Why Does My Mother Hate Me?

Medically reviewed by April Brewer , DBH, LPC
Updated November 23, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention topics that include physical abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. If you or someone you love is experiencing abuse, contact the Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233). Free, discreet support is available 24/7.

What could possibly cause a permanent rift between a mother and her child? If you feel you’re in this situation, you may find yourself asking the question, “Where is the unconditional love that I desire? Does my mother actually hate me?” 

This article will explore this question and discuss possible explanations for your negative feelings regarding your mother’s love and give various examples of these situations so you can grasp an idea about what to do.

Is Your Relationship With Your Mother Complicated?

Explaining Hate

At some point in their lives, just about everyone experiences issues with their parents and family life. These may be minor disagreements or full-scale arguments, but in most cases, the situation eventually can be resolved. In some instances, though, the relationship has a more serious problem.

By definition, hate is a strong aversion or dislike for someone or something.

Hostility from parental burnout may occasionally be so prevalent in a mother-child relationship that it can appear as though a mother genuinely resents their child. This is a difficult situation for anyone; it can cause severe unhappiness and confusion, and it can be detrimental to a child’s development. 

If you’re going through a difficult time with your mom, you might find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. A study in 2009 found that more than 90% of kids felt at least some tension in their relationships to their parents. Research has also found that this tension tends to grow as children get older, which can lead to feelings of resentment, anger, or even a perception of hatred on both sides of the parent-child relationship.

 If you find yourself thinking your mom hates you or even "I hate my mom," there are things you can do to improve your strained relationship with your mother and/or heal from the wounds it has caused. Rebuilding the bond and getting over negative emotions take time – and sometimes adult children of toxic parents may find it is unhealthy or unnecessary to reconnect. 

Why Don’t My Mom And I Have A Good Relationship?

There is, of course, no one reason why some mothers feel hatred or dislike toward her child, but there are some solid generalizations we can consider.

Your Mom’s “Hate” Is Actually A Form Of Love

Sometimes, if a mom seems to hate their child, it’s because there are deeper mental health concerns at hand than what’s obvious on the surface.


An example of this is what’s known as tiger parenting, where parents are strict and demanding, pushing their children to attain extremely high levels of success through high demands and strong restrictions. This seems to often stem from a parent’s want to ensure their child has the best possible life or a quality of life that they themselves were never able to achieve. In some cases, the parent’s drive for success can blind them to their child’s emotional needs, leading to clashing and negative feelings.

With that in mind, think about the reasons behind your mom’s negative behavior. Could it be their way of trying to help you grow and be your best? If so, you could speak to her about the way her pressure and behavior makes you feel. She might be open to talking about ways to support and love each other better.

Your Mom Is Jealous 

In a similar vein to tiger parents pushing for their children to be better than they are, although rare, it’s possible that your mother is jealous of something about you. Perhaps it’s your looks, your confidence, or your success. Have you done something that she was never able to accomplish? 

Sometimes mom hate isn’t because of something you did, but because your mother sees you as a threat, and she might have difficulty accepting who you are as an individual. Mom hate can be as small and subtle as trying to control what you wear or may make inflammatory comments about how you look. 

Mothers are flawed human beings, just like everyone else, and their emotions will occasionally get the better of them. Jealousy can be one of the hardest emotions for a person to control. While a mother may know that she shouldn’t be jealous of anything about her child, jealousy can manifest in many ways, including hostility or avoidance.

If this is the case, it can help to discuss with your mother how her behavior has affected you and encourage her to seek professional support in managing and controlling her emotions and improving her sense of self-worth.

Something You Did Upset Your Mom

There is also the possibility that you did something in the past that caused a rift with your mother. Are you aware of making a mistake that might have hurt her feelings or challenged her values? Was there some kind of blow-up between the two of you? If so, it might be time to apologize and make amends, regardless of who is right or wrong. There are two sides to every story.

Consider having an honest conversation and actively listening to her reasoning if she chooses to discuss it. Working together to be better in the future might help your relationship.

Is Your Relationship With Your Mother Complicated?

What Can You Do?

If you’re convinced your mom hates you but you’re still interested in having a healthy relationship, talk to you mom. Let her know how their words, actions, and expectations are affecting you. There is a good chance she doesn’t even realize the impact of her behavior. There might be other factors at play, like parental burnout, that are causing this strain on the relationship. If you have similar interests, maybe you could do something together.

You can’t change your mom; you can only change yourself. Consider practicing mindfulness and deep breathing, and you might find that your relationship with your mother improves along the way. If it doesn’t, then at least you’ve invested in your own growth. Don't risk your own health and safety. A mother should be a role model, but sometimes they aren't.

If your relationship with your mom is affecting your mental health and mood, you can always talk to someone about this too. Talking to friends or siblings is a great resource for support. A sibling could offer advice or even relate. A friend could give you support and advice and make you feel less alone. 

Forgive your mom if you can. Forgiveness frees you from the pain and resentment you’ve been harboring toward your mother. If you let it, the anger can consume you, and your other relationships may begin to suffer. Research finds that forgiveness can positively impact your mental health by reducing depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. It even has been shown to reduce physical health problems and lower mortality rates. We realize that this is not always easy. 

Online Therapy Can Help

A professional counselor can help you learn how to forgive. In fact, there is even a type of therapy called “forgiveness therapy” which can help teach you how to let go of your resentment and hurt; it doesn’t necessarily involve feeling empathy for your mom or rekindling your relationship. The goal of forgiveness therapy is to help you heal from hurts, not absolve the person who hurt you.  A meta-analysis of multiple studies found that forgiveness therapy can play an important role in improving overall wellbeing. 

You may also want to seek professional help through a therapist who understands the mental health effects of parent-child relationships. A professional counselor can help you better understand your feelings and help you overcome insecurities related to your relationship with your mom. They may also be able to help you rekindle the relationship with your mother, if that’s what you decide you want.

The most important thing to remember is that your mother’s treatment is not a reflection of your worth, but instead reflects their own struggles with love and relationships. Your mom’s dislike for you, if it actually exists, says nothing about your character or your value. If your mother does indeed take issue with you, it’s about her, not you. She needs to address the issue on her own.

Even knowing it’s not about you may not make your hurt any less. For this reason, you may benefit from professional counseling, either alone or with your mother. If you believe you may have done something to cause this problem or if you need help dealing with the situation, then you can seek professional advice to process your emotions and find a healthy way to move past the pain. BetterHelp has thousands of licensed therapists who specialize in helping people. 

With online therapy, you can get then mental health support you need in a safe space to help you sort through the emotions and problems that have come about. In many cases, seeking help from online therapy services can be impactful.

Sometimes, mothers and adult children can rekindle their relationship too by getting apt mental health treatment. With the support of a BetterHelp therapist, you may be able to fix your relationship with your mother, or at least have a more cordial one. 

Check out some counselor reviews below from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“Erin has been incredibly helpful to me as I navigate a tough situation with my family. She’s understanding and compassionate and non judgmental.”

“Ava was a great help to me. She supported me through a transition period in my life and also helped me work through some issues that I have been facing with a parent. She is very frank but also listens and reads with a keen and empathetic ear.”


Although you may have come to terms with not having a good relationship with your mother, you can find a way to heal. It's not your fault that your parent might not love or treat you the way they should. Even if you can’t mend your relationship with your mom, you can heal. A BetterHelp therapist is available to start working through your feelings and, with the right tools, move toward healing today. Take the first step.

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