Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Parents Shouldn’T Act As Family Go-Betweens

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My wife’s family will host get-togethers and her parents will extend invitations to them on others’ behalf.

We have a strained relationship with her extended family due to our not understanding or not following whatever social conventions they have that we haven’t lived up to. ...Read more

Standing Up To Bullying In-Laws

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been married for over 30 years and throughout the marriage, my in-laws have made fun of my interests and certain traits of my personality under the guise of teasing. I have never spoken up and defended myself against these comments and neither has my husband.

Only recently, I have been able to better articulate to my ...Read more

Supporting One Through A Divorce

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn!

I’m wondering if you can provide some general advice on the best way to be there for someone going through a separation/divorce. A good friend of mine, who lives far away, is starting a trial separation with her husband. While I think this is a good next step for them, they’ve been ...Read more

Thinking Of Kindling That Old Flame

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Several years ago, I was in a long-term relationship that kind of fizzled out.

Before that both of us had talked about getting married, but it always seemed like real-world circumstances got in the way. One of her parents was sick, and she traveled constantly. The other of her parents meddled in her relationships to the point ...Read more

Should I Count On My Sister When Setting Future Plans?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My little sister (late 20’s) got married last year. Within months she found out her 30-year-old husband was cheating on her with a barely legal cashier at his job.

They tried to work things out, only for my sister to discover the affair was still going on and predated the wedding. ...Read more

Feeling Fear At The Prospect Of Divorcing

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My spouse of 15 years and I have two young kids. After several years of ambivalence and unsuccessful marriage counseling, he told me he was “done” a couple of months ago. So, I started taking steps towards separating.

And I’m freaking out and so terrified I’m doing the wrong ...Read more

How To Handle Rudeness

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I have been going to dinner nearly every Friday night for years with another couple, “Kay” and “Jay.” My husband considers Jay to be one of his best friends, and Jay is a great guy; he is smart, kind and sensitive.

For the past few years, Kay has become increasingly rude with me. She says rude things. ...Read more

Feeling Thankful In A Time Of Need

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Our apartment was flooded out in storms over the weekend, and my husband and I lost most of our stuff (insurance will not cover it). In the days since, we have been overwhelmed with support -- dozens of people here helping us sort stuff out, bringing food, offering us places to stay, ...Read more

Not Liking Grandma Treating Grandson Like A Toy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My mother-in-law treats my son like a toy that (not who) is there to amuse her on her terms and show off to her friends. My husband and I are trying to raise our child to respect others and be attuned to others’ feelings, but how do we do this when Grandma defies all of that, especially with him?

Plus, what are the chances ...Read more

Understanding A Sibling Choosing Not To Attend Wedding

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I’m getting married in D.C. in four months, and my brother will not commit to whether he’s coming or not. Extenuating circumstances are that he lives in Hawaii, his wife had a baby this month, and they have a rocky relationship with the rest of the family.

I emailed last month ...Read more

Struggling With What To Do About Young Son’S Inattention At School

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My son turned 5 right before the school year started. He’s clever and capable, but really struggling to sit still, pay attention, perform on command, etc. We’ve been trying all kinds of things to get him to engage and learn the material, but he just doesn’t stay interested.

He’s fallen so far behind that his teacher ...Read more

Promoting Harmony With Gifts From Unpopular Relative

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am a white girl with a brown boyfriend, whose parents are Muslim and legally emigrated to America many years ago. Accordingly, I am especially disturbed by the xenophobia circulating around the recent election.

I have one of “those” older relatives who thinks very differently ...Read more

Excluding Dad’S Girlfriend From A Wedding

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

My mom died suddenly a year and a half ago at age 58. She was the best, basically; her only fault was her decision to marry and stay married to my dad, who is awful.

He cemented his awful status by starting to date my brother’s friend a few months after my mom died; she became a former...Read more

Feeling Stifled By Kids’ Schedules

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband has three siblings and we are the youngest couple, and the only people without kids. My nieces and nephews are 6, 5, 3 and a baby. I have a really small family and no experience with little kids, and my friends haven’t had kids yet.

When we all get together, the schedule my brothers- and sisters-in-law impose ...Read more

Reiterating A Stance To Have Stepdaughter Comply With A Bridal Shower

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I was really taken aback by your answer to a stepdaughter being pressured into a bridal shower. Boundaries are something you are always encouraging us to set and yet, in this instance, the daughter is being advised to do without and just let the stepmother get her way.

What happens ...Read more

Handling A Micromanaging Girlfriend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My girlfriend and I have had many happy times and are compatible in most fundamental ways. But, as the relationship has gone on, her micromanaging and second-guessing have increased.

She describes herself as a micromanager, and loves correcting everyone on small things, from how to wrap a sandwich to how to tie your shoes. The...Read more

How To Handle Birthdays After Mom’S Death

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

It’s my birthday today, and my first since my mom passed away last year. I am lucky to have a lot of friends and family, so I’ve been getting birthday messages all morning, but every time I get one I’m feeling a pang because I know I won’t hear from my mom today.

I know you’ve...Read more

Dealing With Those Insensitive Relatives To Food Allergies

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My mom is big on having holiday dinner gatherings. I have food allergies that can make eating out or eating food made by others a very stressful endeavor. Added to that, there are a couple of traditional holiday foods that were forced on me as a kid and still make me gag at the smell.

Some years have been better than others, ...Read more

Helping A Daughter Who Lacks Self-Esteem

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I have a teenage daughter who lacks self-esteem. She’s always had difficulty making friends, but over the course of several years, she now has a great group of girls to hang out with. Her problem is that she is afraid of being left out. She says yes to every activity and invite, even ...Read more

How To Deal With A Critical Mom

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My mother-in-law has zero respect for boundaries. On a recent visit, she told us we were raising our newborn child incorrectly, criticized our marriage, told my wife that her personality was awful, and brought up things that she was mad about that my wife had done as a child.

When we ...Read more

 
 

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