When is a child’s aggressive behavior a normal part of growing up, and when does it signal that something more serious may be wrong?
Latest by Heavy Meddle
A middle aged woman feels stuck in an unhappy marriage and job, but fears abandoning either.
A woman wonders why her first dates keep devolving into counseling.
How do I get my wife to stop enabling her needy, cruel and selfish mother?
A woman tries to figure out how to negotiate an industry awash in chauvinism.
A hundred degrees with no air-conditioning! Do I really have to go?
What’s the line between sharing and oversharing?
With the campaign craziness at full boil, people are struggling to figure out who to vote for and how to avoid arguments.
What do you do when your new best friend also happens to be your enabler?
I feel like I have to choose between my fiancée and my folks.
Choosing the baby’s name should be a joyous event, right? Wrong.
What happens when your roommates are loud, violent, sloppy deadbeats?
A woman wonders when it’s appropriate to disclose her abusive relationship.
What to do when your boyfriend won’t give his alcoholic son the heave ho?
A mother is concerned that her 32-year-old is ruining his life by taking up with an older woman.
On the struggle to set boundaries with a troubled colleague.
A woman wonders how to prepare for the devastation of losing her beloved feline.
Am I wrong to not want to interact with someone who deceived me?
In four decades, she hasn’t had a single romantic relationship. Is it too late for her to find love?
What should a young writer do when her creative writing program is filled with jerks and naysayers?
A woman who has struggled with depression feels guilty for wanting to dump her depressed boyfriend.
A married woman writes in because she’s having a cyber relationship with an old friend.
How to survive the holidays with my wife’s cheating kin?
A woman writes in wondering if smuggling her husband into the holiday party is worth the risk.
A once-bold woman finds that moving to a new city has stoked her fears of being a victim of violence.
A woman seeks guidance on how to stop obsessing over her 70-year-old father’s health.
A woman seeks advice on whether to send her twin girls to a posh private school or the public option.
A young woman struggles with her decision to split up with a man preoccupied by work hassles.
A mother writes in to complain about her friends, who have reacted angrily to a fight between their young daughters.
A woman is guilt-stricken by her failure to thank the folks who helped pay for her honeymoon. What should she do?
A mother ponders why her children are happy to text her, but refuse to talk on the phone.
A man writes to lament that his wife is more interested in her phone than her family.
My wife is best friends with her sister. Does that mean I have to put up with her sister’s annoying husband?
A woman wants to age gracefully, but also feels the temptation to ease the process with some cosmetic help.
A woman wonders how to deal with her spouse’s foul temper.
A man and his wife want to be able to vacation in Europe without loved ones horning in.
My mother has always been unkind to me, and even now, all these years and therapy sessions later, it hurts awfully.
I just found out my husband had an account on the adultery site Ashley Madison. Alas, that’s not the end of the story.
A woman struggles with what to say to her friends who have joined a multi-level marketing endeavor.
A woman struggles with how to make her wedding an adult only affair.
A teen in crisis writes to ask how to deal with a frightening emotional breakdown.
Sexual intimacy plays an important role in all of our romantic relationships — or does it?
We live in one of America’s most dangerous cities for bicyclists, and my husband still wants to ride one of our children to school on his bike.
A happy, later-in-life marriage hits a snag in the form of four grown stepchildren.
Struggling in adulthood to heal from a close but troubling boyhood friendship.
Why is it okay to comment on — or reach out and touch — a pregnant woman’s body?
An online shopper grapples with the great moral quandary of the digital age: Is it okay to keep swag an e-tailer sends in error?
A mother worries about how to discuss mortality with her 4-year-old.
Rather than trying to be the perfect dad, let’s settle for being Dads Who Try, for loving our kids as well as we can, and for humbly accepting that, sometimes, we’re going to screw up.
A woman struggles with whether it’s OK to stop hanging out with a friend involved in an extra-marital affair.
As a woman prepares to enter grad school, she worries she and her hard-working girlfriend will drift apart.
A woman writes about her coworker, who is constantly offering unsolicited advice.
A mother struggles with what do about a classmate of her son, who likes him way too much.
Steve takes on student debt, dirty laundry, lousy bosses, and the eternal question: is he allergic to Almonds?
A loyal daughter wants to help her father overcome the loss of his wife. She also needs to lead her own life.
