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Adult daughter won't talk to me

(48 Posts)
Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 04:51:13

Hi I'm new to Mumsnet and just need some support. My dd27 will not talk to me - she lives locally but we don't see each other very often, we used to be fairly close. During our last conversation at the beginning of lockdown she admitted she has an issue with me, but didn't say what, we were arguing at the time. The argument started on mother's Day when she said she was too stressed to talk to me. (She was worried about her business due to covid). She has anger issues and and is extremely rude and short and impatient towards me, she has no respect for me as a Mum in the way I respect my mum for just being my Mum. I told her I don't want to put up with the disrespect any longer and since then she hasn't wanted to speak to me. I get that she's got issues but I am struggling with the estrangement and feeling angry and hurt that she's treating me with no care, it breaks my heart. I can't believe that I'm in this situation, I am questioning myself. My Mum wasn't perfect but I would never treat her in this way. My husband doesn't get this treatment and he says he doesn't want to take sides. I feel awful, sad, tearful and scared.

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Thepigeonsarecoming Tue 09-Jun-20 05:00:25

I think you need to message her and ask her to be honest about what her issues with you are. Just because you’ve been willing to put up with whatever your mum did simply because she was your mum, doesn’t mean everyone would of.

Is there anything you’ve said or done to judge or upset her which stands out?

Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 05:11:20

Hi, thanks for your reply, I'm not a perfect Mum but I have always been loving and supportive towards her. My mum never did anything terrible and I had a happy childhood, but into my adulthood I respect my parents. I'm soft and I have always allowed my dd to be disrespectful towards me. It's only now that I don't want to be disrespected anymore, put my boundaries in that she won't talk to me. It's very difficult to stick to the boundary when it hurts like this.

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Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 05:19:51

@Thepigeonsarecoming I did text her to ring me she said a flat No. I tried to voice message her to ask to sort this out, she again said she doesn't want to talk to me. I don't want to end up having one of those long winded text threads with her. She's an angry person and I am missing my daughter so much.

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DeeCeeCherry Tue 09-Jun-20 05:24:00

OP - there are 2 sides to every story. In your story you've done nothing wrong at all. If you copped onto yourself you'd find the reason - if you don't know it already, deep down. Your husband likely knows at least 1 reason why, but feels best not to get involved.

I'm NC with my Mum and in her eyes she does no wrong. In reality she's a very spiteful and manipulative woman. She also lies. Put downs & cutting remarks, making you feel shit about worrying situations in your life, are her norm. She doesn't like NC but she's not good for my emotional health so I'm much happier away from her. I won't go back. I do get on well with my Dad.

I can't know if you are similar at all. But there'll be a reason why your DD is upset with you. There could be wrong on both sides - but I'm doubtful there's wrong on just 1 side. If you can get her to tell you why hopefully you can take it from there.

Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 05:42:20

Thanks for your reply, I would like to know what the issues are, of course I have said things in the heat of the moment, I'm not perfect. But I have always been very supportive. If she wants to keep away I can respect that but as a mum that is extremely painful. I need some support while going through this estrangement. I don't want to drag family members into my argument with her.

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Nitpickpicnic Tue 09-Jun-20 05:55:08

Leave her be. One last text to say your door is open for adult conversation but that you will be otherwise getting on with things. And mean it. Distract yourself with a new hobby or more work. Develop a mindfulness practice. Get some counselling for yourself, to help you cope and not involve others (incl DH).

She’ll come to you sooner or later.

At the moment all your hand-wringing is playing into her ‘test of loyalty’ game. Drop the guilt, the sadness and any martyrdom. Let her be a grown-up, on her own two feet. Back yourself, and everything good you’ve done for her. You’ll be ok, so will she.

Jent13c Tue 09-Jun-20 05:57:53

I'm a similar age to your daughter and not particularly close to my mum. I'm sure she sees it as all me or blames the fact that I'm quite close to my MIL. We speak once a week maybe. In actual fact she has spent the last 10 years making constant jokes about how I don't try very hard and chose an easy degree and could have done so much more. In actual fact I had 2 children during my degree and put everything into getting through it and couldn't be prouder of what I've achieved. I'm pretty convinced that she would have received an ASD diagnosis if young now and doesnt understand that what she is saying is hurtful even though we have spoken about it numerous times. Just to give you a little perspective of what life is like from the other side...I'm in no way a spiteful daughter.

Chiochan Tue 09-Jun-20 05:58:08

So sorry to hear you are going through this.
I have two grown up daughters and at times we have had similar issues.
Also sorry to hear your husband is not being very supportive.

My advice is, as your daughter is an adult now you must let her go to a certain extent.
Calmly let her know you are there for her if she wishes and will always try to support her. But you are also a human being and being in a relationship where one party shows no respect to the other is bad for both parties.
You are her mum and that does mean a lot but there has to be basic respect shown in all relationships. I think it is very common for adult children to still feel they can take out frustrations on parents to a certain extent, and thats fine but it has limits and if you are feeling like her behaviour is negatively affecting you then its ok to let her know.
Focus on yourself and other aspects of your life.
Its possible that when she sees you just getting onwith life she will respect you more than if you are running around trying to fix the relationship constantly.

Trevsadick Tue 09-Jun-20 06:01:37

she has no respect for me as a Mum in the way I respect my mum for just being my Mum

I disagree with this entirely. No one deserves respect simply because of their relationship to someone else.

