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Dealing with the Jealous Mother

Jon Flobrant jealousyPerhaps the most freighted of all observations about unloving mothers are those that pertain to jealousy. Stories that feature maternal jealousy as part of their plot lines are especially hard for people to hear which is why the Grimm Brothers took the original folktale that became Snow White and handily changed her jealous mother—yes,

12 thoughts on “Dealing with the Jealous Mother

  • October 15, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you, this was helpful. My father was the only person in my life that I felt loved by. One night, as a teenager, I was sitting beside him watching t.v. He had his arm around my shoulder, more of a resting place than anything else. My mother was sitting in another chair across from us. She was looking over at us, observing our close connection. My mother said. “Why don’t you get your own boyfriend.” I never sat beside my father again. She had taken an innocent, father-daughter relationship and tarnished it. I thought that what I was doing was wrong – even though nothing was ever untoward. It was a difficult time.

    • October 24, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      I can relate to your situation.

      I was a teenager when I witnessed my mothers jealousy. At the time I did not understand or was even aware of the term Narcism

      My mother ultimately sabotaged and destroyed the relationship I had with my step dad in adulthood.

      I went NC for most of the past decade as a result

  • October 24, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Regarding the Snow White reference, it was a recent Snow White drama movie starring Julia Roberts that I made the connection to Narcism myself.

    Ironically, I watched it at my parents house, and my mother had a very odd smile on her face, it was kinda eerie.

  • April 14, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Thanks. Great article.
    Through a combination of events and finding this, I may have just had a breakthrough. Thanks for your work.
    Jealous Mother, who would have thought?!?!

  • June 4, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks for writing about this. There is not much information online about when a mother is jealous of her own daughter, but I feel compelled to look for what it available to read. For me, it became apparent when I was describing, to a friend, a lot of my mother’s nasty and often abusive behavior towards me the entire time I was growing up in her house. It was much worse when I was little than when I grew older, but it was always nasty and hateful. I knew I was hated. I just did not know why. The friend finally asked me: “Do you suppose your mom was jealous of you?” Immediately, I knew she had hit up on the answer. I was well-liked by almost all family members and friends. My mother was moody and critical and difficult. The neighbors were wary of her violent temper, and my father retreated into his work to avoid spending much time with her. I felt like an emotional punching bag for her to vent her frustrations, most of which it seemed she believed I had caused her.

    • June 4, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      your words sound like my experience too. Its eye opening to hear other girls experienced this horror growing up, as I grew up feeling alone and confused, always questioning myself. My self esteem, self confidence plummetted and I felt hollow inside, like a shell of a person. Always trying to please my domineering bitter angry abusive mother. Behind closed doors she was awful but it amazed me how quickly she changed gears, her mask was always in place when the phone rang or keeping up appearances with strangers or friends, family, etc which was confusing itself. As a result of this not normal ” normal ” my lifelong pattern of towing tbe line to gain approval And people pleasing, putting others needs ahead oc my own, minimizing and dismissing my feelings/needs has become a pattern difficult to break free of. I feel disconnected from myself at times, not really knowing who I am or able to stay grounded or centered. My mind wanders as I dissassociate from myself…almost involuntarily

    • June 5, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      STILL no one believes me! My mother and older sister were the “we hate you” tag-team, both were extremely insecure and blamed ME. I used to wonder why my sister abused me with impunity – I now realize she knew my mother would take her side no matter what. My dad was my only port in the storm & my protector. He spent much time away working and I stayed out of the house as much as possible. I firmly believe he realized he married a very damaged woman. Unfortunately he died when I was 15 yrs old. I left home at 16 after my mother almost killed me by swinging a metal bed slat at my head (thank God I ducked!). People don’t believe me about either of those demons…but it’s okay – I survived, they didn’t.

  • June 4, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I hopd you had a good support system in place and your mother didn’t wedge you apart from your father as mine did.
    unlike your upringing, my mother got worse over time and actually told me she hated me with such anger and fury her entire body was shaking violently, her brown eyes turned black as coal, her voice sharp and clear, loud and distinct, it was eerie and shocking…Linda Blair came to mind. It wasnt until adulthood that she dropped her mask, and my step dad was shocked in disbelief, he witnessed this hatred …he cant fathom how a mother could hate her only child.
    I waz in shock too, and confused as I internalized this hatred my entire life and nobody believed me until they witnessed her behaviour with their own eyes.

