The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: I Don’t Understand Why My Son Won’t Talk to Me

My husband and I live close to him, but he rarely visits us.
Source: Bianca Bagnarelli

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

Dear Therapist,

My husband and I have two adult children: a 39-year-old son who is married with three children and lives 15 minutes away, and a 33-year-old daughter who is single and lives out of state. My daughter-in-law’s parents live three hours away.

Even though he lives close by, my son hardly calls or comes over. He tells us he’s busy working and being a father and husband. We do hear from him when he needs something, like someone to watch the grandkids.

For most of the holidays, my son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids spend several days visiting with my daughter-in-law’s parents and her other family members. This year, I asked my son whether his family would be

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