Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Girlfriend Doesn’t Pay For Anything”

Love or money

I am in a relationship with someone I met October of 2013. Through March of 2014, I have paid for 99% of everything that we do, like dinners, vacations, going out, etc.

I make about $40K a year. She makes $115K a year but moved to our area in July of 2013 and built a house and needed to save a lot of money for closing, the move, etc. Note: she has a dog and, because of that, I’ve done all of the commuting to her apartment, and now to her house, since October. She’s been to my apartment twice in eight months because of the dog situation.

So, you can see I’ve made enormous strides in taking financial burden away from her knowing that it won’t be forever.

So, my lease is up in June and she asked me to move in, which I agreed to. But I only agreed to pay what I currently pay for rent because honestly that’s all I can afford. Remember, she makes over twice what I do.

When I move in, she expects me to “toilet” her dog almost 85% of the time. The dog isn’t my responsibility. As it is, the dog stops us from doing anything after work until we drive home to let her out of the crate to use the bathroom. She’s been in her crate for 12 hours by the end of the work day. I feel bad for the dog, but I tell myself she’s not my responsibility. My partner gets angry and bitchy with me when I don’t take her out most times. I feel used and frustrated. I feel that, because she’ll be charging me less rent than half of her mortgage, she’s holding the dog responsibility over my head.

Side note: I will take 50% responsibility in all household chores, cleaning, laundry, groceries, and utilities, starting end of June.

I’m feeling used and held emotional hostage where the dog is concerned. She requires an enormous amount of attention, and I have to curb my whole social life, etc., because of it. If I go out with friends when I get off of work, my partner gets mean with me because she has to drive 45 minutes to let the dog out before she can do anything.

Please give me advice. I blew up with her this morning because, in less than eight hours, I took the dog out five times, cleaned up copious amount of vomit, made dinner and breakfast. — Feeling Used

Oh, hell, no. First off: don’t move in with your girlfriend yet. You’ve only been together for seven months (not eight months, like you said earlier in your letter, if you only met in October). The end of a lease is NOT a good enough reason to move in with someone, especially with someone who has never treated you to a date despite making over twice what you do and who would expect you to basically be the dog-sitter as part of your payment for the privilege of helping her pay off her mortgage. Hell, no.

There’s a reason you feel used here. It’s because you are being used. And you’re allowing it. As long as you enable your girlfriend to take advantage of you, she will. Three things may happen if you get a backbone and stop enabling your girlfriend to use you: 1) You will have more self-respect and find that your relationships in general improve; 2) Your girlfriend will respect you more and your relationship with her will improve; 3) Your girlfriend will realize she can’t get what she wants from you and will move on because she never really loved you for who you are but only for what you would do for her. If the latter happens, that will hurt, but it will be better that you see your girlfriend’s true colors earlier rather than later (and certainly before you move in with her and start paying part of her mortgage).

Here’s what needs to happen: you need to tell your girlfriend you aren’t ready to move in with her yet — that you are uneasy with some things in your relationship and want to work out those issues before you take the big step of cohabitating; then, re-sign your lease (or find a new place); next, suggest that your girlfriend hire a daytime dog-sitter because 12 hours is too long for a dog to spend in a crate, and having to rush home to let the dog out is interfering with your relationship and your social life; tell your girlfriend that, until you become live-in partners, her dog is solely her responsibility and, while you are willing to dog-sit on occasion and to help with some of the dog-care when you are staying over, you will no longer be responsible for any of the dog duties unless you feel like it; let your girlfriend know that if/when you move in together, your agreed-upon rent will be your payment and that any dog-care on your part will be from the goodness of your heart and because you love her and love the dog; STOP PAYING FOR EVERYTHING; before you move in with your girlfriend, discuss what, if any, stake you will have in the property you would essentially be paying part of the mortgage for.

