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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: Girlfriend is much more than a picky eater

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I've been with my girlfriend about a year and even though I love her, some days I consider…

Hax: Relative keeps bringing up a painful memory

Dear Carolyn: Once many years ago, my spouse had a brief sexual affair with a friend of ours, then came clean to me and cut…

Hax: How to lose weight when your spouse isn't on board with a diet

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I have both gained significant weight since we've been married, but I'm trying to mitigate that with diet and exercise.…

Hax: Helpful auntie bearing too much of the load

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I'm 30 and live at home with my disabled mother and grandmother, and my younger sister and her…

Hax: Girlfriend's frequent spanking of son is clear abuse

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: My longtime girlfriend is a single mom. I have a very good relationship with her son.…

Hax: Husband's aging parents 'not his problem'

Dear Carolyn: My husband, "John," is the oldest of three children. His siblings, "Bill" and "Sue," both live where they all were raised. Both parents…

Hax: Their relationship is quite the mess

Carolyn Hax is away. The following appeared in 2005.Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 ½ years, living together for one. He…

Hax: Should he offer criticism on baby name ideas?

Carolyn Hax is away. The following appeared in 2005.   Dear Carolyn: My sister is pregnant for the first time, and I’m excited to become…

Hax: Too early to ask for exclusivity?

Carolyn Hax is away. The following appeared in 2005.Dear Carolyn: I have finally met a guy I really like. We have been seeing each other…

Hax: One more look at Mom's negativity

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: Some readers asked for a follow-up to a question I wrote to you about recently: I have tried,…

Hax: Neutralize Mom's chronic negativity

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: My mother makes everything negative. Tell her a piece of good news, like a job promotion,…

Hax: Mom-to-be is showered with cluelessness

Dear Carolyn: As inappropriate as it feels to "need" a baby shower, my husband was just laid off and we, after several miscarriages, are expecting…

Hax: Dealing with a narcissist mom

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I have a narcissistic mother whom I escaped by immigrating to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. in…

Hax: Wedding reunion causes tension

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My fiancé’s parents divorced around the time he and his siblings graduated from college, nearly a decade…

Hax: Abusive marriage must come to an end

Dear Carolyn: I was married to my ex for 20 years when we divorced. I wasn’t attractive to him anymore since I gained weight with…

Hax: Estranged father wants back in

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I'm 32, married with a great wife and a 2-year-old son, and my life is good except for…

Hax: Boyfriend retains ties with his ex

Adapted from a recent online discussion.   Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend of a few months seems to like going on vacations with his ex and…

Hax: What to do about a secretive spouse?

Dear Carolyn: Is it odd when your spouse doesn't want to share details about her life from before you met? I've been an open book…

Hax: Feeling her family just fraying away

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My first marriage ended, a spectacular shock to me, when I was 34. I would have done anything…

Hax: Who should close the bathroom door?

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: Husband, wife, and wife’s dad live together. Wife is in the bathroom, naked, getting ready for work…

Hax: Her 'simple' wedding is very unlikely

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My fiancé and I want a small backyard wedding with about 75 guests. My grandmother has a huge…

Hax: Co-worker serves up cruel comment

Dear Carolyn: I was making small talk at a work function when a woman asked if I had children. I said no. She expressed pity…

Hax: She dreads meeting the Other Woman

Dear Carolyn: My 25-year marriage ended about five years ago, due mostly to his (not first) affair. He is now married to the Other Woman.…

Hax: Spouses differ on sharing their secret

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: How does a couple decide how much of their life to share with family? My husband and I…

Hax: Pregnant near 40, and thrown for a loop

Dear Carolyn: I just found out I'm pregnant and I'm not happy about it. Quick back story: I'm about to turn 40 and recently married…

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…
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