Dear Emma,

My husband I were recently married. We adore each other. There is just one tiny problem. He also adores his dog, Maggie. Maggie is well-behaved, but she sheds like crazy. I confess I knew Maggie shed before we were married. But, I have OCD and had no idea that I would have large, disgusting clumps of dog hair all over my house. It’s just so much hair. I vacuum every day and each time the hair fills the bag. I don’t know how to talk to my husband about this. He doesn’t see this as a big deal, but it is really making me uncomfortable in my home. Should I complain or just suck it up like a big girl?

Dog Hair Blues

Dear Blues,

First question – have you been to a dog groomer? I hear buzzcuts look very attractive on dogs, and are much cooler in the summer. If that isn’t an option, you could have a conversation about it with your dog-loving spouse, going something like this:

You: Hey Sweetie, I know I keep bringing up Maggie’s fur, and I hate to nag…

DSL: I told you it’s not a big deal, it’s just a little dog hair.

You: I get it, it’s not a big deal. But my happiness is. Remember what we said to each other on our wedding day?” (Only if appropriate – you could have promised to love Maggie like your own child and then you’re out of luck.)

DSL: Just get over it. 

You: I will, if you buy a new Roomba and clean it daily. 

Of course, if you don’t want him to minimize the issue, stop calling it a “tiny problem”. It’s not tiny to you. He knew you were a clean freak when you got married, and you knew he had a dog. Calling your home “my house” also lets him off the hook for doing his share of the maintenance. You may also want to see someone about the OCD – it’s a hard way to live. OCD is usually an unconscious attempt to control something inside yourself, but people around you can feel controlled by your attempt to keep it all together. 

– Emma