Rome News-Tribune

Future son-in-law’s reluctance to open up with family concerns couple


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-inlaw. 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


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?

Dear Abby: About a year ago, a friend I’ve known since high school came out as transgende­r female. I want to do what I can to support her. I’m one of those old-fashioned people who still has photo albums, and there are a fair amount of pictures of her, pre-transition. Obviously, the photos are labeled with her “dead” name. Should I go back through the albums and change the labels to replace her former name with her new one?

— Good Friend

in Illinois

Dear Friend: This is a subject you should discuss with your friend.

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