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home : columns : dear harriette June 20, 2018

After mom's death, daughter feels guilty for not visiting
I feel guilty about not visiting my mom as much as my other siblings, but life becomes busy. How do I get over this feeling of guilt?
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reader must summon courage to attend funeral
My best friend's wife's funeral is in a few days, and I can't get myself to go. Does this make me a bad person?
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Kids will need nurturing while dad's locked up
My husband got arrested last week while we were at home. He stole money from his company. Now it's all over the news, and I'm worried about how my son and daughter are dealing with their dad being locked up. So far, the sentencing offer is for 10 years, but our lawyer is trying to bring that down. If he can't, my kids won't have their dad around. How will I be able to raise my kids alone?
Monday, June 18, 2018

World Almanac
Today is the 169th day of 2018 and the 91st day of spring.
Monday, June 18, 2018

Reader questions losing her virginity
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a 20-year-old virgin. I'm not ashamed of it, and it's not because of religious values -- I just have not found the right person I want to share the experience with. My friends tease me about it and tell me to just do it already, but I just don't want to. I tell my friends that I'm waiting around until I find the right guy I want to do it with, but how will I know he is the right guy? Do you think I am doing the right thing, or should I follow what my friends are saying and just "do it already"? -- Debating Celibacy, Richmond, Virginia
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Woman finds sexy photos on husband's phone
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am 52-year-old woman who has been married to my husband for over 25 years. Together, we have three beautiful and healthy children. While my husband worked, I stayed home and raised our kids. Many nights throughout the week, my husband would come home later than I anticipated. However, I did not put too much thought into it because he is in the medical profession, and I know the hours vary. 
Friday, June 15, 2018

Little brother going through money problems
I try to help him out as much as I can by taking him out to eat or leaving some cash at his apartment, but he rejects my assistance. Is there a way I can go about giving him money so that he'll take it?
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Woman questions need to use labels in relationship
He does not refer to me as his girlfriend, and I do not refer to him as my boyfriend. My friends and family think this is very abnormal because of how long we've been an item. What is your take on my situation? Is this a huge red flag?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Mom won't go to son's wedding if ex attends
I want both my parents there, but I'm not sure how I can change my mother's mind.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pregnant 18-year-old unsure how to talk to family
I'm scared to disappoint my family because I know they wanted more for me, but they will not support my decision to have an abortion if that's what I want. I'm unsure of what to do now. Should I tell them, or should I take care of this on my own?
Monday, June 11, 2018

Reader questions why couples take breaks
I don't understand this relationship status, and I wanted to hear what your perspective on this is.
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Daughter devastated by dad's cheating
I have to tell my mom; it's not fair to her, but I don't want to be the reason they break things off. How do I ever look at my dad the same? How do I comfort my mom during this time?
Friday, June 8, 2018

Reader scared to come out to family
I'm scared to lose my family for being who I am. How should I come out to them?
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Reader wants lip injections to feel beautiful
My mother thinks I look beautiful as I am and doesn't support my decision, but I'm 18, and I can make this decision on my own. Do you think if it makes me feel more confident I should get the lip injections?
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Reader dreads spending summer with strict mom
I want to find a job, but my mother doesn't allow it because she thinks I'm too young. How do I make her see it's necessary for me to work?
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Father worried daughter's older boyfriend is bad for her
I want to help my daughter, but I don't know where to begin at all. Coming from her father, I want to be there for her and protect her from getting hurt, but I also don't want to seem overprotective. Do you have any advice for a father trying to talk to his daughter about a sensitive topic?
Monday, June 4, 2018

Should son postpone trip due to violence?
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son and his friends from college have all signed up for a trip to Israel after the school year ends, called Birthright Israel. With all of the protests and violence occurring on the Palestinian border, I am scared to let my son go on the trip. Although the program that he is going through has assured the parents that the trip is extremely safe and they will be taking extra precautions, I would rather my son and his friends postpone the trip.
Saturday, June 2, 2018

Reader wants to know how to comfort friend
DEAR HARRIETTE: My acquaintance "Mark" recently committed suicide. I wasn't that close with him, but we were both on sports teams -- I'm a lacrosse player, and he was on the baseball team. He was dating one of my teammates, but they broke up three months ago after being together for two years. He was one of those guys who was always smiling and had so many friends. He was the life of the party and a pretty good baseball player. 
Friday, June 1, 2018

