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Treat your significant other like a dog to improve your relationship

Posted on: June 3rd, 2010 by

By: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
A small, black dog sits with a happy couple.
Dr. Suzanne Phillips thinks people often treat their pets better than their spouses.

While dog and cat health care, emotional demands and physical needs are often readily met by owners—they often neglect to provide the same for their human counterpart.

In her article on PsychCentral, the psychologist argues that we can learn how to improve our human interactions by focusing on how we treat the relationships we’ve fostered with Fluffy or Fido.

According to the news provider, pets “throw up on rugs, pee in the house and steal food from the countertops. Yet we accept their flaws because we love them so much.”

When pet health needs attention, they don’t like their new food, or they badger owners for a walk, the pet owner gladly folds to meet their pet’s demands, yet The New York Times reports “people often describe pets as undemanding and giving unconditional love, when the reality is that pets require a lot of time and attention.”

In her work, Dr. Phillips told the news source, she thinks it’s remarkable how much two people can differ—but when it comes to their pets, they’re most usually on the same page.

“Although couples may vehemently disagree on most topics, they usually both soften in manner and tone to agree that the dog, cat, bird or horse is great,” Dr. Phillips wrote in her PsychCentral article.

The New York Times reported a few ways Dr. Phillips suggests we can improve our relationships with our significant others (in treating them more like the beloved pet.)

Amp up your greetings: Even after a rotten day people greet their pets with excitement. Try doing the same with your significant other.

Let go of that grudge: After wrecking the furniture or making a mess on the floor, we don’t stay mad at pets. If your wife or hubby forgets to pay a bill or get the oil changed, let it go.

Give the benefit of the doubt: When a pet does something wrong we don’t take it personally and we forgive rapidly. When your significant other seems to be out of line, try reacting with an open mind.

“The old expression ‘you get what you give’ may apply here,” writes Dr. Phillips in her article. “Maybe it has potential to enhance your relationship.”

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