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Aubrianna
Dedicated January 2022

a Different Side: When to be concerned about negligence?

Aubrianna, on January 21, 2021 at 10:55 AM Posted in Married Life 0 33
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Hey guys!


Thanks for taking the time to read my post. So, I wanna start out by saying that my FH and I have been together for 6 years and we’re also business partners who work in hospitality. I had a dog before we started dating, and he adopted a cat while we were together (the cat ended up living with me until we moved in together about a year later because his roommates at the time were absolute reprobates (and he didn’t do so much as to get a litter box for her!). We also adopted a rescue cat together about 4 years ago and a bearded dragon in 2017.
Moving on; he’s always wanted a puppy. Always. He’s had family dogs, but never one of his own. I know that he “loves” our pets... However, he’s never accepted responsibility for any of our animals other than “his” cat, and I assumed it’s because they didn’t have the same bond because he didn’t “raise” them. And even then- I still care for the cat.
Well. I think I was wrong about the “bond” thing because guess who spotted a woman giving away puppies, and guess who HAD to have one (literally started crying when he held Atticus for the first time). My FH did! He’s a great puppy, too! Young to be away from Momma at only 5 weeks but very smart. Already house trained, sits to wait for food, etc.
Now two-days into having a puppy of his own and hates it. Walking the dog, watching his body language so we can take him out BEFORE he has an accident (it’s just on the indoor puppy pad but I don’t really want to make that a habit), making sure they’re all introduced properly and that we begin crate training, etc. ALL goes to me. And it’s ALWAYS been like this.
This is really, really scary to me. I love animals. I’m getting a degree in biology. Sometimes the thought of having children scares me because I love my pets so much that I don’t think my heart could handle more. We’re going to make it work regardless. Atticus fits in so perfectly with our family and he’s a great companion to our playful 6-year-old and very, very respectful with the kitties and Bearded dragon.
But, have any of you had issues with this? It really scares me. A commitment to care for an animal is just as difficult and wonderful and tiresome as a commitment to anything else, isn’t it? What about when we want a family one day (which he definitely does)? Am I just going to be a scullery maid my whole life? Going to work to wait hand and foot on people who treat me like cattle and then to come home and do the same?
We’ve talked about it and resolved the issue at hand... But what are your experiences with negligence? I had never dated someone before who wasn’t smitten with animals. Wouldn’t you think that the lack of responsibility would translate over to children as well?
Again, thank you so much for reading my super long and maybe not wedding-related post. And, thank you for your responses!
Aubrianna Abbema

