Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Political and personal tension at family beach week

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Please help me. My older sister and family go to the beach yearly for a week and stay together in a condo. Same location for decades. In recent years, I have rented nearby at the same time to see my family.

I must say, they don’t seem to care if we are there. We don’t eat together, and other than seeing each other on the ...Read more

Boyfriend lambasts girlfriend for pre-relationship fling yet discounts his own extramarital affair

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year, and in many ways he is the best guy I’ve ever been with, but there is one recurring issue we’ve had. To make a long story short, we work for the same organization but different offices. We met during a three-day work trip and hooked ...Read more

Putting an end to unwanted political emails from family member

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My father’s wife sends several political emails a day to her bcc’d distribution list. I’m on that list. She knows we are not like-minded politically, and I told her I do not discuss politics the first time she brought the subject up.

She tells my father he is failing in his responsibility to guide me to correct political ...Read more

Can a cheater really change?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Can you ever really trust a husband who cheated on you? He confessed -- I didn’t “catch” him -- and he’d already ended the affair. He says all the right things, blocked the other woman’s numbers, called her in front of me to tell her he made a horrible mistake and wouldn’t ...Read more

Steadfast support for emotionally abused friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hey Carolyn:

My best friend is getting married in about five months to her boyfriend of six years, a very manipulative and emotionally abusive man. I’ve tried to talk to her multiple times, but I just don’t think I’ve done it in the right way because she always defends him and says I don’t ...Read more

Husband’s flight anxiety sentences wife and toddler to long road trips

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I will be traveling to attend my mom’s wedding. It’s either a 13-hour drive (now that we have a child, it would probably actually eat up an entire day) or a 1 1/2-hour flight, plus brief transportation at each end. My husband hates to fly -- mostly because he is frugal and dislikes being shuffled around by ...Read more

Why are modern people lonelier than ever?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have read study after study documenting that modern people have fewer friends than in previous eras and that, as time goes on, more and more people report feeling isolated and friendless. I am one of them. You have said that you often get messages from people telling you how hard it ...Read more

Mother asks permission to exclude daughter’s “lesbian friend” from family vacation

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

We retired to the Washington, D.C. area to be near our daughters and grandchildren. We have enjoyed several weeklong family vacations at nearby locations.

This year we are planning a long-weekend vacation at a family-type inn. One of our daughters has a lesbian friend whom she vacationed with last summer, and she plans to do ...Read more

Latecomer to dating annoys friend with childish questions

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I have a friend who just recently began dating and letting loose (we are 30). She’s now acting like an 18-year-old who doesn’t understand that you don’t change who you are to fit the guy. She plays mind games, constantly asks me for advice on “what to say to a guy” and ...Read more

How a group of friends can be there for an emotionally abused member

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

We have a friend, “Allen,” who has recently lost touch with us and who we believe is being manipulated and emotionally abused by his significant other. Over the course of their relationship, his now-wife: has joined herself to Allen’s hip in that he can’t make plans with others that don’t include her; occupies about 90...Read more

Housework imbalance in marriage breeds resentment

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband easily makes four times my salary (I’m in health care and he’s in banking) and works 60-80 hours per week. I do shift-based work so I often have consecutive days off after pulling several long shifts. Obviously this gives me a lot more time to deal with household tasks ...Read more

Pressure to change hair color is abuse

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Do you think it’s possible to “just stop feeling resentful” when you are repeatedly coerced into situations you clearly stated you didn’t want to get into?

Example: My partner pressures me to change the color of my hair from time to time. “Pressures” because even though I ...Read more

Is sister milking her grief over mom’s death?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have a question that I’ve found extremely difficult to pose in my real life. How do you react to somebody who you think actually is milking grief?

I lost my mother about 18 months ago and my sister is still acting like we just got the news yesterday. She mentions our “recent loss...Read more

Playground sexism or typical toddlers?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

What’s the best way to deal with another toddler who gets physically rough with my 1-year-old daughter?

I have two examples. The first, a little boy, about 2, ran up behind her at a park and pushed her over. She was not even looking at him when it happened, so I don’t think she could have instigated it at all. The second ...Read more

Husband struggles to get along with teen and adult kids

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I’m a mom of teens and young adults. My husband doesn’t get along very well with the kids and it is becoming increasingly painful for all of us. I feel like I have an imperfect but close relationship with the kids.

I don’t know what to do to help. I can’t really talk to my ...Read more

Mom of unplanned child feels judged by friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I became pregnant at a young age, unplanned, and have been married and raising my child since. My friend traveled the more traditional route, dating, finishing college, and marrying before having children, which took some extraordinary effort; think many trips to fertility doctors and all that might entail.

Now, when children ...Read more

Woman feels guilty for keeping pregnancy secret

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

At what point is it OK to forgive yourself for hiding a pregnancy from beloved family?

It is early on, and with the threat of miscarriage, my husband and I have decided to keep this news to ourselves. However, I can’t help but feel sneaky as I conceal this from family members by ...Read more

Exhausted mom can’t stop sniping at husband

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I’m going through a spell where I can’t get it together enough to be nicer to my husband. I always apologize, but pretty soon an apology isn’t going to be enough.

We have a toddler and a 4-month-old, both work full time, and I haven’t slept more than three hours in a row for ...Read more

Significant other won’t tone down anger at home

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I’m not an easily offended prude, but I recently asked my significant other if he could tone down the cursing at home. I told him that I know it’s not directed at me, but that his nightly profanity-fueled rants about politics, followed by the crude “comedy” he watches for entertainment, are making me feel like I’m ...Read more

I raised a bully

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

A son I’ve always loved deeply has grown up to bully his wife and children. His temper is disproportionate to the offense. When he flares up, he gets physical by squeezing or pinching. Having witnessed this, I cannot go back to not seeing it. I can’t stop thinking about the ...Read more

 
 

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