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My 20-year-old son (Son 1) is a kid who has never given us any trouble with breaking rules, drinking, drugs, etc. He works full time when he’s home from college and is extremely responsible in his job. His money is his own and he tries to save as much as possible.

While I’m away, readers give the advice.

While I’m away, readers give the advice.

When a friend tells you they have cancer, I know you are thinking, “OHMYGOD! HOW DO I MAKE SURE I DON'T GET IT?” It is normal to wonder what caused it and how you can prevent it. But when you ask, “Do they know what caused it?,” it sounds like, “What did you do wrong?” Instead, ask how it was discovered.

DEAR CAROLYN: Two years ago my adult daughter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She is very optimistic and has taken part in fundraisers because she feels she owes it to those who came before her who did the same. We formed a team for our local MS Walk last year and invited our co-workers and members from my very large family to donate or walk or both.

I have a great friend who I have kept some distance from, and sitting in my inbox is an email from him asking why. The truth is that his wife made a pretty blatant pass at me that I deflected and, well, there is a level of awkwardness around them that I just don’t want to have in a social setting, and it seems like inviting just him out doesn’t work.

DEAR CAROLYN: About a year ago I developed a crush on a female friend, whose boyfriend I also know independently of her. I suspect the attraction was mutual but we never acted on it.

DEAR CAROLYN: Our 28-year-old son, “Bill,” has been married for five years to a woman we are slowly starting to resent. “Jennifer” is working on an advanced degree in Italian. She took the opportunity to study abroad for a year in Italy, and Bill suspended his own career path to go to Italy as well. They ended up living in separate cities.

DEAR CAROLYN: I am a generally happy, young teenage boy. I have recently been upset with my mother, because I feel she has been unfriendly. Whenever I ask her if I can do something, she replies that I have to mow the lawn first, or pull weeds out of the garden. I make simple requests, but it seems that I can’t have any fun unless she gets some benefit out of it.

DEAR CAROLYN: My husband and I have been together 12 years. His mother is mentally, emotionally and verbally abusive.



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