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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: Grandma is grumpy in shared household

Dear Carolyn: My family of three recently moved from the West Coast to the East Coast, where my family lives. At the urging of my…

Hax: Who stays where is bothering her

Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend and I were doing long-distance for a while, and a few months ago he moved to D.C. We live 20 to…

Hax: Couple diverge on household tasks

Dear Carolyn: My girlfriend and I have been seeing each other for almost eight months, and we still each live separately and have our own…

Hax: Choose the right way to battle insecurity

Dear Carolyn: I made the mistake of looking up my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend and discovered she’s beautiful and accomplished. They broke up over a year before…

Hax: Stand fast or bend on house rules?

Dear Carolyn: Our nephew, with whom we are very close, wants to visit us for a few days with his girlfriend. They live together, but…

Hax: Long-lost friend deserves a second chance

Dear Carolyn: I had a college friend until age 35, when he started dating and then married a girl who was not only entirely uninterested…

Hax: Seize the advantage in family dynamic

Dear Carolyn: I am in grad school and living in my parents’ house. There are many issues that arise as an adult living at home,…

Hax: Mom's not buying this amicable breakup

Dear Carolyn: By mutual agreement, my ex and I ended our six-year relationship last year. We’ve remained friendly because we recognize that we simply grew…

Hax: Boyfriend's 'tough love' is tough to take

Dear Carolyn: I was out for dinner with my boyfriend and his family and one of his friends last week. I was the only one…

Hax: 'Grief police' show insensitivity

Dear Carolyn: My mom died suddenly six months ago after 50-plus years of marriage. My dad has largely moved on, and is even more active…

Hax: Emotional pain is added to physical

Dear Carolyn: I've gone through some health challenges. Nothing that is likely to kill me, but I've spent literally years in pain and my life…

Hax: Pay at least part of college expenses

While I’m away, readers give the advice.   On a college student’s resistance to parental control: Show your real independence. Ease the financial burden on…

Hax: Here's a way to be sure about tattoos

While I’m away, readers give the advice. On counseling a young adult against getting tattoos: I met a gentleman with beautiful tattoos. He had a…

Hax: Ignore parents who play favorites

While I'm away, readers give the advice.On parents who play favorites:By the time I was in my 40s — and after beating my head against…

Hax: She doesn't want to lose him again

Carolyn: A good friend and I had strong feelings for each other but I (foolishly) would not break up my long-term relationship for him.…

Hax: Dating dryspell has mom worried

Dear Carolyn: My 22-year-old daughter is lovely, kind and smart. She rarely dated in high school, and this was a big disappointment for her,…

Hax: Friend's death sparked romance

Dear Carolyn: One of my best friends committed suicide two years ago, devastating both me and our group of friends. It's been an incredibly…

Hax: Feeling helpless over brother's cancer

Carolyn: My younger brother, 29, was recently diagnosed with cancer. He’s the healthy, extremely fit one of the family, so it is extremely unexpected.…

Hax: Neglected dog poses family dilemma

Dear Carolyn: My brother-in-law recently lost his apartment, so my husband and I offered to watch his dog while he finds a new place…

Carolyn Hax: Parenting a two-person job

Dear Carolyn: I could use some perspective here. My husband and I recently had a baby. After three months of maternity leave, I went…

Hax: How to convey that grief is not gone

Dear Carolyn: My mom died suddenly a year ago. I've had several friends make comments to the effect that it must be good to be…

Hax: Gifts for teachers go unacknowledged

Dear Carolyn: My daughter suffers from general anxiety and just finished middle school. To thank her teachers for helping her through her moments of panic,…

Hax: Treat wife's compulsion with compassion

Dear Carolyn: Is there anything I can do to get my wife to suspend a habit for a few months? A family wedding is coming…

Hax: Silent treatment is always mistreatment

Dear Carolyn: I wanted to chime in on your oft-repeated statement that the silent treatment is emotional abuse. Sometimes people are silent because they are…

Hax: She's weighed down by self-criticism

Dear Carolyn: I have gained an awful amount of weight in the past year. I am tall, so I can carry some of it, but…

Hax: Close friend is distant since his marriage

Dear Carolyn: I’m a forty-something guy, married with three kids. My best friend/college buddy married a few years back, had his first kid a year…

Hax: Couple weigh city life versus suburbs

Dear Carolyn: Do you have any general advice on how to make big decisions? My husband and I are trying to decide if we're going…

Hax: Invite alcoholic to a boozy party?

