Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Boyfriend fears telling dream girl he doesn't want to be exclusive

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I've been dating my girlfriend for about a year, and she's everything I could have ever asked for -- brilliant, kind, sexy, fun, my best friend, and just an incredible human being.

What's the problem? I still want to get to flirt and date and have sex with a bunch of people.

I've ...Read more

You're never too old to go home again

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

How do you figure out whether moving back "home" and blowing up your career in order to do so is the right thing to do? I realize you can't answer this, but my husband and I are despondent living away from family lately and feel like we're depriving our 2-year-old from being near aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents etc.

Our ...Read more

How many times do you have to say 'thank you' for mom's present?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi Carolyn:

Whenever my mother gives me or my family member a gift, she ends up asking about it several times afterward. Does not matter if it was $5 or expensive.

We always thank her for gifts, and these comments feel like she's asking for thank yous over and over again. Asking her about it would ...Read more

Girlfriend fears she is hanging on to a closeted boyfriend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been dating my boyfriend since I was 17, and we've been together three years. He was raised in a fairly strict Catholic household, and when his brother came out as gay, it was ugly. The dust has since settled but the situation reinforced the family's stance.

As my boyfriend grew up, people would ask him if he were gay, ...Read more

Excluding one wedding guest to please another can backfire

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Our wedding is falling apart. My fiance and I were set up by our friend Julia. Julia can be a bit of a firecracker and holds a grudge worse than anyone I know, but she's a loyal, wonderful friend.

My fiance and I are also close friends with a woman named Sara who is also a great ...Read more

Normal frailties should not be a relationship killer

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hey Carolyn:

I'm in my mid-thirties and in a relatively new, but so far amazing, relationship. In both a slightly sad and incredibly happy way, I realize none of my past relationships radiated this type of positive energy. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but I really can see myself with this ...Read more

Don't forbid your sisters from dating your friends

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

You recently made an excellent point that the only one who can decide who someone dates is themselves. However, I am a woman with many male friends I won't "allow" my sisters to date, and I would like to share that someone may have other reasons to step in. One is because my older sister dated a man I was friends with for five ...Read more

She's sneaking around with her ex-husband and hiding it from her son

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm a divorced woman in my early 50s with a 23-year-old son, "Dave," who I am very close to. My ex-husband, "Jim," and I split up about 12 years ago and managed over time to become friends again and co-parent effectively.

I have come to see that Jim just isn't cut out for commitment; I...Read more

Sister-in-law's FaceTiming ruins New Year's Eve

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

When does FaceTime become an intrusion?

My sister-in-law recently relocated to our area. We invited her to join us for our traditionally quiet New Year's Eve celebration. About two hours before midnight, she pulled out her iPad and FaceTimed her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, and proceeded to talk for the next two ...Read more

When to tell niece about her husband's inappropriate behavior

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I just found out that my niece's husband has made inappropriate comments/propositions to both of my daughters, one still a minor (17). I have to tell my niece, right? I can't see a way out of telling her, but it breaks my heart. I don't want to hurt her.

-- Broken Heart

You're not...Read more

Sister-in-law publicly shames breast cancer survivor for not wearing prostheses

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Ms. Hax:

I'm a two-time, currently-Stage IV breast cancer survivor. When I was told I needed a double mastectomy, I did the research and decided to "go flat"; I heard too many horror stories about implants, and, on the basis of my own personal history, decided they weren't for me.

For dressy occasions, I wear prostheses, but they're ...Read more

Was moving while pregnant a big mistake?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm 27 weeks pregnant and just moved to a new city for a great job, but I think I made a big mistake. I loved my old life and feel so homesick for it. But my husband and I bought a house, so moving is not a feasible option. Any advice for making the best of a big uncomfortable ...Read more

Shaken by teenage daughter's pregnancy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm literally shaking as I type this. My 15-year-old daughter is pregnant. I can't believe it. We had many good discussions about waiting until she was ready, using birth control when she was, but it all did no good. She's furious at me that I told her father! Of course I had to tell my...Read more

Can't stop judging boyfriend's unladylike daughter

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I've been dating a wonderful man, "Len," for a few months now and it's been really great. We have a lot in common -- we're both divorced, successful and have grown daughters.

I'm struggling with keeping an open mind about Len's daughter, "Becca." While Becca is beautiful and smart, she is also, for someone in her early 20s, ...Read more

Wallflower mother feels awkward at daughter's social activities

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

So I am an introvert, and it has taken me years to finally accept this and allow myself to be happy alone, rather than constantly trying to appease my extroverted family with attempts to socialize that ultimately just made me feel like a wallflower.

It isn't that I don't like people. I...Read more

Feeling vulnerable and lost in retirement

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I retired over a year ago from a fairly high-powered job that gave me worldwide recognition in my field. The decision to retire (in my mid-70s) was a very difficult one because I was not sure I could fill my time with engrossing activities. I'm still trying -- with a combination of volunteering, mentoring and a few consulting ...Read more

Stepkids show no interest in new baby

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have two stepchildren, 17 and 15. They switch off between our house and their mother's. My husband and I have been married three years and have a 6-month-old daughter.

I am really sad about the lack of affection between my stepkids and my daughter. They never hold her or play with ...Read more

Dad's new girlfriend is not a Mom-replacement

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I need someone to smack some sense into me. My parents were married for more than 40 years before my mom died very suddenly three years ago. My dad is now dating a very nice woman, and I'm truly happy that he has a companion.

But how do I get past the feeling that my mom has been cast aside? I've come around to the idea that a...Read more

Brother and his new wife perceive every invitation as a threat to couple time

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My brother got married three months ago. My parents, husband, baby and I are on a two-week-long vacation with him and "Sandy," our first group vacation with her. We are all sharing a rather large house, and each couple has plenty of time to themselves.

Yet my brother and Sandy are ...Read more

Choosing not to let friend usurp birthday plans

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Every year on my birthday, my husband and I do something simple like going to a museum and dinner.

I have a friend who is in a long-distance relationship, and I'm not a fan of her boyfriend. She announced that my birthday is when her boyfriend will be visiting next and she wants to ...Read more

 

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