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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was just looking back over This Post and thinking about his complete denial that he's a victim of nice guy syndrome.

The denial that he's dishonest or secretive is something most nice guys say. They don't lie or hide things. But they don't understand covert contracts either. A covert contract is when you do things with the expectation of something in return, without the other person's understanding that it's a two-way arrangement.

It leads to horrible resentment because you come across as needy and rarely get what you want.

But almost all "nice guys" do it. I did. When they say, "I love you," in order to get that response back it's a covert contract. When they act needy, giving physical affection or buy gifts in hopes of buying affection in return, that's a covert contract.

And it's been enlightening to see how easy it is to change that behavior.

Instead of saying, "I love you," and getting back a weak, resigned, "I love you too," in return, I now wrap my arms around her, pull her to me, look into her eyes and say, "tell me you love me." It gets a real, enthusiastic response from her. She smiles when she says it. It's alpha. And there's no begging or neediness in it.

I've learned to give affection without trying to use it as currency to buy affection in return. It's as easy as eliminating that expectation. Just let it go and give affection freely! She use to complain I was smothering her because I was needy. I probably give more affection now, but because she doesn't feel that neediness in me, it's not smothering to her. And she DOES return it now because she wants to. Instead of her lying there tensely, barely able to stand my needy touch, her hands are all over me too.
 

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Awww love this post drover!
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It leads to horrible resentment because you come across as needy and rarely get what you want.
I do struggle with nice guy-ness (still working on it ;) ). There was so much resentment building. It was bothering me and I needed to do something.

I've learned to give affection without trying to use it as currency to buy affection in return. It's as easy as eliminating that expectation. Just let it go and give affection freely!
Resentment has left the building. When I let "it" go I thought it was the resentment. But you're right, the expectation is part of "it". Now, at times, I do find myself saying, "I'm doing this [something nice for her] for me." I don't expect anything in return, I'm already getting it.
 

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I was just looking back over This Post and thinking about his complete denial that he's a victim of nice guy syndrome.

The denial that he's dishonest or secretive is something most nice guys say. They don't lie or hide things. But they don't understand covert contracts either. A covert contract is when you do things with the expectation of something in return, without the other person's understanding that it's a two-way arrangement.

It leads to horrible resentment because you come across as needy and rarely get what you want.

But almost all "nice guys" do it. I did. When they say, "I love you," in order to get that response back it's a covert contract. When they act needy, giving physical affection or buy gifts in hopes of buying affection in return, that's a covert contract.

And it's been enlightening to see how easy it is to change that behavior.

Instead of saying, "I love you," and getting back a weak, resigned, "I love you too," in return, I now wrap my arms around her, pull her to me, look into her eyes and say, "tell me you love me." It gets a real, enthusiastic response from her. She smiles when she says it. It's alpha. And there's no begging or neediness in it.

I've learned to give affection without trying to use it as currency to buy affection in return. It's as easy as eliminating that expectation. Just let it go and give affection freely! She use to complain I was smothering her because I was needy. I probably give more affection now, but because she doesn't feel that neediness in me, it's not smothering to her. And she DOES return it now because she wants to. Instead of her lying there tensely, barely able to stand my needy touch, her hands are all over me too.
You're a wise man!

I love your phrase "covert contract." I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but what a great way to explain it. Mind if I borrow this phrase for my articles?
 

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It made me think of why I believe being a "nice guy" isn't what it sounds like.

People think "what's wrong with a nice guy" but you hit what it is.
Good way of explaining it.
 

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From the bottom of my heart, I agree. And know that I have contracted this "Niceness" disease somewhat myself. However, I'm a woman. Which book should I read? ;D

I think the female version of this is maybe ever so slightly different, because eventhough we too should bear responsibility of our own lives, feelings and actions — there's also some level of expectation that the man should still at least in some instances take the lead. They should, to an appropriate extent, take what they want instead of pleading and begging for it.

Lately I have been working my part a bit. I, the once master of covert contracts (like the term, btw) am now saying out loud: "This is what I want." However, I am married to an insecure Nice Guy, one who gives away so much of his personal responsibility that I get the blame for most everything. Who now thinks I'm a bit of an a-hole, as I'm not a doormat anymore.

My dream would be that we would both grow from our doormattyness into two complete people, who bear responsibility for themselves but have the ability to work together as a team and want to be interdependent. Any tips of how to encourage this in my H? So far my only solution is: fix myself. He will hang in there as long as he wants. Options are he will like the chance, get uncomfortable with the way I'm changing and get inspired to change himself or get very uncomfortable and leave me.
 

