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Throughout Yellowstone, fans have learned more about Beth’s tumultuous relationship with her mother, Evelyn, through flashback scenes. It is clear that Evelyn was not always a kind, nurturing mother to Beth, so why did Evelyn Dutton hate Beth?
As we learned in flashbacks, Beth was not always the abrasive, ruthless woman we know today. She became hardened after her mother’s death, harboring resentment and self-loathing. Beth’s complex relationship with her mother helped shape her into the person she is now.
While Yellowstone hasn’t addressed straightforward the reason for Evelyn’s hatred towards Beth, there are several indications and fan theories as to why she acted the way she did.
Let’s dive into the reasons Evelyn is often portrayed as acting cold-hearted towards her only daughter.
Yellowstone fans get a look into Beth and Evelyn’s rocky relationship a handful of times. We see Evelyn acting cruelly toward her daughter while treating the other children favorably, particularly Kayce.
In one scene, we do see Evelyn comfort her daughter Beth as she enters womanhood. She tells her daughter “I’m going to tell you something that my mother told me and you are not going to like. Everything will be different now.”
Evelyn proceeds to tell Beth that she is going to “toughen her up” as she enters the next phase of her life. “I am going to have to be hard on you, honey,” she says. “I have to turn you into the man that most men will never be.”
Evelyn’s behavior toward her daughter blossomed out of tough love. She wanted her daughter to be ready for the real world and all the challenges a woman faces in the male-dominated industry of ranching.
However, Evelyn’s tough love evolved more into what appeared to be hatred for her daughter, ultimately doing harm to Beth’s upbringing. Evelyn did not offer her daughter the support and guidance when she most needed it, instead giving her a cold shoulder.
Many Yellowstone fans have come to Reddit to share their opinions on the matter. Some suggest that Evelyn’s hatred towards Beth could come from her own rough upbringing or perhaps that Evelyn wanted all boys as many believe men to be better suited for ranch work.
Others theorize that Evelyn hated herself and projected those feelings onto Beth.
When Beth was just a girl, her mother, Evelyn, died in a horseback riding accident. Before dying, Evelyn blamed Beth for not being able to control her horse, leading to her horse spooking and crushing her.
Evelyn was out riding with Beth and Kayce when Beth started to struggle to control her horse. Beth became nervous as her horse became spooked. Instead of offering a helping hand, Evelyn scolded Beth for being scared.
As a result of Beth’s horse spooking, Evelyn’s horse also spooks and as a result falls down, crushing her in the process. While stuck under her horse, Evelyn says “She did this. Let her undo it.”
A traumatized Beth rides off to find her father while Kayce stays by his mother’s side. By the time she returns with her father, Evelyn took her last breath.
Beth is left with her mother’s harsh dying words, giving her trauma she struggles with as an adult. Though Beth didn’t actually cause her mother’s death, she is left with the guilt of the accident.
Beth’s relationship with her mom and her mom’s untimely death cause Beth to experience self-loathing and disdain. Beth becomes hardened, often turning to alcohol to deal with her trauma.
In season one, we see Beth drink champagne in a water trough on the anniversary of her mother’s death as she struggles to cope. It is clear that even now as an adult Beth never healed from her mother’s harsh treatment and still holds guilt for her death.