Boyfriend demands girlfriend stay in with him
I'm not sure what to do because it seems like this will be an issue for the rest of our lives if we stay together. Should I break up with him, or should I accept that I'm not allowed to go out?
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Job offer may be too good to be true
The offer sounds great, but I think it might be too much for me to uproot my entire life to move to London with a family I have known for only six months. Do you think I should take the risk and move?
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gymnast thinks coach isn't involved enough
How do I approach my coach about my concern for his lack of participation?
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Parents debate sending kids to camp
Last week we had a discussion about whether to send our kids to camp for two months in the summer. I am opposed to the idea, but my wife is sure that it will be amazing for our children. What should we do?
Monday, May 28, 2018

Business burdened with poor behavior
I told her to mind her business and get back to work. I don't tolerate disrespect, and I don't want to make this situation any bigger than it already is. What should I do?
Saturday, May 26, 2018

Former tormenter reaches out to well-off reader
He hasn't directly asked me for money, but I'm sure that it was implied. I know that I can provide him with some money, but I'm still hurt from his mean words in school. What should I do?
Friday, May 25, 2018

Reader wants to help homeless population
I have discussed this idea with a few people, but they have shut me down, saying things like, "If they wanted to get off the street, they would have stayed off drugs." People don't realize that is not always the case. Any tips on how I can get my nonprofit started?
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Following dad's passing, reader must find own happiness
A few days ago, the realization finally hit me: I have done everything for my dad to make him happy. Making him happy made me happy, but since he is no longer here, finding my own happiness has been difficult. How can I become happy with myself and live for myself from here on out?
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Potential threat at camp taints experience
I don't want them to be alarmed, but I also don't know how to bring up such a harsh topic to 10-year-olds. What should I do?
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mom doesn't understand why reader wants nose job
I have been saving up for five years, and I finally have enough money to get a nose job. Since I don't have any close friends, I asked my mother to come with me to the doctor's office to get a consultation. She has agreed, but she doesn't understand why I am so self-conscious about it. How can I get her understand my decision?
Monday, May 21, 2018

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are celebrating a big anniversary this year, and I really wanted to host a dance party for us because we love to dance together. The reality is that I can't do that.
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Girlfriend never looks up from her screens
DEAR HARRIETTE: In today's world, social media and technology are a big part of everybody's life, especially my girlfriend's. She is constantly attached to her phone or watching shows on her laptop. I understand that there are important matters that need to be attended to on her devices, but I want her to enjoy living in the moment more and appreciate the things around her, not just her phone.
Friday, May 18, 2018

Job seeker applies at family friend's company
Do you think this falls under the umbrella of mixing business with pleasure? Will it make the relationship with my friend a little awkward?
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Midlife crisis sufferer seeks relief
I have tried expanding my comfort zone and explored new hobbies to try to change this feeling, but nothing seems to be working. Is this a normal feeling? Do you have any ideas about how I can find my real passion in life?
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Boyfriend unwilling to marry outside his faith
I am wondering what your opinion on religion and relationships is, and whether you think he is in the wrong for letting my feelings get this far
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

NewYork City girl considers learning to drive
Living in New York, I never saw the need for one. Do you think a driver's license is an important thing to have in your life?
Monday, May 14, 2018

Reader wants to visit uncle with liver cancer
I work full time, but I have been thinking about visiting him for a week or two. I can't afford to take that much time off, but something is telling me that this may be the last time I get to spend quality time with him. Should I visit him?
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Friend upset about possibly similar engagement rings
When I told my friend that I wanted a similar engagement ring, she got upset with me. I asked her why, and she explained that she didn't want me copying her ring style. What is your opinion about claiming ring styles? Am I in the wrong?
Friday, May 11, 2018

Boyfriend wants dog, but reader doesn't like them
It has been a couple of months, and my boyfriend has asked me if he and I can get a dog together. As much as I want to say yes to bring that happiness back to my boyfriend, I dislike dogs. I never had any pets growing up, so I don't understand the whole "bond with an animal" thing. How should I deal with this situation?
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Grandmother treats grandchildren differently
She has clear favorites, and I seem to rank last on the list. It has gotten to the point where on my birthday I don't even receive a birthday card, whereas my siblings and cousins get endless gifts and cards. It hadn't bothered me until now, and I want to speak to her about it. Do you think I should talk to my parents or go straight to my grandmother and tell her how I have been feeling?
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Student-athlete needs a break
As much as I love working out and playing for a team, I kind of like the idea of having an off-season. I would like that time just to hang out after school instead of going from practice to practice. What do you think would be best for me? Is there a way I can convince my dad to have the winter sports season off next year?
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Girlfriend's graduation trumps family dynamics
My girlfriend's college graduation is approaching, and I am nervous to attend due to the amount of time I would have to spend with her family. Do you have any advice on how I can survive the weekend with her not-so-welcoming parents?
Monday, May 7, 2018

