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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.

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.

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