I love my wife, I love my boys, and I love my dogs. In that order. As I re-married after a contentious divorce, the blending of my family—my two boys, my two dogs, and me with her and her one dog, was a challenge. She had to deal with more adaptation, without a doubt, but we had to deal with a woman in our midst and one that, surprise surprise, actually cared about cleanliness and order.
For me, the biggest challenge in dealing with the mostly positive changes in our all male household, was giving up the warmth and companionship of my dogs, in bed with me. They were there, for me, in the darkest hours of my separation and divorce, when my boys were with their mom, when our then large home felt cavernous and terribly quiet and empty, and I literally think they saved my sanity.
Now those that know me well, my current wife included, would question my sanity at any given moment, but I continue to credit my dogs with helping me overcome those lonely and honestly scary times. Their warmth, their closeness, their unconditional affection and love, kept me going.
Now, my wife says, “No dogs in bed.” It’s not a negotiation or a discussion; it’s a decree. And, even having them there when she’s not there is unacceptable given their tell-tale leave-behinds of hair and/or dirt. Even putting a special sheet over the bed wouldn’t hide their presence from her eagle eyes and lint brush. I get presented with that hard evidence, I plead guilty, and I’m banished to the guest room with my tail between my legs.
I know she provides a lot more genuine warmth than the dogs, not to mention the level of intimacy is certainly greater, but I sure miss my dogs in bed with me. Why can’t we all share? Oh well, what do I know; I’m just a guy.