Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

How to help my husband deal with his abusive mother

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

When I married my wonderful husband, he asked if we could cut ties with his family. I thought he was joking.

He grew up in a verbally and emotionally abusive household -- something I will never fully understand, but definitely didn't grasp pre-marriage. While his mother was also a victim (her father was the abuser), she is the...Read more

How to handle brother's yelling at Mom -- and he's her caregiver

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My brother and I are facing making some very difficult decisions for our mother, in her 90s, who lives alone still, but soon will need to be in assisted living or a nursing home.

My brother "Calvin" is Mom's trustee and has her power of attorney, and he lives closer to her than ...Read more

Dealing with family's frustration over wedding in Hawaii

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My fiance and I are planning a Hawaii wedding. We're from the east coast. We would love for all of our family to make the wedding, but we understand some of our family and friends won't be able to make it.

I have an aunt who is notorious for influencing others to make family vacation plans within driving distance because she ...Read more

Will my disengaged husband help more if we have another baby?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband is a great father to our 6- and 4-year-old daughters, but he is a dud with children much younger than 4. I did nearly all the baby and toddler stuff by myself because he was too tired, too overwhelmed, too scared to break them, and so on.

He wants a third baby -- he ...Read more

How to not resent a co-worker who leaves work on time when you are staying late

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I work in an extremely demanding job that has always expected late nights, overtime, uncompensated work on the weekends, and basically a commitment to make it one of the most important things in your life. It's a charity organization that I deeply agree with, and I have always ...Read more

How do I handle my jealous girlfriend?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I've been with my girlfriend only six months, but I felt like I could see years into the future with her.

She's recently become very jealous and untrusting of me, though. An ex of mine from college was coming to town for work and wanted to get together for dinner. This was a relationship that ended amicably, and we remained ...Read more

My wife's weird behavior about my 5-year-old daughter

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I don't know what's going on with my wife, "Angie," or what I should do about it. We've been married for a little over a year, and I was always so glad that she loves my 5-year-old daughter, "Lorie," and that they get along great.

Over the past few months, though, things have ...Read more

How to break free of a mid-20s crisis

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Did you ever feel like you weren't doing what you were supposed to be doing? I've found myself in a career that I'm fine at, but I'm not in love with. And now I'm having anxiety that I'll live the rest of my life in a state of "fine." What I REALLY want to do is be an interior designer. But I can't afford to go back to school. ...Read more

High school teacher wants to help fasting students during exams without offending

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am a high school teacher. Our final exams fall during Ramadan and we will most likely have fasting students. A colleague has offered to come in early to administer early exams for those students, so they will have spent less time without food and water. She does not want to ...Read more

Feeling anxious about a possible new relationship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hey Carolyn:

I've found all of my relationships through work, school, or a shared activity. We got to know each other over time and when we started spending time alone, it felt natural. This is probably why online dating has always felt kind of weird to me.

I met a guy in person this past weekend. He's very nice and almost perfect on paper....Read more

Helping a child understand her own sense of self

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

We have a bunch of little girls in our neighborhood who play with ours. One of them sometimes comes up to me, and asks, "Don't I look pretty?" What do you think is the best thing to say? I usually say something like, "What a fancy dress," but it feels fake.

-- I Want My Kids to ...Read more

How to keep dealing with one tragedy after another

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

This has just been a crappy year and I'm really tired of it. Eight people I care about have died; yesterday I found out a close relative has Stage 4 cancer; I had to give my dog away; my mom is facing serious health problems that are only going to get worse; I've been ghosted by ...Read more

How do I move on from a 13-year relationship?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

As a child, I lived through my parent's horrible, physically violent, 10-year divorce. I remember standing in the kitchen at 12 years old, promising myself I would never divorce.

So, here I am, 51, my 13-year relationship broken up. We never married, as it helped me keep my promise to never divorce. But the effect of a 13-year...Read more

Learning to live in the present -- part two

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I liked your answer about finding one's purpose in life [from your April 4 column], but what you said about it being something to hang onto when life is overwhelming is the problem. I have nothing to hang onto in those situations -- which are too frequent. I have absolutely not ...Read more

Feeling 'dislocated' after sudden move

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Last year, for my husband's job, our family (with three teenagers!) had to move suddenly and permanently, not just across the country but to an entirely different continent. The kids are adapting reasonably well but I'm having a hard time.

Our new location isn't the problem -- it's that I can't get over what I've lost. I'm ...Read more

Should I maintain contact with my daughter's ex-boyfriend?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My college-age daughter dated a very nice college-age guy for a year. He and I became close. His mother had died about a year before and I think I was a nurturing mom figure for him.

They recently broke up and are trying to do the friend thing. He continues to text me about ...Read more

Wrestling with keeping mother-in-law's secret of sexual abuse from her son

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My mother-in-law told me several years ago that she had been sexually abused when younger by someone that was supposed to protect her. She said it took 10 years into her marriage to share this information with her husband, and she would never tell her two sons.

I feel torn between keeping this secret, and telling my husband, ...Read more

I'm married and 'crushing' on a colleague -- Help!

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have a very strong crush on my colleague. We work very closely together. We are both married. Colleague has a dry sense of humor which resonates with me.

We have nothing else in common. I didn't even like his attitude when I first met him. But with prolonged contact (I ...Read more

Stepchildren spar over couple's money policy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

This tendency younger people have to post their entire life on social media is causing quite a problem in my family. Since this is a second marriage for both and we were in our forties at the time, my husband, "Dan," and I have a policy for finances: You handle yours and I'll ...Read more

Gay grandson navigating tension with boyfriend about grandma

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I am gay, and my grandma has always been totally supportive of me, even though she grew up in a conservative time and place and I was the first openly gay person she'd ever met. She sometimes asks me questions that sound clueless, but in a sweet way -- the same way she's clueless about the video games I play but still shows ...Read more

 

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