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Today pets have become members of our families. You love them. You make sure your animals are well treated. They give you pleasure.
Your relationship with your dog or cat is much simpler than with another human being. They love you unconditionally. You never fear being rejected.
Do you love to sleep with your dog or cat? Sleeping with your pet can be comforting. The sound of their breathing relaxes you. The feel of a living creature cuddling up to you feels good.
The challenge is when you get so enmeshed with your pet it becomes difficult for you to welcome the affection of another human being. The relationship with another person is much more complicated. While it can be more challenging, in the end, it is more rewarding.
The challenge is to find the right balance in the power we give our pets in our lives, especially in the bed.
In a recent survey given by Mattress Advisor, they asked a thousand people about their relationships with their pets in their beds. For example, they found that if you allow your pet to sleep in your bed when you don’t want them to you are more likely going to be hurt in a relationship.
If your pet is given an occasional free pass, you are more likely to have healthier relationships, and if it does end, it will end on a more mutual basis.
If you let your pets sleep in bed with your approval, then you are more likely to end the relationship yourself.
You can not compare a relationship between a pet and another person. They are just different.
Too often pets become an excuse not to take the risk of connecting with another human being.
To often pets can be used as a tool to hurt your human partner; this is never the pets fault. It is always the people’s fault.
My own story is that my first wife had a beautiful cat. She loved him deeply, and he was part of her life long before she met me. When I met her, I had some allergies to cats, but it wasn’t too bad. Over the years she insisted that the cat sleeps between our heads on our bed. Over time it got to the point that I struggled to breathe.
It became clear that I was less important than the cat. When the cat died, I insisted that we don’t get a new cat. My wife at the time would not listen to me. Before long, our relationship ended.
My wife and I allowed the cat to control our lives making it difficult to bond as a couple.
If you are in a relationship with a person who is allergic to your animal, you will need to consider finding a new home for your pet or ending the relationship.
The humans need always needs to take priority over the animals. The caveat being that the pet still requires proper care.
It takes self-awareness to become conscious of how you are using the animals in your life. Are you using them to meet your emotional needs? Do you have a pet to keep you company? Do you have a pet to avoid needing a human companionship?
If you are having a hard time meeting your significant other; you might want to look at your relationships with your pet. How are you allowing your pet to get in the way of bonding with another human being?
A great tool to help you get in touch with what is going on inside you is the Enneagram. For more information on the Enneagram: Click Here.
The Enneagram points out to you where you get stuck when you are under stress. Each of us is given one of nine different ways to survive in the world. During your childhood and youth, your type kept you safe. When you become an adult, it will hold you back when you are not aware of how your personality is restricting your choices in life.
The Enneagram will show you how your type impacts how you use animals as a crutch when you are stressed out. For example:
Type One: (Reformer) The pet for a type one will soothe their need to be accepted when they are so tough on themselves.
Type Two: (Helper) The pet for the type two will meet their need to know they are loved and special.
Type Three: (Achiever) The pet for the type three will be a symbol of their success. They won’t have a mutt.
Type Four: (Individualist) The pet for the type four will be a living creature for them to bond with at a deep level. It will be the one living creature who truly understands and respects their individuality.
Type Five: (Investigator)The pet for the type five will allow them to have companionship without the need to talk.
Type Six: (Loyalist) The pet for the type six will be a friend who will comfort them during their fear and anxiety.
Type Seven: (Enthusiast)The pet for the type seven will be a friend they can share all their adventures.
Type Eight: (Challenger) The pet for the type eight will be a friend that will provide a safe space for them to show their vulnerable side.
Type Nine: (Peacemaker) The pet for the type nine will be the essential creature that will help them to know they have a place in the world.
Your pet can enrich your life. Animals bring us many gifts including unconditional love, companionship, invitations to play, something to care for and an exuberance for life. Animals have a special place in our lives.
The trouble is when you use your animals as a place to hide from building healthy, loving and transformative relationships with another human being.
Building a relationship with another human being is riskier, but then the benefits of a close human relationship cannot compare to one with an animal.
The research from Mattress Advisor gives us helpful information that can help you to build a good relationship. If you want more information on how to find the best mattress for you check out this page: Click Here
The learnings you take from the Enneagram can help you to be more self-aware so that you can have healthy relationships with both people and animals.
Roland Legge can help you to find balance in your life with your furry and human friends. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by emailing Roland at firstname.lastname@example.org or book your appointment
Article republished with permission of the author. This was originally published on REL Consultants