Advice Column

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"If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there's anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it." --Howe

Son With New Girlfriend Grows More Distant From His Mother

(taken from 1/14/21 "Dear Abby")


LETTER: I'm a mom of three young adults, a daughter and two sons. The oldest recently married. My youngest is finishing his last two years of college out of state. Three months ago, he met a young lady.

I have tried constantly to be close with all my children, but the youngest has always kept me at bay. He expresses how different we are. Now that he has met this young lady, I think he's trying to push me further away and continue on with her and her mom. It makes me sad because no matter how hard I try to be a good mother and be present, it doesn't work. What do you suggest?

Abby wanted you to accept your son's independence, but why do that when Skillz has an alternative?:

SKILLZ SAYS: What you've got to understand, ma'am, is that a lot of dudes don't want to be "close" with their mothers, no matter how good said mother may be. It's not a knock on your skillz as a parent or your qualities as a person. It's just that once dudes reach a certain age, they just don't want to lie in bed and watch movies with their mom. Or give/receive massages to/from their mom. Or tell their mom everything that they're feeling.

Can't understand that? Here's what you do:

Learn whatever you can about this girlfriend; Facebook/Instagram might be helpful. Then, gradually incorporate her lifestyle into yours—I'm talking style of dress, music tastes, even hobbies. I'm not suggesting you try to become your son's girlfriend—we here at TSR are not that radical or nasty—but there must be something besides this girl's body that drew your son to him. Perhaps he'll visit, catch you jammin' to some old-school Kesha, and think "Hey, maybe Mom's not so bad."

Not willing to risk creeping your son out? Fine. Then your other option is STOP BEING SO DIFFERENT from him. This will require lying and fakery on your part, but what do you value more, the truth or your relationship with your son? When he comes over praising Donald Trump, don't bite back singing all of Joe Biden's praises—praise Trump too! If your son puts peanut butter on his steak, DO IT TOO! You can always puke it up later!

Whatever your son feels, YOU now feel—even if it means you spend hours of your spare time immersed in Anime. WIN! You're welcome.