I am lucky enough to own my condo; it is in the heart of the city and within walking distance of my job and my boyfriend’s job. It is a converted loft with the bedroom above the kitchen and living room and not a lot of extra space. My boyfriend will stay over during the workweek and then spend the weekend at his parents’, two hours away in the suburbs. He has two large dogs there. Our schedules don’t match; he goes in early while I work late. We often eat separately and will only have an hour before he falls asleep. I can’t help but resent when my boyfriend abandons me to retreat every weekend to “take care of his dogs.” His parents are in good health and love the animals. Our social life is completely separated. I am tired of explaining why my boyfriend isn’t with me.
His solution is we bring his dogs into my loft (not feasible), or we sell the loft and buy another property. This would mean my getting a car, insurance, and taking on another mortgage. I balk at taking on additional debt over pets, especially weekend-only ones. I have offered to get a small dog to keep in the apartment and continue to pay for the upkeep of the pets at his parents’. It makes more financial sense to keep the paid-off condo over getting additional debt for some dogs. My boyfriend accuses me of being “heartless.” He pays for food and Netflix; I don’t ask him for rent, and neither do his parents. I am tired of getting described as “irrational” for making rational choices. My boyfriend raised these two dogs since they were puppies, but his parents have taken care of them for the past five years. Am I wrong not to consider them his dogs at this point? Neither of us want kids, so I am actually considering this condo as the long term for us, if there is an “us”? What should I do?
—Part-Time Dog Stepmom