Adult Daughter Not Responding Again

Updated on November 22, 2013
J.V. asks from New York, NY
35 answers

I am now more than fed up about this. I cannot believe she does this to me knowing it hurts me. It is so upsetting. I just want to talk to her for five minutes to share some very good news and she avoids my text, calls, etc.

If you can't share some good news with your only daughter, something is very wrong. I don't care how busy you are. If you love someone, you can spare five minutes of your time for them.

I asked her for five minutes to share something wonderful that happened to me today and she did not even care to acknowledge that I called or texted her to call me to talk for five minutes. Oh well, now I worry again. Is she okay? I guess I do need therapy. Can't afford it so here I am seeking solace from Moms. Thanks Moms.

I know she is extremely busy trying to run her own new business. I get it. I just don't get not having 5 minutes for someone you care about and love. I worry that she inherited her father's schizoid personality disorder. He was perfectly fine alone with no contact and no interaction for days. That is why we are divorced. I hope and pray she doesn't have it, but she is exhibiting similar behavior.

I know I have issues, but really, is it too much to ask for someone to call you back because you want to share something incredibly good and happy. I am going to share it now. This wonderful man I have been seeing for four months surprised me by replacing my cracked windshield in my car. He borrowed my car for a friend, and then surprised me with a new windshield. Mine was cracked for over two years, and it was just not a priority for me to fix it. I thought that was very special and wanted to share it with her. Oh well, I shared it with a couple of friends that care. Thanks for listening.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I guess I am obsessive and self centered. That is what I am hearing. I think it is normal to want normal attention and acknowledgement. Ignoring people just makes them angry and she does this with many people and then wonders why she does not have good friends. I believe you need to acknowledge people, it is courteous and considerate. It is rude to ignore people. We are all busy, but a little time to even say you are busy, is not to much to ask.

Featured Answers



answers from Tulsa on

Sorry to be harsh, but you seem very self centered in this post. You were happy and wanted to share, but did you not bother to think that she might actually just be busy? I'm glad you got a new windshield, but I wouldn't classify that in the "call me back, I've got great news!" category. Chances are if you've called her with this sort of thing in the past you've cried wolf enough she knows it's nothing too important and doesn't warrant an immediate callback.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

My own mother and father don't call at all. The only person in my family I talk to is my grandmother I call her every single day I do call my dad every couple weeks I try to talk to my mom once a week but it doesn't happen sometimes and I'm okay with it. I've grown closer to my grandparents the past year

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Houston on

Get a job.
Find some friends.
Get a hobby.
Get a boyfriend.
Volunteer somewhere.
Get a girlfriend.
Adopt a pet.
Adopt a kid.
Join a cult.
Join a church.
Write a book.
Open a business.
Bake a cake.
Wash your car.
Clean your house.
Do a crossword.
Take a trip.
Paint your house.
Some people don't need social interaction to function. And they ARE NOT schizoid. They are perfectly fine without daily talks with family members or friends. Trust me.

21 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I just lost my post in the MMP black hole.

Well, J., when you write us again, I hope that you have gone to counseling. You need to stop hitting your head on the brick wall expecting things to change. The only thing you are going to do is give yourself a huge headache or a cracked skull. I am not trying to be snarky or blunt but you don't seem to get the message that everyone has told you over and over again several times is previous posts.

Your daughter has decided that your constant contacts are not worth it in her life. If I were her, I might change my phone number or block yours so that I didn't hear from you. You are being a pest and annoying.

I am sorry that you lost your mom at a critical time of growth in your life. I also lost mine at a young age. However, that did not stop me from growing up into a mature adult. My mom made sure that I would be able to survive on my own and it has been a blessing.

You need to:
1. Get a job
2. Do volunteer work.
3. Find new friends your age.
4. Get a hobby.
5. Read a book.
6. Take a class at the local community college.
7. You can't live your life through your daughter's life.

Basically, you need to get a life for you and not worry about what your daughter is doing.

