Wedding Woes

40 years? FORTY YEARS?!

Dear Prudence,
My wife and I have been married almost 40 years. Early on, we adopted a sweet puppy. Two years later, we had our daughter. I thought my wife gave more affection to our dog than our daughter, but did nothing about that. Then my wife brought in another dog. And another. And cats. And birds. Along the way, we had a son. We have never taken a vacation in our married life. My wife’s reasoning was, “Who would take care of the pets?” Our children have children of their own now, but we can’t visit as a couple because, “Who would take care of the pets?”

I’ve always felt well down on the list for my wife’s affections. So have our children. It takes her four hours in the morning just to address feeding and grooming. I feel like I’m coming to an end in our relationship, and when I try to address this, she accuses me of being selfish and dismissing the animals’ needs. I love my wife and don’t really want to divorce, but how do I cope with being odd man out in my marriage even though I have rationalized that nearly the entire span?

—Pet Overload

Re: 40 years? FORTY YEARS?!

  • Hopefully the 4 hours includes cleaning up after them. LW should see if any of the kids want to go on vacation with him, leave the wife at home to care for the pets.
  • I definitely would have said something prior to this. And who would take care of the pets? They can always be boarded if you have nobody to take care of them when you go on a trip. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • Yeah, animal hoarding is a thing. Start with therapy.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • How did he put up with this for 40 years?  How did he watch as the mother of his children put the animals ahead of them?
  • Few things... First - the animals are just a symptom of something far bigger going on.  Chances are - right around the time of the daughter's birth the relationship died.  Could be as simple as PPA or PPD never addressed nor treated that just festered onward, then when the kids left, no clue how to get out of that state of mind.  He wants to break her cycle but has forgotten to address his portion in all of it.
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