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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No, It's not what you think.

But, I have allowed my wife AND my 22 year old daughter from a previous relationship erode my boundaries and create havoc in my life.

Essentially, the two of them have done some things to each other over the past 18 months to hurt and assert their dominance over each other. I enabled this bad behaviour by being the "Nice Guy" and avoiding confrontation and telling each of them what I thought they wanted to hear. Classic Nice Guy stuff. I mean, I was the poster child for Nice Guy Syndrome.

So, after lurking on here, I read both NMMNG and Hold On To Your NUTS. Thanks for that.

I'm not exactly where I want to be yet, but I'm getting better at banishing old habits and developing new ones. I'm taking my balls out of my wife's purse.

Over the past week, I have "laid down the law" with both women as to what I expect from them and the initial results are remarkable. I have insisted that the three of us go to family counselling. It's a little hard because my daughter lives 800 miles away, but we can do it.

With my wife, I have refused to allow her to get to me with her intimidation and anger. With my daughter, I no longer allow her to intimidate me with guilt.

The main issue is this: My wife has said and done some things to my daughter which really were mean. My daughter has retaliated by completely cutting my wife out of her life and not talking to her. This has caused my wife a lot of grief because she really does care, she just uses a hammer to get what she wants. So both women expect me to stand up for each other and I was getting a lot of "Why do you let her have everything she wants?" from both sides.

For example, my wife will say things like "You guys just think I'm a b---h." To which I answered, "Then stop acting like one and we won't think that." And my daughter will say "I'm never talking to (my wife) again." To which I said, "You're a part of this family, and that family includes everyone. Nobody gets ignored and left behind. If you don't want to be a part of this family, then that's your choice and we'll talk to you when you're ready." The thought of her losing me calmed her down and she agreed to my terms, grudgingly, but she did.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife started yelling at me about something. She got really wound up and started calling me names and screaming at me. I just said "That's nice. Sounds like you have a lot to say. Let me know when you can do it calmly." and I left the room. Then, just two days later, she says "Why won't you initiate sex with me." I just told her, that "when you act like that, I don't find you sexually attractive at all." She hasn't yelled at me since, which might be some kind of record.

Anyways, I'm getting better. I'm taking control. And I'm not putting up with bad behaviour. I feel confident that I can be the man I want to be, and have the relationships I want to have.
 

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Awesome, ManUp! That is TRULY WONDERFUL!

We're ALL happy for you here at TAM (men & women alike); there's nothing like hearing that someone has made GREAT STRIDES in changing their behaviors to achieve the kind of life they want.

I know you're still a work-in-progress (as are we all), but YOU are going to be my example for now! Read the books, make the changes, walk the walk, improve the life.

:allhail:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing I should have mentioned is that I've banned "I'm Sorry" from my vocabulary.

I am not sorry. I am who I am. If I make a mistake, well then, I'll fix it. And if I hurt your feelings by insisting that my boundaries be respected, then I certainly am not sorry for that.
 

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I love reading this.

I wish my stepdad (my only dad, really...raised me from age 3.) would have been/done the same when he remarried (I was 18).
Instead, he just sat there and watched his wife and I fight to the death. Death being me giving him the finger and never really talking to him again when I was 21. He passed 2 years ago and I hadn't really talked to him since that day.

Good job :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
that_girl....I realized I was being a jelly fish with my daughter too, not just my wife. That's too bad that your Dad allowed your relationship to deteriorate like that over a classic female power struggle.

When I firmly, not angrily, laid out what I expect her to do as a full fledged member of this family, it was almost as if the little girl came out. I could hear the tone of her voice completely change to "yes sir."

What has been lacking in this entire ridiculous affair is a strong leader, namely me. This is what I want, and if you're not prepared to do it, then you can leave. It surprised me that the dynamic worked for both my wife and daughter. However, they're both women, and they both want a man in their lives who makes decisions and insists on uncomfortable progress.

"but, I don't want to go to counselling."
"That's nice. You're going."
"but, (my wife) said I only have to go once."
"She shouldn't have said that. You will go as often as it takes to resolve these issues."
"You're mean. (in a little girl voice)"
"Yes I am. Because I love you and since what we've been doing isn't working, I'm insisting on professional help."

The tricky part will be to remain vigilant and not fall into old bad habits.
 
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