I care about the dogs, should I put up with my ex because of it?

dogs photo
Photo by hodgers

Two years ago I broke up with my ex after catching her cheating with a co-worker. I have not hear from her since then, but yesterday she called asking for my help again with sorting her life. Honestly I don’t care about her but I do care about my dogs which she has since our breakup and I missed them.

Q: Because I care about the dogs, should I take care of her as well?


A: If it is truly only about the dogs, then donate your time to the nearest animal shelter.

fire alarm photo
Photo by Matt From London

My dear dog lover, both, men and women have used dogs, cats, and even children (thankfully that is not your situation here) as an anchor that they can use to hold a lifeline to their exes, and they hold that line until is convenient for them. And the reason they do that is because it works!


I’m not saying here that you are not entitled to your feelings. I’m not saying here that she may have not changed. I’m not saying that you may have not changed. And I’m definitively not saying (well I may up to a point) that you cannot consider the request. But what I’m saying is that when you’re playing with fire, you need to be careful before you get burned out twice.

If you had asked how could you take care of the dogs, my answer would have been different. There are many ways in which you could have done that, and I would applaud every one of them. But your question was directly “I haven’t seen her in two years and as soon as she called with the excuse of the dogs, I’m considering taking care of her ..again”. That’s like walking into a minefield again to rescue the person who made you walk through it the first time.

fire rescue dog photo
Photo by State Farm

Yes, you should forgive what happened since it made you the person you are today (we all learn from our mistakes). And you should forgive what happened because you cannot move on until you deal with your past. And yes, again, you can and should do what makes you feel better.  But it has bee proven that the effects of love can be considered similar to those of a drug, and people can become “addicted to love”, something that narcissists and serial abusers take advantage of (remember those pesky pheromones). If you have been “free from your addiction” for two years (the ex and the dogs), and have been doing good; then while you may have some ghost feelings for the old drug, are you willing to risk exposure to it again?

But if you want to try it again, then go ahead, there is nothing wrong with that (firefighters walk into fires every day of the week). Just do it with your eyes open, with true forgiveness but without forgetting the lessons learned.

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Photo by Spin Spin

Photo by State Farm