2 years ago, my husband (34M) and I (33F) became pregnant. This was huge for us, as we both have always been really passionate about becoming parents. Before we could tell anyone, my husband’s brother (35M) and his wife (38F) told the family that they had been trying to conceive but found out they couldn’t. (Apparently my SIL feared this due to past medical problems, but now it was confirmed by doctors.)
They were devastated, and we were heartbroken for them. My husband and I decided to hold off on announcing. We waited 3 months, but then I was starting to show and we no choice.
A week after we announced, my BIL and SIL adopted a dog named Bella. Immediately, she was all they talked about and they refused to go anywhere without her. We used to be close, but this has ruined our relationships with them.
My husband and his brother don’t hang out anymore because my BIL is so obsessed with Bella that he’s hard to talk to. (BIL’s lost friends over this obsession, and SIL has quit her job so she doesn’t have to spend any time away from the dog.)
We even stopped our weekly family dinners because Bella barks non-stop, pulls food off the table, bites, etc. She’s a nightmare. Plus my husband is allergic, and can’t be around her for longer than an hour anyway.
BIL and SIL call Bella “the first grandchild” or the “first [last name] girl” (there hasn’t been a girl born into the family in 5 generations), which bothers me because my daughter is those things— not the dog.
They think my daughter and their dog should be treated equally and get upset when they are not. Even when I gave birth and people were reaching out to check on me and my daughter, they sulked and made a long post on FB saying they were hurt no one had done the same for them when they adopted their dog.
I’ve been biting my tongue about it for over a year because I know that they are coping with an extremely painful situation, but this week I finally snapped. Recently, a relative invited us and baby to their wedding, but told my in-laws explicitly not to bring Bella.
On Sunday, as my husband and I were just about to leave his parents house, I heard my BIL say that if his dog wasn’t invited, then my daughter shouldn’t be either. “Why should they get to bring her if we can’t bring Bella?”
They say things like that all the time, but this time I finally snapped and said, “Because Bella is a dog, and my daughter is an actual human baby. My child and your pet are not the same.”
We left, but later my BIL called my husband to say that I had really hurt them and made my SIL cry. My husband says that I shouldn’t have said anything and should take it back.
I know their dog is like their child, and I don’t mean to be cruel or insensitive, but I am also so tired of hearing them compare my daughter to a dog, and I don’t want her to grow up around people who think she is equal to a poorly behaved animal. AITA?
I mean… My cat was my mom’s “first grandchild “ by a few years. No one took it seriously. Later on as more piled in, She’d pull out her phone to show off the human grandkids to people and as scrolling through she’d have pictures of my cat in the folder.
And she’d just laugh “oh there’s the first.” But it was a joke. I’d never for a second think she rated along a human and no one was confused. Sounds like they really need therapy.
My cat is also my parents first grandchild. I recently had a baby and my mom was cooing over him and my cat was staring at her. She told him not to worry as he was still the first grand baby lol.
If everything you wrote here is true i cant imagine this even needs to be said. Of course NTA. If you care about those people, they need counseling. They are delusional. Why do people enable this nonsense.
I’m really having a hard time believing the details in the story. I really think that I want to believe that you are really inflating their behavior surrounding the dog. Even just by your title, I was so ready to call you the hole.
But good lord if this story is even 70% reality and still 30% hyperbole, than that is absolutely awful. I would have to say you're NTA, and also that this couple needs therapy, immediately and badly.
So I need to share this because people are doubting that SiL & BiL could behave this way. I believe it because many years ago me and extended family would rent a beach house. My youngest SiL& hubby had no children but a lovely dog. The beach house did not allow pets. SiL planned on smuggling in their dog.
When talking to my MiL about this she looked at me and said something to the effect, “well we’re allowing your children.” I’ll be honest, I had no words because as much as I love dogs I do not think them the same as children. As I recall I stared at her for a moment and walked away.
NTA and OP’s SiL & BiL have big issues. And obviously other family members feel the same since they had to explicitly say Bella was not invited to the wedding. The only person who should be apologizing is OP’s husband to OP - his child is not the same as a dog. What OP said was the truth.
NTA. You are correct, your child is not the same as their dog, and they shouldn't be making that comparison or expecting their dog to be treated the same way as a human child. They legit need therapy.
NTA. Oh this is a sad case, but as much as we love our four legged friends, they are not equivalent of babies. You can leave your dog with a sitter, newborn babies need to breastfeed like every few hours. It’s far more difficult to find adequate care to a new infant as opposed to a puppy.
I do sympathize with them, they’re clearly taken this dog on emotionally as a baby due to their inability to have one. So you have to be firm but gentle with this situation.
Understand their frustration, but dogs just can’t come everywhere. Some venues have rules barring pets and that might be a good excuse for them to understand. Also, dogs can be tripped over and stepped on or snap on someone and attack.
They could also pee or poop in the venue and potentially ruin dresses, furniture, and other parts of the venue. I imagine they baby the dog so it’s probably sweet but not well behaved. I feel so bad for them but they need to respect a no-pet decision at an event that has nothing to do with them. And stop comparing your human baby to a dog.