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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.

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What listeners say about Silently Seduced, Revised & Updated

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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

1 person found this helpful

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hard to listen to but important

struggle with reader's intonation for female voice
but it doesn't mean can't or shouldn't listen. helped me understand a lot of my own behaviours.

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  • AG
  • 24-01-21

Well structured and insightful

This book really has cut out the fluff. It has short case studies of individuals and how their relationship with their parent has affected them. The writer then analyses how this has spilled over into their adulthood relationships with their significant others. Certain chapters of this book has really resounded with me and will be seeking therapy to detangle it all.

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  • Jessica
  • 29-08-20

Now I have words for what happened to me as a kid

I have always felt that my mom is my best friend, but As an adult I have also begun to realize that a lot of our relationship was/is not normal or healthy either. I have for several years been searching for some description or definition of what I experience with her, and I think this is it.
I wish this book had spent a little more time discussing dynamics between mother daughter covert incestuous relationships (because it spends about 3 minutes on it total), and single parents with their kids, but still I found this book to be helpful in recognizing what has happened to me, and in all likelihood, to a lot of people in my extended family. It explains a lot, really.
I also want to make note about how a lot of the language used in this book is pretty hetero and cis normative. There is in particular some language that might be hurtful to trans people, I don’t think it’s intentional on the authors part, but it’s there, so it’s something to be aware of before reading it. This is written from a perspective that there are only two genders and only one way to be the gender you are, and I don’t think the author is open minded to non monogamous relationship structures. The author does seem to be open and accepting of same sex relationships, though, so based just on the reading of this book, I am left with the impression that the author is not maliciously transphobic, but likely just ignorant to trans and gender issues. This is just a guess based on a single reading of the book though.

Just a heads up.

I would have given five stars but the exclusive language kept me from doing so. There is very helpful info here, but it may be hard to access for some.

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  • Chem Troll
  • 14-12-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 03-04-15

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.

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  • ShehabEldeen Elhawary
  • 29-12-21

A very helpful resource that lacks the balance

As a therapist I found it informative and elaborative of the topic, AND sensed a sense of resentment against parents who slipped into the dynamic and needed the compassion that aids healing.

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  • ohad
  • 30-08-21

excellent

clear, understandable, thorough and straight to the point of this specific subject. 10 / 10

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  • Russell Long
  • 02-08-21

Eye opening, earth shattering, and the underlying cause of the majority of my life's struggles...

Having overcome the myriad struggles of Alcoholism and drug addiction, learning the true underlying causes of my acting out has been a Rollercoaster to confront.
I'm furious, I'm frustrated, I'm defeated, I'm nauseous, and yet... I'm finally hopeful that some real healing, lasting and true healing, can really occur now.
If you have any hints that this topic could apply to your story, READ THIS BOOK!
It's a life changing moment for me, where I know I'll remember this revelatory moment for the rest of my life, kinda like when I finally hit rock bottom and decided heroin, opiates, alcohol and everything else that distracted me from my reality was no longer serving me and I needed to get real recovery...
This is the book for all the sheet AA and NA doesn't address when you're in survival mode and just trying to make it to tomorrow...
Can't recommend this book enough...

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sommer Davis
  • 07-05-21

life changer

I have not heard this term very much. I've done extensive research on narcissism and codependency. this should really be more commonplace and much more discussion should be done of it

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  • Brian
  • 07-03-21

I identified and went to my childhood.

I now see my life for what it is. scary but worth it. it's fun peeling away the built up layers.

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  • ike9898
  • 27-11-20

Good book about a confusing topic

This is a short book and I listened twice, all the way through. Definitely illuminating, but I've come across this topic before and I find it difficult to completely grasp. My therapist is an expert on sex-related issues and this was her 1st recommendation on this subject. The narration and technical quality was good.

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  • Victoria Robben
  • 30-10-20

Amazing

I only wish I had read this earlier in life. I now feel validated, understood, hopeful, worthy and capable of healing. Thank you for this book.