33 Comments

Latest activity by Evren, on February 15, 2021 at 9:55 PM
  • A
    Expert September 2020
    Amanda ·
    • Flag
    This would be concerning to me. It sounds like you were manipulated into getting a puppy that you now solely care for. I would absolutely have the same concerns when it comes to children... does he help with other things around the house? Does he contribute equally or more in other ways? I had my dog before my husband and I started dating and that dog is more of his than it is mine at this point lol. I don’t think who had it first matters, especially seeing that the pattern started long ago with the cat. Have you considered bringing in a counselor to discuss?
    • Reply
  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta ·
    • Flag
    HUGE red flag. If this man dreamed of having a puppy, and literally cried to get one, then completely neglected it as soon as it was home, what is he going to do when you have a child?? It sounds like he is immature, irresponsible, and out of touch with reality- he wants things that sound fun, but doesn’t want any of the responsibility that comes with actually having those things. Marriage and parenthood both require a lot of effort, commitment, and partnership and he is not showing you that he is ready for either. You need to sit down and have a discussion with him about this. Let him know you are incredibly concerned and upset, and you are having reservations about committing to marriage or parenthood with him until he proves he is ready to be a responsible partner. He needs to immediately step up to the plate and start providing 50% of the care for your (animal) family. He needs to understand how much work it is and how much stress he is putting on you by not contributing.
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Expert September 2021
    Meghan ·
    • Flag
    My fiancé and I will be together 5 years this February. I’ve always grew up with dogs, but when I moved into my apartment I didn’t have a pet. I’ve always wanted a pup again but couldn’t have one due to my work schedule. I would always talk about it with my fiancé, who already has two dogs (one his sister adopted but left with him). So I knew another dog would be a lot when we move in together, but for my 30th birthday he surprised me with a puppy! I live in the Bronx and it is a lot to walk him every few hours but I LOVE it. I love taking care of him. Don’t get me wrong it’s a lottttttt but I knew it would be a lot and that’s why I held off until I knew I’d be ready with work. I do live alone so I am taking care of him solely, but I also stay with my fiancé a lot. When I’m with him, I feed him, walk him, and am training him. My fiancé does help a lot with walking him in the morning (cus I’m still sleeping) and he’ll walk him late at night or during the night at like 2A cus he doesn’t want me walking outside at that hour. I appreciate his help and he is both our dogs, but I do feel that I take on more responsibility because he was given to me and I’ve wanted a pup for so long that I’m soooooo excited to finally take care of him and appreciate my fiancé helping, even when he has his hands full with the other two boys. I would sit down with your fiancé and talk about expectations or responsibilities. For example, my fiancé will walk him in morning and during overnight if he wakes up so I’ll walk him during the day. Maybe coming up with clear expectations will help and having an honest conversation about how you feel and finding a solution that works with the both of you.
    • Reply
  • Shirley
    Expert November 2020
    Shirley ·
    • Flag
    "A commitment to care for an animal is just as difficult and wonderful and tiresome as a commitment to anything else, isn’t it?"


    No, it isn't. The commitment and work to care for a child is much, much greater. If you want to have a family with this man, you need to really take some time to think about his behavior and talk to him about it. Everyone loves holding a puppy or a baby, but caring for them is a whole different story.
    His unwillingness to take responsibility for your shared pets and do routine caretaking is a huge red flag. It reflects on the type of husband and father he would be. Does he act this way in other areas of your lives? Does he help with chores, take things off your plate, do the dishes after dinner?
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    VIP October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    Oh boy I would be having extreme second thoughts. I really don’t like one of my cats (he is a total jerk guys!) but I still take very good care of him, play with him, cuddle, take him to the vet, all of that. Animals are living things. And puppies are HARD.
    I would be upset about the current animal situation, and even more concerned that I was seeing some incompatible character flaws.
    • Reply
  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag

    From what you’ve described, your partner loves animals, but doesn’t actually care for the responsibilities that accompany pet ownership. He’s not negligent, he’s irresponsible.

    When it comes to children, I personally believe that there is an automatic sense of stepping up to the plate that kicks in (at least to a degree) because from the moment you lay your eyes on your new born baby, there is just a shift in the paradigm.

    Notwithstanding this, I think you need to lay down the law with your partner and set some clear expectations and responsibilities for him to accept. He won’t overnight change and become intuitive about it, so if you want him to improve in this, be mindful that it will be a slow process and at the start that will involve you dictating to him what he has to do. Good luck!

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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    This would be a huge red flag for me, if your goal is pets you share responsibility for, or eventually children. Caring for another living creature is hard work. It is rewarding, but not always pretty or convenient or fun. Pets and children are expensive, dirty, and needy. They are not capable of providing entirely for themselves, and that is where the caring, responsible, adult parents step in. Filling that role is essential for the well being of a living, feeling, sentient creature.

    Your husband's unwillingness to do the "hard part" of puppy parenting and expecting you to do all the work while he reaps the benefits would make me very cautious about taking on additional life forms (animal or human). It shows a lack of responsibility and accountability on his part, and a lack of respect for your time, energy, and labor. Not wanting to care for a pet doesn't make him a horrible person, but wanting a pet and then ignoring the responsibilities of one and expecting you do to the work is not right. His behavior is more like that of a child than an adult man (literally this is how I acted when I was 10 years old and wanted a bunny). Being an equal partner is a relationship is a different responsibility than being the caretaker of a pet or child that needs and depends on you. Your husband can be a great husband but still be a sucky parent (or sucky co-parent). I would sit down and have a serious conversation with him before adopting another pet or having children.

