Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Too Poor for a Social Life

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I are very financially constrained, partly by choice (we want someone home with the kids). In order to make this work, we are SUPER frugal and have had at least one financial-adviser type look at us quizzically and ask how we live on so little money.

The problem is, we ...Read more

Introvert in New Relationship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hey Carolyn:

How do I help my newish boyfriend come to terms with the fact that when I say I need regular alone time, I do not mean "except for you"? When it comes to my wanting time away from my close-knit family and large group of friends, he totally gets it -- he is also fairly introverted, and takes plenty of time to charge his batteries...Read more

At Odds With the Physical

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My fiance likes to touch me in certain ways that I'm not a big fan of. Nothing super-intrusive; more like where the hands go when we spoon. He says it makes him feel bonded and close to me. And I get that.

Except I don't like the physical feeling, and at times I feel objectified. ...Read more

My Uterus Changed Its Mind, Sort of

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Husband and I got married under the agreement that neither of us wanted kids. In the past six months or so, I've started to question my feelings. I'm going to talk to my husband this weekend. This is my working script:

"We both felt X, now I'm starting to feel Y, for Z reasons. I want ...Read more

Not Particularly Grateful

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

Do I have a right to be upset by my mother-in-law's monetary gifts?

Occasionally, my mother-in-law will send my husband a check, made out solely to him. I find out about it if I get the mail and specifically ask what my mother-in-law sent. I suspect there have been occasions where money has been sent and it was their little ...Read more

Twisted Sister

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I married the man of my dreams, only to return from our honeymoon to find that my twin sister has been secretly sleeping with my now brother-in-law. Problems have since arisen.

(1) I'm upset my sister is sleeping with someone I now consider family, and for whom this is essentially just...Read more

Ex-Girlfriend, New Wife, Husband and Child Make Four

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband has a child by his ex-girlfriend. They were never married. Six years later he met me and now we are married. Every time he has a family event, his family invites her. I try to take it in stride, but too much is too much. This past weekend, his family invites her to a weeklong family vacation. She made a case to his ...Read more

Let It Go

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Six months ago was my 20th anniversary; things are just coasting along between us, and he doesn't want to address it, including joint counseling. Four months ago: son's 18th birthday. A nice family party. Two months ago: daughter's 16th birthday, which my husband took the lead on. They'...Read more

Destination Wedding Blues

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My friend is having a destination wedding -- by which I mean many, many, many hours in the air. We have small children, which would make the travel very difficult, and we have nobody to leave them with at home for the trip. And while we could technically afford it, it would set us back more than we are comfortable with -- it's ...Read more

Guinea Pig Generation

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

How old is old enough for teenagers to have "private" conversations on social media? I feel like a snoop reading my 14-year-old's conversations. However, I feel like a neglectful parent if I don't. My child so far has handled herself well, but there have been some close calls (older ...Read more

Cut Off

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My mom is a very independent and active 72. Nonetheless, she is 72, and I worry sometimes, since she's on her own. When she's home, she has people around that she sees regularly; however, she's currently on an extended vacation in another state where she knows no one. She has a ...Read more

Awful In-Laws

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I have been together for three years. I came in to the relationship with a 2-year-old son. My husband's family has been extremely accepting of my son, and I've felt really lucky to have them.

Now we have a 6-month-old baby and things have changed. My glass bowl of a father-in-law seems to really like the baby and...Read more

Resentful of Summer Break

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I'm a teacher, and for the first time in six years, I've decided not to work full time in the summer. I'll still tutor and work three weeks of summer school to earn some extra money. My husband and I have worked hard to become debt-free and will accomplish our goal shortly, so I felt ...Read more

Living With a Closed Heart

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear CH:

When I married my husband, I knew we both had pieces of ourselves under lock and key. I used to be a staunch defender that we are all allowed a private room in our minds, so to speak, where we store memories, thoughts and feelings that, while formative of our current personalities, didn't really need to be shared with the other ...Read more

Ending an Estrangement

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

How does one end an estrangement? My sister and I haven't spoken for five years. Despite the fact that I see her as the one who needs to apologize, as does my family, I have continued to send birthday and Christmas cards, with nothing in return. She even left a dinner event without even...Read more

Vacation Home Surprise

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I recently found out my sister-in-law has purchased a vacation home in Florida ... without telling my brother. She wants it to be a surprise for his birthday but I think he should be aware that she made a large financial decision without him. I also do not want to mess up my relationship with my sister-in-law. Would it be bad ...Read more

Too Selfish

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend of two years wants us to move in together. I suspect we're getting engaged soon, so I see his point. But from early on, I expressed my feelings about living together before marriage. I feel like being married is a big deal and part of that is finally sharing a space and a ...Read more

Happy or Settling

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

How does one live happily with a partner without feeling like he/she is settling? I'd love to feel content and stable, but I still find myself comparing my two-year girlfriend to other women I meet. I feel terrible, but it's generally subconscious, and I don't know what to do about it. ...Read more

Surrendering Control

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn,

I am in a very happy relationship with a great guy. We have been together a few years now but there is one issue. My boyfriend has a very close girl friend whose presence is a thorn in my side. When we first started dating and were asking the standard closest friend/who knows you best questions, she was the answer. He has since...Read more

High School to College

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On high school relationships that carry over to college:

In the last millennium, my steady and I went to different colleges. At the time, someone told me that going steady with someone at a different school was like going into a restaurant and bringing your own sandwich.

-- Shoulda ...Read more

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