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Ask Janine - How Do I Manage My Difficult Relationship With My Mother?

ask janine janine wirth the retreat Sep 07, 2021

By Janine Wirth.

Dear Janine, 

I feel awful even writing this, but I just feel like I've had it with my mother. We've always had a very difficult relationship and I was hoping this would improve now that I'm an independent adult, but it feels like it's just getting worse. Every conversation we have either in person or on the phone ends up in conflict and I'm at the point where I'm wondering why I even bother to include her in my life. Is my relationship with my mother beyond repair?

Best Abigail.


Dear Abigail,

The mother-daughter relationship is one that is glorified by society, especially in the movies where the mother bursts into elegant tears as her daughter tries on a wedding dress or has deep, heartfelt conversations on a porch swing, but in reality, a large percentage of the population simply don't have peaceful, loving, and honest relationships with their mothers. I'm not saying it's impossible or doesn't exist, it's just not as common as Hollywood likes to make out.

In order for you to have even a half-decent relationship with your mother, you're going to have to mourn and let go of the fantasy mother you wish you had and accept the one you do have.

Constantly comparing her to this fantasy ideal mother or even the mothers of your friends whom you admire, is unfair to both of you and just reminds you of her shortcomings. You say that almost every conversation ends in conflict, so my guess is that the two of you are continuously triggering each other which leads to having a negative reaction. If she says something that hurts your feelings, you're probably being reminded of all the occasions in the past where something similar happened resulting in you responding from that place of a hurt or insulted child instead of a rational adult.

Whether the relationship is worth working on is a decision that only you can make by asking yourself if you're willing to do the work necessary to change the nature of your relationship. A big part of that is learning to accept your mother ‘warts and all’ and building up the resilience and self-awareness to not be triggered into negative emotional reactions. If you choose to do this, a therapist can guide you and speed up the process significantly.

Often, we end up never receiving the apologies we feel we deserve, and it's up to each of us to decide if we're going to let it go and forgive for our own sake - not to negate anything, but rather because we deserve peace.

I hope this helps.


Janine Wirth, is the proud founder of Path to Healing Therapy and Coaching. Her mission is to help female entrepreneurs heal their emotional baggage, heal unresolved emotional trauma and PTSD without spending years in therapy and create spectacular business success for themselves. You may have read her story in The Spotlight and if so you’ll know why she’s so passionate about her work so when she got the opportunity to work alongside The Female CEO and provide a monthly question and answer she was thrilled! 

You can read all about Janine and her work here or catch up socially on Facebook or LinkedIn



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