Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

My fiance's divorced parents hate each other, and they're both coming to our wedding

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My fiance's parents divorced around the time he and his siblings graduated from college, nearly a decade ago. Since the last one's graduation, they have not seen each other in person and have not communicated in at least five years. None of the kids has gotten married, had a child or, ...Read more

I have a Ph.D., but my narcissistic mom shames me for being a housewife

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I have a narcissistic mother whom I escaped by immigrating to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. in economics at Stanford University. After working for a number of years, I quit my job to take care of my son.

When I visit my country of birth and am asked what I do for a living, my mother...Read more

No matter how many marriages you've had, please don't stay in an abusive relationship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I was married to my ex for 20 years when we divorced. I wasn't attractive to him anymore since I gained weight with our three children -- his exact words.

I am now married to a woman. I have found myself on the receiving end of punches from her multiple times, each time with apologies. Recently, I was in our bedroom with the ...Read more

Uncomfortable with friend's husband's comments on her pregnancy weight gain

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I had a baby six months ago. Due to luck, general good health, and diet/exercise, I gained a fairly small amount of weight during pregnancy and shed it pretty quickly afterward.

My friend "Mia" is 18 weeks pregnant with her first baby and has gained substantially more weight ...Read more

Brother-in-law takes advantage of others' generosity

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My very generous and wealthy (this is relevant) friends offered to throw a dinner for me and my husband for our 10th wedding anniversary. This is a second marriage for both of us so we're all in our 50s. They asked for the guest list and we gave it to them, including my brother-in-law.

He's the sweetest guy in the world, would...Read more

How to handle anxiety when dealing with a hostile ex

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My ex and I divorced about two years ago after years of emotional abuse. We share custody and communicate only by text, as it's still a toxic relationship with a lot of anger on both sides. I try hard to put the kids first, and we attend school events together mostly drama-free, ...Read more

Why did my ex, who didn't want children, change his mind with someone else?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

Is there anything to be gained from talking to an ex who said he never wanted children, and absolutely refused to have them, about why he changed his mind? We dated for several years and split over this. I wanted children and, as we are both men, it would have required full buy-in by both of us. He said he did not see that ...Read more

How to handle an estranged father

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm 32, married with a great wife and a 2-year-old son, and my life is pretty good except for my so-called father. He left me and my mom alone when I was just a baby and she struggled to raise me and make ends meet our whole lives. I think the hard life wore her out and was one ...Read more

Bothered by boyfriend's vacations with his ex and son

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend of a few months seems to like going on vacations with his ex and their teenage son. It really bothers me. The first time he justified it by saying it was booked before they split up and the son really wanted both to go. He said it wasn't going to happen again.

Now ...Read more

How to best help a friend suffering from mental illness

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have a friend who suffers from a mental illness. Medication does not seem to make a difference. My friend is a good person, but difficult.

I want to be a good friend, but sometimes I feel used. I need help figuring out where to draw the line. It's not their fault -- it's brain...Read more

Mom taking stress out on child

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My first marriage ended, a spectacular shock to me, when I was 34. I would have done anything to make things work but was deprived of that option.

Today I'm with a solid guy I love, we have a 4-year-old. It's not perfect, but it's my family and I would do anything to protect it....Read more

Caretaker needs help from siblings

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I am the youngest of five brothers and have cared for my mother for 12 years. I live with mom and my siblings live out of state.

At 88, mom needs care that is overwhelming for me. I juggle work, home, and mom, with no time for anything else. I am very thankful and blessed to have mom with me, but it is very emotionally ...Read more

Am I or is my husband the bathroom jerk?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Husband, wife, and wife's dad live together. Wife is in the bathroom, naked, getting ready for work this morning. Husband asks politely to come in briefly, wife agrees, husband comes in, does what is needed. Wife is facing the mirror, doing hair things, hands occupied. Husband ...Read more

A 'simple backyard wedding' is a fairytale

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My fiance and I want a small, backyard wedding with about 75 guests. My grandmother has a huge yard that would be perfect for our upcoming wedding. I asked her if we could get married there and she said yes, so I was very excited to start planning.

Then last weekend I had lunch ...Read more

Beware of making big decisions because of temporary moods

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hello, Carolyn:

How do you know a big decision is based on what you truly want vs. what you feel you want at the moment? There are low-stakes versions of this, such as dramatically cutting your hair after a breakup, but I think I've made a lot of my bigger decisions -- like getting my MBA -- based on my high and low moods. It was a ...Read more

News reports are triggering my memories of sexual assault

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

With all the talk of sexual assault in the news [this year], I am having a lot of trouble. In addition to reliving my own assault, several childhood friends have disclosed their own assaults on Facebook. I want to be there for them -- and everyone who is coming out with their stories ...Read more

How do I improve relations with my self-absorbed mom?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn!

I need guidance on how to improve relations with my mother. While she is loving with me and my siblings, she tends to be extremely self-absorbed and unaware during conversation. She has the uncanny ability to flip even the most mundane conversation into something about her; she will interrupt, speak over, and redirect ...Read more

Sometimes I just want to run away from my wonderful life

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am a single mom to two incredible boys. My ex-husband's mother is my live-in nanny and general cheerleader (a story in itself). I have a great job, a beautiful home and a supportive boyfriend.

Even though I have absolutely nothing to complain about, sometimes I just want to run away...Read more

Do I have to take the high road when I meet the other woman?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My 25-year marriage ended about five years ago, due mostly to his (not first) affair. He is now married to The Other Woman. He and I remain stiffly cordial because we have two now-grown daughters.

Sooner or later, I am going to have to meet this woman. There will be a wedding or a graduation or something, and I am already ...Read more

How do I deal with my sister's husband now that I hate him?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My sister's husband confessed to an online affair and apparently is going through a major midlife crisis. My poor sister is of course stressed and worried, although they are doing marriage counseling and he is also doing counseling himself (I think).

The problem is we (my mom and I, we...Read more

 

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