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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: 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: Grappling with 'the mommy deadline'

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: How do women in their mid-30s who hope for biological children date without obsessing over looming questions about…

Hax: A wedding guest who has autism

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: My daughter is getting married in a huge wedding, 300 guests. My son is autistic and…

Hax: Potential stepdad has his doubts

Dear Carolyn: Is it advisable for a never-married man with no kids to get involved with a single mother? I know it's never a good…

Hax: Boyfriend can't see he's an abuse victim

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2004. Dear Carolyn: I love my girlfriend — although she says I never say it enough.…

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…

Hax: Attend wedding of her ex-husband?

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I married my high school sweetheart when we were both 25 — not because we were soul mates…

Hax: Flip the switch on child-care duties

Dear Carolyn: About four years ago, my husband and I decided to have another set of babies. Our older two were 9 and 7 at…

Hax: Is it a good idea to date a roommate?

Dear Carolyn: Four months ago I moved into a new place, and have fallen for one of my roommates. I want to ask her out,…

Hax: Sky diver's mother wants her to stop

Dear Carolyn: My daughter was recently injured in a sky diving accident and had surgery on a vertebra in her back; she sky-dives for fun…

Hax: Dealing with loss of a family tradition

Dear Carolyn: Our extended family — siblings and kids — have always gathered at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last week I got a text from my…

Hax: Family frowns at adoption idea

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…

Hax: New love interest lacks compassion toward homeless

Dear Carolyn: I've been dating this guy for about five months. I live in the city, he lives in the suburbs. Since I live where…

Hax: Should couple move or stay put?

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are at a crossroads, trying to decide between staying in our current city, near…

Hax: Build new relationship slowly and with honesty

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I am currently separated and have met someone who I fell for quickly. I don't know how to…

Hax: Partner's child is a grown-up 'brat'

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: We're going to see my partner's family, including her 25-year-old child, who has acted like a sullen brat…

Hax: Mere mention of name bothers her

Dear Carolyn: "Jeff" has been my best friend for almost 20 years; we've supported each other often during that time. A couple of years ago…

Hax: Live-in daughter and kids won't clean the house

Dear Carolyn: I bought a house about a year ago and my daughter and her three kids moved in with me. I am single and…

Hax: Wife finds herself in a secretive spot

Dear Carolyn: My mother-in-law told me she questions her son's (my husband's) paternity. She claims her ex, his father, doesn't know. She said she wanted…

Hax: An adoption by any other name

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My son's best friend since middle school has been living in my guest room for a couple of…

Hax: Boy shooed away just for being male

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: I have a daughter, and some other moms of daughters and I have started getting together at…

Hax: Teen's silence not golden to Mom

Dear Carolyn: I am struggling with my 14-year-old son. We have a happy family life at home, he gets good grades, plays sports and has…

Hax: Better-off friend complains a great deal

Dear Carolyn: I'm tearing my hair out over a friend whose life is demonstrably easier than mine in many ways, but who never stops complaining:…

Hax: Give reticent teen the gift of support

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: Our 16-year-old son has always been taciturn — now he barely speaks to me. Our interactions have…

Hax: When guilt and pregnancy collide

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are expecting our first child in January. We are thrilled about this and are excited to be parents. I…

Hax: Away at college and feeling friendless

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I graduated from high school with a close-knit group of friends who were all going to different colleges.…

Hax: Birthday party timing a grab for gifts?

Dear Carolyn: Our daughter’s classmate has a July birthday. Her parents always organize a birthday party for her shortly after school is in session, when…

Hax: More at stake than housework

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: When my girlfriend, "Claire," and I moved in together, we split the chores down the middle. It seemed…

Hax: What is her true goal about marriage?

Dear Carolyn: Is a separation cruel? Prolonging the inevitable? In counseling now but I feel claustrophobic, like we can't have a conversation without the weight…
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