Finally, you should take a look at my list of 15 things couples should do before moving in together. Pay close attention to numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 15. Now I kind of want to edit the list to add a 16th tip: establish and agree on respective pet duties and costs.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

81 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kerrycontrary May 13, 2014, 9:09 am

    WWS! So I have a dog and yes it sucks that I can’t go do anything immediately after work like happy hours or exercise classes. But guess what? That’s part of having a dog. I would never imagine asking my fiance (who doesn’t live with me but will in 2 weeks) to go let the dog out for me. Even when we move in together the dog will be my responsibility unless I plan ahead and ask him to be home to let her out one night a week when I have something planned. I’m sorry, but your girlfriend sounds horrible and you sound like you’ve enabled her by being a complete doormat. What is she even bringing to the relationship? Is she really really attractive? If so, that won’t last. I would actually just move on from this relationship and start from scratch.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      kerrycontrary May 13, 2014, 9:27 am

      Also…even if you break up I would really suggest that your girlfriend hires a dog walker to let the dog out at least twice a day while she’s away/out with her friends. If she doesn’t I would consider calling the local ASPCA or the animal control unit of your local police department. She’s not providing proper toilet facilities for the dog. Not sure if they can do anything but it’s worth a try…

      Reply Link
      • TheLadyE

        Elisse May 13, 2014, 9:39 am

        Agreed. 12 hours in a crate is no quality of life for a dog. That’s horrible and selfish.

        The most I leave my dog is for 8 hours during the day while I work, and even then she has free reign of the house including her food, bones, clean water and toys and bed. I still feel guilty about it, too.

        Link
      • avatar

        Holly May 13, 2014, 10:09 am

        I once dog-sit for a woman who regularly kept her dog (an American Bulldog) in a much-too-small crate for 9-10 hours a day. She would go to work, then go to the gym for over an hour, then come home. It made me feel a little sick to my stomach because seriously, the crate was so small she could BARELY lay down in it (plus her arms would stick out a little) and the dog was such a sweetheart…she deserved better.

        At the end of my dogsitting, I put the dog in her crate (as instructed) and left about five hours before the lady was supposed to come home. I got severely yelled at for “leaving her in the crate too long.” ………… seriously.

        Link
    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana May 13, 2014, 9:58 am

      Yeah I would ask my boyfriend ICOE to go take out my dog, but would never EXPECT him to just take care of her. Even when/if I move in with someone I would still assume 100% responsibility for the care of my dog, I mean she is my dog and I chose to have her.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    jottino May 13, 2014, 9:10 am

    Uhhhhh, it sounds more like she’s hiring you (but you’re paying her?) instead of the two of you moving in together. And it even sounds like she gives more attention to the dog, and it’s in a crate for 12+ hours! This is a terrible (potential) arrangement.

    Don’t move in yet. Don’t do it. Nooooooooo.

    Reply Link
  • Lyra

    Lyra May 13, 2014, 9:11 am

    This girlfriend sounds horrible. You can do better, LW.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    jlyfsh May 13, 2014, 9:12 am

    Poor dog, your gf sounds like she doesn’t have time for one. But, yeah you are being used. It doesn’t sound like you’re getting much from this relationship. If anything I’d take the dog (ok not really, that would be stealing) and leave, and find someone who appreciated me more. I would also tell myself I need to start acting like I was worth that appreciation as well.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    bethany May 13, 2014, 9:15 am

    Your girlfriend sounds like a jerk. I feel bad for the poor dog.

    Reply Link
  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray May 13, 2014, 9:17 am

    12 hours in a crate?! That should be criminal.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      bethany May 13, 2014, 9:22 am

      For real. And it sounds like she doesn’t even spend good quality time with the dog, too! I bet she lets it out to pee and then puts it back in the crate while she goes out with her friends. So not cool.

      Reply Link
    • Diablo

      Diablo May 13, 2014, 10:53 am

      LW, take a look at the life being offered to that poor dog in the crate. Not even allowed to roam the house because she is too lazy to train it. Not let out to pee for 12 hours. you are that dog in the crate. Already you are being called to heal and treated sternly if you do not obey. I’m going to disagree with Wendy. Skip the whole thing, take off the collar and let some other woman give you your cookies. anyone who would do that to a dog doesn’t deserve a dog or a man. I’ve often allowed in my comments that most men might be little better than dogs. (And look how loyal the LW is….) But neither you nor the dog should be treated below the standard that an average person would set for a dog.

