 AM (#58804)

First, you two are not communicating.

Second, if you don't even have a breed preference, you're not horribly serious about dogs.

Third, as far as I can recall, there are indeed dogs in Michigan. Wolves, coyotes and wolverines survive Michigan's winters, dogs will and do also. In short, you're a whinger who needs to grow up and learn how to communicate.


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LonesomeLoser
Lover

Posts: 25

Registered:
Mar 2011
Re: Puppy Love (Score: 0)
posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 11:18 AM (#58906)

You are a man, she is a woman - you disagree? You lose.
Period, end of story.
Now, if it were reversed you would be told to surprise him with the the dog and tell him to grow up.
You are a man, you are in a relationship, you must simply learn that your feelings, desires, etc, are worth absolutely nothing. Only her feelings count.
I am surprised you had not figured this out.


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