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No More Mr. Nice Guy

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TrustedHer posted 2/6/2011 11:45 AM

It turns out that a lot of us were raised by mothers, into schools with women teachers, with absent fathers, so we were taught our manhood entirely from their perspective.

We ended up "nice". Our entire lives were spent pleasing the women in our lives. Trying to anticipate their needs, and structuring our actions around that.

The irony is, women, who formed us, don't want that in a partner. Guys who actually learned this lesson are too passive, appear indecisive because we are too conciliatory. We learned poor interpersonal skills and try to get what we want, not through direct action, but through covert contracts and passive/aggressive behavior.

So the ones who rejected the women in their lives, who really don't care, appear incredibly more masculine in contrast. And thus more appealing.

Thus, the attraction of the Bad Boy.

We learned the wrong lessons growing up, and it's possible to learn the wrong lessons by looking at the success of Bad Boys.

Dr. Glover, in the book, outlines some ways to remain nice, while shedding the "Nice Guy" problems.

In a nutshell, it revolves around learning to value yourself. To put yourself first, which does not mean "not giving a shit" about other people. Just realizing that all the caring in the world for someone else won't make that person magically take care of your needs.

It also explains the mixed messages we get from women.

I can't summarize a whole book in a single post.

Here's the passage that struck home with me:

The enmeshing Nice Guy makes his partner his emotional center. His world revolves around her. She is more important than his work, his buddies, his hobbies. He will do whatever it takes to make her happy. He will give her gifts, try to fix her problems, and arrange his schedule to be with her. He will gladly sacrifice his wants and needs to win her love. He will even tolerate her bad moods, rage attacks, addictions, and emotional or sexual unavailability -- all because he "loves her so much".

I sometimes refer to enmeshing Nice Guys as table dogs. They are like little dogs who stand beneath the table just in case a scrap happens to fall their way. Enmeshing Nice Guys do this same hovering routine around their partner just in case she happens to drop him a scrap of sexual interest, a scrap of her time, a scrap of a good mood, or a scrap of her attention. Even though they are settling for the leftovers that fall from the table, enmeshing Nice Guys think they're getting something really good.

Skye posted 2/6/2011 11:55 AM

My husband, the cheater, fits your paragraph of Mr. Nice Guy. His world revolved around me and he still wants that. Go figure. He destroyed the best thing he ever had or will have.

eta: I loved him with all my heart for being a nice guy. Not sure mature, responsible women want a "bad boy."

[This message edited by Skye at 11:56 AM, February 6th (Sunday)]

TrustedHer posted 2/6/2011 12:17 PM

Dr. Glover points out that in many cases, the poor coping skills that come along with being this kind of excessive nice guy lead to pretty severe relationship problems.

Poor boundary setting, accepting bad behavior from partners, and self-destructive behavior come along with it. The men he identifies as "Nice Guys" are flawed, broken, and just as likely to act out via infidelity as any other broken person.

Here are some of the words he uses to describe Nice Guys. They aren't all good words.

Nice Guys are givers.
Nice Guys fix and caretake.
Nice Guys seek approval from others.
Nice Guys avoid conflict.
Nice Guys believe they must hide their perceived flaws.
Nice Guys seek the "right" way to do things.
Nice Guys repress their feelings.
Nice guys often try to be different from their fathers.
Nice Guys are often more comfortable relating to women than to men.
Nice Guys have difficulty making their needs a priority.
Nice Guys often make their partner their emotional center.
Nice Guys are dishonest.
Nice Guys are secretive.
Nice Guys are compartmentalized.
Nice Guys are manipulative.
Nice Guys are controlling.
Nice Guys give to get.
Nice Guys are passive-aggressive.
Nice Guys are full of rage.
Nice Guys are addictive.
Nice Guys have difficulty setting boundaries.
Nice Guys are frequently isolated.
Nice Guys are often attracted to people and situations that need fixing.
Nice Guys frequently have problems in intimate relationships.
Nice Guys have issues with sexuality.
Nice Guys are usually only relatively successful.

Skye posted 2/6/2011 12:24 PM

Really interesting characteristics. My husband definitely doesn't fit lots of those qualities, but he is a very broken man. How does a man cheat on his wife who is his emotional security?

How can a "nice guy" be manipulative, controlling and passive aggressive? That doesn't compute for me? I guess if you only have a couple of these qualities are needed to fit the "nice guy" image?

I would say, as a woman, that many of items on this list fit most men.

I would be curious which of these items of a broken man would lead him to be a cheater?

Your thoughts?

story to tell posted 2/7/2011 09:52 AM

This sounds like a lot of pop psychology hooey. Who exactly is he referring to when he says "the success of Bad Boys"? Charlie Sheen?

inconnu posted 4/16/2011 19:38 PM

bumping up, since I posted about this book in someone's thread today.

Jpapageorge posted 4/17/2011 22:04 PM

Holy crud, I was "turned into" a table dog for what I thought was mutual love.

Princess Amidala posted 5/4/2011 20:00 PM

My H is Nice Guy.

He's been working through the book, we are both on the support website. It's been good for us. Helping him see the world differently.
Discovered a lot of the A why's came from his NG issues.
I don't want to go forward him my NG wh. He's letting his NG persona go.

Seems if the book is for you, it really resonates.

FutureChanged posted 8/8/2011 15:23 PM

Weird, I always thought nice guys were those that did nice things, loved their spouses, their children, try to make the right decisions, try to be productive members of the community, aren't always perfect but stand up and try again. I think some of these authors try to pigeon-hole this shit too much.

EnigmaticInk posted 8/8/2011 23:42 PM

Unfortunately these Nice Guys are merely a false facsimile of actual nice guys.

