One of the serious relationship problems many couples run into is when pets come between partners and cause a rift.
It’s important to know that instead of suffering in silence or blaming the pets, there is always a way to find a solution if you’re willing to communicate openly!
If you’ve found yourself in the dog house (I know, bad pun) here are 10 tips to help you mend your relationship and live in a happy household, pets and all!
When Pets Come Between Partners (10 Tips to Resolve It)
1. Communicate Openly and Honestly About Your Feelings and Concerns
Having open and honest conversations about how pets are impacting your relationship is the best way to start.
It’s ok if you feel like you’re talking about the same issues over and over. Just keep talking it out until you’re both on the same page!
Often, our partners don’t know how we really feel – or aren’t willing to confront it – until we get everything out in the open.
So, find a quiet time (without the pets if possible) and let your partner know exactly how you feel and what you think will make everything right.
2. Set Boundaries and Establish Clear Rules for How You Will Interact with Each Other’s Pets
Establishing clear boundaries and rules when it comes to interacting with each other’s pets can be a huge help.
For instance, make sure you have an understanding of who will be responsible for the care and feeding of each pet.
Feeling like you’re expected to do more of the cleaning up or maintenance is one of the main issues that cause problems in a relationship.
3. Spend More Quality Time Together Doing Activities that You Both Enjoy
Spending quality time together is an important part of any relationship.
When pets come between partners, it can be helpful to make an effort to spend more time doing activities that you both enjoy.
This will help to strengthen your bond and improve your communication and relationship.
4. Make Sure that Both You and Your Partner Are Giving Each Other the Attention and Affection that You Need in The Relationship
Along with doing activities together, both of you need to feel that you’re getting the attention and affection that you need or you’re going to drift apart.
If you feel like your partner’s pet is getting in the way, it’s easy to start feeling resentful towards the pet – or even your partner.
Make sure to schedule regular date nights for just the two of you, and make time for meaningful and intimate conversations.
5. Consider Seeking the Help of A Therapist or Counselor to Work Through Any Issues and Improve Your Communication and Relationship
If you and your partner have tried everything else and still aren’t able to make things work, it might be time to consider seeking professional help.
A therapist or counselor can help you and your partner address any issues that are coming between you and find ways to improve communication and strengthen the relationship.
If the root cause is behavior issues with your pets, then a pet behavioral expert might be more appropriate!
6. Try to Find Ways to Include Your Pets in Activities that You Do Together as A Couple
One way to ease any tension between you and your partner’s pet is to find ways to include them in activities that you do together as a couple.
Whether you’re both pet lovers or it’s just one of you, the pets are going to be part of your relationship.
So, why not find ways to include them in fun activities like going on walks or trips together if possible?
7. Take Turns Caring for Each Other’s Pets so That One Person Isn’t Always the One Responsible for Their Care
As I mentioned, pet care and maintenance are one of the main issues that drive a wedge between couples.
Taking turns caring for each other’s pets can help alleviate any tension that might be caused by one person always being (or feeling) like they’re the one who has to put in the most effort.
8. Be Understanding and Patient with Each Other, and Try to See Things from Each Other’s Perspective
You’re not going to find a solution you’re both happy with without being understanding and patient with each other.
Try to see things from your partner’s perspective, as well as from the pet’s point of view! – it can be hard for them to understand when their owners are arguing or not getting along.
Be mindful of this, and try to be supportive of each other.
Ultimately, understanding each other’s needs and working together to find a solution that works for everyone is key.
9. Avoid Making Negative Comments About Each Other’s Pets, and Focus on Building a Strong and Healthy Relationship
Tempers can get heated as frustrations build up, but it’s important to avoid making negative comments about each other’s pets or saying something you’ll regret later.
No matter how frustrated you are, taking a moment to take a few deep breaths and focus on building a strong and healthy relationship is always going to be more beneficial in the long run.
If things start to get out of hand, take a break from the situation and come back to it with a cooler head!
10. Make an Effort to Show Your Partner that You Care About Them and Their Pets, and That You Value Your Relationship with Both of Them
At the end of the day, relationships take work – and having the added stress of a pet or multiple pets that are making it more difficult isn’t easy.
But, making the effort to show your partner that you care about them and their pets, and that you value your relationship with both of them, will go a long way.
Showing this kind of support and understanding will let your partner know that you are there for the long run and you’re willing to do what it takes to work it out.
It might take some time, some pretty big lifestyle changes, and there may even be more tears before the two of you find your way, but in the end, it will be worth it.
Having a strong, fulfilling, and rewarding relationship with your partner is always going to be worth the effort – and that includes your pets, too!
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-upset-young-arab-man-hugging
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.