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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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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 :-)

foodtech Tue 13-Aug-13 23:00:52

Yeah deal breaker. Does anyone else not trust people who don't like their animals? I know it makes me like people just a little bit less (even family) aw I could never give up my dogs. Love them too much.

YellowTulips Tue 13-Aug-13 23:09:46

Deal breaker for me if my DH wanted a cat or dog.

Sorry but apart from the fact they make my eczema rage out of control I just don't want my home covered in pet hair and smelling like a kennel.

It's a bit like smoking I think. Smokers don't notice the smell, whilst its abhorrent to those who don't.

I have some good friends who have 2 dogs and I can't stand being in their house - hair/stench.

If he is of my mindset then he means it, so you need to decide what's most important to you and I would not assume he would change his mind.

TotallyBursar Tue 13-Aug-13 23:16:17

ImperialB - Usually I'm with you or see your point but in this case, literally this thread, I disagree.
You don't like animals, I do - live and let live baby.
But it's the moody driving away, picking and 'he likes things his own way' that make me uncomfortable. He doesn't sound worth the upset he is forcing along not too far down the road.
It's just all over stroppy, manipulative and lacking respect.
And, all over something he knew all about, it's not like the op had secret dogs! No, there is someone that deserves you out there, it's not him. And it's not about the dogs which I expect is what he'll throw at you when you say owt.

5madthings Tue 13-Aug-13 23:23:24

It would be a deal breaker for me as like yellow I am allergic, they send my eczema mental, I itch,sneeze and wheeze etc.

That being said I do actually like dogs/cats and if I wasn't allergic we would probably have a dog, I know dp would like one, he used to have one but he knows its not possible.

Also his job means it would be me responsible for 95% of the looking after of a dog... That also would put me off.

JumpingJackSprat Tue 13-Aug-13 23:32:17

Youre basically incompatible. you dont want to live without dogs, he doesnt want to live with then. hes acting like a twat and my ex was just the same. when i dumped him he said i loved my cat more than him. seeing as i hated him by then it was true but my cat didnt cause me anywhere near as much hassle as i got off him. no way was i going to commit to saying id never have a pet for his sake. he was a nasty sulker too.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 13-Aug-13 23:53:08

I wouldn't date anyone who had pets, either - I'm another one who is allergic to everything with fur. I might compromise on a goldfish or a budgie I suppose.

But the issue is not that this man is not fond of dogs and cats, it's that he's an arsehole and he is trying to impose his will on the OP.

Dump him, OP. It's fine to do that. It's fine to be single. And, given what you have indicated about the type of man he is, dump him firmly, refuse all contact (at least once you have got back any of your belongings at his place and returned any of his) and if he won't go away, don't feel bad about involving the police. This particular man sounds like a controlling bully who will not accept being dumped, because it's important to him that he can make you obey him and put him first.

However, will the petlovers please bear in mind that not wanting pets is not invariably a sign of moral dysfunction. Some of us are allergic, and some of us want to live spontaneous lives and go places without having to rush back to feed/exercise a pet.

YellowTulips Wed 14-Aug-13 00:02:39

I do actually dislike this "if you don't want pets you are an awful person" attitude.

You can be a good person and not want pets in your life.

Let's remember the worst case is people who have pets and abuse them.

He strikes me as someone being honest - why is that a bad thing?

At least he is giving the OP a choice which is hers to make. If she wants to choose pets in her life over her partner then up to her, but why slag off someone for their honesty re her partner? Bizzare....

tabulahrasa Wed 14-Aug-13 00:23:53

Of course people who don't want pets can be perfectly nice people...but they're not really compatible with people who don't want to live without them.

arsenaltilidie Wed 14-Aug-13 01:00:20

*It's not just the pets really, he just likes things his own way in all aspects.
thanks again*
Why wasn't I surprised. It's not the cat, but failure to compromise.
It will only get worse.

