12 July 2015

dog situation

On a daily basis, I wish I could like the dog. It would make everyone's life so incredibly easier.

But I don't, and I've stopped pretending like I do. In this whole process, I've tried very hard to accept the dog. Very hard. With an incredible amount of optimism.

However, it seems my wholehearted "fake it till you make it" attitude eventually made it much worse. I felt like I was living a lie and I hated having to pretend. It got to the point where I dreaded coming home, I couldn't relax in my home, and my resentment and anxiety only grew.

I would like to clarify that I haven't completely stopped trying to accept the dog. But I've stopped pretending because honestly it got to the point where Chris had no idea how much I felt like I was making a daily sacrifice. Which of course made me tense and angry and resentful and ultimately was a giant misunderstanding. How was he supposed to know how much I was struggling with it if I didn't say anything?

I learned that biting my tongue can give the impression that I'm at ease with the situation. I now have to learn how to communicate my intense dislike of the situation while respecting it.

It's not the dog's fault that she's a dog and does dog things. I don't hate her. I absolutely don't mistreat her or put her in any danger. She's a good dog and she's given good care. I hate that she lives in my house. If she were an outside dog or someone else's dog, I probably would not have a problem with her. I think.

Not that trying to explain myself makes a difference. Dog people are dog people and simply don't understand how someone could possibly not like dogs. It's like they're mentally incapable of understanding why someone wouldn't love those creatures.

I'm not just being a brat. I've spent my entire life recoiling from dogs and holy shit now I have to live with one of them.
Being firmly in the "get that dog away from me" camp my whole life, it's been a huge adjustment to attempt and it's honestly been a little traumatic for me. But it's not socially acceptable to dislike dogs so I kept those anxieties masked and went along with it the best I could.
Like I said, in hindsight that was not the best idea.

Perhaps if the dog had any positive impact on my life at this point I'd feel different. I have no idea why people love dogs so much. I have yet to identify any redeeming quality in this animal. There's nothing fun about her. There's no bonding. She's nothing but another chore to me and I don't like to be around her, or any dog.

I take that back. There is one redeeming quality: She makes Chris happy. He wants this, so I'll continue trying. If this was any other situation or any other person, I'd have already done something about it. Because I'm not one to sit idly by and be unhappy. But I love him and he has every right to have a dog if he wants and I am fully capable of adjusting.

At this point it's time to be realistic and let this process unfold how it will. The more I tried, the more it backfired. I'm taking a step back, we've identified new boundaries, and perhaps as time goes on I can become more comfortable with the situation. I'm already much more comfortable with some of the changes we've made and hopefully these compromises will result in a happier situation for everyone.

1 comment:

Suzy :) said...

I'm with you, GOD AM I WITH YOU.