Difficult Mother-Daughter Relationships

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There are specific issues that significantly affect the wellbeing of individuals and aren’t widely spoken about. One of such issues concerns complicated mother-daughter relationships.

I recently completed a book series titled ‘Marta’s Legacy’. The book series is fictional. Francine Rivers wrote it, and it tells a story of a complicated mother-daughter relationship and the effects. I loved reading it because it addresses deeply rooted issues in the family setting.

Marta was a product of a toxic family setting. Marta’s father verbally and physically abused his family members. Marta stored up a lot of rage and resentment from her past. Unfortunately for her first daughter, Hildie, Marta took out all the anger from her past on Hildie.

At this stage, I’d like to say that if you have a loving and peaceful relationship with your mother, you are blessed! A lot of people would do anything for such.

Until we talk about such issues and find a solution, we are likely to continue the cycle.

Jesus is truly the “balm of Gilead” for all the hurting people of the world.

I have a few things to say, but first of all, I want you to understand that any difficult/toxic relationship is not God’s will for your life. If we don’t identify this issue as abnormal, then there can never be a solution. I have been in settings where a person attempts to bring up a conversation about such a problem, and they are shut down because everyone considers it normal. No! It is not normal for constant friction to exist between a mother and daughter. The home should be a safe space and not a war zone.

There is more in the balm to heal than there is in guilt to wound; for there is more in grace to save than there is in sin to destroy.”

J.C Philpot (1852)

When I posted the book mentioned above on Instagram, I got quite a response from a few ladies admitting to having a problematic relationship with their mothers. I find it very saddening!

Secondly, there are two things I’d like to mention, based on my observation from the book series. I believe these two reasons are the primary foundations of complicated mother-daughter relationships. (The list is not exhaustive; It could be anything!).

  • Most of the time, the issues between mothers and daughters stem from projection from the mother’s side. When a mother finds it difficult to deal with the problems she may have faced in life, she tends to project her fears, trauma, hurts, insecurities and regrets on the daughter.

So, if you find yourself in such a relationship, most of the time, there is nothing wrong with you; your mother may just be projecting things she has not been able to deal with. Marta was dealing with a lot of hurts from her past, and poor Hildie became the scapegoat. Hildie wasn’t able to deal with her pain, and unfortunately for her daughter, Carolyn, she took out all her hurt on her. Thankfully, Carolyn and her daughter Dawn brought about change to the pattern of dysfunction in their lineage.

  • A clash of personalities seems to be another reason for complicated relationships. You may have a strong personality, and your mother is the exact opposite. Apart from that, the Lord has made every one of us unique; hence we can’t agree on the same things all the time.

Most parents want their children to live their dreams or become a replica of them which isn’t Biblical because the only image we are to conform to is that of Christ. Each one of us has a unique personality and purpose.

It is common to consider the other party as intolerant or brutal whenever there is a clash of personality. Marta had a powerful personality; meanwhile, Hildie was very gentle and peace-loving. Marta was ambitious and dreamt of travelling around the world. Hildie wanted to be a nurse. She didn’t want to walk on the same path her mother walked. As a result of this, Marta refused to sponsor Hildie to nursing school. Her refusal caused a lot of friction between both of them.

I have also found that some mothers and daughters with the same personality clash. So, it isn’t restricted to different personalities. Children are most times mirrors of their parents. As human beings, we tend to be very mean to people when they reflect the things we hate the most of ourselves. I know it sounds uncomfortable, but take time out to form your conclusion on this matter, and be very honest with yourself.

Whenever these foundations are present, it leads to more complicated issues in mother-daughter relationships. It’s like a multiplying effect. This is the stage when they become emotionally dismissive, controlling, overly critical, passively aggressive, manipulative and very disrespectful to each other. The list is not exhaustive.

All the traits mentioned above are very toxic and not from God. The good news is that there is healing available to everyone. Jesus is not untouched by your feelings or your struggles. He understands, and he knows exactly what you’re going through. The enemy comes into our lives to steal, kill and destroy. He knows how much the fruitfulness of our relationships will glorify God, and so he tries to attack our relationships on all sides. However, glory be to God; Jesus came so we can have life and have it in abundance. The life given to us penetrates every angle of our lives; including our relationships.

For everyone with a broken relationship who desires to heal, there is a balm in Gilead with healing in his wings. Cry out to him. Jesus heals completely.