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  • Rebecca
    Master August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag

    I agree with everyone else, this is a MASSIVE RED FLAG.

    Honestly, the first red flag for me was that he didn't take care of his own cat! Bad roommates are one thing, but then you get new roommates, not ditch the cat on your girlfriend.

    If he hasn't stepped up by now, either he is really clueless, or he has no intention to.

    I'd have a good long chat with him. He is a grown man and if he can't be responsible, he doesn't get the perks of having pets. Dogs will bond with most housemates, so if he hasn't bonded with your other dog, I think that says a lot. (I had a roommate's dog who would literally leap on my bed to wake me up for a while. Picture a tiny dachshund taking a flying leap onto your nose. There are worse ways to wake up.) It's also concerning that he took in a 5 week old puppy... that sounds like a very irresponsible breeder. Either he helps with the pets, or you will have to find another way to take care of them - up to and including finding safer homes for them... or you.

    People who neglect pets will neglect children, too.

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  • kahlcara
    Master August 2013
    kahlcara ·
    • Flag

    I mean, whoa. Lots of red flags. The first couple of weeks/months with a puppy are hard for the same reasons that a newborn baby is hard-- they need constant care, can't do anything by themselves and don't sleep through the night. The difference is babies are even more vulnerable and stay that way for much longer. It's BS that he doesn't have a bond with your other pets because he wasn't there from the time they were babies. Lots of people adopt adult animals. My husband had one of our cats before we moved in together, and while he still sometimes prefers to cuddle with my husband, we both love and take care of him because we are partners and he is our pet. Same thing with our other cat and our puppy-- he goes to bed later than I do so he takes her out last thing at night and I take her out first thing in the morning. Of course, who is doing which specific tasks when might change with your schedules, but you didn't sign up to do this all by yourself. (Also-- a 5 week old puppy is really young to be away from their mother-- I would worry about behavioral issues and socialization problems down the road.)

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  • L
    Beginner July 2021
    Lynn ·
    • Flag

    I have to disagree with the previous posters. How old is your FH? He looks kind of young in your pic. People mature a lot well into their late 20s and 30s, so I'm betting he will have a different attitude as far as accepting responsibility as he ages and the two of you move onto children.

    • Reply
  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Dear Amanda,

    Thank you for your response! We have planned on pre-marriage counseling; as the ONLY thing we EVER fight about is maturity/responsibility; and that’s a big thing. Haven’t started yet, though... Also, it’s definitely a pattern that started not only with the cat, but with his whole family. For example, his sister got a kitten for Christmas (per her request) at 17 years old. She never scooped its litter box, so it started pooping just on the outside of it. Within two weeks that had laundered the kitten off to their aunt, who adores and cherishes him. Also, during our years in college and even now his parents have told me multiple times to take the first love of my life, my dog (who I made a commitment to long before I met Campbell), to a pound so that it would be “easier” to rent a home. In addition, they DO NOT under any circumstances allow our pets into their home.

