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ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2012 | Wires
Adapted from a recent online discussion.     Question: I married a wonderful man with grown kids. It's my first marriage, and I have no kids.   A few years into our marriage, his son announced his upcoming wedding, which we flew down to attend. The son introduced me to his new in-laws as his "stepmom. " I was (and still am) very offended. I've never mothered him or anyone in any way; they were grown and out of the house when I came on the scene.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: Last night my husband of 15 years, and father to my three kids, told me it had taken him a long time to figure out how he felt about his flirty, hot (and newly single!) female work friend, but he knows now that I am the only woman he wants. He thought this was a loving thing to say to me, and tried to smooth things over when he saw my shocked reaction, and then he went to sleep. I stayed up half the night sad and angry that apparently he feels no commitment at all to me. If he meets the right woman, he'll be out the door, but in the meantime I should be perfectly happy to be the placeholder.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 24, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: As someone who's been there, done that, when do you think that being a parent gets a little easier? We have a wonderful 15-month-old and he is the light of our lives, but those lives are harried (along with some physical challenges - my husband is an amputee). We would in theory like to have another baby, but could just use some wisdom. Any advice? Answer: I never do this, but I'm going to: Five. That's the age when your ball of need stops being a toddler and starts being a kid - someone who can actually help out a little bit and just fry your brain less.
NEWS
September 3, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: My girlfriend says she's uncomfortable with compliments, saying she doesn't want to be a "trophy. " I do think she's fantastic, and it feels unnatural not to tell her, but at the same time I don't want her to get "weirded out. " She especially doesn't like any comments in public. I say "any" because I said one thing - confirming her friend's positive comment about her - and it caused a major rift that I found out about 12 hours later.
NEWS
September 24, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: My fiance died suddenly about six months ago. Needless to say, I was emotionally a mess. In the last few months I have been trying to move on as best I can. His family was always inviting and gracious to me when we were together, and continue to be to this day. Like a lot of young people, my fiance did not have a will. My fiance's parents and I essentially split his belongings, but they gave me his car (which was much nicer than my heap)
NEWS
December 17, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: Twenty-plus years ago, my husband and I used to be good friends with another couple. We grew apart over time, with different values and child-rearing philosophies. After they treated our son and me extremely rudely at a gathering about 15 years ago (not my being oversensitive, my husband agreed), we stopped seeing them. Periodically the guy would get in touch, trying to sell things to me professionally. About a year ago, he and my husband reconnected.
NEWS
February 4, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from an online discussion. Question: Last fall you had a column about a high school perfectionist who could have been me. I'm now in my 30s and long since healed thanks to great friends, an amazing therapist, and a lot of time. But I'm afraid my own daughter will go through what I went through. I can remember feeling guilty about letting people down when I was a toddler (although high school is where the pressure compounded into an eating disorder). As a parent, how do you see that and offer help . . . preferably long before it reaches such a crisis point?
NEWS
July 31, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I find that when someone I care about comes to me stressed out or needing support, I am woefully inept. I am adept at helping out financially or planning out something they need to be done, but if they need me to say something supportive or just be there, I feel empty. I feel myself stressing with them and getting panicky - and if it's someone very much involved in my life, like partner or parent, I feel guilty, like I am responsible.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I'm in a committed relationship. We're on the path to marriage. The problem is his parents: They don't like me - at all. They're also highly critical of everything. He tells me they've had issues with everyone he's ever brought home or discussed with them (he's prone to share a lot). I don't need validation from his parents. I also know my boyfriend cares about me deeply and wants a future with me, though I do get worried when he says our future could be in jeopardy if I can't get along with his parents.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2012 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I've been married a little over a year. My husband and I are 28 and 29. My father-in-law keeps making jabs about us having kids. I will be the first to admit I'm not a child person. I'm awkward around them, and I believe our lifestyle is far too selfish to think about bringing a child into it. We love sleeping in and being able to pack up with our dog and go do things on the spur of the moment. The jabs are getting worse. At a recent family gathering, he was very intoxicated, and shoved my youngest cousin (barely a year old)
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NEWS
