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Am I being selfish or is my husband being selfish?

(76 Posts)
dollyjo Fri 24-Mar-17 11:18:16

Background - I will start by saying we have 2 dogs and my husband idolises them. I have 2 children from my 1st marriage and both they and their children totally accept and love my 2nd husband. To all intents and purposes, we are a happy family. I should say my husband has never wanted children of his own - he prefers dogs.

Problem - Some years ago, my husband refused to renew his passport as he doesn't want to go on foreign holidays and leave his dogs in kennels (Up to then, he had happily left them in a very good kennel without difficulty.) So for the past 8 years, I have holidayed abroad with friends with my husband's blessing. My husband and I have taken holidays in UK in self-catering accommodation where we can take our dogs with us. I enjoy these breaks but they are not really a holiday as I still have the housekeeping to do whilst he walks our dogs for miles.

We will be celebrating our 40th Wedding anniversary next year and I would dearly like to go on an Anniversary Cruise to celebrate. When I suggested this to my husband, he replied that he was thinking more along the lines of a party. I don't want a party - that just means more work for me! He did a 'surprise 40th birthday party for me 35yrs ago and told me the night before that he had not ordered any food - he hadn't thought about that. (I can laugh about it now)
I could just go ahead and book the cruise as a 'surprise' but is that fair and would he go?

In case you are wondering, I love our dogs too but I treat them as 'pets.' My husband's 1st thoughts are always about the dogs and they both adore him. He even gets up in the night to let them out when they scratch on the kitchen door. Consequently, we never have a full night's sleep! I could say more but I think you will have got the picture.

aggie Fri 24-Mar-17 11:26:33

For our 50th I was on a coach holiday OH was just home from hospital with my eldest son caring for him . He was happy to send me flowers confused but he would have hated the holiday . I am not saying go without him but refuse the party if it isn't your scene . Why not take him to an hotel that is dog friendly ?

Gagagran Fri 24-Mar-17 12:17:24

I didn't want a big party for our 50th either dollyjo but I did want to see my two children and four grandchildren so we - my daughter and I - organised a family weekend. On the Saturday we had a game of family cricket on the beach - the DGC and some of the adults had a swim and some cycled there and back. It was great fun.

We all piled back to ours and I had arranged for a delivery of a delicious prepared buffet, which was excellent and had plenty of vegan and vegetarian options for my two of my DGC. We had a family quiz following that - everyone had been asked to prepare 10 questions - and we played in two teams. It was very funny (probably aided by the wine flowing) as the teenagers all asked pop music questions, DS asked all Rugby questions and the rest of us had tried to do a variety to suit all participants.

Next day we all went to a local gastro pub for a family lunch and then everyone departed late afternoon to get ready for work and school next day. It wasn't an expensive celebration but it was a memorable one with the people we love most in the world.

Alima Fri 24-Mar-17 12:49:38

Wouldn't he have to apply for a new passport anyway so a surprise cruise wouldn't be possible. Bit of a waste of a booking if he digs his heels in. He does not want to put the dogs in kennels so could you get a friend or family member to stay with them, either at your house or theirs. If that is not possible use a reputable pet-sitting agency. If he doesn't go for any of those suggestions maybe it's more a case of him not wanting to go on a foreign holiday. In that event, if it was me, I would go away on my own. Definitely would not go for the party idea. Good luck!

Greyduster Fri 24-Mar-17 13:01:45

For our fiftieth, the two of us had a lovely weekend in an hotel in Norfolk (my DH doesn't care for abroad either!) and later, when the school holidays started we rented a house for a week and took the family off to West Wales, with a celebration dinner at a local restaurant to mark the occasion (which had gone, but hey!). We don't do parties - we both hate them and organising one isn't worth the anxiety! The dog friendly hotel suggested above might fit the bill, but if he could be persuaded to leave them behind, he would have more time for you! 😉

Antonia Fri 24-Mar-17 13:04:34

Why not try one of these hotels where pets are accepted?

LuckyFour Fri 24-Mar-17 14:35:16

No compromises due for your husband. It is your turn to make the decisions. You do not want a party you want to go on a cruise. I think you have been very generous so far - going on holiday alone and also having holidays where you take the dogs. It is ridiculous that he can't put them in kennels for a special anniversary like this. I would not want to be with a man who puts dogs before me, what sort of a life is that!

HildaW Fri 24-Mar-17 14:40:21

We use a local pet sitting service. There are various national ones as well as local ones. You are matched with a carer who can offer your dog the sort of home they prefer. Ours needs a rural setting where they can have long walks. We use a service where you get to meet the carer and visit their home, meeting any pets they have. It all works very well and our dog loves it!

Norah Fri 24-Mar-17 14:42:47

Our dogs have the special chips and pet papers. Several times a year we drive over to Calais and take them with. Has that ever been an option?

HildaW Fri 24-Mar-17 14:44:00

That being cannot really fully celebrate a Wedding Anniversary with so much ill will between you. You are nursing a deep sense of injustice that needs addressing. Perhaps some counselling for the two of you might be a good present to give each other. I do think you need to sit down and talk things through - perhaps his putting the dogs first is more a symptom of something else that needs addressing.

Jalima Fri 24-Mar-17 14:44:13

You don't say where your DC are - could they have the dogs for a couple of weeks?

