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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: How to explain a househusband

Dear Carolyn: I married my high school sweetheart when I was 19. We were both mature for our ages, so we made a plan to…

Hax: Boyfriend's mom is dealing in denial

Dear Carolyn: I am 26 and have been with my boyfriend for three years. We have a happy and loving relationship.My boyfriend's mother is very…

Hax: Distanced father needs some frank, honest words

Dear Carolyn: This fall, my father left my mother at home while he went to spend the winter with friends in Florida (she still works…

Hax: An unhappy ending to 'The Cat in the Apt'

Dear Carolyn: It's a long story, but please bear with me.My roommate and I are friends and busy medical students and we decided to live…

Hax: 'Christmas' vs. 'holidays' causes a rift

Dear Carolyn: I bought a house a few years ago in a development in a non-metropolitan part of Virginia. There was a homeowners association with…

Hax: Revive friendship in a one-one-one manner

Dear Carolyn: Friend recently got married and seems TOTALLY uninterested in spending time with friends, what's going on in our lives, etc. (We are a…

Hax: Great Danes reveal a great incompatibility

Dear Carolyn: We are engaged and she has a ring. I have four indoor dogs and they are Great Danes, well-behaved and more predictably glad…

Hax: Racist husband is clearly a bad person

Dear Carolyn: I've been married for four years. After we said "I do," my daughter started dating a guy of another race. It was then…

Hax: Childless woman gets clueless comments

Dear Carolyn: I am a childless woman. My husband and I work hard and we like the way things are in our life.So how do…

Hax: Confront Mom about her negativity

Dear Carolyn: I'm a wife and mom of two elementary-age boys. My mom lives near us and is a hard person to be around. She…

Hax: Couple disagree over bar mitzvah guests

Dear Carolyn: My husband does not want to invite his brother and family to our son's upcoming bar mitzvah. He thinks they are bad people,…

Hax: Food choices are eating at couple

Dear Carolyn: What the heck do you do when you and your partner have agreed to eat more healthfully, but then your partner regularly suggests…

Hax: Back off on scorekeeping kids' development

Dear Carolyn: Thus far our two children, 2 and 7, have met or exceeded their development markers. The same has not been true for all…

Hax: What to tell kids about estranged grandparents?

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I (and as a result, our two young children) are estranged from his parents after years of hostility came to…

Hax: How to ease strains in communication

Dear Carolyn: I understand that telling someone "you're overreacting" is a cheap way to dismiss someone's feelings, but what if they really are? Frequently?I've had…

Hax: Retiree relatives seem a bit tone-deaf

Dear Carolyn: My parents and in-laws are all retired and reasonably well-off. They've filled their retirements with joining musical groups, coaching kids' sports, visiting family,…

Hax: Unfaithful wife adds insult to injury

Dear Carolyn: My wife renewed an old friendship on Facebook that ended with an affair. Now she wants to be with this guy and regularly…

Hax: Readers tackle a wide range of topics

While I'm away, readers give the advice.On marriage to a yeller:Dear Carolyn: Sorry, I don't buy the "That's just the way I am" when it…

Hax: Readers offer up their own advice

While I'm away, readers give the advice.On feeling overwhelmed by child-rearing:Dear Carolyn: I was a very difficult baby. I refused to nurse and cried incessantly…

Hax: Readers embrace their mothers-in-law

While I'm away, readers celebrate mothers-in-law.Dear Carolyn: I was in a marriage that ended sadly but amicably. I've kept in touch with my mother-in-law, with…

Hax: Husband, wife, baby – the balancing act

Dear Carolyn: Husband and I are parents of darling baby girl. Through it all my husband has done the work of keeping house together, dogs…

Hax: Ex-boyfriend is out of sight, not out of mind

Dear Carolyn: I have this idea in my head that I will be able to forgive the ex who cheated on me only if he…

Hax: What to tell kids about previous marriages?

