She Tells Me she loves her Dad, but Not Me

Lynn ...

New Member
If there were special prayers a mother could pray to make the pain go away, to make life just cease and everyone we have ever loved immediately have a happy life and memories of US, their mother, just fade away like bubbles, I think today I would throw myself on the floor and scream that prayer at the heavens.

For the last year I've been battling a severe brain disorder, long story short, I have a severely swollen ventricle in my brain and nearly every day I battle pain in my head worse than any migraine you can imagine. My husband and I have been to multiple doctors and neurologists, neurosurgeons, etc, to find the right combination of medications to find a solution to this ... but living with the constant pain is frustrating in and of itself. That may sound like the problem ... I wish it were. Far from it ...

I used to be outgoing. I used to be an extrovert ... worked for the airlines, a flight attendant, climbed mountains, was very much an adventurer.

Before that, I was a hands on mom and deeply was devoted to both my children. I was raised in a loving home where both my parents were married until they passed away. When Aly (my daughter) was 11, I went through menopause and it took it's toll on me. I explained to my husband how I felt and was told "you can control yourself if you try". He, mind you was raised in a not=so-loving home ... where there was lots of arguments, not a lot of respect, lots of judging and criticizing and his own mother stopped having a relationship with HER mother when she was in her 30's as well as her own sister, and her husbands sister. I too have been cast out of her life without so much as any explanation. All of this was perfectly rational to my husband. He grew up in it and could simply explain it away without empathy or any remorse for those who were hurting. He tries to "mediate" between us, but what I need is for my husband to be my HUSBAND and not a mediator ... still, if he's happy doing things that way I suppose I need to let it go.

This past week my daughter announced that she did NOT love me, that she loved her father and that she would no longer respond to my texts or phone calls unless it was an emergency. She has since then carried on a wonderful relationship with my husband who seems to be taking it all quite lightly. He said he would think about it for a while and talk to her later once he "thinks" on it. Usually that means nothing will ever get done. My daughter also told me that when she was eleven, because I yelled at her, she considered killing herself because of me, and my husband told her he understood.

Please understandd that as I was going through menopause, my husband would make jokes aimed at me in front of the kids and they would all laugh at me in the kitchen ... humiliating me to the point of tears ... and I would flee to my bedroom to get away from it. I begged my husband to please stop doing that and he would for a few days ... only to start up again. It continued all the way until my daughter was in college. Eventually she stopped coming home. Now she lacks respect for me ... she has no empathy at all for my situation and now says she doesn't love me a bit. She says the cruelest things to me.

She does, however, confide in my husbands mother ... I should just be glad she has someone to talk to, right? .... but I'm afraid she's getting ill advice.

Someone tell me how I'm suppose to feel. Why shouldn't my heart just break into a million pieces? Why can't my head just explode to bits?

If it weren't for my son, I've no idea how lost I'd feel. Both my parents have passed away ... I've no sisters or brothers. This IS my family. Actually I suppose it's my husbands. I've no idea where I fit.

Someone PLEASE, tell me what I should do, or feel?!?! I don't know where to turn!!!
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Staff member
Hello @Lynn ...

I just wanted to let you know that I have read your post and am sending you my support in dealing with your very complicated situation. I don't have any advice about how you are supposed to feel but I certainly can see how frustrated you must be because of all this. That just seems natural for anyone to feel that way when facing so many difficulties that have accumulated over time.

I'm so sorry you are going through this and just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Hopefully other members will come along and offer you their support too.


Well-Known Member
I can't give any real advice either, but maybe a couple of things to think about.

Many things are inherited. Including the tendency toward some personality disorders and mental illnesses. She is related to your husband, and seems to share some of the same traits?

Often kids develop attitudes based on what a parent lives before them. Sounds like her dad was emotionally abusive toward you. If he wasn't going to treat you with respect, why should she?

I'm not saying she is right to be doing any of this, and nor is/was your husband. There might be some reasons behind it, though, that have little to do with you.

Lynn ...

New Member
Thank you for replying ... this day has been endless. I keep looking at the clock and the phone. Time is going by so slowly. It seems almost compulsive at times and I have to fight myself not to do it ... fight myself not to think about those words, "I don't love you, Mom ... I love Dad." I remember the nights I sat up with her when she was sick ... the hours I ported her back and forth to acting classes and after school events she wanted to be a part of. The special surprises I did for her and her friends ... talks in the car ... the trip to Washington when we climbed Ranier together. I remember waking her up to go out and look at the full moon or to catch lightening bugs and crickets when she was little because that was her thing. Spending hours at the table agonizing over homework and spelling words ... watching her favorite TV shows ... doing what seemed like EVERYTHING while her Dad was always at work or doing Boy Scout stuff with our son.