      Reply Link
  • Portia

    Portia May 13, 2014, 9:18 am

    Yeah, WWS, don’t move in. Aside from that, why would you be expected to pay half the mortgage anyway? Is she putting you on the mortgage? Are you buying a share in the house? Paying half a mortgage is not like paying half of the rent.
    .
    I also agree with Wendy to just stop paying for everything. Others can take advantage of us only as much as we let them. Like Mama Portia says, be your own advocate because you can’t expect anyone else to be.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 9:28 am

    Oh man. You sound like her employee dude! RUN!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      DesiDad May 13, 2014, 1:08 pm

      Er, except for that part where he pays for everything.

      If the woman I am dating did not offer to pay after the first couple of dates or, at the least, try to arrange a date with great effort on her part, I would consider it a HUGE red flag. (Entitlement mentality)

      Why are you staying in this relationship? MOA

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 1:09 pm

        Haha, good point. Is there a word for an employee who pays their boss?

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 1:23 pm

        prostitute?

        Link
      • avatar

        lilypad May 14, 2014, 2:48 am

        Unpaid intern.

        Link
  • rainbow

    rainbow May 13, 2014, 9:34 am

    Crates are awful. We don’t use crates here. You think before getting a dog if you’ll be able to keep it happy enough to prevent it from destroying your place when you’re not there, and if you can’t then you don’t get one. They’re not toys you can fold under the bed when you don’t want to play with them.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      kerrycontrary May 13, 2014, 9:43 am

      I don’t think crates themselves are horrible as they are a comfort to a lot of dogs. It’s “their space”. It’s also a really effective way of potty training. But you shouldn’t do more than 8 hours in a crate because it’s hard for dogs to hold it that long.

      Reply Link
      • rainbow

        rainbow May 13, 2014, 9:48 am

        I could agree with the “their space” part if the gates were kept open and they could leave any time they wanted. If we’re talking about locked crates I think that they’re mostly a comfort for the owners, who then convince themselves that the dog likes it. It sounds very suspicious to me that in addition of the dogs “liking” it the recommended amount of time they can spend there coincides with a human working day.

        Link
      • avatar

        bethany May 13, 2014, 9:52 am

        Our dog is crated right now while we’re at work. He can hold his bladder all day while he’s in the crate, but when he’s out of it, he’ll have accidents. He’s still under a year though, so I’m hoping he gets better with the bladder issues as he gets older. Also, one of our cats likes to attack him, and I just can’t trust the two of them together unsupervised yet. Our goal is to transition him out of the crate at some point.

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh May 13, 2014, 9:59 am

        crate training can be a comfort for both. it’s easy for some dogs to eat things they shouldn’t, etc. is it a comfort for 12 hours at a time? i doubt it. but, it is for both the dog’s and human’s benefit. most people though don’t crate their dogs for 12 hours a day. and eventually as the dog ages the crating stops and the door does just stay open and becomes a comfort. my sister’s dog loves going to his crate in a thunderstorm. his favorite blanket and toy stays in there and he goes to them when stressed (like during a thunderstorm). like any tool used for dog training a crate can absolutely be used in the wrong way.

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 10:00 am

        i couldnt agree more with this.

        Link
      • Guy Friday

        Guy Friday May 13, 2014, 11:32 am

        You know, I totally agreed with you until I started dating my wife. We dog-share (for lack of a better term) the family sheltie, and I swear to you that she (the dog, not my wife) HATES being outside of her closed crate when we go out. I’m more than happy to let her wander the house, but she barks up a storm and refuses to calm down until we agree to put her in her crate, at which point she calms down and walks right in to it. I’m positive it’s not bad crate training; I’ve seen how spoiled that puppy gets, and I have no doubt that my in-laws would be more than happy to let her wander if she wanted to.

        Link
      • avatar

        bethany May 13, 2014, 11:47 am

        In the mornings my dog paces around the house when it’s close to “crate time”, then when I start walking towards the crate he RUNS towards it, and goes right in. It’s weird, but I’m glad he seems to like it! I think he just sleeps in there all day, since he either gets an hour walk or a 4-6 mile run in the mornings.

        Link
      • avatar

        NavyWife May 13, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Agreed. Our lab has the run of the house during the daytime, but is crated at night (her preference) and gets very antsy if she is not in her crate with a treat by 10:30 pm. God help you if the door to the crate shuts accidentally so she can’t go in…she will annoy you until you get up and open it, or sit by the crate and howl.

