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Husband Won't Go to the Doctor

Group Therapy: How Do I Get My Husband to Go to the Doctor?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!


This shouldn't be something I have to crowdsource an answer for, but I need a sounding board for how to get my hubby to see a doctor. I know guys have some innate thing that makes them hate doctors and my guy is a perfect example of this. He's literally not been to a doctor for a single damn thing in over 5 years. Mind you, he's not in perfect health, he just chooses to avoid medical help. He's been smoking since he was 12 (18 years now) and has recently developed a really bad hacking cough that scares the crap out of me. I smoked for 9 years — the last several years I kept asking him to quit with me so I would have the moral support but gave up on waiting for him — and quit on my own last year. He has started thinking more positively of quitting after watching how easily I kicked it with just the patch and peanut butter M&M's, but I fear that he's already got serious concerns that we should monitor if not treat, above and beyond the simple need to get him to quit smoking eventually.

Anyhow, I'm rambling about this . . . the main question is: how can I convince him that he needs to take time out of his schedule and go see the doctor for a physical at the very least? I always get the excuses of "not enough time" or "too expensive" or whatever, and even if I get him to agree to schedule an appointment, he'll either never schedule it or he'll miss/cancel the appointment. It took me 6 freakin' years to get him to get new glasses, I don't want it to take another 10 years to get him to see a doc about potential emphysema, copd, bronchitis, the big C, etc. My grandfather died of lung cancer and emphysema — I don't want to even think about my hubby going through the same thing Grandad did . . .

thanks sugars!

— Biwife

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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megsmanners megsmanners 5 years
My husband is quite a bit older. I begged him to go to the dr. for three years. by the time i finally got him to go they had to check him straight into icu and he had a heart attack the next day. If you think your man needs to go to the dr. never ever stop asking. ask him everyday, make him an appt. go with him. beg, be mean, ignore him, withhold sex. do whatever you gotta do!
ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 5 years
I would make the appointment for him, and then make sure you are available to go with him. When you tell him about the appointment you should sit down and tell him all of your feelings and reasons behind wanting him to see a doctor. This will probably get very emotional and that should have an effect on him. If he sees your real true concern and how invested you are in his health it should make a light bulb go off in his head. He should want to do this for you and himself, and if he can ignore your deepest feelings about it then there are obviously other issues there. Once he sees how much this affects you he should agree to go.
ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 5 years
I would make the appointment for him, and then make sure you are available to go with him. When you tell him about the appointment you should sit down and tell him all of your feelings and reasons behind wanting him to see a doctor. This will probably get very emotional and that should have an effect on him. If he sees your real true concern and how invested you are in his health it should make a light bulb go off in his head. He should want to do this for you and himself, and if he can ignore your deepest feelings about it then there are obviously other issues there. Once he sees how much this affects you he should agree to go.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
Congratulations on quitting smoking. People really don't have a clue about how toxic cigarettes are, even in this day and age. Smoking is a major risk factor for multiple cancers, not just lung...esophageal, bladder, head and neck cancers, the list goes on and on. It is also a major risk factor in development of vascular disease, leading to heart attack, stroke, etc. People, especially relatively young healthy people, don't think of these things because they are young, but as the years pass, they unfortunately pay the consequences of this habit, especially with chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which is irreversible lung damage.You and your husband are a team. What affects him affects you. If he is sick, you will be involved in taking care of him, whether it is an upper respiratory infection or cancer. Period. I think there are many reasons people don't see physicians, and although cost may be part of it, it is rarely the full reason. Young men especially may not go because 1) It is admitting a weakness and 2) they don't want the physician to "find something". He may also realize that he may have more difficulty quitting smoking than you did and does not want to "fail" in front of you, especially since you successfully quit.I realize you don't want to be a nag, but you need to sit him down and seriously discuss the issue, not just about his health but how it impacts you as well. He is not even thinking about this, guaranteed. You are part of his life, sickness and in health, and you absolutely should have a say in his trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle, as it will impact your life. In spite of all of this, he is his own person, and you can't force him to go, as you well know. If he becomes ill, it is not your fault.Good luck.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
Congratulations on quitting smoking. People really don't have a clue about how toxic cigarettes are, even in this day and age. Smoking is a major risk factor for multiple cancers, not just lung...esophageal, bladder, head and neck cancers, the list goes on and on. It is also a major risk factor in development of vascular disease, leading to heart attack, stroke, etc. People, especially relatively young healthy people, don't think of these things because they are young, but as the years pass, they unfortunately pay the consequences of this habit, especially with chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which is irreversible lung damage. You and your husband are a team. What affects him affects you. If he is sick, you will be involved in taking care of him, whether it is an upper respiratory infection or cancer. Period. I think there are many reasons people don't see physicians, and although cost may be part of it, it is rarely the full reason. Young men especially may not go because 1) It is admitting a weakness and 2) they don't want the physician to "find something". He may also realize that he may have more difficulty quitting smoking than you did and does not want to "fail" in front of you, especially since you successfully quit. I realize you don't want to be a nag, but you need to sit him down and seriously discuss the issue, not just about his health but how it impacts you as well. He is not even thinking about this, guaranteed. You are part of his life, sickness and in health, and you absolutely should have a say in his trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle, as it will impact your life. In spite of all of this, he is his own person, and you can't force him to go, as you well know. If he becomes ill, it is not your fault. Good luck.
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