Life Advice

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Apples and cheese puffs come in cat-proof containers

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I'm not sure how to handle Thanksgiving and Christmas meals at my in-law's house.

Last year, right before the meal, I watched my mother-in-law's cat eating on the dining room table. It was hard not to vomit. I noticed the salad dressing had expired years ago.

In addition to all this, she leaves the dog and cat bowls on...Read more

Daughter Given Everything Gives Heartache In Return

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: Ever since high school, our adult daughter has had mood swings. My wife and I thought she'd grow out of it as she matured, but she hasn't. At her request we sent her to a university far away, and we were proud that she earned her bachelor's degree. We thought independent living would do the trick, but her personality and behavior ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 11/9/2018

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My husband works for a large mental health agency, and five years ago, he had a two-year affair with a fellow employee. I found their illicit emails three years ago.

Even though my husband and I are still together, I am broken and cannot heal. I pray and I strive and nothing works. It is the most painful and devastating experience...Read more

Saddened by the end of a 30-year holiday tradition

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

Our extended family -- siblings and kids -- have always gathered at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last week I got a text from my sister saying she and her family would be going away for the holiday and would no longer host Christmas Eve at their home.

This came out of the blue and is really upsetting me. My brother and I have ...Read more

Problematic Friendship

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I started to gradually notice changes in my friendship with "Marla" while I was having marital trouble. During this time, I had a lot of support from close friends and family. Because Marla and I were extremely close, I was disappointed she wasn't there for me. Marla started to decline invitations to go to lunch and would not ...Read more

Dad goes all Liam Neeson over daughter's pot fine

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My daughter is 19. Her boyfriend is 18.

Over the summer, they were busted for smoking marijuana in her car.

The officer gave them the option of letting just one of them take the fall.

My daughter volunteered; I considered this a very bad decision. If this gets on her record she will lose her financial aid and college will be, if not...Read more

Extra Place Set At The Table Helps Combat Holiday Blues

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: I read that there is a suicide somewhere in the world every 40 seconds. Numbers rise at holiday time. Feeling like a child whose nose is pressed against a window, seeing others from the outside as they enjoy the warmth of the moment, can lead to thoughts of abandonment and despair. That's why I have a mission -- I set an extra place ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 11/8/2018

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My older brother and I are both in our mid-30s and have not gotten along for 20 years. He has been verbally, psychologically and at times physically abusive toward me. He has a ferocious temper, and if I say anything he doesn't like, he lambastes me.

I try to avoid him, but since the birth of my nephew (the cutest baby ever), that...Read more

Husband keeps his parents at arm's length from daughter and wife

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

What are my obligations to help cultivate a good relationship between my daughter and her paternal grandparents? My husband is not close to his parents. There has been no abuse or fight over a major issue. My husband and I are just really different from his parents. We live in an urban ...Read more

The Stranger in My House

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I'm wondering whether you have a copy of a piece that I believe was in an Ann Landers column. It featured a woman who felt that someone she did not know was living in her house, and it was about getting older. I thought it was very funny but have never seen it again. -- George H.

Dear George: I'm glad you brought this piece to ...Read more

Dad's feelings are hurt when kids seek bio family

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: My parents divorced when my brother and I were very young.

We never had any contact with our biological father, or with his side of the family. Our mom remarried, and our wonderful stepfather legally adopted my brother and me. Mom and "Dad" have been married for over 30 years now.

Having our "Dad" and his family in our life has been ...Read more

Notebook Stepson Left Behind Reveals Love For Another Man

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: My stepson Arnold recently moved out, and I found a notebook he left behind that I thought I'd use. Inside was a journal entry he had made last year about someone he loved. The problem is, it's directed to another man.

I want to believe that's not true, but the writing and everything else checks out. I wish I had never seen it. We're...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 11/7/2018

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 80s. We have three wonderful kids, all married, who live nearby. We have always been close.

The problem is one son thinks I am trying to control him. He never tells us when he is planning to go out of town. If we can't reach him for days, we worry. He rarely answers his cellphone on vacation, and when ...Read more

Family disapproves of her plan to adopt a child while single

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Dear Carolyn:

I'm a single, independent woman in my late 20s. For various reasons, I'm pretty sure marriage is not in my future, and I feel happy the way I am.

Therein lies the rub. I want to be a mom one day. I've always thought I should adopt, regardless of marital status, so the "how" is mostly figured out.

My family, though supportive ...Read more

Husband Is Nice to Hurtful Neighbor

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I am an active member of my small community and have served on many boards, including as an elected official. There are a few community members who have taken their different views on city priorities to a personal level, and that has set up the uncomfortable situation of seeing each other at our children's events and places such as...Read more

Young woman wants to roar for rights

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I grew up in a very progressive city. Gender equality always seemed like an historical issue that had been resolved. I never felt any concern that being a female would negatively impact my life.

Now, graduated from college and out in the real world, I finally get it. My supervisor and his manager had discussed promoting me, but in a ...Read more

Eating Leftovers Becomes Bone Of Contention At Family Dinners

Life Advice / Dear Abby /

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have three teenagers -- 18, 16 and 14. My wife cooks for them every day or buys them fast food. I always eat leftovers, which the fridge is full of. Our children refuse to eat leftovers or cook for themselves, and they insist on having a freshly cooked meal every day.

Occasionally, my wife needs to work late and asks me...Read more

Annie's Mailbox for 11/6/2018

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been happily married for 27 years. We are both in our early 50s, physically fit and active. My wife looks the same today as the day we married. She's extremely attractive. The problem? She has no sex drive. She never really has. But in the past few years, her cold shoulders seem much more pronounced.

We ...Read more

Marriage counseling stalls when she realizes she just doesn't like her husband

Life Advice / Carolyn Hax /

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

At what point do you know it's time to end a marriage? I found out almost a year ago that my spouse had cheated. We have a young child, and I initially stayed because of our kid. We're in counseling and both doing everything the counselor says, and spouse is doing everything I ask, ...Read more

Husband's Ex Keeps Popping Up

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: My husband's first marriage ended when his son was 6 and his daughter was 3. His children are now 25 and 22 and have their own children. My husband and I have been together for nine years and married for four years. His ex-wife remarried 12 years ago, but she is not happy in her marriage. We talked about the kids when we needed to ...Read more