Emotional incest, also known as covert incest, refers to a type of relationship in which a parent (usually a mother) relies on their child (usually a son or daughter) for emotional support and intimacy that should be reserved for adult relationships.
In emotional incest, the child is forced into a role of meeting the emotional needs of the parent, often at the expense of their own emotional development and autonomy. The parent may share inappropriate information with the child, such as their own personal problems or intimate details about their own relationships. The child may also be expected to provide comfort, reassurance, and validation to the parent, and may feel responsible for the parent’s emotional well-being.
Emotional incest can have long-term negative effects on the child’s emotional and psychological well-being, as well as their ability to form healthy relationships as an adult. It is important to note that emotional incest is a form of emotional abuse and is not the fault of the child.