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Help! Coronavirus Cabin Fever Is Ruining My Marriage

Lifestyle


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Help! We have Cabin Fever.

Dear Armchair Psychologist,
My husband and I are in love and have a great marriage, but confinement is bringing the worst out of my relationship! My husband lashes out at every little thing — I know it's because he has cabin fever, but it's starting to wear on me! How can I stop COVID-19 from being the big fighting excuse?
- Testy

Dear Testy,

I'm sorry to hear that you are fighting while confined due to the COVID19 lockdown. Your husband is probably experiencing a bit of a crisis and doesn't sound like he's adjusting well to the new circumstances. There is no excuse for his behavior, but it seems you're suggesting that outside of the COVID19 cabin fever, this isn't his normal behavior? I can tell you that you're not alone in finding these times truly trying on your relationship. Personally, I nowadays find myself going stir-crazy from lack of physical activity and also being very short-tempered.

It would be wise to learn a lesson from China, in which the country's 2-month lockdown led to unfavorable outcomes for countless marriages. The divorce rate spiked in many Chinese cities, including the city of Miluo where government officials "didn't even have time to drink water" because the facility was overrun with couples filing for divorce.

This NYT article has many great tips on how to keep your marriage thriving while in confinement, one of which includes taking care of oneself by "allowing yourself to feel your feelings," meditating, and integrating other self-care strategies into your daily life. Share these tips with your ill-tempered hubby and see if he's receptive to the both of you doing the exercises recommended. I also think he should speak to a qualified therapist and that you also do the same for your own wellbeing.

- The Armchair Psychologist

Help! I'm Stewing on Sewing!

Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I lent my sewing machine to a friend approximately ten years ago, and since then we've lost touch. I didn't worry about getting it back for all these years, because she had so many kids and seemed to get more use out of it, nevertheless here I am trying to get it back way past the window of opportunity.I know it's weird because it's been TEN YEARS!!! But it was brand new, pretty expensive, and fancy AF. I really need my sewing machine right now, because I have ten years worth of sewing projects taking up precious real estate in my closet. The biggest problem is that I can't afford to get another one.I meant to get it back like eight years ago, but it just gets more & more weird as time goes on. So now, I just want to ask for it back? Is this ok?
- Gimme Back

Dear Gimme Back,

It's wonderful that you have so many sewing projects to keep you busy and creative. If this was me, I'd have given up on this sewing machine within a year of not getting the borrowed item back, simply because I'd have been too shy to bring it up. This sewing machine cost you a pretty penny, and now you need it. According to the Manners and Civility etiquette blog on Spruce, you are correct to ask for it back. They recommend you set a time limit to lending, and "if it is not returned by the day and time you've agreed on, it's acceptable to ask for it back."
Don't miss another decade to sew yourself a new fun wardrobe!

- The Armchair Psychologist

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3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

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Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

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