Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Broke boyfriend prioritizes drugs over job-hunting

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I've been with my boyfriend for a little over a year and everything's been great. He's loving, caring and understanding. Our relationship, overall, is healthy.

But recently I have started noticing a growing resentment toward my boyfriend, because I'm always paying for most things. When we go out to the movies he'll pay for his...Read more

Mystery anxiety over brother's wedding

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My older brother and only sibling is getting married in 15 days, and I'm getting more and more anxious the closer it gets. I can't seem to find a concrete reason for my nerves. I've known my soon to be sister-in-law since I was 14 (I'm 24 now). I'm not a bridesmaid, but am doing a ...Read more

Husband refuses to take steps to improve marriage

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been asking my husband to go to therapy for more than five years and he always said a firm NO -- absolutely not. After a particularly nasty fight, he conceded.

He just said, after three sessions, he thinks our marriage is fine; he doesn't see a need to change to meet my needs -- for example, to have sex or kiss me, or ...Read more

Husband refuses to take steps to improve marriage

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been asking my husband to go to therapy for more than five years and he always said a firm NO -- absolutely not. After a particularly nasty fight, he conceded.

He just said, after three sessions, he thinks our marriage is fine; he doesn't see a need to change to meet my needs -- for example, to have sex or kiss me, or ...Read more

Staying in unhealthy marriage set bad example for daughter

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I have been in a manipulative, one-sided relationship my entire adult life. I tried to get past a lot of the problems in the quest of keeping my family whole. I am basically strong, self-supporting financially, and pretty content with myself. I can stay in the house, we are basically civil, but it's not healthy.

But now my ...Read more

Teen son verbally attacked for exploring communism on social media

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My son is 14 and interested in politics. He is particularly interested in learning about socialism and communism. He also just started on social media and is only connected with family.

He recently posted his thoughts on why he supports the ideals in communism and has basically been ...Read more

Weary of being the father figure in little brother's life

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

About 10 years ago, when I was 16, my father left my mother for a much younger woman and moved away with her. This was a shock to the whole family.

My sister, "Beth," was 12 and my brother, "Ben," was barely 4. The girlfriend didn't want to deal with a little kid, so Ben didn't go with...Read more

Learning to accept daughter's weight

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Ever since my now-tween daughter was a toddler, she has been a little chubby. I routinely found hidden food wrappers under her bed, under the couch cushions and shoved in her closet. Yes, at 3 she had the wherewithal to find food and hide her eating.

I read about appropriate food control and thought the most useful suggestion ...Read more

Winning back a best friend

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I decided to put some distance between me and my best friend after she really let me down over a major life event. Before that we were super close, sharing our days via texts and emails; we've had some cordial enough, brief interactions since. I understand why she did what she did, but ...Read more

A Christmas-present standoff

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

My husband has opted out of giving me anything for Christmas for the last 10 years. He puts lights up and insists on a tree. I have been using empty boxes wrapped in beautiful paper to make the scene enchanting.

This year will be the first in 25 years that I don't give him anything either. He says he won't give gifts because ...Read more

Is it possible to have a baby without the sleep deprivation?

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I've always needed a good night's sleep to function, at least eight hours but ideally 10.

I would like to have kids, I've always pictured myself with kids. I'm starting to feel a real longing to get pregnant and have a baby, but the sleep deprivation terrifies me. My husband and I sort...Read more

Boyfriend's secret marriage deters her, but only slightly

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I was sexually and mentally attracted to this guy for 12 years. We used to have the best times together, then suddenly he seemed a little standoffish, though I continued to be sexually involved with him.

I find out he got married while we were still sleeping together. He had been married six months before I even found out ...Read more

Prioritizing permanence and putting down roots

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm at a loss as to how to put roots down and make a home. I've been moving around nationally and globally every two to three years, both within and between jobs, and I think it's affected my ability to feel at home anywhere. I really want to commit to a place, which means committing to...Read more

Struggling with infertility and baby-envy

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

My husband and I are unable to have more children due to illness. My brother's wife just had their third child this morning. I'm happy for them, but also struggling with resentment, self-pity and sadness. I love my brother and sister-in-law, but I'm not sure why they have kids. They ...Read more

Daughter and son-in-law refuse to fly the coop

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I allowed my daughter and her now-husband to continue to live with me after they got married a few months ago, in hopes that they would fly the coop soon so I can finally have an empty nest. They are both 21. They both work retail and go to school. I know they would very much like to live on their own but rents here in the Bay ...Read more

Giving friend a mulligan for email outburst

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

"Alex" is married to one of my closest friends, "Lana," and Alex and I work at the same company. Recently my husband "Ben" also joined the same place. Lana has tried to get a job at our company several times, but for one reason or another has been unsuccessful. Still, she has a great job...Read more

Finding peace after unexpected breakup

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear, Carolyn:

It's been over a month since my ex and I had an argument, and we haven't spoken to each other since. We've been together for over a year and have had trivial arguments like this, and we always get back together after a few days of "cooling off." I always like to settle arguments at that moment, but he likes to discuss after a ...Read more

No desire to spend time with critical parents

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

In my childhood, criticism from my parents was the constant theme. My grades were never good enough, my room was never clean enough, whatever. As a result, I feel little to no affection for my parents now that I'm an adult, and I don't spend much time with them or talk to them much. I ...Read more

Striking the right teasing tone

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Hi, Carolyn:

I am writing about a behavior common to a close relative and a friend. They notice something about someone and then "give them the business" about this flaw.

You probably know this type of jovial person who will write this off as a normal part of being a close friend. The ones I know seem to be able to pull it off without ...Read more

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