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Married six months and ready to call it quits

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Question - (24 July 2022) 4 Answers - (Newest, 25 July 2022)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Ugh I don’t even know where to start…

My husband and I have been married for six months we met about three years ago. Both of us near 40 and ready for something real.

You’ve moved in about six months before we got married.

I am now pregnant and we are expecting our first in Feb

We’ve been through so much together and he truly is generous compassionate man. Just a sweetheart.

There are issues though that I feel lately have gotten so frustrating I want to walk out and I don’t know what to do

We go to therapy twice a month but like hitting walls lately. Yes some nervous ticks one of them include coughing and like a cat hair ball like sound that he cannot stop. (hair ball only in mornings) we were on a vacation visiting my parents and they noticed it I’ve gotten so used to it I forgot how horrible it really is. I’m sure it’s anxiety but he always says no it’s flem. Cmon. In any case I feel like I’m going to jump through the window :(

There’s a lot of other issues we rarely sleep in the same bed together. We are affectionate but he stays up late a lot and then wakes me up with he cones to bed so easier to be in another room. I know all this sounds stupid and you guys are gonna yell at me I’m sure but put yourself in my shoes for 10 seconds. Day in day out.

He’s also a loner- he has friends I never see and when we need something they are never there. My friends show up for us so much I don’t understand. I worry he’s antisocial kinda.

Any experiences anyone can share bc I gotta make this work.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 July 2022):

A dry hacking cough over a long period of time is usually associated with smoker's cough, a sinus-infection, or an upper-respiratory infection like bronchitis. Even allergies cause dry-cough; because of a post-nasal drip. Is he taking an over-the-counter antihistamine, or expectorant? Bacterial-infections of the lungs require antibiotics, i.e. pneumonia. Untreated, pneumonia is deadly. He needs to undergo some tests.

In this day and age, you must see a doctor when certain medical-symptoms persist; and we men are notorious for avoiding doctor's visits. It's not wise to ignore such warnings as a cough, or other persistent medical-symptoms. Meaning, it could already be too late; or treatment will be prolonged and tedious. He's not a little-boy, and it shouldn't be such a hassle to get a grown-man to take his butt to see the doctor!

Why did you marry this guy? Now you notice things about him three months into marriage you didn't before?!! It is never admitted, but often enough, this is the sign of a guy who was rushed or pressured into marriage.

Part of getting advice is taking some tough criticism; because this is a very emotional issue. The more emotional it is, the more likely you will not take our advice into consideration; because you've purposely overlooked certain behavior or red-flags in order to maintain a relationship, in order to progress your relationship to this point. That being marriage. You're over 40, now pregnant; so you may have been watching the biological-clock and pressing forward to reach all your goals in life; which commonly includes a marriage and a family. That's fine and wonderful. He was the most qualified candidate, being you were in a relationship for three years, and the clock was ticking.

We all mean well, but there isn't much advice to offer when you have a spouse who doesn't respect your concerns, doesn't listen to your complaints, or ignores you altogether. Most of your issues will have to be worked-out over time; but there comes a time when you must put your foot down. Stop being mealy-mouthed; or "nagging" without backing-up idle-threats with serious conviction. If he is the dismissive type, he always was; but you let it slide, because you never quite knew what to do about it...but you love him! As if loving people doesn't require them to reciprocate, or show they deserve it.

He may be conditioned to overlook or dismiss your concerns; if you've spoiled him during courtship, trying always to be agreeable and nonconfrontational. If you are a lowkey submissive-person, or passive-aggressive individual; he has learned how to deal with that over the past three years. Hence, he is going to be set in his ways; and most unlikely to even bother to compromise. He has always had his way, he is a man over 40; and now here you are! You don't jump-in with both feet with the notion you're going to change people! You knew this guy for three years!

You will not get him to comply when you need his cooperation; if you are not determined and adamant. Most things can be worked-out under calm discussion.

Married-couples sleeping in different beds is more common than you may realize. Getting-up in the middle of the night is a force of habit. He is probably a restless-sleeper; and realizes his movements and fidgeting will become a nuisance. Then again, some people never get used to sharing a bed; or grow tired of doing it. It sometimes depends on the mattress. You may want to get twin beds, and push them together when it's time to be intimate; and to pull them apart to allow you to have restful-sleep, while he fidgets. If you have a full-sized mattress, it may be time to upgrade to a queen or a king. Make sure it's of the quality that allows movement without disturbing your partner.

Impress upon your husband that his cough has to be checked. It could be a lingering symptom leftover from mild covid; which was assumed to be a cold or flu. He had it, never tested, and simply dismissed it. Even a mild case can still leave a lingering symptom.

He didn't suddenly change in six months; he's over 40, so he's pretty much the guy he was when you were courting and engaged. Don't feel desperate, there are adjustments you have to make in a new marriage; and sometimes that goes beyond a therapist. It's personal, something you and he have to communicate and workout just between the two of you. If your relationship was always problematic, marriage was an unwise choice. That happens when you refuse to see a person for whom they really are; and think there is a chance you can change them. You chose to go with your heart; and ignored your common sense. We all do it. Love doesn't require us to self-sacrifice to people who are unwilling to meet us half-way. It's give and take...not take, take, take!!!

Therapists are human beings, and everyone has their varying levels of experience, qualifications, expertise, and competence. They aren't effective unless a couple is working with each-other, no matter how good they are! They are incompetent when they sit there, only to be a spectator, letting the session time-out; while they charge you an arm and a leg! Scheduling future sessions, while they rack-up the coins! Leaving you two to just haggle it out. Otherwise, they offer no professional-input. Using psycho-babble to confuse and confound you! That's a waste of your time and money. Find another one!

