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She dropped a Dog Adoption on me…


NH-Lover
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First and foremost, I love dogs and all animals! I have a 4 year old pup and she has an 11 year old pup. We don’t currently live together, however, once her lease is up, she is moving in with me by the summer. 
 

With that said, last night she dropped a bomb on me and said, “I did a thing today. I am adopting another dog..” No prior discussion about it, just that she is doing it. 
 

We have a planned upcoming vacation and had already figured out arrangements for our pups and now to introduce a third one is going to require some maneuvering, but it isn’t impossible.  We are also discussing moving across the country in early 2023 and were planning to rent for a year before buying, to make sure we are happy with the move and I would rent out my current home in the meantime. Most apartments don’t allow dogs and some allow up to two. Now with a third, it completely screws that all up. 
 

I am not mad, I’m just annoyed. I like having things planned out, but most importantly, I prioritize communication in a relationship.  Would I have said flat out no? Absolutely not! I would have had a discussion and pro/con list the idea. 
 

I know this probably seems frivolous to many, but I’m hoping someone else has been down a similar road and I’m curious how you navigated it? 
 

Thanks in advance!

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37 minutes ago, NH-Lover said:

I have a 4 year old pup and she has an 11 year old pup. We don’t currently live together, however, once her lease is up, she is moving in with me by the summer. 
 

I am adopting another dog..” No prior discussion about it. Most apartments don’t allow dogs and some allow up to two.

How long have you been dating? How old is she? Pets are great but you'll have to check with your landlord/lease about your pet policies. 

If she is making unilateral decisions, ask her to either defer adopting another pet or defer moving in. What if she makes purchases or other decisions that affect your living arrangements without discussing it?

It sounds like moving in is not a good idea at this time if you two can't communicate or make joint decisions that affect both of you.

Slow down on the long-range plans and focus first if you can even live together peacefully first.

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Did you tell her any of this?

maybe she did this because she doesn't really want to go through with the "plans" you made.  

Some people have a really hard time letting others down.  It's a flaw in them.  They can't be honest and just own whatever they think or need.  So they do these kinds of things.  

This might not be the case, but it's something to think about... I would talk to her and tell her all you said about the plans and expecting more communication.  And ask her if she wants to put off the moving in together.  Then recognize this is a BIG FAT RED FLAG about what you can expect in the future from her.  And think about if you want to continue to have these kinds of things happen.  

A happy couple does plan together and communicate.  It could be an incompatibility issue.  It could be her self-sabotaging.  

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I had a conversation with her about it and she said that she does not understand my reaction or why this is any sort of problem. She went on to say that she’s disappointed with how I am reacting. 
 

We are both in our mid 30s and are both divorced, so this isn’t our first rodeo for relationships. I told her that the dog isn’t an issue, but that not discussing it with me first is. I also explained that since we are talking about moving in together, that big decisions like this really need to be discussed. More of a respect thing than anything else. She told me that she doesn’t see why it is such a big deal because it is her decision ultimately.

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It is not just her decision.   You two have plans to live together so this significantly affects you.  It doesn't matter if you'd have ultimately said yes -it's incredibly disrespectful and thoughtless that she didn't include you in this decision.  

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3 hours ago, NH-Lover said:

I had a conversation with her about it and she said that she does not understand my reaction or why this is any sort of problem. She went on to say that she’s disappointed with how I am reacting. 
 

We are both in our mid 30s and are both divorced, so this isn’t our first rodeo for relationships. I told her that the dog isn’t an issue, but that not discussing it with me first is. I also explained that since we are talking about moving in together, that big decisions like this really need to be discussed. More of a respect thing than anything else. She told me that she doesn’t see why it is such a big deal because it is her decision ultimately.

Best to put a pause on things. 

The dog IS potentially an issue. As you mentioned earlier it could affect your plans to find a lease with three dogs so saying it’s not an issue is a lie. You just squashed your earlier concerns. Why did you do that?

Saying it’s more of a “respect thing” is very vague also although I understand why you were vague. She came at you with the “I’m disappointed in you” line and discredited your feelings. What does that even mean “I’m disappointed in you.” You are not a dog or someone to train. Be more factual in future and point out the difficulties finding a lease and responsibility having a third dog. 

I get the sense that you’re finding it very hard to be honest and clear with this woman. When you find yourself downplaying your concerns and feeling uneasy being yourself or wondering why your partner does or says what he/she does, just pause and rethink what’s going on.

