Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Non-Invitation To Wedding Shows Why Etiquette Exists

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

A family member is getting remarried and is doing so in a low-key way -- I got an email about the details instead of an invitation. It’s not even an Evite or similar, but instead a “here’s where and when to be -- block off the day” note sent en masse by a busybody sibling ...Read more

Visiting Brother-In-Law Skimps On Family Time

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been married 10 years and have two children, 7 and 9. We have no family in our city and I have very few family members still alive. My husband has a larger family but they are not very close. My kids love being around extended family, but we do not have the money to travel and his family rarely visits.

My brother-in-law...Read more

Husband Struggles With Keeping Wife’s Pregnancy Secret

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

How do you deal with a wife who doesn’t want to announce a pregnancy? She is 11 weeks along and keeps coming up with excuses not to announce. First she wanted an ultrasound, then she wanted to wait for a certain doctor’s appointment, now she wants to wait for blood work. We are very...Read more

Daughter Resents Mom’s Resentment Of In-Laws

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

After another weekend hosting my parents, I’m at a loss for how to end a recurring fight with my mother. She perceives that we spend more time with my husband’s family and/or enjoy their company more ... and as a result, her feelings are hurt.

We’ve tried to minimize comparisons, not tell her about our activities with ...Read more

Mom Miffed By Daughter’S Tit-For-Tat Attitude

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Our daughter plans to use her summer job money and graduation gifts from family and friends to pay for a tattoo. I can pretty much guarantee her grandparents and other relatives will react as my husband did: He thinks she is ungrateful to be spending her money on something we ...Read more

Wife Doesn’t Want To Tell Friends Why She’s Leaving Cheating Husband

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am ending my marriage after confirming my suspicions that my husband has been unfaithful at various points throughout our marriage.

We have two small children and this will be hard, perhaps terribly so, but the thought of staying in the marriage for longer -- and then perhaps ending ...Read more

Does Spouse Suffer From Failure To Launch?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I married an aimless man. He is six years my junior and I love him more than anything in life; he is, in many ways, the man of my dreams. We married in the summer of 2015 so we’re still figuring things out and I’m hoping this is just a bump.

I work full-time in a field that I love and am successful in, and I am also the ...Read more

Paralyzed by Indecision

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

A year ago, my boyfriend moved across the country for a job and a needed change of scenery. While he made that decision unilaterally, we agreed that we’d do long-distance for a while until I could join him, if things continued to work.

Well, the time is nowish, and I just get so ...Read more

New to PTSD

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I was recently diagnosed with PTSD. I have been severely restricting my exposure to the topic that triggered the initial breakdown, which nearly landed me in the ER. This isn’t forever, but given the stakes, I’m only going to re-expose myself under the guidance of my psychiatrist.

I’m not sure how to handle this around ...Read more

Family Member

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My adult niece, 40, posted a very nasty comment about me to a social media site because of my stance that women and girls should NOT be judged on their looks. This stance was never communicated to her specifically, it is just something I occasionally reference.

She said of me: “She�...Read more

New Colors

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Two friends have recently expressed bigoted views, and I have been left devastated and confused. These people have been truly great and supportive friends, and we’ve been through a lot when it comes to raising our kids.

But their newly stated views go against my core values. At the very center of who I am is a rejection of ...Read more

Cringing

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I’m trying to figure out a graceful way to stop my brother and sister-in-law from making absolute fools of themselves. They just completed a remodel of their kitchen and want to have a party to “celebrate” -- as in, show it off.

The first problem is that there’s nothing special...Read more

Different Since the Break-Up

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I was dating a woman for several months. She’s so great in person: kind, smart, great outlook on life, fun, etc. I had some personal trouble, and she lovingly gave me the space to deal with it as I needed.

In other words, we broke up. It wasn’t a typical breakup, though. It was ...Read more

Boyfriend Ready for Marriage

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

What is the best way to ask your boyfriend if he is ready for marriage, or an idea of when it will happen? I have been dating my boyfriend over eight years, ever since we met in college, and I want him to be my husband. When we have spoken about this topic (periodically, most recently six months to a year ago), I leave the ...Read more

Protecting New Baby's Privacy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I are expecting, and we would really like to keep our baby off social media. We obviously won’t post pictures ourselves, and our parents agree with our preference. However, I’m not sure how we deal with other relatives and friends who might post pictures.

If it’s ...Read more

Holiday Gift Giving

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

Every Christmas, we host my parents and my brother’s small family. My brother’s family is kind but poor, and relies on help from family, friends and various agencies to make ends meet. When Christmas comes, they buy presents for the kids in lieu of a larger gift exchange.

My parents get gifts for everyone. My husband and I ...Read more

Mommy and Me, Ugh

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

My daughter is 4 months old and I couldn’t love her more. However, I’m a major introvert and I’m worried about how I can provide interactive experiences for her while fighting the inevitable dread I have toward socializing. I Google “mommy and me” classes frequently but they’...Read more

Concerned Neighbor

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My wife and I live in a duplex below a divorced single mom and her 9-year-old son. He seems to split time with his father, but spends most with Mom. Several times a week, we overhear Mom meanly shouting and swearing at her son for what seem like minor things: not wanting his hair cut, making silly noises, school-related issues....Read more

Brother with Depression

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My brother is 33 and still lives at home with our parents. He has a law degree but has not worked in years. Our parents are elderly and depend on him to drive them to work and do grocery shopping.

Everyone involved -- including my brother -- knows he needs therapy to work through his ...Read more

Red Flags

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have been dating a nice guy for a little over a month. He is sweet and affectionate. The one problem is that he seems to have a negative outlook on marriage and kids. Whenever I bring up my friends with kids and families, he laments about how they are probably miserable behind closed ...Read more

 
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