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I am a mother with three young children, two boys ages 7 and 3, and a girl, age 5. I am on my second marriage and pregnant with my second child from this marriage. I love my kids to death and would do anything in the world for all 4 of them. my husband has taken the oldest two as his own and treats them so.

my problem is that I can't show love for my daughter and I don't know why. I know this goes in to something very complex, and I can't get a simple answer to solve this. I am looking for what this problem could stem from. I never had any sort of connection with my dad growing up, and I still don't. he was never there for me. it has just been in the past few years after my brother died that he has shown any interest in my life. my mother has always been the one that has been there and taken care of me when I was growing up.

I can say that I have an issue with females. I don't like the way they manipulate people. most of my friends are male because of this. I am not very feminine and that has caused some minor problems in my marriage as well. my husband takes me for who I am, but there are times that he would like to see me dress up, put make up on, fix my hair, things like that. he has never asked me to change and he won't. that is just the type of person he is. I am the same way. I won't ask him to change because I married him for who he is.

I know this is a very complex matter and I need to get to a doctor that can help me more in this situation; but, if there is any insight you could give me in to what you think could be the problem, possibly give me some ideas of where I could start. I have been very good with being able to solve my "long term" problems in the past once I have figured out where they started; however, this problem has becoming extremely eluding to me.

thank you so much for any help you could possibly give me,

Erin Ross

ask dr-robert ask psychologist todos santos ask psychologist dr robert saltzman

Hello, Erin--

Thank you for writing. I am glad you did. Yes, I agree that you will need personalized help with this, and I encourage you to get it soon because your daughter will need your love and approval in order to grow up in the best way.

Judging from your words, and without knowing you or anything else about you, I imagine that your mistrust of and dislike of the feminine began early in life due to experiences with your own mother. Now it seems apparent that you have become a women who dislikes and fears her own femininity as well as the feminine nature of other women. Unfortunately for your young daughter, this tendency also extends to your feelings for her, and I imagine that she already has been hurt by this, and continues to be hurt. By five years of age children are acutely and exquisitely aware of what their parents--particularly the parent of the same sex—feel for them, and if the feelings are not positive feelings of love and acceptance, the child will suffer.

Please get some help for this before she is further damaged.

Be well.

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page last modified March 15, 2007

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