The Dog Days of Marrriage

My wife wants a dog. I vehemently and categorically do not. I do not want the added responsibility. I am already punching far above my weight in that department. I have gladly taken on a wife, son, and a cat. I am grateful and happy to have them in my life, but I do not want any more responsibility.

She feels that it has nothing to do with me, and that I do not have the right to prevent her from following her dream.

I am learning to stand up for myself after so many years of repression. My wife is also learning to stand up for herself and say no, and I am proud of her. It’s a necessary part of her growth and evolution. It’s been a long time coming. This just happens to be the first big test, and I (and the whole dog question) is the first big target.

So here we are…a Mexican stand-off. Neither of us is willing to budge. So what to do?

I cannot deny that I am very angry about it. And I have said some things in anger over the last few days that I regret. She points out that my behaviour and attitude is inconsistent with my spiritual practice. Fair enough. She says that if I can see past my resistance that I may actually enjoy a dog.

Perhaps, but I just can’t seem to go with the flow on this one. I just don’t want more responsibility imposed on me.

And I am floored that she is prepared to bring a dog into this house that I do not want.

But as I am slowly learning, and as I have mentionned several times before in this blog, anger is my one “catch all” emotion. Once I start looking at it carefully and untangling it, I realize that there is more to it, and that there are many other emotions and feelings behind the anger.

So I start digging a little deeper, and poke around a little in the shadows.

And what I discover is that for me, this is about losing control. Feeling powerless.

Like I felt the first time, when I found myself alone with a twisted neighbour in his dark shed when I was four years old.