I thought the good news was you getting married not a cracked windshield replacement. Sorry.

the other S.

I assume we will hear from her around New Years (my personal thought).

20 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

You want her to spare 5 minutes so she can gush about your replaced windshield? Odd. While that is good news for you personally, that isn't something that is normally shared with others as a 'I have great news call me ASAP' event. Things such as getting married, having a baby, buying a new house, getting a new job, etc. Those are events that warrant a 'good news' phone call. A fixed windshield is something that is mentioned in passing, if at all.

Your constant demands for attention from your daughter are annoying her. Send her a text or leave a message once a week maximum. If you stop smothering her with demands for attention, maybe she will start communicating with you more often. If you are being a pest about things then it is understandable that she doesn't want to return calls.

20 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You cannot change your daughter!!!!!! I suggest that the only way you're going to find peace is if you accept that she doesn't want the same thing you want.

Since you've tried to change her for a very long time and been upset because she won't talk to you I urge you to get counseling. Find out why you keep doing the same thing over and over in spite of being hurt. Learn how to make yourself happy. Your daughter is not going to change!

It is normal to want people to respond to us. It is also normal for some people to not respond to us. It is not normal to keep insisting that someone do what we want them to do. It is not normal to keep doing what causes us pain. A normal person protects themselves from pain. What you're doing is like hitting your hand with a hammer over and over, bruising it causing it to bleed while saying this shouldn't hurt.

Later: being fine with no contact for days is NOT schizoid. And not wanting to talk with a demanding and needy mother is a sign of mental health; not illness.

You are the unhappy one. What can YOU do to make yourself happy? Please read this book by Byron Katie: Loving What Is.

18 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

How many times do you need to hear that you need to let your daughter come to you before you believe it?
Great news on having a boyfriend and getting a new windshield but it's not a big deal to your daughter.
She is who she is - accept her as she is.
Continue to widen your social circle.
Give attention to people who want your attention.
You really need to get to a point where you are too busy to worry about your daughter.

18 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on


You have posted on this more times than I can remember.
You say you 'can't afford' therapy. Many therapists offer a sliding scale. I'm guessing you would rather blame your daughter (and, by proxy, your ex husband) than look at your own contribution to why this situation is what it is.

"I worry that she inherited her father's schizoid personality disorder."
See that? You are stating that you feel your daughter has a severe mental health disorder, yet you refuse to get help yourself.

Keep it up. I have a mother who blamed every.little.thing. in our relationship on me. I haven't had contact with her for 12 years now and it's the best peace of mind I've experienced in my life. She has no contact with me, or my husband or son. She has never met her grandson. I say this as a warning-- this could be what your future might look like. As overbearing as you have presented yourself to be, I can't wonder that your daughter might just be fed up and just ignoring you is the best she can do. You've made it clear over the last many posts that she is never good enough, can never love you enough, can never *do* what you want, isn't in contact enough...

...I'd be freaking worn out, too. I cannot give you solace when you have worked so hard to make her feel like a disappointment to you. You are now seeing the fruit of what you have cultivated-- you have blamed her, criticized her-- she is never enough for you. She accepts that and is resentful and is blocking you out because she *can never have a win* with you. You will always make her feel bad because of some unmet need inside yourself that you are expecting her to fulfill. Go get counseling, learn how to respect her as a person, learn how to see her as an autonomous adult individual, which she is, learn to appreciate who she *actually is* (instead of who you fantasize her being for your sake) and maybe you will have a chance of mending things further down the road. Otherwise, expect her to further build that wall between you.

and lastly: yes, it is too much to ask her to call you, even when you have good news, because it sounds like you will just lecture her for not calling earlier and not being a good daughter. Who wants to call someone and get an earful of that?

18 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


I'm sorry. Please know that what I'm about to say may hurt you. It is NOT my intention to be mean - but I truly feel you need a SERIOUS wake up call.

