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Or they are unable to set other boundaries which make for healthy and emotionally sustaining relationships.

The daughter of an unloving mother—one who is emotionally distant, withholding, inconsistent, or even hypercritical or cruel—learns different lessons about the world and herself.The underlying problem, of course, is how dependent a human infant is on her mother for nurturance and survival, and the circumscribed nature of her world.Why these wounds are common is amply explained by attachment theory, first proposed by John Bowlby and then expanded by the work of Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, and many others.In infancy and childhood, a daughter catches the first glimpse of herself in the mirror that is her mother’s face.The taboos about “dissing” our mothers, and the myths of motherhood which portray all mothers as loving, serve to isolate unloved daughters.

That discovery lifts part of the hurt and burden, but not all of it.The following catalog of what can happen to a daughter who grows up without a mother’s love and support is derived from anecdote, and not a scientific survey; it’s not meant to be inclusive, either.Again, I write not as a psychologist or therapist, but as a fellow traveler.Consciousness is the first step in an unloved daughter’s healing.All too often, we simply accept these behaviors in ourselves without knowing their point of origin. Lack of confidence The unloved daughter doesn’t know that she is lovable or worthy of attention; she may have grown up feeling ignored or unheard or criticized at every turn.If her mother is loving and attuned, the baby is securely attached; she learns both that she is loved and lovable.