Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

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

Older Does Not Indicate Ugly

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My mother is 85 -- she's been married to my father for 54 years now. In the past 10 years she has taken us to task (well, literal screaming) when we show her photos taken during family gatherings. She says we are trying to make her look bad.

I think she is beautiful, but I always acquiesce and destroy the photographs when she ...Read more

Tired of Repeating Myself

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn!

My husband and I have two kids (5 and 3) who listen about as well as all other young kids, leading me to repeat directions a lot. I have kind of accepted that they have a learning curve, but what about my husband? Frequently he will listen long enough to catch keywords and then proceed as...Read more

Missing Family

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My mother and I have been at odds for the past five years about her cats. My now 11-year-old son has allergies to cats, his eyes swell shut and he becomes incredibly congested. He was 1 when he was diagnosed. My mother had no cats then, and never seemed to want one.

Now she has two. My family lives 1,000 miles away, and before ...Read more

Extended Stay "Hosts"

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My fiance and I are currently housing my fiance's best friend and his girlfriend for a week. They have no solid plans to leave or stay or work or ... anything. Needless to say, they are more "go with the flow" than I am. They've been with us two nights now, and have already invited over ...Read more

Trying to Ground the Helicopter

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My 11-year-old wants to bike home from school today. He has his bike there because he's been in a two-week bike safety class. It's generally through quiet suburban streets, though he does have to cross one 35 mph road. He has a phone. He always wears his helmet.

Last night, not ...Read more

Emotional Support for Husband

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband just took the bar exam a few weeks ago. He is working now as a clerk and waiting for results. He put himself through part-time law school and he is really dedicated to his career, which is great. I've supported him since the beginning. I knew when he was studying for the bar, I would be taking up most of the house and...Read more

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