Pets and Relationships - What Do You Do When You Have Allergies

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by MsGroves, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Okay, so hello everyone. I hope that someone may be able to shed some light on my current situation for me. I feel that I am old enough to know what to do, but the truth is I don't.

    I am an individual with pretty crummy allergies. I have a lot of allergies to foods, but the worst allergy has to be my allergy to pets.

    My girlfriend of 2 years has been wanting a dog of late. So much so that she decided to start talking to breeders to purchase a dog. She assured me that she would not purchase one, because we spend most of our time at her house. This is the safe space where we can be together and be affectionate and hang out as a couple.

    Last week she told me that she had arranged for a dog to be sent over. It came on a plane today. I am now unable to venture into the house that I spent all my evenings in and I am unable to see her at her house. She has told me that the dog will "work" because we can see each other out and about. I feel very hard done by, and like I have been "de-moted" as a girl friend. I don't know how we will be able to maintain our connection, because we are not big on PDAs and she has left no choice but for us to hang out outside of the house. Not to mention that her clothing will smell like puppy, and while I otherwise wouldn't care, it is a massive issue owing to my asthma and allergies.

    What do I do? How am I supposed to interpret this situation. It feels like a massive offence and an affront to everything I thought we stood for. Not to mention that my Dad is sick with cancer at the moment and I asked her to wait on this dog issue, so she could support me and so I could have some place to go to feel safe away from home (as his treatment is starting soon and I needed a sanctuary where I could clear my head).

    I should say too, that now all of my time is spent alone, at a time when I really needed support. She has indicated that she will visit me (I live with my parents during this time), but she has not done so. She told me my options were to move in with her (which I said I can't do right now as I have to support parents during treatment) or she will get pug. I don't like spending the bulk of my time alone, at a time when I really need the support of the person whom I love so very much.

    Please let me know your thoughts about this, and thank you for making it this far.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  2. Emm

    Emm Well-Known Member

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    Hey :)
    Wow it sounds like you're going through a lot of heavy duty stuff right now!

    I don't have pet allergies but I do have wicked bad food anaphylaxis and I 100% understand the need to have a safe place, and also the feeling of somewhere or something that was once safe no longer being okay.
    I'm assuming the pet allergy is pretty severe, like it's not mild enough that you can desensitize by slow exposure?

    The ultimatum, move in or I get a dog, especially in light of your current situation?
    Totally not cool, especially since she knew the reason behind you not moving in (I'm sorry about your dad :( ) and I'd imagine was aware that you'd need extra support right now.

    It's totally justified that you feel offended and angry and put-out about everything right now, it seems like you've been pretty open about where you stand and what you need to do for yourself and your family right now.
    I don't really have any great mind-blowing solution, but I hope things get better in regards to the support she offers and you guys can work out a way to make it work safely for you.

    take care of yourself :)
     
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  3. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    Through her actions she's showing your her priorities. She's placing her needs above you and not being sensitive to your thoughts and concerns. In other words, she's doing what she wants to do without deference to your emotions and feelings.

    Not only has she broken a promise to you in not getting a dog -- she's gone ahead and demonstrated that she's living her life with her central focus being herself. Unfortunately, perhaps, through her actions she's giving you every indication that you might not have a future together. Not visiting you as promised? That's a pretty crappy thing to do, especially when you've made it clear you really need her right now.

    Maybe you need to think about whether you should allow her to rank as high in your life as she's showing where you're ranked in hers.

    Hugs and hang in there.
     
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  4. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry but, what an inconsiderate bitch! 2 years together and she's acting out like this? you would think she would at least get a hypoallergenic dog...

    You deserve better, no woman in the right mind would do that to somebody they love.
     
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  5. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Hi Emm, thank you so much for your kind words of understanding and kindness with regards to my situation.

    Yes, the pet allergy is indeed a severe one. I have myself always dreamt of having a pet, but am unable to do so because the poor pet brings all allergies and the allergies instigate asthmatic episodes. I have anaphylaxis with regards to food also (I always pack an epi-pen!).

    Yes, the ultimate has not been cool. It has also greatly affected my self-esteeem and made me feel horrible about myself. It is hard enough when I am slightly older and back home, but I am going to stick it out because of the circumstances. She knows that I need more support right now also, yes. Her logic is that the dog will occupy her while I am with my parents and so she won't be demanding of my time as much. This makes little sense to me in a practical sense...

    Thank you again for your kind words of support and your kindness re my Dad also. I appreciate it.

