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Man plots revenge against wife, 'Your pet hoarding RUINED our lives.' AITA? STRANGE UPDATES.

Man plots revenge against wife, 'Your pet hoarding RUINED our lives.' AITA? STRANGE UPDATES.


When this man is furious with his wife and insists on getting back at her for ruining his life with her hoarding, he asks Reddit:

"My wife is an extreme pet hoarder and I need to get back at her for how she's destroyed my life. AITA?"

It’s 6 AM and the roosters have been crowing non stop for the last two hours in our sunroom adjacent to our bedroom. I’m now sitting in the basement as flies swarm around me and I’ve given up swatting them because there’s too many to bother.

The basement is the area of the house with the least amount of flies. On top of the rooster noise is the cackle of male quail that reside in our living room. They live in the base of 3 cages that are filled with budgies and cockatiel.

When I wake up I remember to put on my slippers and I hope I get to them before stepping in dog urine or fresh dog shit. Our carpet in our master bedroom is saturated in dog urine with many spots that haven’t dried out yet.

Yesterday, my wife bought our daughter a new tortoise and a frog. The tortoise will be added to the aquarium with our bearded dragon. The bearded dragon which is often is free to roam the house because my wife feels it will be happier. It is free to poop on our furniture or floor or where it was left out last.

As I sit here in my basement, the one place where I do not allow any pets, I’m listening to a rabbit thumping it’s paws on the floor above me, or it’s the sound of it biting and ripping apart our wall or furniture. I’m not sure which noise it is but I don’t care anymore. We have at least 6 rabbits.

Their little claws make a loud scraping and tapping noise as they scurry and hop across our laminate floors. The main level of our home is littered in rabbit droppings. The droppings get pushed to the side as our four children and us inadvertently kick them around while walking through the main level of our home.

The dogs won’t likely get let out this morning to go the bathroom. The smaller dog doesn’t even obey the command to go out anymore. He just stares at you confused by your directive.

If he does go outside, he just comes back in to find a place to shit and pee in one of our bedrooms. Our backyard doesn’t have much dog shit because it’s mostly in our bedrooms. It will stay there for days on end because there is no expectation that it shouldn’t be there.

The new smell from the giant rug I bought for the basement has worn off. It smelled like glue and dye and it drowned out the odors from the dozen chicken that reside in our family and living room.

They live in a couple 36 inch fabric pop up enclosures filled with pine shavings. It is saturated with chicken shit and urine and has soaked into our oak hardwood floors permanently damaging them. The stench is eye watering.

We have a lot of feathered friends here. In our master bedroom are three more cages with a variety of exotic birds that sing loudly all day long and leave a permanent mess of seeds on the floor around the cages.

They are free to roam and so our room has dropping along our beds headboard, on our pillows, along the sides of the doors where they perch, in our bathroom mirrors and down our shower curtains.

Our sunroom has 30 + chickens and about 8 or 10 of them are roosters and the roosters crow all day. This is where the flies breed. They come in through the 40 year old sliding door that is often left open.

This door separates the sunroom from our living area and our kitchen. The flies swarm in and at any given time there are dozens of flies in our living space. The heat and humidity bake the sunroom floor which is covered in chicken shit and urine and the odor spreads through the house.

Our house is in a suburban neighborhood. We do not live on a farm. In addition to these animals, we have 2 pet rats. They are sweet but as you would expect, their cage is not well maintained and it stinks 90% of the time.

Our boys room has a snake and axolotl aquarium. One of our daughters has an algae covered fish aquarium that we fill with water whenever we hear the filter screech because the water evaporated too low. She also has an unkept cage with a hamster that is rarely played with.

Right now I’m listening to the mice eat through the foam board insulation in my basement. I want to get rid of them, but it’s challenging with all the access to feed throughout the house. They seem to be breeding and entering through the home and a faster pace than they can be exterminated.

I am not a pet person and this life is driving me nuts. My wife is a pet hoarder and has ADHD. Our backyard is a ghost town of quail cages from last year when she was really into quail breeding and we had over 150 living in our backyard.

Now there remains broken and half built cages and mounds of shavings and wood chips that she intended to use as bedding. Scattered in random places in our backyard are household garbage bags of chicken shit.

When you try to lift them they fall apart because they weigh 30-40 pounds and the bags have deteriorated from the sun.

