Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Ghosting, from a ghost's perspective

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

By CAROLYN HAX

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On ghosting, from one ghost's perspective:

The reason I have been silent this year is because my work has taken way more hours out of my week than I expected when I accepted it. My kid has been suffering severe anxiety, which has made me depressed. We're both seeing ...Read more

Isolated by controlling girlfriend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared on Aug. 8, 2004.

Dear Carolyn:

I love my girlfriend -- although she says I never say it enough. I have always been faithful, but occasionally I will get a call from exes with whom I have remained friends. Most of the time, I don't even pick up the phone. Afterward, my girlfriend lets ...Read more

Teaching kids to help others fit in

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On supporting a socially awkward child:

The main approach these days is to offer social-skills intervention to kids with the difficulties -- to try to fix the kid, in other words, to better fit in. While there certainly is a benefit to them, particularly for kids with severe impairments, ...Read more

When, exactly, does a marriage become irreconcilable?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared on April 14, 2004.

Dear Carolyn:

My wife feels unfulfilled in our relationship and wants to move on. We are great friends, and I'll admit our marriage has gone flat.

She will seek counseling, but I feel she has already made up her mind.

I have put in writing the changes I need and ...Read more

Practice thanksgiving throughout the holidays

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On gratitude:

The holidays are upon us. Yes, having so many places to go and so many people to see can cause stress. What I wouldn't give for a little of that stress. For someone to grumble to about it. To have the worry of it, and all that goes with it. I would love to feel that warm hug ...Read more

Mother's illness forces daughter to manage time wisely

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared on Sept. 22, 2004.

Dear Carolyn:

Ack. I need some advice here. My mom is being treated for leukemia in a city about four hours away. She's doing OK, but I'm a wreck. I have an older sister who's doing what she can to help out, but I really feel like I'm all alone in this. My husband ...Read more

The demise of the big family-holiday tradition

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On the demise of the big family-holiday tradition:

I had a large family. My mother welcomed everyone, very distant relatives and those who had no family.

One Christmas one of my brothers and his brood had moved and it was just my sister, her husband, Mom and moi. It was incredible. Adult ...Read more

To go or not to go to the funeral

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

My friend's boyfriend passed away last week and the funeral is tomorrow. My friend told her roommate that she didn't want her friends going to the funeral if they were going just for her, and I'm torn on whether to go. Although I liked her boyfriend and considered him a friend, my ...Read more

How to help daughter struggling to adjust to middle school

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have a daughter who is having an incredibly hard time adjusting to middle school. There's SO much more going on with her emotions, internal regret ("I wish I had done X instead of Y!"), and her self-imposed pressure to do well in school.

We don't pressure her at all about her grades -- she's bringing in A's and B's of her ...Read more

Mom has no interest in mediating daughter's divorce

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My daughter, "Belle," and her husband, "Ben," are getting divorced. Ben's parents have always said they love Belle, and that if Belle and Ben ever split, they'd keep Belle.

Now that B and B are divorcing, his parents have called and left messages -- they want to talk. They ...Read more

Should she discourage her daughter from trying out for the drill team?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have 14-year-old daughter in her first year of high school. Recently she told me she wants to try out for the drill team in the spring. She had some off-and-on dance lessons when she was younger, but she's never been super-coordinated. She takes after me, unfortunately. Anything requiring physical coordination set to music ...Read more

Sister presents first signs of mental illness at college

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My sister is 18. She got homesick at college this year and is definitely depressed. I think she recently started antidepressants. She had a brief relationship there and has reacted poorly to the breakup. She has told the guy, several times, that she's going to kill herself. Even ...Read more

She hates the outdoors, he enjoys the fresh air

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I don't like to go outside. I don't really see the appeal. I enjoy indoor activities like reading and binge-watching shows and cooking. I will sit outside for a game or something, but I don't go outside for outside's sake.

I get a lot of pushback. People are really shocked when ...Read more

Deceased dad was a cheater. Should she share that knowledge with her brothers?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I'm the oldest child, with two younger brothers.

My dad passed away about five years ago. My mom told me my dad cheated on her all their married life, until he got too old. She had hinted at that before.

When I asked her why she stayed with him, she replied that he always came back to her. A reply, I think, just as abused ...Read more

Is sister smug for voicing appreciation of her husband?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My sister has the good fortune to be married to a man who not only earns most of the money -- and quite a bit of it -- but also sees to the management of the household in both big and small ways. For example, he chooses their investments, and he also takes her car in when it ...Read more

New home, new rules for the holidays?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

We are in our 30s, financially independent with young children, in our own home. When we go to my in-laws' house for holidays, we always abide by their rules, as in, no football-watching because the TV can't be on during family time, games must be played after dinner, etc. They're annoying and my husband would make comments ...Read more

Is it normal to fantasize about leaving your husband and two kids?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am a married woman with two elementary-age sons. I've often felt I do way more to help the three of them than they do to help me -- which is understandable with kids, frustrating with a husband -- but lately it's gotten much worse. I've been feeling as though my life would be ...Read more

Children don't want mom's boyfriend at family events

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been divorced 14 years and have two adult children. Recently my children informed me they do not like the man I have been dating for several years and do not want him at family events. Why they do not like him: He is the complete opposite of their father. Also, he is an attorney, so it goes without saying that he is ...Read more

A parent's role in neutralizing a middle-school bully

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have a middle-schooler with a group of friends at school. One friend has a habit of singling girls out -- often my daughter -- to say mean or dismissive things, like, "No one cares," or, "No one likes you."

My daughter doesn't care to be friends with this girl anymore, but ...Read more

Boundary-violating boyfriend transitions from controlling to dangerous

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My sister Jane has been seeing Jack barely three months. They live in different states and Jack regularly visits Jane on the weekends, sometimes they travel together. During this time Jack has exhibited some low-level controlling behaviors -- getting upset when Jane goes three ...Read more

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