Why Does My Mother Hate Me?

Updated October 4, 2022by 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, confidential support is available 24/7.

At some point in their lives, just about everyone experiences issues with their parents and family life for various reasons. These may be minor disagreements or full-scale arguments, but in most cases, the situation eventually resolves itself, and things return to normal in the house. In some instances, though, the relationship has a more serious problem that results in long-term hostility because of more severe situations.

If you’re going through a difficult time with your mom, you might find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Even if it seems hopeless, 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 might not even find it healthy or necessary to do it – but through communication and other steps, you can work towards a solution. Seeking help from an online therapist or family therapist is a great place to start.

How Has Your Mother Helped or Hurt You in Your Life? Let's Find Out

How many times have we heard someone say, “My mother hates me” or “I have a toxic relationship with my mother” and then the following day, everything is forgiven and forgotten? Sometimes, the feeling is mutual, and mom hate is much more apparent than expected.

On the other hand, hostility from parental burnout may be so prevalent in a mother-children relationship that it can appear as though a mother genuinely resents her child. This is a difficult situation for anyone; it can cause severe unhappiness and confusion, and it can be massively detrimental to a child’s development and childhood.

Our parents are supposed to love us without question, so what could possible cause a permanent rift between a mother and her child? If 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?” In this article, the content will explore this question and discuss possible explanations for your negative feelings regarding your mother’s love. We will also give various examples of these situations so you can grasp an idea about what to do.

Explaining Hate

If you find yourself thinking your mom hates you or even "I hate my mom," you are not alone. By definition, hate is a strong aversion or dislike for someone or something. Many times, when a child feels that their parent hates them, it’s really cognitive distortion steming from emotional pain. In other words, their thoughts do not match reality. Could it be that you are being too sensitive or that your mother is going through an unusually difficult time? Is it possible that what you perceive as hate is just a part of your mother’s personality? 

Unfortunately, it’s also possible that you’re correct about your mother’s behavior; from time to time, some mothers do hate their children. If you find yourself in this situation, it can extremely painful. A trained therapist can provide the support you need.

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

There is, of course, no one reason why some mothers hate their children or why mother may dislike her child, but there are some solid generalizations we can consider. Firstly, what a child interprets as hate may actually be a form of mother’s love from the mother’s point of view. You may have heard people say that a child’s greatest obstacle is the unlived life of his or her parents. This means that a mother will push her child to surpass her own achievements. In other words, your mother may be trying to encourage you because she loves you and wants the best for you, but it might feel more like criticism or hatred. Sometimes, if a mom hates their child, it’s because there are deeper mental health issues at hand than what’s going on in her children’s lives. Sometimes, if you notice your mom hate what you’re doing, or if your mother sees what you’re doing as “wrong” because you’re not following her rules, that of course creates more issues down the line too.

If you’ve ever heard of “tiger parenting,” then you know the concept. Studies show that tiger parents are strict or demanding, pushing their children to attain extremely high levels of success. This was the case of Joan and her daughter Daria. Joan grew up in a very toxic, abusive family. She never got to finish school, and she married young. When she had a daughter of her own, Joan pushed for perfectionism. Daria had to look the part, act the part, and be the part with perfect hair, perfect grades, and a perfect plan for college, not to mention the rest of her life. If Daria didn’t walk the line, Joan became cold and cruel.

In this example, it’s easy to see why Daria would feel that her mother hated her, but that wasn’t true at all. In fact, Joan loved her daughter deeply. Out of love, Joan pushed Daria to be the best. Unfortunately, Joan failed to realize that her self-serving tactics actually hurt her daughter, pushing her further and further away.

With that in mind, when you ask yourself, “Why does my mother hate me?” or “why does my mom loves everyone except me?” think about her negative behavior. Could it be her way of trying to help you grow and be your best? If so, maybe 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.

If you feel your mother hates you, another possible cause is jealousy. 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? Are you a younger, more beautiful version of her? You may never determine the reasoning behind your mother’s dislike of you, but it helps to realize that our mothers are flawed human beings, just like everyone else, and her emotions will occasionally get the better of her.

Sometimes mom hate isn’t because of something you did, but your mother sees you as a threat, and she might struggle with accepting who you are. She might act jealous because she doesn’t have the looks that you do, and mom hate can be as small and subtle as she may try to control what you wear or may make inflammatory comments about how you look. Which is never nice.

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.

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? 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, and sometimes mom hate might be because of something that you did, whether you know it or not.

How Has Your Mother Helped or Hurt You in Your Life? Let's Find Out

What Can You Do?

If you’re convinced your mom hates you but you’re still interested in having a healthy relationship with her, talk to her. Let her know how her words, actions, and expectations are affecting you. There is a very 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 do you, so do it right. Read self-help books and books about family relationships. Focus on yourself, practice 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.

Forgive her, and move on if you can. Forgiveness frees you from the pain and resentment you’ve been harboring toward your mother. If you let it, the anger will consume you, and your other relationships may begin to suffer.

If it 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. Having a conversation with your father about your concerns could also be effective in helping you talk to your mom. Additionally, talking to a teacher might be helpful if you trust them. Sometimes, a therapist or someone who understands the mental health effects of not having a mom in their life can help you understand your feelings a bit better, and help you overcome any feelings of insecurity. A lot of times, they may also help you rekindle the relationship with your mother.

If you still live with her, try to keep the peace as much as you can, for your own mental health, and hers as well. But, try not to get too wound up, and you should try to keep your own sanity and mental health in check, no matter what.

The most important thing to remember is that your mother’s treatment is not a reflection of your worth, but instead reflects her own struggles with love and relationships. Her dislike for you, if it actually exists, says nothing about your character or your value. You must accept that, 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 though it’s not about you, this probably doesn’t make her feelings and behavior hurt any less. For this reason, you’ll benefit from professional counseling, either alone or with your mother. If you believe you may have caused 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 more than 8,000 licensed therapists who specialize in helping people. Check out some counselor reviews below, from people experiencing similar issues.

You can get mental health treatment you need in a safe space, and help you sort through the emotions and problems that have come about. A lot of times, seeking help from online therapy services can be really impactful.

If your mother has hurt you, or there is domestic violence present, don’t be afraid to call the domestic abuse hotline. A toxic mother may not be just mentally abusive, but physically as well.

Sometimes, mothers and daughters can rekindle their relationship too, and by getting apt mental health treatment, you can fix your relationship with your mother, or at least have it as cordial as possible. Mother and daughter counseling is available too, and she may tell you hearing my side of the story matters too” and you should. Sitting down, talking with your mother, and improving that is not only good for her mental health, but yours as well.

Let’s face it, toxic parents are very rough to deal with, but if you’re really struggling, you can always sit down with them and talk it out. Some topics are difficult to discuss and seeing them from another perspective can be helpful. It’s not just good as a temporary measure, but as a more permanent option as well, so it can help you get your mental health on track and feel happier too. It's not your fault that your parent might not love or treat you the way they should. Don't let this have power over you. The following statements reveal how life-changing therapy can be.

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.”

Final Thoughts

Although you may have come to terms with the fact you don’t have a good relationship with your mother, you can find a way to heal. It’s human nature to want to please others. When it comes our parents in particular, we experience an even more profound sense of joy because we’re hardwired to want to make them proud of us. It can be distressing when this seems impossible, but help is available to you. You can start working through your feelings and, with the right tools, move toward healing today. Take the first step.

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