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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a bit silly in the grand scheme of things, but just looking for opinions.

I am a big animal lover. From as early as I can remember we had lots of pets when I was growing up and my parents encouraged my love of animals.

I always figured that once I was an adult, in a stable life and owning my own house, I would begin filling up my house with animals again. Nothing crazy - but a few pets.

We have two cats, both I picked up off the street as strays and have had them for 6 years, before my husband ans I ever started living together. My husband didn't grow up with any pets and didn't really understand why anyone would want one. He wasn't too excited about my two cats, but I told him from the very beginning that we come as a package deal, and he accepted that. Since living with the cats he has warmed up to them a lot and they are very attached to him as well.

The first few years we lived together, I did 100% of the cat care. When I got pregnant with both of our kids, my husband took over the care 100% - partly because the doc told me not to mess with the cat litter, and partly because the smell of cat food when I was pregnant would send me to the bathroom gagging! He was very sweet and stepped in and took over 100% even though that was not our original agreement.

Since then, we are now splitting care 50/50. Whoever notices they need to be fed, does it. And so on.

Well, our two kids (3 & 4) are now starting to ask for more pets. They see other friends who have hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs, etc and they ask for one. They pick up frogs and snakes out of the backyard and ask to keep them lol. It has brought back fond memories for me of my own childhood because I was exactly the same way. Heck, I still am - you can find me picking up the snakes right alongside the kids in the summer time lol.

Now, I have gotten the itch to get another pet. We are at a place now where I know we have the disposable income to manage it, and the kids would really enjoy it. Husband is dead set against it. His reasoning is - it's one more mouth to feed, one more thing to take care of. Although when we put it down on paper, he agrees that we could afford it and we already have a standing arrangement for family to stop by our house and take care of our cats when we go away on vacation. I know its not a decision to make lightly, as we both fully believe that its a lifelong commitment we are making to any animal we bring into the house. There was a period of five years where it didn't matter what crossed my path, I knew we weren't getting anymore pets because we didn't have the capacity to handle it. But now its like there's this spot in my heart that's ready for another animal. I hope oi don't sound psycho lol.

Can anyone relate to me in that way? I understand my husband doesnt have the same perspective, but I am a little sad thinking he wont budge at all on this issue. I am an animal lover at heart and our kids have been brought up so far to care for and respect animals the same way I was raised.

I have a big heart for rescues and we as a family routinely donate to a few of our local animal shelters. The last time I visited, this past weekend, I fell in love with a certain kitty and haven't been able to stop thinking about him. He was an older kitty and probably wont get adopted due to his age. I take my kids with me every time we donate and they met him and he was so friendly and outgoing even around my two crazy kids.

Hubby is still being a stick in the mud. I am trying to back off but he is annoyed cause he sees how much I want this kitty. Should I try to talk with him again or just let it go?

Btw, I spoke with my hubby about becoming a foster home for animals recently. He was completely open to that idea, because the fostering would be a temporary situation and I guess that was OK to him, even though we would still do 100% of the caretaking and rehab with foster animals. But, when I checked with the various shelters, they told me right now I don't qualify to participate because we have small children in our home. I understand the rules - but if he is OK with fostering, why not adopt for good?
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It sounds like he's willing to compromise, so that's a good sign.

It also sounds like he's mostly worried about the idea of committing for long-term. It's good that you have him as a sounding board because it's easy to get over-committed! (When my husband and I merged households, we had NINE pets!)

One thing you could try: Talk to your husband about what it's like to choose a pet and feel like it's "yours" and that you'd like your children to be able to experience that. Since you don't qualify for fostering, perhaps he would agree to let them get a pet that doesn't have such a long lifespan (fish, hamster come to mind) or perhaps he'll agree to allow no more than ONE pet in addition to the two cats at any given time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its just funny because if you talk to him, he still calls them "my wifes cats" and will talk to others as if they are nothing but a nuisance (even though I have trained them well, and they are very well behaved).