This line of thinking is what allows some parents to physically or emotionally abuse their children long into their adult years.

You are now 2 adults. Not a parent and child. The relationship should have found new ways of working.

How did her saying, she was too stressed to talk become and argument.

Surely, you understood that at that time, her feelings were totally valid and ended the call?

Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:07:02

Thanks for your message, it's soothing to hear. I'm not very good with waiting for wounds to heal as last time I fell out with a friend they died, that's my worst fear, that something bad will happen before we fix things between us. I am trying to stay rational but it's hard work. I can throw myself into my work atm which I am truly grateful for.
I never imagined this would happen to us, it's extremely painful.

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arianwe Tue 09-Jun-20 06:07:43

Although you are not keen for a long text conversation, I would definitely try this route as well. Personally, I really struggle to express my feelings and find it hard to open up and say what's wrong in person or over the phone. Atleast you have explored all avenues that way.

Has anything happened between the 2 of you recently that could have caused this? If not, I wonder if there is something about her upbringing that she is questioning now that she is older.

Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:10:14

@Trevsadick thanks for your reply, it's food for thought.

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Trews2019 Tue 09-Jun-20 06:10:45

What has she said to her dad about the reasons for falling out?

Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:13:01

@arianwe thanks for your message. Yes she maybe going through these things. She has been slowly distancing herself for a while now. Not just with me but with the entire family.

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Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:18:55

@Chiochan thanks for your message, it is very helpful. It's funny you should say "take out frustrations on parent" as someone else mentioned that too. I just don't want to be the verbal punch bag any more! It's difficult doing the tough love thing!

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Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:21:06

@Trews2019 she hasn't as far as I know. He wants to support me but doesn't want to take sides. He won't be emotionally involved.

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converseandjeans Tue 09-Jun-20 06:33:13

Speak to DH and ask what he thinks the issue is. Not to take sides but so you can better understand.
It does sound like you're making the situation about you - so you spoke Mother's Day and she was really stressed about her business. Were you supportive or did you get upset because it wasn't all about you & Mother's Day? Maybe she wanted you to give her more moral support?

Chiochan Tue 09-Jun-20 06:48:16

I'v had to set limits on behaviour in my relationship with both my girls, and it did not go down well at all.
I think the initial reaction of the child is to get very angry and bring up all the ways your awful and how 'abusive' your being. But after the intial outrage they have changed in attitude, not as much as Id like but quite a lot really.
I think its part of growing up.
They want tobe grown up but still have the punching bag relationship with the mum. And then also complain that your not accpeting them as adults confused

Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:49:34

@converseandjeans thanks for your message. DH doesn't know what the issue is, he was shocked to hear she said she has in issue with me.
Yes it kicked off on Mother's Day because that is what it is and she didn't want to speak to me while she felt angry with the world. We spoke at the start of Covid to say we will support her financially and emotionally and I sent her some money.

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converseandjeans Tue 09-Jun-20 06:53:02

Well it sounds like you supported her. She seems to be taking things out on you?
Do you have any other children?

Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:55:09

@Chiochan thanks that's exactly what I need to do, and I am trying to do, but feel like I am failing miserably. I can't bear the ultimatum of falling out what feels like forever and the feeling of her pushing me away.

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Cuddleden Tue 09-Jun-20 06:56:46

@converseandjeans yes I also have DS25, who's still at home just finished uni.

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JuneJuly Tue 09-Jun-20 06:59:34


Thanks for your message, it's soothing to hear. I'm not very good with waiting for wounds to heal as last time I fell out with a friend they died, that's my worst fear, that something bad will happen before we fix things between us. I am trying to stay rational but it's hard work. I can throw myself into my work atm which I am truly grateful for.
I never imagined this would happen to us, it's extremely painful.

This has struck a chord with me.

I stopped talking to my Mum because she kind of dismissed my feelings after an incident that I felt hurt & upset by.

There are a lot of similarities between your situation & mine with my Mum.

She would try to get in touch with me but I was still really angry with her lack of support & apparent inability to understand why I might be upset, so I never felt able to speak to her with getting wound up. The last time she called me I told her I was too tired & that I didn't want anything to do with her.

A few months later my Dad came to my house to tell me my Mum had just died. It was unexpected.

So your post that I've quoted does resonate.

I would suggest not just telling your DD that you're there when she's ready, but also that you are ready to hear what issues she may have with you. But also that you should both be honest about what upsets each of you about the other.

Tell her how much you love & miss her but that you need to be respectful of each others feelings and that they come from different perspectives.


Trevsadick Tue 09-Jun-20 07:00:21

You seem to not really want to answer how it turned into an argument on mothers day.

She said she was too stressed to did it go from there to an argument?

I think the issue is, that we only have your side. Its hard to tell whether its her, or you or a bit of both.

I suspect its a bit if both, by your husbands reluctance to get involved.

While websites like mn can be helpful, sometimes only hearing one side can make for poor advice (not the fault of anyone just the nature of it). Theres obviously issues here, but its hard to tell where they come from.

I do hope its resolved soon. I would text, telling her you will give her space, but the door is open. But yoy may have to have a conversation that is uncomfortable for both at some point. Where you both need to be open, to listening to some truths from the other one.

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