ChubbyKitty Wed 14-Aug-13 01:12:12

Get rid.

Him, not the dogs.

ChubbyKitty Wed 14-Aug-13 01:18:36

Also my DP swore blind we weren't getting a cat.

Little Chubby and Slightly Littler Chubby are secretly laughing at him.

Rockinhippy Wed 14-Aug-13 01:37:36

Deal breaker - he sounds like a complete arse - it's love you, love your pets, sod right off out of my life -

IME, the sort of behaviour he exhibits is the start of controlling behaviour - my brother went through similar, in the end he was pushed to get rid if his beloved cat because she became pregnant - get rid of the cat or I don't move in & marry you & you don't see your DC - he gave in - his poor cat was killed on the road trying to find his way back to DB.

The GF had won one battle, so kept upping the anti until she had alienated all his friends & family - she then dumped him, owning up to cheating on him & the new baby not being his.

I also have an ex who behaved in a similar way with my own cats - I didn't give in though - found out later when one had gone missing that he had been witnessed trying to throw it into the river - it was rescued & taken to the local cat charity - I got her back & he insisted it wasn't him - he didn't realise that the witness was a good friend of my neighbour & had recognised him. - I could go on with similar stories

Get shot, he's an arse

Rockinhippy Wed 14-Aug-13 01:42:36

But the issue is not that this man is not fond of dogs and cats, it's that he's an arsehole and he is trying to impose his will on the OP

That's exactly how I read it too - I know plenty of nice, none controlling people who don't like pets, but they tolerate them for the sake if their partners, just as the partners tolerate other things for there sake – give& take of what's importantly each other, not insist it goes

Rockinhippy Wed 14-Aug-13 01:43:00

Their blush

ItsNotATest Wed 14-Aug-13 01:47:11

I couldn't live with a cat. I'm allergic to them. I tried once, it was miserable. That doesn't equate to me being controlling.

Leaving the allergy aside, I'm not really all that into animals. If my life was having to revolve around the needs of someone else's pets, I think I might be having second thoughts about the relationship. I like to think that makes me a realist, not a bad person.

Tiptops Wed 14-Aug-13 02:03:55

It is a dealbreaker for me. My ex said he wanted to live with me but not my dogs (despite the fact he loved them). Guess who is snuggled up on the end of my bed now? Hint: it isn't him.

Regardless of how he feels about animals at the absolute minimum he should tolerate the relationship you have with your dogs. If you truly love someone you don't resent a creature which gives them so much happiness. His attitude and comments are not only hurtful but totally disrespectful too.

Without wanting to open a whole other can of worms personally I never make friendships with people who resent animals. Very strange affliction to hate something so loving, loyal and innocent as far as I'm concerned.

brunette123 Wed 14-Aug-13 04:49:42

thanks everyone. Am just sat have a cuppa with my dogs and will take them out soon before I do my run.

TVTonight Wed 14-Aug-13 06:22:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FlatCapAndAWhippet Wed 14-Aug-13 06:57:26

Deal breaker for me too.

CoffeeandScones Wed 14-Aug-13 07:00:00

Pets > Humans.

Xenadog Wed 14-Aug-13 07:24:19

The way he speaks about your dogs, OP, makes me think he is controlling and manipulative. He may not like or want pets and that is his prerogative but you come as a package with your dogs. It literally is a case of love me love my dogs. (I wonder if he would take a similar attitude with children?)

Anyway, whilst he may not want them, if he loves you he should be able to compromise and accommodate your dogs and not be wishing them gone. The fact that he cannot shows a real lack of generosity of spirit and wouldn't do for me.

I have chosen my dogs over men in the past and never regretted it. I don't think I could say the same had I made a different choice.

Get rid of him and enjoy your life with your dogs and look forward to the next person who will come into your world and share your canine buddies. x

brunette123 Wed 14-Aug-13 08:09:31

Thanks all. He is away at the moment (not that we live together) so am going to have a lovely day today at home with my hounds and just doing jobs, pottering, mooch round shops and a cappucino and my book maybe. He has one child in her 30s - he is 15 years older than me.
I really appreciate all your thoughts x

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 14-Aug-13 08:16:13

If he's told you that it's him or the dogs then he's given you the ultimatum already, not sure why him doing it is worse than you doing it the other way round confused. I would not want to share my house with pets and someone who wanted a pet would be a no go for me.

Having said that he doesn't sound particularly pleasant in general but that aside, not being a pet lover isn't a crime.

brunette123 Wed 14-Aug-13 08:23:21

But we do not live together and there are no plans to do so with or without pets - he has an issue with me having pets in my own home. We are always having to drop everything for his daughter. At times I hardly see him on his own - fair enough - I accept that and other things that would not be my first choice but the only way the pets affect him is if he does not give me enough notice to get them looked after if he wants do something for more than 4 or 5 hours with me. Before I met him I lived a very full and active life still with dogs because I was organised and made sure that I had the dog walker or pet sitter or a friend lined up but of course they have a life too and they can't always be around on 24 hours notice = particularly for non-emergencies.

SlumberingDormouse Wed 14-Aug-13 08:35:22

I agree. I'm another one whose DP grew up with no pets at all, and he's now gaga over cats and dogs and can't wait to get one! I think it's a sign of a mean-spirited and selfish person if they don't like your dogs after being around them, and aren't prepared to tolerate them for your sake.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 14-Aug-13 08:36:27

Sorry, missed that you weren't and had no intention of living together. In that case it's none of his damned business if you had a pet kangaroo.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 14-Aug-13 08:49:12

I think this guy is an arse, but that notwithstanding, it is perfectly reasonable for people not to want to live with pets. That may mean an incompatibility/dealbreaker but does not automatically make that person the devil incarnate.

I love animals but don't want pets at present. My parents had a rescue German Shepherd before they had me. I loved it and it was incredibly protective of me. But my parents refused to ever put it into a kennel so we only ever had days out (when family friend would feed and walk it during the day) and our first family holiday was when I was 14 after the dog had died. Everything was geared around the dog. Six months later, another dog came along. Same story.

As a result, I want some freedom and spontaneity now. Added to which, my location (a flat) and working hours are not compatible with having a dog (I wouldn't want a cat) as I don't think it's right to leave it shut up on its hour for 12 hours a day.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 14-Aug-13 08:49:28

*own not hour

Bakingtins Wed 14-Aug-13 08:55:06

I think it can be a deal breaker as there is no way to compromise. It's like the discussion whether to have children, you can't have half a child. It's important to you that you share your life with a dog or two, it's important to him that he doesn't. You both have valid points of view but they are incompatible.
I think his attitude towards your current pets and their potential sad demise makes him sound v unpleasant but that is beside the point.
Neither of you love the other enough to get beyond the pet issue, by the sound of it.
Find a man with a dog! wanders off to set up pet owner dating site

Viking1 Wed 14-Aug-13 08:55:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

brunette123 Wed 14-Aug-13 09:00:29

hi daughter is 35 and lives with her partner but she is always ringing her dad and they are always going out together for meals, drinks, days out - I am always invited but of course it means I do not get alot of time on my own with him. They are very lovey dovey and sit next to each other at the table holding hands whilst I am left on the other side talking to the boyfriend.
This is sounding worse.

Viking1 Wed 14-Aug-13 09:04:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chansondumatin Wed 14-Aug-13 09:21:02

I can't believe he thinks he can dictate whether you have pets in your own home when he doesn't even live there, or have any plans to!

He sounds really controlling and set in his ways. I'd ditch him. What an arse.

cuillereasoupe Wed 14-Aug-13 09:26:36

I am emphatically not a dog person. DP's dog is lovely and non-smelly but had he had one of the dribbling, hair-shedding, smelly, wee-on-the-floor, grunting ones I would never have gone past one date with him. Eurgh.

