DEAR ABBY: My husband is in his early 50s. Over the past five years, he has developed a cough that has the whole family concerned. (He doesn't smoke and never has.) We have encouraged him to seek medical care, but he adamantly refuses, saying, "It doesn't bother me."
His family has a history of allergies, which may well be his problem; however, his refusal to get help is putting a strain on our relationship. He coughs his way through conversations, movies, television programs and radio. If he laughs, he coughs. If he eats, he coughs.
I have had asthma since childhood, but I rarely have an attack because I get regular medical care and faithfully take my medication. I know that if I coughed and choked as often as my husband does, I would be miserable.
My husband insists that the problem is mine, and if I loved him, I would accept him as he is and tune out his coughing. Is he right? It worries me. -- WORRIED WIFE
DEAR WORRIED: Until you and your husband know there is no medical reason for his coughing, you have cause for concern. Make a deal with him. If he will go for a thorough physical exam and the results show nothing serious, you will try to tune out his coughing. Unless and until he consults a doctor to be sure he is in good health, continue to hound him.