Marriages can be surprisingly fragile sometimes.
One's never sure what will come between a couple once they've agreed to spend the rest of their lives with each other.
In the case of Reddit user SociopathSometimes, it was the new dog that both parties had agreed to adopt. After time had passed, the pup that both had supposedly wanted seemed to be the thing tearing them apart.
SociopathSometimes told the whole story in the popular subReddit "Am I The A**hole?"
Their post was titled "AITA for choosing my dog over my wife?"
"Two years ago, my—[I'm a 24 year-old female]—wife—[a 33 year-old female]—and I decided we might get a dog. This was my wife's first pet that wasn't a cat."
"I met a super sweet pit at a local shelter and called my wife. She met him and agreed that he was sweet, and asked me if I could handle him and make sure he behaved. I've always trained my own dogs, and agreed that I could. We brought him home the next day."
"I was responsible for his feeding, walks, and training, as I was freelancing at the time. One day my wife came home to find him on the couch with me, and was very upset. He was not allowed on the furniture! She'd not said anything about it, and I'd never cared, but she did. So I agreed."
"Wife started to dislike the dog. She said he smelled (I thought he was fine), he licked her (we trained that out, mostly), and he ran in the house (while playing). I tried explaining that she had to adjust her expectations, but she retorted that he was her first dog, so how could she have known? Good point, I thought, so I agreed to work on it."
"Dog and I are very bonded. Wife complains that he's 'my dog.' I tell her that's because I interact with him most. She was frustrated and said I had steamrolled my way into having a dog because ~I~ wanted one. I agreed that I had really wanted a dog and thought to myself maybe I had been dragging her along for the ride when we picked him. But she said yes? I pointed this out and she said I made her feel as though she couldn't stay no."
"Wife's resentment for dog grows. I think she's being very unfair and spend longer with him to give him the people time he deserves. That's the final straw for my wife. I tell her she's acting jealous and she loses it. She's very unhappy about having this dog. She says every day with him is constant stress for her. It's been stressful for me too, feeling all that resentment from her."
"She tells me to choose. Does the dog go or do I make her live with the stress? I love my wife and I can see how much this hurts her. I can't deny that she's in real discomfort. But I can't agree with rehoming MY dog."
"I tell her the honest truth: if I am forced to re-home this dog (and it feels like force) then I will resent her too much for this relationship to work. He means that much and I'm not willing to compromise. I have chosen her discomfort over my own happiness. But she tells me, rather caustically, that she gets it."
"Tonight, 2 years later, it came to a head. She asked me if I feel remorse for the choice I've made. I tell her that seeing her unhappy makes me unhappy, because I chose this path. She says that's guilt, not remorse. (I can't really tell the difference, to be honest with you.)"
"I tell her I wouldn't make the other choice, even now. And I've made my peace with that. She tells me that being calm in the face of her pain means I don't care about her. I think I do. I want to believe that I do. But I still won't give up my dog. AITA?"
Many Reddit users suggested there was more going on in this relationship than dog troubles.
"INFO. This is not about the dog; and you two need to work this out in couples therapy. She's playing power games with the past because she STILL does not feel that she is worth more to you than the dog. Perhaps that's why the whole resentment started in the first place..."
"Guilt: 'I feel bad that I made this decision.' Remorse: 'I made the wrong decision and I feel bad for it.' It's a trap question, either way she can spin it to argue that you don't care; which is why this needs to go to couples counseling." -sinscriven
Then again, living with a dog can be hard if you genuinely don't like dogs.
"Agreed. I'm really puzzled by all the folks who seemingly can't imagine disliking dogs and the stress of living with one if you do. Even people who like dogs agree that they're a lot of work! If you dislike them, that "a lot of work" is going to be resented very quickly, whether it's a lot of work that you're doing or a lot of work that your partner is doing (which is then time that they aren't spending with you)."
"I agreed to watch my sister's dog for an extended period of time & he was amazing. But then I made the mistake of agreeing to watch someone else's dog for a very short period of time & by the time that dog was gone, I hated it. Not the dog's fault -- the owner didn't train her at all."
"But when you're annoyed at a dog (in my case, for whining constantly, making frequent messes, barking late at night, trying to bite my sister's dog, etc.), you start to resent their incessant need for attention, their constant presence, and the restrictions they place on your lives."
"OP says the dog is well-behaved, but I bring up the above example to say that I can easily imagine the massive stress of dealing with a dog that you dislike, because I've lived it! In my case, it wasn't because I hated dogs in general, but it was still the same stress. If I'd had to choose between living with that dog & staying with my spouse (if it had been his dog & he'd been insistent that it was him or the dog), frankly, I think I'd have separated. I couldn't have stood that in the long term." -ChimericalTrainer
Others came right out and told the woman she was in the wrong.
"No. The wife clearly did not understand what owning a dog meant or OP's ability to train it. The smell will permeate the house. I would avoid the dog too. Then OP admits to spending more time with the dog. Finally, OP chooses to pick a dog over her partner."
"What should have happened was they took the dog on a trial since the 22F had never owned a dog. To see if she would even like living with one. Then discuss keeping it. They didn't go into this like adults or equal partners. Communication sucks and both are digging in on their stances. They no longer seem compatible. The 22F does not need therapy, she needs a partner that treats her as an equal." -Sadpanda235
But there were some Reddit users who simply couldn't shake the idea that there was more going on here.
"I have to agree that there's more going on here. I can't help but wonder how a dog can cause a human being this degree of stress every day of her life... surely if it is that bad, OP's wife would take some action for herself - therapy or stress management or separation?"
"Pit bulls are not always easy to rehome. I think it's very selfish of her to ask OP to give up the dog knowing it may not be readopted. It's so easy to get attached to a dog, and to be forced to give it up would really sour the way OP thinks of his wife. I don't think he was choosing the dog over her; he was choosing not to give up the dog, knowing doing so would ruin their relationship for him."
"Not to mention, holding a grudge for two years is not a healthy way to conduct your marriage. This is not a situation where compromise is possible - either they keep the dog, or they don't - so OP's wife either needs to die on this hill or get over it." -rhymeswithpurple4
Perhaps both parties could have acted a little bit better in this case.
"ESH a pet is for life and you should always look out for it. But both your attitudes sound extremely immature. Also 'sociopath sometimes' watch out! look at the edginess right there." -SantaPachaMama
Every marriage is different and it's not always clear how any given couple should proceed. Hopefully, with counseling and good will, this pair will be able to make it out on the other side ok.