But, then I see him playing with them, petting them and getting worried over them when they appear sick.

We recently had an issue with one of them refusing to use the litter box. I remember thinking, for sure this is going to make him snap and he's going to want to get rid of the cat. Instead, he called the vet on his lunch break, discussed the issue with the vet who recommended we change litter types. He picked up the new litter on his way home and changed and washed the boxes himself - all of that without my asking. And it solved the problem.

So, he has to love them, too right? Why else would he take care of them the way he does?
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I will tell you a story...

I brought home a lost dog and my ex wasn't happy at all about it. We'd just moved into a new house and the prior owners had left a cat behind, so we'd inadvertently become pet owners then, and this dog cost me a $600 vet visit the first month we had him. Also, we traveled quite a bit and didn't live near any family, so we had to pay for boarding a few times a year.

He grumbled forever about the animals!

Then one day he said, "What would you do if I brought a couple of kittens home from the trash dump?"

I said, "You didnt'!" He shook his head and told me that he'd considered it, but didn't think I'd be happy about it.

A little while later, I heard him making weird noises outside. I opened the door and there he was, playing with two kittens.

Meanwhile, the dog was always kept outside on a 60-foot dog run leash. He became aggressive and bit a child that ran past him, and also bit my husband's arm when my daughter was walking him. I didn't want to have the dog put down because he really was a great dog and I felt certain that there was a good explanation for his behavior. He wasn't aggressive in most situations, and I couldn't understand what had happened.

I called in a behaviorist who said that the problem would be solved if we stopped keeping him on a leash and excluding him from the family. She was right. We never had another problem with him.

In the eleven years we were married, my ex never stopped grumbling about having pets, but he freaked out and called the vet when he thought the dog swallowed antifreeze, and he got himself a new dog and kept the cats when we divorced, and blamed it on me leaving them behind even though he knew I'd take them.

I believe he felt it was "unmasculine" to want pets and didn't want people to see that side of him.
 

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I always figured that once I was an adult, in a stable life and owning my own house, I would begin filling up my house with animals again. Nothing crazy - but a few pets.
There is a HUGE difference between filling your house up with animals vs a 'few' pets. A few to me is 2-3 and that would include small animals like fish. And this is one of those things you should discuss BEFORE you get married kinda like kids.

This isn't just your "oh should we get a dog" thing this is something you're obviously passionate about. How much would it suck to find out after the fact that your beloved hates animals or is allergic?

That said I'm with your husband. We have 2 cats, a fish and 3 kids. That's my limit and I'm sticking to that.

I think you should count your blessings that he's offering up a compromise and let it go.
 

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There are lots of rescues that will allow you to foster pets with small kids. You just have to kook around. Also your hubby may fall in love with a foster animal after bonding with it and want to keep it anyway :)

I have a 2 1/2 year old and used to foster a year ago. I also work in the pet care industry so I'm aware of many rescues who would love your help fostering. Just find the right rescue fir you in your area :)
 

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Its just funny because if you talk to him, he still calls them "my wifes cats" and will talk to others as if they are nothing but a nuisance (even though I have trained them well, and they are very well behaved).

But, then I see him playing with them, petting them and getting worried over them when they appear sick.

We recently had an issue with one of them refusing to use the litter box. I remember thinking, for sure this is going to make him snap and he's going to want to get rid of the cat. Instead, he called the vet on his lunch break, discussed the issue with the vet who recommended we change litter types. He picked up the new litter on his way home and changed and washed the boxes himself - all of that without my asking. And it solved the problem.

So, he has to love them, too right? Why else would he take care of them the way he does?
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Ha ha ha! I just had to laugh cuz this describes my husband who, "No way!!! NO PETS EVERRRRRrrrrr!!" til we got our first cat (well...I lied and said 'it's just til we find him a permanent home!'. Then he played with the kitten and got all into it, then looked despondent an hour later and when I asked what was wrong, "We have a pet." Of course, to this day that is unmistakably HIS cat. He certainly doesn't speak to any of us or wrap around any of our legs the way he does him! (Hubby talks baby-fied to him).

