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Newest Member: Goku06

Divorce/Separation :
Dog after Divorce

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 lumpygravy (original poster member #11877) posted at 4:53 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

I'm honestly surprised that I haven't seen anything about this on this site. It's like doggie custody. :) My XWW and I divorced March 1st. She went to an apartment in January of this year during the separation. My kid, I had move out around June after months of warning because they would not contribute to the house any more - they are 24 and would not hold down a job, get a license, help maintain the house, etc. It was painful but I had to ask them to leave. They ended up moving in with their XWW where they are doing the same thing - no contribution, no prospects, their goal is to literally live off government assistance. But that is a story for another thread.

We owned a dog together, but it was technically hers; picked it out from the shelter, named it, etc. The dog has stayed with me, mostly because she can't afford to keep it in her apartment since it would increase rent.

She has asked to come over and visit the dog a few times, and I allowed her to do it. Come in the house, pet and love on the dog, take it for a walk, and sometimes we would talk as well. We have had an amicable divorce, no real ill will. I'm still very emotional about it.

I have taken care of the dog in the meantime - I love the little guy. He had some back issues in April and I took care of it and it was not cheap, stuff like that. Costs of owning an animal.

This week she said she would like to come over and visit him again and I felt like it was starting to push it. I feel like I need to move on, and I feel like she's trying to get me to hold on. I told her that she can pick him up and take him to a park, back to her apartment, anything she wanted. But she wanted to come in the house. I kinda don't want that, mostly because I want to move on, and my friends and my therapist also are like - dude, she's manipulating you.

Texting yesterday:

"We wanted to come see the dog"

you can take him to a park for a walk or something

"So you don't want us to come visit in the house? We wouldn't stay long."

I think it would be better if you took him someplace.

"You know what, never mind."

Just now:

"I don't understand what happened yesterday. I just wanted to see the dog."

And I didn't keep you from seeing him

"But you kept us from going in the house and that's what I don't understand."


And I haven't answered.

Am I being unnecessarily cruel?

BS: Me WS: Her M: 26 Years
Daughter: 24 DDays: 1996, 8/2006, 5/2016
1st: Online, 2nd: EA/PA, 3rd: She got shot down
Divorced 3/22

posts: 137   ·   registered: Aug. 29th, 2006
id 8751474
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 4:59 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Your house, your rules. And if you don't want her there, I think you're well within your rights to say so regardless of why she might be maintaining that connection.

Maybe it would be a good time to set up a visitation schedule for the pupper? Without one as you've seen, the lines get kinda blurry. Might be a good idea to lay out some ground rules if she's going to continue to want to see your dog.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3561   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8751477
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 5:03 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

You are not only being completely reasonable, but you are enforcing healthy boundaries. Your home is your safe space. You don’t need her in there for any reason (maybe except an emergency). It’s a dog. She can take it to the dog park, take it for a walk, take it for a pup-cup at Starbucks, etc. The dog won’t care where it is - they just like attention from their humans.

My ex wanted joint custody of our cat— that was a hard no from me. He wanted a connection, a tie to me. (To be fair, when she passed, he did voluntarily help with the very expensive vet bills). The last thing I needed was him connected when I was trying hard to break the ties that bind.

Look, it’s sad she can’t keep the dog at her place. It’s also her actions that put her in that predicament. You are being VERY KIND to allow her access at all, especially when you are footing the bill (and pets are expensive). She’s taking advantage of your good nature and wants you to see what "a good person" she is b/c she didn’t abandon her dog.

Just politely hold your boundaries. If she claims, like she did, that you are keeping her from the dog, then it shows you that she wasn’t really interested in seeing the dog.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4966   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8751478
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:18 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Texting yesterday:

"We wanted to come see the dog"

you can take him to a park for a walk or something

"So you don't want us to come visit in the house? We wouldn't stay long."

I think it would be better if you took him someplace.

"You know what, never mind."

Just now:

"I don't understand what happened yesterday. I just wanted to see the dog."

And I didn't keep you from seeing him

"But you kept us from going in the house and that's what I don't understand."

You're probably being too polite when you answer back. The follow up from the last "I don't understand" text could be more assertive, even a little rude if it comes to it, ie. "What's not to understand? We are divorced. You don't live here any more. If I wanted to spend time with you in my home, we'd still be married. Seems simple enough to me."

Your ex is overreaching. A more terse response is kind of like slapping her hand back, training her not to push. It's unpleasant enough that she's unlikely to want to repeat the experience but stops short of the next step, which would be full NC.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5927   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8751479
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 5:50 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

In my experience clean separations work better for dogs. Having the ex pop in randomly seems like it would just confuse them. I wouldn't feel guilty for this either. Just tell her that's how it is.

[This message edited by grubs at 5:51 PM, Monday, August 22nd]

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8751484
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 lumpygravy (original poster member #11877) posted at 6:39 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Well, it's gone to "Why don't you want us in the house" which is exactly where I thought it'd go. I don't want to say, "Because you screwed around on me multiple times," which attaches emotions. I'll follow up a little more tersely.

BS: Me WS: Her M: 26 Years
Daughter: 24 DDays: 1996, 8/2006, 5/2016
1st: Online, 2nd: EA/PA, 3rd: She got shot down
Divorced 3/22

posts: 137   ·   registered: Aug. 29th, 2006
id 8751486
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:19 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

You are not obligated to answer her questions.

Maybe respond that you want to set up a schedule. You will meet her at X place (park, coffee shop or any place you choose) to hand off the dog.

Or you can tell her she can come to the driveway or sidewalk at your home and you will bring the dog out to her.

She still is trying to be your friend. So she can tell herself that "it’s all ok". Only respond to the dog schedule question.

Nothing more.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8751494
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 11:28 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

Oof. She's really trying to manipulate you into being in her life, on her terms, obviously, with no care or concern for what you need.

Opening up on her about her bullshit behavior probably won't serve you best but damn, the temptation!

Set up a dog visit schedule with clear boundaries on what that means. "Every Wednesday you can come and take dog for the night" or whatever.

Access to the dog does not mean access to you or your house. That's your boundary, much like fidelity was your boundary, and if she won't abide by that, well, get a doggie divorce.

posts: 247   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8751533
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 11:46 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

I think she likes coming in the house, because it gives her the opportunity to look around a bit. She wants to know if there is a girlfriend. And,now that you've said no more,she's fishing to find out if that's why.

posts: 4655   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8751536
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blahblahblahe ( member #62231) posted at 12:52 AM on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Hellfire is exactly right in what she doing, this keeps her foot in your door. My X had a text conversation about coming to see the dog, when I never responded to her query she followed shortly with "she can stay with a friend so she wouldn't need to sleep at the house".

[This message edited by blahblahblahe at 12:52 AM, Tuesday, August 23rd]

posts: 308   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2018   ·   location: Europe and USA
id 8751546
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taken4granted ( member #61971) posted at 1:23 AM on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Stick to your boundaries. Not letting her in your home is not the same as banning her from the dog. You owe her no explanation other than she can pick up the dog when it is convenient for you. You are the one caring for the dog. You should set the guidelines on this.

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain
Me: Living life! Him: Not my problem anymore
Married 15 yrs.
1 LTA, Many EAs from 2009 - ?
Dday 1 = 6/16/17
Last Dday = 1/4/18
Started loving myself 2018!

posts: 379   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2017   ·   location: OH
id 8751547
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phmh ( member #34146) posted at 1:27 AM on Thursday, August 25th, 2022

For your sanity, as well as the well-being of your dog, I recommend you reconsider any pet sharing. My WXH and I had been super involved in animal rescue and he wanted several of the pets that I took with me. I put my foot down and kept them (with no visitation), as it would have confused them and would have given him an in into my life. As grubs said, it's also super confusing to the pet. When I volunteered at a shelter, when former owners would come and visit their pets, the animal would get depressed for days after the former owner left and finally we had to tell people who surrendered their pets they couldn't visit anymore due to the detrimental impact to the animal.

You will heal most quickly the most NC you can be. What if she takes the dog and something happens to the animal on her watch?

Actions have consequences. If she cared so much about her dog, she wouldn't have cheated. She had a choice to remain faithful and keep her family intact; instead, she blew up her life, and right now you are sacrificing the well-being of your dog and yourself for your WXW.

Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny

posts: 4985   ·   registered: Dec. 8th, 2011
id 8751989
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 3:10 PM on Thursday, August 25th, 2022

I'm honestly surprised that I haven't seen anything about this on this site.

My ex was to follow the same custody arrangement with the dog as our children. IE when he picked them up, he was to pick the dog up.

VERY first visitation. Children and dog were all sitting at their door waiting with their bags. Ex comes, looks at the dog and says 'my mom doesn't want the hair in the house, so I am not taking the dog'. Honestly, I could visible see our dog's heart break. She so understood what was going on! So both of us moped on the couch that very first visitation weekend.

It was heartwrenching. While it was the family dog, that was HIS dog.

(We both survived and thrived after that....lol)

So back to you LG - your ex is being unreasonable. NOT you. As you can see, once you set the precedent it is murky when you change it. BUT you need to. Keep house your safe space.

You do not owe her an explanation. Remember "No" is a complete sentence. There is no reason she (or you) can't schedule time and takes the dog for a set number of hours so you are not having to literally sit there waiting for her to return. IE. Like pick a consistent day/time so you can plan to do whatever you might want to do during the time.

I encourage you to do this sooner than later. As you move along with your NB, you do not want her sniffing around your NB business nor having access to your house, etc.

posts: 6761   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8752050
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