Not Ready To Make Nice
I have debated immensely about sharing this. I have even considered writing my first ever password protected post.
But in the end, I’ve decided just to share what’s on my mind, for better or worse. Because life isn’t perfect, and I’m not about to pretend that it is.
Mr. MPB and I had an argument. As far as I’m concerned it’s the worst argument we’ve ever had. I am more hurt, upset and disappointed and even angry, then I’ve ever been before as a direct result of Mr. MPB. I’m not used to feeling this way because of him. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way because of him.
I’ll back up, and tell the story.
I contacted a breeder about putting our names on her list for her spring 2018 litter. This was the timing Mr. MPB had agreed to.
We hit it off instantly – as in, she’s the absolute favourite breeder that I’ve spoke with in the last few weeks. We share the same name, so I’m really not surprised we hit if off. Anyways, I told her all about us, the loss of Dog MPB and our family. I also was fully upfront about the fact that I want a puppy yesterday and my husband isn’t ready yet and I asked her about her policy if my husband still isn’t ready in the spring – can we just move our names onto the fall 2018 wait list. We had a great conversation. But then she surprised me by informing me that due to a death in a family, she has an 8 week old girl puppy available immediately. She sent me pictures. I fell completely and utterly in love.
Mr. MPB said no. And simply wasn’t prepared to discuss anything further – his answer is final on this one. There was no discussion and there was no compromise.
I had to tell the lady that we will not accept this dog into our home. A heartbreaking conversation to have while out of town at a clients office. There’s nothing quite as horrible as saying we wont open our hearts and home up to a beautiful puppy in need of a family.
While I was incredibly hurt and upset that he said no. The real problems for me came after he said no, when we were finally able to talk.
He proceeded to tell me I was mean for showing him puppy pictures and that I was making him feel bad for saying no. Strike 1. It’s not my fault he said no. And up until this point in our marriage we have always talked about this together, so why wouldn’t I tell him about the puppy and show him the pictures?
He then thought it appropriate to tell me he actually doesn’t want a new puppy until Little MPB is 3 or 4 so evidently I should be grateful he’s even willing to negotiate consider one in the spring. And everyone on my blog agreed that a puppy in the winter isn’t best, so it’s not like he’s wrong for not wanting a puppy now. Strike 2. In all our future dog discussions has never told me he wanted to wait a few years, I’m not psychic and it’s definitely not a negotiation when you don’t even tell the other party. And also, I’m pretty sure at least a few people agreed with my desire to get another dog sooner rather then later. And, since when do we use my blog in arguments?! (I love you all, and I love this space, it is never okay to use this space against me).
Lastly, he told me I seem to have just gotten over Dog MPB and seem to not care about her anymore. Strike 3. He crossed the line. There hasn’t been a day I haven’t missed Dog MPB. There hasn’t been a day that I wonder if we should have tried to treat her illnesses. It’s been almost 2 months since she died, and I’ve moved from daily cries, to crying a few times a week. I miss her so freaking much. A new dog will never replace Dog MPB, but a new dog may help fill in the dog shaped hole in my heart that hurts so very much. Maybe for me, this is tied to the loss of 5 babies that I cannot ever fill the holes of? Maybe this is tied to seeing Little MPB love for all puu-pys? Maybe I’m just pissed that he’d criticise how I grieve the loss of Dog MPB, especially after all we’ve been through? Maybe it’s the coincidental reminder that Mr. MPB’s words triggered, of years ago when my best friend screamed at me in the high school hallway that it’s time to get over the fact that your mom and sister died and move on already. (As a quick aside, I never really spoke to her again after that, but with age I realize she was just a 14 year old having absolutely no idea how to support another 14 year old going through such tremendous loss). Maybe it’s just that I’m just a dog lover, and always have been? I don’t know, but I know that my heart hurts that I had to say goodbye to Dog MPB way to early and this comment felt like a low blow that was just intended to hurt me for the sake of hurting me and winning an argument.
Honestly to make this all that much worse, we had this argument while I was just starting a few hour drive home from a meeting. I ended the conversation as it simply wasn’t safe for me to this upset while driving late at night – I was literally vibrating my emotions were so high. When I got home, I chose not to say anything. He proceeded to tell me that if I was going to be this mad at him then I should just get the dog and he’ll find a way to deal with having a dog in the house that he doesn’t want – ya, right, like I’m about to get the dog at this point. Then he told me it wasn’t appropriate to give him the silent treatment – I’m not saying it’s right, but I am so upset that I cannot even form a sentence using nice words at this point (and I did point out that he recently gave me the silent treatment for 4 or 5 straight days, but apparently that was different).
It is now the next day and I’m still not even at the point where I trust myself to have a conversation about this with Mr. MPB.
