Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

May/December Baby

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I'm 35 and my husband is 51. Would it be stupid for us to have a baby?

-- Ontario

Depends. So I'll just repeat my standard advice to anyone wrestling with the decision to have children: Would you want you as parents?

Include potential best and worst cases in your reasoning. If the answer is anything but a non-delusional ...Read more

Daughter Dealing With Mom's Mom

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

How can I help my daughter, "Kara," better deal with my mom? When my mom gets irritated or angry, she shuts down and gives the silent treatment, even to Kara, who is 3.

For example, Kara will decide she doesn't want to talk to my mom, and then five minutes later she does, and my mom will say, "Oh, NOW you want to talk to me? ...Read more

Heart -to-Heart Over Marriage

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My (much) younger sister's boyfriend is planning to propose on her 21st birthday. I am horrified. My sister still has a year left of college. Neither one has ever lived independently -- they both are living with their parents in our small hometown. The boyfriend, while he has a college degree, only recently took his first ...Read more

The "Pushy" One

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been dating my boyfriend for a year ("officially" together for six months). I am 30 and he is 33.

I am acutely aware of my desire to have kids by 35.

In past relationships I have tried to play the "cool girlfriend" -- you know, the one who doesn't pressure her man about getting married or having kids. Unfortunately, ...Read more

Alone With Pregnancy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband died unexpectedly at age 33, just weeks after conceiving our first baby. I'm now at 19 weeks and holding up relatively well, I think. No major meltdowns since those hellish early weeks. I try to remind myself daily that my job right now is to keep my baby healthy, which means sticking to my normal routine of working ...Read more

Uncomfortable With Flirting

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend is quite a flirt and an all-around fun guy. When I feel good and comfortable in the company we're keeping, this personality trait does not bother me.

But other times, I might feel left out or ignored (or that his behavior is too attentive to someone else), and this makes me seriously question whether I want to be ...Read more

Traveling for Boyfriend's Family

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

This year I will be spending all of my vacation time (and money) on traveling for or with my boyfriend's family. I understand that I do this voluntarily, but in a very real sense it is also somewhat compulsory because that's what couples do, and because his mother says, "You will be joining us for Christmas, right?" So my ...Read more

Involving Husband in Pregnancy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

What's the best way to involve my husband in my pregnancy so he doesn't feel left out? He's a very hands-on type who loses interest in anything he can't sink his teeth into, and I'm afraid he won't believe we're really having a baby till he or she is actually born.

-- Des Moines

Is there anything wrong with that? You say ...Read more

Jersey Girl

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been happily married for three years. Because we live 30 minutes from my in-laws, we see them pretty much every week.

The problem is my mother-in-law. In addition to her frequently imposing her will on us (e.g., enlisting someone to build steps off our deck when we had no interest in doing so), she shares intimate, and ...Read more

Must-save-this-relationship defenses

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I just found out my boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend have been emailing every so often, prompted by my boyfriend.

I told him it made me uncomfortable, and he's stopping. So why do I feel slimy?

-- Washington

Because the emailing was either innocent, and you seized control for no other reason than your own insecurity -- or...Read more

Mother Difficult Choice

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I are "bidding" for a closed adoption through our church. The birth mother is 17 and already has a child. She is considering us as well as one other couple. This process involves a lot of waiting and is really fraying my nerves. We are the "better" couple -- higher income, more child care experience, a son who ...Read more

Frustrated Sisters

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Our 60-year-old mom has five grown children, 22 to 39. Two of us have recently discovered that she has been gossiping, telling stories out of context, spinning the truth, spreading rumors and sometimes telling outright lies about each of us to the others. This has often pitted one sibling against the other.

She says to each of...Read more

Left Out

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

For several years I've taken a vacation in the spring with three other women, to various cities in Europe. We're Internet friends who met through a hobby; none of us lives in the same town.

I found out that this spring's vacation has been planned, and I'm not invited. I emailed the ...Read more

Conflicted on Friendship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I recently traveled with a woman who has been one of my best friends for eight years. On the trip, we barely spoke because she hooked up with a guy on our tour the first day and spent the rest of the tour with him.

This wouldn't have bothered me so much if I hadn't left my serious boyfriend behind because she has expressed ...Read more

Sad for Sister

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My twin sister is a smart, successful professional. We're both near 40. I am married with three kids. She wants a family, too.

Unfortunately, she has had a live-in boyfriend for several years. He didn't work for the first year after they moved (or do much of anything). Now, another ...Read more

Disagreement Over Kids

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I disagree, and I hope you can be the tie-breaker. I have two teenagers, ages 15 and 17. All their lives, I have felt they should tidy their rooms. My husband thinks they should do what they want in their own rooms. Because there are many things we don't agree on, I chose to let this one go and only ask that ...Read more

Bad Grandchild

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My ailing-for-several-years grandmother has just been admitted to the hospital with what sounds like a serious health problem, and I leave on a European trip tomorrow afternoon. Am I a bad grandchild for not even considering a postponement? I saw her a few weeks ago, and she barely ...Read more

Fear of Failure

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I had a wow moment reading this column (http://wapo.st/1A8mdgI).

My parents were big on labels, and I got "the smart one." I'm realizing how much I've invested in preserving my image as smart and superior. Or at least, the facade of it. Inside, I'm actually terrified of starting ...Read more

Guy's Fiancee Physically Abusive

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My fiancee becomes abusive with me and has not been able to control her anger. She says she has the right to hit in the face. She has hit me so hard the metal nose tabs on my glasses broke off. I grab her wrists to prevent her from hitting me over and over. She tells me I should not be doing that.

She says I am the one that ...Read more

No Pink. No, I Mean It

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Surprise pregnancy! Having a girl. We are thrilled. I'm a little nervous because I'm not a girly girl, but I figure there are YouTube tutorials now that can fill the gaps if I end up with someone who really digs face spackle. I AM confident I can model someone who is happy in her skin, ...Read more

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