Are Pets Ruining Your Relationship?

Keen Category: Love Advice

Large cat annoyed in the presence of loving couple

Well, you finally met a good guy, and there is a distinct possibility that this could be the one. Just because you don't have another man in your life, though, doesn't mean you don't have a significant other. Your cat, dog, hamster, gerbil, parakeet, chimpanzee or even your goldfish might be a little more ingrained in your life than you realize.

If you suddenly notice a lack of communication, interest in the relationship or interest in visiting your place, you might have to consider the ways in which your pet is involved in your life and what changes might be necessary to make room for a good man.

You don't have to get rid of your pet just because your new partner is not thrilled with your nonhuman roommate. And just because your pet that has a problem with your new lover, there's no reason to stay single. There are also plenty of great men in the world who are happy and committed pet owners and if you are new to having an animal attached to a relationship, there are ways for you, your partner an animal companion can adapt.

THE UNFAMILIAR

Many people did not grow up with a pet. In addition to adjusting to having a new person in his life, your new man might be doubly stressed by having to learn the dos and don'ts of living with a pet.

Many pet owners cannot comprehend that some people did not grow up with pets. You may have to train your new partner in some of the simplest things you take for granted. For example, if you do not want your pet to leave the house, it will be up to you to monitor the door until your partner becomes accustomed to this.

ALLERGIES

A possible deal-breaker is if one of you is not a pet person because of allergies. Many pet owners live in denial of this condition, but for the allergy sufferer, it is very real. Some pet owners may insist that the allergies are exaggerated or psychosomatic.

Your new partner might have some medical condition that actually prohibits long stays in an enclosed space with a pet. A solution to this is to simply focus your together time away from the living space of the pet, and if you choose to have pets in the future, consider getting outdoor pets.

THE HATER

If your new love interest openly expresses contempt for animals after it is clear that you are a pet owner, something is not right. A jealousy of your pet may be manifesting, but it is unacceptable behavior, whatever the cause, and must be addressed. It's important to assert your right to maintain your relationship with your pet. A lover who demands you choose between him and your pet is not a lover; he is a loser.

TIME MANAGEMENT

When you are single, it is easy to give your pet lots of attention. Your daily rituals may, in fact, be built around what is best for your pet. When you are in a relationship, you may need to alter things such as walks, grooming and feeding times.

Pets do not respond well to drastic, sudden changes, but they are adaptable. Many pet owners want the world to revolve around what is convenient for them and use their pet as an excuse. Balance what is best for your pet with your relationship, not make your love life submit to what your pet has become accustomed to.

RAISING PETS TOGETHER

Many couples adopt pets after the relationship is long established and affirmed. The first thing that needs to be resolved is whether the pet is to be assumed the responsibility of one or both partners. If it is to be both of you, there needs to be a look at who will pay for pet food, vet bills and little things like which one of you cleans up after "accidents" and how much of the house or yard is off limits to the pet.

The fundamental discussion should be about why you want pets at this specific time. Your husband might want a dog when you two move into a house with a nice yard. There needs to be a talk, though, in case you two are planning to move into a loft in the city a few years down the road – will your new pet be an indoor dog? And if so, why adopt a pet now instead of two years from now?

There may be a subtle desire to have a pet as an emotional substitute. A pet should only come into your partnership or family if you are ready to take on the responsibility. Anyone can enjoy the love of a pet and the many thrilling aspects of developing a relationship based on unconditional love. It is not necessarily a healthy thing if the core reason for wanting these things is as a replacement for something lacking in your human relationships.

COMMUNICATION

A partner needs to know that the primary relationship in each of your lives is with each other. Husbands and wives who take a secondary role to an animal will have a much easier time rationalizing their behavior that is detrimental to the partnership, be it staying out late alone, or even having an affair. A lover needs attention and affection and will eventually resent second-class status.

We are all in relationships to be loved as the primary object of another person's affections. A lover is not to be ignored in favor of an animal. People who use their pets as barriers to intimacy inevitably pay the price of loneliness and disconnection from a social life. When you prioritize your pet over a partner, don't be surprised if your lover leaves you two alone to decide who truly holds the leash.

If asked whether your pet is more important than he, your boyfriend or husband should be so confident in his place in your world that he can actually joke that your pet is number one. This is the best sign that there are no pet issues in the way of true love: he feels secure enough to embrace your love of a pet; this level of love and acceptance indicates that you have found a solid life partner.

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