She's an Odd Duck
Q: I have a female friend who never goes outside, and never even gets dressed. She lives with her son who is 33 years old. My question is how could you tell if she is having an inappropriate relationship with her son? He is always telling her he loves her. They stay up all night and sleep all day. The son has had many women wanting him to go out, but he will not go. He says his mother used to be active, but when her daughter moved out, all this started. How can I tell if what I'm suspecting might be true? -- Chuck, 56
Dr. Susan: I'm not clear on how you met or even get together with this female friend who never dresses or leaves the house. I suppose you visit her and her son together. How to scope out their relationship? Do they touch a lot? Do either of them look like they're hiding something? Is there something wrong with the young man and maybe his mom is simply overprotecting him? It does sound like a screwy relationship, and that they're quite maladjusted people. Whether it's just plain dysfunctional or there's really something majorly inappropriate going on, it's hard for a casual friend to tell. If either of them seems distressed, see if you can get them to open up. Otherwise, time will tell, most likely.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.