Am, I being slightly irrationally angry? Maybe. But, I don’t always have to display my emotions perfectly – I’m not a saint and I’m so not perfect. I’m just me. With tears of sadness running down my cheeks.
Yes, we will get through this. And even in my anger at the moment, I recognize that I’m probably pretty lucky that our largest ever argument is over a dog.
But, even so, as the Dixie Chicks say, I’m not ready to make nice.
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I am sorry that you had this argument and the way that it went. As I have stated before I know how much it hurts to lose a dog and I know how exciting it is to get to the point where you want another dog. And that is not an easy decision, I had a lot of guilt with that. So you don’t need anyone making you feel guilty about that. I hope you can work it out soon.
well, this is not about dogs, but this is exactly where my husband and I were over adoption. I was reading up and absorbing everything and he was not even interested looking/ broaching the subject.
One tip: talk talk and talk. silent treatment gets nowhere and if you are going to be mad, might as well yell and scream than let it stay inside..
also, he does have a fair point , if he doesnt want a puppy now, but he has to budge a bit too, maybe you guys can foster?
also, strike 3: he has to apologise. that is totally uncalled for. No one can tell you how to grieve or measure your loss/ emotions by their standards. absolutely wrong.
Sorry you had to go through this argument… It sounds like it progressed the way most of my arguments with my wife progress. That argument – “you’re lucky I already compromised from a position you didn’t know I held”, is one I’ve heard before and it’s so infuriating. That said, I know you guys are a strong couple and will talk through this eventually. It’s never easy to want something different from your partner.
Maybe the fact that it’s your biggest argument yet suggests it’s not only about a puppy? So many emotions around pain and loss that go much deeper? I’m sorry you’re going through this and trust you’ll find the words when you’re ready xxx
It sounds like you both are grieving the loss of dog MPB differently resulting in some conflict that sounds really difficult. Pain can really cloud up communication. I just wanted to share a story about dogs and little ones that might add a different perspective to the argument of sooner vs. later.
When my daughter was a baby she was always around dogs. We have a little chihuahua. My sister had a little chihuahua and my parents had three dogs of varying sizes. She was always around all the dogs and she was great with all of them. Then our family dynamic made a sudden change due to some terrible circumstances and she was no longer exposed to the larger dogs for over a year. During this time my sister lost her chihuahua and adopted two medium sized dogs as well. She has always been fine with our little 8lb guy at home and so I assumed that meeting the new dogs would be no issue, but I was wrong. For whatever reason things had changed in her and she was scared.
As things shifted I wanted to bring her back over to visit with my mom who still had all three dogs, which my daughter had previously played with A LOT. My daughter is now TERRIFIED of them. Granted she has autism so her experience might be partly exacerbated by how her sensory information is being processed. My mom has to put 2/3 dogs (the small chihuahua is ok) in a room when we come over and it is still difficult. It has been almost a year and she still struggles with any dog larger than 8lbs. My sister has to gate her dogs off when we come over.
So what I am saying is that if you plan on being a dog owning family you might want to consider how much change kids go through in these early years. If you decide not to bring a dog into the home, I would suggest making sure baby MPB is still routinely exposed to dogs just in case.
I hope that you and Mr. MPB can come to a compromise that will make you both feel comfortable and happy.
Oh, I’m so sorry. These types of fights can really be unnerving.
It sounds to me like Mr. MPB is still very sad about dog MPB and isn’t sure how to move on from it. I was this way when our cat, Lily, died 3 years ago. It consumed me for months, so much so that I feel SO GUILTY that my cat, Jackson’s, death two months ago hasn’t had the same effect on me. We all respond differently to death, and especially to the death of a pet because we CAN go get another one if our heart wants one, unlike losing a human being. He’s obviously having a very hard time, and is taking it out on you. (For the record, I’m not at all suggesting that you’re not having a very hard time. I’ve been where you are too… Where you just need to fill that giant hole in your heart because it hurts so much. It’s how I got Lily in the first place, the day after putting my cat, BEAR, to sleep who truly had gotten me through the hardest parts of my life up to that point.)
I think Mr MPB knows that you miss Dog just as much as he does, and I think that maybe he wishes he could be where your heart is right now, and doesn’t understand why he isn’t. I remember feeling that way when Lily died. “Doesn’t he miss her like I do? I wish I could get to where he is, this hurts so much.”
Cheap shots are never OK, but I truly believe they come from a very sad place in relationships like yours and Mr MPB’s (I say that because you guys seem to get along the way Brian and I do, and cheap shots very rarely happen with us… Like almost never). When Brian throws a cheap shot my way, I know I need to step back and try to not take it personally (even though it was so damn personal) so that we can figure out what’s really going on. (I am the one to have thrown the most recent cheap shot, so please don’t think I’m putting this all on Brian!).