    MsG
     
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  6. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Hello Spygirl, I could not agree more. I have pointed out to her that her actions reveal her true priorities, and that these priorities are hostile to my well being, particularly given my current situation. My gf has bipolar I and also BPD. I have queried whether her actions are part of her feeling unwell, or if it has anything to do with rejection sensitivity. I have done everything in my power to help her feel supported and accepted. Given the current situation, I need to also be there for my parents. She assured me that she would be there and would be supportive. In practice this has not been anything more than just mere words... In reality she has told me that she expected me to just come over anyway, in spite of dog and that it would "somehow be okay"...

    Over the years I have helped and supported her through many things that have taken place, some of her own making, and some the result of her illness. I would have hoped/expected that she would have kept it together, when I have specifically indicated that I need support.

    Spygirl, I believe you are correct when you say that her actions indicate that a future together may not be plausible/possible. You have given me a great deal to think about, particularly in relation to how highly I rank her in my life. I have always given her the number one priority, often at the expense of myself. Were it not for the situation with my father, I would probably have allowed that to continue infinitely because of my love for her. But it is not something that I believe I can do, having experienced what I have most recently because of her decisions.

    Thank you for spending the time to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate the advice so much.

    MsG
     
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  7. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Just Me, I have said the exact same thing to her. Literally: e.g."No one in their right minds would to this to somebody they love".

    I have spoken with her this morning. She now tells me the dog is too much for her and that she needs me to help her look after it. She said it has not made her feel the way she would have wanted it to. The issue is - and always has been - that we are constantly in dialogue about how *she* feels, rarely about how I feel.

    I feel like I deserve better too. It's very easy to be in a relationship when things are sunny and everyone is happy and healthy and well. It is another thing when things are scary, or confronting, or just plain bad. I have been a solid rock for her when things have been bad for her. The first time when something is bad for me, she has abandoned me emotionally.

    Thank you for taking the time to write a reply to my thread. I appreciate it.

    MsG
     
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  8. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Also, by way of update (although this is such a dull (albeit traumatic) saga even for me):

    She now tells me that she will give the dog away to a sibling, who lives in another house, in a few weeks-months time so that things can resume as normal...

    My MAMMOTH issue with this is that I have seen her "true colours"/priorities now, this whole issue has caused massive damage to the relationship, and I I don't think I could ever trust a word that comes out of her mouth ever again...
     
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  9. Narley

    Narley Well-Known Member

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    Right... The real issue for me In regards to your girlfriend... And This is completely coming from a dog lovers perspective.
    Dogs are a massive commitment, take it from someone who owns one. It really sounds to me like she's made the decision to get one for all the wrong reasons. Whether this has come from ignorance or just a blatant disregard for a dogs needs. For one dogs are at least a 7year commitment, but I know dogs who lived to be as old as 17 years! Her saying she bought it to occupy her time whilst you deal with your family issues... To me it's basically said she doesn't see any kind of future between you at least not in the next 7-17 years OR she'll just keep it till you're ready to shower her with affection again, and then just fob it off onto someone. Which is what she's doing with her relative.
    To me it sounds like she's so desperate for companionship that she'll go to extreme lengths to feel loved... And by loved I mean she's literally substituted you for the dog in an attempt to feel any semblance of affection.
    Sorry but I really don't like your girlfriend....she needs to realise her decisions have not only affected your life and relationship but also the welfare of a dog who really should have gone to a good home. One that meant to keep and take care of it it forever. I normally try to see the best in people but when it comes to animals... Grrrr it really gets my proverbial hackles up, shame on her.
     
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  10. Emm

    Emm Well-Known Member

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    Narley totally nailed it.

    Giving the dog away in a few months????
    That's a total game changer and personally, a total deal breaker.
     
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  11. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Cold! Agree with the above ladies. Just want to add that some people do not realize the seriousness of allergies and feel that the person suffering from it maybe exaggerating. I have friends who have the same thing done to them by spouses, siblings and parents. They all somehow thought it harmless and the allergies exaggerated. Such actions indeed have broken up families. I am sorry for all the stressors in your life and hope you are able to find a peaceful setting somewhere even in your current home.
     
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  12. Cricket

    Cricket Well-Known Member

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    You need to end this relationship for a few reasons.

