Ask Carolyn

  • Punishment and love entwined

    Punishment and love entwined

    Hi, Carolyn: My wife and I have fought over whether I should be giving her open access to my personal email. I’ve had this account for at least twice as long as I’ve known her (going back 20-ish years) and we had a kind of cat-and-mouse type of situation where she would try to trick

  • Can this marriage be saved?

    Can this marriage be saved?

    Dear Carolyn: When my wife and I got engaged 17 years ago, she was a healthy, cheerful, gainfully employed young lady. Two months after the engagement she stopped working entirely and hasn’t worked since except for the occasional part-time job, which she quits in a fit of pique after two months because she “doesn’t care

  • Struggling with girlfriend’s past

    Struggling with girlfriend’s past

    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 65-year-old married grandfather who was her career coach. She was friends with his family. I find this immoral and very hard to accept … and totally out of character for

  • Childless or child-free?

    Childless or child-free?

    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 we don’t plan to, the next question is, why not? Do I tell them it was a tough decision to make and one I find myself struggling with but know

  • Sister from hell is no vacation

    Sister from hell is no vacation

    Dear Carolyn: I live in Florida. When my sister, her husband and their two teenagers come to visit, they treat my home like a hotel — wet towels left on the floor, things broken with no apology, no help with meal preparation/setting or clearing the table/cleaning the dishes. Everyone sits at the kitchen table on

  • This is not a dad who shows up

    This is not a dad who shows up

    Dear Carolyn: My dad and I were never close. He worked a lot and did not spend time with us growing up. My parents divorced when I was a teen and I “chose” my mom and had little relationship with him for years. Dad is now remarried and lives across the country. My son is