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Drawing the line on my husband’s love affair

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By Daryn Kagan EBS Contributor

I drew the line at Chex Mix. I had to draw it somewhere. Had you been here to see what was going on in this home, you would’ve expected me to do something. Anything—and a lot sooner.

How many wives could calmly standby and bear witness to their husband’s love affair? It started innocently enough: taking a walk with her, private conversations, snuggling on the couch, wrestling games.

Husband has shown no shame. He even feels free to share with me on a regular basis how happy he is with her—the incredible connection they have, the little games they like to play.

I, Wife, have mostly been in shock. I never expected this. Not from him.

Husband loves a dog. Not just any dog—our dog. The one he swore he’d never have. The same man who took me to premarital counseling to explain why he never would want any pets. Yeah, that guy.

That soft-hearted guy who grew to be kind to my old Lab, Darla, in the final years of her life. When she passed late last year, I would’ve bet he’d insist that be the end of our dog days. Then, came the day when he gave in to our daughter’s whining for a puppy.

Oh, what has developed since that fateful day we walked out of the humane society with this miniature hound dog mutt. Pup gets the first kiss when Husband walks in the door, and the last snuggle before we turn out the lights.

Mr. “I take my workouts seriously” now takes the dog. Have 30 minutes? He’ll share their routine of sprints, wrestling and playing with other dogs and kids in the park. Have another 30? He’ll explain to you how a dog, this dog, offers a love unlike any he’s experienced.

Yes, dear dog lover, he’ll explain this to you as if it’s breaking news. Which brings me to our dining room table/home office where we were both working the other day.

Husband was treating himself to some Chex Mix. Not any Chex Mix—my mother-in-law’s. She makes a batch for him each Christmas and he waits all year to enjoy the crunch, snap, and salt of it.


I thought I heard something fall. Husband’s face betrayed nothing. A couple minutes later I heard it again, along with the jingle of Pup’s collar.

“You can’t give Chex Mix to the dog,” I said, busting Husband.

“But, but,” he protested, seeing nothing wrong with gifting the object of his affection.

“You can’t buy love,” I explained.

“Don’t be so sure about that,” Pup’s brown eyes darted at me.

Which is why I had to draw the line at Chex Mix—the sure sign that this family has spun out of control. I’m back to work, training Pup. I can’t have a dog who begs at the dining room table. As for Husband, I know better to try to train this one, and a heart falling deeply, desperately into the abyss you understand, into the love of a dog.

Daryn Kagan was a featured speaker at TEDxBigSky 2018. She is author of “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts on Losing her Job, Finding Love, a New Career, and my Dog, Always my Dog,” and the founder of, a resource for uplifting and positive news.

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