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With Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 16, 2004; 12:00 PM

Carolyn takes your questions and comments about her current advice column and any other questions you might have about the strange train we call life. Her answers may appear online or in an upcoming column.

Appearing every Wednesday and Friday in The Washington Post Style section and in Sunday Source, Tell Me About It ? offers readers advice based on the experiences of someone who's been there -- really recently. Carolyn Hax is a 30-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.

Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.

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USA: Just curious if washingtonpost.com allows you to answer questions related to issues within alternative relationships/lifestyles, such as BDSM. Pretty normal relationship issue of conflicting needs, but wondering if typing openly about the surrounding circumstances would be too "freaky" for your editors.

Carolyn Hax: My editors could probably handle it better than I. I have no idea what BDSM is.

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Love the self-portrait!;: Is the proportion of your head to your neck set to scale?

Carolyn Hax: Precisely.

Thanks! I was thinking I might auction it off.

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The "Other Girl": I am female and have friends who are gorgeous, talented, intelligent, sweet and wonderful. I can't say enough nice things, they are seriously some of the best people I've ever met, just good people.

Men tend to notice them when we go out in a group. Men love to spend time with me as friends, and find me to be a great person, but don't really pursue me romantically. Male friends tend to ask me to give them an introduction to one of my female friends. I can't really blame them for this.

However, it leaves me feeling second string, or like a vehicle to get the guy from where he is to my friends. I feel like a petulant child for even bringing this up, but I feel like I am on the sidelines.

And regardless of how entertaining, wise, compassionate and funny they find me, they slap me on the back and laugh with me and then ogle at my friend and try to date her.

Should I just suck this up as life is unfair and get over it?

Carolyn Hax: Technically, yes, but putting it that way glides over how difficult it is to pull off. And it skips the whole part on what, if anything, it means and what, if anything, you can do about it.

For example, for all the time you spend sucking it up and being a good sport with your crowd, consider devoting equal time to developing your own interests. Not just as a comparative-social-survival issue, either, but as a practical one--eventually all groups fragment with time, at least to some extent. Since hanging as a group has its drawback for you anyway, now is as good a time as any to fly solo sometimes.

Resolving to have patience, too, is its own kind of concrete step. Your friends may be as awesome as you say, but the laws of nature almost guarantee that you will be better suited to certain men than they are. It's not any-one-will-do-so-pick-the-prettier-one, not unless you like guys who like their relationships shallow. So even if these women stand in your way initially, they're not always going to be the one the guys ultimately want. May not be you, either, but time does tend to level the field where looks are concerned. Less compatible people start to look not so pretty, and the compatible ones start to look good.

Last thing--patience can have the ill side effect of killing your self-esteem. If you can't feel pretty around your friends, even pretty in your own way, then go back to paragraph two, at least till your self-image stabilizes enough to withstand the friend-ogling thing.

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Re: BDSM: Bondage, Domination and Sadomasochism, I believe. That is probably more in line with Savage Love anyway.

Carolyn Hax: Right on both counts, thanks.

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Self portrait: Love it!; It would fit right into a Yoko Ono exhibit.

Carolyn Hax: Okay now I'm hurt.

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Bowie, Md.: I met this girl who smells fantastic. She's very pretty and also is a really nice girl -- seems to be a total package for someone. My question is this: I want to buy her perfume for my girlfriend -- is that wrong? Admittedly, the girl can bring up some "lustful" feelings but they are feelings I wouldn't act upon. I just really like the way she smells.

Carolyn Hax: Wouldn't act upon because you love and lust for your girlfriend more, or because you know you'd get shot down?

Show of hands if you want this question to remain rhetorical.

Either way, please don't try to get your girlfriend to smell like your lust object. Under the guise of a gift, no less. I suppose I admire your chutzpah, but, ick.

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re: Like Yoko: Do you sing, too?

Carolyn Hax: Does Yoko? Another rhetorical question.

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Middle School, USA: Hi Caroline,

A few weeks ago I had a blow up with my group of girlfriends and "broke up" with them. Esentially, they've been purposely excluding from group events because they were mad I missed a few. And they don't approve of my boyfriend, and resent that I missed these events because I chose to be with him instead. (No abuse issues, they just aren't a fan, possibly because of his status -- divorced with kids). I know this sounds very middle school, but I am really upset about this situation, and was wondering if you had any advice, or knew of any resources online to help cope. I don't see a reconciliation in the future, I'm not interested. I also have the challenge of being in a lease with one of them until August.

