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Carolyn Hax

Columnist | Relationships
Carolyn Hax is a 40-something repatriated New Englander with a liberal arts degree and a lot of opinions and that's about it, really, when you get right down to it. Oh, and the shoes. A lot of shoes. Her column, "Tell Me About It," appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
Recent content from Carolyn Hax

Hax: Guy likes intimately casual arrangement

Dear Carolyn: I have been seeing this guy for a couple of months now. He started very fast, being very involved with me, but a…

Hax: Most of all, young man needs empathy

Dear Carolyn: My daughter, an 18-year-old about to graduate from high school, is in a serious and loving relationship with a young man who will…

Hax: How to explain childless by choice

Dear Carolyn: What do people really want to hear when they ask when my husband and I are going to have children? When I say…

Hax: Sisters need to step up for Dad

Dear Carolyn: My mom died two years ago and she ruled my parents’ relationship. My 86-year-old father has never had to make any decisions and…

Hax: Facing a quandary over kindergarten

Dear Carolyn: My spouse and I are at a complete impasse about my son starting kindergarten this fall. He has a late August birthday, so…

Hax: Apply Golden Rule with neighbors

Dear Carolyn: My family is very lucky to live in a big house with a big front porch, backyard and a second-floor back porch. My…

Hax: Boyfriend may have some control issues

Dear Carolyn: I’m the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding. The only date for the bachelorette party that works for the whole group…

Hax: Previously pushy parents now praise too much

Dear Carolyn: My parents had a lot of strengths, but one of their weaknesses was a tendency to be very critical, with high standards in…

Hax: Prepare yourself for addict's relapse

Dear Carolyn: I have been dating a wonderful man for about six months. We love each other and see a future together. He is a…

Hax: Missing old friends? Make some new ones

Dear Carolyn: When I left school, I was fortunate to move to a city with virtually all my closest friends. But, as happens, we’ve all…

Hax: She has her doubts about motherhood

Dear Carolyn: As my spouse and I decide when to have children, I find myself, the female partner, ambivalent about “motherhood.” It feels like being…

Hax: Counter unreasonability with reasonability

Dear Carolyn: My overbearing sister-in-law just moved her son's birthday party to a week later. When we originally talked a month ago, I asked when…

Hax: What to do when spouse is just flat wrong

Dear Carolyn: I love that you are big on each spouse "having the other's back" — as they are on the same "team." However, when…

Hax: Teaching life-and-death topics to toddlers

Dear Carolyn: I have a 2½-year-old son. Sadly, my mom died from cancer when he was 10 months old. He is now at an age…

Hax: Pre-divorce charade an unfortunate necessity

Dear Carolyn: My siblings and parents all live very close to one another back in my home state. They see each other frequently and are…

Hax: Let fiance tell you what might work on the job front

Dear Carolyn: My fiancé’s father has offered him an “in” to a job in the investment world, which would offer us great financial security, insurance,…

Hax: Blending these families looks to be on the rocks

Dear Carolyn: I started dating a guy about a year ago. We recently got engaged and are to be wed in July. Our relationship is…

Hax: Friendship varies in times of crisis

Dear Carolyn: I'm hoping you can answer this because you have some experience here. My mom is dealing with an array of medical problems right…

Hax: Reality will teach niece how to live

Dear Carolyn: Yesterday I received a save-the-date from my niece for a wedding in Hawaii. While we can afford to go to such a wedding,…

Hax: At 85, Mom's so vain about photos

Dear Carolyn: My mother is 85 — she's been married to my father for 54 years now. In the past 10 years she has taken…

Hax: Dander is up over mom's cats, son's allergies

Dear Carolyn: My mother and I have been at odds for the past five years about her cats. My now 11-year-old son has allergies to…

Hax: Are in-laws spoiling 30-year-old son?

