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My Marriage Is Breaking because of My Dog

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From Scotland: When my husband and I moved to Aberdeen we gave away his cat, but took my dog with us. Now my husband absolutely hates the dog and blames him for loosing his cat. But my heart will break if I will give the dog away, but if I don’t then our marriage won’t last. I also feel that I am starting to love my husband less because the way he treats my dog. I love my dog like a child. We also just had a baby a month ago. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to break our family, but the thought of loosing my dog is killing me.

Dog spends all his time in doggy bed and is not making any noise. My husband says that he hates that the dog sheds, but I wash the floor every day so there is almost no fur on the floor, but that doesn’t change anything. My husband says he wants to make things right, but he can’t control himself and just absolutely hates the dog :( I offered him to get a cat but he says it won’t change the way he feels about the dog.

I am really considering rehoming the dog, but I hate people who do that and I am also afraid that I will stop loving my husband if he makes me do that. I am starting to love him less already and it scares me. Please help.

My Marriage Is Breaking because of My Dog

Answered by on -


This isn’t about the dog. You are brand new parents and instead of focusing on making a loving family, you are fighting about pets. That suggests to me that neither one of you was really ready to parent a child. Yet, here you are with a month old baby who needs the two of you to be in a loving, mature relationship.

I’m assuming you both decided to give away the cat and keep the dog. That your husband is making a big deal about the dog now (after the baby was born) looks to me like he’s fighting for control. Perhaps being a father scares him. Maybe he doesn’t like sharing you. You’re not likely to give the baby away, but maybe on some level he thinks that making you give your 4-legged child away will guarantee that you still have time for him.

You are responding by taking him literally and dealing with his objections to the dog — as if anything will please him enough. It won’t work because the fight isn’t really about the dog to begin with. It’s about growing up and taking responsibility for decisions that the two of you made and figuring out how to be parents as well as lovers.

To solve the impasse, the two of you need to quit talking about dogs and start talking about how you are going to deal with all the absolutely reasonable fears and dreams that go with committing to have and raise a child. If you can’t have that discussion on your own, I suggest you find a couples therapist — quick — to help you out.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Marriage Is Breaking because of My Dog

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Marriage Is Breaking because of My Dog. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 13 Mar 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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