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.