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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: Domesticating a new live-in partner

Dear Carolyn: I love my partner. He recently moved in. I’ve had so many roommates over the years (I’m pushing 30, so think 12-13 years…

Hax: Friend's husband is annoying – and could be a threat

Dear Carolyn: I recently reconnected with a very good friend from college. She has worked hard to bring our whole gang of college friends together…

Hax: Mom struggles to arrange playdates

Dear Carolyn: I have one child, age 7, and I had him late. He is much younger than the children of my friends in the…

Hax: Grandma needs to stop being a buttinski

Dear Carolyn: I’m having such a hard time staying out of my son’s situation. He and his girlfriend just moved into an apartment, but can…

Hax: Post-affair, husband is still calling the shots

Dear Carolyn: My relationship with my husband is breaking down. He cheated on me a while ago, but we decided to give it shot…

Hax: Left hanging by a still-wed lover

Dear Carolyn: While separated from our spouses, a very good friend supported me and I supported him. We fell in love.Four years later, I'm mostly…

Hax: Girlfriend's boozing has him worried

Dear Carolyn: My girlfriend and I are in our mid-20s and have been dating for four years. We love each other deeply and generally communicate…

Hax: Find out the basis for husband's intolerance

Dear Carolyn: My husband is uncomfortable with our 20-year-old white son dating a black woman. When he asks why his feelings are wrong, what can…

Hax: Time to face facts down on the farm

Dear Carolyn: I live across the country from my parents. They still live in the home I grew up in, which they built by themselves…

Hax: Future grandma is upset over name choice

Dear Carolyn: My daughter and her husband live across the country from us, so we mostly talk with her on the phone several times per…

Hax: Overwhelmed mom asks, 'When does it get better?'

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: You once said there should be an "It gets better" campaign for parents of small children. Smart. Profound,…

Hax: What to say when a gift misses its mark

Dear Carolyn: If someone does something nice for you but it turned out to be more of a hassle or you didn’t appreciate the gesture,…

Hax: 'Dadzilla' seeks to take over wedding plans

Dear Carolyn: This past weekend, my boyfriend proposed to me while we were in New England on a trip. We are both in our 30s.…

Hax: Living a lie over store-bought food

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My 11-year-old daughter is going through a phase right now of extreme, black-and-white thinking. Right is right and…

Hax: Drama, thy name is Grandpa

Dear Carolyn: I am at my wits' end with family drama. I will spare you the very long and ugly details and start with the…

Hax: Bothered by grandson's high profile on social media

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I have a 4-year-old grandson who is wonderful in all the ways a 4-year-old boy can be. His mother, our…

Hax: Mom-to-be feels cheated when hubby breaks the news

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I am six weeks pregnant; we confirmed it last week. My husband then told two of our closest…

Hax: Mom won't accept daughter's abandoned faith

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I were both raised in the same religion, which for various reasons we have not chosen to continue as adults.…

Hax: Guest list drama doesn't need to be

Dear Carolyn: I am getting married this July. My fiancé and I at some point told my younger sister she would get a plus-one. She…

Hax: Mom's mean streak is aimed at teens

Dear Carolyn: My mother was a pretty good mom until I turned into a teenager, and then she became verbally and (occasionally) physically abusive. This…

Hax: Is there hope for this cranky old man?

Dear Carolyn: Lately I’ve noticed I’ve become an angry, suspicious, negative person. I want to tell everyone off. More so since the election, but if…

Hax: He's tired of wife's job complaints

Dear Carolyn: Over the years, my wife has supervised dozens of employees. By all accounts, she has been a good boss and her employees like…

Hax: Emotional affair is not a good omen

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: How do you deal with your partner's emotional affair? Wait until this phase is over, or tell him…

Hax: How best to guide kids' expressions?

Dear Carolyn: I wonder how to help my children embrace their own likes and dislikes without succumbing to pressures from peers. I am a big…

Hax: Grandma seeks daughter's attention

Dear Carolyn: I am retired and live alone. Although my daughter lives nearby, I rarely see or hear from her. If I text her a…

Hax: Needing a break from in-laws

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: As an introvert, I really need downtime outside of socializing or I feel tired (and crazy). When we…

Hax: Feeling abandoned by plugged-in hubby

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are busy; we sometimes refer to ourselves as "Type Double-A." We love to make lists and check off tasks.…

Hax: Wife dreads prospect of 'home alone'

Dear Carolyn: My husband has been asked to go on a mission trip. He has done this in the past and really enjoyed it. I…

Hax: Wife's resentment is at the boiling point

Dear Carolyn: My husband hasn't worked for more than 10 years. He left his last job without informing me to be an entrepreneur. That never…

Hax: Husband's weight has her worried

Dear Carolyn: Recently my husband's parents came to visit after an absence of several years. I found that his obese father was even more unbearable…

Hax: She's not sporting about relatives' games

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I have been married 12 years and have no kids. Prior to getting married, my husband was aware that I…

Hax: Being friendly with ex is no crime

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My husband of 55 years fell in love with another woman. Now two years after the heartache, amicable…

Hax: Keep bachelorette trip simple and calm

Dear Carolyn: How can I do my part in preventing any drama during my bachelorette party? I am having 10 of my closest girlfriends and…

Hax: Husband feels 'ditched' when in-laws visit

Dear Carolyn: I’m writing from the mudroom of my house, to give you some perspective: My wife has always claimed she’s much better friends with…

Hax: Neighbor creates a birthday party dilemma

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: My husband and I were friends with another couple who live in the neighborhood. Several years ago, the…

Hax: Can this breakup be 'rectified?'

