Why does my 23 year old daughter hate me so much? And how can I change this?
Asked Jan 7, 2011, 12:37 PM
My now 23 year old daughter hates me with a passion and won't speak to me. I have loved her unconditionally, paid for everything, including 100% of college, supported her interests, always told her I love her. Her father and I divorced when she was 17, and she obviously blames me. But she has hated me since before that. She hates my new husband and won't speak to him either. And he is the kindest, gentlest, more generous man I've ever met. Clearly, I have spoiled her--everyone tells me that. She picked a fight right before Christmas and we haven't spoken since. I feel that I have to try to reach out to her, but I don't know how and I am actually afraid of her hatred and aggression. What should I do?
I wonder if she would go with you to a counselor to talk about it. Sometimes when things get way off track in a relationship, a third party is useful to help the lines of communication open. I'm sorry you're going through this; it has to be very painful for you.
She may hate you (without knowing why) because she lets you spoil her and pay for everything. And you keep doing it. Causing guilt and anger about feeling guilty, and so on. Try stopping. Tell her 'I love you but am not going to give you anything anymore. You are a grown woman. I hope to see you at Christmas next year, and I hope we can keep in some contact like Facebook.'
There has to be a reason or reasons, for her hating you so much. Whether it is unfounded is beside the point at the moment; that she treats you this way (or any other adult), says she is not being as mature as she should be with conflicts.
Does she still live at home, or does she completely support herself. Are you still providing for her in any way?
Is she employed, and are their siblings, particularly younger.
A little more detail as to her circumstances, as an adult with a college education, would be appreciated.
Try asking her straight what you have done to offend her. If she answers you, think about it carefully and respond appropriately. If she doesn't answer you, let go. Your time of caring for and taking responsibility for your daughter is over now and this is your time for you. Great that you are in a kind and caring relationship. Whether your children are happy, sad, angry, wealthy, poor or anything else is beyond your control. It's OK to let go, you have done your bit.
We do need more info on the beginning causes of possible reasons of her anger. Are there any other siblings that feel the same way she does or who feel your hurt? All I can say in my experience, I have an older brother who is currently angry with my parents, and has been this way for over a year now. Actually he has done this off and on a time or two, first one was over a little mis understanding between his step son and our mom. Which my brother got angry with her for without asking her what actually happened. His step son was 7 years old at the time. Now he is with someone else and apparently his new wife's daughter wanted to go live with her father so she started saying all kinds lies about her mother and my brother to get her way and in the process got my brothers own kids taken away from him, and she finally got to move in with her father. Afterwards DHS found out that she lied about all the stories she was telling. Because they talked to some of the kids at school who knew that she was hurting herself to use as proof to get her way. Nonetheless, my brother still had to go through all kinds of classes and counseling which he had to pay for himself. Obviously he couldn't pay for it all and so he asked my parents if they would take his kids in and adopt them because they didn't want his wife's mother to get a hold of them. Which she was trying to do. His wife told him that she only wanted the kids for the money so they tried my parents but my father is really sick, and my mother as old as she is and has already done her share of raising 8 kids is worn out she told him she couldn't handle two kids (ages 2yrs and 3 yrs.) They tried to help him understand, but he only see's it his way. So now they are angry not talking to my parents. He is still trying to get his kids back. All this while my brother lives on our parents property uses there electricity and water and doesn't help my parents out in any way. They kindly help him in all the ways they can, but they do know how far they can go with that help and my brother still wants more.
So think about in what ways that it all started and try to work that out first. If she has siblings that see your view point. Have them kindly reintroduce her back into a friendly relationship with you. I moved in with my parents for a few months and during that time my brother and my parents were getting along because I would cook and invite them over. We would talk only about happy times and funny things that were happening in our current life. I would also take them bowling which my whole family enjoys doing together. And every one was getting along well. Then I moved back out and all was good for a wile but then it's all back to not talking to each other again. I don't know what I'm going to do with the 4 of them. Except be myself. And treat all of them with the unconditional love I have for all of them.I really don't take sides, cause even I wish I could have taken those kids in. but I can barely take care of the 2 year old I have, being a single mother and all.
Hi there. Please don't take anything I say as a aspersion on your character -- I feel compelled to speak up because you describe my family situation almost exactly. These are lessons that I myself had to learn, and they're very hard ones.
