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by Abigail Van Buren

Grind of Pandemic Taking a Toll on Couple's Ability To Connect

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.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Sex | Covid 19 | Mental Health | Family & Parenting | Work & School