TotallyBursar Wed 14-Aug-13 09:27:49

It is something that has shades of grey. I believe anyway.

Yes I am an animal lover but more importantly my pets have been instrumental in my mental health recovery. Dealing with depression, PTSD and bi-polar has been hard at times; anyone that has seen the work with US military veterans or pets as therapy can see how vital they can be. They have very literally saved my life before now. Currently they bring joy and assistantnce to my disabled child.
That is so, so important to me my choice would be clear.

I do not believe non pet lovers are bad people, far from it. But for me it is a fundamental incompatibility. And actually no I don't feel it boils down to people being more important than depends on the relationship with both. I have people that loved me at my worst, it wasn't them that stayed with me 24/7 or stopped me from hanging myself. I also wasn't able to talk to a person.
A partner that loved me would surely not want to deny me that. Just as I have made allowances for the weird and/or boring/expensive shit DH uses as his stress valve.

But I'll say again I wouldn't ditch because he doesn't want dogs, I'd ditch him because he is sounds like a controlling and disrespectful ballache. Op's latest posts do nothing to endear me to him and just as some can't live with animals, I can't find it within myself to live with a tosser...or not live with as the case may be.
You seriously deserve better, dogs, cats or elephants.

runningonwillpower Wed 14-Aug-13 09:33:34

I don't think I would want to be with someone who gave me ultimatums (ultimata?).

littlemog Wed 14-Aug-13 10:18:12

OP I too have a history of depression and I KNOW that having my dogs has always been an enormous help to me when things have been bad. I could no more be with a man who didn't love dogs than I could fly to the moon. I would rather be single and have my dogs than be with a partner if it came down to it.

I am sorry to say this but your partner sounds like a prize prick and his behaviour regarding the dogs is pathetic. If anyone spoke about my dogs as if they are an inconvenience then their feet would not touch the ground. These are your much loved elderly friends - how can you even contemplate letting this idiot stay in your life?

Do yourself a favour and find someone you are compatible with and not a man-child who is jealous and controlling.

littlemog Wed 14-Aug-13 10:22:08

foodtech I too gauge people by whether they like animals or not! I don't really trust people who hate animals and speak disparagingly about them. I have only ever met a few people like this but they set the hairs one the back of my neck up.

littlemog Wed 14-Aug-13 10:24:18

I don't mean people who just don't really want animals or are just a bit ambivalent about them before I get flamed!

OP - what are you going to do?

ThreeTomatoes Wed 14-Aug-13 10:27:42

I think in your case it's more than about pets or not, he sounds like a wanker tbh.

I'm not very confident with animals, grew up without pets and tbh cannot imagine having to share my home with dogs. But if I fell in love with someone who had the relationship with their dogs that you have, I would by extension love the dogs too -what's important to the people i love is important to me. If i couldn't handle it and was adamant i couldn't live with dogs, then i would have to either accept that i have to get used to it, or end the relationship. Most likely the former. I'm very allergic to cats, and DP is a bit sad that it means we can never get a cat as he'd love a cat, but he has accepted that. I'm sad about that too, but if it was just that i was meh about a cat, i would agree to a cat.

In your case, your DP seems to be horrible to you about your dogs, weird about his daughter, basically a selfish inconsiderate man, IMO.

So, I fear this may well be a dealbreaker for you, yes - but not because he doesn't want pets, rather because of his attitude to you.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 14-Aug-13 10:30:23

Nope, of course people who don't like pets aren't bad people. But they would be happier in a relationship with somebody who also didn't like pets, or who didn't mind either way about getting a pet.

It is a dealbreaker in a compatibility issue kind of way. It's totally fair for somebody to state "I will never ever live with a pet" and, equally, it's totally fair for their partner who does love pets to say "Well, I want a pet some day, so I'm out".

