is this love or is this F%&#@$g Nuts?

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
Okay, this is a strange one but I really need help! I am recently divorced, it's been crappy but I'm getting through it. I have recently started a relationship with a very close friend of 3 years, we were unsure at first but everything points to go for it! We have been together about 6 months and I am regretting that I didn't meet her 7 years ago! She's so close to perfect. We like the same things, we have the same career, she's smart, she's funny, she's gorgeous (she's a professional model on the side!) she's sweet, she's 99% perfect. I love her. I've never felt this way about anyone including my ex wife of 7 years. I can't explain the feelings that I have for her. Here's the problem. As beautiful and as perfect as she is, she's a severe manic depressant. Having battled depression for some time myself, I am quite patient when she's feeling down. Towards the end of my relationship with my ex, we acquired a new puppy. When my ex took off, she not only left the puppy at home, she never even came back to make sure the pup was okay. I went through some very hard times after she left and grew a very strong, loving relationship with this dog. I'm an animal person in general but I to this day credit this dog with keeping me from slipping back into a deep depression. My girlfriend now cannot accept this. She cannot only NOT accept this but she can't even call my dog a dog. She refers to it as an ugly beast that makes her physically ill. When she gets into my car and sees the dog hair, we spend the next few days fighting. She has told me that this affects her so much that there have been times when she has stayed over where she has had thoughts of just letting the dog out the front door while I sleep, hoping that it will find a new home. We rarely spend time at my house anymore and when we do, the dog has to be kenneled up. She has spoken of compromises with the dog, but they entail my dog living with my parents or a friend where I could see her when I want. However, when she found out that I told my dad about how much I cared for her that I was walking the dog with him she freaked! She told me that I should never speak of her or her name in front of the dog. She keeps bringing up that it is a dog and that she is a human and for me to put a dog in front of her is monstrous. She says that the dog reminds her of my ex and that it makes her physically ill. She keeps telling me that if I loved her, I would get rid of the dog, and I keep thinking that if she loved me, she would let me keep the dog!? With her extremities that she has shown in the past my main concern is that this is where it begins. Maybe I find a new home for the dog and everything is great but maybe this is just the beginning. Maybe I find a new home for the dog and then I have to burn all of my clothes because my ex saw me in them? The biggest thing is that she was going through a divorce around the same time I was and I've had very many insecurities but I would never ask her to get rid of a dog. I love this woman so much and I can't imagine not being with her but I look at my dog, the one thing that has never doubted me yet has always counted on me and I just can not give her up for anything! We get in major fights and I tell my girlfriend that we will deal with it when the time comes but I think that we should work on US in the mean time and everything is great for a couple of weeks. Then, something sets her off. I haven't explored enough options for the dog, i've put the dog in front of her as a priority, I've spent less time with her because of the dog, etc. We fight, we don't speak for a few days and then one of us begs the other one back. There are so many wonderful, perfect things about this woman, I LOVE HER. But giving up my dog is insane to me. Am I crazy? I just don't see how anyone could ask this of me but I'm worried that I am being selfish. My family would never understand if I gave her up (the dog, they're not fond of the girlfriend) and they would know that it was because of my girlfriend which would cause severe static. I've never asked my girlfriend to care for her, to love her, to walk her, etc., I just want to know that my puppy can live with us if we take things further. Is this wrong of me? Advice
Several possibilities come to mind:

1. She hates dogs (although you didn't mention how she feels about other dogs or animals in general)

2. She is simply jealous of your feelings for the dog

3. The dog reminds her of your previous life.

4. This is a power struggle and the dog is an excuse for it to arise.

My first advice is to try the compromise where you find a *friend* not parents to keep your dog for you. Involving your parents just makes relationships more rocky in the future.

Second, you two should see a counselor. Do this either before or after you try the compromise-- I recommend after.

Good luck! George

p.s. I don't think either of you is wrong. Both of you honestly believe that you are right. But keep in mind that you are going to resent her over this.

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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