55 answers

Relationship Problems with My Adult Daughter

My 25 year old daughter seems to have gone through a change in the last year. We have always gotten along well and been very close. She does have a history of big temper outbursts , but they only pop up every few years. They can be really big and her problems are often over dramatized with her as the lone hero. But otherwise she is a caring, hard working young woman, who I adore!.

In fact I would say she is stressed by her demanding job and trying to support her family. Her long time boyfriend stays home with the baby while she works. Nearly a year ago, she started to be really cranky around me and voiced an irritation about everything I do. Saying "Normally, I can tollerate you Mother, but with everything going on in my life, I just cant deal with you right now."
I tried to back off and give her some space.I tried to make any changes I could that might make her happy.I tried to listen and be senitive to what she was saying. But things didnt get any better. She contined to complain about the things I had already responded too. "Don call me to ask what time I will be arriveing at your house."I had stopped calling at all! "You come to my house and take over"..Odd when I dont stay at her house and only a nearby hotel..and she bombards me with phone calls from the moment I get there...She has me running with things she wants me to do!

At Christmas, she and her little family came to stay and was very demanding and rude. All my kids were struggeling fiannancially this year..so were we.She had borrowed a huge sum of money earlier in the year, which she never does. I suggested to all of them that rather than go overboard on gifts..that I could give each one nice gift and then a chunk of cash to pay bills with. Since they were all older now. She didnt want that, and in fact was very picky about what her gifts were to be. She was angry when I only put up a small Christmas tree with my grand daughter rather than the big grand one I used to put up when she was little. I have health issues and just cant do it anymore. I invited her and her man to put it up, But She didnt want to do that either. As a special gift I had a photo portrait made of her daughter and mounted on canvas. I was stunned when I saw a look of irritatiion on her face when she opened it. It was so beautiful. How could she be angry with that? She had a cow when I asked her to take her gifts up to her room that evening, (Like everyone else) and boycotted the rest of the day.And a million other events I wont take time to write out for you.
I asked for a moment to speak to her, hopeing to have a calm conversation with her and she went balistic. I never got to say a word. She said terilble things about me, her stepfather and his children, whom I thought she adored. She packed up and stormed out of the house and hasnt spoken to me since. I just ASKED to have a talk with her..nevr got to say a word other than I was concerned for her..

They live 600 miles away. She didint invite me to my granddaughters birthday that we normally travel to each year, Didnt contact me at Easter or even Mother's day.I sent gifts for my Grandaughter as I normally would, and a card for her on Mothers day.

I just dont know what to do. I have been keeping my distance trying to let her cool off.I am really not sure what is going on. I can't see what I could have done to merit being shut out of her life.I am crushed and heartbroken I have always been told I am an easygoing Mother and person. She always told me that I was an ahsome Mom and often brought her friends to me for support.She started to treat me like I was stupid and didint know anything.And now..suddenly she had removed me from her life. I just never dreamed this could happen between US!
I know it must sound like I am omitting something..that I might have done...but that is the mystery..It is true that I have been trying to establish some new boundries around my home for ALL the adult kids that come to be with us.But I feel they are reasonable.They dont seem to realise we are getting older and just cant do what we have always done.When they come to visit I just cant let them make big messes and walk off and leave them for us to clean up. We are trying to clean up our house for sale at some point. When all our kids lived here they were pretty hard on the house. We are painting, replacing floors and carpets.I need them to say fresh.I dont let them bring their little dogs to the house and have free run anymore. They ALL pee on the floor. Heck, I dont give myown dogs free run of the house.So they must be diapered or contained in a washable area. A rule for All three of my girls. This seemed to really make her mad.My Granddaughter needs to eat at the table rather than at the coffe table over the new rug. So those are my crimes. I just cant let her come to my house run the show, so to speak.And then be sharp touged and treat me lie a dummy as well. I dont do that at her home.
I just dont know what to think or do...I miss her..but surely my boundries are reasonable..in my own home...But heck..I dont really KNOW why she's mad in the first place...