Carolyn Hax: Hi Midle.

Far be it from me to side with any group that actually decides things as a group, but it I do think you're in a glass school yourself unless and until you find out from your friends what their specific objection is to the guy you're seeing. "Possibly because if his status" isn't good enough. It means they haven't said or you haven't asked--or they've said and you haven't listened. If it's one of the latter two, you could be missing out on legitimate objections by (or even more important, extremely valuable perspective from) people who care about you. In that case, grovel, make peace, ask.

If it's the former, okay, good riddance to juvenile friends. How to cope? You just do--either you speak your mind to them or you don't, whichever your principles dictate, and you grieve their loss, and you find other things to do with your time. Eventually, that'll come with other people to do them with.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Hi there,
A close family member has just been diagnosed with a terminal disease. From the literature I've seen, she has between 3-6 months to live.

What can I do in the meantime to help her feel happy when possible? I'm so upset I can't think straight.

Carolyn Hax: Spend time with her, love her, get her talking about her life so that she'll live on through you. It may not seem like much but it's actually all that matters.

And short of throwing yourself on her lap and sobbing through every visit, don't be afraid to show her you're sad. I'm always surprised at how many people decide that's a burden on the other person and consequently put on a huge show of bravery, when in fact the occasional tearfest is just another genuine show of affection.

Last thing, hang in there. This is going to be awful but it can also be, for both of you, uplifting in surprising ways. Just by opening your mind to that possibility, I think you'll begin to see it.

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Stupid Question, but: Um, who is Yoko Ono?

washingtonpost.com: Wow.

Yoko biography

Carolyn Hax: Clearly I need to retire.

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Perfume guy: OK, I'm a girl and there are some colognes out there that just turn me on. I had a guy friend who wore one and I seriously had to ask him to stop because it drove me crazy. Sure thing that I got a bottle of it for my fiance. He know I like it on him (or anyone else for that matter). But especially on him. I don't see anything wrong with this...

Carolyn Hax: When you put it -that- way, there's nothing wrong with it. When you put it the way the original questioner put it, there's something wrong with it. What can I say. The skeev meter went off.

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For Perfume Dude: My man, don't listen to Carolyn. Holla at that shorty. The "you smell great" line is a great in -- and you have nothing to lose. She is receptive to you and you get to date a hottie. She isn't interested and you get an idea for a nice gift for a your girl (be careful though, women are persnickity about fragrances -- your girl might not like this one -- and be aware that while we think strippers smell awesome, women don't necesarily agree). Also, if your current love wears hottie's perfume, you can imagine you're in bed with her -- you enjoy yourself, and your girlfriend thinks, "wow, he's really into me tonight!." Go for it bro!

washingtonpost.com: Shudder.

Carolyn Hax: Skeev meter just leapt out second-story window.

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Bowie, Md.: RE: Perfume- C'mon... let's be realistic. Everyone has lustful thoughts. It is a question of whether or not we are "mature" enough to do what is proper for your relationship. For my part, I am quite monogamist... an antiquated ideal perhaps, but one I hold true to for my "love" relationships.

You also sound a little "cynical"... not all men are dogs.

Carolyn Hax: Really? They're not?


Please tell me this is your first time reading my stuff.

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Rockville Re: smells wonderful: Perfumes don't smell the same on all people.

Carolyn Hax: The tack I should have taken. Thanks.

And while I'm here (and planning soon to run like hell from here), a brief PSA. For those of you who do wear perfume/cologne/aftershave/fir-tree car fresheners hanging from your ears: Go easy. Since we won't all agree on how great you smell, we'd rather not smell you at all.

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Yoko: I think that person was mistaken and meant it looks like a John Lennon drawing OF Yoko. It's definitely more in the Lennon style.

Carolyn Hax: You know what, I think you're right. Thank you. Unfortunately, I still sing like Yoko. (Liz, pls do not provide audio link.)

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re: The "Other Girl": I was also the "other girl." In fact, I could have written that question several years ago. Had gorgeous girlfriends and had one co-worker actually say to me once "your friends are all gorgeous -- what happened to you?" Great. Thanks for the ego-boost, dude.

Carolyn is correct -- time evens things out. I developed outside interests -- and by that I mean interests away from hanging out with the gorgeous ones 24/7. I met a great guy through a friend of a friend, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. Yes, he's met some of the gorgeous ones, but he's nice enough to not oogle and drool over them. And stop trying to meet guys in bars -- it never works out. Meet them through friends or through other avenues.

