They're a delicate balance of give-and-take, as well as setting boundaries.
You can try to plan for everything, but there inevitably comes a time when a situation tests the limits of your relationship. What do you do when you hit a hard boundary and neither person is willing to give in?
It's time we return to our favorite board on Reddit, AITA. For those not in the know, AITA is short for "Am I the A$hole?"
Responses can vary, but are usually one of these:
- NTA - Not The A$$hole
- YTA -You're The A$$hole
- NAH – No A$$holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- INFO - Not Enough Information
However, they don't see eye to eye on everything.
"Here lies the problem, her car is an absolute trash pit; I'm talking garbage everywhere, hasn't been washed or cleaned probably since she bought it, hasn't been detailed ever, she's crashed into gravelbanks and curbs and the wheels are scratched to sh**. She has NO love for her car, she only sees vehicles as strictly for utility."
"I on the other hand baby my car, I bought it new in 2016, have modded it a fair bit, undercoated it, wash it once a week and wax it once a month, detail the interior once a month etc... I put a fair amount of money and time and love into my vehicle."
"She clearly has no respect for her own vehicle and it shows when she gets into my car and leaves her garbage in my car. I usually don't mind because I clean it anyway but this is just an example of what I mean."
This is fine.
Couples aren't the same person, and they have different priorities about their vehicles. Not the end of the world.
Personally, I might have been a little nicer than MP in describing how my partner maintains their vehicle, but I suppose it gets the point across.
Still, there is a major problem with this set up.
"The other day she wanted to bring her dog to the vet for a quick checkup and for an allergy test. I said sure, let's move my car out of the driveway and we'll pull your car out of the garage."
"She says no we'll take your(my) car, and I adamantly refused. I explained to her that her dog sheds EVERYWHERE and every once in a while her dogs sh**s in her car from anxiety of the car ride."
"She doesn't seem to mind as she quickly cleans it but I mind it in my car because my seats are pristine and my car remains well kept and I'd like to keep it that way, not to mention the backseat in my car is next to non-existent(it's a coupe) so fitting a big dog back there would be a pain."
Well, you can see why the couple is fighting.
Also, why does MP's girlfriend think trying to fit her big dog in a car with almost no backseat is a good idea? I would honestly feel bad for the dog being squished in the back of a coupe.
Of course, this brings us to the heart of the issue.
"She tells me 'who gives a f*** it's just a car' and then we had a bit of a fight about it. She claims I have no love for her dog, and that I only care about my cars interior and not her dog, cars are just for point A to point B etc..."
"So I said 'look, I understand what you're saying but it's my car and I take good care of it. Not to mention my back seats are small as hell for your dog and it's unfair to him to be cramped back there. And lastly if it were a genuine emergency I would absolutely put your dog in my car if we had to but it's not an emergency right now so I'm not going to'."
"The problem I have is moving her car out of the garage takes 2 seconds and her car is treated like sh** anyway so clearly she doesn't give a sh** about it."
So, dear readers, did Reddit decide MP is the A$$hole?
"NTA. if she wants to trash her car, her problem. She doesn't get to extend her trash anywhere else.
You don't have to justify this. 'NO' is all that's needed here." - Oldzoomie
"NTA My husband refers to my car as the 'rolling dumpster'. It's not that bad, but I frequently have water bottles, travel coffee cups, old mail, and receipts all over my car."
"We always use my car to transport the dog because his car is showroom ready at all times. We just do things differently. She needs to respect your space and your property." - twitchy_mcweird
"NTA. I don't see why this was such a big deal to her. It's YOUR car. Just because you don't want her dog in it doesn't mean that you hate the dog or anything." - nisera
"NTA It's your car. She has access to her car. She has no leg to stand on." - JudgementDeus
"Sounds like she is just looking for something to argue about." - tikki747
You could argue that he left something out in how he handled his conversation with his girlfriend, but based on MP's description, he gave good reasons.
At most, he was a jerk in how he characterized his girlfriend treats her car. But it provided context on how she views her vehicle versus how he treats his, as well as the fact her vehicle is perfectly fine to use.
There weren't many calls of MP being the jerk here, but those that did were quickly countered.
"YTA. It's a car... it can be cleaned.... relax." - 2canadianDykes
"Cars are expensive and OP mentions that her dog sometimes sh**s in car, dog shit can be hard to clean in cars" - Golden-Ruler
"YTA but only very lightly. I mean it's a damn car you can clean it. The dog is a living being that needs to go see a doctor sometimes."
"As long as its not a daily occurrence I don't see why you can't do her a favour especially since A. Your car is nothing special and B. Presumably, you're intelligent enough to value your partner above a vehicle?" - MechanicalLibra
"It's her dog and her car is available as an alternative. I don't see why she can't do herself a favor and use her car to drive her dog to the vet. His car is nothing special from the perspective of the dog either."
"Presumably she is intelligent enough to understand that she can just use her car and there will be no practical difference whatsoever." - Schmittc
This situation does highlight something you might want to consider for your relationship. If you haven't yet, talk with your partner about the limits and boundaries that are important to you.
It sounds easy or intuitive enough, but it's the surprise that often leads to fights like this.
Hopefully, MP can settle things and properly explain why this is so important to him. Or maybe his girlfriend can understand his obsession with his car the same way she enjoys aspects of her life.
And while no one suggested it, you can get an Active Pets Dog Back Seat Cover Protector—Waterproof Scratchproof Hammock that keeps the dog from climbing into the front seat while protecting the upholstery in the back seat. It's available here.