After I went back to work I could feel my husband slowly nudging me out of her life ... he was becoming her chum and I was being left out of events. He would "forget" to tell me about school events and suddenly it was as if I was a stranger in my house.When she came home from college, she shared everything with him but nothing with me and he never relayed it on to me. I would "overhear" conversations and ask, "what happened"? ... and it was always, "I told you about that, baby" ... but of course he never did. THAT is still something that goes on to this day.

While I feel he and his mother has played a major role in the destruction of the relationship between my daughter and I, he is my husband and I do love him. He has been so supportive through my illness and for that I am very grateful. Still, the emotional stress I've endured is beginning to take it's toll on me and I'm not sure what I should do. Today I called a Psychologist, although at times I feel like I need a Psychiatrist ... maybe that's what he wants me to think.

I don't know. I'm dealing with a very calculated, manipulative mother-in-law ... what she's planted in the mind of my precious daughter and husband frightens me. My daughter is only 21 ... my son is 24.

On a light note, today my son called me while I was in tears. He's aware of the situation (his sister has been verbally hateful to him as well) and told me that he was tired of his Dad riding the fence on everything. "He's suppose to be setting an example for me and my marriage someday. My wife would have left me if ever behaved that way because no woman would ever love me like you love Dad and put up with that crap." I thanked him for that and told him to just love his Dad ... and thanked him for being there for me.

I'm so tired of it all ...


Well-Known Member
I would "overhear" conversations and ask, "what happened"? ... and it was always, "I told you about that, baby" ... but of course he never did. THAT is still something that goes on to this day.
Look up "gaslighting" on this forum. There was an interesting discussion a while back.

I'm glad you have a counselor. It's a safe place to find some sanity.


Well-Known Member
A couple of comments.
From what you said, it sounds like your husband is giving way too much power to his young daughter, but he seems to enjoy it. Do you want to remain married to an abusive man who gets everyone to laugh at you? You can't tell your daughter how to feel. I don't know how old she is. If she is very young, even if not, chances are she will see her father for his true self if you are no longer there or as she matures and things will change. If not, she is abusive, like him. Even kids have no right to abuse us. Of course, if s he is still 11, your husband is abusing her too by teaching her cruelty.

I have an abusive family of origin so all I have is my husband my kids. Fortunately, my husband would never do what yours is doing. If he did, I'd be gone. You can make friends that are like family and hang with people who respect and love you as you deserve. I'm not telling you to leave him. I'm just saying I would not last, and that he sounds mean. You have options. You may want to start therapy to find out what you really want to do, to get your self-esteem back, to learn how to set boundaries and refuse to be abused. Get a female therapists (my opinion) who is at least middle aged so that she has life experience.

If your daughter says she hates you, likely she is trying to get a rise out of you. I would revert to a different way of responding to her so t hat she doesn't get to see you falling apart or upset or even angry.

Stay calm. Read this.

Daughter? I hate you. I love just daddy!

You: (calm and matter-of-factly) Well, I still love you. I'm sorry you feel that way. (No emotion though)

Daughter: Well, I'll hate you forever.

You: Honey, I heard you the first time. You have a right to feel the way you like.

Daughter: I won't answer your texts. Haha!

You: I'm glad you told me. I won't text you then. (stay even keel, matter of fact, clean t he kitchen while you are talking, no eye contact or serious expression)

Daughter: You're crazy (just an idea of what she may say)

To accusations or names, I would go on with my chores and not answer.

Daughter: (following you) Did you hear me? You're CRAZY!"

You: (calmly) I'm sorry, but from now on if you do not address me with respect I am not going to react or respond.

Then stick to it.

I would do the same to your husband. If he gets a bunch of people to laugh at you, without crying until you are gone from his sight, I'd leave the house and go shopping or visit a kind friend or talk to your pastor or rabbi or anyone who you feel can give you comfort. But don't let them see you sweat.

Bullies bully people who are vulnerable and sensitive. You are ill. It is cruel of your husband to instigate this. Until you decide what you are going to do, I would limit contact with him, even if you are in t he same house. You don't need to respond to ANYTHING that is not addressed to you in a calm and pleasant way.

Please go for help as you decide the next stage of your life. Consider this a turning point and time for a change. It is always nice t o have third party input when we are emotional. If your husband is obnoxious about you going for therapy alone, then I'd go the closest free or reduced fee mental health clinic and take good care of yourself. You've had enough. You don't have to take that kind of treatment. Nobody does. And you don't have to be alone if you leave.