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

There's a really great book by Deborah Tannen called "You're Wearing That?" It talks about communication between mothers and daughters. It might be helpful for both of you to read.

1 mom found this helpful

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I am so sorry that your daughter is being like this. I once did the same thing to my parents, but as extrem. I was in abad relationship that was going south very fast. I did not want to admit it and the only people i could take out my angry on was my parent. I knew that at the end of the day no matter how mean i ahd been they would still be there for me. It sounds like you are the same kind of mom. I would guess that there is something going on in her life that she is not ready to tell you about. It is probably easier for her to be mean and distance herselk that admit to what is going on.

keep doing what you are doing. Write her letters if she won't take your calls and send card, prsents to your grandchild.
I hope she comes around soon

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It sounds like you are in a hard position. My recommendation is to write her a very non-threatening letter. You can tell her you love her, and her daughter, and want them in your life. You can ask her to please explain, in a letter possibly, what you have done that is so horrible that she would alienate you from them.
After that, you have to take care of yourself. If you explain yourself, and open up the lines of communication, that's all you can do. Just let her know you are there when she is ready to let you back in.
Unfortunately from that point...it's up to her.
I wish there was an easy answer to your situation. I wish you luck, and I wish you strength.

2 moms found this helpful

From the moment I started reading about your daughter I couldn't help but wonder if the problem actually lies somewhere else. Could she be taking things out on you when she's actually upset about something else? Is there any chance that she and her boyfriend are having problems? I feel bad for the boyfriend if there's nothing going wrong but I have a best friend who completely shut me out of her life when she was married to a jerk. She treated me strange, she would be rude on the phone and eventually she told me not to call her anymore. It was really weird since I hadn't done anything. After many months of confusion, she called me to let me know she was leaving her husband and he was the reason that she couldn't talk to me. He wouldn't let anyone in her life that he didn't approve of. I won't go in to detail about things that he did to her, but I would suggest that you consider that something else could be causing her rudeness and unreasonable behavior.
Lastly, no matter what the reason for her behavior, I would suggest you write her a letter and tell her how you feel, along with how much you love her. Hopefully she will choose to talk to you again. Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I am a 30yo mother of two girls, and to be honest, my relationship with my mother sounds a lot like what you are describing, except I am the daughter.
So I am happy to give you my two cents. I think the first thing that is familiar to me is that you say you don't know why she is mad, and it is a mystery to you. You really need to talk to your daughter, and ask HER what is wrong. Then, let her air her grievances no matter what they are. If they are picky and selfish, so be it. What your daughter is doing is asking you to accept her and love her unconditionally, even when she directs unreasonable anger at you. I know you may think "that's not fair!", but really, if it is all as foolish as you say, she will see that eventually. I really think that being a great mom is about accepting all of your children's emotions and problems, and trying to help them any way you can.
I don't know what is happening with your daughter, but I know that when I had my first child, I was so overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood that I got very angry at my mother, too. Does it make any sense? No, but I could not believe how hard it was. I felt like I was being crushed from every side, and she was just sitting by watching it happen and making small talk about how they were fixing up their house. Sorry, but that frustrated me to no end! Didn't she know, didn't she care? You say your daughter borrowed a lot of money- it seems like she has financial problems in addition to sleepless nights, marriage stress, and 24 hr a day responsibility of parenting.
You say that she was demanding and rude, which she probably was. It seems to me that she is totally overwhelmed with life's many demands on her, and can't handle the smallest requests, which seem like just more demands. She is longing for a time when her life, and her mother, made no demands on her at all to be responsible, but instead were responsible for her. I know she is an adult now, but a young adult at best.
It sounds like you haven't forgiven her for her rudeness. It sounds like you are asking her to have a very mature, balanced perspective on life, which you have right now, but she obviously does not. Again, I say the thing that would help the most would be an opportunity for her to REALLY air her grievances with you (no matter how silly they sound to you)and not judge her for her behavior any more.And for you- listen with youheart,as if you were in her shoes, but don't take her critism to heart. You may just be a much needed release valve for a life under full pressure.
I really hope this helps you both- you have the chance to be the most awsome person for her right now!

2 moms found this helpful

I have gone through some things that I could not understand or change or control with my family and friends over the years and I have found that, once you honestly confront yourself about what you have caused or contributed to the problem,all you can do is turn the problem over to GOD and let HIM handle it. The problem, in these circumstances,is usually a personal problem for the other person that you don't know about. You can't solve somebody elses personal problems only they can so get rid of unwarranted guilt.You will feel better when you realize that you have done all you can do and the ball is now in their court but you still love them no matter what.

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Dear V.,

I'm so sorry for the difficulties you're facing with your daughter. My heart really goes out to you! I'm 29, am married with a 7-month old, and am very close to my mother who lives about 20 min away (and we've had our issues, too!). It's hard to offer advice only knowing one side of the story, but here's what I see from your story: your are a wonderful, loving mother, and your daughter is a hard working, admirable young woman who seems to be having difficulty dealing with change and stress in her life right now, which is normal. For me, 25 was an exciting but tough time emotionally as I made the final transitions from childhood to adulthood. This is a period of adjustment where your relationship is redefined with your parents, and it takes understanding on both sides to get through it. Her adjustment is probably further complicated by the stress of having and supporting a family, working full time while her boyfriend stays home. She has to face some very adult realities every day, so it's no wonder she's clinging to some of her childhood ways and ideas. I can see this in her tantrums regarding the Christmas Tree, presents, and encountering new rules in the house she grew up in, as well as the preparation for sale of that house (which she might feel is tantamount to a sale of her childhood). None of this excuses her behavior, which she certainly needs to change. But hopefully it will help you see that it is the situation she is reacting to (stress and change), not you personally. All you can do is love your daughter through this tough time. If you can continue to offer your support and love to her, without reacting to her poor behavior, with time she will probably turn around. Keep sending those cards and birthday presents. Call from time to time just to chat and catch up on her and your grandaughter's lives. I'm not saying allow her to treat you as a doormat--by all means continue to enforce your reasonable rules, and promptly end any conversation in which you are not treated with respect. Evenutally she'll be in a place to discuss and hopefully apologize for her behavior, but it doesn't sound like now is the time. Your recent request to talk about the situation met with her releasing her dam of frustration and stress, so don't bring it up again now. Just tell her you love her and are there for her. As mothers, isn't that the greatest thing we can offer our children?

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It sounds like you have a very spoiled, self-centered daughter. My husband and I had somewhat similar problems when we had to explain to our adult children that we simply were no longer willing to cook, clean, care for their children, allow them to use our car, etc. We set up some boundaries and explained to them that, although we love them and their children very very much, we deserve to also have our own lives that may not coincide with their schedules and needs. When they need for us to care for their kids, they must ask in advance and we expect them to be back when they say they will - not whenever it is convenient.

If you allow your daughter to take advantage of you, the way it appears she has gotten used to doing, it is a difficult habit to break. You have to stick to your guns and make her understand that you have fulfilled your "obligation" to her by raising her. Now she is a big girl and must accept that you are also entitled to a life of your own - which may differ from what she thinks it should be. Hopefully, once she realizes that you are not going to give in to her unreasonable demands, she will accept you as an independent person, instead of just her Mom. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Something is missing here I think - you do seem to have a lot of rules - the only thing I can say is to make sure your granddaughter is more important than your immaculate house - - - or is it possible your daughter wants/needs the house for her little family and is afraid to ask?

Do you really condone her living out of wedlock? Is that how you raised her? Perhaps she is wanting you to say something to the Boyfriend and you are just pretending everything is all okay....

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