        Link
    • kare

      kare May 13, 2014, 11:15 am

      I’ve never crated a dog. I’ve put up gates so the dog is confined to a tiled floor during the potty training phase, but after that the dog gets free reign of the house.

      Reply Link
      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 13, 2014, 11:20 am

        There are a couple of good reasons to crate – so the dog feels safe and can relax and to potty train the dog. Crating was a big failure for my dog Moose, though. He’d have so much anxiety in the crate that he’d pee all over himself, so that aspect of crating didn’t work. Plus he would never just relax. He’d stay standing upright and tense and crying for me – for the whole time. So that when I got him out he’d just collapse in my arms and nap because he had worked himself up so much.

        Link
      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 13, 2014, 2:55 pm

        Oh god sampson is the opposite. He will flip out if he’s home alone and not in a crate (although he has gotten better with age). The vet explained it to me this way – dogs are territorial, and feel a huge sense of responsibility to “protect the home” while you’re away. They do when we’re home as well – it’s why dogs bark when someone rings the doorbell. Some dogs handle this responsibility very calmly and collectedly (word?) – other dogs, consider it a HUGE burden. Sampson is the latter. So she told me to get him a huge crate (I could sleep in it – it’s made for great dane’s and he’s 40 pounds) and put him in there when we’re gone along with his toys and food and water and stuff. Then he only feels responsible to protect that little 4 x 6 area instead of the whole house.

        So when people say that crate training is universally awful – I tell them to piss off. It’s a lot better than putting him on puppy prozac as the vet suggested. Luckily with exercise and day care Sampson has gotten a lot better – especially since he has 3 loving caregivers – but man that little sucker can really get his panties in a wad about being home alone.

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 11:28 am

        Yea, I feel like if you have to do something, that’s the best thing to do. I wouldn’t want to be in a crate for 8 hours. At least the whole kitchen they can roam around in.

        Link
  • katie

    katie May 13, 2014, 10:07 am

    its so funny to me that you have made this whole letter, and this whole issue, about taking care of a dog, when really there are such larger, way worse red flags here. like, way worse. the dog is the least of your problems.
    .
    so for one thing, if you get into a relationship with someone who has a pet, you do need to take a stake in that pets health and well being, if your relationship gets to the point of moving in, ect. that is just the way it should be. so, lets pretend for a second that all the other issues arent there, and your two are otherwise happy, yes, you still have to help her care for the dog if you live there, and really even if you dont. at least that is how my world works and i would absolutely show the door to anyone who balked at pet responsibilities because they are “my” pets when we were moving in together. you intertwine lives, you intertwine lives. you cant pick and choose the things you get to share and not. its all or nothing. so, if you really dont want to care for a dog, find a partner who doesnt have a dog. actually, better yet, encourage your girlfriend to get rid of her dog, because its painfully obvious that she doesnt care about it and is a horrid dog owner.
    .
    but really the larger issue is that you guys have lots of issues. money issues, fairness issues, responsibility issues, and probably more. i dont even have the time to pick apart all of it, because its massive. but just trust me that the dog is the least of your concerns. and listen to wendy, and do not -i repeat DO NOT- move in with this lady.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      bethany May 13, 2014, 10:10 am

      And make sure you don’t knock her up in the meantime!

      Reply Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 10:14 am

        oh that is all that poor dog needs, is his idiot owner to get knocked up by somebody who doesnt even care about him. that is so sad.
        .
        LW, do not knock her up, for the dogs sake. please.

        Link
      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 13, 2014, 11:06 am

        Newsflash! 12. Hours. In. A. Crate. The owner doesn’t give a flying fuck about this dog either. And I say that as a professional dogwalker…

        Link
      • avatar

        Jessibel5 May 13, 2014, 12:11 pm

        I agree, from the way he describes the situation it sounds like the dog is merely an accessory to her “perfect” life or something.

        Link
  • rainbow

    rainbow May 13, 2014, 10:14 am

    Leave this woman before she crates you too.

    Reply Link
    • KKZ

      KKZ May 13, 2014, 10:45 am

      I had the same thought!!!! Twinzzzz

      Reply Link
  • veritek33

    veritek33 May 13, 2014, 10:22 am

    ummmm, I never expected my ex to take care of my two dogs! They were my dogs before and they are my dogs now.

    And in the time we were together, he paid about 90% of the times we went out to dinner, but I also cooked for him about 5 nights a week and breakfast on the weekends (I bought the groceries) so it all evened out.

    This girl is taking advantage of you. She’s treating you like a servant that is “lucky” to live in her house. You need to establish some limits and boundaries, my friend. And stop paying for everything.

    Reply Link
  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth May 13, 2014, 10:40 am

    I have a dog, and a part of being a dog owner is putting the dog’s needs in line with my other duties and activities. I would never expect someone to just take care of her because they were my significant other. I would also never expect someone to just do everything for me because of me buying a house. If I can buy a house, I can my SO dinner once in awhile and make sure to be considerate of all they are doing for me. Your GF is unappreciative. Don’t move in with her.

    I love Wendy’s list and send it to all of my friends who talk about moving in with someone. Working in family law, there is SO MUCH people never discuss before joining their life with another person.

    Reply Link
  • KKZ

    KKZ May 13, 2014, 10:44 am

    Methinks you are too generous, especially for the early stages of a relationship. YOU get to decide how to spend your income. Have you forgotten that? I think a good first step, beyond backing out of the move-in agreement (which you should definitely do), would be to look at your money and set a STRICT budget for how much money you are willing to spend on this woman – including meals, gas, gifts, and doggie errands etc. And then stick to it. When the money is up, you either stop going on dates or going to her house for a couple weeks, or ask her to start picking up the tab. And you don’t have to play the pity card, the “I can’t afford this, I don’t make as much as you do…” sort of thing. Just… stop enabling.
    .
    If this is too painful… if you can’t set strict limits on your money, or if you set them and then exceed them and make excuses for it… then you’re not ready to be in a relationship.
    .
    I can sympathize with you, because I have a doormat streak too. Or as I prefer to put it, I’m an overly sympathetic person. I see the best in people, make the best out of situations and can forgive almost anything. Which sounds like a brag, but it’s been more of a curse because it’s *so* easy to take advantage of us sensitive folks. We get such an endorphin hit out of being as nice, agreeable and accommodating as we can, that we don’t notice what it costs us… until we’ve been drained. I’m hearing a little bit of that from you, LW – she’s not just costing you money, she’s costing you a little of yourself. And as they say in financial circles, Pay Yourself First. It’s OK to say “No, this arrangement you’ve proposed is not going to work for me.” That’s putting a few dimes in your Agency Bank. Keep it up, and it’ll be harder and harder for your girlfriend (or anyone else) to push you around.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Jessibel5 May 13, 2014, 12:28 pm

      I’ve never heard that before, the “Pay Yourself First” concept. I like it! I have a doormatty streak too, and in order to get over it I have to basically repeat to myself that I (capital, bold, underlined) have to be my favorite person, no one else.

      Reply Link
  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja May 13, 2014, 9:48 am

    as far as the dog goes, i definitely believe if you are attached to the person, you’re attached to the dog. dogs are a lot of work (which is why i don’t have one, as much as i love them)

    i agree with the rest though, she’s using you.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 10:36 am

      So, I don’t have a dog, but I have a kid. I can’t even imagine if I treated my newly moved in boyfriend like MY kid’s caretaker. My kid wasn’t my boyfriend’s responsibility and neither should this girl’s dog be LW’s responsibility. Sure, down the road when you become a family of sorts, of course, but I think that’s a different story.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh May 13, 2014, 10:44 am

        i get where you’re coming from, but at the same time your SO would also have to interact with your child at some point. there would have to be some line in between there. should the newly moved in SO have majority responsibilty for a child or pet, no. but, the child or dog are part of the package and the potential to need to help out at some point exists. if you don’t want to ever deal with a pet or a child, you probably shouldn’t move in with someone who does.

        obviously that statement doesn’t pertain to this LW as the gf is treating him like a caretaker. but, if he moves in with her and she has a dog, the potential for him to at some point be needed to help out with the dog does exist.

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 10:51 am

        I agree. That’s what I was trying to say. This couple have been together 7 months. They don’t live together yet, but he’s already the dog’s caretaker? HE has to run home to let the dog out or she gets mad? Its HER dog right now. Totally agree that as they merge to a family, he needs to be a part of the dog’s life, but this is just so extreme right now.

