How to Stop an Abusive Mother Toward an Adult Child


An ideal mother does everything she can to nurture her child and help him to grow up into the best adult he can be. No mother is ever perfect and all make mistakes. However, some mothers have bigger problems than others, such as being abusive to her child. This abusive relationship molds a child's life for the future and has a negative impact on his relationship with his mother. Even if the abuse has continued into adulthood, you can take steps to stop the cycle of abuse.

  • Tell your mother how her behavior made you feel while you were growing up and how it continues to affect you. If you cannot bring yourself to speak to her directly, write a letter detailing your experiences and feelings. If your mother was abusive due to a mental illness, she may not realize the impact she has had on you. Once she is aware of the issue, she may be more willing to correct it.

  • Set boundaries for your mother and stick to them. Start small and work your way up to more frequent contact, if you can handle it. For instance, in the beginning, you may only be able to handle a phone call once a month. Once you are able to communicate well with your abusive mother without feeling attacked, move on to more frequent calls and then maybe in-person visits.

  • Bring someone with you each time you visit your abusive mother. An abusive person is less likely to abuse you if someone else is present. The emotional support can help bring you through the visit more confidently as well.

  • Seek out counseling for yourself to learn how to handle situations. An abusive mother can be intimidating, and it is normal to be unsure how to act and what steps to take. Talking through issues with a counselor can help you decide how to approach your abusive mother most effectively.

  • Ask your mother to go to a counseling session with you or seek counseling for herself. If she is not ready to go herself, your counselor may be able to encourage her and show her that a counselor is there to help.

  • Cut off the contact if your abusive mother is making you feel uncomfortable. Let her know that you can no longer talk and end the conversation. If your mother refuses to change or acknowledge what she is doing to you, do not be afraid to cut her out of your life completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take things slowly and prepare yourself for set backs. Recovering from an abusive relationship is a long process and requires work from both sides to be successful.
  • Do not make any decisions while you are angry. Wait until you have had time to calm down and think before you make difficult decisions, such as cutting off all contact completely, to avoid regret.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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