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Husband adopts giant python without telling wife with clinical anxiety. Updated 2X

Husband adopts giant python without telling wife with clinical anxiety. Updated 2X


"My (24 F) husband (26 M) abruptly adopted a Burmese python. It terrifies me, and want to rehome it."


Six months ago, our corn snake unexpectedly died. My husband and I were both very upset; he was a cute little guy and still very young. My husband has owned several small reptiles during his lifetime, and he told me he was thinking of trying a milk snake this time instead of a corn or a garter.

Instead, two months after our corn died he came home with a baby Burmese python. Apparently it's always been his dream to own a Burmese. Not only am I angry that he got something like that without consulting me (on the upside, where we live they are legal) but I had several reservations that have only grown since we've owned it.

-I have GAD and that thing triggers my anxiety like no other. When I was doing research about Burmese pythons I kept reading stories about them killing pets, children, and even their owners. So now I'm freaked out and have barely slept for four months.

This is made worse by the fact that my husband has no experience with large snakes and the larger the python grows, the more it shows, and also by us having a cat. The other snakes we've had (our corn snake, and my husband's old garter snake) posed no threat but now I constantly worry that the python is going to get out and eat her.

I've taken to locking the cat in our bedroom at night, which interferes with our sleep since she meows and scratches at the door, and I constantly worry about her when she's home alone.

-I'll reiterate, this thing is freaking huge. He is already 6 feet long.

-I'm home more than my husband so I have to feed it and change its substrates often. I hate doing both. So much. Especially now that he's graduated to eating rabbits and pigs.

I honestly think that since my husband bought him without consulting me that caring for it should be his sole job, but I'm not going to let it go hungry or live in its own waste out of pride.

-I honestly don't think we'll be able to give this snake the best quality of life, which I think is essential for all pets. He's getting too big for the tank he's in, which is his third since we've gotten him, and I don't think we have the room in our house for the enclosure my husband wants to build him.

His food is very expensive and eating into our savings, but it's what he needs, so we can't downgrade. The python does not deserve to live in a tiny space and eat inadequate food because my husband wanted one as a kid. At the same time it's a good possibility it could eat us out of house and home.

-I don't want kids while we own a python and these things can live up to 20 years. I don't want to never have children, which I've always dreamed of, because of a python.

Because of all these reasons, but especially the ones about our cat and its quality of life, I think we should rehome the python, preferably to a wildlife sanctuary or something.

I've gently brought all of this up to my husband-how much mental anguish it causes me, how worried I am for our cat, how the snake is unsustainable-and all he's done is tell me to get over it, accuse me of not caring about his happiness, and tell me I'm being prejudiced against animals that aren't cute and cuddly.

None of this is true, not even the last accusation, I liked his smaller snakes a lot. How can I communicate productively with my husband about this issue? He already loves this snake and I think that's getting in the way of him seeing reason.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


You've brought this up gently and logically and he accuses you of "not caring about his happiness?" WOW. Personally, I think the only way to get the man to see reason now is "It's me or the snake and one of us will be gone by this date."

The OP responded:


Well I'm not going to pretend that I was a saint during all these conversations. I have cried while telling him my concerns after he initially didn't listen to me because of how scared I am and out of frustration, and I have raised my voice with him but only after he did first. I personally hate ultimatums but I'm starting to think one might be necessary, yes.


It sounds like it might be. You make a lot of very good, logical points about why you don't want a python in the house. You're not being unreasonable, he is.

A week later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: My (24 F) husband (26 M) abruptly adopted a Burmese python. It terrifies me, and I want to rehome it."


First of all, I have to say thank you for the outpouring of support I got, especially from the reptile enthusiasts who happened to be browsing this sub. You guys are awesome!

Now, I just want to say at the beginning so what everyone wants to hear is heard: the snake is gone and my cat is all right! Here's how it happened. Thursday night while I was replying to people in my post several people suggesting talking to my husband's friend, who owns Burmese pythons, is an experienced reptile keeper, and could be a huge help.

I was too blinded by the situation/my own anxiety to even think of that. I messaged him on Facebook Thursday night and told him the situation. He was shocked at just how bad things were.

