Ask Carolyn

  • Some birthday party rules for kids

    Some birthday party rules for kids

    Dear Carolyn: We have hit the age of the full-class invite to birthday parties. Yet, I am unlikely to throw a full-class party. Or maybe in a few years. Is it bad form for my kid to attend if it’s not a close friend and she didn’t invite/won’t be inviting the kid to her (very

  • Son’s girlfriend is too needy

    Son’s girlfriend is too needy

    Dear Carolyn: Our son is in a serious relationship and I believe an engagement is in the offing. We like this young woman, but have reservations that I am struggling with. It’s clear our son spends a great deal of time and energy taking care of his girlfriend and making her feel secure and content,

  • 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