DEAR ABBY: My son married a sweet girl three years ago, and I thought we would become a close family. I haven't bothered them at all. Since then, she has become cold and distant to me. My son rarely calls or comes around.
They are expecting their first child soon. I have been left out of all the excitement of the baby. She has not invited me to the baby showers or to see the nursery, etc. I know it's not all about me, but I would like to be included.
My side of the family doesn't seem to matter to her or my son. Because he doesn't stand up for me, I fear I will never get to be close to my grandchild. I don't want to upset them, but how do I handle this? -- SAD GRANDMA-TO-BE
DEAR SAD: Talk to your son about your feelings, and ask if there is a reason for his wife's behavior. Then ask if he wants you to be a part of his child's life, because the way things are going, it doesn't appear to be the case. That you haven't been invited to the baby showers is terrible, but nothing will change until you bring your concerns out into the open.
I'm sad to say your problem isn't unusual, and it usually happens in marriages where the husband is afraid or unwilling to talk about uncomfortable subjects and prefers to avoid confrontation.