My Relationship with My Daughter Is Disrespectful and Messy: How Can I Fix It?

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QUESTION: My Adult Daughter Is Disrespectful Towards Me But I Want to Fix Our Relationship: How?

“I am a 40-year-old mom-of-two (a 20-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son) and a stepmom of 2 boys (ages 20 and 12). My problem is my adult daughter is disrespectful towards me and has been for a few years now.

Two weeks after graduation in 2018, we had a disagreement about rules, and she ran off. A few days later, she came home and told me she was moving in with her dad and his mother. She lived with them for a year and now has her own place she shares with her boyfriend.

While she was living at dad’s, she got into the habit of degrading me to her grandmother, and she would go through periods of disrespect with me, and when I would stick up for myself and my home, she would refuse to visit me. I have gone months at a time without speaking to her because of this treatment she insists upon giving me.

Christmas, she came by and unblocked my number, and I have since tried to forge a new relationship. She visits every few weeks but then goes to her dad’s and talks dirt on me and my home, saying my home is dirty and not taken care of, my dogs smell and the boys are thieves and that I love them more than her.

None of this is true, but she talks about me with the grandmother. My son comes home and tells me. I confront my daughter, and she tells me how she feels. I am heartbroken and have been for quite some time now. I just want a relationship with her that is loving and respectful. I try to tell her that but she keeps doing this. What can I do to get this to end already???”

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My Relationship with My Daughter Is Disrespectful and Messy: How Can I Fix It?

Community Answers

The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“There is more to this. She is upset with you about something and I don’t think she has told you. There is a root to this problem that you haven’t gotten to. She seems to be lashing out at you she seems hurt and upset.”

“I think there is more to the story than you’re saying. My mom is very toxic and she always plays the victim. She refuses to see the problems she causes. In her eyes, she never does anything wrong. Maybe take a step back and look at the situation through her eyes.”

“Honestly, if you’re not getting anywhere then maybe it’s time to tell her the cold hard truth about how she’s acting and that she’s acting disgustingly. That if she wants to hate you not to come around. I know she’s your kid, but it’s not healthy for you. Exhaust some options like offering therapy/counseling with her or asking her why she feels that way and attempting to get to the bottom of it, but if you have tried everything and she for some reason still hates on you, I think it’s time to cut ties and stop trying for a while. A toxic person is a toxic person, no matter who they are.”

“Honestly, she’s an adult now and while you can and do have the right to demand her respect in your home, it is completely out of your hands how she lives and behaves otherwise. Clearly, there are deep rooted issues that are not being addressed and I don’t think there is any “quick” fix.But If you are serious about fixing your relationship, I suggest family therapy.”

“You guys need to invest in a mediator. There are always three sides to every story/ event: how you perceive it, how the other party perceives it and what actually occurred. It sounds like she hurt by something that happened because relationships don’t go south overnight. Are you trying to be involved with her only on your terms?”

“Until she learns NOT to play victim and to find her own happiness, she’ll always be that way. Continue to stand up for yourself and demand respect. She’ll learn one day, she may be your age, that your the one who has always had her best interest.”

“Tell her that you love her very much and would love to have a good relationship but you are not going to tolerate her disrespect. Tell her adult or not you are still her mother and if she continues to be disrespectful she is not allowed at your home anymore if she is not going to be respectful toward you.”

Family counseling for both of you. If she won’t go, go yourself. A pro will have strategies for dealing and healing with her, and if nothing improves, healthy ways to help you move past this. Can you have a talk with the grandmother to get insight into what is causing her to behave this way? Maybe ask the grandma what she thinks would help your relationship with your daughter…

… Ask her dad for insight too if you are on good terms. Does the daughter have a relationship with her stepbrothers? Do you ever do things together, like outings, birthday parties, etc.?Is she having a tough time adulting? It can be a shock if she wasn’t prepared for the responsibility of it all. Remember, most people’s reactions stem from how they feel about themselves, and you’re just a convenient target to absorb some of the pain.”

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