A divorced woman needs a babysitter for her two girls. Her parents are available, but they act like children themselves.
A woman eager to have another child decides to take fertility medication … without consulting her spouse.
When being a friend to a pothead really means being an enabler.
Seeking words of wisdom about shutting up some trash talking fellow students.
I am dwelling in resentment, and that’s not the wife I want to be.
A conflicted feminist proposes to her man but still wants a ring.
At the age of 29, I seem to be the only one of my friends who feels anything but apathy.
Navigating the rough virtual seas of social media.
An aspiring writer with a painful past seeks the courage to overcome one more obstacle: the blank page.
We started the adoption process and then my husband got cold feet. Is there anything that I can do to help guide the discussion without pushing too hard?
My boyfriend refused to accept my friendship with a former flame, so we broke up. Did I do the right thing?
A father’s leniency about pot smoking has an unintended consequence for his son.
How can I get her to see the cost of a bad marriage?
Honesty, or polite evasion? Weighing the merits of two approaches to sidestepping a difficult friend.
Measuring risk against security.
I sleep during the daytime, when most of the world is up and about. Do I have a right to ask my building-mate to keep in down?
Severing ties when friends prefer you broken, because it makes them feel less so.
Navigating the distinction between “father” and “stepfather.”
Should I put aside her cruelty and make nice? Or, should I skip family gatherings altogether?
My mom spoils my children. She can’t afford it and my husband and I think it is too much. How do I get her to stop?
Happily monogamous, but waiting for the other shoe — and a man’s biological imperative — to drop.
When a slogan’s meaning is co-opted, a favorite t-shirt becomes a symbol it wasn’t intended to be.
Yes, my family is transracial. No, that does not earn you the right to ask rude questions.
A couple. A calendar. And increasing tension over planning nights out together.
Children can be fickle about their friendships. What happens when little buddies fall out, but their parents still want to hang out?
A wife is caught in the middle between parents she loves but doesn’t always agree with and the husband who barely tolerates them at all.
A mother at loose ends, and a daughter struggling to love her while setting limits.
Is it better to confront alcohol-fueled expressions of hate — whether they are jokes or not — or to remain silent for the sake of keeping the peace?
Severe food allergies require special attention, but they don’t have to make you the odd one out.
In which our advice columnist tackles your questions in a rapid-fire, light-hearted way.
Five tenants, two trash cans, and one neighbor who doesn’t want to share.
Does sharing a home mean sharing a social life?
What’s a sister to do when she knows too much about her brother’s ex — and she’s back in his life?
It’s okay to bring rotten produce back for a refund. What about fruits and vegetables that just don’t taste like they should?
Of all the feelings a father-to-be could experience, what if ambivalence is the only one?
In which Steve Almond counsels a bro on his attitude toward women.
I’m in love with someone who isn’t returning my feelings. Is it time to move on?
Help! My friend’s work woes are spreading to the rest of her life. What can I do?
What happens when two sisters are tested for a life-threatening genetic mutation, and only one has it?
Husbands and fathers need nights out, too. But it is up to their wives to plan the fun for them?
If a salesperson is coming on too strong, say something.
What if I go on on loving the same music I did at the age of 20?
The costs — existential and otherwise — of making a living.
What to do when three’s a crowd? Two best friends, one jealous husband.
What’s a neatnik with a chore chart to do?
Will it harm my career status if I leave work in my running clothes?
Our exes have become friends and we suspect they’re saying terrible things about us to our kids. What should we do?
I’d like a partner who earns as much or more than me. Does this make me superficial?
My longtime friend, who has always been overweight, is now morbidly obese. Should I do or say something?
My ex is over-sharing details of our private life to my son’s baseball coach. What should I do?
I’m so apprehensive about seeing him that I’m considering skipping our next family get-together. What should I do?
I don’t know if I can continue on without being swallowed up by regret and resentment.
Ever since learning of my boyfriend’s transgression, I can’t seem to wrest myself from the depths of despair. Help.
He runs around judging people and then brags about his nobility. Should I call him on it?
I’m not sure the cave man diet is the best way for her to lose weight. What should I do?
Why are people seemingly so desperate to receive attention and so averse to paying attention?
How to best solve a baby naming conflict with the in-laws?
