DEAR CAROLYN: My smart, successful, and never-been-married 41-year-old daughter has recently become engaged to a twice-divorced man whom she has nothing in common with except a desire to not be alone anymore. I am worried she is his “retirement plan,” as he can’t wait to retire early from his job and live the expat lifestyle with her overseas. They have only known each other for a year, and six months of that have been long-distance. My daughter complains he won’t stop seeing his “ex-girlfriend/best friend” who lives in the same apartment complex as him — on a different continent — and it is making her insecure.
DEAR CAROLYN: My wife and I got married two years ago. Even though we had been together for a long time, I was extremely reluctant to take the plunge. She’s smart and kind and beautiful, but I’ve just never felt “it” for her.
DEAR CAROLYN: My former fiancé, “John,” prefers staying home to going out unless it’s for work or family. I’m easygoing and never had a problem until a few weeks ago when he didn’t come to an awards ceremony where I was being honored. This was a big deal for me and I had to beg him to come.
DEAR CAROLYN: I am about to start my sophomore year of college. During my freshman year I met a guy and fell in love with him. He is a really great guy but he was weird about our relationship: He refused to call us boyfriend-girlfriend even though we spent all our time together, slept together, and he told me he loved me. Then at the end of the school year he told me he didn’t want to see me over the summer and has barely acknowledged me when I’ve called or texted him the last three months.
DEAR CAROLYN: When my husband and I first married, I had a wonderful relationship with his parents. However, over the last decade, his mother’s health has deteriorated such that she is now both severely disabled and depressed. My father-in-law is a wonderful man who has devoted his life to her care but, despite his devotion, she directs her unhappiness at him. Spending time with them is difficult.
DEAR CAROLYN: My brother is on the autism spectrum, high-functioning but not in a cute, Sheldon Cooper way. He is mostly standoffish, and when he does engage it’s usually pretty harsh. He’s my brother and I love him, but he can be tough to be around even if you know him well.
DEAR CAROLYN: I was casually dating/hooking up with “Nick” at the end of the school year. He’s a year older, and graduated and moved back home. We didn’t want whatever was going on between us to end, so we decided we would be “together, exclusively,” albeit at a three-hour driving distance.
Dear Carolyn: My son, who is 46 and lives on the West Coast, has been in a tumultuous relationship with a woman 10 years his junior. He was married previously and has been divorced for over 10 years. He met his current girlfriend about four years ago but the relationship has been off and on, and he never failed to call and cry on my shoulder about it.
Dear Carolyn: I would like your perspective on a ghosting situation. I met “Rose” four years ago in college. We kept in touch even after she transferred to a different college and after I graduated and moved to D.C. Despite a six-year age difference, we’ve always gotten along and talked almost every day.