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by Abigail Van Buren

Son With New Girlfriend Grows More Distant From His Mother

DEAR ABBY: 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? -- SAD MOM IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR MOM: Your son is pursuing not only this young lady, but also his independence, which is normal for someone his age, and he may need to separate from you for a while. Back off for now and allow him some space. Whether this college romance will pan out is anyone's guess, so calm down. If possible, concentrate on things other than your empty nest. However, if you are unable to do that, ask your physician or your insurance company to refer you to a licensed psychotherapist to help you get through this.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Aging