Life Advice



Ask Amy: Wife says COVID means NO contact

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My wife is afraid to touch me since the pandemic started.

I even took the COVID test and the antibodies test to reassure her. I have tested negative both times. And yet my wife maintains — no hugging and (of course) no sex.

Is this normal?

— Lonely Husband

Dear Lonely: Are you sure this is about COVID? I ask because, just as the pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down, it has also offered a rationale for simply refusing to do things you don’t want to do.

If you and your wife have (basically) formed a “germ pod” together with both of you in the same household and maintaining sound hygiene, both limiting outside interaction, and both wearing masks and social distancing while you are out, then I would say that her behavior is NOT normal. It isn’t rational, anyway. The idea is to follow CDC guidelines (and common sense) to maintain a safe household and to minimize any chance of the virus entering your orbit.


The pandemic has thrown most people somewhat off course. For some people, the pandemic has triggered extreme anxieties and obsessions. Fortunately, therapeutic help is readily available by phone or video chat. There are many ways to connect for help; you can check for a helpful list of therapists, categorized by location and specialties.

I think it is also obvious — and necessary — for you to do some self-reflection; might there be a reason (or reasons) other than the pandemic for your wife to keep her distance?

Dear Amy: I love my two nieces. I lavished them with attention during their childhood. My sister (their mother), passed away and I kept in touch by attending graduations, visiting them in their relocated cities, and paying for entertainment and meals when we were together.

My nieces are now adults (late-20s/early 30s) and I continued to stay in touch, however, they have made no effort to reciprocate. They never return phone calls, visit, send holiday greetings, etc.


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