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It's the dog or him

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 21 February 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

After the heartbreak of many failed attempts at IVF, my husband and I are having to come to terms with being unable to have children. However, in December we made a decision to get a dog and have fallen in love with him. George, our Bichon Frise, has enhanced our lives in a way I had never thought possible. The problem is, I never want to leave him, he is my life, I adore him and cannot trust anyone to look after, him which is causing problems between me and my husband. I do not want to socialise anymore, prefering to be with George. We had previously booked a holiday for July this year, I have told my husband to cancel it. He is furious and has now said its him or the dog. What do I do?

Patricia Marie says...

It is vital you and your husband establish some boundaries and limitations. Yes, do enjoy your dog, he is helping to fill a void in your life, however, he is not leader of the pack. You and your husband have a relationship to safeguard and nurture, which you cannot allow your dog to dominate. You have both come through a painful time together, and it would be unfair to let your dog come between the bond you clearly share with your husband, and would like you to consider his point of view.

Your dog has become a substitute child, and you are not allowing him to be what he is, a delightful pet, and for all your sakes needs to be treated like one, so you and your husband can get to enjoy him without further resentment. You both deserve the forthcoming holiday, and there are many reliable dog sitters about, who you could share your anxieties with, and perhaps come up with a plan to make the separation easier to cope with.

The emotional pain of failed IVF treatment can cause much anxiety, and feel you could benefit from some counselling, which would help you come to terms with the fear of loss and separation. The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified registered therapist in your area. www.bacp.co.uk

Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows


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