Pets are an important part of people’s lives. They become your children, or your siblings, and as much a part of your family as any human being could possibly be.
Reddit user animalguythrwawy seems to have misunderstood his girlfriend’s relationship with her doggo, and that by dating her, he brings himself into that very family unit that is created by her relationship with her pup.
Unclear if one of the actions he took was callous and cruel, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to ask for feedback on a recent disagreement about the dog.
“AITA for refusing to leave the bar with my GF early to go check on her dog, and telling her that her dog is not my problem?”
Our original poster, or OP, talked about his relationship with his girlfriend.
“I’ve been dating this woman I’ll call Julie for a year and a half. We are both 24. Julie is great but if there’s one thing I don’t love about her is that she’s one of those ‘dog moms.'”
“Like constantly referring to her Yorkie (I think that’s what it is) as ‘her child’ which I can’t stand. She has a stroller that she takes the dog out in that I find utterly ridiculous.”
“When she isn’t home, she puts the dog in her crate to prevent it from pissing or sh*tting all over the apartment (a rule we both agreed on when moving in together).”
“The problem is that she goes through separation anxiety from the dog and if we go somewhere for more than 2 hours she starts to have a panic attack saying that we need to get home because dog needs to be out of the crate.”
“Now I personally know people who have kept their dogs in crates for much longer and it’s fine, but Julie starts getting all upset saying how ‘sad and abandoned her child probably feels, we need to go let her out.'”
The couple had a disagreement over the weekend.
“Julie and I were at a bar over the weekend with some of our friends. A couple of friends came in from out of town and it was great getting to be back with everyone.”
“We got there at 8, and by 10-11 Julie started to get paranoid. She started saying we needed to leave soon because the dog has been crated for too long.”
“She kept making small comments letting me know she wanted to go and was getting upset. I finally decided I had enough and I asked to talk to her outside away from everybody. I said something along these lines:”
“’Look if you would like me to call you an Uber to go back, I will. But it’s not my dog, I’m done letting my social life be dictated by a damn dog. It probably doesn’t mind being in the crate, and if it does it’s a dog so whatever.'”
“‘You can go, but I’m staying with our friends. Your dog isn’t my responsibility.’”
OP and his girlfriend fell out over this.
“She got angry and told me that not supporting the dog is not supporting her. I said there’s a difference between supporting a dog and revolving my life around one.”
“And the latter is not something I’m willing to do. She ended up leaving and I stayed. We got in a fight when I got home and she’s been weird ever since.”
“I apologized if I sounded rude and hurt her feelings but I still stand by the principle of what I said. It’s a dog, not a kid, you can leave your dog at home for however long to go live your life.”
“I don’t see how that’s a problem.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors think OP was way out of line, callous and cruel.
“YTA. Dude, why are you with a woman you so obviously despise? You’re not TA for not wanting to leave your friends for her dog, but this started waaaaay before then.”
“You knew about her dog and how she felt about it before you moved in. As much as I think she’s going way overboard, obviously has some anxiety she might benefit from getting help for.”
“She has her priorities kinda effed up, I still think you are TA, because you chose to be with her, and now you show such contempt for her.”
“Are you surprised that she didn’t magically change, when your superior self moved in? Have you considered that you might be causing her anxiety, triggering a more intense need to be with the dog more often?”
“She’s not leaving situations for the dog. She’s using the dog as her excuse to get out of situations she can’t deal with. She’s obviously not okay and you’re just… not seeing it?”
“You sound insufferable. You’d give me anxiety attacks as well, and I don’t even have anxiety.”
“Maybe that dog needs to become her official service animal so she can bring it with her. Maybe then she can be around people for longer without having to flee back home.”~JemimaAslana
“I also love the ‘apology’. ‘I’m sorry IF I sounded rude…’ That means that you don’t think you were rude, and you’d like her to stop being upset about it, so here’s a non-apology.”
“You’re adamant you don’t see ‘it’ as a problem, but the ‘it’ is you. You’re wanting her to change her behavior, so you don’t have to change yours.”
“You can’t stand her behavior and see it as utterly ridiculous, and you won’t let it affect your life. Easy solution – break up and let her be with someone who loves her as she is. YTA.”~finelytunedradar
“Honestly, I don’t even think it’s about being away from the dog. It’s the crate.”
“She says ‘the dog has been in the crate for too long.’ And as someone with a smaller dog who REALLY hurt himself on a crate, I don’t blame her. She does need help for anxiety, I 100% agree.”
“But crating dogs is BANNED in some countries for a reason, many people dont crate properly and it can be detrimental to a dog’s health, I personally learned this the hard way.”
“A dog gate would probably ease her anxiety, give the dog more space, and still keep the dog confined so it doesn’t have accidents all over the house.”
“OP deserves a major YTA, this girl deserves someone who at least likes her and cares about her wellbeing.”~ErinsSonicYouth
“ESH – you guys have different expectations around what it means to have a pet.”
“I agree with you, her treatment of her dog is inappropriate. It’s not good for her or for the dog (codependent pet owners are the worst).”
