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Mother-In-Law Feels Snubbed

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Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My new daughter-in-law seems to avoid me even though I have done nothing to offend her. When we go over to their house for dinner, she stays busy in the kitchen. When they visit our house, she seems to have an attitude, and they don't stay long. We are good parents and I love my son. Now my son has told me that I shouldn't call so much. What should I do?



Dear Bewildered,

Your daughter-in-law staying in the kitchen may very well be that she is busy preparing the dinner. You could go in and offer to help out and get to know her better.

Sometimes, our best intentions can be misinterpreted. If you really think that your daughter-in-law's attitude has to do with you, then have a friendly private talk with your son to find out what is going on. Do not be accusatory, but simply begin by saying how nice it would be to get to know "Jane" better. Then, ask if there is anything that you did or say that might have been misinterpreted, or has there been some misunderstanding about anything. Explain that you feel that you may have done something to hurt her feelings, and certainly wouldn't have done so intentionally.

Since your son has asked you to limit your phone calls, then only call with important matters. No more than one call per week should be sufficient to keep each other updated.