The book series by Francine Rivers gave me a more in-depth understanding of complicated relationships. The series started with dysfunction but ended with reconciliation and healing. I found that very remarkable. This series was written based on real-life events which made it more relatable. I recommend the series, and I hope you are blessed just as I was.

I am praying for everyone with a broken relationship. May the Lord bring healing to your relationships in the Name of Jesus!

I’d also like to know; Do you have a very good relationship with your mother or daughter? Has it always been like that? Can you leave some practical tips on how to maintain a healthy mother-daughter relationship?

Comments are welcome from everyone. Thank you for stopping by!!

Have an amazing evening.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey
    Lovely post you have here
    Mothers can be a handful so I try my best not to get in my mum’s bad side. I have studied her to know where she will trip off so I try not to cross my line. My mum is a real sweetheart but can be extremely annoying. I won’t call our relationship toxic but it not just the will I say ‘ lovy dovy’ type.

    1. Sharimam says:

      Thank you so much Uchenna for your transparency. This means a lot to me and other readers!

      Mother-daughter relationships can be very tricky. I can definitely relate to the avoidance of the bad side. Sometimes it’s just wisdom to avoid their triggers. You’re a very wise daughter😂 I also believe that love conquers all.
      The truth about life is that not everyone will be blessed with the ‘lovey-dovey’ kind of relationship you pointed out, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love us or we don’t love them. We can just find other ways to express our love to each other. It’s a long and hard journey sustaining any type of relationship, but thank God for his grace.

      Thank you so much for your transparency. I am sure other readers will appreciate it too! May God perfect everything that concerns your family. God bless you sis❤❤❤❤

      1. Amen
        You are welcome ☺️

  2. *that line
    *what I will

  3. I have a complicated relationship with my mother. It’s not completely toxic but I’m learning that I can only deal with her in small doses. I love my mother dearly and she loves me. I realize that we are both in two different places spiritually which means that we don’t exactly see eye to eye in regards to our lifestyles. I realize that mother has some things that she needs to go to Christ to get healed and delivered from. I won’t be here Savior. However, I can be a light. God has shown me over the years how to love my mother even more but also be mindful that her quasi-toxic spirit can affect mine.

    1. Sharimam says:

      Thank you for your honesty. I also understand where you’re coming from. I love my mother dearly too but we have a lot of personality differences. These differences tend to create a rift from time to time; It is still a journey for me. So much to learn and unlearn. Just like you, God has shown me ways I can love her. I still don’t get it right sometimes, but I am definitely willing to learn so long as he teaches me.
      I believe Jesus will reach out to your Mother himself and perfect all that concerns her. I love the fact that you have chosen to be light and also the fact that you have chosen to love her. Love conquers all!

      Thank you so much for your transparency, not only to me but other readers. So many people have strained relationships but don’t know how to start a conversation about it. This is much appreciated Lindsey. God bless you and I pray that he brings healing to your family🙏❤❤❤

      1. I thank you for bringing these topics to the forefront. I feel like this is imperative for true healing. I thank God for grace. Just like you, I don’t get it right but I’m willing to learn and I know I got some ways to go. I also believe that God will reach out to my mother and give her the life transforming healing that she needs. In the meantime, I’ll continue to show God’s love the best way I know how. I know my love is imperfect.

        I pray that others reading this can be open and transparent about their relationship with their mothers to spark the conversation and get on the healing path. God bless you as well. Another well written post.

        PS. I looked at my initial comment. Forgive me for the typos lol

      2. Sharimam says:

        Amen to your prayer!
        Thank you so much.

        Hahaha..I barely noticed the typos. It’s not problem at all. You communicated your thoughts clearly and thats all that matters.😊

      3. You’re so welcome and I love how forgiving you are. Hahaha…you’re so understanding 🙌🏽

  4. Tsoure says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, my mom and I have a good relationship. We are VERY different and have misunderstandings everything now and then (nothing so serious though) but we respect and love each other.

    1. Sharimam says:

      This is amazing to hear Tsoure. Misunderstandings are normal in every relationship. Love and respect are highly important in relationships and I am glad that they are present in your relationship.

  5. Lima says:

    God! I enjoyed this post🌹🌹🌹

    You took me back to the genesis of my salvation. When I gave my life to Christ and decided to change my religion. I had what we call a bitter experience, most of it came from my inner circle.

    My relationship with my mum went sour, it was terrible. I had to sort my needs out myself, I had to learn to love and live in the same house with her. Everyday was a different experience, but I enjoyed it because now I know better.

    I learnt some beautiful lessons too;
    1. People hurt you when they’ve been hurt too.

