DEAR ABBY: Relationship with new DIL gets off to a rough start

Dear Abby: Right after high school, our son joined the military. We are proud of him and keep in touch mostly by phone because he’s stationed across the country. Since he has been away, he met a young lady on a dating website. I met her briefly on a quick visit.

I had concerns about the relationship, and I shared them with my son. She doesn’t drive, works only intermittently and displayed no desire to get to know me during my visit. They ended up getting married behind our backs a few months ago.

What’s done is done. The only thing I want now is to have some kind of relationship with her. I have reached out multiple times, but she won’t budge. I love my son and, by extension, her. I don’t think I should be punished for bringing up my concerns. She refuses to communicate with me at all. — Wanting Basic Communication

Dear Wanting: The only person who can fix this is your son. You were within your rights as a mother to voice your concerns to him. He should not have run to his girlfriend and blabbed. Although his wife refuses to communicate, I assume that he still does. Tell him that if he would like to have a relationship with his parents, and for them to function as grandparents, he needs to start smoothing this over with his bride.

Dear Abby: I have a friend who is constantly downcast and clinically depressed. I have tried praying for her and encouraging her, but to no avail. At this point, I feel like she is determined to stay this way.

Sometimes I have to distance myself for a while because seeing her is exhausting. I have known her for two years, and she’s always like this. Who doesn’t have problems?! This is life. Sometimes we’re happy, sometimes we’re not.

She takes it personally and starts to question our friendship if I don’t check up on her. It has become overwhelming for me. I have my family to be concerned about.

I recently told her that she can be “a bit much,” and not to take it personally if I’m not available. I also said my focus has shifted because my kids have classes and I’m back at work. — Strained Friendship In California

Dear Strained: Has your friend been diagnosed by a medical professional? If the answer to that question is yes, you should be telling her she needs to consult her physician because, after two years, her depression has not improved.

If she hasn’t been formally diagnosed, point her in that direction, which would enable her to gain access to medications or therapy that might help her. Don’t allow her to guilt you into doing anything that’s too much for you because, if you continue, your resentment will only increase.

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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit

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