Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Gauging Time Apart

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

How much time apart should a couple who live together have per week? I'm trying to gauge the healthy amount of togetherness and quality time as opposed to time apart with friends, family, and weekend overnights away from each other.

-- Gauging Time Apart

Some people don't need any,...Read more

New Relationship, but Old Parents

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm married with two kids. I went through a lot to figure out why I can't have a good relationship with my parents and probably never had one.

It's clear to me now that they are trying to have a relationship with their kid, not their adult child. They get angry and afraid when I ...Read more

Starting Kindergarten

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My spouse and I are at a complete impasse about my son starting kindergarten this fall. He has a late August birthday, so he can go this year at 5 or wait until next year.

My son is smart and well-behaved and academically will probably be fine. I want to wait a year so that he will be more mature, spouse is adamant that we do ...Read more

Who Am I?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I like to think of myself as a well-put-together person. I'm educated, have a good job, responsible, etc. But I'm starting to see signs that I'm just kidding myself. I dress well for my job, but rarely go through a day without spilling something on my tie.

I also like to think of ...Read more

Frustrated and Annoyed in Baltimore

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My family is very lucky to live in a big house with a big front porch, backyard, and a second-floor back porch. My preteen daughter especially loves that back porch. In the summer she spends whole days out there listening to the radio and yakking on her cell phone. This is great for the rest of the family -- she is not ...Read more

Mother-In-Law and Autistic Kids

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I wrote you over four years ago about [my energetic young boys, 4 and 6, one of them with autism, and] my critical mother-in-law, "Milly" (http://bit.ly/LoudKids). After I wrote that letter in 2011, my Milly continued to criticize our parenting (a lot) whenever we visited. I asked her ...Read more

Bachelorette Party's Bad Date

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I'm the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding. The only date for the bachelorette party that works for the whole group is also my long-term boyfriend's birthday (dating seven years, turning 28 this year).

We went ahead and started planning the party a few months ago. I just told him about the date conflict and he is very, ...Read more

Seeking Forgiveness

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

What if the person you need to forgive is yourself? I bullied my younger sister as a kid/teen, and as a grown 30-something I feel incredible shame and guilt. I have apologized to her as an adult, which she seemed to have accepted, and I know much of it stemmed from being bullied and ...Read more

Splitting the Housework

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I know you're a believer in the idea that housework needs to be split 50-50 between two spouses, but I'm wondering if there are any exceptions.

We recently moved from a small apartment in the city to a house with a big yard in the suburbs. I really, really didn't want to make this move...Read more

OK With Being "Not the Best"

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My parents had a lot of strengths, but one of their weaknesses was a tendency to be very critical, with high standards in every area (grades, accomplishments, extracurriculars, etc.). This led to a very distant relationship after I left home for college and continuing well into my late 20s. All the high achievement did make for...Read more

Ignoring Ill Mother-In-Law

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My very elderly MIL is in the hospital and it is apparent that she will be unable to return to her home. She is slated to be released from the hospital in about 12-14 days. NONE of her children, including my husband, has made any attempt to find permanent housing for her. She cannot come...Read more

Will He Fall Off the Wagon?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been dating a wonderful man for about six months. We love each other and see a future together. He is a recovering addict, which isn't exactly the problem.

The problem is I live in fear that he will relapse. He told me he has relapsed numerous times, never getting much past a year sober, but people don't notice because ...Read more

Supporting a Male Domestic Abuse Victim

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I don't know where to start with this one, so I appreciate your help. I have a male relative who's being physically and verbally abused by his wife. It looks like he's now ready to leave the situation (yay!) but we want to give him additional protections and support. Can you recommend ...Read more

Lonely As Friends Move

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

When I left school, I was fortunate to move to a city with virtually all my closest friends. But, as happens, we've all moved on to new phases of life, and virtually everyone has moved away.

I love my city, partner and career, but I am having a hard time shaking a really heavy sadness over feeling suddenly alone. I'm fairly ...Read more

Compulsive Talk-ee

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My wife's great aunt lives in a retirement village. She has medical issues and is also lonely. Our problem is that she talks incessantly once she gets one of us on the phone. It is impossible to end the conversation. She says, "This will only take a minute." But it goes on for an hour ...Read more

Addicted to Her Phone

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My partner is seemingly addicted to her phone (browsing, playing games, etc.) and it's driving me batty. I've convinced her that it's rude to use her phone at meals, but it invades any time that the two of us spend together. I'm not sure I can keep complaining about this and get nowhere...Read more

Want to Parent, Not Sure About Being a "Mommy"

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

As my spouse and I decide when to have children, I find myself, the female partner, ambivalent about "motherhood." It feels like being a "mom" in our culture is so all-consuming and definitive of who you get to be and how you get to live that I worry about the rest of me and us.

It doesn't seem like my friends have this same ...Read more

Love Her, Not Her Fiance

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have a longtime friend who's engaged to a glassbowl of epic proportions. She's 51, never married, and I suspect she feels he's her "last chance," so she hangs in there, despite the fact that he doesn't support her emotionally or financially. I know it's impossible and not my place to ...Read more

Paid for the Retreat

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My overbearing sister-in-law just moved her son's birthday party to a week later. When we originally talked a month ago, I asked when it was planned and said -- great, because my son will be on a Boy Scout retreat the following weekend.

Now, she moved the birthday party and is mad that my son won't be there. We already paid for...Read more

Grandkid Not So Easy to Love

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I must've hit the jackpot, as my first six grandkids are easy to love and love me right back. Not so with the seventh. When his parents bring him over, he doesn't even greet his grandfather or me. He makes a beeline for the TV and doesn't even acknowledge us.

I've read your column for ...Read more

 

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