If I were your daughter? I would NOT answer your calls either. I'm sorry. This is like the Titanic. Everyone around you is telling you GRAB THE BOAT!! GRAB THE OAR!!! GRAB ON!!! But you say NO!!! I'm waiting for this specific boat.....the one with my daughter on it!!

Please go back through your posts. Please read each and every response. AGAIN AND AGAIN....until you realize this...

Your daughter is NOT you.
Your daughter does NOT want the relationship you had with YOUR mother.

I'm sorry you can't afford counseling. Call your insurance and find out - with all the changes made, you might get counseling. If you can't afford insurance, well, you might be able to won't know until you ask. Don't assume.

I'm sorry - I think you are the one with mental problems. You want to push this off on HER ...sorry. this is YOU. You have unrealistic expectations. PERIOD. You have a false sense of entitlement. Just because you birthed her, doesn't give you exclusive rights to her. She's an adult. LET HER LIVE HER LIFE!!!


18 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

The problem with your good news? It is just you proving you need people to take care of you and then need more approval.

This is not considered normal behavior. It is a narcissict behavior.

You need your daughter to call you. You need to talk to your daughter, you need attention. You are blaming her for your displeasure. You control your own happiness and satisfaction.

People that think your behavior is normal, they are wrong.

A normal mom would call and leave a quick,

"Hi honey, thinking about you. I know you are working on your new business, so proud of you. Love you."

That's it. Nothing else needed or expected.

Then another call in 2 weeks." Hi, was thinking about you, hope you are well. Love you."

You see the pattern? No mention of what you need. It is all giving. This is normal, healthy parenting of an adult child.

Your daughter is trying to send you a message. The message is, mom you no longer control me. Your pouting, name calling, guilt trips..I will no longer respond to this because you are too needy. I do not have to respond to you at the drop of the hat. I am no longer under your control.

She is over reacting, because you obviously do not get hints, suggestions, or the written word.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself, why am I expecting others to take care of me? How can I begin to take care of myself.? Why am I so unhappy? If any of the answers include other people, you missed the point.

Seek help, you do not need to be so frustrated and unhappy, you are the answer.

17 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I can't possibly know all the background between you and your daughter (none of us can, except for what you have posted here about over the past year... the theme of which seems to be that your daughter does not contact you as much as you feel like she should).

However, just from reading this ONE post... forgetting all the others... I wouldn't want to answer your call, either. The entire post is "I get she is busy, but why can't she spare 5 minutes for ME?" Me me me me.. "I" NEED 5 minutes from her. Right now, today, when I WANT it. I have this FABULOUS unbelievable someone performed a MIRACLE thing to tell her about so she can gush about my good fortune.. and how rude of her not to call me back!

That not be how you see it. But that is how it comes across. Extremely needy. And inappropriate. A boyfriend replacing your windshield unexpectedly is nice. But it isn't earth shattering. And it isn't worth the drama you have created around sharing the news about it. It just... isn't. Not to your daughter. Not to many people, I would venture to say.
A nice thing and worth mentioning? Certainly! But to be such a priority to you to share this with your adult daughter that you have posted on a website about not getting a call back from her over it is a bit beyond the pale.

This kind of thing is the VERY reason that my husband's mother does not have his work telephone number. And I am not kidding. She doesn't have it. And won't ever have it. Because she makes drama out of nothing, and he can't deal with that while he's at work. It's just that simple.

I agree with Doris. You really need to see someone. It sounds like you need to talk and share.. but your daughter isn't your therapist. You need to hire one.

17 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

You know your constant neediness hurts her, you don't seem to care. I feel like I have asked you this before but why exactly do you think your needs are more important than your daughter's needs?

Stop making excuses to contact her and be disappointed. You just seem to need to be a victim. Stop it, you are hurting her deeply. You are constantly making her chose between her mental stability and your needs. She may be an adult but she is your child, you have no right to constantly put her in that position.

Reading your what happened, yeah, and we are supposed to answer, no you are fine, you have every right to your feelings. It is called fishing for a compliment in simple terms. You say I am a bad person so the other person feels bad and says no, don't be so h*** o* yourself. You are not h*** o* yourself at all, you think the world revolves around your needs and if they can't see it they are the problem.