Above all, don't try to change your personality one bit because in the end the guys really do want to hang out with girls they can pal around with and have fun. And when the guys in bars ask you to introduce them to your friend, just say you'd love to help them, but the last three guys you set her up with turned out to be psychos, so if you were to turn up with one more guy to introduce to your friend, she would automatically dismiss the poor sap and if he's truly interested in the friend, his chances would be better off if he just did the introductions himself.

Carolyn Hax: Wish I'd had that line in college, thanks. And the advice about bars (and like venues), too, since I was in the same hell meself.

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Nick's response: You gonna print it?

Carolyn Hax: Thanks for reminding me--next week. He didn't have time to get to it.

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West Columbia, S.C.: Few years ago I had a very bad habit of cutting myself whenever I got sad. I can't express sadness very well, so when I cut myself it made it feel like it got out of me that way. I got into acting and that helped, and until last night I hadn't cut myself in over two years. Last night my best friend in the entire world (and the guy I'm in love with) decided to give dating me a try (finally). Well, right after, his ex, who's been trying every way possible to get him back told him she's pregnant. They broke up a month ago. Now we don't know if she's being for real or if its just another lie to get him back. Either way, last night when he told me, I felt like a frieght train had hit me. I've been best friends with him for four years, I've been in love with him the majority of that time, and visa versa. But we've always been scared of hurting the friendship. I even lost my virginity to this guy (no, I don't regret it because there's no one I trust more in the entire world) so last night I started cutting myself again. Then another friend and I went for a long drive, he had to drive because I couldnt even tell the gas from the brake I was so upset. That was just the beginning of the week. I've also been fighting a lot with my mom (issues since I'm leaving for college in the spring), and to top it all off a good friend of mine is dating my ex (thats a whole other problem in itself) and my ex called me the other nigh to chew me out for something that wasn't even his business. So anything you can tell me would help a lot. Even if it's just a comment about my story. Anything so I at least know I'm not alone.

Carolyn Hax: You aren't alone, but I think you'd feel a lot better if you were even less alone. Please talk to an adult you trust about this--ideally, one who's trained to help you, like a teacher or school counselor. You'll be able to share your burdens, for one thing, which will make them feel lighter immediately.

And, with time and, ultimately, professional attention, you'll also be able to find better ways to manage whatever burdens come up in the future (probably all at once again, since that's how these things tend to come and go). The acting is a good start, but I think you need even more healthy, internal defenses (ie, ones you can control) against external pains (ie, ones you can't control).

So. Please write back with a promise you'll talk to someone.

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British Columbia, Canada: Hello Carolyn!
I'm engaged to a wonderful man -- he's bright, sporty, creative, and kind... however he's a pot-head and smoking more frequently than what I can live with. We don't have the legality issues you people do down there (Canada recently decriminalized posession), but that doesn't mean I'm OK with it being such a big part of my life. We've talked about it, and he's of the impression that there is no harm. I on the other hand am concerned about this, especially as an issue in our future family. Furthermore, I think pot tends to make one happy with what one has -- a great temporary effect, but if it plays too great a factor in one's life I'm worried its going to affect his long-term career goals. I also wonder if maybe he's not self-medicating for depression (which he argues as his perogative). Friends I know have had this problem with their mates, and either the relationship has ended or their partner quits smoking altogether. How do I know we've examined this well enough before planning a wedding date?
-Smoldering For His Love

Carolyn Hax: You don't like it, he has declined to change. What more is there to examine? Seems like decision time to me.

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Potomac, Md.: Is there a motivating way to tell a 37-year-old male to grow up and stop mooching off his parents?

Carolyn Hax: "Grow up and stop mooching off your parents."

But he's 37. Isn't it his choice to make?

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Land of the Game Playing?: Is it wrong to flirt when one has no intentions to take the relationship any further than flirting?? Personally, this sounds to me like stringing someone along just for kicks. Am I just being too serious?

Carolyn Hax: Probably.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Therapy is all well and fine, but sometimes you just need something basic like bubble wrap...

Carolyn Hax: Office people--make sure mute button is off.

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State of Confusion: The guy I'm seeing says he wants our relationship to be exclusive. He likes me and I like him, but he doesn't like the idea of us using titles like girlfriend and boyfriend. He says he doesn't see the need to use a title for me, but I would like to be called girlfriend. He's an otherwise great guy but I have a hang up about this because I'm worried about why he won't use titles. He is insecure in relationships, but I just wonder if this is a lost cause and I should move on.