Dear Carolyn: My sister and her husband married in a church 20 years ago, and recently renewed their wedding vows. Their eldest daughter is 23,…

Hax: Husband's siblings are bigoted, boring

Dear Carolyn: My husband's family is bigoted, and I don't want to be around them. My husband's parents were wonderful, intelligent, interesting people I enjoyed…

Hax: For this woman, it's the most horrible time of the year

Dear Carolyn: I hate Christmas. I hate the expectations that are put on me. Putting on the family dinner because my mother's health doesn't allow…

Hax: Mental health challenges over the holidays

Dear Carolyn: Any advice on how to deal with my single, middle-aged, mentally-ill sibling who will be attending family holiday dinners? Sibling is difficult to…

Hax: Finding the sweet spot in parenting

Dear Carolyn: Common advice is that parents should let kids struggle through issues on their own, thus learning how to manage their friendships, issues, etc.…

Hax: Still time to mend father-son wounds

Dear Carolyn: Through the years, my husband has learned to let go of the hopes and dreams he had for his son, that he would…

Hax: Divorce throws mom into despair

Dear Carolyn: I got divorced and had to start working full time after five years of working part time or staying home with my son.…

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: Shock-style humor is offensive to girlfriend

Dear Carolyn: My girlfriend and I have been dating for three years, two long-distance. Now we are back in the same place and living together.While…

Hax: Cruel comments as husband leaves

Dear Carolyn: My husband left me and our then 12-year-old son last March. As he was walking out the door, he informed me he was…

Hax: Christmas seen through a smoky haze

Dear Carolyn: I do not smoke nor does my husband. His family smokes. His grandma holds Christmas Eve at her house and his whole family…

Hax: Family gets four wedding invitations, wants eight

Dear Carolyn: My nephew's wedding is fast approaching. We received invitations, but each of my four adult daughters, ranging in age from 21 to 30,…

Hax: Show compassion toward husband

Dear Carolyn: My father-in-law is as self-centered as they come (possibly a narcissist?). My husband still expects that his encounters will be different — that…

Hax: Husband is unsuitable for parenthood

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are both in our late 30s so the decision to have a child is somewhat pressing. I want one…

Hax: Adult daughter is leashed to her parents

Dear Carolyn: The dread holiday season is almost upon us and I'm compelled to ask for advice: How do I deal with my husband's unwillingness…

Hax: Parent lips off over kiss at youth party

Dear Carolyn: My seventh-grade daughter is being frozen out of her friends' parties and sleepovers. Two months ago, she attended a party with close friends,…

Hax: Truce is in the eye of the beholders

Dear Carolyn: My stepmother has been in my life for 20-plus years, since I was a high school junior. She and I have never gotten…

Hax: Wife is left to go solo with new friends

Dear Carolyn: My wife has made a couple of new friends, and she goes out and does things with them a time or two a…

Hax: Husband is unwilling to share his plate

Dear Carolyn: My wife has a habit that totally annoys me. Whenever we go to a restaurant, she always asks for a bite from my…

Hax: Boyfriend's 'impatience' equates to anger

Dear Carolyn: I'm in an almost one-year relationship. While there are many wonderful aspects of our relationship and of him, I wonder about the long…

Hax: Stepdaughter wants some 'daddy time'

Dear Carolyn: My 26-year-old stepdaughter recently sent a text to her father asking for some “daddy time.” She asked if they could meet for breakfast…

Hax: Show husband some humility and respect

Dear Carolyn: Do you think maybe the boyfriend in your column from earlier this month genuinely does care about her and just wants to see…

Hax: Honestly, there is no room in the inn

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I recently moved to a small, 1½-bedroom apartment in a new city with our young child. Our infant's room is…

Hax: Mom creates a Catch-22 over housework

Dear Carolyn: Maybe as both an advice giver and a mother yourself you can answer this. Is it typical for moms to complain about no…

Hax: Be a friend, not a lover, amid boyfriend's misery

Dear Carolyn: Long story short, boyfriend is going through a rough time (his dad died unexpectedly last year, his mom is in hospice care with…

Hax: Hubby should support his wife over his mother

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I were married in May and are preparing for our first Christmas together. We agreed that Thanksgiving would be with…

