Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Striking the right teasing tone

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I am writing about a behavior common to a close relative and a friend. They notice something about someone and then "give them the business" about this flaw.

You probably know this type of jovial person who will write this off as a normal part of being a close friend. The ones I know seem to be able to pull it off without ...Read more

Limiting kids' screen time, with flexibility

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I have an ongoing disagreement about how much technology we allow in the kids' lives. They're exposed to so much of it during the week that I think the weekends should serve as "nature retreats" (so to speak). I worry that we're depriving the kids when we let their world ...Read more

Anti-social husband remains stubbornly anti-social

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

From the April 11, 2017, column (http://bit.ly/Gamezzzz): "My husband tries to attend all [his] nephews' games. I have no interest in spending my weekends or weeknights attending children's soccer matches, tennis matches or basketball games. ... My husband gets upset when I refuse to go. He thinks it ...Read more

Husband prioritizes texting over conversation with wife

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn!

My husband has an annoying habit of picking up his phone the second he gets a text message, even mid-conversation, and then dropping everything else to respond right away. This irks me.

I am uncomfortable being confrontational and so will often build up resentment gradually until I get disproportionately upset. I am working on...Read more

Not keen on a wedding shower

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn!

I'm getting married in six months! I'm getting pressure from friends who want to throw me a wedding shower. It's really not my thing. Is this kind of pomp and circumstance required?

-- Don't Want a Wedding Shower

If you wake up one morning with the head of a marzipan dove in your ...Read more

Brother refuses to get vaccinated to protect new baby

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My wife and I are expecting our first child in about eight weeks, and under the advisement of our obstetrician and pediatrician, we've asked our parents and siblings who will be near the baby to get vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis). Seemed pretty easy, I know it's a vaccination most people have a few times as ...Read more

Hiker husband asks for too much trust

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I are apparently at very different points as to the shape opposite-gender friendships take. He is an avid, hardcore hiker. He met a woman (also married) on a hiking forum and wants to take a weeklong hiking trip with her to an extremely isolated location.

He says since ...Read more

Support and acceptance for a stoic friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have a friend who is not good at expressing vulnerability. We've been best friends for three years and only once has she opened up to me about traumatic life experiences -- and only then because we forced ourselves to talk about emotions by playing "Feelings Roulette." She never asks for emotional support, even for small ...Read more

How to respond to the question 'Are you planning to have kids?'

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I have spent two years going through fertility treatment, so far without success. We keep this mostly private when we're asked -- often -- if we're planning to have kids, but occasionally if appropriate I'll say we're trying but no luck yet.

Inevitably when this happens, ...Read more

Niece cares for her baby sibling at the expense of her social life

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My sister and her husband had a baby. They have two older kids ages 17 and 14. The 17-year-old, "Nicole," is on the shy side and we've always had a good relationship. The baby is 6 months, and when I hear Nicole talk about the baby, it almost sounds like her baby, not her parents...Read more

Encouraging college-dropout son to find his purpose

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My son flunked out of college his first year at 18, losing all the scholarships he had earned. He spent the time instead on the internet. He came back home and said, "What do you expect? Everybody was on my case since 9th grade."

He enrolled in the local community college (spending his own money) to get his associate's degree ...Read more

She wants to marry the farmer but not the farm

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I've been dating the absolute greatest guy, "Steve," for over a year. We have discussed marriage and I love him, but I'm wary because of his home situation.

Steve went to live with his dad and stepmother, "Vicki," on their dairy farm at age 17, after his mom died. He loves the farm and...Read more

Contemplating marriage to ill, self-medicating man

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I'm six years out of a 35-year abusive marriage. Four years of intense therapy, hard work, and I am now healed and happy and open to another try at love and marriage.

I met a man online who lives 100 miles away, and is very sweet, vulnerable, tender, interesting, intelligent. We share so many interests and values. He's a ...Read more

Coming to terms with collapse of parents' marriage

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My dad fell in love with someone else and left my mom, who thought their 30-year marriage was great, as did we. They had lived apart for a few years due to work, and my father said they had grown apart for years and he wasn't in love.

Obviously leaving for another person was wrong, but...Read more

Handling friends' pressure to split restaurant meals

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

We Americans are used to large restaurant portions. Often when dining out with friends, someone suggests an entree she wants to split, and since I suspect my friends all know I'd rather die than offend, I'm often feeling pressured to agree -- even though I'd prefer my own choice. This also denies me the pleasure of a doggie bag...Read more

Husband doesn't want to 'coddle' son with ADHD

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My 8-year-old son does not have the greatest relationship with my husband, and I am clearly his favorite. My son is a bit challenging in general; he has ADHD and is gifted and sensitive to boot.

Anyway, my husband's expectations of him just don't seem to match reality. He expects my ...Read more

New husband shows little concern for wife's well-being

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I haven't been married very long, but the initial stage of my marriage is worrying.

My husband seems to lack basic empathy for me. I don't think he's being malicious, but anytime I have a need that encroaches on his comfort, he gets visibly upset and refuses to deal with the issue. For...Read more

Competing with in-laws for a Thanksgiving visit

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My daughter has been married to "Peter" for eight years and they have two awesome girls, 4 and 1. They live near his parents. Thus, his parents can enjoy seeing their granddaughters at least once a week.

My wife and I organize a family reunion every Thanksgiving with our two sons, daughter, their spouses and kids. My sons and ...Read more

Daughter questions mom's approach to mourning dad

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Carolyn Hax is away. The following is from July 30, 2003.

Hi Carolyn:

My father passed away a few months ago, and I've been having difficulties with my mother ever since. Our relationship has become strained as a result of our different grieving styles (hers -- jetting off to Paris, buying a new luxury car, having substantial ...Read more

Don't expect the moon if he tells you not to

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Carolyn Hax is away. The following is from July 11, 2003.

Carolyn:

Met "Guy" through mutual friend. He is 23, just graduated from college, I'm 20 and have two more years. Had one-night stand with Guy over two months ago, continued having one-night stands about twice a week. Spent two weekends with Guy at the beach, had a wonderful ...Read more

 

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