    2. Your mum wants the best for you, but most times she fails at communicating it without bringing her feelings and wants into the equation.

    3. Understand she’s hurt or is hurting to.

    4. Don’t fight back… there is so much peace in silence. It might hurt but it wets the coals.

    5. You will really need the help of the Holy Spirit to love and move pass seasons.

    6. Learn from your mother to not become the mother she became: this doesn’t even make sense but it does.

    7. When you are a child you look like your parent. But when you grow, you look like your decisions.
    _Apostle Joshua Selman

    •Choose wisely how to react.

    1. Lima says:

      I now have a not completely beautiful but better relationship with my mum, and through prayers I have been able to communicate the areas I needed her to adjust in. I know it also tough on her side, but God has truly been faithful.

      I have learnt to not talk back but talk to God. I love my mum, she’s amazing, sweet and she has a great personality. Above all she is a super woman🤫🌹

      1. Sharimam says:

        So much lessons to learn from you..
        Talking back has been a major challenge for me. The lawyer in me wants to defend myself all the time. But I’ll try to do better, by the grace of God.

        Without a shadow of doubt, I know your Mum is an amazing woman. She has raised a wonderful and fine lady like you. An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

        Thank you for keeping it real darling. I appreciate it and I know other readers will appreciate it. God bless you richly! I pray your testimony is reproduced in the lives of many.

        I love you!💖

      2. Lima says:


    2. Sharimam says:

      You are always real and I appreciate it! Thank you so much for your sharing this. Means a lot.

      I can’t even imagine how trying that period would have been for you. God has brought you very far sis😫. You are such a special lady, your life is a testimony. Thank God things are much better for you now. God is indeed a God of restoration. I hope so many others who come across your testimony enjoy this same restoration.

      These lessons you have shared are priceless. They come from a place of personal experience and I can tell. I’ll personally take your lessons and run with them. Thank you so much for sharing dear sis, I appreciate you. God bless you!!🤍🤍🤍

      1. Lima says:

        God bless you too Ma. I love you❤️

  6. Pekeno says:

    To be honest ny relationship with my mother was very bad, please note the word’was’. She hurt me back and i grew up with that hurt and it brought some other things in my life but when i gave my life to Christ i knew i had to change my relationship with her which was on thin ice. So first i sought counsel from my mentor and after a series of talk from him i decided i was going to change our relationship.
    First i had to forgive myself because i was so hurt that i thought i was the problem, it wasn’t easy fam!
    Next i had to forgive her, gosh! this was the hardest part because i had harboured hate for years so it was baby steps, then i had to built a relationship this was also difficult because i was so afraid of her literally i still am and after realizing that she wasn’t as scary as i thought she was i began to talk to her as a daughter should, i also realized that she had been hurt and she is so i began to pray from her the Holy Spirit helped me love her enough to pray for her. Right now our relationship isn’t the best and is way much better than before, and when i talk to her i employ wisdom because i know her character.
    Thank you for this post it has motivated to put more effort in building our relationship

    1. Sharimam says:

      Hey sis, thank you so much for your honesty! Means a lot.

      You mentioned something vital; You spoke about forgiving yourself. This is extremely important. Mothers are not the only ones who offend, daughters do the same. And often times, it is easy to be hard on ourselves when we know we made some bad decisions as a result of our hurt. I’ll never forget when I was 6 years old and my Mother found my journal. In that journal, I wrote that I hated her. I had to forgive myself at some point for the pain she had to go through seeing my journal.

      You mentioned how the Holy Spirit helped you pray for her. This is one of the reasons I love the Holy Spirit. He helps us during our weakest moments. What a precious gift!

      I am so glad your relationship is better. Also wisdom is profitable to direct. We must apply wisdom in order not to repeat the mistakes of the past. God is so good. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I really appreciate it. May God complete the work he has started in your relationship. ❤

      1. Pekeno says:

        Amen thank you and Happy new year sis

      2. Sharimam says:

        Happy new year darling!
        Wishing you a blessed and prosperous year ahead. 🤍🤍

  7. doriskoki says:

    This is a well analysed post. On a topic rarely addressed. Thank you for writing on this Sharimam.

    How I pray that God may heal us from every dysfunction and traumas from our past so that we may relate well with people in our lives. That we won’t bleed on those who didn’t hurt us

    1. Sharimam says:

      Thank you for your kind words. It has been a burden on my heart. I figured it was time to talk about it.

      Amen Doris. Amen!!!
      Thank you for your prayer and comment.

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