Can This Marriage Be Saved? "He's so needy, it's driving me nuts!"
Her turn “Friends told us a mixed marriage is tough, but I can deal with dog hair, dog breath, and the occasional rawhide chew hidden in the comforter. Our real problem is his extreme neediness.
“I’ve got a high-powered career. When I get home from work, I need time to decompress. For once, I’d like to sit on the sofa and sip a glass of chardonnay without a 90-pound dog on my lap.
“He also has this habit of licking off all my makeup. I get irritated and scold him, and then he whines and I feel guilty. Lately I’ve actually considered putting him in doggy day care for a while, but then there’d be no one guarding the house when I’m away. ”
His turn “Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof-woof-woof!”
The counselor’s turn “During our sessions, it became clear to me that the wife was the alpha dog in this marriage, and that they both liked it that way.
“However, even a pack leader needs a little ‘alone’ time once in a while. We did some role-playing to help them communicate.
“I instructed her not to nag him when he intrudes on her space. Instead, she should give a low growl and nip his flank. He caught on immediately and retreated under the counseling couch.
“He also learned that face-licking is a turnoff for her. Now, when feeling needy, he rolls on his back in an endearing submissive dog posture, which prompts her to scratch his belly.”
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