  • July 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

    The key is……you survived and hopefully better than the victimizers. I am not sure why some mothers have this self dislike that is projected onto their daughters. Perhaps they were victims during their childhood and were not able to cope. Perhaps it is a result of low self esteem, displaced identity, stagnation in a critical stage of development as a child, narcissism. I had similar experiences with my mother. I recognized it early as a child. She wasn’t physically abusive. The obvious disdain was not daily as others. However, the lack of love was there. I recognized as a child there were some deep seated problems that were not caused by me but indirectly from her lack of happiness. However, I could not understand why I was the child targeted when her anger/dislike/outbursts erupted. I still experience this from her 40 years later but have a more clear understanding that her behavior is likely a combination of some possible childhood psychological trauma, plus decreased self confidence/esteem plus some sort of untreated mental illness.

    I have developed more compassion for her. I have learned that for vulnerable, damaged women – for whatever reason – requires more love because they are fragile. Does her hateful words hurt? Of course! But I become more resolute in avoiding that behavior as a mother.

    So even though we did not have the idealistic “healthy” relationship with our mothers, we should try to love despite the harsh upbringing. Fire sometimes helps form the best jewels. Realize that we are jewels and will become or are better mothers despite our rough beginnings.

    • July 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Becca, I think it’s fine that you have found this path useful but it’s not a path for everyone. Your decision to permit her to keep hurting you, based on your “diagnosis” of her, is your choice but I absolutely dispute your statement in the last paragraph. Permitting abuse to continue in the name of love is not healthy.

  • February 20, 2019 at 3:02 am

    My mother is an insecure and immature woman. She envied me my intelligence and maturity which was more than hers by the time I was 14!
    She idolized some rich friends of hers. I was in love with her friend’s son. She slyly and consistently manipulated the relationship and convinced me to drop any hope of taking it further. I feel she did not want be to be better than or have more than she did.
    She treats my brother very differently and places him on a pedestal, whereas I am the one she uses to put down & feel better about herself.
    I never realized why I did not have a relationship with her while I was growing up. My aunt who I was close to indicated my mother’s jealousy to me. It has helped me to get an understanding of what happened in the past. I wish I had realized earlier so I could have protected myself …

  • August 15, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you for validating I’m not insane. I am 59 and thinking of completely divorcing my mother from my life.
    My brothers (I am the only daughter and eldest) mentioned my mother seemed jealous of me many years ago, and I could not wrap my head around a mother being jealous of her own child. It was unfathomable; I still thought she just truly found everything about me to be faulty and disdainful.
    For over a year, I’ve been trying to relocate to an area with a lower cost of living and better job opportunities. One of my siblings lives in the same city. I lived in Washington for several years and am comfortable with the area and have friends I love there as well. My mother has since made arrangements to move there without my father- they’re 81 and 83 respectively and actually move into my brother’s home until she buys a house. She has never liked nor mentioned moving to the area until after she overheard my brother and me discussing a home he was looking at for me. Within a week she announced she was moving there (we live near Chicago, my brother lives in Washington) She talks about the move (she’s leaving in four weeks) in a smug tone as if she’s gloating. My brother is not happy about this but feels obligated. I can think of no other word better than sabotage.
    Nothing I’ve ever accomplished has ever elicited any response or praise from her. I became a flight attendant mid-life, which was very important to me; she refused to attend my graduation because my other brother – the Golden Child was taking her that weekend to brunch for her birthday. My graduation was the same day as her birthday. She never seemed remotely interested in my international travel all over the globe. However, she did make two trips to Europe with my brothers, and it’s brought up any chance she gets.
    She was cruel to me as a child just like the others daughters have mentioned, and my father protected me. I’ve been raked over the coals to my daughter and anyone who will listen to her.
    I am not full of empathy like some daughters posting on here.
    Sabotaging starting my new life is the last straw.
    I suppose I will truly validate her disgust for me, but one way or another I’m breaking free from this cruel, ill person who happens to be my mother.


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