Ilovecheese Fri 24-Mar-17 15:15:11

In answer to your question - he is

norose4 Fri 24-Mar-17 15:20:05

How about going out for a meal/sitting down together & you explaining to him that you are really serious about wanting to have this special trip, & then as you have plenty of time before the trip, visit a well run boarding kennel a few times with your dogs & maybe book them in for the odd day or two over the next few months so that it feels normal to them. Maybe then your husband would then be more relaxed & agree to go.... if that doesn't work battle lines must be drawn!!! good luck

Ziggy62 Fri 24-Mar-17 15:22:44

have you told him how u feel?

mrsmopp Fri 24-Mar-17 15:38:20

He seems to have his priorities all topsy turvey and it sounds as if he would prefer to put you in the kennel and he could take the dogs on holiday?
Definitely time for you both to sit down and have a heart to heart discussion.
For your anniversary it is really time he was a bit more flexible and put you first. The dogs will be fine either in a kennel or with a family. Dogs are more adaptable than you think and if chosen carefully they could have a whale of a time. Good luck and please let us know what happens. But stick to your guns!

jacksmum Fri 24-Mar-17 15:44:36

Have you asked why he would leave the dogs in kennels in the past but does not want to now? i have 3 dogs and in my house its a "fact of life" that they are not put in kennels, this is due to the age of 1 of them and health issues with another 1, my dogs are "not just pets" they are part of my family and i consider them when making certain decisions just as i would have considered something when my children were at home,

angelab Fri 24-Mar-17 16:23:57

dollyjo, why not consider a pet-friendly cruise, hopefullty both of you can have what you want:

MawBroon Fri 24-Mar-17 16:28:45

He even gets up in the night to let them out when they scratch on the kitchen door. Consequently, we never have a full night's sleep! I could say more but I think you will have got the picture
Well, why wouldn't he? If your dogs ask to go out, of course somebody needs to let them out into the garden or would you rather come down to a puddle in the kitchen? confused

There has been lots of good advice on alternatives to kennels but whatever you decide surely a wedding anniversary should be celebrated in a way BOTH of you would enjoy. I think you really need to discuss this.

dollyjo Fri 24-Mar-17 16:37:34

It is like having expensive therapy listening to all of your advice.
I have decided, I am definitely not having a party and unless he changes his mind and pigs might fly - my dream of a cruise along the Panama Canal is off too! Our anniversary isn't until January and so there is plenty of time for one of you to help me to to accept a compromise.
GagaGran. We paid for all our family to each have a seperate cottage in a Cornish village. That was when I retired. It went well at first but ended up with my younger son receiving a letter when he returned home from my d-i-l wanting a divorce. Totally out of the blue - she had found someone else. I would not do this again as it would have too many painful memories.
Alima -I would have told him prior to the cruise - giving him time to get a passport.
Aggie - A dog-friendly hotel. he wouldn't agree to that and would they want dogs scratching their doors to attract my husband's attention. Dogs rule - in my husband's world.
Lucky Four - I agree wholeheartedly except he is a lovely husband in every other way.
Jalima - My sons both work and one has a dog that hates other dogs.
Norah - I used to have a motorhome so that the dogs could come with us but my husband wouldn't drive it . He won't drive long distances either and so when we go away now, I have to drive because he doesn't like my 'automatic.' Or else we wouldn't go anywhere.
Hilda W - God forbid - he wouldn't have anyone else staying with his dogs. There is a good dog-sitting service near here and I have mentioned it. He says he would rather not have a holiday.
Lastly,JacksMum our dogs are healthy and friendly. I love them dearly but I do resent my husband putting them before me. In the past, we have had dogs in a kennel where they shared accommodation - just like they do at home. I refuse to fall out with him over this. It is just a question of finding the best compromise for our special 40th anniversary. He obviously isn't opposed to celebrating it or else he wouldn't have suggested a party. Or did he suggest a party knowing that I don't want one and I will not organise one. I wonder!!! I daren't call his bluff though or else he may really want one and then I am stuck with it.

Alima Fri 24-Mar-17 17:01:09

I know, tell him you would love a party but it has got to be in Panama, sorted.... apart from the dogs that is. How old are they, only asking.

mumofmadboys Fri 24-Mar-17 17:13:45

We have a dog and cat, both quite old. We arrange for friends to stay and house and pet sit.. We live in the Lakes so lovely area. We are never short of offers. It works really well and I know the pets are happy and we can relax.

Christinefrance Fri 24-Mar-17 19:12:15

Yes I wondered why your husband has changed about not putting the dogs in kennels. Is there some reason he doesn't want to go far from home ? You need to talk honestly about this and maybe reach some compromise but definitely not a party unless its catered and in a nice hotel. Good luck.

Eloethan Fri 24-Mar-17 19:16:01

I can to some extent understand your husband being reluctant to leave the dogs in kennels but I'm sure he could do more to find an alternative - especially for this very special celebration.

I think there are organisations where somebody looks after your dog/dogs in their own home while you are away. The company that I'm thinking of stipulates that there should be no other pets in the host house and no young children. Someone I know from walking our dog uses one of these schemes when they go away - and they too are very devoted to their dog so I'm sure they have been happy with the way he has been cared for. Alternatively, do you have a relative or friend who could help?

aggie Fri 24-Mar-17 19:27:18

You might have noticed that I am not a fan of all this celebrating , especially if it is causing all this angste , I think that if you already holiday separately it is daft to decide on something so expensive that he won't enjoy

jacq10 Fri 24-Mar-17 19:49:02

I would confirm what Eloethan says. I look after dogs using the company she refers to (I think). We get to know the dogs with a visit beforehand so that the owners know us and where their dogs will be. The dogs also arrive with their own supply of food, dishes, toys, bedding. Owners have peace of mind as we are inspected by our local council and also insured and registered with our own vet. We also adhere to the owner's routines and have had many returning "visitors". I would say that you do really need back-up when you have pets and we have met many who feel like your husband. Our most anxious owner was a lady who "HAD" to attend her son's wedding!! She really did not want to go but I e-mailed her photographs to reassure her and on her return said she wouldn't hestitate to use us again.