[Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.]
In Part 1 I looked at the definition of emotional incest and in Part 2 I looked at how integral emotional incest is to Christian Patriarchy, but in this segment I want to look at how easy it can be for even ordinary families to be sucked into (admittedly, less intense) patterns of emotional incest.
I recently came upon an article called “Princesses, Princes, Daughters, and Dads: Against Emotional Incest.” The author explains his own experiences as the father of a young daughter and the measures he plans to take to ensure that he does not fall into the trap of emotional incest. It was such a good article that I’m going to quote from it at length and then finish with some discussion.
Becoming a parent for the first time in one’s forties has myriad advantages, not least that one has had the opportunity to watch a great many of one’s peers “do it all first.” And I’ve seen, a time or nine, an unhealthy triangulation occur with dads, moms, and their daughters. While the dangers of physical incest and abuse are real, there’s a kind of emotionally incestuous dynamic I’ve witnessed between fathers and daughters, one in which dads seek from their daughters the validation and affirmation that they feel they are entitled to, but are not receiving from their wives.