    We definitely grew up in completely different worlds.
    Again, thank you so much for your post. You’re right; whoever had them “first” shouldn’t matter! As the days go on (and after two big conversations) he’s beginning to get the hang of things!
    Aubrianna Abbema
    • Reply
  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Christa,


    Thank you so much for your response! I thought it was a huge red flag, too. After two very long conversations he’s beginning to understand what needs to be done hourly, daily, weekly, monthly so that the pup is well taken care of. As someone who has raised 3 dogs myself, (because in my household: you took care of your own pets, unlike his) I’m keeping a close eye and giving pointers and making sure that they both continue to be positively reinforced for now!
    Again, thank you for your input and I’m glad that I posted something so I wouldn’t feel so alone in my thinking about this!
    Aubrianna Abbema
    • Reply
  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Meghan,


    Thank you for your response! It’s really great hearing from the perspective of the SO that didn’t start out with animals in the relationship! I’m glad that your “blended” (haha) family is doing so well so far!
    Again, thank you so much for your response and I wish you guys the best of luck!
    Aubrianna Abbema
    • Reply
  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Dear Shirley,


    As alluded to in previous responses, he wasn’t exactly raised to take care of anything, or even himself. I mean we’re talking about a Southern, blonde hair, blue eyed boy who went to the high school that was founded and named after his great grandfather. If you go to any little town outside of where we grew up, and even within, they talk about his family. (They’re nothing that special, they’re just “old money” ~eye roll~. There are a lot of families here like that. He had everything handed to him as a child and adolescent. His parents are also extremely authoritarian and have mentally abused and manipulated him his whole life. It’s incredibly evident in the way that they speak to/at him and I. At one point they spent over $5,000 moving us into a different apartment that was half the size because they didn’t like the one we had picked. When we met, he was staying with reprobates because he wasn’t ready to go to college yet, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, and was working different jobs to find out and they told him to leave.
    As I say with many things, I think a lot of the strife we’re having with this is due to differences in the way that I was raised, and the way that he was raised. Also explained in previous responses: his family doesn’t care about animal life: especially when it inconveniences their own.
    Again, thank you for your response! After two long conversations and some supervision he’s beginning to get the hang of it!
    Aubrianna Abbema
    • Reply
  • W
    VIP September 2020
    Willow ·
    • Flag
    I would never have children with someone who dumped all pet responsibilities on you. Don't ever marry someone assuming they will mature or change for the better.


    He was raised to be spoiled and irresponsible. He wants all the "fun" aspects of a pet parenthood without any of the nitty gritty. This probably translates into other aspects of life, such as housekeeping, childcare. Old habits die hard.
    • Reply
  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Dear Samantha,

    We're definitely an "opposites attract" kind of couple. He grew up very wealthy and without responsibilities. I grew up relentlessly poor by a single mother who was a counselor. I was treated as an adult for as long as I can remember and expected to behave that way; and I greatly appreciated it. I was raising my little brother at 13, and emancipated by 16 from both of my parents to live completely on my own, as a "legal adult." Even after being emancipated, my entire family supports the poo out of anything that I do 100%, while his family is the exact opposite, acting as a tidal wave against his goals/ambition most of the time.

    Side Note for those who take this into account: I'm a Libra and he's an Aries. We're opposites on the astrological chart but I've never felt more sympatical with another person- especially not another boy/man. I'm a meticulous planner, to a fault; and he's always cool as a cucumber with little worry for the future, also sometimes to a fault.

    Again, thank you so much for your post and you're definitely right! There are some things that we're not completely compatible with. However, I really, really appreciate a lot of those characteristics that I'm not mellow enough to conjure!

    Aubrianna Abbema

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  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Dear Mrs. Winter Is Coming,

    Thank you so much for your response! And you're right, it is an issue with responsibility. After two long conversations and me as the little "Do you need help?" tool at the bottom of his daily routine; he's starting to get the hang of it and the puppy is beginning to bond with him. In previous replies, I talk about where I think this irresponsibility is rooted. I'm really, really relieved that he's taken the initiative since our talks. I think that he was really worried about things involving our career at the same time. We manage a fine dining restaurant for a benefactor and although I manage the non-creative things: he's our head Chef and there was a lot going on the same week (reporters in the kitchen, etc.) which may have indicated why he chose this moment in time to get a puppy, and why it brought him to tears when he held Atticus. It reminds me of when I adopted Apollo 6 years ago. I was living alone, scared, and wanted reassurance and had a need to care for something other than myself. We always talked about adopting for him after we got married, however I believe that it's kind of serendipitous that we have enough time away from work now, and that we're also able to address these issues with responsibility before we get married. I know that my big pup is way too people-oriented to ignore them at a wedding, but hey, maybe Attie will be there with us!

