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Can having pets or not ever be a deal breaker in a relationship?

(93 Posts)
brunette123 Tue 13-Aug-13 19:09:39

I have always had pets since I was a child - either cats or dogs or both - currently have 2 dogs - had them 6 or 7 years now. I cannot imagine having no pets in my life - I have suffered from depression at times and my pets have been tremendous therapy.
I have met a man a while back and he is not a pet lover at all - he sees them as burden and a tie (which at times they are) and only sees the negatives none of the benefits. Although yes they can be a tie, for me, I can get them walked or looked after with some notice (he wants to be spontaneous all the time) and the positives outweigh the benefits. My two are old dogs now as they were 4 or 5 when I adopted them so they will probably both be gone within the year.
The guy thinks and makes comments to the effect that once they are gone I should have no more if I want to be with him. I really think I may have to break up with him about this - what is the point of leaving it a year and having the argument then when I want a new dog or two?
He is totally inflexible on this point. A large part of me thinks if he loved me he would not ask or more accurately demand this of me.
Any one been in similar situation?
thanks in advance.

Viking1 Tue 13-Aug-13 19:14:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SummerRain Tue 13-Aug-13 19:18:43

Dp swore blind he hated cats when he met me. He said he'd never have them as pets and they were awful.

He's wrapped around their little paws now and adores them grin

If he hadn't changed his opinion it would have been a dealbreaker for me, I've always had cats and always will.

vegetariandumpling Tue 13-Aug-13 19:18:45

It can certainly be a deal breaker, it definitely would be for me. I couldn't stand living with animals so if I met someone who I knew would want pets then there would really be no future.

Matildathecat Tue 13-Aug-13 19:18:56

No, but my husband did not want a cat or a dog....we now have both!!

He loves the dog as we all do and actually, walking him together is a real shared thing. We've made new friends via the dog too!

If your chap can't stand a dog could you compromise on a cat or two? Obviously not much trouble compared to dogs.

If he says no to any pet, that for me would be a deal breaker I think.

Can you get him to get involved with the dogs a bit? My friend met a very undog guy two years ago. He had to make a real effort to join in and befriend her grumpy dog. They now live together. Although the grumpy dog is still a bit grumpy with him it's going well. I know who would have come first if my friend had had to choose!

brunette123 Tue 13-Aug-13 19:26:32

He will not get involved with the dogs - he will either go to the pub whilst I walk them or the other day he refused to wait half an hour whilst I took them and drove off home in a mood and I just thought what a total **. He will not come round - I know that. I probably know the answer. I also get fed up leaving them so long and so often to go somewhere with him - even if I can get them walked - I like being with them! He can't stand them - I love them - I lie on the floor with one in each arm watching tv all cosy.
I have no children and am in my 40s so won't be having them but do need my pets. Thanks it has been helpful just to talk about this.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 13-Aug-13 19:47:45

He is an arse. His reactions when you walk them, his emotional blackmail that you must choose between him and pets once your two are gone... Get rid of this man, he is nasty.

A good man, even one who disliked animals, would appreciate them at least for the joy that they bring you

mustardtomango Tue 13-Aug-13 19:57:32

Dealbreaker here too... If you love them and enjoy having them, I can't see what the problem is. Sounds a little insecure perhaps?

brunette123 Tue 13-Aug-13 20:00:39

It's not just the pets really, he just likes things his own way in all aspects.
thanks again.

Fairylea Tue 13-Aug-13 20:07:09

I think it's quite insensitive to talk about your beloved pet dogs as if he effectively can't wait till they're gone. sad I think that in itself is very disrespectful to how you feel.

I do think pets are a deal breaker.

My mum is a dog lover and had 3 dogs and when she lived with us (with her dogs) I was ready to literally tear my hair out.

I love animals but I breathed a huge sigh of relief when she moved out, I really don't like living with dogs or cats even though I grew up with them.

Thankfully my dh is the same. If he had dogs or cats when I met him I'd seriously have to reconsider the relationship, there's no way I could live with pets!

cathpip Tue 13-Aug-13 20:07:35

My dh apparently never liked dogs, then he met me and my dogs, and he knew we were a package. Well those dogs have passed and 2 lively spaniels have replaced them, he still is not 100% on dogs but will happily walk them and pat them etc. he knows that I am a dog person they are my hobby as it were and without them I would be lost and for that reason he accepts them. If at any point when we were dating he told me to choose I would not be married to him.

expatinscotland Tue 13-Aug-13 20:11:15

Ditch him. He sounds like a controlling, sulking areshole who wants to see if he can change who you are via emotional manipulation and degradation.

