Mother can’t understand why son has walked away

Published 8:16 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I’ve always been close to my children, but now that they are adults, it seems I’m losing my connection with one of them. He married a girl of a different race, and while that doesn’t bother me, I have a strong hunch she’s the reason he has distanced himself from not only me, but also the rest of the family.
When I recently shared with him that I felt his wife is a bit of a busybody and had overstepped some boundaries, he told me he no longer wants a relationship with me. I don’t think I said anything so bad that he’d totally remove himself from my or our lives, but I’m no longer going to try to force him to be a part of this family.
After I blocked his wife from social media (because she doesn’t interact, but stalks and then reports back to him), he has blocked me. I’m usually good at dealing with conflict, but he’s steadily drawing further and further away. I love all my children, but he needs to realize it’s not ALL about his wife — we’re his family, too. I really need help with this one. — ADULTS’ MOM

DEAR ADULTS’ MOM: Leaving your daughter-in-law and her race out of this for a moment, the situation you have described is one that sometimes happens when a son gets married. When that happens, the young man’s allegiance switches from mom and family to his wife.
Your daughter-in-law reviewing your posts and discussing them with your son isn’t outrageous, particularly if he isn’t viewing them himself. Were you posting something she found hurtful or offensive? If the answer is no, you may have to accept that, for whatever reason, your son has decided to move in a different direction. If the answer is yes, offer an apology and see if it’s possible to bury the hatchet.
DEAR ABBY: My husband of 30 years and I are in-house separated. We sleep in separate bedrooms. I want a divorce, but he refuses to leave, even though he could afford another house. Our grown son came to visit recently and was staying in our camper in our backyard. The camper is next to our swimming pool.
Last Sunday, I looked out the kitchen window and saw my husband standing in the pool naked. Our son was in the camper at the time and came out to see his father standing there. When I asked my husband why he did this, my question was met with rage and yelling that he didn’t want to get his bathing suit wet. Don’t you think this is the behavior of a depraved person? — FINISHED IN FLORIDA

DEAR FINISHED: For your son to have seen his father naked in the swimming pool isn’t what is cause for concern. More alarming is that a change in his usual behavior may indicate a mental or emotional problem and calls for a medical evaluation. (He might be more open to it if your SON suggests it.)
Please consult an attorney and ask what would be involved if you were to go through with that divorce. Get those answers now, before a crisis happens.
DEAR READERS: On this day that celebrates love, I want you to know how much I value the relationship I have with you. Wishing all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day! – WITH LOVE, ABBY
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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