To me it's along the same lines as whether or not you want children one day. It's not going to work if you have totally opposite views!

cory Wed 14-Aug-13 10:39:36

What YoniBotts said.

It isn't about pets in particular- it could just as well be music or sailing or a love of the great outdoors. The point is not whether it's good or bad in some kind of wider perspective, but that it's an essential part of you.

My db got together with somebody who couldn't cope with his love of the sea. Basically, she expected him to suppress what was the most essential part of himself forever after, and being a sweet and goodnatured person he tried, bless him. It was a difficult relationship and eventually ended in a messy breakup. Db now looks a good 10 years younger.

ninilegsintheair Wed 14-Aug-13 10:39:40

There's been plenty of advice here so don't think I need to add to it however - I am very much a cat person and before we owned our first home I was adamant that as soon as we did, I wanted a cat. BF (now husband) wasn't overly keen on cats but not bothered about having them either.

So, first house bought, along came our cat, who I adore (and I think the feeling is mutual wink). As husband became more controlling he started doing the 'it's the cat or me', I told him I'd choose the cat any day and he backed off. Instead, he now treats the cat with utter contempt, shouting at her if she tries to get close to him. He even pushed her backwards off him onto the floor once (it's the only time I ever came close to lashing out at him). sad

This is a man who has shown his true colours in other ways - emotional (and physical too) abusers can often also be vicious towards animals too. I'm a firm believer that in order to know a person's true nature, watch how they react to animals.

This could be you, OP. My advice would be to end it, his attitude to you is worrying and full of red flags. In your case I'd be forever worrying about what he could do to your beloved pets in your absence.

littlemog Wed 14-Aug-13 10:46:28

ninilegsintheair why on earth are you still with this man? WTF? He is actively being cruel to your pet....?

Just don't get it at all.

brunette123 Wed 14-Aug-13 10:47:42

Thank you everyone. I am enjoying a peaceful day today and doing some thinking. Yes there are other things too if I am honest. Won't go into details but I do feel nervy at times around him as he is terribly impatient with me and I end up dithery and can't express myself or make decisions. Thanks again.

Val007 Wed 14-Aug-13 11:05:05

I personally would not like to share my home with animals. It doesn't matter if I like them - definitely would not like to live with them. Same with people - you wouldn't like to live with just ANY person, would you? Nothing wrong in having preferences either way. Just make sure you are compatible in your preferences. This is what really matters.

ninilegsintheair Wed 14-Aug-13 11:22:52

In the process of trying to get together to leave, littlemog. Long story, don't want to thread hijack. smile

Brunette, he doesn't sound right for you at all. Keep posting if you feel able. thanks

FriendlyLadybird Wed 14-Aug-13 11:23:02

It can be a dealbreaker, and I think it's fair to see it as a potential dealbreaker from both sides.

I quite like other people's animals and would not mind getting a couple of rabbits for the children. But I would not want to live with a dog, and certainly not two.

His point of view is not unreasonable. Being demanding and controlling is.

littlemog Wed 14-Aug-13 11:42:52

ninilegsintheair sorry if I sounded unsympathetic. I hope you find a way to be happy and take your lovely mog with you!

brunette he does not sound right for you. You deserve to feel happy and comfortable around your partner and he sounds like he bullies you. You are worth MORE.

littlemog Wed 14-Aug-13 11:44:39

FriendlyLadyBird but this is the whole point. He does not want to live with the OP - he just does not want her to have her dogs. So I think his pov is astonishingly unreasonable!

BranchingOut Wed 14-Aug-13 11:50:48

I remember a thread on here where someone's boyfriend had an iguana.

Several posters said 'love him, love his iguana', but it turned out that the iguana had to be kept, uncaged, in a specially heated room and a particular risk was that it might attack a woman whenever it smelt menstrual blood.

I don't know what happened, but I think that was potentially a deal breaker!

ninilegsintheair Wed 14-Aug-13 11:51:13

That's ok littlemog. thanks I keep a close eye on him when they're near each other and whatever happens she WILL be coming with me when I leave. I'm her mum and she deserves a happy place. smile

I actually do think he's being unreasonable in his stance - she had her dogs before he came along and they give her comfort. As others have said, what kind of person would want to take that away from someone they apparently love?

It's wrong and I think you know it OP. Leave him and find someone who enjoys your pets as much as you do. Both you and your dogs deserve that. smile

LadyMud Wed 14-Aug-13 12:42:23

"a sign of a mean-spirited and selfish person if they don't like your dogs"
That's a bit rich, Dormouse!

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Wed 14-Aug-13 13:16:48

If DH had tried to control anything about my life when we didn't live together he would never have made it beyond "someone I dated." He's a dog person but accepted that my cats were part of the package. He's a bit nervous around BigFurry, who can be somewhat bitey, but is completely in love with LittleFurry. One day we'll have a dog, when our lifestyles allow it - I don't get excited about dogs but he does and I will learn to love it. We will always have cats, although not as many as I would have if left to my own devices. The principle would be a dealbreaker for me, the actual population of furry things is negotiable.

Kaluki Wed 14-Aug-13 13:58:01

It's a deal breaker for both DP and I so we are at stalemate over it.
I hate dogs, he loves them. I love cats and he hates them!
So we either get a dog and a cat or neither and since my dislike of dogs is greater than my love of cats it is neither. It's sad though because I miss having a cat since my last one died sad

FriendlyLadybird Wed 14-Aug-13 14:08:26

Sorry -- I missed the point that they weren't living together and not planning to.

In which case, he is being unreasonable. Add that to demanding and controlling and I wouldn't think he's got much future with the OP.

expatinscotland Wed 14-Aug-13 14:10:24

brunette, stop wasting your time thinking. BIN this person right now. He is not for you at all and sounds very controlling and immature.

Stropzilla Wed 14-Aug-13 14:23:08

I dislike dogs. They moult, drool, smell,bark and I can't imagine cleaning up poop for the rest of their lives. I'd find it restricting re holidays. However my DP loves them and his dream is to have one. If we could find one that didn't do all of the above, I'd reconsider to make him happy. If it was a dealbreaker for him, you can bet I'd have one!

Difference is we live together and have kids! This man has been very dismissive of your feelings, and quite controlling and you DON'T live together! What's with seeing his DD every moment he can and acting "lovey dovey" with her? That's quite bizarre and I'm an affectionate person with family! Find someone who will love your dogs!

/wanders off to google suitable dogs for me as I know in my heart it would make DH deliriously happy...

Madratlady Wed 14-Aug-13 14:36:24

The top of my list of criteria for a new partner before I met DH was 'likes animals, especially rodents' (hypothetical list btw, I didn't actually write one).

If he had had a problem with my rats he'd not have got past the first date. Ditto if he'd said he'd never have a cat because I wanted one when I had my own house rather than a rented room.

So for me a person's views on pets could be a deal breaker. Sounds like that's not the only problem you have with your P though.

cory Wed 14-Aug-13 15:15:11

brunette123 Wed 14-Aug-13 10:47:42
"Won't go into details but I do feel nervy at times around him as he is terribly impatient with me and I end up dithery and can't express myself or make decisions."

That is not a good sign- but you know that, don't you? Living in a relationship where you can't be yourself- what will become of yourself?

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Wed 14-Aug-13 15:33:21

Liking pets/not wanting pets doesn't have to be a deal breaker. DH doesn't 'get' animals, yet in the 16 years we've been together he has put up with 3 guinea pigs, a rabbit, a budgie, 14 chickens, a hamster and now 2 dogs. He quite likes one of the dogs.