Bowlersarm Tue 13-Aug-13 20:21:38

I think this is a difficult one and not as cut and dried as people here are saying it is. We have dogs, and DH is fairly good with them particuarly as he wasn't at all keen on getting them, it was me that wanted them and it is working out fine.

But I really dislike cats, and I really wouldn't want to share my home with them. I suppose if I met someone now (hypothetically, I'm not planning a divorce!) who had cats I would 'put up' with them, but would really hope that once their days had naturally ended that they wouldn't be replaced.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Tue 13-Aug-13 20:25:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandomMess Tue 13-Aug-13 20:29:12

Deal breaker in this case for definate!

superbagpuss Tue 13-Aug-13 20:31:10

it would be for me

I told dh when we got a house I would be getting cats.
I got them within 6 weeks of moving in from cat protection

he loves them as much as I do, I just had to reach him how to look after them as he had only had rabbits and gp before

I have told him when we get a bigger house we are getting a dog

I could not imagine a house without pets

worldgonecrazy Tue 13-Aug-13 20:34:10

Deal breaker - I would never be without a cat.

But this isn't just about the dogs, is it? His attitude stinks - a grown man sulking shows a childish attitude and disregard for your responsibilities.

expatinscotland Tue 13-Aug-13 20:42:11

'It's not just the pets really, he just likes things his own way in all aspects.
thanks again.'

That is why he is single. He's a wanker.

brunette123 Tue 13-Aug-13 20:44:33

Thanks. Always very helpful and thoughtful advice.

brunette123 Tue 13-Aug-13 20:45:34

I mean that - sorry - just read my post hope it did not sound sarky - I am quite touched that so many of you have taken the time to help.

catsmother Tue 13-Aug-13 21:33:03

It'd be a dealbreaker for me - if anyone refused to "let" me have cats that'd be it. I do get that pets aren't for everyone, but there are enough people out there who do either like them, or at least would tolerate them (without being nasty about it). I'm pretty sure DP wouldn't have cats if it wasn't for me - yet despite "moaning" about them every so often it's not unusual to catch him "singing" to them in a silly voice, so he has been won round by them even if he won't admit it.

Your bloke though sounds horrid - as others have said it's damn bloody rude and insensitive to talk about them dying with what almost sounds like relish - nevermind the fact that he's apparently decided what you should do when they're gone. TBH, if someone was that anti, I'd be concerned at how they'd react, and how they'd support me (or not) when my pets eventually died. If he was unsympathetic to my grief that would make it even worse and dare I say it sounds as though he's just the sort of person to make light of it - which would be heartbreaking for you as you'd expect your partner to be caring and thoughtful at such a time. Given he's so very anti-pets, I'm surprised he stuck with you once he discovered you were a pet lover ..... after all, after a handful of dates it would have been relatively easy to walk away with no hard feelings on either side. The fact he didn't - yet wants to overrule you on something which has always been very important to you - stinks rather. It all sounds very controlling which doesn't bode well.

TBH, I think you'd be better off without him. There are many more men out there who'd be happy to share your pets. As he's absolutely rigid in his views, you're quite right that you're only postponing the inevitable - getting rid of him - because at some stage in the future, you would presumably consider the idea of getting other pets. Think of it like this - what upsets you more ? ...... getting shot of him, or living a life with no more pets ever again ?? I also agree that pets are great therapy - and are a wonderful source of comfort and stability no matter what else might be going on. If you feel like that I don't think you'd ever be happy without pets - or at least being free to choose when to have them if you want.

something2say Tue 13-Aug-13 21:46:10

I used to go out with a man who was allergic to animals, we didnt have any at the time but his family all used to say they weren't animal people and I wouldn't be having animals in their family. In fact, they ate animals, they said. I grew up in the country surrounded by animals. He went. I have a cat now. I love him.

Sorry to hear about your partner. You sound level headed about it tho. I let my cat sleep on my bed and it is so touching when he falls asleep with his head resting on me. I'd never give him up xxx. Your dogs sound lovely xx

mojitosatbathtime Tue 13-Aug-13 22:01:48

dealbreaker for me. I had an ex who hated my animals and made out that there was something wrong with me to love animals!

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Aug-13 22:09:22

I'm on your partner's side. I wouldn't want to live with someone who had animals. I don't like them and I don't want to live with them.

I do think it's something that pet lovers don't understand. They see all sorts of faults in a person who doesn't like pets, but really all it is is that you like animals and I don't.

Lemsy Tue 13-Aug-13 22:54:25

No way, it would be a deal breaker for me. Me and my cats come as a package. Anyway, it would put me off a man who didn't love animals or who wasn't willing to try as some people just haven't been exposed to their lovliness :-)

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