DEAR ABBY: My stepdaughter is engaged to a wonderful young man she has been with for more than three years. We welcome him as part of our family and are excited to have him as a son-in-law. However, due to his overwhelming anxiety (as my stepdaughter explains it), he barely says a word whenever we see him.
In the several years they have been dating/engaged, he has joined us for only one family holiday meal, and conversation was painful, to say the least. We have invited him to many family gatherings (large and small), but he seems to have an excuse not to attend each one.
I very much want to get to know him better and make him feel welcome, comfortable and loved as part of our family, but his silence, lack of eye contact and his apparent desire to avoid us make it very difficult. Any advice? -- CHALLENGED FUTURE MOTHER-IN-LAW
DEAR FUTURE M.I.L: You are overdue for a serious talk with your stepdaughter. Have you asked her if she knows the reason for her fiance's lack of social skills? Is he this way with everyone, or just you and your husband? Could he be on the autism spectrum or feel intimidated by your attempts to make him feel "comfortable and loved"? His extreme introversion may be a red flag because it may have negative repercussions for her if she marries him.