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Have I made a mistake or am I overreacting?

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This topic contains 64 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Skyblossom Skyblossom 1 week ago.

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  • #836119 Reply
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    H

    My partner and I have just bought a house together, we’ve been together for almost 4 years and are happy together.
    We’ve both been living at our parents house until now.
    We have a dog and have had dogs growing up, my partner has not, but has always been ok with my dog, but doesn’t love him or anything or overly affectionate.
    We had a discussion the other day about getting a dog in the future and he flat out said no and that there are no pros to having a dog (knowing that I love animals and especially dogs).
    I feel like while it may sound silly to non animal lovers, and that we should’ve discussed this prior to purchasing a house, I assumed we would get one in the future.
    I feel like if we’d had the discussion before we bought a house then I wouldn’t want to live with him!
    Am I being silly?

    #836121 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    You’re not being silly. I don’t know if you’re overreacting because you didn’t say what your reaction was.

    But yes, you made a mistake not talking about this before making a commitment like buying property.

    #836124 Reply
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    H

    I didn’t react all that well to be honest, I could’ve handled it better. But I was extremely annoyed at him and at myself for not talking about this when it’s such a big deal to me.

    #836125 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, it’s a problem.

    Would he agree to a dog if you took 100% of the responsibility and paid all costs?

    Would you really not want to live with him if a dog is off the table?

    If yes, I would probably say get out now and get an IOU for your share of the equity? Did you put much of your personal money in it?

    #836126 Reply

    You ARE going to need to have the conversation. And, yes, you should have had this conversation before, but you can’t unring that bell.

    But, the “there are no pros to having a dog” thing is weird. Not everything cleanly breaks down in a cost/benefit analysis.

    PRO – you want a dog. It will make you happy.

    If your partner is someone who values your happiness, then that should be a ‘pro’ for them too. Otherwise, they should come up with their reasons why not to convince you why you shouldn’t pursue being happy. (Can’t afford one / Was bitten as a kid and afraid of them / Allergic / etc.)

    To just declare there are no benefits is an attempt to avoid having to actually talk about it.

    #836127 Reply
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    anonymousse
    Member

    I don’t think it’s productive to drag him for not seeing any pros to having a dog. There’s all types of people in the world. Everyone has different opinions and desires. Some people love pets, some not. Or kids. Or they are specifically a dog person, not a cat person. It takes all kinds.

    He just bought a house with you. Maybe he’s inwardly freaked out about the mortgage or more aware of the financial costs of commitments like with a big purchase or a living creature.

    You should talk about this calmly and explain your position and reasoning. If he really won’t budge, you’ll have a decision to make.

    #836128 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom
    Participant

    This isn’t what you asked but overall relevant to your situation. I think it’s a huge mistake to buy a house with someone without getting married first. Marriage makes each of you the closest family member to the other and their heir if they die without a will. If you buy a house together without marriage then if something happens to one of you the other one won’t be their heir. Buying together with both names on the property should give some protection but if his family was aggressive it wouldn’t necessarily stop them from trying to inherit his share of the house. It’s not that different than your dad owning half a company and you assuming his heirs inherit his half if he dies. They could also argue that they own anything that was his in the house. If you aren’t going to get married then see a lawyer and draw up a document that clearly states what you own jointly and who inherits in case either or both of you die.

    If the two of you hadn’t discussed pets and you just assumed the two of you would have them what else haven’t you discussed. This seems like a huge red flag that the two of you took a step when you weren’t even close to ready. Four years together isn’t the relevant part of being ready. It is the discussion of wants and needs and expectations that makes you ready.

    I notice you said we have a dog but that we was you and your parent’s family not we as in you and your boyfriend. When you reach the point where you are ready to live together we should mean you and the boyfriend and your original family unit should be something else, like my parents have a dog.

    Neither of you sounds like you respect the opinion of the other. Your attitude of I love dogs so should have one is as disrespectful as his attitude of there are no pros to having a dog. In general, I think this type of decision is like choosing to have a baby. The veto takes precedence over the wanting. You both need to want a dog to get a dog. The dog is going to take time and money and will probably damage things. That is time and money that comes out of the marriage and will be a constant source of irritation. A dog is a commitment and without full buy in from both partners it shouldn’t come into your home.

    Is the purchase complete or are you at the point where you’ve had your offer accepted and are now waiting to clear the bank and make it final. If you are in that in between stage I think you can still cancel this sale. If the sale is final then you are stuck with each other in your house.

    #836129 Reply

    @anonymousse – I don’t have an issue with him not wanting a dog. He might have very good reasons.

    “I don’t want a dog.”
    “I don’t like dogs.”

    Those are things he could have said to indicate he doesn’t want a dog. To state that there are “no pros” makes it seem like it’s some objective truth rather than what he wants. It takes the focus away from it being something he wants or doesn’t want and makes it seem like it’s just a “that’s the way the universe works” situation that nobody has any control over. It sets it up as if there’s no use arguing with him, it’s not his opinion, it is fact.

    #836133 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom
    Participant

    You don’t have to have a reason for not wanting a dog. Not wanting it is enough. You don’t have to make some argument about why it would be best for you as a person or you as a couple to not get a dog. It’s like not wanting a baby. You don’t need a list of why you don’t want a baby. Not wanting one is enough to justify not having one.

    A dog should be wanted by both people in a household. The same for any other pet. The dog will know that one person doesn’t want it and doesn’t like it and wishes it would go away.

    I’m not a dog person. My husband and I were both cat people and we got two cats. Even with me knowing that we both loved cats when I was offered a cat I called my husband and asked if he would like a cat and would like one now. If he had said no I would have said okay. In our marriage we’ve always let a veto override a yes. We both need to want something before we get it or have it. That has extended to children, homes, travel, houses, cars and pets. My husband would like another cat but I was the one who ended up taking both of our cats to the vet as they got older and I was the one who saw them suffering with old age. I told him I wouldn’t do that again and so we have no cat and probably won’t have a cat in the future.

    If something is really important to you and you are going to need it to be happy you’ve got to discuss that before moving forward. Assumptions don’t work.

    #836135 Reply
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    JD
    Member

    Another vote for not buying property together if you aren’t married. You find something like this out and now you want out and you have to figure that out. Many people cannot afford to buy someone out of a house. So you have to sell, go through a breakup that feels like a divorce but without the legal right and end up worse off. Just not a good idea.

    #836141 Reply
    Skyblossom
    Skyblossom
    Participant

    I think couples would be better off to live together in some type of rental for at least a year before marriage and save buying a house together until after marriage. That way they run into these issues that determine compatibility before they have the legal issues of home ownership or marriage. It is so much easier to walk away from a rental agreement.

    #836142 Reply
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    PDX816

    I think you’re in for a rough time no matter what. First, you need to decide if this is a deal breaker for you. I definitely understand, I am a cat person, I will not be happy in life if I don’t have cats in my home. I have stopped seeing people because they wouldn’t or couldn’t have cats. Can you satisfy your desire for a dog some other way? Maybe petsitting or dog walking? you need to talk to him and be honest.

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