Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Supporting niece through abusive relationship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My accomplished adult niece, 43, has been having an affair with a married man for several years. He is an abusive alcoholic, according to my nephew. Since their mom, my sister, died, I have tried to be as supportive as possible to both of them. The affair is not a secret; she has brought him to family events and supposedly his ...Read more

How to deal with visitors who insult your hometown

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Our relatives from the city come to visit us, their country cousins, each summer, taking advantage of our lakes and freshly grown produce. While they are here though they are constantly making remarks about the hayseed community theater or the fact that almost everyone attends church on...Read more

Feeling the chill from daughter-in-law's cold shoulder

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have known my daughter-in-law for 14 years, but we have no relationship. We have never had an argument or even any unkind words between us. Their son, our only grandchild, is the apple of my eye and we have a wonderful time with him. The problem is that no matter what I seem to do, my daughter-in-law shuns me. She rarely ...Read more

Should adult daughter be given 'sleepover benefits' with boyfriend?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My daughter is home from college and wants her boyfriend from another state to visit ... including sleepover benefits. I have younger kids at home. What do you suggest?

-- Sleepless

Figure out now what you believe, top to bottom, including what rules you'll have for the younger ...Read more

Admitting you can't fix a partner's weight problem

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

Do you have suggestions on whether and how to encourage a partner to lose weight? We've talked about it a bit in terms of improving his health, but in terms of heart rate/blood pressure/previous illnesses he's healthier than I am. So I feel bad that much of my motivation is just wanting...Read more

Ensuring kids' safety in a household with guns

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I am a mother of twin 5-year-old boys. My sons play together really well with our neighbor's same-age son, at his house and ours.

Three weeks back I learned the family owns guns, which the mother claims are stored properly. I could not gather the courage to request further details as I feared sounding impolite and ...Read more

Friend uses work and relationship problems to excuse bad behavior

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My friend is going through a rough patch. Some of her friends have tossed her aside. She's having problems at work and then trying to juggle things with a new guy. She turns to me and I'm happy to try to help or just be there to listen.

But she often demurs on plans and always prefaces...Read more

Missing quality time with overworked boyfriend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

My boyfriend and I moved in together two months ago. We're very much in love, and I feel comfortable discussing issues and feelings with him.

Although, I have always struggled with bringing up things that make me upset (I'm working with a therapist on this).

His job is seasonal, and fall is exceptionally busy. This is the ...Read more

Coming to terms with sister-in-law's betrayal

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I recently found out my sister-in-law shares everything I say about my mother with her -- including screenshots of texts and exact quotes from phone conversations. My mother is a difficult person, and my sister-in-law and I have spent years commiserating over her overbearing and trying ...Read more

Girlfriend takes offense at his desire to attend a funeral

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

This week, a co-worker died in a motorcycle accident. I didn't know her well but she was very well-connected and her death directly impacts many people in our office. I wanted to go to the funeral to show my support for the family. The victim's brother works in our warehouse and I see him frequently.

When I told my girlfriend ...Read more

Is it OK to delay pregnancy for a career deadline?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have this job. I really, really love this job. Sometimes I resent how consuming this job is, but I do love it.

My husband stays home with our toddler, which works well for all three of us.

We had been planning to try to get pregnant again next month. But some work deadlines shifted,...Read more

Weighing conversion for religious boyfriend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I am agnostic, but my boyfriend is religious. He has recently become more devoted to his religion and is not certain but thinks he will want a union in his faith, which does not allow marriage to a non-adherent.

If we were to compromise and marry outside the church, there would be ...Read more

Move-in stress makes him second-guess the relationship

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My girlfriend and I have been together for almost a year and are moving in together at the end of the month. She's not perfect but neither am I, and she's awesome at understanding and supporting me. She's younger (27 to my 33), but because she's A LOT more mature than I was at 27, I've overlooked it -- until now.

We started ...Read more

Best friend is addicted to male attention

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I've had a crush on my brother's friend for years. I invited him to the birthday party I threw for my brother, and I also invited my best friend. Bestie had never met Crush before, but she knew of my crush. They spent the evening together, flirting and getting more touchy-feely the more...Read more

Handling a hostile sister-in-law

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn!

My husband's sister hasn't liked me since the day we met. I'm not sure entirely why -- if there's a reason, neither my mother-in-law nor husband will admit to knowing it. I can only guess it's jealousy that her brother got married first, our rushed engagement (I was pregnant), or that I'm not "fancy." Me: jeans and dive bars. ...Read more

Husband spread pregnancy news early, now refuses to spread news of miscarriage

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

Sadly, I lost a wanted pregnancy at about 8 weeks. Against my wishes, my husband had already told many of his friends and relatives about the pregnancy. He did not know "waiting till the second trimester" was a thing until I explained it to him. He thought the reason we learn about so ...Read more

Does wife overshare with her parents?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

Our son-in-law recently lodged a complaint that our daughter shared: that we are "far too involved" in their personal business. It makes him uncomfortable to know his wife talks to her parents about much of their lives.

We understand and would happily step back, but are not sure how to accomplish that considering they live rent...Read more

Son wants to cure father of serial infidelity

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hello, Carolyn:

I'm wondering the best way to confront my father about his behavior in respect to women. I'm the 25-year-old eldest of my father's five children. My sister and I were conceived with my mother, who left him some 20 years ago. His actions precipitated it. He remarried and had a son, now...Read more

How, when and whether to ask girlfriend's father for permission to marry her

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I plan to ask my girlfriend's father for permission to marry his daughter. How early is this commonly done before proposing and, if possible, should it be in person? I'm not planning on proposing for another three months. However, the parents live a considerable distance away and we are...Read more

Mother-in-law exacts emotional toll for her child care services

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My retired mother-in-law graciously provides day care for my two daughters while my wife and I work. With child care in our city being practically unaffordable, it's a huge help to us and beneficial for the children, we feel.

But she exacts a toll for her efforts. Mainly in the form of constantly haranguing and lecturing my ...Read more

 

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