[TW: Incest] Covert Incest
A lot of people believe that incest only happens when there is actual sexual contact/penetration, but incestuous dynamics can occur without actual sexual activity. Incestuous families often have trouble with boundaries, either as a result of mental illness, addiction, or prior abuse in the parent’s past. If one or both parents had an abusive childhood, absent parents, were sexually abused themselves, or have other factors that contribute to boundary issues, they may unintentionally create or recreate incestuous dynamics even in the absence of sexual contact. These relationships can also occur when one of the parents is ill or absent and the remaining/healthy parent attempts to seek this type of spousal relationship with their child as a means for emotional fulfillment.
Here are a few examples of covert incest behaviors or attitudes that may help you recognize whether you have been in a covert incest household or have created one yourself: