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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: Teen daughter retreats when at Mom's house

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: My ex-husband and I divorced when our daughter was 3. I went on to get remarried…

Hax: Frequent traveler has jealous friends

Dear Carolyn: I'm single, educated and retired. I own a beautiful home in a unique location, am involved in creative pursuits and travel quite a…

Hax: Drunken son-in-law hits on Grandma

Dear Carolyn: Recently my daughter and son-in-law were staying at my home. My husband was away. After an enjoyable evening out, we came home and…

Hax: Three kids under age 3 – help!

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: We have three kids under 3 — there's a set of twins in there! Please tell me we…

Hax: Plus-one guest annoys reunion hostess

Dear Carolyn: I am the middle sister of three. My older sister suggested we have a family reunion, and we decided we would have it…

Hax: Much ado about grand-nicknames

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: We're expecting our first baby (yay!). In my family, a much-anticipated rite of passage for new grandparents is…

Hax: Parents clash over their lifestyle approaches

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: We live in a community that is full of young families. There is a strong clash…

Hax: Teaching a toddler how to be tidy

Dear Carolyn: I babysit my 2-year-old granddaughter at her house one day a week while my daughter works from home. Their living room floor is…

Hax: When will our son get married?

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My husband and I have a 34-year-old son who has been in a relationship with a woman for…

Hax: Grief unsettles divorce process

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I was in the middle of a divorce when my mom suddenly died four months ago. It…

Hax: Relationship isn't going the distance

Dear Carolyn: I am in a long-distance relationship and I recently had a birthday. My fiancée is working overseas, and on my birthday, she…

Hax: Use a united front against Grandma

Dear Carolyn: When I married my wonderful husband, he asked if we could cut ties with his family. I thought he was joking.He grew up…

Hax: Can hubby step up for Baby #3?

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: My husband is a great father to our 6- and 4-year-old daughters, but he is a…

Hax: Worker resents low-key colleague

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I work in an extremely demanding job that has always expected late nights, overtime, uncompensated work on the…

Hax: Little girl presents a larger question

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: We have a bunch of little girls in our neighborhood who play with ours. One of them…

Hax: She doesn't 'owe' him a second date

Dear Carolyn: I’ve found all of my relationships through work, school or a shared activity. We got to know each other over time and…

Hax: Amid grief galore, practice self-care

Adapted from an online discussion.Dear Carolyn: This has just been a crappy year and I'm really tired of it. Eight people I care about…

Hax: Her mother-in-law is holding a secret

Dear Carolyn: My mother-in-law told me several years ago that she had been sexually abused when younger by someone that was supposed to protect her.…

Hax: Crush that crush on your colleague

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I have a very strong crush on my colleague. We work very closely together. We are both…

Hax: Does Grandma need to be 'told off'?

Dear Carolyn: I am gay, and my grandma has always been totally supportive of me, even though she grew up in a conservative time and…

Hax: Modify your lifestyle to block burnout

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I'm burned out. Between work, my commute, working out every night and trying to lose weight, trying to…

Hax: Couple billed for family reunion after the fact

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: Over the weekend I attended a family “reunion” out of state. Everything went beautifully until I got…

Hax: Wife's behavior is well beyond 'nonsocial'

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My wife, now in her 70s, has never been particularly social. She had a circle of three friends.…

Hax: Finding balance after dear friend's death

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: A few years ago, my wife and I made a lot of new friends. There was one Main…

Hax: Supporting friend after stillbirth

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I have a mutual friend who was pregnant with her first child. We had planned to give her a congratulatory…

Hax: Super-introvert husband riles family issues

Dear Carolyn: I am struggling to balance my husband's relationship with my family. My family adores him and wants to spend time with him. He…

Hax: Getting the help you need amid a health crisis

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: One of my kids is facing a life-threatening illness and surgery and if — a big if —…

Hax: Trust issues toward her mother-in-law

Dear Carolyn: My mother-in-law has very unkind things to say about my ex-sister-in-law, and, as a woman, I deplore how my brother-in-law handled his divorce.…

Hax: She'd like some 'adult time' on vacation

Adapted from an online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My partner's children, who are in middle school, will spend most of their spring break with us. (They mostly…

Hax: Let boyfriend find his own job

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2004.Dear Carolyn: I'm dating a man who works in information technology, is a brilliant artist and…

Hax: Just let it be – over

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2004. Dear Carolyn: I recently found out that my girlfriend of five years (long-distance for a…

Hax: Keep 'testing' in school, not marriage

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2004.Dear Carolyn: My wife and I (married one year) recently had a disagreement about whether I…

Hax: Rolling with new wedding conventions

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: Friends who pretty much grew up and married decades ago find some modern wedding practices to be ...…

Hax: How to make friends in your mid-50s

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I would like to understand how people make new friends when they are in their mid-50s. Where…

Hax: Is she lazy or does she have it made?

Dear Carolyn: I work from home at a career I love that I built myself. I'm also the parent of two small children. And I…

Hax: Intimacy is gone from her marriage

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are in our 60s and have been married 23 years. He's a hardworking, funny, nice guy, and also happens…

Hax: Her ex's life looks nigh unto perfect

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: I just found out — through social media — that my ex from over a decade…

Hax: Friend is illiterate on reading social cues

Dear Carolyn: I need some help setting boundaries with a friend who has a hard time reading social cues. She regularly interrupts and talks…

Hax: It's not the puppy that's the problem

Dear Carolyn: My kids have been asking for a dog for several years and we finally got a family puppy. We love this dog more…

Hax: Friction advances over sister retreats

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: Three sisters, all mid-40s, all live within hours of each other and are generally very close. I,…

Hax: She just wants to be alone (with her husband)

Dear Carolyn: My husband does not want to spend alone time with me, leaving me feeling frustrated. We both work high-pressure, full-time jobs and have…

Hax: Accept son's spot in the workplace

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My son, "Ron," 27, works part time at a low-pressure, low-paying job. He has a four-year college degree…

Hax: Resist the urge to be a parenting coach

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My husband and I got married and had kids relatively young, especially by his family’s standards. Our…
Handling of the cat's litter box is at the heart of this family's issue.

Hax: Daughter blows off her household chores

I live in a home with two indoor house cats with a litter box. My eighth-grade daughter is supposed to be responsible for sweeping and scooping litter but does a terrible, lackadaisical job. What can I do?

Hax: Teenage sister thwarted in making better choices

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My youngest sister is 14. She recently spent 10 days at my house visiting and we had a…

Hax: Wife wants no part of Family Trip II

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: About three years ago my husband and I (no kids) went on a big vacation with…

Hax: Brother needs to hear a hard truth

Dear Carolyn: My brother and sister-in-law have two little girls, 5 and 2, and I love the four of them very much.My brother is a…

Hax: Volunteer work is Mom's choice

Dear Carolyn: For the holidays this year, my mother was torn about her regular "gig" — volunteering at a local community center serving as a…

Hax: Mom wants a curfew for her visiting son, age 42

Dear Carolyn: My wife and I argue about my son, 42, unmarried. He lives Up North but visits for a week each winter to get…

Hax: How to handle a troublesome sister

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I ruined my sister's life the day I was born, which was cute back then, but we're almost…

Hax: Stand by this man? Really?

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My husband recently told me he had fallen for another woman. I was stunned, but even more when…

Hax: Step back, look hard at this marriage

Dear Carolyn: I got married two years ago to a wonderful woman. We are in our mid-30s and decided to wait one year before trying…

Hax: 30-something is feeling unfulfilled

Dear Carolyn: Is being an adult just the process of becoming more accepting of disappointment in life?I'm in my 30s and awakening to the fact…

Hax: Family of nurse's boyfriend is thick as a brick

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I am a nurse, my boyfriend is a teacher. A lot of his family are teachers, too. My…

Hax: Don't cower if things go poorly

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I am finishing a training program and the ritual is a gathering with one of the senior…

Hax: Suddenly, Mom seems very mortal

Dear Carolyn: The holidays were great except ... my mother looks like she is dying. She had a significant fall the week before. Went to…

Hax: Hubby's bragging became a backfire

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: Two years ago, we were invited to skip our son "Johnny" ahead from first grade to second midyear.…

Hax: Stepdaughter's wedding plans cause pain

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My husband is a widower with three kids. His youngest daughter, “Danielle,” is getting married. My two…

Hax: Letting go of ex is best medicine

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I'm finding myself in one of those surreal stories where I invested years (six of them) in a…

Hax: To earn wife's respect, earn your own

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2004.   Dear Carolyn: My wife feels unfulfilled in our relationship and wants to move on.…

Hax: Address chaos by managing time strictly

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2004.Dear Carolyn: Ack. I need some advice here. My mom is being treated for leukemia in…

Hax: 'Mediating' daughter's divorce is a terrible idea

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My daughter, "Belle," and her husband, "Ben," are getting divorced. Ben's parents have always said they love Belle,…

Hax: She's just not into the great outdoors

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I don’t like to go outside. I don’t really see the appeal. I enjoy indoor activities like…

Hax: Tell siblings about unfaithful late father?

Dear Carolyn: I'm the oldest child, with two younger brothers.My dad passed away about five years ago. My mom told me my dad cheated on…

Hax: Wife needs a 'restore/deplete' list

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I am a married woman with two elementary-age sons. I've often felt I do way more to help…

Hax: It takes a village to address bullying

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: I have a middle-schooler with a group of friends at school. One friend has a habit…

Hax: Ex-wife constantly berates herself

Dear Carolyn: I interact with my husband's ex-wife, "Debby," almost weekly at the kid handoff and other kid-related events. She is one of the sweetest…

Hax: Time to address a failed marriage

Dear Carolyn: I've heard "life is too short" a lot lately. It makes me think I've wasted significant time, energy and money in a 23-year…

Hax: Is Auntie being too supportive?

Dear Carolyn: When my ex-husband and I divorced eight years ago, I got full custody of our daughter, "Jane," and remained great friends with his…

Hax: Aging mom has lost her baking touch

Dear Carolyn: My mom has always been a wonderful baker and has traditionally brought desserts to every family function. However, as she reaches her 70s,…

Hax: Parents tripping out over daughter's planned trip

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I are both 19, and we'll be having our five-year anniversary this summer. We've dated…

Hax: Their marriage needs cleanup on Aisle 1

Dear Carolyn: My wife and I often grocery shop together. My wife will predictably identify something among my few items and ask that I return…

Hax: Second-guessing the rules of casual sex

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: Meet a guy online, engage in light "sexting," maybe even meet and have sex. Neither of us is…

Hax: Shy, pregnant and needs a transit seat

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: I just entered the second trimester of my first pregnancy (very excited!) and had a fainting…

Hax: How to handle a loquacious lad

Dear Carolyn: My son is almost 9 and loves to chat, with his friends mostly. He pronounced 99 percent of the words perfectly, including their…
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