When A Mother Is Jealous of Her Daughter

3. Incest:

The most extreme cases of mother-daughter jealousy appear in families where there is incest.

If the father is the offender and the mother becomes jealous of the father-daughter relationship, then she too becomes an offender and she cannot put the daughter first. Instead, she sees her daughter like “the other woman, going after her husband.”

In most incest cases we have worked with, when the father is the offender, this is not the case. The mother takes the side of the child as it should be and leaves the offender.

However, sometimes we see the dynamic of jealousy in the mother and this is heartbreaking. In those situations, the daughter is not only a victim of sexual abuse but also a victim of her mother’s envy and hatred.

4. The Pain of Being Unloved:

In all cases of maternal jealousy towards the daughter, the daughter is left with little support for who she is as a whole person.

She feels unloved and as Mother Theresa so aptly writes, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”

Envy is like an anger that destroys a young developing woman. It is terrifying for the child at any age.

In review of the literature and other writers on this subject, many say that mother-daughter jealousy is often misinterpreted or not really that common. Some say it is even normal at some level.

Mothers are often reaching menopause when their young daughters are developing into beautiful young women and some say that it may be normal for mothers to have some touchy feelings about aging.

It’s important to understand that the poisonous, corrosive envy felt by narcissistic mothers is not normal. The bar is raised. It is destructive. The challenge for daughters of narcissistic mothers is to learn how to recognize and cope with abnormal maternal envy.

A common pattern in narcissistic families is that of constant comparisons to others.

Envy rears its ugly head in many other contexts as well. “How does our family measure up to others and do we look good enough to the outside world?” Children learn to do this and become adults who are always worried about comparisons.

If this is you and you were raised by narcissistic parents, learning how to cope is a must and part of your own recovery.

Confronting the narcissist does no good. You have to release yourself from your confusion and see the envy for what it is. To do this, you must recognize your own goodness and strength.

Don’t be spiteful or revengeful as that destroys you. The envy that is thrown your way does not belong to you. It is a part of the parent’s disorder.

“Envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.” – Jean Vanier

You don’t have to take it on.Your recovery process allows you to individuate so that you are no longer defined by anyone but yourself.

Using self-compassion, self-understanding, and working your recovery is worth the time and energy. Creating your own exciting and significant life is gratifying and the more you tune into the woman you were meant to be, the better it feels!


Written by Karyl McBride Ph.D

Karyl McBride, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.

Originally appeared on PsychologyToday

Recovery Resources for Daughters, Sons and Partners of Narcissists


Dr. Karyl McBride’s new book: Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist, and Heal Your Familyhttps://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/divorcing-narcissist-book/

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/about-will-i-ever-be-good-enough/

Audio Books

Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist, and Heal Your Family Audio Version: https://www.blackstonelibrary.com/will-i-ever-be-free-of-you?format=MP3+CD

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Audio Version: https://tantor.com/will-i-ever-be-good-enough-karyl-mcbride-phd.html


“50 Ways to tell if you are in a Relationship with a Narcissist” Survey: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/narcissist-relationship-survey/

“Do You Have a Narcissistic Parent?” Survey: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/narcissistic-parent-survey/

“Is this your Mom?” Survey: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/narcissistic-mother-survey/

Workshops & Intensives

Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Virtual Workshop. Online workshop in the privacy of your own home, complete with video presentations and homework assignments: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/workshop-overview-healing-the-daughters-of-narcissistic-mothers

Daughter and son intensives: One on one sessions with Dr. McBride: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/resources/daughter-intensives

Small group intensives: Build and strengthen individual recovery work and create amazing connections within a community of support: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/small-group-intensives/

Other Links:

Book and workshop website: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com

Recent Interviews and Q&A Sessions: https://www.willieverbegoodenough.com/katie-hafner-author-mother-daughter-interviews-dr-karyl-mcbride/

Private practice website: https://karylmcbridephd.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrKarylMcBride 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karylmcbride

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drkarylmcbride

Google+: https://plus.google.com/112423739623794466157

Psychology Today blog: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love

Other Helpful Resources

ShareKids Co-Parenting Calendar

Our Family Wizard Co-Parenting Calendar

Trauma Treatment – International EMDR Website

Resources for Suicide Prevention:

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

You may also like:

When A Mother Is Jealous of Her Daughter

- Advertisement -
Karyl McBride PhD, LMFT
Karyl McBride, PhD, LMFT Author of: Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers and Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family. Karyl McBride, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Denver, Colorado with over 28 years in public and private practice. She specializes in treating clients with dysfunctional family issues. For the past seventeen years, Dr. McBride has been involved in private research concerning children of narcissistic parents, with a primary focus on women raised by narcissistic mothers. She has treated many daughters of narcissistic mothers in her private practice.Dr. McBride also has extensive clinical experience in the fields of trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, divorce and step family therapy, marital and family therapy, specialized trauma treatment in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and individual adjustment issues related to anxiety, depression, and life transitions.Surveys“50 Ways to tell if you are in a Relationship with a Narcissist” Survey:“Do You Have a Narcissistic Parent?” Survey:“Is this your Mom?” Survey:
- Advertisment -