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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.

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...

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

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

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.

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).
....fast 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.

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.

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.

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

Enjoy your dogs and dump the man.

OP - this

That's all. grin

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.

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?

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.

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...

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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

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!

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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