Apparently he tried to warn my husband that owning small snakes and then jumping to a Burm is like thinking owning housecats makes you qualified to own a tiger, but my husband didn't listen.

He's been busy going to reptile shows so he only saw the snake in person once when we just got it and was immediately disturbed when I told him about the overfeeding, my husband's desire to start it on live food, and the fact that it free roams and is handed alone.

He told me he'd come over the next day (Friday) and give my husband a real talking to, as well as do anything he could to help us rehome it. I decided I couldn't live another day in the house like that and neither could my cat, so Friday morning I moved out to my mother's while my husband was at work.

It was a bit sneaky, but I knew that if I tried to leave while he was home he'd try to convince me to stay. I called him on his lunch break though and told him I'd left until the snake was gone. He was very upset, but started accusing me of being so petty as to let a snake wreck our marriage. I had nothing productive to say to that so I told him I'd talk to him later.

Well, my husband's friend was so angry at what he saw of the snake that when he got to the house when my husband was home from work he gave him the tongue lashing of his life, and told him in plain terms that now that he saw how woefully inadequate we were as big snake keepers there was NO WAY he was going to let the snake stay at our house.

Being yelled at really affected him, when my husband drove over to my mother's to talk to me he looked like a kicked puppy. He broke down and told me that he loved me, that he was sorry for the hell he'd put me through, and that it'd taken having reason yelled to him by an expert for him to really see what was going on.

He said that he understood now that the snake could no longer live with us. I know that at that point that the sorrow he felt was due to having his snake taken away, not of real understanding, not yet. So don't worry, he's not completely off the hook. It was cathartic to hear though.

His friend contacted a herpetology society he works with regularly and then, a member of that society whose specialty is rehabilitating snakes that irresponsible pet owners get and then mistreat on his ranch. So snake went yesterday to this guy's ranch, where he'll be fed the right food (and go on a diet, apparently!) and live in a space big enough for him.

My husband and I have talked a lot about this and he acknowledged that his fervent desire to fulfill his childhood dream made him careless and selfish: that he wasn't trying to be malicious towards me, but he just wanted the snake so badly he'd do and say anything to keep it.

It still seems like, though, that he hasn't learned, which I'm not expecting this early but is still a mite disappointing. He talked yesterday about getting a ball python and I put my foot down. I don't think we should get another snake for a long time.

On Sunday I sat him down and asked him to tell me the truth of how he got the python, because walking into a pet shop for a milk snake and just finding a Burmese was sounding more and more implausible the more I thought about it.

He admitted that he arranged to get one with a breeder online while he was telling me he wanted a little snake, meaning he was actively lying to me. This breeder is also a state away, meaning my husband participated in something illegal when he met up with him to get it, since transporting Burmese pythons across state lines is against the Lacy Act.

I'm very angry about this. I'm upset about his lies, and I'm upset that he blew me off for months. He admitted he lied just because he knew I'd say no, which shows such an immaturity that almost disgusts me. I'm upset that he broke the law. I'm upset that he only listened to what I told him when it came from someone else.

Apparently he's been having a quarter life crisis that he didn't tell me about, because he feels that he should have accomplished more with his life at 26 (he never went to college). I feel sympathy for him with that. But that's no excuse to treat me badly.

I moved back home with kitty last night, but our marriage is in severe jeopardy right now due to the lying and the lack of respect my husband has shown me. But I made vows to stick with him and I don't take those lightly.

We're going to be getting counseling, which I hope will make him really see what was wrong with what he did, rather than a knee jerk response to "being in trouble", so to speak, and will strengthen us. If not . . . well, I'll have to consider my options.

PS: People were saying in the other post that we were actually feeding the snake guinea pigs and that I was lying to make the snake look bad. Well, I was fudging the truth, but not the way. We were feeding it dead pigLETS.

My husband's cousin owns a working ranch with several pigs, and my husband was buying them from him for a pretty penny. I didn't want to say because I thought people would focus on the snake eating baby animals and start calling for its blood instead of offering me advice.

"Update 2: My (24F) husband (26M) abruptly adopted a Burmese python. It terrifies me, and I want to rehome it."


Hi, I'm back. The snake is still gone, but I guess I'm coming back out of desperation. People messaged me wanting to know how I was doing anyway. On the surface, therapy has been going well.