        Link
      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 13, 2014, 10:59 am

        all of this dog talk is making me miss Moose. life is just getting so good with Moose! he’s the biggest sweetheart in the whole world. LW, come move in with me and we can walk Moose together, haha.

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 11:03 am

        i want to cuddle moose again. preferably from that amazing view in your new place?

        Link
      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 13, 2014, 11:12 am

        come over any time! i never want to leave. i just want to hang out at home and love on Moose.

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh May 13, 2014, 11:05 am

        i know i’m glad i’m at home snuggling mine.

        Link
      • avatar

        bethany May 13, 2014, 11:50 am

        I know, I miss Rudy so much!! He had such a great day yesterday, the poor thing is probably dead to the world today. He had his normal morning walk, then play time with Dave in the woods after work. Then I took him on his evening walk and we met all sorts of neighbors and their dogs. Then when we got home he got to play with his girlfriend next door for a long time (golden retriever), and we let them both off leash and they just ran and played until they literally could not breathe any more!! It took him like an hour to stop panting! He had so much fun. I just want to kiss his cute face.

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh May 13, 2014, 8:16 pm

        you know what’s grosser than dog vomit? pulling a half chewed mummified frog/toad (hard to tell which when mummified) out of your dog’s throat.

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 10:45 am

        well, i think that taking it to “caretaker” is a little far, though. like the LW is mad because he has to “curl his social life” and that the dog needs a lot of attention. he is mad that he takes part in taking her out to potty. wouldnt that be kind of like your newly moved in boyfriend getting mad because the kid needed dinner that night, or that the kid wanted to play, but he wanted to go out? or that you asked that he took her to daycare that day or something? like his complaints are potty, needs too much attention, and he cant go out after work. that is like just scratching the surface of what being a total caretaker is.

        Link
      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana May 13, 2014, 10:51 am

        but those aren’t even his responsibilities. yea if he is around and she has an emergency, or asked before and he is bitching about taking the dog out. that is sort of ridiculous. But it shouldn’t be his responsibility to not go out after work to take out her dog, and she shouldn’t get mad at him for going out after work and not rushing over to take care of her dog. It is HER dog, it is HER responsibility. I think living with someone does cause you to share in the responsibility but if I ever move in with my boyfriend, you can bet your bottom dollar I will not ever change his cat’s litter box, or expect him to pick up my dog’s poop from the yard.

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 11:53 am

        yea, im not saying its his responsibility. that is exactly my point. taking the dog out to go potty and needing to go home after work to let a dog out and understand how a social life is impacted by a dog is just like, what you do when you have a dog. and he is moving in with a woman who has a dog. like i dont get how people dont think this is just par for the course? to me its in the same vein as being with someone who has but then getting mad that they have a lifestyle that includes kids. its par for the course. if i moved in with someone who had a dog, i would expect to be a part of a life that includes a dog.

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 11:56 am

        Sure, but would you expect to have ALL the responsibility? It sounds like this guy does.
        I get your overall point and agree though.

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 1:14 pm

        taking a dog out to potty and going back to let it out of a crate after work is not even close to all the responsibility of having a dog.
        .
        now, i mean, the girlfriend who actually has all the responsibility sounds like she doesnt care about the dog at all, so in reality, yea, that might be all that the dog even gets. im not saying that the girlfriend is doing anything right. but i dunno, i just dont like the general poor attitude that the dog even *exists* thats coming from the LW. if you find a partner who has a dog, the dog is a part of the package. if that is a dealbreaker, if having to go home right from work is too much, if taking a dog out to pee is too much, dont date people who have dogs.

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 1:21 pm

        I think we agree? Yea, pets and kids are part of the package, but one person shouldn’t shoulder all responsibility.

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 1:24 pm

        yes, i think we do, haha

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 10:52 am

        It just seems like she has already dumped all responsibility relating to the dog onto him. And they haven’t even moved in together yet!

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 13, 2014, 12:05 pm

        Just an FYI: the LW is a woman. This is a lesbian couple. Not that it makes an difference except for pronouns. There’s no “he” in the scenario. Well, unless the dog is a boy…

        Link
      • avatar

        bethany May 13, 2014, 12:09 pm

        Well at least we don’t have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy!

