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Healing Bridges: When a Daughter Hurts Her Mother

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

The mother-daughter relationship is a unique and precious bond that is often characterized by love, support, and shared experiences. However, there are instances when this bond can be strained, leading to hurtful behavior on the part of the daughter. When a daughter hurts her mother, it is important to understand the underlying causes and take steps towards healing and rebuilding the relationship.

Key Takeaways:

  • The mother-daughter relationship can sometimes experience pain and hurt, but it is possible to heal and strengthen the bond.
  • Understanding the underlying causes of hurtful behavior is essential for both the mother and daughter.
  • Communication, empathy, and forgiveness are key factors in resolving conflicts and repairing the mother-daughter relationship.
  • Seeking professional help can provide guidance and support in the healing process.
  • Self-reflection and personal growth contribute to repairing the bond and fostering a deeper connection.

Understanding the Mother-Daughter Relationship

The mother-daughter relationship is a unique and multifaceted bond that evolves as both individuals grow and change. Mothers play multiple roles in their daughter’s lives – they are caregivers, role models, and a source of emotional support. Daughters, in turn, look to their mothers for guidance, acceptance, and a sense of belonging. This relationship is built on a foundation of love, support, and shared experiences, shaping the dynamics between mothers and daughters.

The mother-daughter relationship is influenced by various factors, including societal expectations, cultural norms, and personal experiences. Society often places certain expectations on this relationship, portraying it as nurturing and unbreakable. However, the reality is more complex, with each mother-daughter pairing having its own unique dynamics and challenges to navigate.

Understanding the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship requires acknowledging that it is not always perfect. Like any relationship, it can face its fair share of ups and downs. Mothers and daughters may experience disagreements, conflicts, and moments of tension. However, it is through these challenges that the bond can deepen and grow.

Shared experiences play a significant role in shaping the mother-daughter relationship. These may include milestones, family traditions, cultural practices, and everyday moments of connection. Through these shared experiences, mothers and daughters create memories and establish a sense of belonging and understanding.

Common Causes of Hurtful Behavior

When a daughter hurts her mother, it is important to understand the underlying causes that contribute to such behavior. While every mother-daughter relationship is unique, there are common factors that can lead to communication breakdowns and painful interactions.

Unresolved Issues from the Past

Unresolved issues from the past can create a significant strain on the mother-daughter relationship. Past conflicts, misunderstandings, and disappointments can linger, causing emotional distance and resentment. These unresolved issues can resurface and manifest as hurtful behavior, further deepening the divide between mother and daughter.

Communication Breakdowns

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. When communication breaks down between a mother and daughter, misunderstandings and misinterpretations can occur. This can lead to hurtful comments, increased emotional distance, and a lack of understanding between both parties.

Emotional Distance

Emotional distance in a mother-daughter relationship can stem from various sources, such as past trauma, conflicting personality traits, or differing expectations. This emotional distance can create a sense of disconnect, making it difficult to establish open and honest communication. As a result, hurtful behavior may arise as a way to cope with these unaddressed emotions.


Neglect, both emotional and physical, can have a profound impact on the mother-daughter relationship. When one or both parties feel neglected, it can lead to feelings of bitterness, anger, and hurt. This can manifest as hurtful behavior, as a way for the daughter to express her deep-seated emotions and desire for attention and validation.

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations can place immense pressure on both mothers and daughters. When expectations exceed reality, it can lead to feelings of frustration, disappointment, and inadequacy. Daughters may exhibit hurtful behavior as a result of feeling overwhelmed by these unrealistic expectations.

To address and overcome these common causes of hurtful behavior, it is important for mothers and daughters to have open and honest conversations, seek professional help if needed, and cultivate empathy and understanding towards each other’s experiences and emotions.

Navigating Difficult Emotions

When a daughter hurts her mother, it is essential to navigate and understand the emotions involved. Difficult emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, and feelings of inadequacy can drive hurtful behavior and strain the mother-daughter relationship. It is important to acknowledge and address these emotions to move towards healing and resolution.

One strategy for navigating difficult emotions is to develop emotional intelligence. This involves recognizing and understanding our own emotions as well as the emotions of others. By building self-awareness and empathy, we can better regulate our own emotions and respond to challenging situations with greater understanding and compassion.

Remember, your daughter’s hurtful behavior may stem from her own emotions and struggles. Taking the time to consider her perspective can help you navigate these difficult moments with more patience and empathy.

Finding healthy outlets for expressing these emotions can also be helpful. Engaging in activities like journaling, exercising, or talking to a trusted friend or therapist can provide an opportunity to process and release negative emotions in a constructive way.

Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine can also support emotional well-being. Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your emotions in the present moment and respond to them in a calm and intentional manner.

By navigating difficult emotions with understanding and self-care, you can create a safe space for open and honest communication with your daughter. It is important to address these challenging emotions and behaviors together, seeking to heal and grow as individuals and as a mother-daughter pair.

Strategies for navigating difficult emotions:

  • Develop emotional intelligence through self-awareness and empathy.
  • Find healthy outlets for expressing emotions, such as journaling or exercising.
  • Practice mindfulness to become more aware of and regulate emotions.
  • Create a safe space for open communication and dialogue with your daughter.

By implementing these strategies, you can navigate difficult emotions more effectively and foster a deeper understanding and connection with your daughter.

Rebuilding Trust and Connection

Rebuilding trust and connection after a hurtful incident is a gradual process. It requires both the mother and daughter to engage in open dialogue, express their feelings, and actively listen to each other. This journey towards healing and strengthening the bond between them demands patience, empathy, and a willingness to understand and forgive.

