Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Jockeying for Wedding Dates

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On jockeying for wedding dates, venues, baby names:

I'm a single 44-year-old woman and am horrified by bridezillas and their equivalent mommy monsters. I don't recall ever seeing a man write in to complain about his best friend getting engaged first or scheduling his wedding the same ...Read more

Saying No in Stronger Language

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On saying no in stronger and stronger language:

I'm a big fan of the "broken record" technique. You say the same thing in the same language and you do not add justifications, excuses, or anything that changes the original message in any way. It feels weird the first few times you use it, ...Read more

Yes We Can Share

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On stepping on parental toes by calling a grandchild "my baby":

When I was 4, my little sister was diagnosed as autistic. As you might imagine, my parents were distressed with the news. Or, as my mom tells it, "I wouldn't have freaked out so bad if the world HAD been ending."

But my ...Read more

Trying to Take My Own Advice

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On parents who feel that "all we do is rush around":

A lot of us feel that. Be sure the kids are doing the extracurriculars they truly enjoy, not just because everyone else is doing it.

Then, focus on truly being present wherever you are. If you trust the child-care/school situation of ...Read more

Golden Boy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dead Carolyn:

My brother was the Golden Boy. He got my father's attention, affection, love and money. My sisters and I got significantly less growing up. My father had high hopes for my brother.

Unfortunately, none of my father's hopes and dreams ever came true. My brother did about average in life,...Read more

Jealous

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have a problem I am not proud of. My daughter is pregnant, and so far everything in her pregnancy is routine. When I was pregnant with our three kids, my husband was typical for our generation in terms of the involvement he showed during my pregnancy and even my kids' infant years. But now that our daughter is pregnant, he ...Read more

Pants on Fire

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I just found out that my long-distance boyfriend has been lying to me. He was supposed to be at a location for work for 15 weeks. Apparently that turned to six because his job wanted him to return to go to school. That meant an incredibly difficult time for him to manage school, work and...Read more

Shame and Infertility

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I are both in our late 20s and have decided to start a family through adoption. A childhood illness left me unable to have biological children. My husband knew this before we ever started dating, and his parents have known for years as well. No one -- until now -- has led me to feel ashamed of my condition.

We'...Read more

Friend Not Excitied About Baby

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

A friend confided that she is pregnant and feeling decidedly unexcited about it. Her current life checks all of the boxes for "ready for baby" including a lovely, excited husband. She doesn't seem depressed, just reasonably apprehensive about how much her life is about to change and ...Read more

How Much is Too Much

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

Volunteering at a local homeless shelter a few months ago, I "clicked" with a sweet, funny, smart 9-year-old girl who was staying there with her dad. I don't know the whole story, but her mom, for a variety of sad and scary reasons, hasn't been part of her life for the past several years...Read more

Husband Feels Included

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom to our 6-year-old twins. My husband works full time and is out of town once a week.

I think we have a good relationship. However, this is a constant issue: My husband would like to be included in our activities -- going to the zoo, miniature golfing, indoor playgrounds, etc. -- ...Read more

Birthday Girl

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I followed your advice from last week and waited to see what my new boyfriend would do [for my birthday]. He's a total gem. He asked if I would like to go out to eat, and we went to a restaurant that I love and he's not that into. He insisted on paying. (We almost always split the bill.)...Read more

Wedding Night Disaster

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My honeymoon and marriage are in tatters because of two words I said on my wedding night. A few years ago, I was in a very intense relationship with "Rick." When it ended, I swore I wouldn't become so intimately involved with someone unless it was for life.

I met "Tom" shortly afterward, and knew he was "the one." I shared ...Read more

So Resentful

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Should an ex-wife continue to attend family events of her former husband after divorce? My partner and I have been together four years. We are both divorced, and his was very acrimonious. It is difficult for me to interact with his family as his ex continues to dominate every family ...Read more

Dealing With Mean Kids

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My 10-year-old daughter has a very lively and kind spirit. She isn't afraid to ask her classmates to play with her or if she may sit next to them. She can easily ask to join a conversation.

But many of the girls are not very nice and make fun of her eagerness. They exclude her almost like a game. I am at a loss how to help her...Read more

Getting Over Someone's Past

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am in a serious relationship with a divorced man, no children. I am having trouble getting over the fact that he's done everything before -- proposed, watched his bride walk down the aisle, bought a house, etc.

I know it's ridiculous. It's soooo ridiculous. But why do I keep being ...Read more

Too-Young Stepmom

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I married someone quite a bit older, and now I am a stay-at-home stepmother to his two daughters, 13 and 11. Because he and his ex-wife are so busy with their careers, there's ample space for me to volunteer at their schools and be involved in their social lives.

When interacting with ...Read more

Secret to the Grave

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My mother says she will not tell me who my father is and will take the secret to the grave with her. Is there ever any good reason for not telling someone who their father is?

-- D.

If she doesn't know for sure herself.

If he committed crimes so heinous that she fears they would change the way you see yourself.

If he ...Read more

Looking for Boundaries

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I went out to a nice restaurant last night with friends of ours and their 2-year-old son. He was a bit of a handful, and we got some not-so-friendly looks. Nothing extreme, just age-appropriate squirmy-ness in the wrong environment. I didn't know what to do or say, and ...Read more

Poor Sportsmanship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

This past weekend we (grandparents) were witness to two of the most appalling examples of poor sportsmanship and lack of self-control in recent memory, by the same opposing team coaches. While at a girls' softball tournament, the coaches of said team got in the face of the umpire over a call, which is never allowed, delaying ...Read more

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