My husband has been doing everything right. He's been contrite, open minded, and treats me like a princess at all times. I can tell at home that he's making a conscious effort to listen to my opinions and thoughts, and incorporate our therapist's suggestions into our lives.

I feel like the hugest b-word saying this, but I don't think it's enough. Over these past weeks I've had to come to terms with the fact that something about how I view my husband has fundamentally changed.

And finally, after extensive soul searching a few days ago, I realized what it was: I have no respect for his intelligence anymore, after all this. That is very, very important to me, and now it's just gone and I don't know how it can come back without him getting a personality overhaul.

It's killed my physical attraction to him. I normally have a high libido and prior to all this we made love 4 to 5 times a week. Now, since all this went down we've been intimate 3 times. To be fair, while snake was here we were down to 2 to 3 times a week, but it was still more frequent than this.

Despite all the changes he's making he's still himself and I don't think I can like who I know him to be now. He's still his goofy, absentminded self who needs me to balance the checkbook and pack his lunch.

I can't respect that anymore, I don't want to be his mom or a naggy sitcom wife. I used to love doing these things for him; throughout our relationship I've taken care of him, patched him up, and helped him solve his problems. I always saw it as the ultimate expression of love. Now I'm just sick of it.

He can tell something's still wrong; he's irritated about my lack of forgiveness and lack of a sex drive lately when he's objectively doing all the right things. But his lack of understanding towards my apprehension makes my feelings even more pronounced.

I realized the other day that I love him dearly as a friend-I've known him since I was 9 years old-but no longer as a husband. That devastates me. I can't believe I'm thinking divorce after less than a year of marriage. I feel like such a failure.

I haven't broached these feelings in therapy yet, because they crystallized only a few days ago. But I don't know how to start because I know saying them will mean my marriage will be over.

I have talked to my mom and friends about this, and they all tell me to wait longer, to stick it out, because I made vows. But I feel like I found out something fundamental about my husband that I wish I never had, and that nothing can be the same now.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's updates:


She's focusing on how her perception of his intelligence changed and killed her attraction in him, but for me it's the lack of respect for her feelings and opinions. When SHE tried to talk to him, he always dismissed her (it's fine, don't worry, etc) and/or attacked her back (you're being petty, you're killing my dream).

But when his FRIEND reprimanded him, oh suddenly he's seeing the problem and coming to her apologizing and crying for what he had been doing. THAT would kill the relationship for me.

You didn't care or listen when I'm pointing out issues or stating my lack of comfort with the situation you're creating, but when someone else calls you out you suddenly see the light? Get out of here.


That she very realistically felt his unilateral choice was trashing their financial options and ability to grow their family and his response was “No, it isn’t!” would be unforgivable to me.

But that he didn’t consult his friend who was a damn expert for mentorship and guidance on python care? Yeah, I’d have the blinders ripped off to see all those cute quirks as idiocy real fast. I hope she realized time wasn’t going to restore her respect and she walked.


Surprising pets on your partner/family/roommate is never a good idea. Bringing home a python instead of a milk or gartner snake was never going to turn out well. Surprise! Welcome to the consequences of your actions. OP's husband neglected the safety of his existing pet, his wife's mental wellbeing, and his household by bringing something in he was ill-equipped to manage.

I don't know what's worse -- the willful insistence on keeping the thing after OP expressed good reasons not to, or the fact it took a complete outsider yelling at him to get him to change his mind.


Don't forget he jeopardized his freedom and their finances (fines, bail) by committing a crime to get that snake.


What amazes me is that he has "passionately" wanted a Burmese python since childhood, went through all sorts of machinations-including breaking the law, lying to his wife, and spending their saving to feed it, but evidently never took the time to learn how to provide proper care.

It was all about what he wanted without regard for his wife, their cat, and the snake itself. That tells me that his passion wasn't because he cared about the snake. He just liked the idea of it.

The fact that he doesn't realize this, to the point he immediately wanted to get another snake, shows he is terribly immature and irresponsible. I really feel sorry for any snakes or other pets he gets after OP leaves him.

So, if you could say anything to the OP or her husband, what would you say?

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