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

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min readScience
Ad Astra Is a Starry Epic With an Intimately Human Message
James Gray’s new film, starring Brad Pitt, is a quiet, character-driven drama disguised as a grand adventure through the cosmos.
The Atlantic4 min readScience
‘This Is Clearly Coming From Outside the Solar System’
The second known visitor to our cosmic neighborhood from another star is making quite an entrance.
The Atlantic6 min readPsychology
Why Do Some People Become Readers?
They can be identified by their independent-bookstore tote bags, their “Book Lover” mugs, or—most reliably—by the bound, printed stacks of paper they flip through on their lap. They are, for lack of a more specific term, readers. Joining their tribe