“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and filling a void they didn’t know they had.—Thom Jones


Owning a pet can add joy and happiness to your marriage. There are plenty of benefits, such as spending time with your spouse while walking the dog, sharing the responsibilities of caring for the cat, and more.

But what happens when the pet becomes a higher priority than your marriage? If you’d rather spend time with your furry friend than your spouse, it’s time to address the cracks in your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®

The dynamic of pets in a marriage might seem inconsequential. However, 35% of you said that sometimes it seems like your pet is more important than your marriage. Pets can become an obstacle in a marriage, especially if they interrupt or impede your connection time with your spouse. It can leave you wanting to say, “It’s me or the dog.” 

Now, talking about pets in marriage can be a sensitive subject. If your “fur baby” is coming between you and your spouse, you don’t have to get rid of the animal, but you have to take action. 

Some people throw around phrases like, “If I have to choose between you and the dog, the dog stays.” These priorities are out of alignment. 

Cracks can form in your marriage when your pet becomes more important than your spouse. Stress, tension, and resentment can build up if a spouse gives more love and attention to their pet than their husband/wife. Your pets can affect your marriage, from emotional intimacy to sexual intimacy and more. 

Emotionally, you may find yourself resentful of the responsibility of being the one to care for the pet or the attention that your pet receives from your spouse. 

Physically, you may see that your spouse is more affectionate or physical with the animal than with you. 

Financially, the costs of food, pet sitting, and unexpected vet bills can cause extra stress.  

Recreationally, owning a pet may hinder you and your spouse from enjoying time away together to connect. You may feel limited in your options or your ability to connect if you always bring your pet. 

Sexually, a pet can be an interruption or an excuse. Whether the pet is sleeping in your room, scratching on your door, or lying in your lap, it can hinder sexual intimacy.

It’s easy to be connected to a pet. They don’t talk back, and they love you unconditionally. Your marriage takes work and involves two imperfect people. But your spouse has to come before your pet. 

So, how can you realign your priorities? 

It starts with a conversation. You and your spouse need to evaluate the dynamic of pets in your marriage and the role each of you plays. 

Ask and answer the following questions with your spouse:

  • What’s missing in our marriage?
  • How can we bridge the emotional and physical disconnect?
  • Where can we be more intentional? 

A fulfilling marriage requires effort and intentionality. If your fulfillment comes from your pet rather than your spouse, you must address the cracks causing this. Which pillar do you need to strengthen? Assess the 6 Pillars of Intimacy® and determine how you can fix the root of the issue. 

Boundaries are essential, even with pets. Talk with your spouse about the guardrails you will set up with your pets to protect your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®. Perhaps this means having your cat sleep outside your bedroom or taking a trip without your pup. Find the solutions that work for you. It may require a compromise between you and your spouse, but it’s worth it. 

Little things like this can cause cracks in your marriage. Prioritizing pets over your spouse can erode your intimacy and lead to frustration and division. 

It can be hard to admit that your pet is causing problems in your marriage. But being honest about the cracks can help you and your spouse take steps to strengthen your marriage. With realigned priorities, you and your spouse can pursue the extraordinary marriage you desire. 


ONE Family Private Facebook Group

Get Personal Help to Strengthen Your Marriage

Connect with Us

We want to hear from you! Follow us on Instagram to take part in regular polls and share your thoughts in the comments. You can also reach us on the Hug Hotline at 858-876-5663 or hugs@oneextraordinarymarriage.com.

EPISODE SPONSOR | The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®: The Secret to an Extraordinary Marriage

Is it really possible to rekindle the spark and restore the “like-new” connection in your marriage?

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Medical Disclaimer: The content of this article & website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.