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It’s Not Just Eddie and Me

In a Psychology Today article, New York psychologist Guy Winch notes that pets are a frequent source of arguments among couples. Who should walk the dog? Who should clean up after the cat? Feeding mice to your snake -- seriously? Dr. Winch even cites an Associated Press poll that found that 14 percent of respondents would choose their pet over a new love interest if the two didn't get along. Ouch. I guess I'm lucky that my husband Jim was more reasonable when we met and Eddie made it clear I wasn't welcomed in their lives (First salvo: he peed outside the bedroom door the first night I stayed over.) Dr. Winch has plenty of advice. Among the steps he mentions that helped me: Learn more about the pet's psychology. Make sure you and your loved one are on the same page about issues of discipline and expected behavior. Be compassionate. "Yes, you might be stuck with petzilla," Dr. Winch writes, "but don't forget that an animal that's giving you a hard time is doing so because it feels threatened and insecure."

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