Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

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

No Bad at Bar Mitzvah

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband does not want to invite his brother and family to our son's upcoming bar mitzvah. He thinks they are bad people, in part stemming from some stuff that went down with their sick mother.

I feel very uncomfortable with this. I think you just don't do something divisive like that and, moreover, I don't want to introduce...Read more

Visiting Friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I now live in a party destination, and I regularly get family and friends visiting to experience the city. This includes "Kathy," who has been in a long-term relationship for seven years.

When we were out, I came back from the bar to find Kathy making out with a guy who was rounding ...Read more

Undermining Healthy Eating

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

What the heck do you do when you and your partner have agreed to eat more healthfully, but then your partner regularly suggests impulse buys that undermine that decision?

I don't want to be the person having a fit in the store because my partner's going down the ice cream aisle again, but if we've agreed in advance (many times...Read more

Carolyn Hax

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend of over three years is currently in a military medical school. We live together, and lately have been discussing future plans (we are 24, so these are plans a few years down the line). Medical school rotations, residency, and any other mandatory training from the military ...Read more

Just Wondering

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Thus far our two children, 2 and 7, have met or exceeded their development markers. The same has not been true for all of their cousins. In fact, our 2-year-old is much more verbally advanced than some of his older cousins. Can you please offer some guidance for handling situations with uncles and aunts at family gatherings (...Read more

To say or not to say

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

There is a man in my life whom I have developed strong feelings for. I expressed these feelings last week. He expressed the same feelings back but said that his life was too complicated for us to be anything more than friends.

His situation is that his ex-girlfriend informed him she ...Read more

Apologizing to the Stepmonster

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My parents divorced when I was young, and my father was quickly involved with someone else. Even though we found her intriguing at first -- she was pretty young -- as we got older and my father changed, my siblings and I were definitely hard on the stepmonster. Sometimes with good ...Read more

Possibly Estranged

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn!

My husband and I (and as a result, our two young children) are currently estranged from his parents after years of hostility came to a head this fall. My mother-in-law's behavior was the crux of the issue, and my husband attempted to work through it until giving up.

Our children are still very young, with one of them old enough...Read more

 

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