 

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This situation is not frivolous at all. Especially when you're moving to the next stage in a relationship and sharing a home, you're accountable to each other whenever one's decision will affect their partner. The logistics of caring for another dog and the expenses that go along with it totally do affect you. Like others have said, this isn't a one time and it's over problem. Know that she won't consult you when running up 3 credit cards, buying a parrot that will live to age 80, and showing up at your work to whisk you away for a surprise vacation without you being able to plan things in advance with your boss.

Yes, I'm giving extreme examples, but always expect these type of things when she's already shown you she'll do whatever the hell she wants without consulting you, and make you feel like you're crazy for disagreeing.

If you turn away from this giant red flag whipping you in the face, you only have yourself to blame when all of these consequences of her actions eats away at the relationship and you begin to resent each other.

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11 hours ago, NH-Lover said:

it is her decision ultimately.

This tells you everything you need to know about her and your relationship.

Since you are divorced and have experience in relationships, you know this is not how healthy, happy long term relationships are. 

Don't sweep this under the rug and shame on her for trying to shame you and gas light you with the she's disappointed bs.

She's disappointed? how interesting for her... so are you. 

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11 hours ago, NH-Lover said:

I had a conversation with her about it and she said that she does not understand my reaction or why this is any sort of problem. She went on to say that she’s disappointed with how I am reacting. 
 

We are both in our mid 30s and are both divorced, so this isn’t our first rodeo for relationships. I told her that the dog isn’t an issue, but that not discussing it with me first is. I also explained that since we are talking about moving in together, that big decisions like this really need to be discussed. More of a respect thing than anything else. She told me that she doesn’t see why it is such a big deal because it is her decision ultimately.

Ouch, this doesn’t look good for the relationship’s future. She doesn’t see the two of you as a team at all. She is right that it is her decision, as long as she is single with no long term plans in the relationship she is in. 
 

If she wants to make decisions as though she is not in a serious relationship, give her the freedom to make those decisions. Time to have a serious talk about the relationship and future decisions, if she is going to continue to act single or as a couple talking thing out. Especially if you plan on buying a place together.

 

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Honestly it's her life too... she wanted another dog. Its your job to adapt yalls life to her needs and desires as well as yours. 

You'll have difficulty renting with 3 dogs but you're gonna have to. Why? Because having 3 dogs makes your partner happy and as her partner you should you should be able to alter your life just a little bit and accept the small challenge simply for her happiness. 

Does having another dog make you chronically unhappy? Is this dog ruining your life?

 

 

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51 minutes ago, rchubn said:

Honestly it's her life too... she wanted another dog. Its your job to adapt yalls life to her needs and desires as well as yours. 

You'll have difficulty renting with 3 dogs but you're gonna have to. Why? Because having 3 dogs makes your partner happy and as her partner you should you should be able to alter your life just a little bit and accept the small challenge simply for her happiness. 

Does having another dog make you chronically unhappy? Is this dog ruining your life?

 

 

Yes, but not the need or desire to make major unliateral decisions without the other's input if it affects the other's life.  Like with financial decisions - typically a spouse wouldn't purchase a sports car without discussing first with the other spouse (or long term partner) because that affects the couple financially (I mean sure they could be that wealthy it wouldn't matter -I'm talking for most people).  Couples often have their price point or category beyond which they check in with each other.  So buying yourself fancy ice cream likely isn't a discussion point but investing thousands in your friend's ice cream start up/pop up likely is.  

It doesn't matter if he'd have said yes.  It's that she did this without even discussing it with him.  I couldn't imagine bringing home a pet without discussing with my family first even if I fell in love with a kitten at a shelter.  Also not fair to the kitten if the spouse wants a happy wife but simply does not want a kitten right then.  

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It is extremely difficult to find a rental property with two dogs, let alone three.

My good friend has two dogs and a cat and had a heck of a time finding a place that would rent to him. He has to pay double the extra deposit (non-refundable) and extra rent as well. And it took him a long time to find a place that would even agree to accept all those animals.

So wouldn't having to shell out extra money or having a hard time finding a rental affect HIS happiness? Why would only her happiness be important?

These things should be discussed and decided on together.

If she wants another dog that badly and doesn't want to have a discussion with her partner about it, she can stay in her own place and make herself happy and make all the unilateral decisions she wants.