Dear Carolyn: I'm throwing a large party this weekend and know, based upon the bar I'm setting out and the guests I've invited, there will…

Hax: Mother and daughter could both use Al-Anon

Dear Carolyn: My adult brother is in rehab for the second time in two years. My mother is understandably upset and wants to talk about…

Hax: Feeling lonely amid Dad's new life

Dear Carolyn: After many years of being single, my dad is getting married soon to a woman he loves very much. She has two daughters,…

Hax: Grandma wants to overstay her welcome

Dear Carolyn: Today my parents informed me (not asking) that they’re coming to town for a month when my second baby is born, renting a…

Hax: Without truth-telling, this marriage is doomed

Dear Carolyn: I've been separated from my wife of 19 years and three kids for a few months. The separation stemmed from my infidelity —…

Hax: Take in the big picture when planning funeral

Dear Carolyn: My mother has Stage 4 breast cancer and is near death. My family has begun to discuss funeral arrangements. Having lived in their…

Hax: Traditions of dating are yours to make

Dear Carolyn: I thought you were right on about who pays for dates — you were correct to suggest kindness. However, I think your answer…

Hax: He finds women, in general, untrustworthy

Dear Carolyn: How do you know if you have good instincts when it comes to trusting people? I like to pride myself on that. Maybe…

Hax: Stepmom proposes an unwanted bridal shower

Dear Carolyn: My stepmom wants to throw me a totally inappropriate bridal shower with her extended family. Her extended family who isn’t invited to our…

Hax: Daughter, 6, notices her humble household

Dear Carolyn: My daughter, 6, has just begun noticing that many of her friends have much nicer homes than we do. For a variety of…

Hax: Find the reward in thankless task

Dear Carolyn: I play for a high school sports team that had only one senior this year. Nobody is particularly fond of this player, but…

Hax: Make a plan for visiting parents

Dear Carolyn: I always learned growing up that if I didn't have the money for something, I shouldn't buy it. As an adult, I make…

Hax: Protect daughter from suspect aunt

Dear Carolyn: Our daughter is 12. My sister-in-law is crazy about her, but she's also overbearing and controlling. Our daughter doesn't like to spend time…

Hax: Hand-wringing over hand-holding

Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend has hang-ups about being touched in public. If we’re walking side-by-side or weaving through crowds, he does not want to hold…

Hax: Fiancé was a little too truthful

Dear Carolyn: I am soon to be married. I just found out that my fiancé's friend, who is in our wedding party, said my fiancé…

Hax: Girlfriend has clearly crossed a line

Dear Carolyn: I am a working professional with twin 9-year-old boys, and my girlfriend recently moved in. I have the boys only a couple of…

Hax: Weight war with Mom calls for counterattack

Dear Carolyn: My mother and I have been having a “weight war” since I was a child and it’s growing old. As a child (older,…

Hax: Noisy neighbors or a bad building?

Dear Carolyn: I live in an apartment building and a family with four kids lives in the apartment above us. They are so loud all…

Hax: Wife exhibiting signs of depression

Dear Carolyn: When my wife and I got engaged 17 years ago, she was healthy, cheerful and gainfully employed. Two months after the engagement she…

Hax: Significant other is a significant mess

Dear Carolyn: My longtime partner is in many ways a wonderful woman. I definitely will be her committed companion for as long as we both…

Hax: To trust your boyfriend, trust yourself first

Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend is very laid-back. Nothing bothers him. On the other hand, I get in a tizzy about certain things. For example,…

Hax: Mom gnashes teeth over wedding meal

Dear Carolyn: I’m getting married soon and am a vegetarian. Our menu has one meat option and one vegetarian option, as well as appetizers (a…

Hax: Everyone loves beau – except Sis

Dear Carolyn: I am a 21-year-old Mexican woman in a wonderful relationship with a 21-year-old white male. My boyfriend and I are deeply in love…

Hax: Girlfriend's past clouds his future

Dear Carolyn: My girlfriend is 29. I’m happy in our relationship and think she’s awesome. However, in her past she had an affair with a…

Hax: No sign of trust in this marriage

Dear Carolyn: My wife and I have fought over whether I should be giving her open access to my personal e-mail. I’ve had this account…

Hax: There's nothing to 'admit' about best friend

Dear Carolyn: I’m currently back on the dating scene and have been wondering what will happen when I get close enough to someone where I…

Hax: Mom gnashes teeth over wedding meal

Dear Carolyn: I’m getting married soon and am a vegetarian. Our menu has one meat option and one vegetarian option, as well as appetizers (a…

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: 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…
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