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.
DEAR ABBY: I have been a widower for 15 years. I had kids at home, so restarting romantic life wasn't a priority after my wife died. Ten years later, I realized I was no longer interested in women, and my love life since then has been with men. While I have never been vocal about it with family and friends, I assume they all probably know.
A couple of months ago, one of my male friends -- much younger than I and from my poker group -- came to my home to take me to lunch. I had always assumed he was gay. I made a pass and ended up seducing him. He was a great sex partner, but he changed his mind about going to lunch afterward. He has never shown up for poker since and no one has heard from him.
I feel bad, but I am not ashamed and I would never say anything that would lead anyone to know what happened. Should I contact my former friend and reassure him? He's a good man and I worry about him. -- MISSING A FRIEND IN MIAMI
DEAR MISSING: The man you seduced may not have been as comfortable with gay sex as you assumed he was. Try to contact him once, but if he wanted to see you again, he wouldn't have disappeared. My advice is to leave it at that because it appears he isn't interested in another round of poker -- or anything else -- with you.
DEAR ABBY: I have discovered that the man I have been seeing for several years has been stealing money from me. There is no question in my mind that it's him. What is the best way to confront him? It breaks my heart, but I need to give him a chance to be honest about this.
I care for him as a person but no longer trust him. I know he's going through a lot right now, but so are a lot of us. Please guide me. I don't do confrontations well. -- USED IN INDIANA
DEAR USED: If you have proof of what he has done, a way to approach it would be to discuss with him in a public place that money has disappeared -- and you would like his "help" in figuring out where it went. Depending upon his response, you may have to take specific action by involving your lawyer, your CPA or the police.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)