That said, this isn't really about pets. It's about one partner thinking they have the right to dictate what goes on in the others' life. And quite frankly, fuck him and the horse he wouldn't dream of riding in on. Your dogs bring you happiness, and instead of him supporting you in that, he's trying to control you. He doesn't even live with you ffs! Are you supposed to sit at home, waiting for his call so you can drop everything at a moments notice? This isn't an equal or fair relationship for you. Enjoy your dogs and dump the man.

littlemog Wed 14-Aug-13 15:36:02

Enjoy your dogs and dump the man.

OP - this

That's all. grin

higgle Wed 14-Aug-13 15:42:12

I'm not sure my DH had any feelings at all about animals when we met, his mother had a cat but he didn't say anything about it. My then dog somewhat blotted her copy book by having a bout of diarrhoea on our first visit to his flat. However, he came to love her funny little ways and over the years we have had a succession of dogs and horses and I can truly say that caring for them together has really enriched our relationship. When we both had horses I used to feel his horse was an extension of his personality and the whole experience just completed our relationship ( we do have children too, but they are individual people in the way pets are not ). I could not live with anyone who didn't agree to the odd cat/dog/horse about the place.

catsmother Wed 14-Aug-13 15:52:38

Oh OP this seems to be far more about wanting pets or not. As several others have said he is entitled to his opinion about pets and if that was the only disagreement between you, and he treated you with respect, certainly wouldn't make him a nasty person.

However - much of what you've subsequently revealed does indeed suggest that he's quite a piece of work - and that's on top of who the hell does he think he is to demand you have no pets when he doesn't even live with you ?! If you feel nervous around him that's a great big red flag, and if he's "terribly impatient" with you it conjures up this image for me of him belittling you and making you feel stupid. Certainly, he likes to lay down the law doesn't he ? - he probably feels a lot more important than you and that your feelings/opinions don't matter. (I could be getting ahead of myself here - but those are the thoughts that came to mind when I read your updates). The daughter thing is plain bloody rude and would be another red flag for me. Think about it - he whinges and moans when you can't be as spontaneous as he wants, yet very often what he wants is to see his daughter with you tagging along and being all but ignored as they have their cosy sounding mutual admiration party. Talk about wanting everything his own way. You deserve far better than that.

stowsettler Wed 14-Aug-13 16:56:20

It'd be a dealbreaker for me. I had 2 dogs when I met DP and I moved to his area of the country shortly after we met - however we didn't live together. He's an intensely private person and couldn't cope with the idea of sharing his space with another being 24 hours a day (he works from home). forward 3 years and the 5 of us live together: him, me, the 2 dogs and DD who's nearly 6mo. He is nearly as soft over the dogs as I am!
I'm not sure what changed his mind. He always liked dogs, but never really thought about living with them. Nowadays if I go away with them and DD he texts me to say the house is too empty without us all.

Ragwort Wed 14-Aug-13 17:04:12

I personally just wouldn't get involved in the first place with someone who had pets, I really, really don't like animals and couldn't bear to share my home with a cat or dog.

My DH has said he would like a dog (he had a dog when he was growing up) and I have made it clear that if he gets a dog I will leave - as we have been married over 25 years I will have to wait and see if he prefers a dog to being with me. grin But its a bit like children isn't it, surely rational people discuss before they live together/get married whether or not they will have children ......... and/or pets (don't think there are many rational people on mumsnet sometimes).

However, if your boyfriend knew how much your pets meant to you when he met with you then he is being totally unreasonable and from other things you have said on this thread he just doesn't sound a particularly nice person at all, in spite of the pet issue, I think that is the least of your problems.

DarceyBissell Wed 14-Aug-13 19:45:49

Why read 4 pages of posts? This man is vile. Tell him to bugger off. Now.

MadeMan Wed 14-Aug-13 22:19:37

I'm not a particular fan of pets, but I can understand the sentiments behind the whole, "Love me, love my dogs/cats" mentality.

I share a similar attitude of, love me, love my snooker table...

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