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Woman doesn't let BF around her pets after his parents reveal his 'sociopathic' past, asks 'should I move in with him?' UPDATED

Woman doesn't let BF around her pets after his parents reveal his 'sociopathic' past, asks 'should I move in with him?' UPDATED


AITA for not wanting my boyfriend around my pets?

dawg-208 writes:

I, a 24-year-old woman, have been dating my 23-year-old boyfriend for two years. We met at an animal shelter while I was searching to adopt my now third dog. Our mutual love for animals initially brought us together. We conversed for several months before officially starting our relationship, and I met his parents soon after we became a couple.

Though we do not reside together, we frequently visit each other. We've discussed the possibility of living together but decided to give it more time before making that commitment. Eventually, we agreed it was time to take that step. I went to his parents' house while he was at work to discuss the matter with them.

They seemed pleased that we were taking our relationship seriously. However, their demeanor changed when I mentioned that I live with several pets. I have three dogs, two cats, and a turtle.

Their expressions shifted, and they inquired whether their son was aware of them and if I trusted him to care for them. It was an unsettling question, but nothing prepared me for the disconcerting looks they exchanged after I responded.

His mother revealed that they had refrained from having pets because their son had a history of harming animals during his teenage years. His father added, "He wouldn't have a reason to do it; he would just do it and then discard them."

I was horrified and struggled to comprehend their revelations. They proceeded to recount stories of their past pets, explaining that the harmful behavior ceased when he turned 17, leading them to believe he had outgrown it. I thanked them for informing me and promptly departed.

Despite my continued love for him, I'm uncertain about my feelings now. I postponed the idea of moving in together, citing the imminent end of my lease as a reason to wait. He has expressed a desire to visit, but I've declined. On occasions when I have allowed him to visit, I've arranged for a friend to oversee my pets.

He has inquired about them, expressing his fondness and bringing food and toys for them. However, I feel guilty for not wanting him near them. When he does visit and I can't find a pet sitter, I monitor him closely and take extra precautions to keep my pets away from him.

Since learning about his past from his parents, I've been haunted by the fear that one day he might harm my pets. Thus far, he has exhibited no signs of wanting to hurt them.

In fact, he has been affectionate and caring towards them, and one of my cats even sits on his lap when he's around. Despite this, I can't shake the fear and now prefer to keep him away from them. AITA?

OP provided an update with more information:

When we first met at the animal shelter, I was there to adopt my third dog. He happened to be a volunteer, and he's been involved with various shelters over time. When I jokingly asked him why he hadn't adopted a pet himself, he replied, "It wouldn't be very convenient for the dog."

When I pressed for an explanation, he mentioned, "Because I spend a lot of time taking care of other dogs, and it might get jealous." That's his reasoning behind not having pets of his own.

During my initial meeting with his parents, I did mention where we met, but their reaction was rather nonchalant. They simply responded with an "Oh, that's nice" and didn't delve further.

They seemed somewhat hesitant about the shelter aspect, but they didn't inquire further, and we moved on to basic conversation topics like my job and how their son was treating me. I've rarely interacted with his parents without him, and they're unaware of his involvement with animal shelters.

He's mentioned that his parents used to punish him frequently when he was younger, citing, "I did a lot of dumb stuff back then, and they weren't shy about disciplining me." As far as I know, he's never sought therapy for any issues stemming from his upbringing.

We typically ask each other for permission before visiting, which we view as a matter of common courtesy. We both lead separate lives with different schedules and activities, so it's important to respect each other's space. I wouldn't appreciate it if he showed up unannounced, and vice versa.

He's mentioned that he previously had a few pets that have since passed away. I don't recall the specifics of how they died because he seemed visibly upset, and I didn't want to pry.

He treats my pets kindly and often asks to spend time with them. Sometimes he'll even request to come over just to play with my dogs.

Additionally, when asked why he volunteers at shelters, he explained, "I simply want to help animals. I love them and enjoy spending time with them. It's a win-win-win situation for me."

Furthermore, he mentioned that he began volunteering at shelters at the age of 18 and has continued to do so since then. He moved out of his parents' house at 19 and doesn't maintain frequent contact with them.

Here are some of the top comments:

Bubbly-Item says:

NTA (Not the A%#@ole). What the actual f%@k? You're not overreacting here. If his own parents are telling you he used to harm animals, that's a huge red flag. I get it, he's been good around your pets so far, but can you really risk it? And what was he doing in that animal shelter? Getting new victims? Nu-oh, no way. It's a blessing that his parents told you about his past.

Sugarnspice says;

Either his parents are nuts or he is not ok. It's a bit hard to tell from here.

EmperorMrKitty says:

I have a brother like this. “Loves” animals. Fascinated by them. Seems like a totally normal guy. When our grandma’s dog had puppies he crushed all six of them because they were irritating to care for. When our mom’s turtle (had it all our lives, spent years playing with it and building its terrarium) was mildly inconvenient to care for during a move, he left it in the sun to boil alive.

Run. Normal people can seem normal and give zero sh%^s about killing our animal friends. Even if they like animals. Even if they aren’t a serial killer. Run if you care about those animals. His parents love him but they’re warning you. Normal guys do not have parents that say sh%^ like “is he being nice to you” “does he have access to your pets.”

honorbalenarwhal says:

Are you seriously considering staying with him? This type of sociopathic behavior is not "grown out of". It's a safe bet he has not stopped harming animals and may harm people , if he isn't already harming people.

What do you think? Is OP overreacting?

Sources: Reddit
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