Not so in real life. A real Bob Wiley is an abusive, wicked man who victimizes people by intruding across their personal boundaries.
“Dolores, now in her 60’s, is the mother of four sons and three daughters. When her first husband died 16 years ago, she married a successful surgeon and is consequently rarely short of funds. Y et instead of taking expensive vacations or buying designer dresses, she spends most of her money on two of her children, Natalie and Larry.
Natalie, who is 40 years old, has never quite found herself, has been on welfare most of her adult life, and cannot seem to hold a job. Why should she? By supplementing what Natalie gets from the state, Dolores ensures that her daughter’s material needs are met. There is, of course, a blemish on the landscape of Natalie’s paradise, which is that she can do almost nothing without Dolores, who tells her what to eat, how to style her hair, and even where to buy groceries. [Do you begin to see that Dolores is a trespasser, a boundary violator? And the damage she is doing? Which of us do not have to admit some guilt here?]
Larry is a 38 year old ex-plumber who 4 years ago announced that he wanted to go to college. He has never taken more than one course per semester, rarely opens a book, and has less interest in learning than a tired frog. Dolores pays his tuition and keeps him supplied with cash. Not a bad life, you might conclude, until you notice that Larry is at his mother’s beck and call. He cannot even date without her approval. She picks out his clothes, shows up unannounced at his apartment, and insists that he take her out to dinner at least once a week. The surgeon doesn’t mind because she’s as intrusive with him as she is with her children.
On those rare occasions when Natalie or Larry tries to go it alone, to think or act independently, Dolores reminds them of how much she’ s sacrificed. And if that doesn’t work, she breaks into sobs, talks about how no one cares whether she lives or dies (‘Maybe it’ll be better for everyone if I’ m gone’ ), and locks herself in the bathroom. Because she once swallowed a bottle of pills, this makes short work of any attempt on their part to separate from her. [Toxic Relationships & How to Change Them, by Dr. Clinton McLemore]