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November 19, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Relationships

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My grown daughter hates me


My grown daughter who is married and has four children and whom I love with all my heart finds nothing but fault with me. I'm not patting myself on the back but have been advised by many to just "let her go" which I just can't. She really hates me and makes sure I know it every chance she gets, via email or text or phone, etc. I have taken her verbal abuse (she also hit me once on the top of my arm really hard and left her hand print) for around 15 years now. I do not have much longer to live (she does now know this) and I would like to put this all behind me.

Do I just leave things the way they are? Should I set myself up for another disappointment? I'm tired and very weak and don't think my body can take another cheap shot from her. Also she loves to see me suffer and said that some day when I am in a wheelchair that she can't wait to pinch me.

Danni, 52-year-old woman


Danni my dear,

No person has the right to abuse another. Even if she is your daughter, she doesn't.

You love her, and I am sure love your grandchildren and want to have them in your life. Being able to love someone regardless of what the other person does is a sign of a high level of spiritual development. It is what the Bible (and the other great religions) tell us to do, but most people find it difficult. So, know that you are an exceptional person.

You say you don't have much longer to live. Have you been diagnosed with a terminal illness? If so, that may be the tool for changing the situation. You could write her a letter, telling her this, and saying, whatever went on in the past, it would be good to part in peace. At the best, she becomes your friend. At the worst, things continue as now. There is nothing to lose.

I have no doubt that she justifies her behavior to herself by hanging on to some real or imagined hurts in the past. She doesn't realize that the person she is damaging the most is herself, not you. It would be really good to lead her out of this way of behaving, but she is an adult and responsible for her own life. All you can do is the best you can do.

But here is what I think may be a new way of looking at things for you. Suppose that, before you were born, you decided that you needed to learn a particularly difficult lesson as the crowning achievement of your life. So, with help, you organized a situation to give you the opportunity to learn this lesson. The situation is a hating daughter. I think you have learned the lesson, and passed the test. You have turned the other cheek, and regardless of how much hurt she has caused for you, your only wish is to love her. Well done.

Whether you live for only a few months, or for many years yet, you have passed through this trial, and it has honed you into a better person.



This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

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