Then there was the kitten I found out in the rain. I rescued her. I told my husband, "I'm going to bathe her and take her to the vet to make sure she's okay and then I want to keep her?" He said, "Obviously."

Then there was 'Hammy' the hamster we got my son who got sick after two and a half years and hubby made me take him to the vet. "You want me to take a hamster to the vet?" to which he responded, 'But it's Hammy!' So there I was at the vet with a hamster.

This year it's, "Our son needs a dog." by none other than hubby himself!

Oh yeah...the adamant NO PET rule in my house. ;)
 

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There is a HUGE difference between filling your house up with animals vs a 'few' pets. A few to me is 2-3 and that would include small animals like fish. And this is one of those things you should discuss BEFORE you get married kinda like kids.

This isn't just your "oh should we get a dog" thing this is something you're obviously passionate about. How much would it suck to find out after the fact that your beloved hates animals or is allergic?

That said I'm with your husband. We have 2 cats, a fish and 3 kids. That's my limit and I'm sticking to that.

I think you should count your blessings that he's offering up a compromise and let it go.
You need a dog. ;)
 

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Can anyone relate to me in that way? I understand my husband doesnt have the same perspective, but I am a little sad thinking he wont budge at all on this issue. I am an animal lover at heart and our kids have been brought up so far to care for and respect animals the same way I was raised.
How far does he have to budge? He already has stepped up on two pets, even though he did not want them, but now he is a stick in the mud (your words) because he won't go further. Where does it end? You talk about compromise, but frankly I am reading you asking for how you can get him to accept what you want. Consider that he is at his limit with the amount of beings that depend on him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How far does he have to budge? He already has stepped up on two pets, even though he did not want them, but now he is a stick in the mud (your words) because he won't go further. Where does it end? You talk about compromise, but frankly I am reading you asking for how you can get him to accept what you want. Consider that he is at his limit with the amount of beings that depend on him.
Well, I did come here to everyone's opinions on the matter, and did expect to hear this from at least one person.

To be fair - he went into our relationship knowing that I was an animal person, knowing the environment in which I was raised and that I would always be wanting to fill our future home with animals. He also met me when I had the two cats that we still own, and knew that we were a "package deal" - if he had asked me to give up my cats, I would have ended our relationship.

He is not an animal hater, by any means. He is just indifferent about pet ownership. He doesn't have that fuzzy place in his heart for an animal and up until we lived together, had never really had any experience with pet ownership so he didn't understand how humans bond with animals or what that relationship is like. He wasn't against animals - if he was, we would have never made it past our first few months of dating. He enjoys our two cats but still never fully understands my point of view, because he doesn't have my background. Just like I can never fully understand his obsession with baseball - although I support him in it and try to see his point of view, it will always be foreign to me.

My words "stick in the mud" were more trying to relate to his overall attitude which I elaborated on in my second post - he still to this day talks a big game about how the cats are not his, yet his actions show that he clearly cares about them and gets some enjoyment out of having them around.

That is really why I made this thread. Clearly I would never truly push his limits on this or risk driving a wedge between us over something so trivial, but when a man's actions and words conflict, what do you believe?

And at what point is it OK (or not OK) to ask your spouse to go outside of their comfort zone for your and/or your childrens sake?

My husband is a huge fan of BBQ - I really dislike it - but I would never ban him from choosing a BBQ restaurant when it's time for us to go out to dinner. I wouldn't tell him not to feed my kids BBQ just because I dislike it. He can convince me to eat BBQ because I know he really enjoys it, even though I would never pick it for myself if it were my choice.

I know - that's a lame example - but do you see the root question I am asking here?

We won't be bringing any more animals into the house unless ALL family members approve it - but overall I see gaining another pet as something that will bring more joy to our lives than burden. And I do believe that if a cat magically appeared on our doorstep one day that he would become attached to it and feel the same way, but "shopping" for another pet is foreign to him.
 