Addict boyfriend wants to drink again
DEAR HARRIETTE: My fiance is a recovering drug addict. When I say those words out loud, it still scares me, but he has been sober for more than two years now, and we have a great relationship. 
Saturday, May 5, 2018

Daughter needs to lower prom expectations
DEAR HARRIETTE: As high school prom season is approaching, my daughter and her friends are getting excited about the event. Some of my daughter's friends have already found their dresses, booked their beauty appointments and secured their dates. My daughter has been asking me almost every day if I can book her a makeup and hair trial run appointment, as well as appointments for the real thing. I know that a senior prom is a big deal, and I want to make it the most special day for my daughter, but I just can't afford all of these things.
Friday, May 4, 2018

Reader should feel welcome to engage in church
I feel disconnected from my religion, and I want to start attending mass again. I think going to church might help me clear my head -- especially now that I am going through a rough time in my life. How can I get involved in church again?
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Reader needs to mingle while girlfriend's in wedding
Weddings are social events; there is always a lot of small talk and mingling, which is hard to do when you don't have any mutual friends to speak to. Do you have any advice on how I can be more comfortable at the wedding?
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mother-in-law takes discipline too far
She is my son's grandmother, so she thinks she has rights, but she must stop. I need her to respect me and the way I raise my child. How can I get my mother-in-law to stop hitting my child?
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Boyfriend refuses to go on double dates
My boyfriend and I are getting serious, but I love my friends. I think he is trying to make me choose between him and my friends. I don't want to do that. How do I choose -- or is choosing even an option?
Monday, April 30, 2018

Stay-at-home dad feeling self-conscious
What is your take on the stay-at-home dad culture?
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Reader reconnects with former camp crush
I am at the age when I would like to be engaged soon, and I believe I am with the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I wanted to know your take on fate. Do you believe in fate when it comes to love?
Friday, April 27, 2018

Parents treat master's student like a baby
How can I speak to my parents about treating me like an adult?
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Roommate's boyfriend stays over too often
I feel like I am walking on eggshells in my own room, and I am so sick of it. How do I approach this situation without coming off as a crazy roommate?
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Father wants to build relationship with kids
How can I reconnect with my kids? I try to speak with them as often as I can, and I always send them gifts on their birthdays or holidays, but I miss the relationships I used to have with all three of them.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sister tries to horn in on spring break trip
Do you think I should address my sister's comments? How do I tell her nicely that I don't want her and her husband coming to Florida with us?
Monday, April 23, 2018

Ex-boyfriend needs to handle breakups on his own

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got a call out of the blue from my ex-boyfriend's most recent ex-girlfriend. I loved this man for many years, and he turned out to be a heartbreaker. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reader irritated when wife messes up car

DEAR HARRIETTE: My wife is a car slob. Even though she has her own car, she likes to borrow my car for a few days or weeks. Every time I get it back, it is a complete wreck: empty food containers on the floor, makeup smudges on the seat and steering wheel and coffee cups in the cup holders. She loves driving my car, but it bothers me that she doesn't have the respect to keep it clean. I want to tell her to stop driving my car or clean it up after she uses it, but I'm afraid it will hurt her feelings. How do I tell her? -- Stop Trashing My Car, Denver

Friday, April 20, 2018

Reader must decide which path to take
On one hand, I would enjoy working for the startup, but I would hate being apart from my partner. On the other hand, if I moved to Austin, I would be happy living with him, but might not find a great job right away. Should love trump a career, or vice versa?
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Seasonal affective disorder touches whole family
Do you know anything about depression or mental health disorders? Are family health issues often passed down?
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Student needs advice about post-grad plans
I graduate in May and need some help deciding what the next step should be. Do I continue working with the couple and earn enough money to support myself, or branch out with my college degree?
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

World Almanac
Today is the 106th day of 2018 and the 28th day of spring.
Monday, April 16, 2018

Nanny worried about fatigue while working
I have already agreed to work for the month, but I have been thinking about speaking with the parents to ask for a couple of nights off. I think if I get one night off a week (so four nights during the month), it would be less draining. How do you think I should approach this? Is one night off a week the right amount?
Monday, April 16, 2018

Reader should reach out to friend in mourning
What can I do to express my sorrow appropriately?
Saturday, April 14, 2018

World Almanac
Today is the 105th day of 2018 and the 27th day of spring.
Saturday, April 14, 2018

Reader ready to recommit to religion
What are your thoughts on re-entering a religion, or in my case, starting to practice the religion again?
Friday, April 13, 2018

Co-worker getting too close for comfort
Since that lunch meeting, he gets close during conversations and touches my arm. If we're sitting down, he will touch my leg. He hasn't done anything else, but I don't want his actions to get worse. Should I confront him before I talk to HR?
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reader questions whether to confront former boss
Now that people are talking about their experiences, I want to add my voice to the conversation. This man is retired now, but I know how to reach him. Do you think I should write him a letter or contact him in any way to tell him how much he violated me back in the day? I am not interested in money or anything.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Underemployed reader worried girlfriend will leave
I am tired of pretending like it's getting better when it isn't. I don't have the skills to get a better-paying job right now. What can I do to turn the corner?
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mess reader unsure about inviting over next-door neighbor
I am super private. I'm also always thinking I will get it together one day and have a tidy house. But right now, my next-door neighbor needs me. Should I open my door?
Monday, April 9, 2018

Reader debates goint to graduate school

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going back and forth with the idea of attending graduate school to receive my master's degree. There are many reasons for my waffling: I don't have enough money to attend, so I would need to receive some sort of scholarship or loan, and I am not sure what graduate program I want to do. Another reason I am conflicted about the idea is the timing of it. Should I be attending graduate school immediately after I received my undergraduate degree, or work for a couple of years to gain experience and then go back to school to earn my master's? What do you think is most beneficial or looks best to a prospective employer? -- Master's Degree Debate, Philadelphia

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Summer of fun might not be best idea
DEAR HARRIETTE: I wanted to know your perspective on a gap year, or "summer of fun," when a student takes a year or a summer to relax before he or she starts a full-time job in the real world. I am about to graduate college and hope to secure a job after graduation. 
Friday, April 6, 2018

Reader must stay prepared for interview
How do you prepare for a spontaneous job interview? I recently spoke with a radio executive, and he asked me about myself and whether I knew about his radio station and some of the local channels. I knew of the channels, but I wasn't sure about the details. I felt so embarrassed. He said that he will forward my resume to the hiring manager for any potential positions, but how should I stay prepared for times like this?
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Ex-boyfriend needs to give space to sick woman
Last week, one of our mutual friends informed me that my ex is sick. There is something wrong with her lungs, and she has been having trouble breathing on her own for the past month or so. When I first heard this, my heart hurt and my immediate reaction was to call her. I got no response, and then I wondered if it is my place to reach out. Under these circumstances, what is the right thing to do?
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Reader shouldn't pressure boyfriend into getting dog
I'm waiting for him to become ready for a dog, but I know I will become impatient if he keeps waiting. Should I talk to him about it again?
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Reader debates visiting friend on her birthday
My friend did not visit me on my birthday, so will she be offended if I do not make the trip? What do you think I should do?
Monday, April 2, 2018

Boss needs to back off from matchmaking role
I am recovering from a breakup, and my family and friends are supportive. My boss is encouraging and always wants me to be happy. However, she might be trying to set me up too early when I'm not fully recovered from the breakup. She has men in mind whom she would like me to meet, but I'm not ready. How can I tell her to back off for now, but that I will be ready later?
Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mom pressuring reader to attend alma mater
I'm afraid she will use her financial assistance to convince me to go there and will make me feel bad if don't. How should I choose the school that's right for me?
Friday, March 30, 2018

Sister's boyfriend not planning for the future
I know my sister very well, and I know she is itching to get engaged soon. Do you think it is inappropriate if I ask my sister's boyfriend what his intentions are with my sister, or if he plans to marry her?
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Woman irritated by sister who drinks too much
How do I tell her that she needs to drink less if she wants to continue to go out together? I don't want to be harsh with her.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Student considers nannying job
Is it the right move for me to take a month of the summer to nanny, or should I continue my job search?
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Teenage son is skipping school, getting bad grades
Monday, March 26, 2018

Girlfriend worried about former addict boyfriend
DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend is a recovering drug addict. About a year ago, he was in a bad place in his life and was in a downward spiral. He got his act together and has now been sober for a year. I am proud of how far he has come and all the changes he has made, but I fear that one day he won't be able maintain his sobriety.
Saturday, March 24, 2018

Studies show that flu virus can be spread by just breathing
DEAR DOCTOR: How does the flu virus spread? I've always thought it was mostly from coughing, which contaminates the air and the surfaces we touch. But now I've heard that people who are sick actually breathe the virus out. Should I be wearing a mask to protect myself? 
Saturday, March 24, 2018

Mom with dementia needs full-time support

DEAR HARRIETTE: My father passed away seven years ago. After he died, my mother came to live with my family and me. Because my children have essentially grown up with her living with them since they were babies, their relationship is nothing less than amazing. My kids look to her for advice and support, and they love her dearly. Unfortunately, last year my mother was diagnosed with dementia, and in the past few months it has become progressively worse. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

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