Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Instructions for becoming a helpful, loved and included grandma

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I am retired and live alone. Although my daughter lives nearby, I rarely see or hear from her. If I text her a question, she will usually answer in as few words as possible. A phone call is very rare.

She works full time and is very busy with a husband and four kids. I realize she has a lot on her plate and is probably doing ...Read more

Should she invite bipolar mother to the wedding?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My mom is a bipolar narcissist -- the bipolar part diagnosed clinically, the narcissist part my own assessment. She is estranged from me, my sister and my dad, her ex-husband.

Unlike my dad and sister, I never foreclosed on the possibility of reconnecting. She has been unpredictable ...Read more

Daughter’s ‘best’ friend is cruel

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

My daughter, 7, has a “best” friend who can frequently be mean to her, tell her she won’t play with her, ask for money to be nice to her, pretend to kick her in the face, etc. But at other times, this friend is very nice to my daughter.

My husband and I have both tried talking to ...Read more

Wife hurt that in-laws don’t want her to inherit their estate

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I’ve been happily married to a wonderful man for the last four years. My husband has a teenage son from his previous marriage, but we’ve decided not to have kids of our own.

Last week I was boxing up papers from our office and came upon a printed email from my father-in-law to his financial planner. In the email, my father...Read more

Introvert seeks alone-time during in-law weekends

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hey Carolyn:

As an introvert, I really need downtime outside of socializing or I feel tired (and crazy). When we visit my retired in-laws, we spend the entire weekend in the same room with them, except to sleep. Breakfast together, then move to the living room, then to lunch, then back to the living ...Read more

Husband prioritizes multitasking over wife

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I are busy; we sometimes refer to ourselves as “type double A.” He more than I, but we love to make lists and check off tasks. He loves being time-efficient -- so do I -- and nothing brings him more joy than multitasking.

I have learned that if he has his back to me, don’t speak because he has his earbuds ...Read more

Husband shocks wife by announcing he’s no longer attracted to her

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Less than two weeks ago, my husband dropped a bomb -- he says he is no longer attracted to me and doesn’t feel that we have much in common anymore. This was a huge surprise to me because he has not expressed or shown any real dissatisfaction previously.

Although he has not yet asked ...Read more

Husband asks to go on mission trip, leave all family responsibilities to overburdened wife

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband has been asked to go on a mission trip. He has done this in the past and really enjoyed it. I have also, before we had kids, but I have not gone away overnight, ever, since having kids.

He is really wanting to go and has asked me if I’d be OK with it. But I’m dreading the thought. It means I will be home all ...Read more

How not to favor one child over another

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I know you get a number of writers who have been treated differently from their siblings by their parents with respect to gifts, money, privileges, etc. Do any parents out there actually intend to treat their children differently?

I am asking because I was treated very differently from...Read more

She resents her (otherwise wonderful) husband for leaving the workforce

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband hasn’t worked for more than 10 years. He left his last job without informing me to be an entrepreneur. That never panned out and he hasn’t attempted to return to the workforce.

I, however, finished a degree, have maintained upward mobility, and now have full- and part-...Read more

Friend equates breakup with betrayal

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have a friend whose girlfriend broke up with him. Months later he keeps going on and on about how she betrayed him and hurt him so bad. I’ve tried nicely saying to him that she didn’t lead him on or lie to him. That sometimes people break up even when they love each other.

He feels that because he loved her, she betrayed...Read more

How to get husband to drop his new friend without saying a thing (hint: it’s not possible)

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My best friend “Tara” dated a guy “Pat” for about six months after she had ended a seven-year relationship. Pat fell hard for her, but when he began discussing moving in together and next steps, Tara realized that she didn’t feel the same way and knew it was better to end it ...Read more

Wife worries her husband is on the path to obesity

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Recently my husband’s parents came to visit after an absence of several years. I found that his obese father was even more unbearable than usual and even the kids were uncomfortable around him. He was unable to move around very well so he only got up to rifle through my cupboards and shovel handfuls of food into his mouth.

...Read more

Is couple’s therapy with a controlling spouse ever a good idea?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

You warned a writer with a controlling husband against couples therapy, suggesting that a controller can even take advantage in that setting. But isn’t a good therapist supposed to be able to handle and see through that kind of behavior?

I ask because I have some similar issues with ...Read more

Husband insists wife attend nephews’ sports games

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband and I have been married 12 years and have no kids. Prior to getting married, my husband was aware that I did not want kids, and he expressed the same sentiment. Throughout our marriage, we have had the conversation and agreed we do not want kids. That has not changed. We don’t want kids.

My husband has three ...Read more

Putting friendships on hold during a parent’s last days

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My remaining parent started having health problems nearly a year ago -- my friends are aware of this -- and now has only months left. They are not aware of this. I’m divorced, no kids, and juggling work and caretaking, going out of town every weekend.

Recently, my sibling took over ...Read more

Moving on from ex-spouse while retaining the friendship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My husband of 55 years fell in love with another woman. Now two years after the heartache, amicable separation and divorce, they have an established household together. I love living and traveling alone. My life is full with many friends and activities.

I am wondering about our ...Read more

Is husband a ‘mansplainer’ or just a blowhard?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband has a tendency to “mansplain.” Recently, when I asked him if he had heard of any U.S. military action planned against North Korea, he began his response by telling me the name of the leader of North Korea, the fact that they have been doing nuclear weapons testing, who Rex Tillerson is, etc., all of which I knew ...Read more

Aging out of relationship game-playing

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn!

After a seven-year marriage, I initiated and was granted a divorce four months ago. It was an emotionally abusive marriage. Among other things, he didn’t communicate for days, sometimes weeks. He was like Jekyll and Hyde. I am so happy now that it is over.

A few months prior to my ...Read more

Lowering bachelorette party expectations

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

How can I do my part in preventing any drama during my bachelorette party? I am having 10 of my closest girlfriends and family members fly with me to a resort town in Mexico. I am not having a traditional wedding so I do not have a bridal party. I did all the planning myself. I’m close to all of these girls but we are not ...Read more

 

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