I want the day to feel intimate and joyous, but if my whole guest list is comprised of obligatory family members, there won’t be room for those closest to us.
My response in yesterday’s column was, in the words of several commenters, “way off.”
Maybe I’m too conservative, but I’m very uncomfortable with him making comments about her physical appearance.
Not only is she meddling in my life, but she’s trying to force her religious views on me as well.
He needs help — but in the meantime, we’re not sure how deal with his inappropriate advances.
The man who became the cornerstone of my academic research had a sordid — and very disturbing — private transgression. What was I to do?
All these special dietary considerations can make your role as host/cook feel pretty onerous, which sort of defeats the purpose — or at least the spirit — of throwing a dinner party.
I’m afraid that one or both of my parents’ spouses will deprive me of my birthright, either by means of incompetence or bias.
I was recently diagnosed, and my friends can’t seem to respect my new-found limitations.
And furthermore, may I ask people to greet them politely when they enter my home?
I never answer, as much as I want to. Permission to be mean back?
A bunch of brief responses to a bunch of brief questions and moral quandaries.
How do I tell my co-worker to leave his politics at home?
It’s the full body equivalent of restless leg syndrome: her shoulders twitch up and down in a never-ending cycle of nervous energy. Do I have the right to ask her to stop?
We love our parents and know that they want what is best for us. However, we would like to avoid the power struggles over our different parenting styles.
My bride-to-be is spending a fortune on fancy photographers and flowers. How can I get her to slow down without looking cheap?
Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. Just not when they are peeing on my paperwork. What should I tell my coworker, a.k.a. puppy’s “mom”?
While looking for something else, I caught a writer I admire red-handed. What should I do?
How do I break the cycle?
Modern “child-centered” parenting too often devolves into situations where the kids are allowed to run wild, making it nearly impossible for the adults to interact.
Just do it, says Steve. Otherwise, every time you go online, you’re hitting the refresh button on the hurt.
I know I should say something but I keep hoping he will surprise me.
I don’t want my friends and family to be hurt or upset that they weren’t aware of the situation but at the same time it might never be necessary to tell them at all.
Should I pursue a relationship with their kids?
On fan/rock star boundary issues.
He says he wants to end things with her. But should I believe him?
He’s got everything I’m looking for — except ambition and intellectual curiosity.
She flaunts new toys as she complains about not being able to pay the rent.
Tracing my romantic failures back to the woman who loved me first.
Calling her “the only real person he knows,” he’s been confiding in his ex about personal and work-related frustrations. Should I confront him?
Aside from being bossy/desperate, how can I build a culture of responsiveness in my circle?
Advice on surviving a cross-continent love affair from someone with “advanced degree in long-distance relationships.”
A crisis that travels right straight to the heart of modern marriage and parenting.
And worse, when we go out together, he sees me as competition.
I’m having a hard time finding a job and my boyfriend is getting stressed out about our finances. What should I do?
Someone I recently started dating told me that he is going on a date with someone else. What should I do?
A Wife in Crisis: I can’t see living with him much longer, but it’s not easy to walk away from 30 years of marriage.
Before we were married, my wife was unfaithful. All these years later, she wants to revisit the conference where it happened.
He wants to keep in touch. I don’t. Do strict boundaries make me a jerk?
Un-save the date: Steve asks, do you want the truth, or the answer you’re fishing for?
The Pack ‘n Play Imbroglio: How to deal with in-laws who are deeply invested in a dumb feud.
Losing my religion: He wants to break ranks with the church but is paralyzed by fear of losing his family.
Dealing with the grump next door can be tricky — especially when fences and leaky pine trees are involved.
He knows from experience: Self-proclaimed joyless curmudgeon Steve Almond on how to handle a coworker with a ‘tude.
One family member is in trouble, while another is unwilling to face facts. What to do?
Steve advises a new dad on an issue that is “painfully germane.”
Now, here’s a question Emily Post never had to answer: Short of being able to sniff out who has gas before class, is it rude to move your mat after you find out the hard way? Plus, should you give money to panhandlers?
Steve Almond on reality TV astronauts and unrequited love.
Is there a polite way to ask someone to stop posting pictures of you on Facebook? And, what’s the most important consideration when choosing a new apartment?
Should I tell my pal he smells like eau de stink?