Mandy McElroy
4 min readJan 24, 2021


Realizing You No Longer Love Your Child

But You Don't Care

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This didn’t feel like a revelation to me. In fact, I felt nothing at all. Just shrugged my shoulders and continued cleaning up the kitchen.

How could you not love your child? A year ago I would have thought this was impossible. The mere thought would have been incomprehensible…but that was before.

Before I told my husband of 38 years I wanted to leave our home. I was so unhappy, one night I just said I wanted to leave. There’s always a breaking point. He was so disinterested in me and tuned out to anything I may have considered important or problematic, he was stunned and clueless.

Probably because when I mentioned it he wasn’t listening to me. With a few rare exceptions, most things that bothered or affected me were irrelevant to him. He never noticed because I didn't matter. You see, if you matter to people they pay attention to you. They listen to you. They literally feel that you are upset or unhappy. If you don’t they continue their disinterest and abusive behavior. Because you don’t matter.

I found an apartment a few weeks later and moved out of my home. Interestingly, when I refer to it now I never use the word home. I say our house or the house we had where my husband still lives. As I continue making trips back, packing up the china cabinet it doesn’t feel like it ever was my home. It is a dwelling where my husband continues to reside.

My younger daughter was ecstatic when I told her I was leaving. Although she was sad to see us headed toward divorce, she married much later in life than her older sister had and had spent far more time at home with us. She knew exactly what my life was like. My older daughter on the other hand blew up at me, putting me through an inquisition. I should never have even answered her questions. It was none of her business. I didn’t tell her how abusive her father had been to me, instead, I said something not as harsh. That I had been unhappy for many years for numerous reasons. I felt like a defendant in a murder trial.

Nothing I said made any difference. I could literally feel her seething anger through the phone. I hoped in time she would come to accept that our situation had changed. She had two precious little girls, my granddaughters. I had helped care for them since…



Mandy McElroy

Divorced for 2 years, after leaving a 40 year marriage. An adult daughter removed herself and her children from my life due to my decision. The pain remains.