Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Husband can't control his anti-racism rage online

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

By CAROLYN HAX

Hi, Carolyn:

Please help! My husband fights with everyone online and he can't or won't stop himself. These are charged times, we all know. My husband spends hours arguing with strangers in the comments sections of articles and friends' posts on Facebook. He frequently diverges from the topic at hand and the threads spiral ...Read more

Beach house standoff

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My wife and I have a beach house. When we bought it 12 years ago, we established one firm rule -- no one could use it when we're not there. And we're very cautious about inviting relatives or friends to stay with us; no one gets invited for more than two days. My wife suggested ...Read more

Should kids be forced to call adults by their honorific?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I hate honorifics for myself and want to be called by my first name, period. Some kids in my life have parents who say they HAVE to call me Ms. Lastname or at least Ms. Firstname. They insist it's important to them that their kids "show respect." I keep telling them the best way their kids can show respect is by respecting what...Read more

Fighting the urge to coach nervous rookie parents

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I got married and had kids relatively young, especially for his family's standards. Our kids are now in middle- and high school and doing well.

His sister is only two years younger than he is but has a 6-month-old baby who is absolutely adorable. However, I find ...Read more

Overachiever son ditches fast track after college

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My son, "Ron," 27, works part time at a low-pressure, low-paying job. He has a four-year college degree my ex-wife and I paid for and he graduated with honors but has never worked in that field and shows no interest in doing so. I thought we had raised him to have a strong work ...Read more

Entitled 8th-grade daughter refuses to clean the litter box

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I live in a home with two indoor house cats with a litter box. My 8th-grade daughter is supposed to be responsible for sweeping and scooping litter but does a terrible, lackadaisical job. It's in my laundry room, where I smell and step all over scattered litter. Half the time the litter appears untouched despite my constant ...Read more

Embarrassed by boyfriend's casual attire

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend and I have been together for two years; he's a few months shy of 28 (I'm 30). It seems that the only clothes he wears are T-shirts, gym shorts, and Chucks, stuff I would consider vastly more appropriate for someone in their late teens or early 20s. If it was just ...Read more

Not comfortable accepting handouts from wealthy boyfriend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I'm a college student dating a very nice guy who happens to come from a wealthy family. I really like him, we get along great, we each contribute equally to the relationship, and we see eye-to-eye on many things.

However, the financial differences between us have begun to take a toll on me. It is difficult for me to keep up ...Read more

Exhausted caregiver struggles to support healing husband

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband is broken -- there is no other way to put it. Years of chronic pain led to multiple surgeries with extended hospitals stays. Physically and mentally he is worn out. He hasn't worked in two years, so he relies on me for everything.

By some miracle, he is getting better...Read more

Husband's siblings refuse to help care for their ailing mother

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I spent 10 years helping my aging parents. They died six years ago. Now my husband's mom is 91 with dementia and he and one sister do all the caregiving. His other two siblings refuse to help.

I feel they either need to put in equal time or pay someone to help. My husband refuses to talk about money. And thinks this is OK.

My...Read more

Sister wants to get healthy, but Mom thinks it's sinful

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My youngest sister is 14. She recently spent 10 days at my house visiting and we had a wonderful time. She is a little overweight and concerned about how to fix it, so I spent this week teaching her how to work out, get active and make healthier food choices. She is enthusiastic ...Read more

Husband pressures introvert into another uncomfortable vacation with the in-laws

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

About three years ago my husband and I (no kids) went on a big vacation with my husband's family. I REALLY wasn't interested in going but his mother had pushed for a family trip for a long time, his father had just gotten over cancer, and it coincided with a big anniversary for ...Read more

Brother's marital strife is beginning to affect his young children

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My brother and sister-in-law have two little girls, 5 and 2, and I love the four of them very much.

My brother is a doctor and works many irregular and overnight shifts; my sister-in-law must necessarily manage the girls by herself a lot.

My brother and sister-in-law fight frequently. Typically at very low volumes, and never ...Read more

Politics burnout craves a newsbreak

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn!

I try to keep informed with politics and the state of the world, but I'm getting so, so tired. I have depression and anxiety and struggle to deal with my daily first-world issues -- how do people deal with watching the world fall apart? I want to do something to help, but I can't ...Read more

Mother abandons fulfilling volunteer gig at the soup kitchen

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

By CAROLYN HAX

Dear Carolyn:

For the holidays this year, my mother was torn about her regular "gig" -- volunteering at a local community center serving as a "soup kitchen." She has volunteered there for many years for the less fortunate.

My mother ultimately decided never to return to the soup kitchen. She said she saw many local residents...Read more

Husband opts out of Valentine's Day the moment they're married

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Valentine's Day is coming and once again my husband will do nothing for me. He said, after we got married four years ago, he shouldn't "have to" anymore.

This was a huge shock since, when we were dating and engaged, he would take me out to dinner, send flowers, and he never ...Read more

Wife wants to set a curfew for 42-year-old son

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My wife and I argue about my son, 42, unmarried. He lives up North but visits for a week each winter to get away from the cold. He likes to socialize with old friends while he's here. He will usually get in after we've gone to bed, which entails resetting the alarm, which wakes up my wife. She then has a hard time falling back ...Read more

Guests rubbing on hosts

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend and I are going to visit some friends who have invited us to join them at their lake house. A few months ago, my friends told me my boyfriend is "tough to like." I realize his sense of humor isn't for everyone, but his direct candor -- while harsh -- is one of the ...Read more

Resented by sister since the day she was born

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I ruined my sister's life the day I was born, which was cute back then, but we're almost 50 now. Starting with childhood, most decisions I make (hair, clothes, musical instrument, sports, college, career, house, etc.) somehow ruin her day. She gets visibly upset, highly critical,...Read more

Son struggles with intimate relationships after death of father

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My adult son, now 29, lost his father in a freak accident the day before my son turned 13. For more than two years after the accident, his dad lingered in a near vegetative state. A grief counselor I consulted back then told me that as a result of this experience, my son could have difficulty later in his life forging intimate ...Read more

 

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