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Old 12-28-03, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Non-creature loving significant others

Hey, I was just wondering: what do you do when your bf or gf hates your animals, or just doesn't see the appeal? My boyfriend is like that, I mean he doesn't outright hate them but he sure doesn't see what I see in them (especially the tarantulas!) He thinks I spend too much money on them, but they are my babies and mean the world to me. And just now, when I was all excited telling him about a few new additions that I just got (and I think you're all familiar with how great of a feeling it is to have new animals) I got hung up on! What the heck is that all about?? And what do I do?

Also, it's not like this is some guy I could care less about, I really do care about him so I'm not just going to ditch him over this, like I would if he were someone I'd just met. I'm feeling very frustrated at the moment!!!
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Old 12-28-03, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bah. I'd say ditch hiim! What do you plan to do? Get married and put up with not liking your animals? Possibly forcing you to get rid of them?

Some guy who would hang up on you when you're excited about something, is not a guy who really cares about your feelings.
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Old 12-28-03, 01:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Country: wife dislikes all my snakes,"no snakes in Ireland" she always says(she's Irish)...but I have them in a separate room and she doesn't mind too much....nothing I can do about the situation so I live with does her thing I do mine.
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Old 12-28-03, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My husband doesn't really understand my attraction to them either. Today actually was the first time he has ever held one of my snakes. I just explained to him that it is my hobby and that there is very little he can do about me keeping them. I've explained it to people that it is just a hobby. My husband plays squash, goes the gym, take flying lessons whatever. This is mine. I am allowed to have a hobby too. He understands, just doesn't get involved. I am ok with that. I hope that your boyfriend comes to an understanding as well.

Whenever I talk about them, his eyes just glaze over. He is respectful enough to listen but, he doesn't care too much. Maybe tell him that he doesn't have to like but should try to accept it. It is definately rude to hang up on you for talking about it.

My husband has come to like it in a way. He doesn't have to go shopping for me for gifts. He just takes me to get them.
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Old 12-28-03, 01:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Whenever I talk about them, his eyes just glaze over.
If I could only count the times I have seen my wife's eyes glaze over. She absolutely hates my snakes and forbids me from taking my daughter to my snake building every time I go (I take her anyway). We have come to the conclusion that we will always disagree on this issue. I never try to scare her with my reptiles and respect her view. I get the same glazed look in my eyes when she starts talking about her scrapbooking or sewing. It is a two-way road.
The hanging up the phone on you is a whole different issue. If I ever hung up on my wife I would need the phone surgically removed from..... You deserve better than that.

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Old 12-28-03, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jenn, confront the issue...ive been in your shoes and its a hard one. I think most relationships have one or two sore spots when it comes to certain likes and dislikes. He may never and probably will never fully come to understand what you see in so many of your animals. But perhaps there is a certain animal that he enjoys? Maybe focus on what he likes and perhaps purchase this animal if at all possible. When he sees the care and joy you also take in it, he may come around a bit. I remember having the old, well i love these things speech and its a hard one. Hobbies and similarities are always mountains that you have to come over. Try telling your g/f that your going to spend 20k on an engine for your car! As far as breaking up....i dont think thats a solution. This time of the year seems to bring out alot of strange behaviour in alot of ppl. Perhaps its something more bothering him thats the underlining issue? Best of luck to you!
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Old 12-28-03, 02:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I say ditch him, LOL...jk! I do however think that hanging up on you is way overboard but hey if you love him, you love him. I just think that if he really loved you that he would understand your passion especially him knowing that you work in a zoo! I mean being i a relationship is about trust and honesty but above all is to accept the other as he'she is without influencing their decisions.
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Old 12-28-03, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm more interested in the fact that he hung up on you. It doesn't matter if likes them or not, that was pretty disrespectful and rude. I agree wit Katt's comments...

As for me, my boyfriend (who I live with) understands why I like them, even though they do not appeal to him that much. As long as I take care of them, and they do not hurt me financially or otherwise, he doesn't care what I do regading them.
I am highly prized for my meat. :eb:
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Old 12-28-03, 02:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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From a cold, antisocial (lol) point of view: ditch him. If someone hung up on me when I was excited about a new herp, I'd say f**k 'im! It's one thing not to be interested, but another thing to hang up on you.
Like Shane said, you may want to ask him about it first, but I don't know, it doesn't even sound like he respects your hobby.

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Old 12-28-03, 02:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Non-creature loving significant others

Originally posted by ~Suntiger~
(and I think you're all familiar with how great of a feeling it is to have new animals) I got hung up on! What the heck is that all about
I'm feeling very frustrated at the moment!!!