If you've been seeing this person for some time, and see little to no progress; that's not always the fault of the therapist. Hubby's there in body, but not invested or committed. He is present, but not there. He pretends to be working it out in-front of the therapist; but when not in therapy, he purposely returns to being obstinate, stubborn, and closed-off. He continues to do the very things you're trying to correct that disturbs the harmony and peace in your marriage. This was the same guy you used to date; now he feels comfortable, while showing his true-colors, because you can't just up and walk-out.

If you were somewhat successful, had your life together, you're a homeowner, and he wandered into your life penniless, broke, and pitiful. You found him like a rescue and gave him a makeover. He's just a cleaned-up version of what he was and still is.

Hopefully, this is just a period of adjustment. More mature people slowly adjust to change. If you've overlooked a lot of his bad-habits and simply shrugged it off when he was disagreeable and uncompromising; then don't expect that to just dissipate, because you're now married. It may only get worse, but sometimes that's because you may have given him the impression that he's always in-charge, and you're not in a partnership. Be that the case, he will abuse the power; and you're always engaged in a power-struggler. You, hopelessly trying to get your bearings; while he kicks your feet out from under you.

If the baby was planned, and he's not just playing along with things; please continue to try and work at it. Stand your ground when you're right about something; and don't be wishy-washy, because he's stubborn and you feel helpless. Stubborn people only get their way when they're never challenged. If they see you're determined and serious about your concerns; they are forced into a position of compromise. No cooperation, no peace!

Now that you're pregnant, you really need to avoid too much stress. Use your delicate condition to your advantage. Let him know that the stress endangers the baby; and he's pushing you too far. This is the truth, or you wouldn't be here. Let him know he has to be as invested and committed to the harmony in your marriage as you are. If he's simply the wrong guy, that you pressured until he gave-in to marriage; then I guess our advice won't help much. Then you have to pray on it! Seek help from above!

Don't give-up on the therapy, change therapists if you must. Note whether he takes it seriously; or just begrudgingly attends sessions with no commitment or engagement, but only to shut you up. If that is the case, you've got a long journey ahead of you. I pray and wish you the best.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 July 2022):

Tell your husband to go and see a doctor! What you describe sounds like silent reflux, which is a nasty complaint and can get worse and worse, it is often caused by bad digestion or a loose spincter valve in the stomach, or it can be due to bad diet, where he has to work out which foods set it off and stop eating them (don't expect any normal doctor to understand that or suggest it, they are usually clueless about diet and how it affects your body and health). He needs to be more assertive and more of a problem solver not just putting up with it. And yes it affects him in all different ways. I went through a very similar thing, it meant husband and I had to sleep different beds, I would often be waking up coughing etc and it would have been impossible for either to cope with it. Sometimes I had to sleep sitting up in a chair all night, no fun at all.

So I sorted it out.

You say he is wonderful but also a loner. What is wrong with him being a loner? That is his choice. It is up to you what you are and up to him what he is. But you should have found out all of this before moving in with him, not rushing into moving in and then finding out after. The whole idea of dating is to find out if you are suited. Not to rush into something quick and hope for the best and then regret it quickly You sound very young and immature, as if you expect everything to fall fall into place to suit your whims

without any reason why the should. Why should he always be available when you want him around? He lives with you but he has freedom of choice and can come and go and do other things and see other people too. He is not a convenience.

He has feelings and rights same as you have.

You sound quite needy.

To make it work stop being so selfish.

Stop only looking at this from your point of view.

Stop expecting perfection from him.

Stop being so self obsessed.

Before he realises you are like this and he is the one who wants to end it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 July 2022):

All you mention are unimportant things, a part from the "loner".

The way he coughs?

I wouldn't call that a poblem, because I am sure that you too have something that is off putting and that nobody has bluntly pointed out.

While we are still on the subjct. Has he checked if he has silent reflux or any kind fo acid reflux? Even without th eburning sensation it can porvoke coughing. And btw it could be triggered by anxiety. So there you go.

Him being a "loner" could mean that he suffers from social anxiety. And if that is a deal breaker for you, than you should think about filing for divorce. SA can be dealt with, but it never really goes away and it can rear its ugly head in the most inopportune moments.

You should look at yourself and deal with your issues. It seems to me that nearing 40 you have somewhat rushed things (marriage AND the baby - congrats btw!). You talk about your relationship in pretty mechanical terms.

If it's not yor hormones talking, I cannot understand how can you even be considering anything you mention as a problem if you truly love the man for whom you say that he is wonderful, a sweetheart!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (24 July 2022):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntFirst of all, huge congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope everything goes well.

Secondly, a generic observation which you may/may not feel is applicable to your situation. You are both approaching 40 and, I assume, never been married before. The longer someone is alone, the more difficult it is to adjust to sharing living space with someone else.

If your husband reckons his coughing is down to phlegm, have you considered trying to treat that? Perhaps he is right, especially as it seems to affect him worst in the mornings? If you google treatments for removing mucus, you may be able to get rid of the worst symptoms. Also consider his environment. Does he, for instance, work in an air conditioned space? Air con can dry out your body to the point it produces excess mucus to protect itself. He needs to make sure he stays hydrated to try to help with this. Also if he eats a lot of dairy produce, this can build up mucus in the body. Perhaps cutting back a little will help? (This can take a while to show results.)

If you feel you are getting no further with your therapist, can you change to a new one? Sometimes a different perspective can help.

Regarding the sleeping arrangements, is it possible he is just not comfortable sharing a bed with someone after so many years of sleeping alone? If this is something you feel strongly about, how about making a rota where he shares your bed on certain nights of the week? On those nights he would have to agree to going to bed earlier so you can fall asleep together. Perhaps start with one night a week, building up gradually once he is comfortable with that?

Every relationship takes compromise and work. I hope things work out for you.

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