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Quarantine brings about marriage troubles

Quarantine brings about marriage troubles

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DEAR HARRIETTE: One of the horrible side effects of being in quarantine for nearly a year now is that my husband and I are not getting along. We have always argued about this or that, but things have gotten a lot worse. In the past few weeks, I have noticed that I could say one wrong thing and he will just start yelling at me, seemingly for no reason. I am walking on eggshells, unsure of what to say -- or not say. I just want peace. I know my husband will not go to therapy, especially now when he is not leaving the house. What can I do to make things more positive at home? -- Tired of Arguing

DEAR TIRED OF ARGUING: Sadly, quarantine has dramatically and negatively impacted many households. It is hard to be confined to a small space for what seems like an interminable period of time. Added to the quarantine are all of the other stressors that people are dealing with. You didn't say what your husband's work situation is, but some people are stressed out because they have lost jobs or their jobs have been diminished. Many are worried about finances and health.

Think about what may be bothering your husband. Through a compassionate perspective, consider what his issues are. Then tell him you want to have a discussion. Be positive, not combative. Ask him if anything specific is bothering him. Listen carefully. If he says he doesn't know what you are talking about, tell him you would like to give a couple of examples. Share your examples, and tell your husband how his words and tone make you feel.

Tell him that you want to find a way that the two of you can be kinder to each other. Note that this period has been difficult for you both, but that you want to find a way to communicate. Be mindful not to place blame. Request that you work together to be more thoughtful.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I wake up almost every morning to the smell of weed. I knew my husband smoked but it has gotten out of control since we have been stuck at home.  I am so tired of smelling it in my house. I have asked my husband not to smoke all the time, but that isn't working. He just rolls his eyes and gets mad. We live in an apartment, so he has nowhere to go outside to smoke. What should I do? -- No More Weed

DEAR NO MORE WEED: Try talking to your husband about when he smokes. If the morning is what irks you the most, ask him not to smoke first thing in the morning, as it negatively impacts the start to your day. Tell him that if he loves you, he should try to accommodate you -- at least some of the time. 

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