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            Dear Abby: Pandemic causing ‘serious disconnect’ in couple’s marriage

            Dear Abby column sig. Photo illustration by Mark Graves, Oregonian/OregonLive

            Dear Abby

            DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have experienced a serious disconnect since the COVID-19 outbreak. I have very little interest in him and ZERO desire when it comes to sex. We have two small children at home, so Mommy/Daddy time is now nonexistent.

            We haven’t left our home in five months and I’m beyond frustrated. I know he wants to keep us safe, but when I see pictures online and hear about my friends and family still going out -- living their lives -- it makes me depressed, anxious and to be honest, grumpy! He says he loves me, but he has started to resemble a Neanderthal. He doesn’t shower regularly and doesn’t shave for weeks on end.

            I can’t remember the last time I put on makeup, jewelry, perfume or even a cute outfit. Frumpy isn’t a word I would use to describe myself, but it’s how I feel and how I’m looking these days. He says my lack of desire is confusing, so now I feel attacked and inadequate and like I’m letting him down.

            I love him, I do! But, right now I’m just not feeling it. I miss the days when I felt special, loved, admired and appreciated. Now it’s nothing more than laundry, cleaning, picking up messes, home-schooling and asking what they want to eat next. Did I mention dishes? It’s time, Abby. I need to get my groove back! Any suggestions? -- MARRIED TO A NEANDERTHAL

            DEAR MARRIED: It’s time to clear the air. Tell your husband what you have told me -- starting with the fact that you feel depressed, anxious, trapped, out of sorts and he now resembles a Neanderthal. (It may make him feel less “confused.”)

            If you have been doing all the chores alone, it is important that he pitch in.

            You both may need to get out of your cage once in a while. Dress up and go for an outdoor meal (lunch?) with a friend. Take your kids to the park. Your husband should do the same. However, if he can’t bring himself to do that, he needs to understand that depression and isolation may be a threat to your marriage.

            DEAR ABBY: I’ve known my friend “Bob” for many years. We both love cars and have attended car shows together. A few months ago we made tentative plans to attend an upcoming car event together. I texted him as the date neared, but he responded that he might be out of town. When I didn’t hear from him again, I assumed he couldn’t go.

            During a group conversation at a social gathering a few weeks later, I heard Bob say he had attended the event with another friend. I’m certain he didn’t forget about our prior conversation. I don’t know why he shut me out, but I feel he was dishonest. I have been avoiding him ever since.

            Part of me wants Bob to know that I’m aware of what he did. Another part thinks it would be best to leave the subject alone. Either way, I’m inclined to discontinue our friendship. Am I overreacting? -- JADED IN THE WEST

            DEAR JADED: Bob may have wanted a change of pace and didn’t know how to say it. I can see why you felt hurt. Because you are inclined to end your long friendship with him over this, ask Bob why he handled the situation the way he did. If you do, it may save your relationship.

            Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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