Dear Carolyn: My kids are 30, 28 and 25. All of them are out of college and on their own. We paid their tuitions, but…

Hax: Support daughter on military decision

Dear Carolyn: My daughter is seriously considering going into the military. She’s a tough girl and I have confidence she would do well. Problem is,…

Hax: Sister is a bully, so action is called for

Dear Carolyn: I live in Florida. When my sister, her husband and their two teenagers come to visit, they treat my home like a hotel…

Hax: Boyfriend's unbending ways are a concern

Dear Carolyn: Last year I moved across the country to be with a wonderful man. The move required me to change my career plans a…

Hax: Parenthood not a steady slide downward

Dear Carolyn: Mom of two kids here (4 and 10 months). What do I say to people who tell me that as the kids grow…

Hax: Divorce complicates birthday party invite list

Dear Carolyn: My son is recently divorced. They share custody of two beautiful daughters. .This summer, my oldest daughter has a milestone birthday. My son,…

Hax: Ease up on control of adult offspring

While I'm away, readers give the advice.Dear Carolyn: Please don't see your kids' personal preferences as something at which you lose. That sets up a…

Hax: Finding the sweet spot in parenting

While I'm away, readers give the advice.Dear Carolyn: Having a child will increase stress, which in turn is likely to make any poor behavior far…

Hax: Split from parent can be a good thing

While I'm away, readers give the advice.Dear Carolyn: My mother was a somewhat functioning alcoholic, meaning she survived through the co-dependency of her partners. She…

Hax: Cousin deserves a total apology

Dear Carolyn: My cousin "Dara" and I have been lifelong friends since we were born three weeks apart. The friendship has had its natural ebbs…

Hax: Family pushes for Mom to stay at home

Dear Carolyn: Four years ago, I left my teaching career to care for my son, who needed a great deal of medical care. He has…

Hax: Mother-in-law is a belligerent bully

Dear Carolyn: Our wonderful, beautiful daughter is living at home to save money, studying to be a pharmacist, earning straight A's. She also works 30…

Hax: Support sister by backing off a bit

Dear Carolyn: After being a self-described pushover and the person who gets dumped on in her family, my sister has started therapy and is finally…

Hax: She's got a bad case of the late-40s blues

Dear Carolyn: In spite of doing "everything right" my life just didn't work out the way I dreamed. I went to the best college and…

Hax: Unequal kindness in blended family is unfair to children

Dear Carolyn: Situation: My grown son has two boys (8 and 6), and his girlfriend (who is still married to someone else) has a boy…

Hax: Husband is haunted by wife's coffee date

Dear Carolyn: I am a married man and father of a beautiful 3-year-old boy. For Christmas my wife and I got a new computer…

Hax: She lost a son, and now a marriage

Dear Carolyn: I'm in the middle of a messy divorce, six months after my son — conceived after years of IVF — died at birth.…

Hax: Wife wants to live abroad, but husband doesn't

Dear Carolyn: When I was first dating my husband, I told him I wanted to work overseas for a few years, and he adamantly didn't…

Hax: Husband needs to address his ex's status

Dear Carolyn: I have been in a relationship for almost 12 years now. We have been married for nine. My husband is divorced, and his…

Hax: Here's an uninviting wedding prospect

Dear Carolyn: I'm getting married in July and need help reaching out to a relative who won't be invited. It's my aunt's soon-to-be-ex-husband. Over the…

Hax: How to explain a househusband

Dear Carolyn: I married my high school sweetheart when I was 19. We were both mature for our ages, so we made a plan to…

Hax: Boyfriend's mom is dealing in denial

Dear Carolyn: I am 26 and have been with my boyfriend for three years. We have a happy and loving relationship.My boyfriend's mother is very…

Hax: Distanced father needs some frank, honest words

Dear Carolyn: This fall, my father left my mother at home while he went to spend the winter with friends in Florida (she still works…

Hax: An unhappy ending to 'The Cat in the Apt'

Dear Carolyn: It's a long story, but please bear with me.My roommate and I are friends and busy medical students and we decided to live…

Hax: 'Christmas' vs. 'holidays' causes a rift

Dear Carolyn: I bought a house a few years ago in a development in a non-metropolitan part of Virginia. There was a homeowners association with…

Hax: Revive friendship in a one-one-one manner

Dear Carolyn: Friend recently got married and seems TOTALLY uninterested in spending time with friends, what's going on in our lives, etc. (We are a…

Hax: Great Danes reveal a great incompatibility

Dear Carolyn: We are engaged and she has a ring. I have four indoor dogs and they are Great Danes, well-behaved and more predictably glad…

Hax: Racist husband is clearly a bad person

Dear Carolyn: I've been married for four years. After we said "I do," my daughter started dating a guy of another race. It was then…

Hax: Childless woman gets clueless comments

Dear Carolyn: I am a childless woman. My husband and I work hard and we like the way things are in our life.So how do…