Emotionally draining your daughter all the time is too much to ask!

16 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sorry but with the pattern of tension and behavior that you have with her, it is too much to ask. Interactions that would be "normal" for other families aren't normal for her, because of your history of being so invasive and crashing her boundaries.

If you have good news to share, send it to her via e-mail. Give her time to read and respond on her timeline.

I know this sounds harsh, but you helped make this mess. If you can't get help from a professional (and really, you should look into sliding scale arrangements because I think this would help you very much) then go to the library and look up books on boundaries and communication.

FWIW, if my mom called me to tell me the story you have, I would have been like "...and? Oh that's the story? Well that's nice I guess..." Sorry but that's the kind of thing you mention to someone in passing, it's not news that must be shared, immediately. It's good that you have girlfriends who you can share this kind of little joy with, but you shouldn't expect your daughter to be one of those people.

Good luck to you.

16 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

But this isn't normal attention you're seeking! Most of these responses are trying to tell you that. Like someone said, you keep setting yourself up to get hurt. Maybe next time you can send a text saying " Boyfriend surprised me - had my windshield replaced. Isn't that great!" And maybe she'll text back an acknowledgement. Then it's over and everyone's happy. You yourself said getting it fixed wasn't a priority for you, so why are you demanding so much attention over this?

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

J. . . . c'mon.

You sound so much like my MIL with her daughter (my SIL) that it's scary. Please please please stop doing this to your daughter. Please respect her boundaries. This type of behavior will lead to nowhere good.

I'm happy for you that things are going well with your man - that's great news. Stay focused on him and your sphere of influence. Channel all this energy into something that can be a blessing in this world.


15 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

What I'm hearing is that you want an immediate response to your texting and when you leave a voicemail. J.... that's not going happen. Texting and voicemail are supposed to enable us to get along through our day trusting that when someone needs to contact us, they will and when we get the message we get it and then we get to reply at our leisure.

If it hurts you that she doesn't respond immediately, then that's not on your daughter but it's on you to deal with in a healthy way. I think what you believe to be "normal attention and acknowledgment" is different than what most other people and your daughter believe is healthy, normal attention and acknowledgment.

You also need to acknowledge that if your daughter has set up boundaries with you, then she's sticking to them for her own sake AND YOURS. That's not ignoring you... that's actually you disrespecting your daughter's needs and focusing only on your own.

If this is a matter of your daughter actually cutting you out of her life... well... you don't have to like it or believe it's right. You feel what you feel.

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Please, please, please go to a counselor. This is your 5th post on the same subject. WE cannot give you solace. You need therapy. You need help. Please go get help.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it's not too much to ask in most circumstances, but your daughter is clearly feeling strangled. most people would.
i'm very glad you're seeing a wonderful man. i sincerely, sincerely hope you take the time to find a wonderful counselor. if you cherish any prospective relationship with your daughter as much as you claim, you will make this a priority.
good luck, hon. i mean that with all my heart.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yes, the communication is in poor form, right now.

I wonder how invested you have been in her life? I wonder how interested you are in her affairs? Do you also give her 5 minutes when she needs it to chat about anything, good or bad?

If you role model being interested, I imagine she will learn to be interested in return.

And to be honest, I would probably not call my 25 yo daughter and tell her such exciting news about a new windshield. Honestly, it's nice for you, but rather lame that you did not repair it yourself and waited for a guy friend to fix it. I see that story as odd and seeking attention. Good for you, but why did you need someone else to fix it?

J., I have a father who has called me for years, and it's always about him. And after 30 years of it, I just quit all contact with him and answering his stupid phone calls. He would blabber on and on about his neighbors tomato plants, to politics, the weather, and honestly, I just did not have time for it. And that phase all started after he retired. Plus I endured years of other abuses.