    1. I am an animal lover and have a dog. I love him dearly. I would never give him up for someone. I would never knowingly go in to a relationship with someone if I knew they had severe allergies. This may sound crazy to some people, but my dog is priority because I made a commitment to him when I brought him home. It doesn't seem like she is committing to anything, at all. What does that say about her exactly? Reason #1: Poor character.

    2. If I had been in a serious relationship with someone whom I saw a future with who also happened to have severe allergies, I never would have gotten a dog to begin with. I know this seems to negate my first point, but my point here is that you take care of the important things you have in your life NOW so that you can hold on to them. A dog is a 15 year commitment. How would that possibly work if she ever saw a future with you? Reason #2: Is not committed to you and does not support you.

    3. As I stated in my first point, I am an animal LOVER. Anyone who brings home an animal, a pet, a dependent creature, and is willing to DUMP it at the drop of a hat, will just as quickly DUMP you. Don't fool yourself in to thinking she is making any selfless decisions or any well thought-out decisions. She doesn't understand the process of cause and effect, She is not making adult decisions. Go find yourself an adult. Reason #3: Because you can do better.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
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  13. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    Cricket said some very good points there.

    That's so sad, hopefully the dog finds a good home before she neglects it. I've gone through some rough times with my dog... She was run over as a pup and cost me thousands in vet bills, she's got allergies that have resulted in trips to the emergency, and needs medication once a week... Once you get a dog it's a huge commitment, like a child.

    It will be hard, but let her go. I lost my bestfriend and adoptive mother to cancer, if you're ever feeling down about your break up, give you're dad a call and talk to him. Even if it's just random conversation, at least it will be a conversation with somebody who loves you.
     
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  14. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Hi Greylin, yes, you are correct. I believe she was under the impression that I was exaggerating about the allergies, and that it wouldn't be an issue. Her logic is that the little pug is little and so it shouldn't be as bad as if I were to bring a sheep into my lounge room (for example).

    I visited today and spent two hours with the pug. I made an effort. The result is that I am not unwell and my asthma has flared up. I think that the whole issue is out of my hands and for that reason, I can not do anything else. I tried. This was my last ditch effort. I don't think I can have the relationship with her on the terms she wants, ignoring all the other factors that are at play here with regards to her character, etc.

    Thank you heaps for your response, Greylin. I appreciate it.
     
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  15. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Narley, your response is both informative and quite heartbreaking because of how true it is.

    Dogs are a massive commitment. I believe that this is now dawning on her. I agree that she does wish to replace me with a dog so that she can continue to have undivided affection, etc, while I deal with "family stuff". I have asked her about this and she tells me that it is not the case and that in fact she wishes to have something to "soothe" her and keep her company so that she, in turn, can be better support for me... To me, being only 90% unavailable is not necessarily supportive. But that's besides the point.

    I think that as time goes on she will come to see how her decision has impacted our relationship, even if it never sinks into her brain how it has affected myself.

    As for the puppy though, she showers it with love and attention. She has purchased it health insurance, toys, a safe play space to play and expensive food. She watches out for its safety constantly as it is very small at the moment. Irrespective of how she has treated me, I am pleased at least that the puppy is in safe hands (even if those hands are emotionally unsafe/misguided when it comes to humans - or specifically, a girlfriend, like me). It is a beautiful dog with the sweetest personality.

    Thank you so much for your response. It was a very helpful thing to read.
     
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  16. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Cricket, I cannot agree with your points more. The whole issue that I have with this is not the dog, per se. If I didn't have allergies I would have many dogs. I adore them. They make me happy and I love their personalities and company and also, to be honest, love taking care of things. Nothing would have been nicer. But alas, I am limited in this sense and so dogs are a no go for me because of allergies. She knew that when she met me. When we met she had no pets at all, nor has she been raised with animals either. It has taken me completely by surprise that she has done all of this.

    Just as you would not knowingly enter into a relationship with someone with a pet, I would not knowingly enter into one with someone that does. The bond between a person and their pet is a significant one. It is not to be broken up or taken lightly. It's not something that can be replaced or shifted around.

    The fact that she would get a pet knowing about my allergies - and that she would do it during a time of such personal trauma - is pretty awful. It does indicate to me her lack of commitment and support. It also says so many not great things about her character. I would never treat someone like this during a time of crisis.

    And finally, yes, she is not making adult decisions. She indicated to me today that she did not realise the full breadth of her decision, but that she adores the dog and wishes to keep her. That aside, she is not an adult. To be honest, she never has been... I wonder if I could to better myself. This situation sucks on so many levels and its horrible having an unfixable limitation (allergy) rubbed in one's face in this way.