Hax: Confront Mom about her negativity

Dear Carolyn: I'm a wife and mom of two elementary-age boys. My mom lives near us and is a hard person to be around. She…

Hax: Couple disagree over bar mitzvah guests

Dear Carolyn: My husband does not want to invite his brother and family to our son's upcoming bar mitzvah. He thinks they are bad people,…

Hax: Food choices are eating at couple

Dear Carolyn: What the heck do you do when you and your partner have agreed to eat more healthfully, but then your partner regularly suggests…

Hax: Back off on scorekeeping kids' development

Dear Carolyn: Thus far our two children, 2 and 7, have met or exceeded their development markers. The same has not been true for all…

Hax: What to tell kids about estranged grandparents?

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I (and as a result, our two young children) are estranged from his parents after years of hostility came to…

Hax: How to ease strains in communication

Dear Carolyn: I understand that telling someone "you're overreacting" is a cheap way to dismiss someone's feelings, but what if they really are? Frequently?I've had…

Hax: Retiree relatives seem a bit tone-deaf

Dear Carolyn: My parents and in-laws are all retired and reasonably well-off. They've filled their retirements with joining musical groups, coaching kids' sports, visiting family,…

Hax: Unfaithful wife adds insult to injury

Dear Carolyn: My wife renewed an old friendship on Facebook that ended with an affair. Now she wants to be with this guy and regularly…

Hax: Readers tackle a wide range of topics

While I'm away, readers give the advice.On marriage to a yeller:Dear Carolyn: Sorry, I don't buy the "That's just the way I am" when it…

Hax: Readers offer up their own advice

While I'm away, readers give the advice.On feeling overwhelmed by child-rearing:Dear Carolyn: I was a very difficult baby. I refused to nurse and cried incessantly…

Hax: Readers embrace their mothers-in-law

While I'm away, readers celebrate mothers-in-law.Dear Carolyn: I was in a marriage that ended sadly but amicably. I've kept in touch with my mother-in-law, with…

Hax: Husband, wife, baby – the balancing act

Dear Carolyn: Husband and I are parents of darling baby girl. Through it all my husband has done the work of keeping house together, dogs…

Hax: Ex-boyfriend is out of sight, not out of mind

Dear Carolyn: I have this idea in my head that I will be able to forgive the ex who cheated on me only if he…

Hax: What to tell kids about previous marriages?

Dear Carolyn: My sister and her husband married in a church 20 years ago, and recently renewed their wedding vows. Their eldest daughter is 23,…

Hax: Husband's siblings are bigoted, boring

Dear Carolyn: My husband's family is bigoted, and I don't want to be around them. My husband's parents were wonderful, intelligent, interesting people I enjoyed…

Hax: For this woman, it's the most horrible time of the year

Dear Carolyn: I hate Christmas. I hate the expectations that are put on me. Putting on the family dinner because my mother's health doesn't allow…

Hax: Mental health challenges over the holidays

Dear Carolyn: Any advice on how to deal with my single, middle-aged, mentally-ill sibling who will be attending family holiday dinners? Sibling is difficult to…

Hax: Finding the sweet spot in parenting

Dear Carolyn: Common advice is that parents should let kids struggle through issues on their own, thus learning how to manage their friendships, issues, etc.…

Hax: New guy balks at exclusivity clause

Dear Carolyn: I have been seeing a guy who seems perfect for me. Maybe. He’s a bit different from men I’ve dated in the past,…

Hax: In-laws' quarreling disrupts vacations

Dear Carolyn: We just returned from a week at the lake with our two grown kids, their significant others, and other family members from both…

Carolyn Hax: Mom should protect child from bullying grandma

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.   Dear Carolyn: How can I help my daughter,…

Hax: Nieces, nephews present a gift quandary

Dear Carolyn: My sister has four school-age children, and my nieces and nephews have, quite frankly, had to do without.My oldest niece (who is on…

Hax: Give sister-in-law the benefit of doubt

Dear Carolyn: Last summer, my sister-in-law cheated on my brother. It was a months-long affair that continued even after my brother found out about it,…

Hax: Family's culture complicates upcoming wedding

Dear Carolyn: Long story short, my Indian parents (and by extension my sibs) do not like my significant other because he is a white, non-college-educated…

Hax: Try to see "loans" as safety net for sibs

Dear Carolyn: My 88-year-old father recently informed me that he's decided to change his will. I have four sisters and brothers, and three have taken…
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