Hax: When a nickname nicks your feelings

Dear Carolyn: My husband of 16 years and I are in the process of getting divorced. For the sake of our kids, I remain cordial…

Hax: Just let go of ill will toward childhood bully

Dear Carolyn: I got a kick out of a former bully when she promoted an anti-bully item on Facebook. We're not Facebook friends, but I…

Hax: Extended family is difficult to assemble

Dear Carolyn: We are a retired couple who, through the efforts of both parties, live comfortably. Our children and grandchildren are scattered throughout the world.…

Hax: To be a great friend, open up those ears

Dear Carolyn: What's a nice way to tell someone she needs to have a life outside of being a mom? Is such a thing even…

Hax: Wife's abusive tactics threaten marriage

Dear Carolyn: My wife has been telling me as long as we've known each other (around 10 years now) that she wants nothing but openness…

Hax: Daughter is just not that into her parents

Dear Carolyn: I've had difficult relationships with both of my parents (Dad an absentee alcoholic, Mom generally decent but prone to very cruel outbursts during…

Hax: Time to tell Mom about son's break-up

Dear Carolyn: My brother (mid-60s) and his wife separated nearly three years ago and made the decision not to tell our then-89-year-old mom, reasoning it…

Hax: Should Mom get a wedding invitation?

Dear Carolyn: My mother and I have a very toxic relationship and have fought on and off over the years. When she gets angry she…

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…

Hax: Frosty adult son may need more space

Dear Carolyn: I hope you can help me accept that my adult son doesn't like me — and stop feeling so worn down and questioning…

Hax: Parent hasn't been to doctor in decades

Dear Carolyn: I have a parent in their 60s who has not seen a doctor for 20-plus years. They have had the occasional insurance checkup…

Hax: Step up against stepson's choice of words

Dear Carolyn: I am happily married to a wonderful man. His grown son moved in with us and I’m fine with that. However, his son…

Hax: Party invitation invites assumptions

Dear Carolyn: My household received a written invitation to a birthday party for a 1-year-old. It reads, "Not every child is lucky enough to have…

Carolyn Hax: Group should stand up to their rude 'friend'

Dear Carolyn: We belong to a 10-person gourmet group where eight of us get along well. One person is very picky about all kinds…

Carolyn Hax: Big life decisions aren't mom's to make

Dear Carolyn: I am a twenty-something recent college graduate who works full time. While I am thankful for the experience of my current job,…

Carolyn Hax: Fiancée not included in family wedding pictures

Today's column has been adapted from a recent online discussion. Dear Carolyn: My fiancé's brother recently married and I was not included in…

Hax: Bridesmaid duty has her in a tizzy

Dear Carolyn: My brother is getting married to a woman I despise. She talks to my brother like he is garbage, manipulates every situation, and…

Hax: What to reveal about estranged family?

Dear Carolyn: Me: mid-50s, reasonably successful and comfortable, with meaningful work and wife (no kids). I'm pretty happy with my life, including its high and…

Hax: 'Be true to yourself' a worthy mantra

Dear Carolyn: So I'm a twenty-something in college and I'm in my first serious relationship. Things are going great!Except I have trouble telling my significant…

Hax: How to avoid another manipulator

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.Dear Carolyn: I've never written in before because I've always thought…

Hax: Way too nosy about niece's face

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.Dear Carolyn: My 13-year-old niece is tiny and has a big nose.…

Hax: New parents find misery in their home

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.Dear Carolyn: Please help; I'm desperate. My husband and I are parents…

Carolyn Hax: Mom should help daughter recognize patterns of abuse

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.Dear Carolyn: Is there any way (other than videotaping their…

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,…

Carolyn Hax: Pregnant widow should prepare to calm fears

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.Dear Carolyn: My husband died unexpectedly at age 33, just…

Carolyn Hax: Mother, son share controlling nature

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.Dear Carolyn: This year I will be spending all of…

Carolyn Hax: Wife doesn't want to visit negative mother-in-law

Carolyn Hax is away. In her absence, we are running columns from her archive.Dear Carolyn: I have been happily married for three…
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