How to get past the Ick in a marriage?

(33 Posts)
JammyGem Sat 05-Sep-20 17:49:01

I have no idea where it's come from, but since having DD I've been less and less sexually attracted to DH, and in the past few months I have noticed that almost everything he does irritates me. He's had a bad cough recently and keeps doing that horrible hocking up phlegm thing, which makes me feel sick everytime he does it. It's snowballed from there, and now everytime he comes near me I just want to push him away. Little things that didn't bother me now really wind me up. I used to love that he was so passionate about his career and making sure what he did at his job was perfect, whereas now I just wish he'd shut up about work because it's turned into moaning about how everyone else at work does everything wrong. The way he'd mishear what I say used to make me smile, now I just get annoyed. I used to think it was sweet how he'd give me advice when cooking, whereas now I just want him to leave me alone to get on with it myself.

I've come across the "ick" before, but that's been during dating. How do I work through it in a marriage? We had sex for the first time in months the other night, and I was able to pretend all was fine (I don't want sex with him but I feel bad for him because he's always horny, so it's a case of fake it till I make it) but I had to stop after 5 minutes as I got the noise of him hocking stuck in my head and felt sick.

I don't want to throw our relationship away just because I suddenly find a lot of things he does repulsive. It's not his fault, he hadn't changed, it's me. I've also realised that a lot of our relationship seemed to revive around sex and now that our sex life is pretty much non-existent it feels like our marriage is down the pan. Any advice on how I can fix this?

OP’s posts: |
Didiusfalco Sat 05-Sep-20 17:52:55

How old is dd? Isn’t this something your body is supposed to do to prevent you having pregnancies too close together (I may be wrong about that, I can’t remember the source.) If your child is young though I think it is pretty normal not to feel up for it. I would give yourself more time before worrying about the ick.

Hormonecrazyhell Sat 05-Sep-20 17:58:50

Can’t reverse the ick

JammyGem Sat 05-Sep-20 18:00:23

She's coming up to 2 years old. Surely it should be back to normal by now?

OP’s posts: |
FlorenceNightshade Sat 05-Sep-20 18:05:32

Maybe try dating him again? I don’t have personal experience of this but a friend who went through something similar said dating helped her.

It sounds like you need to have some serious couple time, shared new experiences and adventures could give you something to talk about that isn’t work or your DD.

Also have you tried talking to him about how he’s annoying you? Tell him the coughing is gross, ban work talk or only allow it before tea etc, divide up jobs when you’re cooking or ban him from the kitchen.

And please don’t have sex if you don’t want to. EVER.

billy1966 Sat 05-Sep-20 18:11:08

OP, the coughing thing is absolutely disgusting.
It would kill a lot of marriages dead.
You need to tell him.

30 years ago my office was being painted and I had to share briefly with a man who did that.

It was utterly horrifying.
You need to tell him it is so uncouth and repulsive.
He needs to stop.
You will not get over this.'s him, definitely not

theworldhasfallenoutmybottom Sat 05-Sep-20 18:14:39

I'm very interested
Everything about DH is repulsive to me right now
I'm trying to be positive about things but it's not happening


FiddlefigOnTheRoof Sat 05-Sep-20 18:24:57

You can absolutely get over it! Some extended (eg 5 days) couple time with planned new activities together is great.

JammyGem Sat 05-Sep-20 18:31:21

I did try to put a "no work talk" ban into place last year, but it didn't go as planned. I meant no talking (or more specifically, no moaning) about work itself, but he kept calling me hypocritical if I mentioned anything to do with my work or people I work with. Considering that was mainly me saying things like "[colleague] reckons that new restaurant is great, we should check it out", it made conversation difficult so we just dropped the ban. I did also say about having an hour each day to moan and then anything work- related after that should be positive, but he just flipped it into "funny" stories that were moans disguised as "haha can you believe it haha". I might have to reintroduce it but with clearer rules about what constitutes positive. Our just go an hour for all work talk instead.

The dating again sounds like a good idea. I don't know how to do that though without it being really cheesy. Also with DD it's difficult as we have no time just the two of us (he works late hours) and there's no one near us who could look after her for an evening. I guess I could wait until he's home and maybe do a late night bottle of wine and card game thing or something like we did when we first got together.

Glad I'm not the only one who finds the coughing thing gross though. I have such a physical reaction to it, I'm definitely going to have to sit him down and tell him to please not do that. No doubt he'll find some excuse why he has to - it's like with farting, he says it hurts to hold it in so he never does.

OP’s posts: |
Hyperfish101 Sat 05-Sep-20 18:33:48

The Ick thing is ridiculous IMHO. We can all go through phases of not being able to stand our OH. It is not necessarily permanent.

