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Discussion Starter #1
I have just had an awful situation involving an ex-boyfriend and 2 dogs. I ended up with the dogs but my ex is crushed and I feel like a horrible person. I would like to hear your opinions. Here's the scoop:


J (the ex) moved in with me right after buying a house. One of the big reasons for the house purchase was so I could get dogs and not have to deal with rental pet issues (we were broken up when I bought the house then got back together). About 3 months later, I took in a dog who was abandoned on my own initiative. I was the primary caretaker and spent about $1000 in vet bills. I love the dog and so did J. She was our little girl. About 4 months later, I decided that dog #1 needed companionship so I found another dog on petfinder. I spoke with J and he was on board but didn't take any initiative in getting the dog. I filled out the application, was interviewed, scheduled meetings, paid the adoption fee, etc... I was the primary caretaker for dogs and financial support for another 4 more months.

J began staying home all day to write his thesis for several months, then for another few months while unemployed. He was at home with dogs all day. We knew it was temporary while he found a job. I was still the responsible party. I made sure they had food, treated, picked up poop, got dog park passes, made sure their care was secured if we were out of town - even though he was home all day and not paying rent or bills.


Eventually, we broke up and he found another place. Personal and domestic (as you may be able to tell, he was on the lazy side) issues were a problem. He wanted to take dog #2. I reluctantly agreed, trying to be fair to J. J found a dog-friendly apartment close to his new job and paid the pet deposit and extra rent money. The apartment was more expensive than others and in a less desirable location. He moved and I kept dog #2 while he got settled. The move-out went smoothly. I even helped him pack up his stuff and carry it out with him and his bro and got him some nice housewarming gifts.


During the time I was watching #2 and he was getting settled, I changed my mind and felt it was in the best interest of the dogs for #2 to stay at home with mom (me) and sister dog. J and I discussed the situation amicably, then argued. He took dog 2 to try it out and see how the dogs would react. I decided I didn't want to split them up or let #2 go and told J to return him and get another dog. He wouldn't budge on bringing him back permanently and instead, wanted to have primary custody of #2 but we would get the dogs together every weekend. Obviously, this isn't healthy for a new break up. I grew upset that J wouldn't bring #2 back and felt he was being selfish. After attempted civil convincing, I lost my temper and did some mean name calling (e.g. selfish, lazy). I threatened to sue and meant it (I'm a lawyer). I told him that I needed to be #2'a primary caretaker but J could see them anytime he wanted. J gave in and brought #2 back and told me he never wanted to speak to me again. He was crying when he brought him back and was saying goodbye to the dogs. It was heart wrenching but I knew there was nothing I could do or say. He hates me now - I understand. I feel like a horrible, horrible person.


What do you all think? Be honest. Thanks for any input you may give.
 

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Knowing that you're the one that got the dogs in the first place and kept them fed and healthy, I see no reason that your ex should have any of the dogs, even if he have grown fond of them. If he want a dog, he can just buy one or get one from a place that rescue pets. You have no obligation to cater to his demand of dogs.

I wouldn't feel too sorry for the guy. He's making way too much drama about a dog that isn't his in the first place. Besides you offered to let him see the dogs anytime he wanted. Giving him joint custody like it was a kid is really pushing it. I also think it would be very stressful for a dog to move several times a month even if it is to a familiar environment.
Guilting you by crying and saying that he never wish to speak to you again when he delivered your dog back sound like a manipulative dick move to me.
 

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The dogs are yours. You paid for them and cared for them. However, I do think that telling him he could have #2, then backing out and demanding the dog back was a dick move. I would've been absolutely devastated if someone did this to me.

That being said...

It's probably for the best in the end. Being tied to an ex via pets can't be good for anyone. (Except maybe the dogs) I'm sure he was hurt by this, but guess what? He'll get over it... maybe he'll be motivated to find his own special furry friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your honesty, Warweasel. I agree - what I did was just horrible. I should have told him I was keeping both from the beginning and spared us all a lot of heartache, especially J. I had planned to keep my word even though I was regretting making the arrangement, then got over-emotional and pissed that he wouldn't return #2. I destroyed any sort of 'good terms' breakup that we had before this situation. It sucks. I know J is totally devastated.

You INTJs are always so logical - and that's a good thing. I try to be but at times, my emotions get out of hand. I have tried to work on that but need to do better. I am happy I have both dogs and do think they are now in the best situation - just feeling bad about how everything played out and disappointed in myself for causing it.
 

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Thank you for your support, Baldur. I was always the one ultimately responsible for them and did feel like I needed to do what was best for myself and the dogs in the end. Just wish I handled it better. Again, thank you for your response. Hope you are having a good day.
 