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And at what point is it OK (or not OK) to ask your spouse to go outside of their comfort zone for your and/or your childrens sake?
Assuming the relationship is well balanced in terms of needs being met my limit is if it causes emotional or physical distress. Having more than a few pets would absolutely cause me emotional distress therefore it's not okay for my husband to expect me to go outside that particular comfort zone.

Going out for bar-b-que might not be my favorite thing to do but it won't cause me any distress so I'm free to say yes to that. I might try it and find out that yes I do in fact like it.
 

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My hubby carries on and storms around about every pet we ever get. Then when I get them, he cares for them & acts like they were his idea all along.

A year ago we got 2 kittens, it my daughters & I a week to wear him down to get them. Then, I had to work when they needed to go the vet to get desexed so H took them. Not only did he get them desexed, he got them chipped, vaccinated, everything else the vet suggested and bought them new toys...
These cats now sleep on our bed, have free range of the office and H takes photos of them constantly. He says they are the best cats ever...

Our dog was a rescued dog, once again, our daughter had to convince H to take her in. Over the last couple of years, I have found her behaviour challenging, but everytime I suggest rehoming the dog, H cracks up. He says he is fond of the dog.

Now, I would not suggest bringing home animals behind your husband's back or nagging him to death, but sometimes there is some wiggle room in the 'no'.
 

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To be fair - he went into our relationship knowing that I was an animal person, knowing the environment in which I was raised and that I would always be wanting to fill our future home with animals. He also met me when I had the two cats that we still own, and knew that we were a "package deal" - if he had asked me to give up my cats, I would have ended our relationship.
So were you clear that you expected lots of animals once you got married? I did not see that, so it seems like you communicated the package deal and he has gone along with that.

He is not an animal hater, by any means. He is just indifferent about pet ownership. He doesn't have that fuzzy place in his heart for an animal and up until we lived together, had never really had any experience with pet ownership so he didn't understand how humans bond with animals or what that relationship is like. He wasn't against animals - if he was, we would have never made it past our first few months of dating. He enjoys our two cats but still never fully understands my point of view, because he doesn't have my background. Just like I can never fully understand his obsession with baseball - although I support him in it and try to see his point of view, it will always be foreign to me.

My words "stick in the mud" were more trying to relate to his overall attitude which I elaborated on in my second post - he still to this day talks a big game about how the cats are not his, yet his actions show that he clearly cares about them and gets some enjoyment out of having them around.
Sorry, but stick in the mud comes across as judgemental - he is no fun, and if he would just get with the program and be more like you (and less like himself), think of all the fun you could have.

As far as talking the big game, I understand it completely. We have a dog. I like it, but would not be bothered if we got rid of it. It is my wife and kids dog. I don't want any harm to come to it, I feed it and take care of it, much of which I do because of my wife and kids. But when its time comes, I will be just fine. That I get some enjoyment from it does not mean I want another, let alone many. For me, more than one would take away what enjoyment I get from this one.

That is really why I made this thread. Clearly I would never truly push his limits on this or risk driving a wedge between us over something so trivial, but when a man's actions and words conflict, what do you believe?

And at what point is it OK (or not OK) to ask your spouse to go outside of their comfort zone for your and/or your childrens sake?

My husband is a huge fan of BBQ - I really dislike it - but I would never ban him from choosing a BBQ restaurant when it's time for us to go out to dinner. I wouldn't tell him not to feed my kids BBQ just because I dislike it. He can convince me to eat BBQ because I know he really enjoys it, even though I would never pick it for myself if it were my choice.

I know - that's a lame example - but do you see the root question I am asking here?
Why do you assume he is not already out of his comfort zone? Perhaps he did so for you in the first place? Consider what he is hearing is somethign akin to "what have you done for me lately." He went out of his comfort zone for you then, but that no longer counts, so he needs to do it again to prove himself. (to be clear, I am not saying you are doing that, only that he may be receiving that message).

