I am a 16 year old boy. My parents are divorced, my father didn't treat my mother well; he beat her and he thought she was cheating on him when she in fact never did. My mother tried to cope with him for the fact that she has 4 children, (I'm the oldest son) but after 7 years of him not having a job and all the other abuse she couldn't handle they situation and she went to court for a divorce and they got divorced.

3 years later now I hate my mother, who works full time 8 to 6 just to be able to barely pay rent and school while my father hasn't got a job for past 9-10 years I don't hate him but I hate my mother.

I don't know why I hate her, I feel disgusted by her I don't like anything about her and it's getting worse. I always say that I wish I lived alone in a house by myself without her.

I stopped studying well, my confidence, social life, and health has become worse.

I believe I love my dad and (grandmother from my mothers side) but I hate my mother and my life is becoming a mess. I used to be A+ student, the first student but I don't even know if I'm even going to pass this year.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 16:23

15 Answers 15


I don't think you hate your Mother as strongly as you think you do. We always get angry with those that are near us. It seems to be the easiest way to vent.

I remember being 16 and the reason why is because it was one of the hardest times of my life. Seeing abuse, anger, hate, and finally a divorce is never easy and it stays with you so you have my sympathies here.

My advice is think long and hard about what would happen if you push your Mother away and live on your own. It's hard out there on your own and it's even harder when you push those around you away.

It would be wise to try and speak to your Mother about this properly. If you are struggling, consider writing down everything you can think of that is causing you anger and pain. Put it all down on paper and read over it. Maybe put together a letter for your Mother to read. She doesn't have to see it though if you don't want her to. Writing things down can be a way of dealing with things. It would also be very good to write down all the positives that are happening in your life. This gives you something to be happy about, something to recognise and something to focus on. Seeing a psychiatrist may be another option or simply talking to someone may be enough.

He's a little story that through my own experience may help you.

I never had a Father figure in my early years, he, and my Mother split when I was a few months old and although I know of him I don't speak to him. I really wanted one when I was young and I felt like I wasn't normal because I didn't have one.

My Mother met somebody when I was around 11. They were together 5 years, married 3. He turned out to be an abusive alcoholic and at one point it was really bad. He worked offshore and so every other month he wasn't around.

When they split, I was happy. It felt like we were a family again. We moved to another house and we got on but as I grew up, for some strange reason I started to not get on with my Mother. I became to dislike her and I couldn't explain why at the time. It got so bad that we would shout and fight for hours before one of us stormed off. I ended up leaving and getting my own place.

That's when reality set in. I'd push the one person who loved me the most away and I'd done some real damage in doing so. I was now on my own, living a house that I couldn't afford and I couldn't turn to my Mother for help. It got to the point that I was pulling out loans to try and make ends meet and I couldn't afford to pay them back. I ended up living with my Grandmother for a period of time.

During this time I had a long hard think about what I'd done. Over the years my Mother sacrificed everything for me and my sister. Holding three jobs just to make ends meet and to put food on the table. She would even go without just so we wouldn't. She wasn't perfect but she did her best and that's all she can do. I thought to myself, what have I done? Why have I pushed her away? Honestly I still don't know but I bet it's something to do with the divorce. I put that behind and I made an effort to reach back out to her to thank her for everything she had done and to tell her that I know she always had my best interest at heart. I moved back in and although there was tension, I tried my best to not get angry again. Instead I focused on saving my money so that I could eventually move out and become independent with the support of my Mother behind me. I was 22 when I moved out with a full time job. Even then it was hard so think carefully before moving out.

10 years on I now have my own child and my relationship with my Mother is closer than ever because of the effort I put back in.

  • 9
    +1, but he should also write (or say) all the positives, not just the negatives. Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 16:45
  • 2
    Very good advice.
    – Sam Weaver
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 3:11
  • 2
    I agree with the advice to think long and hard before pushing an important person out of your life. At the same time it's important to acknowledge the "negative" feelings (anger, disappointment etc.) that the OP has towards his mother instead of suppressing them (perhaps out of a wrong sense of guilt or in order to act "rational"). You can only let go of an emotion that you have really looked at. A therapist, counselor, or trusted friend can help the OP to explore and understand his emotions (as you suggest) . Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 13:00

I seriously doubt you hate your mother, she is most likely the focal point of the anger you feel about something else because she is the biggest presence in your life.

You probably need help dealing with whatever is causing your anger, which is most likely caused by your feelings about the breakup of your family. Lot's of people I've spoken to, also myself included, who's parents got divorced have had some resentment/anger towards their parents because they felt they should have done more or loved them enough to resolve whatever caused the family breakup.

How was the quality of your life before your parents were divorced, do you blame your mother for being the one that initiated the divorce, do you accept the reasons she has given you for leaving your father ?


Your mother is a source of stress for you, due to her expectations and constant reminders to improve yourself. It's possible that your turndown in grades and in other areas are a direct result of the only thing you feel you can control about your life, and a quiet form of rebellion towards your mother's expectations.

Being a constant source of reminders to work hard, improve, and so forth, you will naturally come to dislike her.

It's quite likely that the stress she's come under is also becoming a burden for you.

Even if you moved in with your father or another guardian you'd quickly find that the expectations are largely similar (though perhaps delivered in a different way) and the stress would be largely similar.

As far as changing the situation, you need to change yourself. Not only because you can't change her, but because stress management and separating anger about a situation from the people involved (ie, misplaced blame) will be a constant need throughout your life. At this point in time you have a good environment to practice in, safe from failure and much outside distraction.

I'd suggest starting by prioritizing your life, deciding what's important, and focusing on those things, setting aside things that are less important. Then I'd suggest working on serving others - particularly your mother and others with whom you have a difficult relationship.

Seek out a mentor to review your thoughts on prioritization and what service you might be able to do. Consider the future - where would you like to be in 5 years? How can you get there? What can you do now to make that path more likely?

  • This pressure was it for me; she'd use my academic achievements to sort of show off to others
    – Izkata
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 14:24
  • @lzkata, thats what most parents do. She is proud of you! Recognize that, but you can talk to her nicely how you do not like it, and it puts lots of pressure on you. Assure her that you will do well, and that you are responsible.
    – user61034
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 15:49

I could think of several reasons why your anger is being directed at your mother. Most of this is somewhat speculative, but I have been in a similar scenario with my mother at a time in my life, so hopefully it will give you something to think about at least.

Your father doesn't sound like a great guy. Your description paints him as abusive and irresponsible. You know this, and recognize this. But you must reconcile with the fact that you still love him, which will cause dissonance in your mind. Put a pin in that thought for a second.

You say that your father was abusive towards your mother, but did not indicate that he directed the abuse upon you or your siblings. Over years of seeing this as a child, what conclusions did you draw from this? If your father was out of control and just violent, then why were you not subject to his abuse as well? How do you justify his actions in your mind (the mind of a child, over years of witnessing this)? Maybe you end up believing that your mother deserves this, or maybe you believe that she is too weak to stand up and defend herself, and her perceived weakness becomes disgusting to you. This is not something that has to happen on a conscious level. This is your subconscious trying to protect you from the dissonance of loving your father, and witnessing him commit these acts.

It sounds like your mother initiated the divorce. Which, in a way, means she has taken your father away from you. You loved your father and she intentionally took an action to take him away. On top of that, you are now left as the eldest son, at 16, perhaps with the rational internal expectation that you now have to step up and be a man, and a replacement father for your younger siblings, a position that you are not ready for, and perhaps resentful of. Again, you can trace this back to your mother's decision to get this divorce.

Let's also look at your mother and father again. Your mother is working hard to make ends meet, while your father hasn't worked in years. Your mother is who you view as the responsible one, while your father is viewed as irresponsible. So all the anger that you feel, it is natural for you to lay that at the feet of the parent that you view as being responsible, while letting the irresponsible one off, because that is how you have come to see your parents.

Also, you most likely intrinsically identify with your father. It is easy for you to imagine yourself in your father's shoes, but not your mother's.

These may or may not capture your feelings, but I would imagine some of it is close. By asking this question, you demonstrate that you understand that these feelings are not quite appropriate or rational, which probably causes even more dissonance. But, thinking about the why is the key to you getting to the point of understanding your mother and not blaming her. When you have these feelings about her, write them down in the moment, unfiltered and read them back. Try to focus on why, even if it makes you confront a thought that you don't want to admit that you have. Focus on what makes you resent her, and pull those thoughts apart with logic until they can no longer stand on their own. This probably will not be easy. Seeing your mother go through abuse for years, especially if you were not subjected to this same abuse, has likely tainted your view of her, and made it much harder for you to identify with her, but it sounds like you know that your feelings about this are not rational, and you need to work through them. Seeing a therapist about this would be ideal, as they can help you deconstruct your feelings around this and work through them.

  • It sounds like your mother initiated the divorce. Which, in a way, means she has taken your father away from you. I think this is key. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 12:54

You clearly need a psychotherapist help. There are many reasons why you hate your mother and no one can give you clear answer, but the divorce made impact on you, maybe you hate the fact that your mother 'left' you and your father, maybe you miss her affection and attention that why you hate her,, this might all be my fault I have no clue you fault of what? Anyway I am just assuming things here.

When get a psychotherapist t, it will address your negative feelings and hate and it will help you to overcome your problems.

  • 4
    "Need" is rather strong, but some type of external advice certainly seems warranted. Note that there are also many types of counseling, these may be more accessible (and possibly cheaper / free) than a psychotherapist.
    – sleske
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 8:20
  • 1
    @sleske there are some centers who are supported by NGO's or government that give free or really cheap therapy to people who indeed, therapy or consuling I am not sure what is the right definition but as result to help people to guide them with there social problems. in my opinion the OP has emotional problems and it can be solved in many way, therapy is one of them.
    – Moudiz
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 8:51

Your mother is most likely stressed and traumatized. She is a single mom (I assume), who is trying to feed and raise 4 children.
If your father is not working, he is probably not helping her pay for your clothes, education, food, and alike as well as he should be. This is another stress factor for your mother.

Chances are your mother is not giving everyone the necessary attention and love they should be getting because:

  • There are 4 of you and only 1 of her.
  • She works full time and has to do the household.
  • You are probably getting least attention and love and most responsibility because you are the oldest.
  • If you are a closed type, she is probably not noticing you when you are having problems.
  • If you have very active and/or demanding siblings, they are probably drawing more attention from her.

Please realize that your mother has a very hard life at the moment and an even harder past that she has not yet had a chance yet to process or recover from.

It is normal at your age to want to live alone, do your own thing and be left alone. You cannot do this because you are underaged and incapable financially, thus you "hate" your current living situation.

Humans are hierarchical creatures, your mother stands above you. Because of this, you hold her responsible to some degree for your personal happiness. This is normal but wrong to some degree.

My suggestion: You are 16, try to get a weekend job. Get yourself out of the house for a couple of hours and do something useful that pays. With the money, you will either buy your happiness in a materialistic way or assist your mother and get your happiness in an emotional way.

As for your studying (or lack of), your confidence and social life,...
Your mother is not to blame for this, so do not use her as an excuse to slack off.

Your real issues are something else, judging from your post, it could easily be your father. You portrait him as a typical loser while he should be a role model for you. If you ever looked up to him, realizing what a disappointment he really is could do this to you.

Speaking out of personal experience & agreeing with Adam Davis's answer


One reason why you're directing your anger towards your mother may be that you feel you can rely on her, and not on your dad. If someone is not a reliable presence in your life but you wish them to be, you probably don't feel secure enough in their affection to get angry at them. So whilst your dad may be more deserving of your anger, you instead redirect it towards your mother since she probably won't cut ties with you over your resentment (she has put up with far worse).


Could it be that it's breaking your heart to see how hard she is struggling for you and your siblings, while you feel somewhat powerless, deep inside wishing to be able to help her?
Are you maybe really just emphasizing with her so much that you are afraid of letting this empathy take over, because that would cause immense sadness and despair to you?

Either way, you might want to consider this:

You probably have no idea how much it hurts her to get the vibe that you are showing these feelings toward her.
I'm not writing this to put any blame on you; however, you should consider the consequences of your attitude. See it as a part of growing up... if you don't, you might regret this, possibly when it's too late.

Your mother surely is one of the very few beings on earth who will love you unconditionally (of course, there may be exceptions, but it sounds like she does, from what you write). Even though it might not always show, remember that she is struggling a lot, and maybe sometimes wants to hide her own sadness and despair from you, because she doesn't want you to be afraid.

Good luck and don't be afraid

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 11:34

I don't see anything in your post that would indicate that your mother doesn't love you very much. It's a perverse truth that it is safer to hate someone who loves you than to hate someone who has rejected you or who you are afraid of. If you were to treat your father the way you are now treating your mother, he would almost certainly not react the same way she reacts. It might even be dangerous to you, as he is a violent person. So it is safer to express your anger to your mother than your father.

There are so many ways that our complex brains can go wrong. Emotions can squeeze out reason. The best way to get your brain straightened back out is to get help from outside yourself. Read books on how children deal with divorce, on anger, on abusive parents, on dealing with loss. Get therapy. A good therapist can help you understand why you feel the way you feel, and can help you to decide how you want to feel, and how to heal. And please hurry. The longer you wait the greater the chance that you will end up coping by pushing your anger down and turning it into something even less healthy. I think it is a good thing that you are able to face it honestly now. Bring it out into the open and deal with it. It will save you, and the people you love, a whole lot more pain later in life.


As a male (and firstborn, even), OP has meticulously copied subtle patterns of his father's behaviour and emotions (i.e. personality), and in mid-adolescents this matures into a rather unspectacular variation of that personality.

The only solution is to follow a fair set of morals. If OP's mother is the provider, she should not be loathed, but treated well. OP cannot and could not rely on his father, so the love he feels is entirely irrational, biologically speaking, as is his hate toward his mother.

A psychotherapist could assist in roleplaying. Breaking one's early conditioning is doable, but only through permanent reconditioning. In a case of breaking such programming, roleplay is useful to vent emotions, over many iterations. Repressed emotions are worse than uncontrollable fits of rage, and should be cleared out in a controlled environment.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 6:17

Unlike some of the others here, I think you do actually hate her. To be honest, I'd guess that you are jealous of other kids who have more than you (those with a stable home life, have more money, who don't have to feel embarrassed about their situation, etc.) who don't "owe" someone like you feel you owe your mom. Since you can't find anyway to solve the problem, you end up hating one piece of it and that happens to be your mother.

As long as you keep it on your mother, you'll have what amounts to impotent rage. You have no action to release that hate, so it becomes a force that you have to constantly hold within you. This inner conflict can be extremely exhausting.

What I'd suggest is to instead direct your hate to own weakness. Hate your inability to come up with a solution to the problem or find something positive in the situation, for example. By finding fault within yourself and hating that, rather than something you can have no effect over, you both release your pent up frustration, and improve yourself at the same time.


You may simply be depressed, which is often normal but treatable.

Wanting to be alone is (a self-reinforcing) symptom of depression. You resent your mother simply because she is there instead of the loneliness you seek. Probably you could benefit from space but avoid the trap of isolation.

Get help from counselors. Multiple counselors because you are thirsty for guidance to get your head straight. This is your mission in life. Go to your counselor prepared with notes (like an agenda) so that you use the time wisely.

You have a lot of pain which makes it hard to empathize with others. But do try to help your mother. And do get some time for yourself. And definitely use counselors until the day you are comfortable and no longer struggling.

  • His mother is working full time, barely to be able to pay rent this is a family of 5. Some people aren't that privileged to be able to pay for a counselor as you might think. Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 5:11
  • How about school counselors? Also, a doctor might be able to recommend a counselor who has grant money to cover certain cases. Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 13:28

Alright, other answers are depicting how you don't really hate her and other issues related possibly to being depressed etc. Let me give you a very different perspective and possibly the reason that you feel that way.

First, You overall hatred is constituted by the following points:

  • Your father's physical abuse.
  • Your mother's constant tolerance of it - this presented a deliberately weak victim picture of your mother to your brain.
  • Yourself not being able to put a stop it when you felt to do so.

For Reason 1: As much as you hated your father's abuse, one thing is that your mind has constantly acknowledged that hate since it started and you so to say, actually ended up hating him. There is no redemption for your father to get out of that. As a result, you feel decisive about this hate.

For Reason 2: This is where you feel a repressed hatred towards your mother and don't know why. Well, it is because she continued to take the abuse for years and because of the weak victimization of her. Now, neither I nor you are justifying him or her for their abuse/prolonged victimization but you just can't seem to be able to justify her exploitation for so long. You have probably felt, if you had been in her place, you would have fought/stood up real hard, your way or probably run away. You condemn the victim mentality much more than abuse itself.

This is where you are feeling this repressed hate towards your mother for being a prolonged victim while you definitely love her too for what she has done. You are feeling indecisive about the hate-love feeling towards your mother.

Fore Reason 3: You probably hate yourself for that but don't really blame because of being a kid and not having the power or authority to deal with it.

What you should do now?

You need some alone time to introspect on your thoughts and put your energy into finding a part time job(if you are of age) to support your mother and your family financially as she is not going to be able to handle this ongoing pressure for very long.

You might also want to focus on having a hobby. That will take your mind off this hatred. Needless to say, it will take some time for this hatred to subside and the more you introspect on your thoughts, more streamlined the process will be.

Remember, regardless of all these feeling, your mother feels the opposite towards you. Therefore don't leave your mother alone for these passing feelings. You will eventually get over them but she has been scarred for life.

Good luck!


Well firstly, you need to understand that your grades are for you. So figuring that piece out is going to matter for you long term. If you can't afford college because you don't have any scholarships, if you end up paying off student loans for 20 years after, that is all stuff you deal with. Not your parents, not your teachers, etc. As a teen you can easily loose site of that when the adults around you talk about the importance of grades. But the reality is that great grades are something you do to make your own life easier, to open more potential for yourself eventually, to help only you. So the best thing you can do for yourself when life is tough, is loose yourself in study. I get it, sounds totally boring, but it's a pathway to something else. It really is.

And how you feel about parents is complicated. At your age you can't yet understand anything about that end of the family life. Parents act in ways, make decisions, and do things you aren't capable of grasping yet. Things I was fine with at your age, I came to realize later that my parents should have done differently. Things I was angry about, I later understood & realized it was merely my naive point of view, not something they did wrong. Forgive yourself for not being able to understand all of your own feelings, and understand that your feelings about all of this will evolve & change over time. I doubt what you are feeling is hate. More likely you have anger & plenty of it. There are reasons to be angry...no person is perfect. Not one. She chose a man as your father that couldn't treat her right, couldn't parent well, can't stand on his own two feet & has major issues. So even if all other things about her were perfect, that is a pretty big thing on it's own. I myself had anger toward my own mother for similar issues with my father. I felt she should have booted him & saved me from having to live with him. I am sure some day my children will call me to the table over the mistakes I have made & yours will too should you some day be a parent. None of us do it perfectly, because that simply isn't possible. We all are human & we do the best we can with what we are working with, from our own childhoods, our own perceptions, our ability to make good decisions, to have the confidence to walk out if it's needed.

Just remind yourself that your mother is a human. She isn't going to be everything you wish she would be. She can't be. She is who she is & she likely doing the best she can now with what the situation is now. The best thing any of us can do is try to forgive ourselves and those we are closest to & be open. If you have things you are angry about, then tell her...but do it calmly...not in screaming fights, but as an open book.

It's clear to me you have a good heart, because you care enough to know that this isn't making sense to you to hold so much bad feeling to her & forgive your dad so easily. You want something better with your mom. I can tell. So try to find it. Healing family relationships really is the best investment you can make in your own peace AND it will help you maybe one day if you choose to be a parent yourself. It matters more than you know in how you end up parenting, so work to heal it. You will never think it as a waste of time.

  • She didn't do the best she could when she had the choice to not have kids with the asshole or when she chose to stay with the abusive asshole or when she decided to rip away the father from the children. I have her down as 0/3 on the "best she could score". Oh and keep a good father around to help prevent the increased statistical chance of criminality when raised by a single mother. 0/4. What makes you think she suddenly changed?
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 2:25
  • @craig I do not know this person or what she specifically is capable of, so yes, i do think it could be the best she could do. Not all people are capable of the same things or we would all get a Nobel prize, run a nation, or cure a disease. We are all operating at whatever level we can & for some, that is a rather reduced level. That doesn't mean it isn't their best and I fully recognize that your best may not actually be good enough. Again, it might still be your best, even if it's not good enough. It's about forgiveness & moving on. You can't change other people.
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 2:28
  • The best, would have been to make the best choices. She made the worse choices. So what exactly is "her best"? Is she physically or mentally incapable of making a good choice? She's incapable of looking up statistics, therapy, counseling, parenting advice, etc? Unless she is severely mentally handicapped, I don't think so, but I welcome you to try again.
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 2:32
  • The slippery slope of moral relativism. Welcome. Morals are pretty basic. We are not talking about tests or quizzes, we are talking about moral choices. She had the choice, yes or no to her children's father. She said yes.
    – Craig
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 2:33
  • Mental health capacity isn't moral relativism. I am speaking about what a person decides to carry inside of them for life. It can be bitterness & resentment or forgiveness. Is you choose to be bitter, then do it If you choose to forgive then do that. It's up to you. Believing all people are capable of living lives that treat others as they deserve to be treated is a loosing idea, but I can appreciate the optimism. I just do not share it. I think some people do not have the capacity to do what needs to be done to take care of themselves, let alone others.
    – threetimes
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 2:46

you are a great man that dare to to ask this question and put your thinking on something other than in your heart. be proud of yourself.

from some aspects my life was similar. our home was a hell on that time foe 5 years. my parents did not divorce because of many things in my region and their family.

your mother handle your father for around 7 years it means your mom is just great. seven years is not just little. if she does not act you as you deserve it is because she is tired, really tired. it is not all from physical work and payments at each month but from the thought that she could not imagine it would be her destiny . she wanted a good and supportive man to make her happy of life, a man who has job and pays his children. she might think about she is loser or something but she can not lose because she has children. try to be in her shoes just in one day with all things she think every day. just imagine she see a woman in her age holding a man and they are extremely happy. this picture is just enough for one hour crying. maybe your mother think she is becoming ugly and ugly every day because of hard work and after a few years when she get older her children does not like her because she has many facial wrinkles for example. i kindly ask you do not do anything that has no return. one day you understand she loves you in a way that has no limit. earning money is really hard man , really hard.

  • This doesn't answer the question Why do I have negative feelings about my mother?
    – Bugs
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 13:57
  • i described these things (are just few that came to my mind) to say it is not straightforward answer. your feeling is maybe from her acts to you. she does not take time as necessary (because she is tired or ...). all she want is to feed you and pay for home and your clothes and growing. she wants you be happy and does not feel poverty in any way. all these things for a woman is so much. there is no room for her to change your feeling about her. (understand her)
    – Mason
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 14:12

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