Carolyn Hax: I know I'm supposed to say this is a minor thing and if you're happy blah be blah, but you know what? There is someone out there who doesn't give a [poo] what you call him, and that has to sound more appealing.

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Fellow Preggo in Washington, D.C.: Carolyn,
I am seven months preg with my second and to be honest, while I am very excited to be having another child, I am a bit anxious about it. In fact, I have been teetering on the edge lately with a stressful job (that I love), getting a masters (part time), being a mom and wife, etc. I just feel totally overwhelmed and cannot de-stress. Life is about to change drastically -- likely more than the first time -- and I just don't know how to cope with it. Any advice for a fellow preg mom on how to deal? Obviously, my previous vice for stress-relief, smoking, is way out of the question. By the way, my husband is totally amazing -- cooks, cleans, encourages me to go out, etc., but he gets frustrated with my serious stress case.

Carolyn Hax: I don't think one needs to be fellow anything to see from your post that it's time for you to start doing less, asking less, wanting less, hoping to accomplish less. Life is long. Stop trying to live it all in one day.

Especially since (and I'll say this as a fellow-) the best times with your first kid were probably the ones in which you let yourself have no other goal, nothing hanging over your head, except being with your kid. Life spent at a kid's pace is sweet. Life spent trying to get a kid to adapt to your pace is stressful as hell.

And when you start making decisions about what to drop and what to keep on your schedule, consider what will always be there waiting for you, and what'll be gone if you blink.

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Los Angeles, Calif.: Carolyn,
Girlfriend and I are thinking of getting married. Girlfriend has been married, I have not. Girlfriend's ex was abusive and controling. Girlfriend says we will have to give up independence. Realistically speaking, in a normal marriage how much independence has to be given up. How about after children? thanks.

Carolyn Hax: Realistically speaking, the amount of independence you give up for a marriage is no different from what you give up for a long-term committed relationship. With the possible (but not certain) exception of some financial stuff.

And, it varies from marriage to marriage. Some people have a light touch with each other, some heavy. Some prefer a light touch, some heavy. There are some things everyone should probably assume come with the territory unless you've agreed otherwise--monogamy, joint decisionmaking (esp on money and future), appreciation for the fact that almost all your actions, from hygiene to health to hobbies, now affect someone other than you. But so much else, like how often you call home from work and how much you go out alone socially, is a matter of preference.

So what really matters is that you two align well in your preferences and expectations, and the best way I can think of to address that is to find a good premarital counseling program. Some churches have great ones (just make sure it's in line w/ your beliefs), as do some counseling centers, and you can also ask around for names of people in private practice.

It's a good idea anyway, but given your GF's past experience, it could be a deal-saver here.

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Somewhere, USA: Hi Carolyn;
I'm in an intense MFA program and I've become pretty good friends with a girl in it. She and another gentleman in the program have an obvious attraction for one another but she has maintained that she only wants to be his friend for a while, until she gets to know him better. Fair enough. But, now I find out that he visited her over New Years, and when I asked her directly if they were dating, she said no. But its become clear that they are. I know she's told others in the class that they are seeing each other, but she hasn't told me. I am justified in feeling hurt? Part of me says, stop whining, its her personal business and people are protective of relationships esp. in the beginning, but I still feel like she lied to me and I'm genuinely hurt that she didn't share with me.

Carolyn Hax: Maybe the people she told didn't ask her directly. I get the whiff of pressure from you, and if I'm right, that would explain why she's not talking. Granted, lying wasn't cool, either, but if it was in response to an inappropriate or nosy question (did you really need to know whether they were dating?), then the lie wasn't just a lie, it was a hint. Back off, nurse wounds, regroup, carry on.

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Washington, D.C.: What's the problem? I got married a few months ago to an absolutely wonderful man. We get along great, etc. First marriage for me. I'm in my 40s. However, I have been so depressed recently. I really miss my old life. I was a very happy single woman -- lots of friends, interests, etc. I truly love my husband and our life together but I am constantly thinking about my previous life. Is this "normal?" I've discussed this a little with my husband. I can tell it disappoints and hurts him so I don't mention it often. However, I am often depressed and sometimes even cry (not typical of me) when I look back. Thanks.

Carolyn Hax: I don't think anyone should ever try to rationalize away crying and/or depression as "normal." I mean, yes, you're going to miss being single, especially if you were happy--but placing yourself in one box or another doesn't solve your problem, which is that you're crying and missing your old life. And afraid to talk about it, which I'm sure just compounds the depression.

So. Can you isolate your feelings enough to be able to tell what it is specifically that you miss? If it's dating around then you're stuck, but if it's just a certain amount of alone time and autonomy, you can work both of those things into your new life. For now just think. Try to figure out how much air you need and how and for how long. Then, run it by your husband. "I love you but I need X" is going to be a lot easier for him to hear than "I love you but I'm depressed."

Also, if you feel you can't think that straight or if your sadness feels bigger than you are, please get help. It's readily available, non-binding and life-saver for a lot of people who didn't think they needed one.

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Apathetic Dating: I have a male friend who's dating a girl he's not really into -- as a result, they've had all kinds of sexual issues (he couldn't perform), but he's still dating her because it's been years since he's dated anybody (he's shy, and he's not a looker, though he's a great guy) and he wants to "practice" with her. I think she's pretty into him, and I think she thinks it's going someplace, and I think it's kind of abysmal that he's using her for companionship and sex, but he doesn't see anything wrong with it.

Your thoughts?

Carolyn Hax: I think it's kind of abysmal that he's using her for companionship and sex.

Will this make him stop?

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Re: Potomac: How about instead of "grow up and stop mooching off your parents", you try "when you mooch off your parents, it makes you look lazy, selfish and immature; I can't respect someone like that." Or is that the same choice?

Carolyn Hax: It's better said and possibly more effective, but my original objection stands: He's 37, it's his choice--as sorry a choice as it is. The only other parties with a say here are the parents, and if they want him out, they don't need the grow-up line. They can just throw him out.

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Fairfax, Va.: I know this is a late comment, but I wanted to comment on your Sunday column. In your column, as well as on other occassions, you scoffed at the idea of someone wanting to marry solely within their religion. While I acknowledge that the questioner's ex handled things poorly, I don't understand why you find it so distasteful to stick to one's religion. When I was dating (and theoretically looking for a spouse) my date's religion was an important trait to me. I wanted my husband to sit next to me at services; I don't want a Christmas tree in my house; I want my children to have a bris and bar mitzvah not babtism and communion. These sound like petty differences to some, but my jewish identity and culture are something I am proud of. I did not want to comprimise on them, nor would I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who thought he was comprimising on all the important aspects of his culture for me. Of couse, I fell in love with a nice, jewish boy and we are living happily ever after. Just my $.02.

Carolyn Hax: I scoff at the notion that I scoffed at the notion of wanting to marry solely within one's religion in Sunday's column. The whole point of that column was that the ex handled the issue really badly--not that it wasn't an issue. In fact, while I do have a real problem with people who get caught up in the window dressing that comes with one faith or another (eg, being unwilling to accept someone who converts, or rejecting like beliefs just because they don't share the same label) I have been relentless in plugging the importance of choosing a mate with common values. When the embrace of religion is a matter of deep-seated values, then I'm not going to judge a choice that takes those values into account.

And coming back to Sunday--had the woman explained her breakup in terms of irreconcilable value differences that she came to sppreciate only as they'd grown closer, I'd have applauded both sides for a mature, rational, rancor-free break. But when she said she wouldn't marry a Catholic after asking out a man she knew was Catholic, I had to reach for my forehead-slapper. A matter of values I guess.

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Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: I feel like my question is rather petty, but it's really bothering me. I have a friend who keeps making fun of my spelling over IM. I've told her that it makes me feel bad, but she won't stop it and I'm now bothered by it enough that I can't seem to spell anything to save my life. Part of the problem is that in the past when I've tried to discuss this with other "friends" I've either been dismissed or they've made a point to harangue me about my insecurities. She's a dear friend, what is the best way to let her know I've had enough and it hurts?

Thank you.

Carolyn Hax: Stop IMing her.

Interesting definition of "dear" friend.

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Washington, D.C.: Carolyn,
I've been involved in an affair with a co-worker for more than two years and in the last year I've divorced my husband to pursue this relationship at work. The problem is that my guy is married -- with children. One most recently born with serious health issues. I haven't really heard from my guy since the birth and subsequent health issues arose more than a week ago. I know he's really busy but I need his reassurance that we're still together in his heart. Should I let him know how I feel and that I'm thinking about him but feeling "left out?" Or should I look at this as a message that I'm the odd one out and try to move on? He's assured me in the past that we'll be together but I'm really uncertain right now and needing some reassurance. Also, my whole life is centered around this guy -- how can I start over?

Carolyn Hax: He had a child with his wife during your affair. Please pick one of the following: He has no intention of leaving her, his responsibility is to his family and not to you, your life is centered on someone who is centered somewhere else.

Pick the one that persuades you to walk away from something that's only going to get more destructive. Maybe it had its place for you once--if your marriage was that vulnerable, maybe it's good you got out--but now you're just sitting around waiting for your life to start, and at the expense of little kids, one of them sick for [somebody's] sake, and a woman who never did anything to hurt you.

How to start? You just start. You look in the nearest mirror and you tell the face in it that it needs to start, today, to live honorably. Then look at every aspect of your life now and replace the affair decay with something fresh and healthy and good. And if you feel your knees buckle, find a therapist to blurt to, just so you don't do anything stupid like try to call this guy whenever your knees buckle.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Maybe the woman in her 40s is also entering pre-menopause... just what she needs at a time when there are lots of other changes in her life.

Carolyn Hax: Good thought, thanks.

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Littleton, Colo.: Carolyn & Liz, you two make Fridays even more joyful. Thank you.

Carolyn, you'd said:
"And when you start making decisions about what to drop and what to keep on your schedule, consider what will always be there waiting for you, and what'll be gone if you blink."
I'm curious... do you drop the blinky stuff or the steady stuff? I can see arguments for both... grab the blinky stuff before it's gone or hold on to the steady stuff 'cause you can count on it. What do you recommend?

Have a great weekend. Kiss those babies for me, OK?

Carolyn Hax: Eek, thanks, I don't want there to be room for interpretation. Kids=one-shot, grown and gone in a blink. Grad school=there eternally.

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COLD, Maryland: As a related question, I was a cutter for a couple of years in college and after. It has been about four or five years since I last cut, and doubt I will be doing it again.

I am still left with the very obvious scars.

It surprises me how often people ask me about them. I mean, they are on my arms, what are they expecting me to say?

No one in my life right now knows about the cutting (and very few people ever did), so I don't want to share the reason. I have been lying, saying it was a pet rabbit, or something along those lines, should I continue? Any better explanation I can give?

Thank you.

Carolyn Hax: How about, "[Shrug.] Youth." The lies can't be making you feel good, even though the questions probably don't, either.

Memo to people who ask these things: Unless you are a close friend or mate, do not ask, please. None o yer bidniz.

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Washington, D.C.: Dear Carolyn,

Online only please.

I'm in love with a nun. I want to pursue it, but obviously, her status poses significant obstacles. Actually, she's not really supposed to talk to men, and we're limited to correspondence right now. And even that's supposed to be limited.

What's worse, she seems genuinely happy as a nun, although I do think (maybe it's just wishful thinking) that she would be even happier with me. And since I knew her before she was a nun, I know that there's at least a possibility she feels the same way. (Please believe that there are very good reasons that this didn't come up before she joined the convent; it's not just flightiness on my part).

If it helps, I am somewhat unsure of the strength of my faith, but I do attend Church, and think that it is important to give religion a very high role in one's life. And she is well aware of all of that.

washingtonpost.com: I shared this question with Gene Weingarten, who I knew had an interest in ecclesiastical dating. Here's his response:

Gene Weingarten: I think I would tell him that it is a well known fact that, like all women, nuns respond to a direct, aggressive approach. That you just have to sort of "pounce." She'll dig it.

Carolyn Hax: Weingarten's right, this job is too easy.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm sorry, but the story from the woman having an affair and fretting because "her guy" (gag) hasn't called her in the week since the birth and illness of his baby nearly made my lunch come back up.

I suddenly feel so much happier with my single status than I felt this morning.

Carolyn Hax: Lunch! I knew there was a reason I needed to sign off.

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apathetic dating again: What I meant was - do I tell him that I
think his behavior is abysmal, or do I stay
out of it?

Carolyn Hax: When he gives you the opportunity--eg, says he's not really into his GF, etc--then definitely speak up. It's no different from hearing a friend make a racist comment. You call him on it right away, say, wow, that's not right. Same with using people for sex.

_______________________

Carolyn Hax: Really leaving now. Thanks and have a great weekend.

_______________________


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