Covert emotional incest – part 1


Your early family relationships are the most influential relationships of your life.
Confusion in those early relationships can lead to confusion throughout life.
Contact us for help resolving emotional and relationship issues.

Covert emotional incest begins when a family member perceives

or responds to another family member as a substitute for a partner.
We help people resolve emotional incest, and remedy other child abuse.


The symptoms of covert emotional incest include feeling special (believing without evidence that you are exceptional) and identity loss (losing access to some of your qualities, resources and emotions). Associated issues include addictive relationships and passive aggression.


Children raised as special do not forget it. Love may not be enough … they often  demand devotion. If their need to be special is threatened, they may feel that life is not worth living. They may seek substitutes for parents … as partners. They may fall in love with people who have qualities that a parent had – or lacked. They may become irrational if or when a substitute parent withdraws or threatens to leave.


I broke up with my live-in boyfriend (38) when he told me that he could never marry me because he has all the love he could need from his mother (who treats him like her husband). Anyway he just went home to his mother. Los Angeles


If you cannot ask for help or advice – even when lost in a strange city,
you are unlikely to ask us for guidance even when lost in life.


Warning for Therapists & Counselors

When we help other therapists manage negative emotions etc, we often find that they specialize in their own issues. When they resolve their own issues, they may lose motivation to help other people with those issues.

I was well known for helping depressed middle-aged women cope with their sad lives.
But since your coaching, I can’t hardly tolerate such women … I enjoy being with
dynamic people! I now coach small business owners to expand! 


Covert Emotional Incest & Identity Loss

The consequences of covert emotional incest include obsessions, compulsions and an array of emotion-driven behaviors, including:

  1. Identification: You express another person’s emotions
  2. Inner Child: Some part of you is split-off – you can be childish
  3. Identity Conflict: You swing between extremes – you live in conflict
  4. Lost Identity: You cannot express yourself – your life lacks meaning
  5. Relationship Bonds: You are bonded to someone – you are dependent

Emotional incest often accompanies Parental Alienation, in which
(in the mind of a child) one parent hates or alienates the other parent.
Often, such toxic beliefs are taboo – and taboo beliefs cannot be
consciously changed or even considered without help.

Covert emotional incest spans generations … there is no one person who caused it. It usually reflects chains of suffering going back many generations.


Emotional Incest – Signs of Abuse

  • parental alienation
  • toxic partnership habits
  • psychosomatic disease
  • mental and emotional disorders
  • addictions, obsessions & compulsions
  • stress disorders
  • passive aggression
  • learning disabilities
  • sexual dysfunction
  • series of business or financial failures


Solve Emotional Problems

Did a parent try to partner you? Do you cling to fantasies and avoid responsibility (act like a child) or become super-responsible (act like a parent) … or both? If your parents included you in their fights and fantasies, you may be enmeshed in their drama.

Do you strive to fulfill a parent’s unfulfilled desires? If so – you may be diagnosed as having passive aggression, sexual problems, anxiety and/or depression. If you try to fulfill both parents’ conflicting desires. your life may include inner conflict and bipolar.


My husband is a mature man half the time – but he acts like an aggressive child after visiting his mother. When he is mature – life is good … but a few hours with his mother and he becomes an irresponsible, conceited little boy! Washington


If you try to carry ancestral emotional baggage, you will fail. You may find yourself in crisis, depression, obsessions or addictions. Even worse, your children will copy you.


I researched the huna healing used by native Hawaiian healers. Some referred toele’ele eke (black bags) of emotions held in the body which cause disease and are difficult to heal except through ho’oponopono – a traditional Hawaiian family therapy.


Parents who Abuse Children

Few human parents kill their own children. Most parents strive to give their children what they lacked when they were young.

Some parents are abusive and manipulative – even with their adult children. Yet even the most abusive parents claim good intentions. They often say that they’re doing the best that they know how to do.


My husband was a case of arrested development which made him easy to control. Since your sessions, he is taking more responsibility, but now my teenage son is angrily trying to be the “irresponsible one” in our family. New Mexico


Good intentions can have bad consequences. If a lonely parent loves a child as a substitute for a friend or partner, emotional chaos will follow. Later as adults, they may watch their children and grandchildren try to cope with the same problems.

The consequences of covert emotional incest include destructive relationship habits:

  1. expressing contempt and conceit
  2. testing people’s acceptance of them
  3. expressing anger, rejection and emotional chaos
  4. showing inappropriate affection and inappropriate rejection

Father-bonded women or mother-bonded men may only relate well with other bonded adults. They may find themselves only falling in love with or sexually excited by, immature or irresponsible people whom they neither like nor trust … or they may desperately seek people who will parent them.

Solutions for Transferences & Negative Emotions

Transferences motivate fixated and addictive relationships. Affected people may suffer negative emotions and relationship problems. They may say, “I don’t know what love is“. For more on this, see mother-son bonds and father-daughter entanglements.

When transferences fail – as they will, being lies – affected people
may seek distractions or drugs to avoid depression. We can
help you resolve emotional and relationship problems.

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