When challenged, she seems to delight in the frustration it causes me because she is not happy in our marriage. It seems that accumulating animals is bringing her little bits of dopamine with each acquisition.

I’m tired of living like this and I don’t know what to do. Our children think this behavior is acceptable and they often chide at me for not being on board with the animals. They are wrong. I need to get back at my wife.

They say I’m not a pet person. It’s true that I’m actually not a “pet person”. But what we having going on here is irresponsible, unsanitary and illegal. This is pet cruelty and normalizing neglect of animals.

Before we give you OP's odd updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

vikingcapt writes:

Get all your “ducks” in a row first. Ask if any family if they can take your family in while you sort this situation out. Get a hotel if you need and get one with a pool to keep the kids entertained. Get your housing lined up first. Reach out and get counseling appointments for every single member in your family.

Its time to start making calls to animal shelters, pet stores, and animal rescues. Give them your wife’s name and advise them she has an animal hoarding problem and to not sell her any animals. Ask the animal shelters or animal rescues if any of them can help you rehome these animals.

Have the kids go to a friend’s house or family house for the day or afternoon. Sit down and have a frank conversation with your wife that no one can live like this. It is very unhealthy. She needs to help herself before she can help others. But she has to get help.

Tell her you have set up family and separate counseling for you all. Advise her that all the animals need to go to homes where people can properly take care of them. If she refuses let her know that is her choice but you will have to contact animal control or some organization to come and take the animals.

Tell her to come to where ever you are living and that you all need to work as a family to heal and get better. She has every right to have access to your kids but if it gets bad you will need to get CPS involved to protect your children from this very unhealthy home. CPS will not allow kids to be in the environment you described.

After your conversation with your wife, go get your kids and have an age appropriate conversation with your kids about this whole situation. Tell them where you will be staying and what will be coming next. Its helpful if you have other family members to have this conversation with them.

Get the house professionally cleaned. Remove all carpet.You need to take appropriate steps to get this figured out. Your wife is the problem here and she needs help.

She won’t see it that way but you need to at least get your kids out of the environment they are in and get them the professional help they need. Best of luck.

sociolscience writes:

I watch the show "Hoarders" and the therapists specialize in hoarding and OCD, so the two are related.

The animal hoarding episodes are the saddest. They find dead animals, sick animals, infestations, poop and pee everywhere. One lady kept all her dead pets in her freezer/fridge.

She had found a dead owl on the side of the road and kept it because she wanted it to have some dignity (even though slowly rotting in a refrigerator was anything but dignified.) The therapists made her carry out her favorite dead cat so she could own that responsibility.

Then they cremated all the dead pets and gave her the ashes. They encouraged her to let them go as part of her healing, so she spread them over a river.

Many of the hoarders have gone through loss and trauma. Their family members have also gone through trauma of living or growing up in a hoard. It's really sad and hard and so frustrating to watch.

natisdisc writes:

My dad sort of slowly built up to becoming a hoarder. It was a really hard way to live. Luckily not with pets too much, although the basement was full of cat poop, and I very much can relate to the algae filled fish tank with and adding water to the tank when the filter ran dry...

finding our pet lizard’s carcass years after it went missing, pet mice breeding uncontrollably in their enclosures, but no birds or large reptiles. I got my own place at 17 but when I was almost 21 he had to have a major surgery that required extensive hospitalization so someone needed to be there to help my teenage sister and help him when he returned home.

I had friends come over and for three weeks we lined his entire curb the night before garbage day with stuff. Three weeks. And that was just emptying out his finished basement. There would’ve been no place for me to stay in the house. We through out three toasters. He had four toasters. (Just as an example of the ridiculousness of it)

Once he was well again I moved back out and he built his hoard right back up. The thing is, my dad had seen a therapist off and on over the years.

My sister had a really great adolescent therapist that would meet with my dad for a session every other week, and she was the only one that called him out on his stuff, so he eventually stopped all sessions with her.

Therapy doesn’t help at all when you’re not able to be honest with the therapist and yourself. My dad has a lot of issues and our relationship, what little of it we have, is strained.

He was very controlling and emotionally…I don’t know, I’ve never said abusive about my situation, but if I’d seen a friend going through some of what I did, I would call it abuse, I guess. Manipulative, guilt trips, power plays…. I developed a freakin stomach ulcer by 15.

