I bought my husband a dog and now it’s driving me mad. How did it end up being my problem, asks a letter writer.

Our elder has some advice—and it’s bye bye Rover.

Dear EWC

Yes I have a major concern in my marriage. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years, and about three years ago, I got my husband a chocolate lab. Well anyway when he was a puppy he was not as anxious, but as he got older he showed many signs of anxiety. We took him to a vet and she suggested that we do many things to help him with this whole problem. For instance, he paces all the time, he will lay down for like a few minutes then gets up paces around the living room, kitchen and hallway unless you tell him to lay down; he is constantly doing this. The vet suggested that we have him see a dog trainer, also take him on daily walks and so forth.

My husband has only taking the dog about three or four times out to be walked in the last three years. The last two and a half years this dog has got my irritation up in which it bothers me when he’s constantly pacing and I can’t even enjoy a show without the dog constantly not listening. Also my husband has put the dog over me saying that it is my problem and our relationship has been severed. I feel like he’s a roommate, then a husband. Hardly any affection, and any time I bring up how the dog is frustrating the situation he always says I need to deal with it. There is very little romance and one on one time alone, and also on top of this, my adult daughter and grandkids are living with us for over a year now, and there’s a lot of stress there too. The main thing is he says that he will follow through and take the dog daily for walk; he has said before he would do this and never follows through. Thanks for listening.

Lawry replies

I would be happy to answer your letter. I am so sorry that you are feeling like a “frustrated wife.” 

I think it’s time to take action, and you have started that step by writing to Elder Wisdom Circle. I would suggest that you sit down with your husband and have a heart-to-heart chat. First I would talk about the dog and the negative affect this animal is having on your marriage and your lives. It sounds to me like the best decision would be to give up the dog. Take it to your local humane society or animal shelter. I would stop trying to make it work at this point. It is only cause stress, which you don’t need.

Then you need to talk about what the two of you can do to put the pieces back together again like they were before this dog came into your home. 

You will want to address the impact of having your daughter and grandchildren living with you. Are there things that could be done differently there?

In short, it would be best to look at all the variables in your lives and how they are affecting your relationship. You need to get a sense of where your marriage is at. It may even be appropriate to spend a few sessions with a couple’s therapist (marriage counselor) if you think that would help get things back on track.

I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I wish you a great deal of luck in resolving this situation. Think positive. I am a great believer in that. I know this won’t be easy, but you can do it!

Letter #: 417033
Category: Marriage

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