        Link
      • katie

        katie May 13, 2014, 1:17 pm

        man. i feel like DW always loses this game.

        Link
  • avatar

    Lily in NYC May 13, 2014, 11:01 am

    Wendy’s advice was perfect. Is there anything this woman does for you? What are you getting out of this relationship? If it’s just sex, then I think a hooker would be cheaper in the long run! You are settling for less than crumbs.

    Reply Link
  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark May 13, 2014, 11:04 am

    Twelve hours a day in a crate.
    12. Hours. A. Day. In. A. Crate.
    You don’t have a girlfriend.
    You have a cuntfriend.

    End. Things. Now.

    And for the LOVE of GOD?
    Don’t. Move. In.

    Reply Link
  • bagge72

    bagge72 May 13, 2014, 11:32 am

    1. Don’t move in.
    2. She needs to get rid of the dog, because she clearly doesn’t care
    3. If you do move in you need to do more than 50% of the chores since you aren’t paying as much.
    4. You two sound horrible together, and definitely aren’t a match

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 11:34 am

      Re #3, she’s the one on the mortgage though, so if he’s paying 50% of what the rent would be, but not 50% of the mortgage, I think that’s fair.

      Reply Link
      • bagge72

        bagge72 May 13, 2014, 11:45 am

        I just think if he wants to move into a place he can’t afford he can help out a little more around the house, but it really is up to them, but I feel like I would want to do that since I was paying less.

        Link
      • Portia

        Portia May 13, 2014, 12:02 pm

        I might agree if it was rent and not the mortgage. Add it stands, he might not be financially on the hook for the place if the mortgage can’t be paid, true, but to be contributing financially to a house that he’s not part-owner in? I think the expectation should not be 50-50, and so other decisions about the living arrangement should not be made with the idea that he’s not paying his fair share.

        Link
      • Portia

        Portia May 13, 2014, 12:03 pm

        So, basically, I agree with LBH here.

        Link
      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 13, 2014, 2:05 pm

        I agree with Portia.

        Link
      • avatar

        kali May 13, 2014, 2:50 pm

        It’s a matter of equity. The girlfriend will be building value in the form of equity with every mortgage payment while LW will technically be contributing but not getting any deferred value. This is a discussion they may want to have as a couple but when I was in a very similar situation, I would never have expected my boyfriend to pay half the mortgage since when we sell, that money will be mine. Based on what LW has said, I have no reason to think his girlfriend will feel differently. Plus everyone knew going in that their salaries were quite disparate and expecting him to pay half is not reasonable.

        Just my two cents.

        Link
  • avatar

    Jessibel5 May 13, 2014, 12:25 pm

    I kind of can’t get over the fact that the girlfriend gets angry at the LW when the LW doesn’t take care of her dog. I just don’t understand what her thought process is in expecting the LW to do the majority of the dog work when she moves in, and even now expects her to go out of her way to take care of the dog. Sounds like someone got the dog for the pleasure of having a dog, but is now tired of the responsibilities of having a dog. Sorry, but they go hand in hand. If you don’t want to do the dirty work, you don’t get the privilege of having a dog.

    A similar thing happened to me once and I basically just felt bad for the dog. I once dated a guy whose place I stayed at on weekends. He had a dog, and I would take the dog out in the mornings because he slept until the afternoon usually, and the poor dog absolutely couldn’t hold it in until then. So I did it even though it wasn’t my responsibility. I have no idea what went on before we got serious enough for me to stay there on the weekends, I hope he woke up earlier! One morning I accidentally fell asleep on the couch before taking the dog out, and when I woke up the dog had pooped on the carpet. I cleaned it up, but the guy got super pissed at me and yelled at me about how the dog gets confused if I go out to the living room in the morning without walking him, and his cue to go out is me leaving the bedroom. I yelled back that it wasn’t my dog, nor my responsibility, and if he was sleeping later just because he could because I was there and he was taking advantage of me, I wouldn’t be coming over on the weekends anymore. I had to leave for an appointment, and we were still pretty ticked at each other. I got back from my appointment to find the boyfriend asleep on the couch, and the dog had pooped on the carpet again because he hadn’t taken him out, and I accidentally stepped in it. I laughed it off, but basically was like, “see, it was an honest mistake, you made it too so don’t by a hypocrite”. After that he never yelled at me about the dog responsibilities ever again.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Feeling Used May 13, 2014, 3:24 pm

    I am the writer of the initial letter. BTW, I am a girl, not a guy. I thank you all for your advice. I am definitely going to have a serious talk with my partner. I’m not going to defend her behavior, as it’s her behavior and selfishness is why I wrote in the first place as I’m so frustrated. She isn’t a bad person, she just needs to get her priorities straight. I thank all of you very much.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      SpaceySteph May 13, 2014, 4:50 pm

      What’s with the copious amount of vomit from the dog, LW? This has me really concerned for it. Did she even take it to the vet after that?

      Reply Link
    • Diablo

      Diablo May 13, 2014, 5:13 pm

      Your gender doesn’t change my above advice, though i would remove the unnecessary disparaging remarks about my own gender. But, as a woman in a relationship with woman, you might want to be a little sensitive to hetero-normative phrases like “get her priorities STRAIGHT.” (Just a little joke at your expense, LW. You know i can’t resist.) I really do think this woman should not have a dog or a girlfriend until she learns to be a bit nicer and fairer. Maybe you should swat her nose with a rolled up newspaper. Kidding aside, hope it works out for you.

      Reply Link
    • Portia

      Portia May 13, 2014, 6:42 pm

      Sorry for the pronouns above! But my advice also remains unchanged. Be your own advocate.
      .
      And also, I didn’t mention it before, but since the room is quieter now… If the decision at the end of this is still to move in together, please put something in writing. It may seem unromantic, but it can’t hurt to have something concrete to refer back to. Me and the boyfriend have our own version of this where we made some arrangements crystal clear and had a couple of contingencies in there. We actually ended up calling in one of the contingencies and it was very freeing to know that we had negotiated that beforehand when we were both calm and not up against the gun. Everything is renegotiable if both parties want it, but then you aren’t forced into a corner.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    kali May 13, 2014, 2:32 pm

    So GF built a house. Any chance she can put in a doggie door to a fenced area outside so the poor pup can have a little more freedom and can potty during the day? I’m a longtime dog owner and while some dogs can hold it for 12 hours, that IS a long time and shouldn’t be an every day occurrence.

    The rest of this letter just screams that she is a self-centered, selfish, cheap person who is letting the hired help move in, but only as long as he meets all the criteria and follows her rules.

    LW, hope you read these comments, gather up your self-esteem and figure out of you and the GF can make a go of it (with major changes on her part) or MOA.

    Good luck!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Sonia May 14, 2014, 4:07 pm

    I know I’m late to the post but I own a dog and posted an ad on Craigslist for a dog walker that comes in 4 days a week (Thursdays my roommate comes home for lunch) that I pay $10 per visit. (so $40 a week). I have someone local too, so in case I’m running late or want to grab drinks last minute (or have arranged in advance) I can coordinate with the dog walker to come in for an additional walk. I got some people emailing me asking for more money, but I also got people that were fine with the payment (honestly, it’s a 20 minute walk for $10 – off the books!) And this the 3rd dogwalker I’ve had (1st moved, 2nd got a full time day job). I still get emails too, so I’ve kept some names just in case.
    I ask all of them to come over, meet me, meet my dog, see if they get along, then, if I like them, I have them walk Chewy around the block. I pay them for the interview visit too, which is usually 30 minutes if that. I then provide them a key to the house. I mean, there’s a risk with that, but I’ve had my roommate or a friend be there with me to give me their opinion too, so I’m not just relying on only myself.
    So really, it’s simple AND convenient AND inexpensive.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Sonia May 14, 2014, 4:10 pm

      Oh, and I have a 130 lab rottie so there’s that to consider. Plus you can see if there are high schoolers with a free period (or college student, which is what my first dog walker was) and they’d be happy with $10 per visit!

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Blackwood May 15, 2014, 12:14 pm

    It seems to me that the LW’s girlfriend actually has two pets: a dog and the LW who is her bitch.
    Sorry, just a joke. LW, dump her. If she’s behaving like this less than a year into your relationship, when you two should still be on the “honeymoon phase”, I can’t imagine what kind of s–t you’re bound to deal with after a couple of years. So when you go, run, don’t walk.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment