How to Tell if Your Mom Doesn’t Love You

Do you ever feel like your mom doesn’t love you?

Maybe she’s not affectionate, gives mixed signals, or just has a general lack of interest in how things are going with your life?

Here are some signs to look out for:

Niche Brislane

Niche Brislane

Owner, Stag Valley Homestead

Improperly displayed love, a lack of love, and the absence of love are not the same thing

I believe it’s important to address the fact that improperly displayed love, a lack of love, and the absence of love are not the same thing.

It’s far too common for personal toxicity to surface as a reaction to absorbed toxicity. In assuming all three to be the absence of love when quite contrarily, a mother’s love can be so much that it justifies in their mind the very actions, we misidentify as the absence of love.

There are ways to identify instances where there is the absence of love; however, it’s entirely circumstantial.

For example, a daughter who comes home from a date devastated and emotional should be met with empathy and sympathetic care from a normal mother. However, she is, instead, met with gaslighting in the form of snide comments attributing the daughter’s pain to the lack of obedience to their mother’s wishes. This example indicated an absence of love.

Love is the willingness to care for someone in their time of pain instead of using it to their advantage to capitalize control over someone.

Comparatively, a lack of love can be shown in the same example where the toxicity is either pushed aside in lieu of the care and nurturing a mother should display or, in the least, at a diminished intensity.

It’s essential to learn the differences between a lack and an absence of love for two reasons. The identification of a relationship devoid of love isn’t worth trying to fix, whereas one with a lack of love can often find success once the toxicity is addressed.

Signs of love absence:

  • Nonchalant insults or put-downs with no practical or constructive advice to do or be better.
  • Unwillingness to offer any advice at all when you seek it.
  • Apathy towards you, your goals, your future, your choices, or your accomplishments. Doesn’t seem swayed in the slightest about what you do.
  • Neglect. Making little to no effort to tend to you physically or emotionally.
    • Doesn’t engage in conversation.
    • Operates on a legal minimum for underage children but otherwise more involved with themselves in their own lives and live as if you are not a part of it.
    • You feel like a ghost in your own home.

Signs of a lack of love:

  • More concerned about your choices because of how they reflect badly on them.
  • Abusive gaslighting and put-downs with suggestions often devoid of a personal choice or are impractical and unrealistic for the child’s ability.
  • Hyper Vigilance: They watch you closely to catch every instance where you make a mistake in an effort to reconfirm their control or on you is for your benefit to simply not fail.
    • This also manifests in the form of setting their children up to fail on purpose, tricking or trapping children in a grey area situations in which they cannot make the right decision without consulting or yielding to their mother.

Signs of improperly displayed love:

  • Micromanaging: The idea a toxic or narcissistic mother holds that If they set firm enough parameters, their children will have no choice but to obey and, in turn, succeed in the areas the mother wants.
  • Sheltering what you see, read, write, learn, are involved with, or any variance where you stand better odds to learn by trial and error.
    • An example is with my own stepdaughter, who, at the age of 16, had no single idea about fiscal responsibility because her mother didn’t want her to start worrying about money till she was an adult. This was a prime example where love and a lack thereof were present simultaneously. She loved her daughter so much she didn’t want her to experience financial stress but displayed a lack of love for her daughter’s future self in the respect that failure to learn ahead of time with the training wheels of adolescence would cause her more stress.
  • Isolation of your friends, family, or anyone they perceive to be a threat to your health.
    • This could be as minor as:
      • not allowing you to go to sleepovers or field trips
      • not letting you have a summer job, or a budding relationship without her meeting or approving of your every attempt to branch out
    • Or this could be as major as:
      • Telling you family members or close friends are dead, dangerous, or against you. In their mind, if you simply associate with “pre-approved” people, you stand no chance of being hurt.

There are, of course, more that I could outline here; however, these are the most diverse and most common signs of the three major love types expressed by toxic mothers.

Related: 20+ Signs of Toxic Family Relationships and What You Could Do About Them

The inability to accept fault in any of the above situations

Whatever they did wrong was only to protect you and, in turn, will only gain you titles such as ungrateful, ignorant, naïve, reckless, defiant, or disobedient. Most mothers, in this instance, will use opposition from their children as justification that it’s needed even more since they cannot fathom that you don’t need it.

I hope you can use these to identify the types of love you are receiving and, in turn, can use this to decide if efforts to address and mend relationship ties with your mother are practical.

Not every toxic mother is a mother incapable of love.

Joseph Gutheinz

Joseph Gutheinz

Former Commissioned Member of the Texas State Council on Sex Offender Treatment | Lawyer, Gutheinz Law Firm, LLP

Some moms are terrible role models, while some dads are AWOL

I have practiced Juvenile Law for over 20 years and have represented kids charged from the most serious felonies to kids who were only charged with an offense because they are kids.

For example, kids/young adults charged with DUI, not because they meet any standard of being intoxicated but because they have a de minimis amount of alcohol in their systems, are under 21, and are operating motor vehicles.

What I have found shocking is seeing numerous moms over the years who just don’t care what happens to their children, children confronting juvenile detention, or even adult certification and prison.

  • I have moms who opted out of detention hearings because they are too tired to show up.
  • I have had moms who have told the juvenile referees (judges) that they don’t want to take custody of their child because they are going on a cruise or vacation with a new boyfriend.
  • I have moms that have pimped their girls and boys out, selling their bodies for money or drugs or for the attention of a man.
  • I have moms that use drugs with their kids or have their kids secure the drugs for them.

Now, as any juvenile defense attorney will tell you, all the fault can’t be laid just at the feet of moms because far too often, the fathers are just not involved in their kids’ lives. Some moms are terrible role models, while some dads are AWOL.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the importance of understanding whether my mom loves me or not?

It is crucial to know if your mother loves you because it affects your emotional well-being and your relationships with others. If you feel unloved or neglected, it can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.

Recognizing that your mother doesn’t love you can also help you make informed decisions about how to move forward with the relationship and seek the help and support you need.

Is it normal to feel guilty or ashamed about not being loved by my mother?

It’s completely normal to feel guilty or ashamed about not being loved by your mother. It can be difficult to accept that someone who is supposed to love and support you unconditionally doesn’t feel that way toward you.

It’s important to remember that your mother’s inability to love you says nothing about your worth as a person. You’re worthy of love and support, and it’s okay to seek positive relationships and support from others.

Can therapy or counseling help me deal with the emotional impact of not being loved by my mom?

Yes, therapy or counseling can be incredibly helpful in dealing with the emotional impact of not being loved by your mom. A therapist can provide a safe and supportive space to process your feelings and develop coping strategies.

They can also help you overcome your feelings of guilt and shame and develop a healthier sense of self-worth. Therapy can also help you develop tools to manage your relationship with your mother or set healthy boundaries for you.

Is it possible to have a positive relationship with my mother even if she doesn’t love me?

It’s possible to have a positive relationship with your mother even if she doesn’t love you. This may mean setting boundaries or accepting that your relationship may not be what you want or need.

It’s important to focus on building positive relationships with other people in your life and finding sources of emotional support and love outside of your mother.

Remember that you have the power to decide who you surround yourself with and what relationships you want to cultivate.

What if I don’t want to cut off contact with my mom but don’t want to continue feeling unloved and unsupported?

It’s completely understandable that you want to maintain your relationship with your mother, even if she doesn’t love you the way you need or deserve.

In this case, setting boundaries with your mother and letting her know your needs may be helpful. You should tell her how her behavior toward you makes you feel and what you need from her in terms of emotional support and affection.

However, it’s important to be realistic about what your mother is capable of and focus on getting support and love from other sources in your life.

Can having a mother who doesn’t love me affect my future relationships?

Yes, having a mother who doesn’t love you can affect your future relationships. It can lead to difficulty trusting others and forming healthy attachments. It may also lead to seeking out love and validation in unhealthy ways or accepting relationships that aren’t healthy or fulfilling. 

However, recognizing this pattern and seeking support and therapy can help you develop healthy relationship patterns and overcome any emotional issues related to your relationship with your mother.

How can I help my siblings who are also not loved by our mother?

It can be challenging to see that your siblings are also struggling with a lack of love and emotional support from your mother. In this case, it can be helpful to talk openly and honestly with your siblings about how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing. 

You may want to seek therapy or counseling together or join a support group for people who have experienced a similar situation. It’s important that you support each other and work toward healing, healthy relationships, and self-worth.

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