So, when I see a pattern in something as simple as your daughter won't return phone calls, it's clear she's avoiding you. And I imagine her reasons to avoid you are: __________(you fill in the it always about you?)

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I've not read all of your other posts thoroughly. I've skimmed them.

It feels like you are high maintenance. It's all about you. Do you ever call her and ask, "how are you fine and beautiful daughter of mine?" Or do you dump all of your problems, worries and insecurities on her? From the way it sounds? You do the latter. It's all about you.

Please, if you're not employed, get a job. If you don't want to work and are retired, then please volunteer some place you can be and feel useful.

Don't call your daughter. Don't text your daughter. Don't e-mail your daughter. Call your doctor, tell him/her you are feeling depressed and anxious. Ask him for a referral to a mental health professional. Most use sliding scale for payments for those who do not have insurance.

if your daughter calls? PLEASE! Do NOT make it about you. LISTEN to her. Don't tell her she's doing it wrong. Don't tell her she's not calling enough. Tell her you're happy she called and would love to hear what's going on her in life.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It is possible that she is just busy. It is possible that she is reclusive.

But the more you post about this the more I suspect she is just avoiding you.

I have a mil with a personality disorder. She does feel things very deeply.
She also "imagines" things other people are feeling. She then reacts to her wrong assumptions. Which leads to very harsh conversations and accusations and pain for all involved. Yes, we avoid those conversations.
Or giving her any access to our personal lives. If the conversation is going down hill, we have rang our own doorbell to get off the phone!

Sometimes young people are in the middle of big stressful things that older people have forgotten existed.

If you express every worry you have to your daughter, if you expect her to drop everything to listen to a story about your windshield when she has demanding customers, if you continue to whine, you get, what you've gotten. Avoidance.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Hi J., just out of curiosity, does your daughter have a positive relationship with her father?


12 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I answered one or two of your past posts, I'm the one with the adult brother who doesn't bother with any of us. I'm sorry you're going through this--it is so hurtful, and I can only imagine is worse with a daughter, your only daughter. That being said, I think the best thing for you to do is to follow the mantra, "If you love something, let it go..." You clinging to her is obviously not going to change her behavior and make her respond the way you want her to. You cannot change someone else. You can only change your behavior, and your response to their behavior. I've decided, with my brother, that I will from time to time, send a text or leave a voicemail. I am not expecting to get any response in return. When I do (his wife just had a baby, so he's a little more "available" emotionally, lately) I am pleasantly surprised. I am here for him, if and when, he does want a bro/sis relationship. That way, I live with no regrets. I also have come to realize, that this is not about ME, it's about HIM. So you need to recognize it's not about YOU, it's about HER. Let her go, but be there for her if/when she needs you. You have a job, I assume. You have a relationship with a nice man. Focus on what you DO have. Friends, hobbies, church, whatever. And if you don't have some of those things, cultivate them. You will feel a lot more peace once you are able to come to terms with this, and change your behavior. She is not dead, and all is not lost. But you need to be willing to let her go and give her a chance to miss you.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

I know it hurts, and you may not deserve this cold response from your daughter, but I think it's time to give her what she wants. What she wants is a break from you, right or wrong. It's not about "ignoring" people, it's about giving them space. GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER SPACE!

When you give people what they want, they are more likely to come around sooner.

A poster on Mamapedia once wrote in a response that her mother said she lost her between the ages of 20-27, or something like that, but that now they get along well. Kids just sometimes need their time to venture off by themselves, apart from their parents. And it hurts, but the parents need to let them have that time. If you keep hassling your daughter when she obviously doesn't want to be contacted, it feels to her like you are not listening to her.

Your daughter is probably fine. You need to focus on your own life and do things to make yourself happy and let your daughter call you when she's ready. Jim wrote a helpful list of things you might do.

