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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a friend who is over 30 yr and still lives at home.

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Hi, I have a friend who is over 30 yr and still lives at home. His parents are controlling and won't allow him to grow up and move out. The mother brings him breakfast in bed, does the laundry, etc. It is ridiculous just how dysfunctional it is. It's stunted his emotional development so badly that they have a codependent relationship even though he can't stand his mother and has nothing nice to say about her. Is there any useful reading material you could recommend - books and online?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your friend's parents have some issues they never worked out. They are harming their son by treating him this way, but he can gain the power to move out from under their control, with help. It seems he does have some handle on how dysfunctional this is just in how he feels about his mother.

There are many resources to help. Some of these are going to address co dependency in drug addiction and other circumstances, but the same principles apply. Here are some recommendations that will get you started:

Let Go Now: Embracing Detachment by Karen Casey

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie- this book may give you and your friend some insight into his parents behavior. It will help him understand the situation better so he can find ways to break free.

Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody, Andrea Wells Miller and J. ***** *****

Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships by Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Frank Minirth and Paul Meier M.D

Codependence / The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney

Let me know if I can help in any other way,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you - these are very helpful. Are there perhaps more online resources that deal specifically with unhealthy adult child / parent relationships?

Here are some extra resources that may help:

The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life -by Dr. Patricia Love and Jo Robinson

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward and Craig Buck

When He's Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment -by ***** ***** and Alexander P. Morgan

Try these books. You can find them on or your local library may have them. There are not too many resources on line that do not pertain to alcohol or other situations besides the one your friend is dealing with.


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