“That said, I think that you guys need to have a conversation about boundaries before these things happen while you’re out in public and with friends.”
“I’m not sure I think that you were unaware that she’d start to feel anxious about the dog around 2 hours into your visit.”
“Have the conversation before you leave and make it clear that you want her to get her needs met and also that you get your needs met.”
“‘Okay, so how long would you like to stay? I’d like to stay 4-5 hours or until the party winds down. Can we make a plan for the dog so you either come home earlier than me or we agree that it’s ok for him to be alone that long?'”
“Don’t wait until the predictable thing happens and she freaks out and then you give her a semi-ultimatum to either go home or suck it up.”
“Planning ahead and discussing each others’ comfort levels with stressors is important in a relationship and this kind of feels like it may have been a subconscious set up on your part to confront her about her relationship with the dog and that’s not cool.”~skcup
It sounds like OP has no care or thoughtfulness for his girlfriend’s anxiety, said Redditors.
“I have just read OPs responses to the top comment, his view on MH makes me sick. I’m diagnosed GAD and taking fairly strong meds for it so that I can live a more normal existence.”
“OP would prefer I ‘suck it up’…we have lost too many good people through this kind of thinking and we haven’t lost enough of the OPs of this world.”
“OP, YTA all damn day. My original comment:”
“Slight YTA because of the phrase ‘even if it does it’s just a dog so whatever’…however, you both clearly have different views on caring for the dog and that doesn’t seem like something that will work itself out long term.”
“She is not going to suddenly stop thinking of the dog as her child and if that makes you unhappy it’s probably time to reconsider the relationship I’m afraid.”~everydayimcuddalin
“If you don’t see YTA here, you’re a little clueless. That said, I’m surprised it took you a year and a half of dating this woman to discover you’re incompatible.”~PinkedOff
“YTA. You were fine and perfectly reasonable until this comment:”
“‘It probably doesn’t mind being in the crate, and if it does it’s a dog so whatever.'”
“As an animal lover myself, this would f**king appall me coming from my partner. You would’ve been dumped on the spot – literally, your a** would be single the second that sentence left your mouth.”
“You and this slightly overzealous dog-loving lady are not compatible. ‘It’s a dog, not a kid, you can leave your dog at home for however long to go live your life.'”
“Within reason. You don’t seem to realise or care that animals also have needs and feelings.”
“You don’t have to ‘revolve your social life around a dog,’ but the way you phrased these comments was nasty, and when you moved in with this lady you signed up for her dog, her dog-related separation anxiety, and a dog-friendly schedule too.”
“Yeah, two hours is more than fine to leave most dogs home alone, and several hours more than that.”
“But being horrible about her pets and completely dismissive of its needs/feelings is not gonna make her less anxious about it.”
“She should 1000% break up with you. You sound awful, tbh, and this shit ain’t compatible long term.”~PMDDBitch
“ESH. Julie is overprotective and as you rightly pointed out prioritizes this dog over her social life and everything else. It is not reasonable to have panic attacks after 2 hours away from your dog.”
“It is not reasonable to plan your life around a dog. That being said, you likely KNEW this was going to be an issue and moved in together anyways.”
“You could have spent time helping her to train the dog, dictate a dog room or something, buy a furbo or camera to help lessen her anxiety and help her make positive changes.”
“Instead you just act like a jerk when the topic comes up because ‘it’s just a dog.’ I don’t think you crossed a line in what you said to her, even if you could have been slightly nicer about it.”~Dr_A**hole_PhD
And at this point, most are telling him both parties should move on from this relationship.
“YTA, it’s her dog and she cares for it. It is part of who she is, if you don’t like it, then I would say she isn’t the one for you!”
“You are only going to resent the dog more and more, and your relationship will worsen!”~Lifear
“NTA for your feelings, but YTA for how you expressed them. Your girlfriend seems to have an unhealthy attachment to her dog, which probably adds to the dogs own anxiety.”
“It may not be your dog but you need to respect how she feels, as she should respect how you feel.”
“This seems like something you should have discussed before moving in together. Might be time to reevaluate your relationship.”~litt3lli0n
“YTA for the way you expressed your feelings, not for how you feel about the dog situation itself.”
“You know who she is, you choose to stay with her, so you have to have empathy for her feelings of the dog. If you don’t, can’t or won’t, you should move on for happiness for both of you.”~boinktheclown
“Is it unreasonable to expect that your life doesn’t revolve around a dog’s schedule? No, of course not!”
“Are you an a**hole for letting resentment build up until you unleash it on your gf in a public place, refusing her a ride home unexpectedly? Well, yeah.”
“You don’t like the dog, you don’t like how she prioritizes the dog, fine. But you willingly moved in with her, you’ve lived together for a while, this is not new.”
“Literally any other time would have been better to have this discussion and work out a plan for social events. YTA.”~maantre
Whether or not OP chooses to listen is up to him. But what happens next in the relationship might not be.
If an effort for more understanding and discussions about mental health are not made, this relationship may very well fail.