I know what you mean. In the begining My partner wasn't exactly reptile oriented. I was constantly saying things like "well on the website" "well so and so said" and "I seen the cutest pic of a *insert cute rep pic!* on You have to come and see it!" She just wasn't into it like I am.
I'm sure she got/gets frusterated *Sp* over me spending tons of my free time here and talking about herps so often. But she takes it with a grain of salt and "I lover her as she is, herps and all"attitude . Now she has her own corn snake (motley amel in my sig.) and has a list ALMOST as long as mine.
I can see not liking them. But just out right hanging up on you! That was rude and uncalled for.I can only imagine what he would do if you were trying to show him a brand new spiderling (I think thats what their called? I don't keep tarantulas!) I personally would not stay with someone that couldn't even tolerate me talking about it, not to mention trying to show them what I got!

Maybe sit down and talk to him about it, start listening a lot (not saying you don't!) and you will pick up on something that he always talks about. Be it food, cats, baseball, football, hockey, hair, whatever, there is something that he will always talk about it. Then when he calls and starts to talk about it, Hang up! lol JK

Just tell him how bad it hurt you and that your "animals" are more like your kids than your pets.....Goodluck!
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Old 12-28-03, 03:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Years pass, but still things remain the same.
This is an old problem that has confronted herpers in relationships forever.
My wife really has no use for my reptiles and doesn't even keep track of what I am working with from one year to another.
I had herps when I met her and I still have both her and herps, a quarter century later, but it's been touch and go on occasion.
She isn't really herp negative, just herp neutral, but its very much ONLY my hobby/business.
She has nothing to do with it, and wont even attend shows with me. It can be both painfull and nice.
My obsession has caused major problems in the past, as it really is an addiction and potentially quite damaging. Self Admission of the problem is the first step in correction, and seeking a balance.
I actually think it's better when an addicted herper(or other creature lover) is hooked up with someone who couldn't care less. This allows contrasts in viewpoints, which leads inturn to some serious introspection and this eventually allows a sort of balance to prevail.
Herpers that are involved with herpers frequently end up melting down, as they sometimes power each others addiction frequently to ruin, just like two gamblers or two substance abusers.
There are a very few that seem to survive, like Bill and Kathy Love and the Barkers, but the list of busted up herpers, is much longer.
Herpers and other animal obsessives traditionally are very poor at human relationships. The reason is simple. We can, at times, have little else on our minds and that doesn't leave much room for relationship building and maintenance.
If your boyfriend is hanging up on you, I suspect, he's near the end of his rope, and is probably suffering from lack of maintenance and feels
like an outsider in your world that perhaps affords too little time for him.
Have a good heart to heart with him, and see if I'm right
I've been there, and still am, as I sit her thawing mice and typing on this damn box while she's upstairs watching designer guys!
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Old 12-28-03, 04:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Roy, well said!!

I personally can't imagine what it's like being with a person who does not understand nor share my passion/addiction, but to parallel Roy, there have been times when our mutal obessesion has come between Vanan and I. As for powering each other to ruiniation. Well as I said before, Vanan is one of those rare herpers with "self restraint" and when he seems me go off the deep end he's there to knock some sense into me. Before each purchase we discuss, and each new animal, must be ok'd by the other. There have been times, when I have stopped Vanan and many when he has stopped me.

Anywho, I think the most important part here is not your b/f's lack of interest in your hobby, but his flagrant disregard for your feelings. That is the real crux of the matter.
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Old 12-28-03, 04:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I guess Erin and I are some of the lucky ones, because we don't really fuel each others' addictions to herps, but the fact that we share the same passion for them is something that is extremely important to me. I honestly don't think I could be with someone who didn't get as excited as I do over getting a new snake. It's also nice to have someone who can take care of a snake while the other person cleans the enclosure!
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Old 12-28-03, 04:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's nice to know that I'm not the only person under the sun who's ever experienced this (not that I thought that, but you know what I mean.) Thank you all for sharing your stories and advice, it has helped to keep things in perspective. I won't be seeing him until tomorrow (he's on nights) so I have a bit more than 12 hours to figure out exactly what I plan to say. Keep your fingers crossed for me, lol!
Even shiny fruit may be rotten at the core.
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Old 12-28-03, 05:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you are serious about your reptiles always being as part of your life you will be best off with someone that also is. One of the biggest reasons my GF moved out was because she was jealous of the snakes & the amount of time I had to spend with them this summer during breeding season. She tried to get involved lots of times for my sake, but was never really into it. It ended up being a wedge that was always being driven between us. One must find someone that shares their passions in life or get used to not being happy about things that should bring you joy. Based on him hanging up, you have already reached a point in your relationship where your herps have become a negative factor. Some couples can be opposites in hobbies, interests etc. & still make out fine, but some have seperate bedrooms & take seperate vacations etc. also too. Think about your long term happiness & what would be best for the future before becoming involved in a "losing relationship" Seriously, Mark
P.S. Herps are way easier to love, they only require the basics in life to be happy, unlike us mammals. Also they don't talk back or make fun of me when I talk to myself & laugh at my own jokes. ; )
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