We won't be bringing any more animals into the house unless ALL family members approve it - but overall I see gaining another pet as something that will bring more joy to our lives than burden. And I do believe that if a cat magically appeared on our doorstep one day that he would become attached to it and feel the same way, but "shopping" for another pet is foreign to him.
So you know what is best for him? He needs you to show him what is best for him? Again, not saying you are doing it, but that is one message that could be received.

And I am telling you there is real danger in seeing only what you want to see, as opposed to hearing it. You know your husband better than I do, so you will do what you think is best. But I am reading you looking for a reason to ignore what he has told you. Be very careful doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My hubby carries on and storms around about every pet we ever get. Then when I get them, he cares for them & acts like they were his idea all along.

A year ago we got 2 kittens, it my daughters & I a week to wear him down to get them. Then, I had to work when they needed to go the vet to get desexed so H took them. Not only did he get them desexed, he got them chipped, vaccinated, everything else the vet suggested and bought them new toys...
These cats now sleep on our bed, have free range of the office and H takes photos of them constantly. He says they are the best cats ever...

Our dog was a rescued dog, once again, our daughter had to convince H to take her in. Over the last couple of years, I have found her behaviour challenging, but everytime I suggest rehoming the dog, H cracks up. He says he is fond of the dog.

Now, I would not suggest bringing home animals behind your husband's back or nagging him to death, but sometimes there is some wiggle room in the 'no'.
I definitely would never bring an animal home without his explicit consent - but my hubby sounds similar to yours in that he is now fond of the cats. And I smiled when you said you "worked on him" lol. I knew I wasn't the only one who thought of that!

Just so no one gets the wrong impression - we have had two five minute conversations about the cat, so I haven't been nagging him or anything.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Assuming the relationship is well balanced in terms of needs being met my limit is if it causes emotional or physical distress. Having more than a few pets would absolutely cause me emotional distress therefore it's not okay for my husband to expect me to go outside that particular comfort zone.

Going out for bar-b-que might not be my favorite thing to do but it won't cause me any distress so I'm free to say yes to that. I might try it and find out that yes I do in fact like it.
I understand and see your point. That's fair. I guess I need to see his point of view more about what about this would cause him so much distress.

I thought of a better analogy than the BBQ one.

When we got together my h drove a 1979 bright red camaro t-top. He LOVED that car. I hated it. I thought it was tacky. It was incredibly uncomfortable to ride in, nothing ever fit into it. The doors were huge and weighed like 300lbs each so anytime we were parked in a tight lot it felt impossible to open the door without hitting the car next to you. The exhaust smell just hit you in the face, anytime I rode in that car I smelled like gasoline for the rest of the day. It was a gas hog, cost us a fortune to keep up with the constant repairs needed. H got tons of speeding tickets in it - he was definitely a target for speed traps in that thing. H knew I didn't like the car, but I would never have asked him to get rid of it for my sake. I rode around it and tolerated it for his sake. Eventually the engine died and the repairs were too much for us to afford, so he had to sell it to a collector who had a lot more disposable income than we did. I silently jumped for joy the day he got rid of that car. But he has always told me that one day, when we have enough money, he will get another camaro. I cringe thinking about it, but if he approached me with black and white evidence that we could afford it, including the upkeep and gas, I would allow him to have the car. Because I know it's important to him and its something he's passionate about. Even though it would no doubt cause me a good bit of distress to deal with that again.
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Because I know it's important to him and its something he's passionate about. Even though it would no doubt cause me a good bit of distress to deal with that again.
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See I wouldn't unless "I" didn't have to ride in it regularly because the way you describe it sounds god awful. But I'm guessing you didn't have to ride it everyday unlike pets which are just well THERE day in and day out.

To me there is huge difference between a car and another pet. A car is an inanimate object and a pet is alive. I'm taking money out of the equation because yes both cost money to have and maintain.
 
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