Pet owners operate on the misconception that their animals are undemanding creatures that always love them no matter what they do. They tell themselves this myth, because they love their pets. In reality, though, pets are extremely demanding of time, attention, and regular mealtimes. Not only do they require a lot of care, but they also pull tricks like peeing on your carpet, grabbing food from your kitchen counters, and puking on the couch. No matter, however. You still love them and find plenty of redeeming qualities that overshadow their bad traits. Too bad most of us can't treat our spouses the same way.

When you come home of a long day at work, your pet will probably meet you at the door, all excited to see you. You'll have cheery words for him no matter how you feel, and you'll pat his head and tickle him under the chin before plopping down in your favorite chair. If he decides to sit on your lap, you'll be happy to let him stay. Now think about it. Did you give your spouse an equally-effusive greeting, or did you grumble about your day and pretty much ignore them? Was your spouse glad you were home, or did they basically ignore your arrival? Isn't it too bad that your marriage doesn't require the efforts your pet does?

At times your pet may do something that makes you hopping mad. However, you never carry a grudge, and even if you cuss at him, your pet doesn't know what you're saying. In fact, a minute later the two of you will probably be great friends again. Yet if it were your spouse who did something to make you so angry, you'd possibly become verbally abusive, storm out of the house, sleep in a different bedroom, and generally be unresponsive even to apologetic overtures. It's no wonder that so many marriages fall apart when we don't even treat them as well as we do our animals.

Now's the time to take a few lessons from your relationship with your pet and apply them to your marriage. Accept the fact that your spouse is going to do something to annoy you every so often, just like your pet does, and try not to issue the abusive words that are going to put a deeper chasm between the two of you. Words, once spoken, can be forgiven but seldom forgotten. Overall, you want to treat your spouse, and your pet, the way you would like to have them treat you.

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