    Thanks so much Cricket for your thoughtful response.
     
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  17. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Just Me, I hope that your dog is okay. What you describe sounds like a very rough time indeed. What kind of allergies does she have?
     
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  18. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    This is a complicated situation.

    First, I am very sorry about your Dad. I hope he pulls through. Thoughts and (if you're into them) prayers go out to him.

    Second, the girl. People handle relationships differently. Some people can handle an ltr. Some can't.

    Some need to blow it up with drama. Others are OK with the honeymoon stage, but when things settle in have to run off for their next honeymoon fix.

    And some can't deal with hard times and take off at the first sign of trouble.

    Your gf appears to be one of those. Suddenly things got hard - your Dad is sick - and she split. But she can't admit "oh, I couldn't hack the pressure, so I just dumped her when her Dad had cancer." So instead, she sabatoged the relationship.

    Which pretty much stinks for you. And all you can do is see that you dodged a big, big bullet and move on.

    But, you can take care of yourself in this time. Get emotional support, branch out, get involved with some new activities and friends.

    Your gf's shouldn't be your only safe space. Try and find another one. Take an art class and hang out in the studio, join a gym, go to the local art museum. Anything where you can have a little space to call your own.

    Ditto seeing if your area has support for family members of a cancer patient. Your Dad's Doc might have some resources.

    You are in a bit of a tough time. And you need to find ways to take care of yourself, without relying all on one person or thing. Not that its OK that your gf abandoned you. But those are the cards you've been given, now you have to play your hand as best as possible.

    Hang in there and good luck.
     
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  19. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    Clove's grate now! About to turn 6 in march :)... She's allergic to dairy, so it's not cute when people feed her cheese, her bum literally blows out and costs me hundreds every time. At first the doctors were telling me it was her scent glands getting infected, and I would have to get them removed... then I started really watching what she was eating, stopped giving her anything but her kibbles and vegetable treats... Then she got up onto the table one day when I was making dinner and she ate a brick of cheese, her bum blew out the next day, and it's never happened since. It took me two years to figure that out :( ...My gf is allowed to bring dogs to her school, I always send Clove wearing a shirt saying "I'm allergic, don't feed me! It's not cute, it's expensive!"

    And, apparently, if you get your dog fixed at nine months, that might still be too early. She has to take medication for incontinence because she wasn't ready to be spayed...

    Stupid dogs, they really are fur babies lol
     
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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
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  20. MsGroves

    MsGroves Active Member

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    Hello Bluenote, I actually used to read your advice on these forums many years ago when I used to frequent AE. It's great to hear from you.

    Firstly, I am into prayers, so thank you for sending some over my way. I appreciate it.

    Secondly, regarding the girl: 100% yes. I am in agreement with what you have said.

    I do not believe that she is able to handle a LTR. Not a legitimate, living, breathing one, anyway. If everything is all fun and games (or "sh*ts and giggles", as we would say here in Oz), then everything is fine, and she is happy. I doubt I would not hear a moments complaint from her. But when the going gets tough, she disappears. This has happened before. Particularly when I have been unwell. She basically deserts me because "there is nothing to do together" when I am unwell. The concept of simply keeping me company for the sake of it doesn't exist to her. It's a truth, and my reality, and I accept it.

    Not only that, she is all three of these things you describe: She blows things up with constant drama, only wants things to be constantly fun, and can't handle actual life events that are troublesome and require emotional investment. I think you are right that, under the circumstances, I have no choice but to move on.

    What she has done is a massive act of sabotage - and a fairly inelegant one, at that. She claims that she still wants to be together and wants to make things work. I have explained that this amounts to us basically seeing each other for 2 hours a day... Not really a relationship. I am alone with my thoughts and feelings most of the time and feel unsupported and that sucks... But, I also accept that, and am becoming okay with it now. I wouldn't trust her now with my feelings anyway. I have never so honestly told anyone that I needed them or any help before (I have always been very independent, except for in this relationship...) Which brings me to your next point.

    Yes, I need to find other avenues of support and find my own safe spaces. I think the more I reflect on how I have basically begged for support and help the more I feel strengthened with resolve to find support through other means and basically learn to support myself. I am a spiritual person, so that helps also.

    You are correct, Bluenote. These are the cards that I have been dealt. It's a good life lesson, I accept it and will do my best.

    Thank you so much for your support and assistance. It was really helpful.

    MsG
     
    #20

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