Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Husband Goes To The Dogs When Stressed

Dear Tazi:

My husband has a nasty habit from childhood that he has never broken. It is not like he can't break the habit; he just doesn't want to break it. "Ron" likes to eat...dog biscuits. When he was a child, Ron had a dog that he loved very much. He would put the biscuit in his mouth and the dog would wrestle him for it. Ron tells me that often times the biscuit would break in two, and he and the dog would share the treat. Ron was only 10 years old when his dog died, and the habit of chewing on a dog biscuit comforted him.

By the time Ron got to high school, gnawing on a dog biscuit had become his way of dealing with stress. It was a habit that got him through the stress of an Engineering program in college, and since he graduated with honors I suppose there was something to it.  In the two years since we have been married, I had never actually seen Ron eat a dog biscuit - until last week.

Ron and I are trying to conceive and I have been having difficulty getting pregnant, which has put both of us under a lot of stress, and much to my distress I came home from work and found a box of dog biscuits on the kitchen table and my husband chewing on one while watching the evening news. Quite honestly, I was completely turned off by the sight of this; the thought of kissing my husband after he had been eating a dog biscuit made me physically ill (raising my hopes that I was pregnant, but I am not). I refused to kiss Ron until he had brushed his teeth and gargled, and even then I felt weird about it.

I have asked Ron to stop eating dog biscuits, but he sees no problem with it. Nutritionally, there is nothing wrong with them...but they are for dogs, not humans! Am I being unreasonable, as my husband suggests? Or does Ron need to grow up?

Scooby Snacks

Dear Scooby Snacks:

Everyone deals with stress differently and although your husband's method is unusual, I don't believe it is unhealthy.  Dog biscuits were originally created by a baker for human consumption (as a nutritious treat) but they tasted so awful the baker fed them to his dog, who gobbled them up and looked for more. Dog biscuits are made up of crude protein, carbohydrates (usually from corn or rice), fats and essential oils, and fiber - all things that humans need in their diets, too! Dog biscuits are made to be easily digestible and have the side effect (now marketed as purpose) of cleaning teeth and leaving doggie's breath smelling fresh!

Since Ron's habit of eating dog biscuits is cyclical - meaning he only indulges during periods of stress and stops during periods of inner peace - I think this habit is a great way to read his mood, as well as to relieve his stress. Rather than pick on Ron about a harmless habit, why not try to communicate with him about the reasons he is eating them - the stresses that you are both going through right now. Talking through your problems may not completely relieve Ron's stress (and his desire for dog biscuits), but I am pretty certain that harping on him about his unique habit will only add to the stress he is under - and increase his dog biscuit consumption.

Ron obviously has a deep, emotional attachment to his Scooby snacks, so I do not see him kicking the habit any time soon. You may have to learn to live with his habit, and be happy that he has not turned to anything stronger - like alcohol or drugs - to assuage his agitation. As long as he brushes and gargles before kissing you, he is doing his part to accommodate you; try to meet him halfway.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

No comments:

Post a Comment