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The guy who posted that has an abusive wife and he also posted about they were trying for a baby (separate thread)...I don't think he knows which end is up, no offense.
 

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I am not sure what the heck my husband was.... .because although he did start to feel resentment towards me over wanting more holding/ intimacy/sex.... he NEVER sucked up to me....he was too stubborn to show any weakness here..... he was good to me the whole time & never acted like a baby..... he also never did the
's to get them back, I never sensed that , or felt him clingy for a day.

But yet...he WAS starting to feel less loved by me - I was too into the kids, didn't show as much desire as he wanted.....He just merrily left me alone....knowing I would come to him...he knew the wait wasn't going to be long - I am sure this helped. :D At least I initiated our entire marraige.

We got the No More Mr Nice Guy Book...went through the beginning pages together.....he had some symptoms but I think many men have some of those...in trying to please their wives, or to keep peace....some we considered Half symptoms for him.... He was always genuine in what he gave though.... or he just didn't bother.

I guess that was a good thing- along the lines of this thread anyway.

Where HE missed it the most was being Assertive to his needs. He failed here badly. How is our spouses suppossed to know if we don't clue them in... I think he looked at this conversation as weakness, he did try once and I miss understood his intentions. I feel so bad about that looking back. He sure as heck wasn't going to put himself in that position again -that is how he felt & when some resentment started to spring.

I was happy where we were. While he was trying to stuff it down. He only allowed himself to suffer. His personality type tends to do this though, as I learned. I needed to be more clued into HIS ways (which are the complete opposite of mine, I am the squeaky wheel).

Be assertive - it's the answer. Just be reasonable & a willing pleaser in return, no camouflaging. Now that my husband has grown in his vulnerableness with me, so has his assertiveness grown. This was our answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You're a wise man!

I love your phrase "covert contract." I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but what a great way to explain it. Mind if I borrow this phrase for my articles?
It's not my phrase. It's from No More Mr. Nice Guy.
 

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A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling put out because I didn't feel like I was getting the exact amount of love/affection/attention/affirmation/whatever that I wanted or felt that I deserved. In some childish spirit of tit for tat, I started shortchanging my SO a little when she wanted the same. Not totally, but enough where I hoped my point was somehow being made. By telepathy, I guess.

I had a sort of epihany the other day; if I want more love and affection, the answeri s not to turn away when some is offered.

I don't know if it will "solve" the problem, but I do know that withholding my affection solves nothing. I try to remind myself of this when I feel neglected.
 

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The guy who posted that has an abusive wife and he also posted about they were trying for a baby (separate thread)...I don't think he knows which end is up, no offense.
That has been put on hold for now.

Yes, I can see how I've started some of those "Nice Guy" tendencies. And yes Drover, I do struggle with "covert contracts". And you might even be right about me being in denial about being a Nice Guy.

In my defense, though, I will say that me being a nice guy is so difficult to accept is because I hardly have any of these tendencies outside of my marriage. I've read the book, and its definition of a nice guy isn't limited to just the relationship. In my marriage, the description partially fits, but outside of my marriage it doesn't.
 

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I was just looking back over This Post and thinking about his complete denial that he's a victim of nice guy syndrome.

The denial that he's dishonest or secretive is something most nice guys say. They don't lie or hide things. But they don't understand covert contracts either. A covert contract is when you do things with the expectation of something in return, without the other person's understanding that it's a two-way arrangement.

It leads to horrible resentment because you come across as needy and rarely get what you want.

But almost all "nice guys" do it. I did. When they say, "I love you," in order to get that response back it's a covert contract. When they act needy, giving physical affection or buy gifts in hopes of buying affection in return, that's a covert contract.

And it's been enlightening to see how easy it is to change that behavior.

Instead of saying, "I love you," and getting back a weak, resigned, "I love you too," in return, I now wrap my arms around her, pull her to me, look into her eyes and say, "tell me you love me." It gets a real, enthusiastic response from her. She smiles when she says it. It's alpha. And there's no begging or neediness in it.

I've learned to give affection without trying to use it as currency to buy affection in return. It's as easy as eliminating that expectation. Just let it go and give affection freely! She use to complain I was smothering her because I was needy. I probably give more affection now, but because she doesn't feel that neediness in me, it's not smothering to her. And she DOES return it now because she wants to. Instead of her lying there tensely, barely able to stand my needy touch, her hands are all over me too.

Very well put, Drover, and most excellently explained! Thanks for your common sense insight!
 
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