    Again, thank you so much for your reply and we definitely appreciate the wishes of luck! I always tell people that I'm the unluckiest person: don't gamble with me! So, we'll probably need it!

    Aubrianna Abbema

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  • Meghan
    Expert September 2021
    Meghan ·
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    Absolutely! I think it’s also taught us who’s good with certain responsibilities compared to others. Best of luck to you as well ! ♥️
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  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Dear Kari,

    I couldn't agree more; and this is exactly what we talked about when going over the expectations after I made this post. As I mentioned, it really does make me feel like a scullery maid. However, this is completely new to me. Growing up we had birds, cats, dogs, several different rats, lizards, etc. Even as a child, no older than 11 I was working with my rats and socializing them, teaching them tricks, cleaning their bedding everyday and replacing it once a week. I mean, they all knew and came to me when I called their names! I was committed from day one; and I took great joy in every poo-poo, in every bird-cage cleaning and every litter box day. Even when I began living on my own (first with roomates), I offered to clean her cat's litter box for her because she HATED doing it, and I really did not mind at all. I mean, I don't want to be gross (maybe mentioning that I'm currently receiving my BS in Biology will make it less gross, I'm not sureSmiley tongue ), but if you're not paying attention to your pet's poop, you're not paying attention to their stomach/digestive health. I've never known a family to show such disinterest in their pets and I truly believe that like their children, any animal that was brought into their family was there as an accessory, rather than a being that has wants, hopes, needs, etc. Or at least that's just the way it looks on the outside to me: very cold and unwavering.

    Again, thank you so much for your post. I know a lot of people don't take these kinds of things into account but as a Libra, and just an all-around extremely principled person, I value justice and equality above all; especially in a relationship. In the last 6 years Campbell has proven to me with both actions and words that he is not completely a product of his parent's upbringing; and in the last few days he's starting to prove to me that he has the initiative and desire to be as committed to raising this puppy as I was in raising my own.

    Aubrianna Abbema

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  • Aubrianna
    Dedicated January 2022
    Aubrianna ·
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    Dear Rebecca,

    Yes; you hit the nail on the head with the clueless part. I overanalyze everything. I think 10 steps ahead at all times and plan for any situation that might possibly go wrong, and have to make decisions beforehand about what I'm not going to care about (if it doesn't work out/goes wrong). Campbell is the complete opposite. He doesn't look farther than 10 feet ahead of him. You mention responsibility- this man had a walk-in closet the size of my first apartment and couldn't be bothered to put his clothes on HANGERS when I first met him. That was over 6 years ago, before we even started dating, and things are obviously much different now. I supported him while he pursued a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Eco-Sustainability in New York, and he is supporting me while I continue my degree back in Texas, where we're from. He's definitely shown initiative and has taken almost full responsibility for the puppy (obviously he can't be home 100% of the time) since we've had two long conversations and reviewed my (and the puppy)'s expectations and needs.

    Again, thank you so much for your reply! From what I've seen, I agree. I think that the families I've met who haven't treated their animals without any respect, also interacted with their children without respect. One of the main reasons I think that my FH has such issues with responsibility is because his parent's never expected their kids to have any accountability/responsibility in the first place. I mean, his 17 year-old sister still doesn't do her own dishes or laundry! Even his younger brother, who is my age, will hide smoked cigarettes under a lamp before getting up to throw it away! Campbell keeps saying, "he needs to find a girlfriend, then he'll get his life in order," and I always look at him sideways.

    Anyways, thanks again and sorry for rambling/ranting!Smiley heart

    Aubrianna Abbema

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