Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Jumping Into a Breakup

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

You know how you shouldn't jump into a serious relationship quickly? Is it possible to jump out of one too quickly?

Two months before our wedding, my ex told me he "couldn't do this" and wasn't sure if he ever wanted to. Everyone else called it cold feet, but I had two or three ...Read more

Father's Hurtful Vacation

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

This fall, my father left my mother at home while he went to spend the winter with friends in Florida (she still works and he does not). He did not tell my mother of his intentions until the week before he left, and it was hurtful to her that he had made detailed plans without her knowledge. He did not tell me of his plans at ...Read more

Letters From Beyond

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

A few days ago, one of our cats was struck and killed by a car. She is now buried in the garden beside two other cats who were old and sick and had to be euthanized.

One of our children, 6, is taking this very hard (he was here when the other two died). Yesterday, he wrote each ...Read more

Too Nice to Roommate's Cat

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

It's a long story so please bear with me!

My roommate and I are friends and busy medical students and we decided to live together near the hospital. I knew she had a cat but it was living at her parents' house. I'm allergic (which my friend knows) and our lease won't allow pets, so I didn't think it needed to be discussed.

...Read more

Not Preferred

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Lately my toddler son has shown a very strong preference for my husband. This affects everything from our morning routine (he wants Dada to get him dressed), to meals (he wants to play with my husband, not me, so I am always stuck cooking lest we endure an hour-long temper tantrum), to ...Read more

How Soon is Too Soon

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn!

We've been friends for over a year, dating for almost six months, I'm late 20s to his early 30s. Financially, moving into his house (that he owns) makes a lot of sense, but some friends and family are against it because "it might not work out" and we aren't married.

We both feel like ...Read more

Stunned and Offended

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I bought a house a few years ago in a development in a non-metropolitan part of Virginia. There was a homeowners association with a president. However, the association was not active until about two years ago when I started a Facebook group for it. Now there are approximately 30 neighbors in the Facebook group. It was a nice ...Read more

Making a Future Without My Mom

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I lost my amazing mom suddenly to a heart attack six months ago. She was 58 and in perfect health and we are all still dealing with the shock of it.

I've gotten to a point where I can mostly function on a day-to-day basis but I'm struggling with how to face my future milestones without ...Read more

How to Approach

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Friend recently got married and seems TOTALLY uninterested in spending time with friends, what's going on in our lives, etc. (We are a mid-30s mix of married/single/otherwise coupled, kids/no kids.) Friend will give reasons she is busy before we've even suggested something, or, when we finally do something, comment how it's "...Read more

Difficult Questions, Honest Answers

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

How much honesty do you think we owe friends when they ask us difficult questions? I have a friend I've known since I was a teen who comes to me when he has relationship problems. The latest is that his wife of less than a year left him, stating only that she had never really wanted to ...Read more

Engaged to Critical Potential Wife

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

We are engaged and she has a ring. I have four indoor dogs and they are Great Danes, well-behaved and more predictably glad to see me than "Alice" is. She says no wedding date until I have one dog or all outside.

Does it sound to you as if I need to take the pain and keep the dogs, or take the pain and yield to Alice? I'm 31 ...Read more

Fulfilling Friend's Wishes

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Knowing she was dying, my friend asked me to look after her husband and include him in our lives. She died this past fall and I've been trying to abide by her wishes. They were a childless couple, and my husband and I are considerably younger and have two young children.

We have had ...Read more

Giving Ultimatums

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

You've advised in the past that sometimes you owe it to people to let them know what a certain behavior will cost them or what damage they are doing to the relationship. I recall you saying something like that to a woman whose husband was going on a two-week solo vacation (wapo.st/...Read more

Husband is Racist

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I've been married for four years. After we said "I do," my daughter started dating a guy of another race. It was then that I found out my husband is racist. He hates my daughter's boyfriend. He treats him poorly, and talks very badly about him to get others to hate him, too.

My daughter is now pregnant with her boyfriend's ...Read more

[Snippy] Boundaries

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Can you just remind me that I'm not a bad or mean person when I stand up for my previously declared boundaries against a person who seems determined to undermine them?

This close family member just moved himself into our home temporarily, after he asked and we laid out a few basic ...Read more

Still Really Busy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I am a childless woman. My husband and I work hard and we like the way things are in our life.

So how do I respond when my friends say, "You can't be that busy, you don't have kids"? I am on call 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and my husband works mid-shifts, so we are quite busy. We also run a small business from our ...Read more

Generous Selectively

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My mother is generous with gifts to my teenage daughter, but only with gifts she personally likes, rather than gifts my daughter likes.

My daughter mainly wants experiences -- math camp, music lessons, concerts, etc., but my mom won't spend money on that even when my daughter asks for ...Read more

Negative Mom

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I'm a wife and mom of two elementary-age boys. My mom lives near us and is a hard person to be around. She is negative, especially to my kids, and complains constantly.

I want to have a relationship with her that isn't based on negativity but I don't know how. We invited her to an event last night with my family, and she made ...Read more

Doesn't Want to Stay Where Boyfriend Lives

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I love my boyfriend dearly and we are starting to talk about building a life together. However, we live in a certain place due to job opportunities for him. I don't like where we live.

I feel guilty for saying that because we live in a beautiful house and have wonderful friends. I have...Read more

Adding to the Family

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

We have two happy, healthy kids under 5 and are past all the major little-kid milestones -- they sleep great, are potty-trained, etc. Spouse wants to add to the family. When it first came up I said I was neutral on the idea but would go along if that was what Spouse really wanted. It ...Read more

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