Survive Relationship Cabin Fever

The snow is piling up outside faster than the body count during a marathon session of Call of Duty. You and the woman are going to be stuck in the house. It could get pretty interesting, possibly involving a couple hours spent wrestling like two freshmen trying to make the varsity team.

Then the hours turn into days. The cuteness of being avalanched in together wears off when she stops showering after the first week. Every move you make grates on her nerves. Her breathing even starts an argument. You are contemplating using the snow shovel to either dig yourself out or knock yourself into a coma.

You are suffering from relationship cabin fever. If you want to make it out of the house alive, and still a couple, here are some ideas on how to survive relationship cabin fever.

Separate yourselves

If you want to survive relationship cabin fever, make like fighters and go to your respective corners. Just because you are confined to the house, that doesn’t mean you have to be on top of each other at all times. If she is doing something in one room, find something to do in another. Distance yourself before tempers start to flare. Also, make sure she isn’t the only other person with whom you have contact. Talk to friends on the phone, catch up on e-mail, update your Facebook page or do whatever you have to do to keep contact with the outside world. You might even call your mother, but only if you get incredibly desperate for conversation.

Do some chores

There are countless tasks around the house that you’ve been putting off because you just don’t have the time. Getting snowed in gives you all the time in the world. Fixing things around the house is a great way to survive relationship cabin fever. Make sure these tasks involve power tools and manual labor so she won’t want to help. If there is nothing to fix, try cleaning up around the house. Do some light dusting, vacuuming and, unless your bathroom is a CDC-funded experiment, clean your shower and sink. If you have a cluttered home office, clean up the desk and file or toss old papers. All of these chores will be met with much appreciation from the little lady and could defuse any possible future blowups.

Plan activities apart

Take a page from the chick playbook and ask her for some "me time." (Cancel the nail appointment; it's not just like her kind of me time.) Do things that will allow you to be alone. Find a separate room to read, watch television, fold laundry, or play video games that involve screaming obscenities into a headset at complete strangers. Also, just because you can't leave the house with a car, doesn’t mean you can’t leave the house on foot. Get outside. The fresh air and freezing temperatures will get the blood flowing and calm you down. Go clean off the cars, get a head start on shoveling, take a brisk walk around the block or just go play in the snow like you were in seventh grade. Go check on neighborhood friends who are also stuck in the house.

Plan activities together

You do have to spend some time together. Plan certain activities to do as a couple. Suggest time killers that aren't the typical board game or puzzle. If there is a TV show that one of you enjoys, but the other hasn't seen, use the time to get involved so you have something else in common. Try something creative like drawing, painting or telling stories from your past you've never shared. Just be careful what you admit, you are stuck in the house and she has got an entire kitchen of weapons from which to choose. If she does grab a large knife, suggest preparing a meal together. (You will do the chopping.) Go through old CDs and download them onto the computer to make a mix.


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