I broke up with him years ago, but we stayed friends for the dog.
March 5, 2012 4:20 PM Subscribe
Please help me to break up with someone I've already broken up with.
posted by anonymous to human relations (43 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Let's call my ex-fiancee "Jed". Jed and I dated for four years, we lived together for three. Our breakup was amicable, we both knew it was coming and when I left it was not a surprise to anybody. We said we'd remain friends.
He kept the house and everything in it. I kept the few belongings I brought to the relationship (I moved in with him pretty much straight out of college and didn't have much). The only thing I took with me was the dog.
When we were together, it took me two and a half years to convince Jed to get a dog. Finally, finally, finally he agreed and I found my beloved dog, "Chicken", at the local animal shelter. Jed liked the dog okay at first, and then he totally fell in love with her.
When Jed and I ended things, we agreed that he would have "visitation" with Chicken. This worked out well for both of us: my job was demanding and, living alone, I had a lot less time for Chicken. He was unemployed for much of the next year (wound up losing the house, tough times) and Chicken kept him company during his tough times. He fell into a depression, and I know (from living with the man) that having Chicken around helped him a great deal. Just having a reason to get up and walk around the neighborhood helped him a ton. I'm glad that Chicken could do that for him. I was also glad that he was a free pet-sitter for Chicken during my busy work times.
It has been three years since Jed and I broke up. I have moved to a city three hours away, and I took Chicken with me. I still have friends in the old city, and sometimes I will ask Jed if he'd like Chicken to come over for the weekend that I am there. Jed always enthusiastically accepts. When I pick Chicken up, Jed is all smiles and gushing over how much fun they had and how much he loves her. Chicken ADORES him, as well. The two of them are definitely a pair.
Well...I'm starting to grow weary of all of this. I live far away. I have a new life. I want to move on. At first I thought that remaining friends with Jed would be okay, but now I'm starting to wish we'd just had a complete cut-off. Then you add in the fact that he and Chicken are BFFs, and I know that having Chicken around helps him immensely (and me, when I want to go on vacation and don't have to pay out the nose for a kennel). But she's like my kid, and I know that Jed sees her like that as well. Divorced parents can't just say "Well, I want Kid full-time so say goodbye". The thought of telling Jed to say goodbye to Chicken just tears me up inside. I still care about his well-being, even if I don't love him anymore.
I feel stuck. I want to be done with Jed and move on. I want to have Chicken with me all the time. She's MY dog. I pay for everything (I paid for her, all vet visits, I even buy all the food and send food with her when she stays at Jed's place). I don't really want to be friends with Jed anymore. I don't even want to be friendLY with him. I just want to move on.
On the other hand, I feel horribly guilty even considering cutting her out of his life. He's been through some real tough times and I know that she's been good for him. And she loves him.
What do I do? Should I break up with him for good and cut Chicken out of his life? How can I tell him this? has anyone else ever had a Pet Custody Situation that they wanted to bring to an end?
Am I completely nuts for getting into this situation in the first place?
Am I completely nuts for being such a chicken (haha) about cutting things off?