When rebuilding trust, it is essential to create an environment of open dialogue. Encourage each other to express your feelings, concerns, and perspectives without judgment. By doing so, you can gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the hurtful incident and the emotions experienced by both parties.

“It is through open dialogue that we can truly listen and learn from one another, discovering the root causes of the hurt and addressing them together.”

In addition to expressing feelings, active listening plays a crucial role in rebuilding trust and connection. Actively listen to each other’s words, emotions, and body language. Practice empathy by trying to understand the other person’s point of view. This empathetic listening fosters a sense of validation and creates a safe space for healing.

Patience is key on this journey. Rebuilding trust and connection takes time, and healing wounds requires patience. Allow each other the space and time necessary to process emotions and heal. Remember, it’s not a race, but a gradual process of growth and understanding.

Finally, forgiveness is essential in this healing process. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning hurtful behavior. It means choosing to let go of resentment and moving forward. Forgiveness opens the door to rebuilding trust and connection, creating space for a stronger and more compassionate relationship.

By engaging in open dialogue, expressing feelings, actively listening, practicing patience, empathy, and forgiveness, both the mother and daughter can embark on a journey of healing and rebuilding their trust and connection.

rebuilding trust

Healing Through Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful tool for healing and reconciliation. It allows both the mother and daughter to release the burdens of past hurts and resentment, paving the way for a renewed bond. This transformative process requires understanding, empathy, and a commitment to moving forward without holding onto grudges.

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

By forgiving each other, both the mother and daughter create space for healing and growth. Forgiveness is not about condoning hurtful actions or forgetting past experiences. It is a conscious choice to let go of the pain, resentment, and negative emotions associated with those experiences. Through forgiveness, they can break free from the cycle of pain and create a healthier, more harmonious relationship.

Understanding is a key component of the forgiveness process. It involves recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and has their own struggles. By putting themselves in each other’s shoes, the mother and daughter can develop empathy and gain a deeper appreciation for the challenges they’ve faced.

Letting Go of Resentment

Resentment is like a poison that slowly corrodes the bond between mother and daughter. It eats away at trust, communication, and love. However, through forgiveness, both parties can release this toxic emotion and make room for understanding and acceptance.

Forgiveness requires the willingness to let go of past hurts and resist the temptation to hold onto grudges. It’s not an easy path, but the rewards are worth it. By acknowledging the pain and consciously choosing forgiveness, the mother and daughter can reclaim their power and actively participate in their own healing.

Forgiveness does not happen overnight. It is a journey that requires patience and commitment. The mother and daughter should allow themselves time and space to process their emotions, seeking support from loved ones or professionals if needed.

The Gift of Healing

When forgiveness takes place, healing follows. It brings a sense of peace, liberation, and the opportunity to establish a stronger bond between the mother and daughter. By letting go of past hurts, they can create a new narrative for their relationship, focusing on love, respect, and understanding.

Healing through forgiveness allows both parties to move forward with growth and compassion. It opens the door to constructive communication, empathy, and shared experiences. By embracing forgiveness, the mother and daughter can rewrite their story, building a foundation of love and acceptance that withstands the test of time.

Empathy and Understanding

Developing empathy and understanding towards each other’s experiences is crucial in rebuilding the mother-daughter bond. When you strive to recognize and validate each other’s emotions and perspectives, it bridgesthe gap and fosters a deeper connection.

The mother-daughter relationship is complex and unique, shaped by a lifetime of shared experiences and individual growth. Each person brings their own set of experiences, beliefs, and perspectives, which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. However, by embracing empathy and seeking to understand each other’s point of view, you can cultivate a stronger bond.

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler

Empathy allows you to step into the shoes of your mother or daughter and experience life from their perspective. It involves actively listening, being present, and acknowledging their feelings without judgment. When you approach your interactions with empathy, you create a safe space for honest communication and genuine connection.

Understanding each other’s experiences goes beyond mere sympathy or agreement. It involves delving deeper and exploring the underlying emotions, motivations, and struggles that shape your mother-daughter dynamic. By seeking to understand the reasons behind hurtful behavior or differing viewpoints, you can foster compassion and find common ground.

Validation plays a crucial role in understanding. When you validate each other’s emotions and perspectives, you show that their feelings are acknowledged and respected. This validation creates an environment of trust and openness, allowing for a deeper level of connection to emerge.

Building empathy and understanding takes time and effort from both parties involved. It requires patience, active listening, and a willingness to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Remember, the goal is not necessarily to agree on everything, but to develop a deeper appreciation for each other’s experiences and feelings.

Through empathy and understanding, you can heal the wounds of the past and create a more loving and supportive mother-daughter relationship. Embracing empathy allows you to forge a stronger bond built on compassion, acceptance, and a shared commitment to growth and connection.


The mother-daughter relationship is a unique and intricate bond that can sometimes be fraught with pain and hurt. However, through understanding, empathy, and a commitment to healing, it is possible to rebuild and strengthen this connection. By addressing the underlying causes of hurtful behavior, engaging in open communication, and practicing forgiveness and empathy, daughters and mothers can cultivate a loving and supportive relationship.

Healing the wounds of the past and fostering a stronger bond requires both parties to reflect on their actions, emotions, and vulnerabilities. It also necessitates a willingness to seek professional help if needed, such as from family therapists or counselors who can provide guidance and facilitate productive conversations in a neutral space.

In the journey towards healing, it is important for both mothers and daughters to let go of past hurts and resentments. By embracing empathy and understanding, and truly listening to each other’s experiences and perspectives, a deeper connection can be forged. Building a renewed mother-daughter relationship based on love, understanding, and forgiveness can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling bond.

Read More about Narcissist Abuse and Domestic Violence

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

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