I’ve tried to suggest therapy again in the last decade and he blew it off. With the political echo chambers on fb, he seems to have spiraled even more, and he’s just so hard to talk to.

And he’s not even one of those Q nuts, he’s the polar opposite. I love my dad. He adopted me when I was five and was there for me and my sister when our mom wasn’t for several years, but it’s such a difficult relationship bc the way that he was there for us fd us both up, I think. Sorry for the rant. This post just hit something dark inside me.

hopski writes:

I'm sure many people's first reaction was, "how could he let it get to that level? Why didn't he do something!" While those are reasonable, it shows that not everyone has experienced something like this.

I grew up with a hoarder, and it doesn't happen overnight. Like, you don't go to bed in a clean house and wake up with things stacked to the ceiling in haphazard piles with not quite clear paths from one room to the next. No, it sneaks up on you.

That moment of, "I'll take care of that in a minute," turns into "a bit" into "tomorrow" to looking around one day wondering what the hell happened. It turns a young, energetic person into someone who is tired all the time and utterly defeated.

And that's just those who live there, that's not the hoarder themselves! Because those living in the middle of it, trying to clean up, doing damage control, cannot take care of it all because for the one item put away or tossed, the hoarder finds three more items to take its place.

It quickly becomes an unwinnable battle and the only thought is, how long can this really last, what can I really do. It sucks!

I hope the OOP gets the children into counseling so they can deal with the issues left behind from living that way for so long.

And now, OP's first update:

People think this is a shit post but it’s real. I’m not uploading pics for privacy, but it’s genuine. I wrote it in this style just to express everything because it’s distressing and aggravating and I haven’t expressed it to anyone. I’m seriously asking for advise. It’s slipped out of control.

The amount of pushback from my wife when I address the problems creates a lot of tension and distresses the children. She just keeps bringing home animals. The last time I threatened to rehome the chickens that she was keeping in the house, she became extremely angry and combative.

She rehomed them but not after a slew of insults and claiming I was being totally unreasonable. Then she just slips back into the same behaviors because she never believed it was a problem in the first place.

We’ve had company come to our house but no one has called CPS or animal control yet. Seeing all these reactions has me realizing just how bad it is from an outside perspective and a CPS call is a serious possibility and that is terrifying.

Then, a year and a half later, OP provides this update:

Some of you may remember my post venting and looking for advice on what to do in regards to an extreme animal hoarding situation with my wife. Dozens of chickens residing in the home and a variety of animals roaming outside of cages in the home, feces and a rampant mice infestation.

After posting, I sought therapy and started getting my bearings straightened out. In the midst of setting firm boundaries and beginning the work to clean up literally 2 tons of chicken shit, sand and pine shavings and resolving the rodent problem a call to CPS was made by a third party and an investigation ensued.

Believe it or not by that time, much of the situation was resolved, animals rehomed, home cleaned and sanitized. Nothing came of the cps investigation and it was pretty quickly closed out.

However the relationship was essentially permanently damaged as my wife continued to deny the problem was out of hand. Deep resentment developed towards each other.

Fast forward nearly 12 months and my wife requested a divorce. We are now separated awaiting an official legal divorce.

I have moved into a very nice home and have the kids 50/50. My physical and mental health has dramatically improved. My kids now have an organized and clean haven. They seem happy.

It seems inevitable she may lose custody of the kids at some point altogether. I’m hoping she can keep things in check but due to the constant denial that there was a problem it will most likely repeat.

I may have no choice but take steps to ensure the children’s safety at some point further disrupting the children’s lives from their otherwise loving mother.

Limitations on pet quantities and cleanliness standards are written into the divorce settlement agreement.

BTW, wife has been in therapy for a couple years in the midst of the hoarding. I guess you could say the therapist was either not savvy to the situation or enabling to an irresponsible level. I’m leaning towards the latter.

She became more and more emboldened that I was causing her problems as opposed to looking inward. Her therapist seemed to fuel the delusions as far as I could tell.

Anyway, thanks for all your advice and getting me to wake up to the madness I contributed to through inaction.

Well, there you have it. What do YOU make of OP's dilemma? Was he too harsh on his wife? Was he justified in his actions? What would YOU have done?

Sources: Reddit
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