Hugs to you. ❤️
My heart is with you on this one. I lost my two beloved dog babies less than a year apart shortly after my marriage. They’d been with me for over ten years. I swore that I couldn’t bear to get another dog after they were both gone. But I soon realized how empty and sad our home felt
without a dog in it. Within a couple of months of saying goodbye to my sweet old man, we brought two rescue pups from Texas into our home. I never stopped loving the dogs I lost – 6&7 years later I still mourn them – but we never regretted bringing more dogs into our home so soon. I realize that not everyone can do this, but my point is – I totally get where you’re coming from. I understand that it doesn’t diminish your love for your precious girl.
Sending you love and hugs.
So sorry to hear about this latest disagreement. I know you will talk it out when you’re ready but it’s ok to be mad right now! I hope this gets resolved quickly though.
(Side note…I love the Dixie Chicks).
I’m so sorry. My mom has always been the same – when she has lost a dog (twice in her adulthood) she has wanted a new dog sooner rather than later, because a dog in the house is her way of life. And she has loved and adored all her dogs so much, taking a new one quickly has nothing to do with that.
However, as a sleep-deprived person with a small child and a demanding job, I can sympathize with your husband’s decision not to take a new dog at this point, though I’m really sorry he hurt your feelings and that you had that kind of a fight. I hope you can find some common ground.
I don’t feel like he’s being fair at all, and I’m not saying that because you’re my friend. If he felt that way about waiting years to get a dog, he should have said that from the beginning. If he doesn’t tell you, there’s no way for you to know. How are you supposed to know that him saying he would be okay getting a dog next year is a compromise to your wanting to get one now?
And you wanting another dog in NO WAY means that you’ve forgotten about the one you just lost, or that you didn’t care about her or love her. That’s just mean, because obviously he knows that isn’t true. We lost 2 cats within about a month of each other last year. B and I both said at first that we wanted to wait a while before getting another. Within a week we were talking about where to look for a kitten, and within another week we went out and met some kittens at an adoption event. That didn’t mean that we didn’t love the 2 we just lost. It meant that losing them left us with an emptiness that we didn’t want to linger, we wanted to fill it with love for another animal that needed a home. We’re thankful every day that we opened our hearts again so quickly, because we love Bowie so much…even if he can be a pain sometimes.
I think if you need a couple days to get through your anger and move into a place where you can speak to him more calmly, there’s nothing wrong with that. He said some pretty mean and hurtful things, and if he can’t see that, then there’s a problem. I’m sorry that you’re going through this right now. If you need to vent further, you know how to get in touch with me!! *hugs*
I am so sorry you guys are going through this argument. Sometimes it is better to remain to silent than to add to what has already been said. I hope you guys can come together soon and that your feelings are validated.
Ugh. These arguments – the ones about something seemingly benign but layered with deep seated emotion – are the most profound in a relationship (at least, in mine!). It is about the dog, but it’s not about the dog. It’s about so much more.
You are not wrong to want a dog now, and it doesn’t lessen your love for dog MPB in any way. I’m not sure Mr. MPB is being very fair in his comments, but he is obviously hurting too. I always get another pet shortly after I lose one…not because I want to replace them, but because there is (literally) a dog shaped hole in my heart that needs filling and I just don’t ever want to be without one. It doesn’t mean I love my lost dog any less, it just means I grieve best by loving another.
Having said that, it sounds like Mr. MPB grieves differently – and maybe a candid conversation about that is in order once you’re feeling up to it? I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. MPB’s comment about wanting a new dog = you’re not missing dog MPB enough, triggers a bit of emotion over little MPB and your losses (babies and family)? I’m just speaking from experience – I find many discussions or disagreements over grieving, bring me back to my losses.
Sending lots of hugs, friend! Being grown up sucks sometimes.
Ugh. Marriage/partnerships/relationships can be hard. If you were on your own, you would just get a puppy: problem solved. (BTW, in no way do I think that your desire to get another dog is an attempt to replace the dog you lost, or shows that you didn’t care about that dog.) Because you are married, there has to be agreement/consensus.
Our dog is still alive but in failing health at age 13, and my husband has expressed a desire not to get another dog, to wait a couple of years, to get a different breed, while my inclination would be to get another dog of the same breed within a month or two. So I may be dealing with a similar argument of my own in the near future.
I hope you and your husband are able to come together and work things out. Being in an argument is stressful and upsetting.
