Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

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

I've (Not) Got Your Back (This Time)

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I love that you are big on each spouse "having the other's back" -- as they are on the same "team." However, when is it OK NOT to have your partner's back?

My spouse routinely makes statements that are patently and demonstrably untrue -- easily disproved with a couple of clicks of a mouse. Yet I am berated (later) for not "...Read more

All About His Mother

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have two elementary school-age children, and my in-laws live about an hour from us. Every year, we end up spending Mother's Day with them, church followed by a Mother's Day brunch at some restaurant, followed by hours of sitting at someone's house talking.

That probably doesn't sound...Read more

Boyfriend Has Different Roles

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I was sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend of three years, until I asked him if he felt the same and he said no. He says he doesn't want to get married or move in together, but he might feel differently in the future. We discussed breaking up and he made it clear...Read more

Too Young to Understand

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I have a 2 1/2-year-old son. Sadly my mom died from cancer when he was 10 months old. He is now at an age where his language is developed quite well and he loves looking through photos with my wife and me. I sort of avoid showing him pictures of my mom because I don't know what to say.

I know he can't really comprehend death at...Read more

The Plus-1

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Next week my live-in boyfriend is a groomsman in his best friend's wedding in his hometown. I am also going, but am sort of dreading it. We are staying with his parents, which itself is fine, but because of his groomsman "obligations," he'll be gone most of the day, and has asked his ...Read more

Concerned Sibling

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My siblings and parents all live very close to one another back in my home state. They see each other frequently and are very involved in each other's lives.

My brother recently learned that his wife has been cheating on him, not for the first (or even second) time. When this happened before, he tried to stick with it and work ...Read more

Family Member's Boyfriend is a Jerk

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

A family member recently brought her "not" boyfriend to our family vacation for about two days last week. I can't even begin to describe the visceral reaction the house had to him, but I am trying to separate that from his dealings with my family member.

Because I am sure that there is...Read more

Fiance Needs a Job

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My fiance's father has offered him an "in" to a job in the investment world, which would offer us great financial security, insurance, etc. My fiance is throwing away a master's degree and wants to be a carpenter.

I'm seriously considering walking away because I think he is being really selfish given the long-term prospects. I...Read more

Is This All There Is

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hello Carolyn:

I have a rather boring problem, but hope you'll take it anyway. I am 35, and all my life I have been striving toward specific goals. First college, then grad school, then the new job. After that my husband went back to school, and the next seven years became about getting him through ...Read more

Protecting My Daughter

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My 9-year-old daughter is a bright, funny, creative, kind girl who has in the past been on the receiving end of some mean-girl behavior. We have worked with the school and with a private counselor, and she is doing better.

My husband and I have a group of close friends who socialize and...Read more

Putting a Divider

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I started dating a guy about a year ago. We recently got engaged and are to be wed in July. Our relationship is wonderful.

The only issue is his bratty children. Before I met them, he was telling me how wonderful they are, how well-behaved they are, and what good manners they have. It went on for months, sort of like he was ...Read more

Annoyed Friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

Recently, an engaged couple that my boyfriend and I dine with semi-regularly bailed at the last minute on longstanding dinner reservations at a nice restaurant. Their cancellation was so last-minute that we couldn't have canceled the reservation even if we'd wanted to; fortunately, ...Read more

My Mom Is Sick

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I'm hoping you can answer this because you have some experience here. My mom is dealing with an array of medical problems right now. It's very stressful and scary. Several friends know what's up.

I'm noticing, maybe resentfully, that some friends inquire after my mom and others just don't ask. It makes me feel like maybe they ...Read more

Uncomfortable Talk

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My cousin had a stillborn baby at 35 weeks about nine months ago. In our family, there are a few people with kids under 5, myself included. Sometimes when we get together, the talk turns to difficulties around parenting.

Every time, my cousin will say something like, "I wish I had that...Read more

A Concerned Aunt

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Yesterday I received a save-the-date from my niece for a wedding in Hawaii. While we can afford to go to such a wedding, we recognize that many people in her family will not be able to attend. We feel that this is pretty thoughtless to family members with limited funds and mobility.

She also is planning to move to Hawaii soon ...Read more

Rebellious Teen

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I was a well-behaved, respectful child/teen/adult whose mother snooped and took things out of context. So, I rebelled where I knew it would hurt.

As I look ahead to when my children are teens and adults, I want to be respectful and informed. I want to be the parent they turn to, ...Read more

Vindictive or Martyr

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have been married for almost six years to a great guy and have three small children. My widowed mother-in-law, "Nancy," recently had a stroke and needs daily care, so she moved in with us. I love her and am glad to be there for her, but, even though I'm a stay-at-home mom and we have ...Read more

Religion Farce

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My boyfriend comes from a relatively conservative Catholic family. He does not want to disappoint them (especially his mother) by letting them know that no, he does not go to church nor does he practice Catholicism.

My issue stems from his putting up this facade, not being true to himself or giving his family any credit that ...Read more

Really Bad at Breakups

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

I'll try to keep this brief. I'm really bad at breakups. Like, really bad. I have broken up with two people in my life, but am still in messy "friendships" with both. I genuinely can't handle the idea that someone who has become my very best friend, my family, my partner in crime for ...Read more

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