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You telling him he could have the dog and going back on it is an asshole move basically.

Now you live with that shit on your conscience. He'll find another dog, but I hope the destroyed amicable break up was worth it.
 
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Since when are breakups anything but mean? Breakups are inherently selfish.

I do think it was messy to let him have the dog, then take it back. I would have been very hurt by that. Threatening to sue your ex over a dog sounds a bit childish. But your living situation, profession, and writing leads me to assume that you're not a childish person. Which leads me to assume that for you to act that way, you were probably dealing with a pretty childish person. Unfortunately, relationships stoop to the lowest common denominator.

Do I think what you did was mean? Yes. But I don't disagree with your end result. I think you should have ended up with the dogs with no obligation to see your ex ever again if you so choose.

Hindsight is 20/20. It sounds like your only slip was to let him have the dog in the first place. But that doesn't mean you should have just given up and let him have the dog. The consequence of your slip up is that you now feel like a mean person.

But as harsh and horrible as it feels to you, your ex's feelings are no longer your responsibility.

From my perspective, you held composure very well in all other aspects of the breakup. By your description, it sounds like you were patient enough with him so that he could carefully move his things and find a new place. You treated him like a human being. I'm sure as soon as you realized it was over, you probably just wanted him to vanish from your life, along with all his belongings and memories. But you treated him with respect. You didn't have to do that. I know plenty of people that wouldn't have.

You can't change what happened, and the result is one I agree with. If it brings you any peace, you could write him an apology for leading him to believe he could have the dog. Outside of that, I don't think there's much you can/should do.


edit: Also, I'm very sorry to hear about your breakup. I hope you're able to surround yourself with encouraging people. The Ni-Ti and Ni-Fe loops can be painful if left unchecked and unassisted.
 

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Thank you for your honesty, Warweasel. I agree - what I did was just horrible. I should have told him I was keeping both from the beginning and spared us all a lot of heartache, especially J. I had planned to keep my word even though I was regretting making the arrangement, then got over-emotional and pissed that he wouldn't return #2. I destroyed any sort of 'good terms' breakup that we had before this situation. It sucks. I know J is totally devastated.

You INTJs are always so logical - and that's a good thing. I try to be but at times, my emotions get out of hand. I have tried to work on that but need to do better. I am happy I have both dogs and do think they are now in the best situation - just feeling bad about how everything played out and disappointed in myself for causing it.
It's unfortunate it played out the way it did... but we all make these kind of mistakes when emotions are involved, especially during break ups. What seems like the best way at the time, when fueled by emotion, may not be the best way when all that is stripped away. The best any of us can do is live and learn... chalk it to experience gained and try to do better next time.

Don't beat yourself up too much about it. Life's way too short.
 

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You telling him he could have the dog and going back on it makes you an asshole basically.

Now you live with that shit on your conscience. He'll find another dog, but I hope the destroyed amicable break up was worth it.
That's not cool. Please don't bully her like that. She didn't intend it to turn out that way, and you can see she feels bad enough about it without you saying things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All - thank you for taking the time to respond to this. This is the first time I've started a post here and the feedback is great.

InTheRockies - You do raise a good point regarding the nature of break ups. Thanks for your insight and thoughtful words.

I thought, since this is a personality type forum, that I should mention my ex's type. He's an ESFP - a lot of frustration on both ends for a long time.
 

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That's not cool. Please don't bully her like that. She didn't intend it to turn out that way, and you can see she feels bad enough about it without you saying things like that.
She did something wrong and she wants sympathy for it? You guys enjoy giving that to her, but I'm going to call her out on it. She feels awful because she should feel bad. She made a poor decision which ended up deeply hurting someone else. Not to mention that his priority in house hunting was to accommodate the dog, he also spent money (so that point about her spending money on the dog is invalid).

I'm sure they BOTH loved the dog(s) very much. But when he tried to meet her halfway with something that would work for the both of them, she threw a tantrum and threatened to sue. So yes, what she did was a jerk thing to do. You're all sitting here validating her actions, trying to make her "feel better", but what about the other party?

As a lawyer, you went back on an agreement you made. But you know, it's only verbal so tough shit for the other guy.

She got what she wanted and that's all the matters.

So, do not arbitrarily throw around the "bullying" term. (That is the term best left for OP). I have not forced or intimidated her in anyway and not even remotely close to doing it repeatedly. So I'd appreciate if you didn't tell me what I can and cannot and how I say it as long as I did not break any of the forum rules. So please take your righteous tune elsewhere. :rolleyes:
 
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