DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend’s family randomly stopped speaking to me, and I have no idea why. She and I have been on great terms, and I’ve never done anything foul to her. Up until recently, every time I would visit my girlfriend’s house, I’d get a warm greeting from her mom and younger siblings. Lately when I visit, I’m lucky if they don’t completely ignore my existence. What could this be about? -- Cold Shoulder
DEAR COLD SHOULDER: Have you asked your girlfriend what’s going on? Chances are, she knows. Did you two have an argument or some other type of friction recently? Sometimes people share intimacies with their family about their relationship -- something that may later seem small to them, but that the family holds on to. Find out what, if anything, your girlfriend revealed to her family about you. Then ask her to double back and speak to them. If the issue between you is resolved, she needs to get the word to them.
Also, she may want to reconsider sharing details of your relationship with her family. Couples go through all kinds of things, but family involvement often makes relationship dynamics messy. Ask your girlfriend to keep your business as a couple to herself.
You can also consider speaking to them directly. Rather than addressing your personal business, you can tell them you miss their hugs. See if you can inspire them to be more open just by behaving in a positive, congenial manner. It’s worth a try.