He's not listening or respecting my wishes

"It's complicated..."

He's not listening or respecting my wishes

Postby amandapdx » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:34 pm

My boyfriend is mostly loving, supportive, a great listener and ultra trustworthy. But when it comes to my pets he thinks he is the authority and disregards my thoughts and feelings. I am a veterinarian and my pets are my family, whereas he has had pets in the past but they lived outdoors and were fed scraps for food which is something I'd never do. We've had several conversations where he has argued I spoil my pets and I should just do it his way, etc. He's also made a few callous remarks about how they're only animals and not people...but to me they're all I have, and the only ones who have been there for me through some hard times.

It seems silly for this to keep coming up. All I want is for him to respect that I have a different opinion even if he doesn't agree. I respect his opinion but the big issue is I just left my pets with him for a week and he disregarded my instructions on how to care for them and did it more his way. Yet again I calmly (without anger, yelling or crying) explained how important my pets are, and how I feel like my feelings and wishes are being disrespected. He's acting like he knows better and said the pets are happy so what's the big deal.

The question is whether this is a sign of a bigger issue? How can you trust someone who decides which of your feelings matter and which don't? And also should I have to keep having this same conversation with him and not be making any progress to mutual respect and understanding? Is there some other way I can make my feelings and wishes clear to him?
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Re: He's not listening or respecting my wishes

Postby bedazzle » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:01 am

I am an animal lover myself and for me personally I would think about this as a potential deal breaker. If a person does not care about creatures (any creatures for that matter) I think there is a limitation on their ability to care and I do think it is a sign of future problems. I have both fostered and rescued many dogs and when I see and hear the horror stories of what people do to animals I just don't get it. It breaks my heart.

I agree, what is so hard about taking care of an animal the way your girlfriend asks you to. Even if you don't have the same beliefs about caring for animals you do it because you love her and she loves her animals. Which a good and mature man would do. This also seems like an area of a power struggle which quite frankly, he has no say. These are your animals (children if you will) and if someone does not treat my animals well, they lose the privledge to be around them. And speaking of children, what would happen if you two had children and had a differing opinion of raising/disciplining them?

If I were you, I would start backing off a little and don't let him care for your animals any more. Men respond to distance, not words. Don't let him be around your animals for a while or you when you are with your animals. If he asks what is going on let him know that he had made it clear about how he feels about your animals and you disagree and don't want to subject your animals to him. Obviously word that more diplomaticly. If he comes around great, if not, I personally would consider dumping him.

I am curious do your animals like him? Animals are an excellent judge of character.
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