Two to Tango: When pets become an issue between couples

Experts say that issues which on the surface may seem really trivial sometimes get blown out of proportion.

Written by Amrita Sharma | New Delhi | Updated: March 1, 2016 2:49 pm
Is your pet the reason behind your marital discord? (Photo: Thinkstock) Is your pet the reason behind your marital discord? (Photo: Thinkstock)

For many couples dealing with inanimate issues take centre stage – issues such a compatibility, ego, children, money et al.

But what does one do when the differences arise because of a living thing such as owning a pet.

This is what triggered off series of problems between Kunal and Smriti. Since Smriti had always grown up in a house with dogs, she craved to have one when she got married. But Kunal hated dogs and would not hear of it. They would have constant agreements over the issue which gradually turned into a major ego issue.

(Also read: Two to Tango: When couples start living parallel lives)

“He knew how important it was for me to have a dog. It was an emotional and a health need for since I would feel calm and relaxed around a dog and it kept my blood pressure under control. But Kunal can’t seem to understand that. He dismisses it right away saying he can’t bear to have them around,” said Smriti.

Experts say that issues which on the surface may seem really trivial sometimes get blown out of proportion. When couples refuse to sit down and talk about it and at least one partner gets convinced of the other’s viewpoint, the issue will keep simmering.

(Also read: Two to Tango: When kids cause marital differences)

This is what happened when Namita and Akash when they got married. Akash, who passionately in love with dogs, was someone who could not live without them. But for Namita, it was something that she was just not comfortable with.

“I have never lived with dogs and I find it extremely inconvenient to share my space, my time and my partner with a dog. I hate it when Akash neglects the house and the chores and is busy taking the dog out for a walk, buying his food, getting him vaccinated…I feature nowhere in his scheme of things,” she said.

(Also read: Two to Tango: How you take care of your in-laws can have a huge impact on your relationship)

Counsellors say that if the couples fail to accept and understand the other’s viewpoints about what they feel strongly about, rifts are bound to crop up. When it comes to strong likes and dislikes, it’s crucial for partners to find a balance between how much of something can you allow and how much you can’t. Sometimes that thin line can make or break a marriage. But if the two sit down and make the other person accept one’s needs, then it shows that the partner’s approval and understand is important to you and you value the acceptance of your partner for what you need. The understanding that comes out of sincere communication is the key to a happy relationship.

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