Life Advice

/

Health & Spirit

Uncomfortable with habitual flirting between her husband and a friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

A woman in our set of friends initiates touching and chumminess with my husband, who returns it, but not in a serious way. We know from this woman's parents that she is in a long-term affair with a married man.

I don't believe my husband will go beyond public chumminess and flirting ...Read more

Husband said it would be different this time, but she's still doing 99.99 percent of the child care

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

So about four years ago, my husband and I decided to have another set of babies. Our older two were 9 and 7 at the time and my husband and I were very young when we had them -- 23 and 20 -- so we thought we'd have another go at babydom. This was after many lengthy conversations about how my husband was going to have to be a lot ...Read more

Should children be shielded from their parents' grief?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My dad died five months ago, taking a sudden downturn after living with slow-growing lymphoma for several years. I said goodbye to him on Father's Day. The grief hits in waves and is getting harder as we approach the first holiday season without him. My 4-year-old son is very empathetic ...Read more

Deciding when and whether to ask out a new roommate

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Four months ago I moved into a new place, and have fallen for one of my roommates. I want to ask her out, but given our yearlong lease I don't know if this is a good idea. We hang out and really get along and I do not want to jeopardize our friendship.

I was telling her about a road trip I am taking in about seven months for a...Read more

How best to help daughter's friend after she loses high school scholarship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My daughter is a freshman at an expensive private high school. She has become best friends with a wonderful girl who is at the school on a scholarship. My daughter's friend is passing her classes but not getting great grades and is losing her scholarship next year. Her family cannot ...Read more

Husband's twin sister assumes role of third parent to their unborn child

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm expecting our first child. Since we announced my pregnancy, my husband's twin sister has treated all baby decisions as joint decisions between her, my husband, and me -- everything from the brand of prenatal vitamins I use to circumcision to baby names to car seats.

For the 20-week...Read more

Concerned about daughter's high-risk hobby

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My daughter was recently injured in a skydiving accident and had surgery on a vertebra in her back; she skydives for fun and has over 200 jumps and loves it.

How do I tell her the risks are too high -- she has children -- and she shouldn't continue skydiving? She's determined to go again as soon as she is recovered.

-- Scared...Read more

This Thanksgiving, let the in-laws eat pie

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband's family is really academic, most are in school until their late 20s at least. My husband has a bachelor's degree and I have some college but never finished. His family has always been welcoming and they aren't snobby or anything -- with the exception of Thanksgiving. My in-...Read more

Saddened by the end of a 30-year holiday tradition

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Our extended family -- siblings and kids -- have always gathered at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last week I got a text from my sister saying she and her family would be going away for the holiday and would no longer host Christmas Eve at their home.

This came out of the blue and is really upsetting me. My brother and I have ...Read more

Husband keeps his parents at arm's length from daughter and wife

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

What are my obligations to help cultivate a good relationship between my daughter and her paternal grandparents? My husband is not close to his parents. There has been no abuse or fight over a major issue. My husband and I are just really different from his parents. We live in an urban ...Read more

Family disapproves of her plan to adopt a child while single

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I'm a single, independent woman in my late 20s. For various reasons, I'm pretty sure marriage is not in my future, and I feel happy the way I am.

Therein lies the rub. I want to be a mom one day. I've always thought I should adopt, regardless of marital status, so the "how" is mostly figured out.

My family, though supportive ...Read more

Marriage counseling stalls when she realizes she just doesn't like her husband

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

At what point do you know it's time to end a marriage? I found out almost a year ago that my spouse had cheated. We have a young child, and I initially stayed because of our kid. We're in counseling and both doing everything the counselor says, and spouse is doing everything I ask, ...Read more

Husband won't meet her halfway on the housework

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I do much more housework than my husband -- maybe 70/30. When I complain, he says he doesn't mind grimy bathtubs or piled-up paper, and since I do mind, then I should do the cleaning.

He says it's unfair for me to unilaterally set house standards and then force him to live up to them: ...Read more

Well-off boyfriend rages about the homeless population

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I've been dating this guy for about five months. I live in the city, he lives in the suburbs. Since I live where there's more to do, and don't own a car, he usually drives into the city to see me.

Since we've become more comfortable with each other, he now arrives at my apartment and expresses a great deal of annoyance at the ...Read more

He's surprised when girlfriend he broke up with years ago doesn't want him back

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

About five years ago, I graduated from college and broke up with my girlfriend, "Penny." There was nothing wrong between us, in fact things were really good, but we'd been dating since high school and I felt restless and needed to be on my own for a while. The break was everything I'd ...Read more

Husbandless friends invalidate her marital concerns

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have a close, small group of friends who I have known for decades, and two of them are divorced, both more than five years ago. We have always shared things that bother or hurt us in our lives.

When I complain about some hurtful thing my husband has said, or about a problem in our retirement plans, they both remark, "At ...Read more

Settling on the location of 'home'

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hello, Carolyn:

My husband and I are at a crossroads, trying to decide between staying in our current city, near his family and where we have established friends, or moving back to where I am from originally. We would be closer to my parents and in a (hopefully) better job market.

We are both torn ...Read more

Sibling's failure to respond to happy news via group text could be a slight ... or nothing at all

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I have been part of a family text thread where we communicate with my siblings and their spouses about what's going on in our lives. Recently, we've been in touch regarding one sibling's health crisis, all of us offering supportive comments.

Concurrently, my husband and I made a decision to retire to a longtime ...Read more

How to tell if it's real or just a rebound

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am currently separated and have met someone who I fell for really quickly. I don't know how to figure out whether I was just so lonely and this is just a rebound, or whether it's for real. We're going slowly, and we're both being very open and honest, but it's still a worry.

-- On ...Read more

Taking the high road with partner's resentful child

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

We're going to see my partner's family, including her 25-year-old child, who has acted like a sullen brat since we married 10 years ago. As in, has not spoken to me or acknowledged me in any way and treated my partner poorly as well.

Generally I let my partner go to family things ...Read more

 

Social Connections

Comics

Shoe Get Fuzzy Andy Marlette Working it Out Take It From The Tinkersons Rugrats