So sorry you are going through this and it seems like you both are deeply hurting and wanting to deal with the hurt differently (him by not wanting to raise a dog for a number of years n u wanting one right away). Its really not my place as as a occasional visitor to your blog (which I love btw and it was a great source of comfort during my infertility and immunology struggles) to comment so I mean it in the nicest way possible. I agree with all your points but wanted to mention just one thing in defense of Mr. MPB (since everyone else here has rightly sympathized with your perspective). I think you trying to convince him to get a dog right now with cute puppy photos when he clearly said he doesn’t want to consider one till next yr (and u seemed to have agreed to that timeline) is not fair. It is a clear attempt to tug at his emotions and was not fair to him. Looking at it from his perspective, this discussion of getting a puppy right now should not have happened in the first place.
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This! I was trying to gently find a way to point this out but couldn’t find the words so I’m glad that you have. I agree with “N” here. Both of your feelings on this are completely valid and everyone deals with grieving differently so while you are wanting Mr MPB to appreciate your way of dealing with it, you also have to show some appreciation for the way he is dealing with it. And if you both came to an agreement to re-visit the puppy idea next year then that is where the discussion should have ended. His reaction and comment to you that while, yes, was a tough one, could have come from a place of frustration because you were pushing something that you had an agreement on already. His sudden comment about how he would rather wait until Little MPB is 3 or 4 could have been a thought that he had honestly thought he had shared with you at some point. I know that men can often think they discussed something with their wives and firmly believe they have but actually haven’t. As everyone suggested, have an open conversation with him. Tell him how his words hurt you, give him the chance to apologize. Decide on a 100% solid date when you and he both feel comfortable about starting to look into puppies. Compromise and marriage are tough, but if the relationship is a solid one, then there is nothing that you won’t be able to work through 🙂
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N, thank you so much for stopping by and giving me your opinion – I appreciate that you chose to comment and that you read. I hope you are doing well through your infertility and immunology struggles.
And, while I understand what you mean about not agreeing to wait until spring to get a puppy, the only reason I showed him the photos and told him about this dog is that I was not trying to find this dog. I approach the breeder (which he had agreed with me doing) to find out about spring litters, and she told me about the puppy that was in need of a home immediately. And, I thought we should at least have a conversation about it, because yes I desperately wanted the dog. But also, it was a surprise to me and I thought he should at least consider it.
Also, as an update to the whole situation, we agreed to put a small deposit on a puppy in her spring litter. And, should another breeder with an even more rare breed has a littler between now and then, we will have a serious discussion about it since it’s not a breed that we’ll frequently come across. So, in a way we’ve kind of compromised.
So sorry, friend. The comments above are really good. I don’t have much to add. Grief is a mighty confusing thing, both to experience and articulate.
Also from his perspective, he does not know when he said ‘ you wanting a new dog means u don’t miss dog MPB as much’ was such a trigger for you. And he genuinely might think that u r grieving to a lesser degree than him coz for him grieving = not wanting to replace. So that comment (as bad as it sounds and makes u feel) might have come from a truly hurtful place for him where he is wondering how in the world could u consider replacing a beloved dog so soon (without knowing what your way of grieving and dealing with the loss is). Hope you guys can talk it out and understand that underlying all of this is just a different way of dealing with a really shitty/sad situation.
P.s. Thank you. Your blog has been a source of comfort and a good resource of information during my infertility struggles
Similar situation here. Our dog sadly went missing months ago and DH doesn’t want another dog… ever. Me and the kids definitely do. (They ask all the time.) I do want to wait till after winter is over, so it’s not a big deal at the moment. But when I’m ready to get one, I won’t want to wait any longer. I guess soon we will be needing to come to some sort of agreement or compromise.
Fwiw, I don’t think either of you are wrong in your feelings. Some people need to fill that void right away. Others feel they need to wait, in respect of the loss of their pet. Either way is neither right nor wrong. It’s just how different people process loss.
I do t have words of wisdom here just want to tell you I love you and think you are special and a huge hearted person. I know you and Mr MPB will work through this.
I waited 4 months to get a dog after The Furry One passed away. I needed another dog in my life; I had planned on waiting but I really needed that critter. Yappy will be three this week–I totally get it.
You guys will work through this; I didn’t have to negotiate with anyone so I don’t really have good advice other than to both be honest about your feelings and desires. Sounds like the Mr is also grieving pretty hard and might need more time to wrestle with that. And that’s ok. This dog may not have been the one, but there will be one out there for all 3 of you. ❤
😔 I’m so sorry that is really tough. It sounds like it’s going to take time for you both to find a resolution of your feelings. Grief is so confusing and cruel in how we deal with it.
Oh Sweetie, my heart is just hurting for you. I think you have every right to be upset. Mr. MPB delivered some low blows. I hope you guys are able to work this out in a way you’re both comfortable with. Love you!