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I Stopped Loving My Daughter

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From the U.S.: I stopped loving my daughter. I usually live alone with her thousands of miles from my family and her father, and my whole life is devoted to her, who is just turning ten years old. I am a bipolar2 and a borderline 50 years old woman. I struggle being a mother with mental health issues. Now she’s in europe, visiting my family and her father, and I don’t want her back. Suddenly, in the past three weeks, I stop having any feeling whatsoever for her. I even try to picture her in pain, or crying, to see if it would stir any emotion in me, but instead I feel nothing, like I have never loved her. I’m in a panic, she’s due back in a month and I just can’t face her, I’m scared I would make her life miserable if she was to come back to me

I Stopped Loving My Daughter

Answered by on -

A.

I don’t think you’ve stopped loving your daughter. I think you’ve stopped loving the struggle of being a single mom with issues of your own. Managing yourself is hard enough. Parenting on top of that must be exhausting indeed. Perhaps some of these ideas will help you address that.

I’m concerned that you say your whole life is devoted to her. Of course, parenting is a big job. But she shouldn’t be the absolute center of all you do. You didn’t mention if you have a job, your own interests, and a circle of friends. You didn’t mention if you are in treatment for your mental health issues. If not, those are the problems, not your daughter.

School will be starting soon. Research after school programs to keep her busy and happy with her peer group. Try to find an activity she would enjoy for a block of time on weekends so you have a break then as well. Organizing her time will give you time to work on you. It will also make your time together less stressed and more enjoyable.

If you aren’t working, find a volunteering opportunity that will help you find friends and build your own self-esteem. If you aren’t in a DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) group, research where you can get that kind of support. Take advantage of whatever supports are available to work on your own issues. See if you can find a support group for single moms as well. Take a look at the forums and support groups here at PsychCentral to see if one of them would give you additional online help.

Yes, organizing all this will take some effort. But once you put supports in place, they will be there for you for a long time. You can then be the mother you want to be and that your daughter deserves.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Stopped Loving My Daughter

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Stopped Loving My Daughter. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/10/10/i-stopped-loving-my-daughter-2/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.