You're asking "how can I change this?" The thing is... it's a fact of life that you cannot change how someone else feels -- not about serious issues, not about minor issues, not about anything. The only person whose emotions you are in control of are your own. Even if you lavished your daughter with gifts, even if her stepfather is perfect, even if you never, ever made a single mistake parenting, there is no 100% surefire way to get the response you want out of her. There's no way to reach inside of her head and force her to see things from a certain point of view. Of course, I'm absolutely NOT saying that she is in the right here, or that she shouldn't be grateful for everything you've done -- I know it must terribly sad and painful for you, but the situation is what it is, and you can only move forward now.
So, it's time for you to take care of yourself and work towards protecting your own emotions. Sit down and think about why you haven't given up on this relationship yet. If you decide that you still want to be in contact with her, make sure it's on terms YOU feel comfortable with -- give only what you want to give her (if that's anything at all); see her at events that are convenient for you; and so on. You don't have to give her any reasons -- in fact, it's better if you don't say anything; it's kind of an "actions speak louder than words" thing. If you firmly and calmly enforce the boundaries you decide for yourself, and don't allow them to be compromised, she will recognize the change in your behavior. She MAY adjust her own behavior in turn, but even if she doesn't, you'll still be in a better place.
Paying for things does not cause hatred, so ignore those who want to blame your kindness.
This is a problem in the emotional make up of your daughter. I have experienced enough of this lately and the desire of others to fault you for a problem that you did not create. Wanting to blame the mother or just plain blaming mothers for situatins with children that no one may understand is a part of the history of parenthood. Ask the mother's of autistic and schizophrenics, they were unjustly balmed for years.
There is some emotional deficit that we don't yet know the cause that is separate from anything you are doing.
When you are doing all you can, then take some comfort in that; but you have to deal with the pain caused by this situation and carry on.
I am glad I read what you wrote about your daughter. I am in the same situation my 22 years old daughter returned from university to continue study for her masters, she now lives at home and SHE HATES ME.
I found not offering her any financial and emotional support and stay clear off her way HELPS a lot.
She does respond better if we text each other only about basic things. She is polite and thankful if I give her my car, but if I ask anything else about current job, friends or boyfriend usually it makes her angry.
I think that looking after myself ignoring that she does not love me or has a personality issue, is the only solution.
I also believe that anger comes from being spoiled and world does not come to them, they are angry at the world but take it out on you
You can write to me at >REMOVED< perhaps we can discuss similarities in our problem ( I am also divorced and live with a new partner) and help each other
hpl1956, you may not put your email on this board, no matter how good your intentions.
I'm not sure the poster will see your reply after a whole year anyway.
I hope it wasn't you who left two negatives. Those are meant for factual errors, not opinion.
I searched the internet, what makes my daughter hate me, and found your post.
My eldest daughter is 24 and hates me and like you, I have searched my heart and know that I have done everything and been there always for her. I too am divorced and she too blames me. I have two other daughters and with them, I have wonderful relationships. I pray and pray. I have reached out to her in email. No matter what I do, her anger is focused on me. I think it is because she knows my love is unconditional and I cannot walk away. She speaks to me in the most vile way and I don't know why but it is impossible that she has any respect for me. I cry and feel like dying. I visited a psychiatrist to seek his opinion and he advised that she has been greatly influenced by her father who also disrespected me. But to me, she is a young woman and I know I have taught her right from wrong. I no longer know what to do. Even prayer has not helped.