Good luck.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I have two really really good friends in life (both I'd classify as best friends). We live in different states now. Both of them are just not communicators. They don't call you back (for the most part). They don't have time to email. They both are just too busy with every day life. They are not good at keeping in touch. They both admit this. But I understand this to just be a part of their nature. I don't expect them to. I have super low expectations. When something great happens and I want to tell either of them, I think of them. I might send off an email...but I really don't expect much back. Yet when we do get together on occasion it's like old times. I think you need to find other friends who are more like you. You should stop having these expectations of your daughter. Rely on your other friends for this kind of relationship. Your daughter will feel so much happier too if you do this.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

From a daughter's perspective: Have you tried just telling your good news in a text message?
I love my mom and I do care about what's going on in her life but she always expects my attention as soon as she wants it. Even if the timing is extremely bad for me. As soon as I answer the phone, she begins talking and doesn't stop for 15 minutes minimum. And she pretty much insists that any phone contact must be via our land line numbers so I can't even prepare dinner for my kid or put a load of laundry on while listening to her bad day or upcoming plans. So I do let the phone go to voice mail most of the time that I see her number on the caller ID. Typically, I call her back once the 7 year old is in bed and the dirty dishes are done.
I feel guilty because my mother has been incredibly supportive as I struggle with some daunting health issues. However, having to deal with either the stress of late dinner or the guilt of ignoring a phone call isn't good for my health either.
Try texting the news rather than texting her to call you so you can share it. Join FB if you want more or less instant feedback from loved ones. Make a once a week phone/coffee date at a time she picks and catch up on all the good news then.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I suggest asking your daughter if the two of you can plan a weekly phone call to talk - like every Sunday at 8PM. Then stick to it (that is, call, talk, and enjoy each other once a week, but in between - no calls or texts unless it's a true emergency). Save all your happy news for that once a week so you can have a really nice phone call.

If your daughter is feeling less overwhelmed by your attention, you might actually end up becoming closer than you are now by talking less often.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Do you text on your phone? I find most people will respond to a text because it's quick and there's no fear of getting into an hour long conversation. Try it, most moms say their kids will reply to a text even when they don't reply to other communication.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I don't think you sound obsessive and self centered. I think you sound like a hurt mom who wishes she had a better relationship with her daughter. But you don't. Your daughter does not appear to love and cherish you the way you love and cherish her. Perhaps that's due to a personality problem, or perhaps it's just that she doesn't need/want you in her life right now. Neither is easy to deal with... but it sounds like you DO need to deal with this. You're allowing your daughter to dictate the terms of your relationship with her. You're the needy one. She can hurt you if she doesn't respond. It's a super hard thing to do, but you may need to let go. Continue to check in with her so that she knows you're there for her, but stop expecting her to care about you. Then when/if she does, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New Orleans on

Well there is really no-one I expect to stop everything and take my call or call me back immediately, like not even my husband. Sometimes he's working and sometimes I NEED him, but he is really tied up. Sometimes he works till 8 and is swamped, it's life, it's OK. There is really no reason you couldn't leave a happy message and let that be. You truly overreacted to this specific situation, and as Doris said, this is a common thing for you. Now as far as her mental health, that's another thing, so if that is your concern, I don't have any advice, I just have no experience with that, sorry. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

It's not to much to ask, BUT it's clear it's not in her to give.

STOP, just stop, don't contact her, don't acknowledge her. Leave her be.

I know your mama heart hurts, and I don't think anyone one here doesn't sympathize with you, but you are making yourself crazy with this, and it does border on obsessive.

Send her a letter through snail mail, tell her how you feel, but that now you are putting the ball in her court. When she is ready to be an active participant in your relationship with each other, you will be there. Then leave her alone.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm sorry this is happening over and over again to you J.. I know it must be upsetting to not hear from your only child, and a phone call or simple text would be enough for you. Maybe she's going through a lot that makes her want space, but I don't know her story. I'm sorry. Are there any plans for Thanksgiving, where you will get to see her?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You are seeing this through your lens only. You understand that she might have some major personality differences. You just also believe her differences to be WRONG. You refuse to understand that it might take a whole lot more energy for her to engage with your personality. For some people, it really is not as simple as giving you five minutes of their time, and your persistence just piles it on. Stop it. Stop trying to force her to be more like you. If you have good news to share, send it to her in an e-mail or voicemail message, and let her contact you. Or keep it to yourself until you do hear from her. Until you learn how to communicate with her on her terms, she'll baulk every time she sees you coming.