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2 hours ago, rchubn said:

Honestly it's her life too... she wanted another dog. Its your job to adapt yalls life to her needs and desires as well as yours. 

You'll have difficulty renting with 3 dogs but you're gonna have to. Why? Because having 3 dogs makes your partner happy and as her partner you should you should be able to alter your life just a little bit and accept the small challenge simply for her happiness. 

Does having another dog make you chronically unhappy? Is this dog ruining your life?

 

 

This is about communication and parity between equals. If she is unwilling to recognize that he has an equal role in the relationship, then why should he have a duty to make her happy?

This is wrong headed advice.

OP, take this to heart. If you don’t establish relationship boundaries on her impulsive behavior and more importantly dismissal of your opinion then you will probably bear the brunt of her wrecklessness in other ways. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but it’s a pattern with a lot of couples.

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8 hours ago, rchubn said:

 Does having another dog make you chronically unhappy? Is this dog ruining your life?

He's not stopping her from getting more dogs. She can get as many pets as she wishes.

However he can stop her from moving in. Which he should.

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5 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

He's not stopping her from getting more dogs. She can get as many pets as she wishes.

However he can stop her from moving in. Which he should.

This is a great point about life in general.  anyone can do what they want, but no one has to tolerate it.

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On 1/23/2022 at 8:28 AM, NH-Lover said:

I had a conversation with her about it and she said that she does not understand my reaction or why this is any sort of problem. She went on to say that she’s disappointed with how I am reacting. 
 

We are both in our mid 30s and are both divorced, so this isn’t our first rodeo for relationships. I told her that the dog isn’t an issue, but that not discussing it with me first is. I also explained that since we are talking about moving in together, that big decisions like this really need to be discussed. More of a respect thing than anything else. She told me that she doesn’t see why it is such a big deal because it is her decision ultimately.

Firstly, it really annoys me when women try to do that cutesy thing of "I did a thing today", when quite clearly she was being impulsive, irresponsible, self centered, and inconsiderate.

You have tried to explain more than once now to her. It's obvious she does not hear you, nor does she wish to.

This is no longer about the dog, but about her lack of respect for you, lack of consideration, and refusal to communicate with you before making decisions that is going to affect you both.

This isn't going to be a one time thing, there is a very high chance that this is going to continue once you move in together, and it could be much worse than an animal.

I really think you need to step back and consider whether moving in with her is the right decision.

It's one thing to buy the dog and not speak to you about it, it's a whole other issue when she won't even try to listen to your side or why it bothered you, or consider someone else besides her own voice.

Also, she darn well knows why it bothered you, don't let her kid you that "she doesn't get it".

It's not that she doesn't know why it bothered you, it's that she prefers to pretend it doesn't exist and doesn't want to acknowledge it.

Not a good start to a life together at all.

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Did the right thing. My husband and I love animals but adopting a pet is like adopting a kid. You can't bring a kid in to the scene without each other's ok.

I don't think this woman is who you might think she is. Like others have said, she seems self-centered (not a team player), disrespectful (doesn't value you), and impulsive (who just buys a dog without thinking about their living arrangement/plans at the moment?)

Don't overlook these red flags. 

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On 1/22/2022 at 4:52 AM, NH-Lover said:

I am not mad, I’m just annoyed. I like having things planned out, but most importantly, I prioritize communication in a relationship.  Would I have said flat out no? Absolutely not! I would have had a discussion and pro/con list the idea. 

 

I know this probably seems frivolous to many, but I’m hoping someone else has been down a similar road and I’m curious how you navigated it? 
 

Thanks in advance!

The crux of the matter is that your girlfriend has a sneaky side to her personality and character which is definitely concerning.  There's a lack of trust issue here.  Since she has a sneaky nature, don't be shocked nor surprised if in the future, she'll do something behind your back again.  This is the problem. 

I agree, a discussion in advance would've been better so this third dog adoption could've been fairly discussed at length regarding pros and cons.  It's common sense. 

You need to look into yourself and ask yourself if you're willing to risk being in a relationship which doesn't ring true.  This is the gamble you are taking.  Then determine if you want to go through the time, trouble and expense regarding living together and moving across the country with a person who will not have qualms taking it upon herself to take commitment type actions (example: another dog ownership) without consulting with you first.  If it's not about dogs, the next betrayal could be about something else so be prepared in the future. 

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