Now you asked how you should feel. Nobody can tell you how to feel, but I know I would feel very angry and eager to change the situation.


Well-Known Member
I'm sorry. I see now that your daughter is 21. Under those circumstances I would not listen to her abuse you and either hang up gently or ignore mean texts. Reward her if she is nice and not wanting favors from you, but even your grown daughter has no right to abuse you and your son. You need to put her on very low contact as long as she is going to act like a biotch. Trust me, I believe and know all you've done for her. She is just being mean to hurt you.

Stay away, stay away, stay away.

Your husband sounds like a narcissistic. I know it's the new flavor of the day diagnosis and I don't really mean he literally has it, but I do mean he is playing games with your head. He's nice to you about your illness, but he is trying to destroy your relationship with your daughter. He tells you hasn't says things he said. He is trying to make you think you are crazy.

Be careful. He sounds emotionally dangerous and maybe worse.

This next thought is maybe silly, but is it possible he could be doing something to you to make you sick? Yes, I watch too much true crime!!! But he sounds like such an abusive man. And it's hard to fall out of love with these types of abusers because as soon as you act like they don't have you hooked anymore, they turn on the charm and make promises that they never keep for more than a few days.

His family sounds as bad as him. He is a mama's boy? He needs to see her all the time? He can't say, "Look, this is my wife and you can not disrespect her?" If not, he doesn't love you in the right way and maybe can't love anyone in the right way. Including his daughter. She is a pawn he uses to hurt you.

At any rate, he makes me angry just reading about But, seriously, I can only imagine what it's like living with somebody like him.

Consider your options. Think of yourself and your son.

You don't need him. You need your true self, those who respect you, and the others you will meet in the future, when your self esteem is better, and you meet more peaceful, kindly people. Has he ever been violent to you or defaced the house in a rage, like putting a fist through the wall?

I wish you the best. We are here for you. Lastly, your post would get more responses on Parent Emeritus because this section is for people with minor children. Your children are over 18. That's Parent Emeritus. We have a lively, wise group of people over there and hope you join us :)


Active Member
I have no advice, but I wanted to offer my support. I would feel the same way if I were in your situation. Talk to the psychologist. He may suggest that you see a psychiatrist for some medications, because it sounds like you are deeply depressed, first by your medical condition, and secondly by the way you husband and daughter are treating you.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's very cruel.
Do have a therapist? If not I would suggest you get one. While this site is wonderful and you can get some great advice a therapist can help you to learn and set boundaries and teach you skills so you can cope with the abuse being thrown at you. NO ONE deserves to be treated the way you are being treated.

SWOT gave you some great advice as far not letting your daughter or husband see how much they are hurting you. When they see it they are getting the reaction they want so stop giving them what they want. Do what you have to hold your emotions in with them, you can always have a good cry later when you are alone. I wear a thumb ring and when I'm having to deal with people who literally make me want to scream I take the edge of the ring and dig it into my thumb, it helps to divert the emotional pain and I can sit there with a smile on my face.

Again, if you are not in therapy I strongly suggest it.

((HUGS)) to you.....................


Active Member
Your husband doesn't sound like a very nice man-he must be on some kind of power trip or control trip to be treating you like this.

No wonder you are feeling emotional and unloved. I would examine my feelings for this man and why he thinks it's okay to be alienating you in this manner.

I would also spend as little time as possible with either of them, especially when they are together. Just leave and don't allow yourself to be a witness to this bullying behavior. Bizarre and cruel!


On my! I totally agree with blackgnat! They are equally cruel and I think it's a very unhealthy situation to be in. I had this problem with my ex husband who had a little exclusive club with my eldest daughter. He favoured her above the other two and myself. I found it upsetting and even creepy. He used to hog her when she was a baby and try to take over my duties. The only thing he couldn't do was breast feed, at least that was something I could do! To this day he can do no wrong and up until he left they would laugh at me and exclude myself and the other two siblings. She has always made it clear that she loves her Dad and doesn't like and doesn't know if she loves me or not. She is 28 years of Age. stick close the the forum we are all behind you holding you up. Don't engage or put up with this any longer. You deserve better. Hugs


Well-Known Member
Your husband sounds abusive.

Your daughter sounds as if she has inherited his abusive character.

You do not have to engage with this and you should not tolerate it.

I know it's easier said than done to make changes in your life. You can feel trapped in a situation with no option but to carry on and put up with it. Posting on this forum and reading the advice here is a huge first step in regaining control of your life.

Sending hugs :notalone: