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Family Relations/Settling differences with mother?


I’m 20, female, and having ongoing issues with my mother. During my last year of high school things were bad; we were constantly irritated with each other and we fought over everything. She berated me for everything, she called me lazy (I had no job at the time), she always told me I was selfish and immature just like my father, and according to her I do everything wrong. She told me she will never understand me, and always asked me why I couldn’t be like everyone else’s daughter. Everyone told me she was like this because she would miss me when I go away and she would even tell me this herself.

Fast forward about a year, I come home from college and I thought everything was going in a better direction (she told me how proud she was of me for doing so well in college and on track to graduating early, and that she was happy I landed a good job while still going to school full time.) But I guess not. 3 weeks after coming home we are back to square one. She tells me she thought I would change. She said she thought I would stop trying to “be like one of the guys” all the time (she says I take physical fitness too seriously, that I’m “too uncaring,” that I don’t take house chores seriously enough). She said she thought I would start “enjoying being a girl, getting my nails and hair done, etc.” And then she berates me for everything all over again, and complains that I don’t do this and I don’t do that.

I like being a girl, I’m not trying to be “rough” or a guy. I have flaws like the next person, I have more “manly interests,” but this is who I am, and I’ve learned a lot about myself during my time away from home, but she does not want to hear it. She dismisses me as being immature and irresponsible and “lazy”

Instead of arguing with her like I used to, I’ve taken to just walking away when she gets like this. But it’s getting harder and harder, because the things she says hurt me and make me really angry… mostly because they’re coming from her. I still live in her house with her husband and his son, but I've taken to avoiding her because I don't want to hear it. I love her dearly, and I don’t want us to drift apart to become the mother and daughter that only see each other on Christmas and Thanksgiving. How do I get her to realize that we are just two different people with different approaches to life?

I wonder if she is unhappy in her life. You have started yours and she is stuck in hers. This could potentially creates big problems between the two of you. To have the relationship you are hoping to have is probably going to mean moving out. You are the one that has been gone and has changed the most. She has not changed and chances are she will not. So you have a few choices. You can have a conversation about it and she will probably not change, move out and keep in contact with her or stay in the home and figure out a way to avoid the fights. None of these may be ideal, but all you can do is change yourself.

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Family Relations

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Dr. David Simonsen


I am a licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I work primarily with teens and families on a weekly basis. You will get the straight truth. I will not pull punches.


I have been working daily with teens and families for the last 10 years.


M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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