Covert emotional incest happens when a parent turns to their children for the emotional intimacy or attachment that a love relationship should supply. The emotional incest syndrome, often known as emotional or covert incest, does not entail physical sexual abuse. However, some individuals who have undergone emotional incest observe similar results.
Covert incest also refers to emotional incest. It relates closely to the principles of:
Enmeshment. Enmeshment entails relationships with unclear or nonexistent boundaries, typically within a family.
Parentification. Emotional incest most closely resembles the form of parentification referred to as emotional parentification, in which a kid is compelled to bear the emotional weight that a caregiver or parent would usually carry.
While these principles are similar, emotional incest varies in that it refers only to the bond between a child and their primary caregiver or parent and excludes extended family or siblings. And instead of assuming the emotional role of a parent, children assume that of a spouse.
It is yet unknown how prevalent emotional incest is. It is also possible to grow up without even knowing it. However, emotional incest can affect mental health in ways that persist into adulthood, and mental health care can aid in recovery.
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