Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Uncomfortable With Flirting

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend is quite a flirt and an all-around fun guy. When I feel good and comfortable in the company we're keeping, this personality trait does not bother me.

But other times, I might feel left out or ignored (or that his behavior is too attentive to someone else), and this makes me seriously question whether I want to be ...Read more

Traveling for Boyfriend's Family

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

This year I will be spending all of my vacation time (and money) on traveling for or with my boyfriend's family. I understand that I do this voluntarily, but in a very real sense it is also somewhat compulsory because that's what couples do, and because his mother says, "You will be joining us for Christmas, right?" So my ...Read more

Involving Husband in Pregnancy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

What's the best way to involve my husband in my pregnancy so he doesn't feel left out? He's a very hands-on type who loses interest in anything he can't sink his teeth into, and I'm afraid he won't believe we're really having a baby till he or she is actually born.

-- Des Moines

Is there anything wrong with that? You say ...Read more

Jersey Girl

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been happily married for three years. Because we live 30 minutes from my in-laws, we see them pretty much every week.

The problem is my mother-in-law. In addition to her frequently imposing her will on us (e.g., enlisting someone to build steps off our deck when we had no interest in doing so), she shares intimate, and ...Read more

Must-save-this-relationship defenses

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I just found out my boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend have been emailing every so often, prompted by my boyfriend.

I told him it made me uncomfortable, and he's stopping. So why do I feel slimy?

-- Washington

Because the emailing was either innocent, and you seized control for no other reason than your own insecurity -- or...Read more

Mother Difficult Choice

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I are "bidding" for a closed adoption through our church. The birth mother is 17 and already has a child. She is considering us as well as one other couple. This process involves a lot of waiting and is really fraying my nerves. We are the "better" couple -- higher income, more child care experience, a son who ...Read more

Frustrated Sisters

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Our 60-year-old mom has five grown children, 22 to 39. Two of us have recently discovered that she has been gossiping, telling stories out of context, spinning the truth, spreading rumors and sometimes telling outright lies about each of us to the others. This has often pitted one sibling against the other.

She says to each of...Read more

Left Out

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

For several years I've taken a vacation in the spring with three other women, to various cities in Europe. We're Internet friends who met through a hobby; none of us lives in the same town.

I found out that this spring's vacation has been planned, and I'm not invited. I emailed the ...Read more

Conflicted on Friendship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I recently traveled with a woman who has been one of my best friends for eight years. On the trip, we barely spoke because she hooked up with a guy on our tour the first day and spent the rest of the tour with him.

This wouldn't have bothered me so much if I hadn't left my serious boyfriend behind because she has expressed ...Read more

Sad for Sister

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My twin sister is a smart, successful professional. We're both near 40. I am married with three kids. She wants a family, too.

Unfortunately, she has had a live-in boyfriend for several years. He didn't work for the first year after they moved (or do much of anything). Now, another ...Read more

Disagreement Over Kids

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I disagree, and I hope you can be the tie-breaker. I have two teenagers, ages 15 and 17. All their lives, I have felt they should tidy their rooms. My husband thinks they should do what they want in their own rooms. Because there are many things we don't agree on, I chose to let this one go and only ask that ...Read more

Bad Grandchild

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My ailing-for-several-years grandmother has just been admitted to the hospital with what sounds like a serious health problem, and I leave on a European trip tomorrow afternoon. Am I a bad grandchild for not even considering a postponement? I saw her a few weeks ago, and she barely ...Read more

Fear of Failure

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I had a wow moment reading this column (http://wapo.st/1A8mdgI).

My parents were big on labels, and I got "the smart one." I'm realizing how much I've invested in preserving my image as smart and superior. Or at least, the facade of it. Inside, I'm actually terrified of starting ...Read more

Guy's Fiancee Physically Abusive

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My fiancee becomes abusive with me and has not been able to control her anger. She says she has the right to hit in the face. She has hit me so hard the metal nose tabs on my glasses broke off. I grab her wrists to prevent her from hitting me over and over. She tells me I should not be doing that.

She says I am the one that ...Read more

No Pink. No, I Mean It

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Surprise pregnancy! Having a girl. We are thrilled. I'm a little nervous because I'm not a girly girl, but I figure there are YouTube tutorials now that can fill the gaps if I end up with someone who really digs face spackle. I AM confident I can model someone who is happy in her skin, ...Read more

Bring Dog or Not

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Three generations of family, 18 people have rented a large house for vacation. Two of the couples want to bring dogs, but one person does not want any dogs because their child is afraid of them. One dog has had incidents with some of the kids, the other dog is friendly.

The house has more than enough space. If precautions are ...Read more

Don't Want to Live in the Parsonage

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My significant other and I have been dating almost two years and have, in the last few months, become more committed to each other and more open/trusting of each other. We are seriously discussing marriage. I love her, and there are just so many great things about her ... one of which is...Read more

Stressed And Exhausted

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Loved your advice to just say no to a destination wedding (http://wapo.st/1HGKrTh). That may work with a friend, but how about a sibling? We're getting pressure from the entire family. Not only can we not afford a trip like this, but it is to a country we do not consider safe for us or our children. Any advice?

-- Also Blue...Read more

Keeps Secrets from Spouse

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn!

What are your thoughts on keeping from your spouse something told to you in confidence? This is an ongoing debate that my wife and I have had over the two years we have been married. My wife feels that if something is told to her in confidence, the duty to keep that confidence trumps ...Read more

Yelling Husband

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband uses a strong voice (not yelling) when he is passionate about something -- a subject he's interested in, when he's irritated, when he's on the phone, etc. I grew up in a household of non-yellers, and am easily emotional, so when we have an argument, I end up upset or crying. ...Read more

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