They play the martyr and give while expecting things in return. You can find a lot of articles online about this "Nice Guy".

UnbearablySadd posted 8/9/2011 04:50 AM

They are not actually "nice," although they may be "guys."

They are passive aggressive. This "nice guy" concept is pop psych. just designed to sell books.

inconnu posted 8/9/2011 07:22 AM

They are passive aggressive. This "nice guy" concept is pop psych. just designed to sell books.

Sure, it's marketing to sell the book, but it's amazing how many passive aggressive guys think they're nice guys when really they're "nice guys."

I went through too many years with a passive aggressive ex where since he was such a "nice guy" therefore I must be the mean bitch who never let him do anything (because someone else had to be, it couldn't be him. he was such a "nice guy" ) to not see there's something to this book, even if the title of it is designed to sell books.

juki posted 6/9/2012 14:20 PM

Bumping so I can find it after I read it. My H is reading it now and it is resonating for him.

Crumbled324 posted 6/10/2012 10:30 AM

Weird, I always thought nice guys were those that did nice things, loved their spouses, their children, try to make the right decisions, try to be productive members of the community, aren't always perfect but stand up and try again. I think some of these authors try to pigeon-hole this shit too much.


I listened to this on CD about 6 months or so after D-Day. While it didn't resonate with me to the core it did me point me in the direction of Co-Dependancy.

Afer D-Day I know now that as a BS I have always been a pleaser, a KISA if you will, fell into the "Good Husband" trap.

My wife's parents were divorced when she was in her early teens, and I was damned sure I was gonna show her that no all men are cheating selfish bastards. Lol. Great for her, just wish she would have reciprocated in kind.

[This message edited by Crumbled324 at 10:32 AM, June 10th (Sunday)]

StillGoing posted 6/18/2012 14:41 PM

Honestly the book peddles way to much stereotypical and pop-psyche bullshit wedged into otherwise really good advice and suggestions for turning yourself around. If you can get past that then I think it's a very helpful book, assuming you can discard a lot of the pigeonholing he does like

I have found Nice Guys to be prone to hidden, compulsive sexual behavior. I have developed a theory that states, the nicer the guy, the darker the sexual secrets. I find this to be consistently true.

or all the circling back to mommy issues instead of sticking to more sensible topics on abandonment he starts off with. I really think the whole grr feminism stuff is unnecessary and distracting.

A lot of the language and personal opinions he injects irritate me but I think overall it's a good self-help book with a lot to offer and worth reading.

Exit Wounds posted 6/28/2012 13:44 PM

I like nice guys. Not sure I agree with the book but it does make some good points.

soverybetrayed posted 7/14/2012 08:15 AM

The list of "Nice Guy" traits is very similar to that of a Narcissist. My stbx would fit 99% of the list and he is on the high end of the NPD scale. He plays the nice guy until he has you good and roped in and then he begins to drop his facade and you see him for who he really is, and ugly souless monster.

I am too old to deal with some pop bs about how a nice guy is all those nasty things. There are nice men out in this world and we have a ton of them on this board. Nice Guys are loving, caring, sharing, compassionate, sexy, faithful wonderful men and I for one want exactly that, I have had the NPD facade and now I want the real thing. I want a man who can be a man but also be loving and compassionate and can communicate his needs to me. So bring on the Nice Guys cause I know a bunch of women who are looking for them.

Lovedyoumore posted 7/16/2012 09:56 AM

I agree with PP. Sounds like a new twist on Narcissists. They can be very charming when dating. Then they are charming to everyone except their wives. Especially the wife who does not fit into their need for a codependent spouse. There is a lot of early childhood hurt or suppression. My WH came from a whole family of charming, nice Narcissists. They are charming until you cross them.

LearningToFly posted 7/26/2014 22:52 PM

I'm glad I found this old thread. I am so scared about what the book is going to give my WH permission to do. He has been officially diagnosed with Passive Aggressive personality and our MC believes he is also narcissistic which I can agree to.

Everyone thinks he is a really nice guy as in kind, loving, faithful, hardworking, generous, happy, .... and he is to everyone but me. He is also afraid of conflict, dishonest, sneaky, does things to get something but doesn't lay it out there - I have to guess ...this makes receiving anything from him difficult because I know he expects something in return. He doesn't stand up for me and the kids have run all over me and him too (though he won't acknowledge that).

Its been a year since he ended his year and a half affair. He claimed to end it 5 months before he truly did. Yet he gets so angry with me when i am triggered and bring it up. He is using the techniques in the book to shut me up now. He doesn't want to deal with the consequences of what he did to me. He says go talk to the counselor and go talk to your friends. R doesn't look too promising and the parts of the book he is latching onto are the parts that he already does really well like detaching emotionally, thinking selfishly, and expecting sex because he is a guy and now that he has given up porn, I need to pay him back for that.

brokensmile322 posted 7/28/2014 06:46 AM

I just read this book.

The "Nice Guy" they are referring to are the ones who are nice to a fault. It is not pigeon holing all nice guys. It is talking about the group of men that spend their lives being 'nice' while often overlooking their own needs and wants.

You see, the ego kibbles they get from being nice, feed their need of being dubbed the 'nice guy'. They are often people pleasers, passive aggressive and conflict avoid ant.

Constantly trying to do the right thing, being nice so other people like you, value you, love you will often lead to dissatisfaction and resentment.

^^All of this IS my WH. When the discussion of the book first came up, he said to me very defensively "So being nice is bad???!!!"

The short answer- "No, being nice isn't bad. The need to be nice above your own needs is, being nice to get things in return is, being nice to feel good about yourself is…"

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