1. Do you have any information directed for the partner? (I’m the girlfriend of a 10 yr relationship) I was living with my boyfriend and his adult son. I’m age 60,Bf age 56 his son age 28. They are codependent and emotionally reliant on one other, As if they are the couple! I was always left out or was 2nd our entire relationship. They are best friends. They are inseparable. They make all the decisions together… the shopping, the cooking, planning their 2 week annual vacations together. Purchasing new furniture for the home. Etc. Fast forward…I just couldn’t take it any longer in spite of my reaching out to my bf with my concerns about this! Was ignored repeatedly. I snapped! told his son off and moved out after residing with them for 8 yrs. Recent counseling has revealed how I was living in an emotionally abusive environment. Thus why I’m searching for information on my situation as how to cope, perhaps some tools to get over my heartbreak and physical issues that I now believe have manifested due to living in this situation for so many years. Thank you for any podcasts or books you may have on this topic.

    1. Kathy I remember working with a man years ago who was in his late 30’s or early 40’s. It wasn’t until we’d worked together several times before he began opening up about his distorted thinking about how he couldn’t abandon his dad – by basically living his own life. Gradually he realized there wasn’t any abandonment at all but he wasn’t living his own life. It sounds in this situation however that both your former boyfriend and his son seem to be “just fine” with things the way they are and having such a tight bond with one another – yet so tight that no one else can be included and their lives have little to no separation. I haven’t written on this topic – of what it’s like to be someone who might love either one of them but I can see where it needs to be addressed. Because you’re right… I guess what I might suggest is that you continue to work with your therapist locally who can help you find what caused you to stay for so long or what engaged you in the first place.. how did you see their relationship prior to beginning to live with them? I’m so sorry. Enmeshment can seem so “healthy” on one level.. like there’s tremendous caring. But going deeper, it has much more troublesome aspects – as you’ve experienced. And I’ll add this topic to my list to write about! Thank you for commenting.

  2. Do you have any information directed towards the parent? And how my husband and I can fix the situation? My daughter (21) was recently told by her therapist that it sounds like she comes from an enmeshed family. We are a close family of 8. She’s the oldest. Things were all fine and happy until she turned 18. I’ve read a ton about enmeshed families and I honestly don’t thinks our situation is severe or anything. She lives separately, I’m not calling her all the time or anything. But if I ask any questions about her life she’s all up in arms and calls me nosey when I just genuinely care how she’s doing and what she’s up to. Now when she comes over I’m walking on eggshells and basically don’t talk to her for fear she’ll get upset. I’m dealing with a TON of pain, hurt and heartbreak. Her boyfriend of almost 2 years recently broke up with her and now she’s on meds for depression and anxiety. I can’t even ask how she’s doing or if the meds are helping. I just want to make sure she’s happy and healthy… like my urge to care for her like a mom is still there and I feel like I’m not allowed because it’s “prying” and she’s an adult. Basically… we have 5 other children. What can I do to parent them and be caring and involved but yet not screw it up with them too?

    1. What I might suggest is that you ask your daughter if you can attend one or more sessions with her therapist (which you’ll pay for) so that you can better understand whatever her therapist means. Or you can go to another therapist and ask for their objective opinion. I hope that helps…

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