Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Just Want Her to Be Happy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My 22-year-old daughter is lovely, kind and smart. She rarely dated in high school, and this was a big disappointment for her, but I assumed it was because she is 5'10" and was very quiet and shy. I told her college boys would be taller and to get involved in extracurriculars and things would be better.

She had a happy college...Read more

Cellphone Carpool

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have taken to doing a carpool with other families for my son's sport. My son, 11, still does not have a cellphone (nor does he need one). Many of the boys in our carpool have phones or bring along devices for the ride. More than once my son has mentioned that he is the only one ...Read more

Angry and Scared

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

This week I discovered that my spouse has been hiding daily drinking. Spouse cops to drinking a fifth of vodka per day for the past year; I think the reality is probably more. Six months ago I called an ambulance because I thought Spouse was having a stroke; turned out Spouse was drunk....Read more

Confronting a Friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

One of my best friends committed suicide two years ago, devastating both me and our group of friends. It's been an incredibly hard healing process.

In the immediate aftermath, another friend in our group, "Beth," got emotional support from and eventually started dating someone else in our group. They are still together. A ...Read more

Jumping to Conclusions

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

Recently I was at a party hosted by my boyfriend's mother. I've been dating my boyfriend for about six months but we have been friends for a decade.

His mother drunkenly confronted me at the party, saying she is dissatisfied with the speed at which our relationship is progressing -- too...Read more

The Oldest

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My younger brother, 29, was diagnosed with cancer yesterday. He's the healthy, extremely fit one of the family, so it is extremely unexpected.

As the oldest I have always looked out for my younger brothers and now I just feel helpless. And I don't know how to process this. He lives about 2,000 miles away and hasn't decided if ...Read more

Wedding Task Woes

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My fiance wanted a large wedding with all his friends and family, and I wanted to elope. I agreed to have the large wedding because it was so important to him (the words "devastating my family" were used quite a bit) on the condition that he would handle at least 90 percent of the tasks...Read more

Brother-In-Law's Abused Dog

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My brother-in-law recently lost his apartment, so my husband and I offered to watch his dog while he finds a new place (he is staying with his girlfriend, whose complex prohibits dogs).

The dog is so skinny you can clearly see his ribs and his hip bones. I've heard about this dog being neglected, so this is not the first time....Read more

Postpartum Depression Meds

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Now that my daughter is 1, I went to see a therapist for help. She diagnosed me with postpartum depression. Honestly, it's a HUGE relief. Three years ago I got the same diagnosis (my son is 4 now). Back then (and now) I was treated with cognitive therapy and antidepressants. Back then (...Read more

Just Found Out

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I have been together for over a decade and have two sweet, young children. After months of a nagging feeling and begging my husband to tell me the truth, he finally admitted this weekend that he has visited prostitutes and massage parlors for years.

The past year has been...Read more

Career or Baby

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I could use some perspective here. My husband and I recently had a baby. After three months of maternity leave, I went back to work full time for about a month, but had to drop down to part time because I was exhausted with the kiddo not sleeping well.

Fast-forward through a layoff, finding a new job and starting back full time...Read more

May-December Romantic

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

How young is too young? I'm nearing 40 and recently single (no kids yet). I've been asked out separately on dates by two guys who are in the mid-late 20's. Too young? I feel somewhat more compatible with the younger men (at least 4 or 5 years younger), in part because I don't have kids ...Read more

Not Done With Grieving

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My mom died suddenly a year ago. I've had several friends make comments to the effect that it must be good to be done with the grieving, that the hard part is behind me, it's good to see me back in the swing of things, etc. I know they mean well, but my mom's death is still a daily gut-punch that feels like a huge bruise on my ...Read more

Not Preferred

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

This is really starting to wear my heart down. My son is 10 months old and for the last five months, he desperately prefers his dad/my husband to me. Before that he showed no preference. When Dad enters the room he lunges for him. When Dad hands him to me or steps out of the room, Baby ...Read more

General Anxiety

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My daughter suffers from general anxiety and just finished middle school. To thank her teachers for helping her through her moments of panic, I made each of them a nice zippered tote bag and loaded it with supplies and a small gift card. It took a lot of work on my part, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and also cost a lot for the ...Read more

Wedding Bucks Blues

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My fiancee, "Shelly," and I are planning our wedding, which she is mostly paying for since she makes over twice what I do.

I'm starting to have a real problem with how much we're spending. It sounded great at first -- only 75 people and the reception will be at her folks' beach house, ...Read more

Grit My Teeth and Take the Money

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I was recently offered a job that pays substantially more than I make now. I'm overqualified but generally happy where I am. I wasn't looking; the offer fell in my lap.

Though tempting in some ways -- well, just financially, since we could really use the money right now -- the thought ...Read more

Frustrated and Concerned

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Is there anything I can do to get my wife to suspend a habit for a few months? A family wedding is coming up, and she has the full outfit, will be getting her hair done, all the details. The crowning touch for me would be if she could stop picking at her fingers long enough for them to heal -- they are often bloody as the ...Read more

I See Dead People

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband's sister "Beth" fancies herself a psychic of sorts who can communicate with the beyond. A few months ago, we were eating dinner when she began talking about a spirit with me. I honestly had no idea who she was talking about, and told her that, as I had no deceased relatives ...Read more

Silent Treatment as Emotional Abuse

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I wanted to chime in on your oft-repeated statement that the silent treatment is emotional abuse.

Sometimes people are silent because they are too upset to talk about it, and know trying will only make things worse. Sometimes, an emotional reaction can take a while to settle down. Some people have huge emotions accompanied by ...Read more

 

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