I don't know what your issues are or hers. I just know what it's like to have mental capacity and energy level that don't line up with what someone might expect of me. It pushes me further away when they try to force it.

ETA: Apparently, it IS too much to ask. That's what I'm trying to explain to you. You do not get to determine that the way that you do it is the way that it should be for everyone. We are not all wired the same, and you have to take some responsibility for your side of your relationship/dynamic with your daughter. You also have to understand that trying to force your will onto your daughter--or anyone else with a similar personality--will not make said personality want to move closer to you. If it were that easy, you wouldn't feel the need to push in the first place. You are so dead set on her being wrong that you're not really trying to build the relationship. You're trying to prove yourself right and her wrong and force her to do it the way that you would have her do it. How's that workin' for ya?

I don't necessarily think that you're self-centered. I think that you're misguided about how relationships are supposed to work. You made some assumptions about what things should look like, and then you based your expectations on that. What you should have been doing was fostering your relationship with your daughter based on who SHE is and not who you were hoping she'd turn out to be in spite of who she's been.

Imagine that someone wanted to be your friend only on her terms, which varied greatly from what was desirable or even comfortable for you. You'd be writing to us that this person won't leave you alone and is trying to force her will onto you...blah, blah, blah. You're doing that to your daughter.

I'm sorry that things don't look like you think they should. You have a right to want what you want, but that doesn't give you a right to have it. You should go ahead and mourn what you wish you could have with your daughter and get into therapy to learn some tools for how to move forward. I say this as a parent who hopes every day that I am doing the "right thing". Every single day, I start over adn hope that I am making the right decision for my little one. I do not take for granted that he will always want to gaze into my eyes and coo at me. I pray constantly that I don't do too much or too little in any significant area and that if I do, there's enough other stuff between us or in our individual compositions to bridge the gap. I do not speak down to your situation; you sound like a mother who is just desperate to bridge the gap.

I really do believe that you should seek help from a family therapist who can see these dynamics objectively and offer explanation and advice for moving forward in a way that will promote good health for you. (I doubt that this happened overnight, and you will need to look at your role in it.) If your daughter can sense that you are no longer feeling "needy", then she might be open to spending time with you, when she doesn't feel the pressure to fill any void that you have. Even if she isn't, you have to be ready to live healthily, believing that you gave her the tools that she needs to function and be productive.

I do wish you peace in this.

PS. I would be so annoyed if my mother wanted to pull me away from my day to tell me about this windshield replacement. My annoyance would become bigger than the news itself. And, of course, we don't know what she thinks of the guy and if that plays any part in how she responds to you regarding him. For example, I don't lend my car out, so I would be turned off if somebody I know (care about?) told me that a boyfriend of 4 months asked to borrow the car "for a friend". I might even speculate that he had it replaced because he'd further damaged it and wanted to cover it up. That's a bit of a stretch, but I'm just giving you a different perspective. Maybe, given how she has known you to interact with people and who she might see as your "type" of man, she is not impressed with his act of kindness.

You really need to get outside of your own head when it comes to what you should expect of others.

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answers from Houston on

I don't like your daughter. If she only knew how you are reaching out to strangers for support, and how those strangers kick you while you are down and hurt, maybe then she would care. How did you raise her? Was she always so self-centered? Did you spoil her rotten? A mother can never be replaced. I'm sure however busy she may be, it's because of your care for her all during her life that has made her successful Again, I don't like her.

To end your pain, I'm going to suggest that you take some of the advice given of how to fill your free time.

Any one of us can find ourselves lonely after the nest is empty. I pray that my son, friends, and church are my refuge.

I love you. God bless.

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