DEAR AMY: Shortly after my husband and I began dating, he bought a large-breed puppy. He took the dog everywhere he went. We then moved in together, we got another small, mixed-breed dog that we hoped would keep the large dog busy, since he was always demanding my husband’s attention. One evening, the large dog snapped at me (he was 6 years old at this point). My husband was very upset, and he was going to put him down, for fear that he had “turned.” I begged him not to. About four months later, the large dog growled at me, and my husband took him to the pen outside. While outside, the dog bit my husband several times, so he was put down. My husband now wants to get another dog of the same breed from a breeder. I have no desire for another dog. I’m just not a dog person, and after the one we have is gone, I want to be done. My husband and I have very heated discussions about this. He is determined to get one, regardless of how I feel about it (even though I’m always the one cleaning up after it and taking care of it), and I’m seriously at the point where I would rather not live in the house if another big dog is in it. I’m beside myself. Please help!
DEAR UPSET: Your husband should not own any dog. He set up an exclusive relationship with his puppy, and didn’t train the dog to accept you into the family’s pack. His solution to his dog’s biting problem was to conclude that the dog had “turned” and then to kill the dog. No respectable shelter would let him adopt an animal, although there is nothing preventing him from purchasing one from an unscrupulous breeder.
Your husband seems to want a dog more than he wants you. This issue has brought you two to a crisis point in your marriage, and you should seek professional counseling and mediation to work this out.
DEAR AMY: I am from India. I like a girl in the United States. She is the mother of two and is divorced right now. We are from very different cultures, but I like her a lot and we chat almost on a daily basis. She likes me too, but I’m not sure if I have won her heart yet. I really care about her and she is very honest so I know everything about her. Of course, it is impossible to have a real relationship at this distance, and although I do well in my home country, it would still be hard to settle in the United States. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I want to stop chatting with her because it becomes very painful, but I am so deeply in love that it’s hard not to have any communication with her. Do you feel that I should break all communications with her and if so, how should I handle the pain? I’m trying to get to the United States, but it seems that it would be very hard to get a job there, so I am in a bit of a mess. What is your advice for me?
In Love at a Distance
DEAR DISTANCE: It seems you have not personally met the woman you are so in love with. You also present many practical and very real roadblocks to you two being together.
It is surprisingly easy to fall in love with someone at a distance. You two always and only present your best sides to one another. Staying in love with someone up close is considerably more challenging, however.
You trust her because you are in love with her, but you don’t actually know everything about her. In fact, her entire construct might be a fiction.
My first suggestion is that you take your rational explanation — that you cannot move to the United States to be with her — and apply it very honestly to your relationship. If you can visit, you should. If you two can’t manage to meet in person very soon, then you should call it a day and focus more closely on the prospect of loving a woman in your home country.
DEAR AMY: “Sad Mom” is a bipolar woman in a troubled relationship with her daughter, who is also bipolar. Please point readers toward the National Institute of Mental Health for information and support.
DEAR BEEN THERE: Definitely. Thank you. NIMH is an invaluable resource. Readers can get information on their website: nimh.nih.gov.