Parkermumma07 Sat 05-Sep-20 18:47:05

I’ve felt like this a few times in the 20 years I’ve been with my DP and each time I’ve managed to get over it and get back to feeling the spark. I think it just takes a bit of work, like someone said previously do a bit of dating ( with your other half not someone else haha)

Make time for each other etc

I’m not saying it works for everyone as sometimes when it’s gone it’s gone but I think it’s always worth giving it time for it time come back especially when you’ve had a baby and the dynamics on the relationship might of changed a bit.

billy1966 Sat 05-Sep-20 19:10:24

The thing is in a long relationship you can get on each other's nerves.

My friend describes it as "his breathing is annoying me"🤣.

But disgusting personal habits like that coughing and farting are so disgusting and unnecessary that they do awful damage to personal relationships.

That type of over familiarity doesn't do relationships any favours.

His manipulative way re the work conversation and being deliberately obtuse would piss me off too.

Is he a bit dim?

A frank chat needs to be had before the damage is irreparable.

It's him not you.

SoulofanAggron Sat 05-Sep-20 19:28:31

People can't really help coughing can they? Or phlegm when they have it. Would he have to go in the bathroom every time he needs to cough and do it as quietly as possible, directly into a tissue or something?

I'm not denying it's gross to hear but it could well be that he can't help it.

It seems like when a boy used to call me 'Darth Vader' at school when I was about 10 due to my asthma and I had to, genuinely had to, breathe through my mouth as my nose was completely bunged up. He used to tell me to close my mouth but if I did I'd not have been able to breathe at all.

Not something I could help.
Has he called his GP to ask their advice?

SoulofanAggron Sat 05-Sep-20 19:30:27

The work ban quibbling is annoying, if you were saying 'X said that restaurant was good' then it isn't the same.

Thisisnotnormal69 Sat 05-Sep-20 19:31:56

Well I dunno, what is this “advice” when you’re cooking? That sounds belittling/bloody annoying anyway!!

Thisisnotnormal69 Sat 05-Sep-20 19:32:28

And constant talking about’s not unusual to find that very dull and boring!

frazzledasarock Sat 05-Sep-20 19:38:41

Coughing and hacking up phlegm is really disgusting.
As is farting.

I’m not surprised you’re not wanting to jump his bones.

And frankly if my DP attempted to tell me how to cook I’d hand it over to him and go sit down with a cup of tea.

He sounds like a disgusting pain in the arse.

You may need to sit down and tell him his behaviour is upsetting you and its not very sexy having to put up with his behaviour.

Most of the behaviour you describe he can stop, his cough he needs to get seen if he’s had it for ages.

His behaviour makes me feel repulsed too. No idea how you’re putting up with it IRL.

FippertyGibbett Sat 05-Sep-20 19:38:54

When my hubby was having MH problems and I was doing everything in the house I remember getting the ick.
I wanted intimacy and sex, but not with him.
So I imagined I was doing it with the fella I fancy from a band. That did the trick while I needed it.

AnaViaSalamanca Sat 05-Sep-20 19:45:15

I didn't want to, but I ended up leaving. I think if you can find ways to work on your relationship, do so before it gets too late. Try to do things together, not cheesy date nights in restaurants, but do activities if possible.

For me it was a combination of the ick, growing apart, and ex getting old (he was 14 years older than me, and it was starting to show in the sports we used to do together and in the bedroom). Hope it works out for you

Indecisivelurcher Sat 05-Sep-20 19:50:48

If you work out an answer then let me know... Thought it had gone but nope. Couple of years into the ick now...

Couchbettato Sat 05-Sep-20 20:13:58

The ick is here to stay

Pringlemonster Sat 05-Sep-20 20:15:40

We have to sleep top to toe in our king size ,simply because him breathing drives me mad ,and makes me want to bash him over the head with What ever I have to hand .
I get the ick frequently, usually when he Is talking ./ eating / breathing
But 30 yrs is a long time together ,and I’m sure he must get pissed of with me To

JammyGem Sat 05-Sep-20 20:21:59

I agree, if he has a cough it is better to cough it up, but he doesn't need to do that ridiculous disgusting noise. He should see the doctor but he reckons it's just a smokers cough so won't bother.

To be fair to him, he's a chef and a brilliant teacher, and his advice when cooking is often pretty helpful. Or at least, it was. But nowadays cooking dinner is the only time I have to myself so I take my own time and do it in my own way. He thinks he's helping by giving me advice or getting involved and adding bits but I'd rather he just butt out. Maybe I could make that one of our day things though, where he teaches me one of his fancy complicated dishes.

OP’s posts: |
PickAChew Sat 05-Sep-20 20:26:02

His point scoring over getting to talk about work sounds pretty insufferable.

My ex did the hoiking thing. Vile. And not the same as coughing, at all.

Anotherlovelybitofsquirrel Sat 05-Sep-20 20:38:46

Can’t reverse the ick

This. He sounds very annoying indeed.

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