August 15, 2013 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you're an Internet troll, you may feel a little put-upon right now. Used to be you had a home. You could always find an online discussion to muck up with a disruptive, offensive, or off-point rant. Some sites - like celebrity-gossip and sports venues - even welcomed the snark, the rough-and-tumble, the occasional hater. Under the anonymity granted to most commenters, trolls have hidden in the bushes as long as there's been a Web. But that is changing. To raise the level of talk, more and more online newspapers, blogs, and other websites are instituting anti-troll measures.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: When I was 16, I came home to my mom sneaking out of our house with her belongings and my younger brother. She was leaving my stepdad, and me, too. She left us a note on the kitchen table. After watching my stepdad go through the motions of moving out and not asking me to go with him, it became clear I was on my own. I called relatives, and the consensus was it was none of their business. After years of no communication, I called my dad, and he let me move in with him. Come to find out, he was a nice person who made me feel wanted for six great years.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: My husband and I have recently moved closer to our families, and a problem that was minor has now become larger. When I was growing up, my mother assigned "roles" to me and my sisters (e.g., the good student, the social butterfly, the independent one) that were somewhat based on our personalities, but I believe were a shortcut for her to figure out how to deal with us. We've all spent a lot of time as adults breaking out of these roles, and in many cases, when my mother's ideas have clearly been superseded, she still will just not give them up. For example, I was always the chubby sister, and now even after I have lost weight and kept it off, she still treats me that way. She is now doing this to my children, and it's driving me nuts.
NEWS
March 15, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I'm a high school junior and I hate it. I am not bullied, but I don't have a lot of friends and the whole thing is just ridiculous. I am already taking a few AP courses and finally talked to my guidance counselor today about graduating early. He said I can if I really buckle down, take on some independent study, and do one GED requirement class online. School is pretty easy for me, and I don't have any other distractions.
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: Long story short, my boyfriend of over a year broke up with me three weeks ago. For a few reasons, our "future" is up in the air while he figures his issues out. This is where I'm having my own issues, aside from being pretty devastated by the breakup itself. While I would be so happy to be back together right now, I'm trying to deal with things as if we are broken up for good. The only way I know how to deal with that is to completely cut someone out of my life, though.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I've recently started dating someone who is much less communicative than I am. I think we like each other, but is this a red flag? I tend to be an over-communicator, so I'm not sure if my way is really the correct way to do things, so I'm hesitant in ending some- thing over a differ- ence like this. Answer: The thing is, there's no "right" way to commu- nicate except to be honest and true to yourself. If you feel happier and more fulfilled around people who share your emotional style, then don't apologize for that - heed it, and know you have every right to break up with anyone who doesn't feel like a good fit. If you're naturally outgoing, then don't apologize for that, either.
NEWS
March 4, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I want to try for another baby; my husband doesn't. We have two beautiful children and a happy family, but I always wanted more. We started later than planned, and we're both late 30s, so he's concerned about health risks (mostly for the would-be child), being that much older when the child graduates high school, etc., and to a lesser extent, the additional stress, strain on finances, etc. If I really, really pushed, I know he'd give in - he has said as much - and I know that's not right.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I have never been skinny, but have gone up and down in weight over the last couple of years. I am fun, smart, have a good job, and am a size 14/16. I dress well and have a ton of friends who like me. The problem? My husband of seven years, partner of much more. He always makes weight and exercise comments to me. And whenever I tell him how much it hurts or bothers me, he says I am scarred from my childhood and I am unable to have a talk about my weight or exercise without getting upset.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: My amazing, wonderful fiance made what he has referred to as "a very bad decision" and got married at 20, while he was still in college. He was divorced by 23, and not amicably. We met and began dating a few years later, and he was very open about it from the get-go. Throughout our four-year relationship, the fact that he was briefly married has barely registered as a blip on my radar; people make mistakes. But suddenly, now that we are engaged and beginning to plan our wedding, I can't seem to stop dwelling on the fact that he once publicly promised to spend his life with someone else.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2013 | By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: My husband eats lunch with coworkers every day. I joined them out recently and one of his single, female coworkers began eating off his plate. When I noticed, she snatched back her hand. My husband is pretty familiar with his coworkers, but I'm sure he would be livid that a single, male coworker was eating off my plate, especially if it appeared to be a habit. I'm not worried even remotely that he's cheating on me (and wouldn't read this as evidence he was)
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