The most painful thing in the world I think is to have a child that you've done for, care for and would truly die for be rude, unkind and cold towards a mother. My own mother lived with a man for over 46 years to raise her children. This man wasn't always good to here. In fact he was abusive both mentally and physically. My mother grew up in a time when you married, you stayed married. She did a great job raising up kids. I've done a great job with mine. One finished college, serves our country and has recently gotten married. He takes care of himself and his wife and they seem happy. My daughter lives at home, she has a car(bought and paid for by her Dad and I), she has school paid for by a schlorship and our help with books and other school expenses. She also is given weekly allowance of about $50 to help with gas. She works several part-time jobs to be able to buy clothes and run up and down the road to friends colleges on weekend. We don't ask much of her in terms of helping around the house. We provided many opportunities for her, she took dance for 14 years, went to church camps, trips with friends, family vacations and we had lots of fun. However, she believes I'm a hypocrite, judgemental and I quote "never took the time to become her friend when she was a teenager". Said I "missed the boat". At this point I'm hurt, very. I try to get her to go shopping, the gym, movies, all things she likes to do. And I do keep my mouth shut, don't bring up things like her constant changing of boyfriends and general bad attitude. When she does spend time with me I do my best to keep it fun. We can't have a deep meaniful conversation. She goes on shopping trips and fun nights out with her girlfriends and their mothers but never ask me along. I will admit our lives are very difficult right now. In the last 6 years I've taken care of my mother who passed away, my mother-in-law who also passed six month later. Now I'm taking care of my father who has Parkinson's Disease. It's been a very difficult eighteen months. My husband is a great support and we're all doing our best. But I don't understand when I thought we had a great family how my daughter can't see I'm doing all I can.
Wow! I could have almost wrote this myself. My daughter is 24 and despises me in the same way! It all began at the age of about 12. She shut me out of everything! School, socially, work, sports or whatever. I embarrassed her or was "butting" in her privacy. I divorced her dad when she was 17 because he was abusive to me and talked to my son and my daughter about me while I was at work in the evening about how lazy I was and after her begging and pleading me too. She claimed she hated her dad because of unknown reasons. We had 50/50 custody. When she was with me she was having strange people walk in my house and right up to her room at night while I was chilling before bed. Then tried to have an alcohol party while I was there. I told everyone to go home and dumped her alcohol and told her if she did not like my rules to go back to her dad for the rest of the week. She ended up never coming back to live with me. At age 20 she revealed to me her dad was molested her from 13 till 17. This I believe because a lot of pieces came together. I was to niave to see it happening. He was a marine college educated making over 100,00 a yr. She continued to live with him till about 3 months ago. He has paid for her first two yrs. Of college and her credit cards. He paid for her fines when in trouble fixed her car. She is now very manipulative, plays games, and tells people untrue things. I was in counseling for a yr after she told me. And she absolutely refuses to go with me. Please what can I do! Ive been told I'm selfish , etc. Ive bent over backwards for her and loved her. My life is so sad with or without her. My husband gets angry because I keep going back for more abuse from her.
If you are certain that she was molested especially if she is still living with her dad, I think you should report it even with the risk of further alienating her. Her confronting the hurt and long term healing is what is most important. We are there but sometimes we do not want to see. My daughter was verbally abused and till today I ask myself where was I. I was so engrossed in maintaining the family.
I did report it. Twice. Even after she told me she would never talk to me and would deny it if a told anyone.They told me that I can not do a thing and that she has to report it. Since she was 20 when she told me. Trust me this was the hardest thing ever. I felt so helpless! She is 24 and no longer living with her dad. I was to busy making sure no one else hurt her and never considered her dad would.He was the most trustworthey person I knew! I was molested as a child and didn't want her to go through the same. I trusted him. Where was I? I was right there, but she shut me out. I was in counseling at the time for my marriage and because I was trying to understand her rejection. She at the age of 21 came crying to me with the video camera of her undressing and dressing during a shower that he had set up. I wanted to take it to the police but she took the tape and smashed it and pulled the film out and ripped it. I did report it but same thing. She has to do it. I would like to know why she is protecting him in the meantime taking it out on me?
I don't think she is protecting him. I think she just does not want to face him for what happened and I think she takes it out on you because you, her mother, are the one person who will give her unconditional love, no matter what. No matter what she does and what she says, you will still love her. That's how it is with my daughter. Her dad who I divorced is verbally abusive. One time when I was still married to him, my 24 year old who was then 13, walked in on him having sex with a person who was here helping me. I was driving her to school at the time on my way to work. She forgot a book and I had to come back to get it. I had a helper in the house because I had a younger child, was working and have no family around. She never showed him this anger. She becomes abusive to me. Sometimes I think the only way forward is to continue to show love and maybe in time as they mature they will be able to see. It is so heartbreaking.
I think you are right. She knows that she can lash out at me and I will keep loving her. She could never treat anyone like that. It is very heartbreaking. That must have been traumatizing for your daughter to see that. That vivid picture will remain in her mind forever. But she made you her verbal punching bag. I have showed so much love to my daughter and I am drained. I have become ill with fybromyalgia, depression and anxiety. It has become 3 xs worse since she told me. She never asks how I feel. If I try to tell her how I feel about anything. She always says "Its always about you isnt it?" We decided to take a 2 night trip to atlantic city in the fall. It was all on her. She got a good deal.. Before I even left my house she was screaming at me on my phone because I had to wait about 1/2 hr. for my bloodpressure med to be pre authorized from my Dr. My husband was appalled and concerened because she told me to wait till I got down to atlantic city to get it filled. When We got down there and checked in. She totally blew me off on getting it filled. She kept ignoring me. The hotel gave me some names of pharmacies but she wouldn't take me to get it filled. She got really upset when she found I didn't walk as fast as her. She would let the elevator doors shut in my face with a smirk. The last straw was when We decided to go up to sleep at 1 am. She decided to play blackjack till 5. I just hung out there till she was done. We went up and she said she wanted till sleep till lunch. Having had a big coffee earlier I was tossing and turning when I did fall asleep I would wake up to her yelling shut the f*** up. I guess I was breathing loud. At about 10 I decided to get a shower and go out to the board walk till she woke up. That was all she wrote! She went ballistic on me. Pounding on the bathroom and screaming "WHat hell are doing! I can't believe you! I told I want to sleep. on and on!" She said "thats it we are leaving!" We were not even there more that 24 hrs. we left. She said the most hurtful things to me! THe whole time she was txting my exmother in law about every detail. I never wanted to see her again. She made me so sick. I was ill for about 3 or 4 days afterwards. (fybromylgia gets worse during stress) I pretty much left her verbally attack me till We got back. I felt like I was cornered in a cage like an animal in her car. That was my last straw with her.
I wanted also say last month she told me that she is in counsling and her counselor told her to "to get rid of the rot in her life, starting with your mother!" She txted me back saying that she lied. She isn't even in counseling. She will say that the fix it man changed her car breaks without asking and leave her a note saying she owes him money. I would get really upset for her. She comes back a few hrs later saying "oh well he did ask last month and i told him I would give him a 20 bill." She plays games like this. Saying She thinks her nephew is being neglected "my grandson" So I go to help my Son and with the baby everyday to find its not true. When he was born she blamed me for not telling her that the mom was in labor till the last minute. This was my sons job not me. She accused me of keeping her away. I could just go on and on. I am not perfect. I recognized that. I do apologize to her a lot when I realize that I am overbearing. I apologize but It is so fresh yet and I can't help but to vent. I really appreciate the advice and am interested in what others have to say about what they went through and how they deal with it.
I know the drill. Whatever it is, your daughter blames you for everything. Like me, you are the verbal punching bag. I feel so drained and so upset every day because no matter what, no matter how I try to help, how I try to offer advice, how I try to assist, nothing counts, nothing means anything except that she will think I am trying to pry into her life. When I try to mind my business, I feel I am not doing enough to get through to her but then, when will she think of me, of getting through to me. I know how you feel . I wish I knew how to make it better.
Me too. I think if we just play it cool. Like in my situation, Not to abandon but don't go out of my way to offer help or suggestions. I have been doing this. I do not text her every day if I don't here from her. I let her come to me. If she starts accusing me of untrue things I either don't answer her calls or texts. This I think makes her stop and think about what she just said. When we answer it distracts them from what they said and the whole point. Does this make sense? Hey it worth a try. Anything at this point. I don't have the relationship I want with her but at least it can stay quite. She knows Im here. She knows I will help if she is civil. I started to do this last week and its been working. The other day I found out her cousin on her dads side did of cystic fibrosis a week ago. I said to her "Why didnt you tell me she died" I got no comment. (This is what I would have done if the table was turned) It made me stop and think "Well gee, maybe she had a reason for not saying anything" So I text and told I was sorry for yelling at her. She got back to me saying that she was not close to that cousin and she didn't realize that I would want to know. I am so glad you got back to me. Talking to some one who knows how I feel does help. I hope you feel the same. It doesn't change our daughters but it could change us:)
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