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2003.Dear Carolyn: My long-distance girlfriend of five years has suddenly come to the realization that I'm…

Hax: Affair with boss piles up the problems

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2003.Dear Carolyn: I have been having an affair with my older, married boss for six months…

Hax: Cheater needs to face his reality

Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared in 2003. Dear Carolyn: I just got married to my girlfriend of 11 years (high school sweetheart).…

Hax: Bow out of beach vacation gracefully

Dear Carolyn: Please help me. My older sister and family go to the beach yearly for a week and stay together in a condo. Same…

Hax: Stay in contact with at-risk friend

Adapted from an online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My best friend is getting married in about five months to her boyfriend of six years, a very…

Hax: Respect and invite daughter's girlfriend

Dear Carolyn: We retired to Washington, D.C., to be near our daughters and grandchildren. We have enjoyed several weeklong family vacations at nearby locations. This…

Hax: Show friend that you have his back

Dear Carolyn: We have a friend, “Allen,” who has recently lost touch with us and who we believe is being manipulated and emotionally abused by…

Hax: Partner exhibits controlling behavior

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: Do you think it's possible to "just stop feeling resentful" when you are repeatedly coerced into situations you…

Hax: What to do when others' kids are 'not nice'

Dear Carolyn: What's the best way to deal with another toddler who gets physically rough with my 1-year-old daughter?I have two examples. The first, a…

Hax: Motherhood visits two friends differently

Dear Carolyn: I became pregnant at a young age, unplanned, and have been married and raising my child since. My friend traveled the more traditional…

Hax: Mom is short of sleep and short of temper

Dear Carolyn: I'm going through a spell where I can't get it together enough to be nicer to my husband. I always apologize, but pretty…

Hax: How to avoid telling white lies

Dear Carolyn: A neighbor invited my daughter for a play date and Daughter didn't want to play with that friend. I told the mom I…

Hax: More is going on than just a dropped call

Dear Carolyn: The scenario, as unbiased as I can present it: History: Wife never calls husband during day to chat. Today: Wife is dropping…

Hax: His fiancée is as petty as a (poor) picture

Dear Carolyn: I’ve known for a while that my parents are not my fiancée’s favorite people, and didn’t totally understand why until my fiancée recently…

Hax: Engagement ends and work begins

Dear Carolyn: My girlfriend and I recently called off our engagement due to some flirtatious messages she found on my phone. I can say honestly…

Hax: Wife is advised to know herself first

Dear Carolyn: I’m from the U.K. I’m married to a man who is a self-professed arrogant liar. He’s proud of it. I am not. We…

Hax: How to deflect unwanted advice

Adapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn: I love my sister-in-law, but she is the queen of unsolicited advice. Any conversation about my work, our…

Hax: Present a unified front against abusive in-laws

Dear Carolyn: I have been married for over 30 years and throughout the marriage, my in-laws have made fun of my interests and certain traits…

Hax: Grandson being treated like a toy

Dear Carolyn: My mother-in-law treats my son like a toy who is there to amuse her on her terms and show off to her friends.…

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…

Hax: Son's plan to join Marines a concern

Dear Carolyn: My 20-year-old son wants to enlist in the Marines. He is a very smart kid who was accepted to several good colleges and…

Hax: Weight gain is only part of the problem

Dear Carolyn: My girlfriend of two years could stand to lose about 20 pounds, which would result in increased energy (she spends a lot of…

Hax: Bromance gets in the way of romance

Dear Carolyn: I'm a forty-something woman living with a thirty-something man. I wanted to be engaged first, but he wasn't ready and insisted this was…

Hax: Brother's children deserve truth to be told

Dear Carolyn: My brother and sister-in-law are going through an ugly divorce — with her alleging emotional abuse, him trying to get shared custody of…

Hax: Daughter's divorce leaves her in dark anger

Dear Carolyn: My daughter is doing very well post-divorce. I can't shake the anger I have for her ex, though. He left the marriage for…

Hax: When to reveal a secret sibling?

Dear Carolyn: In a nutshell, I have children with my wife and also a child outside of my marriage with another woman due to infidelity.…

Hax: Boyfriend's grief needs to be treated with care

Dear Carolyn: Is there a limit to how long one must indulge their partner's grieving period?To make a long story short, my boyfriend's father committed…

Hax: Caution advised on forming new family

Dear Carolyn: I am a 32-year-old woman who has been dating a wonderful man for a little over a year. We are now making lifelong…

Hax: Middle-school cruelty still haunts

Dear Carolyn: I'm 40 with a wonderful family and fulfilling career. Occasionally I am consumed with regret for past behavior. In middle school, there was…

Hax: Affairs put marriage on shaky ground

Hi, Carolyn: A year ago (and a year after my wedding) I found out that during the wedding planning, my spouse had an affair. Since…

Hax: Aunt wants to have 'the talk' with teen niece

Dear Carolyn: My niece just turned 15. Physically, she reminds me of myself at her age — she looks about 19. I lost my virginity…

Hax: Wife's fun with kids hurts husband

Dear Carolyn: When we had kids, I stayed home with them while my husband worked, sometimes with long hours and lots of traveling. I got…

Hax: Parents' love always feels conditional

Dear Carolyn: How do you deal with a family member's "conditional" love? I'm in my mid-30s, and am one of those kids who did not live out their parents' dream, but have a sibling who did. In my heart, I know they are good people, but they seem to be supportive of everyone around me and not me.

Carolyn Hax: Mother-in-laws destructive ways have to stop

Dear Carolyn: My mother-in-law pats my daughter's belly after dinner and says, "That's disgusting! Look at that round belly! How horrible!" She's kind of joking, but I don't like it. My daughter is 1, but I still don't like it. And other female relatives have said Mother-in-Law's comments had a big effect on them. She's in her late 70s -- I don't think she's going to change much. So how do I counter the comments, brush them off, drown her out?
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