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Publisher's Summary

When a parent singles out a child for special privileges and attention, that child is often unaware that the relationship is unhealthy - even incestuous. As adults, these children struggle to feel validated, because while they have not been directly abused, they feel a sense of violation and crossed boundaries - usually done in the name of 'love' and 'caring'. The parent's love feels more confining than freeing, more demanding than giving, more intrusive than nurturing. Yet these children suffer from what psychologist Kenneth Adams calls The Silent Seduction - because there is nothing loving or caring about a close parent-child relationship that services the needs of the parent rather than the child.

In this revised and updated 20th anniversary edition of his groundbreaking book Silently Seduced, Dr. Adams explains how 'feeling close', especially with the opposite-sex parent, is not the source of comfort the image suggests, especially when that child is cheated out of a childhood by being a parent's surrogate partner. He offers a framework to understand this covert incest and its effect on sexuality, intimacy, and relationships, and how victims can begin the process of recovery.

©2011 Kenneth M. Adams (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great book on a delicate subject.

Honestly the narrator made it slightly creepy, but that's my own personal preference. The book is expertly written and helps the reader understand why they or their spouse acts a certain way and gives steps on how to move forward. It's a difficult subject and healing process, but this book definitely helps.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • s
  • 02-26-17

Fairly good

I could have done without the word "Daddy" being repeated in a childlike voice over and over. However, it validates much of what an unhealthy emotional relationship can do to one's behaviour and thought patterns.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good read but can get uncomfortable as it should

Will most likely bring up some uncomfortable emotions. Long forgotten skeletons that need to be dealt with.

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Great book!

This book helps not only to victims of emotional incest but also to their partners. I did not understand the wrong dynamics in my partner's family. This book was very eye opening for me because i realized that there is nothing wrong with me asking my partner to be emotionally engaged in our relationship. I finally can name a problem that occurs in my relationship. It also helped to protect my child from his family as well as myself. With these families it is never-ending cycle of abuse. Doctor Adams helps to break this cycle. I am glad that someone is not afraid to write about this topic! It should not be taboo.

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So good! Finished in a day!

So good, healing, and well read. I feel empowered to work on myself and be a better partner

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Amazing!!!

I wish I would have read it years ago. This is the start to healing an 18 year cycle of hurt with a man I loved, but he could not properly love me back or commit! Now I finally understand why he could never commit to me. I am so thankful for this information! I am happy to finally have the root, but sadden at what has happened to this man that I genuinely love.

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What about the lesbians?

While I know it's impossible for the author to write about every possible scenario of covert incest in a single book, I was a little disappointed that he didn't talk about the consequences of it for lesbians and bi women. Otherwise, great resource.

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Eye opening

This book helped me see a lot about my past and present. I was able to identify a great deal about myself to better heal today.

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A great book for the normal

Don't be put off by the words "incest". Stick with it until the end. This boom applies to almost every man and woman I know enough about to make this statement.

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Very insightful

A good book about dysfunctional relationships with parents and it's effects on adult life. Would be very helpful for somebody able to identify with this.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-18

A godsend of a book

This book was recommended by a friend in recovery. I have struggled for years with intimate relationships despite much therapy, awareness and 12 step work.
This book explains and offers solutions to the riddle of why I sought out women who intrigued rather than those who might allow for intimacy.
Equally I understand why I felt responsible for women’s happiness rather than understanding my own needs.
Emotional incest is extremely damaging and it takes work to undo the damage.
Get this book if you feel you might be or might have been too close to a parent who told you they loved you. They may have been fulfilling their own needs rather than the needs of the child