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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As long as I can remember I've been the nice guy, when it comes to women. I've always been the one to listen, to talk back, and to give help when I see they're in need. For some reason many years ago nearing the end of high school I began to become what I guess people would say "softer" towards women. I lost someone I was with for 3 years (not either of our faults she moved away) and it forever changed how I viewed women. I was no longer a dog and I vowed to make women my best friend. I guess I somewhat blamed myself (even though she did not know) that the things that I was doing behind her back somehow was the reason why good ol Karma took her away from me. Then 3 years later after dealing with users and abusers I found someone else who was very special to me. Me and her did everything together and she held me down through alot of situations. I once again took her for granted and she left after 2 1/2 years in 2008. Both of these women are now married and have moved on.

Now I'm 25 on the brink of losing my second marriage and I don't know where to begin. I read and have been reading about the "Do a 180" and it seems so much like I'm going to be doing something that seems so damn scary. Like I'm going to be turning my back on the person I vowed to be with. Since the breakup in 2008 relationships for me haven't been the same at all. I've starting to lose confidence, I've lost hope in feeling like I'll be nothing more than someones money bag or hustle, and most importantly I've lost myself.

My first marriage landed me with someone who lied, cheated, and eventually moved away with my son that I barely know but pay almost $700 a month in child support. I'm now married to someone with 2 kids and I'm seeing that I've become the same predicatable, needy, whining, emotional person I was in my last marriage and feel like all I'm good for at this point is to help with the bills.

I sleep in my own room and I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself and I want change, it's just been so long since I can remember doing things by myself. I've become completely dependent on relationships for fear a being alone and I just dont know how to even start to do this 180. I'm afraid of disappointing people and hurting peoples feelings. I just feel like at this point I have no choice because I want to change me. I've been this through counseling and have dealt with alot of issues, I just want to change but I'm truly afraid of it.

How many people on TAM were like me and did a 180 and changed their lifes?


....Scared and lost and praying this prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
 

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Aw this is so sad but I know where you are coming from even though I'm not a guy. The 180 isn't what you ultimately need although it does serve a purpose but if you don't do it with the right frame of mind it won't work.

The good news is you're young and it's not too late to turn your life around. You need to read Codependent No More, No More Mr Nice Guy, you need counseling, you need to study the drama triangle and how to stay off of it. You are a rescuer but the one who most needs rescuing is YOU.

Change is always scary that's normal however I promise if you embrace it your life will be so much better for it. Courage isn't the absence of fear it's the judgement that something else is more important.
 

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It'll work if you work it.

I have changed my life, though I didn't see the 180 until long after I started using some of the methods in it. I had a major setback some years ago that I want to tell you about. I suspect it may help you find the courage you're seeking....

I have always been a very direct, even abrasive person who looked out for my own needs before others' needs. I have taken a LOT of heat about being too argumentative or insensitive over the years. After I divorced, I felt like a huge failure and I pledged that I would be more cooperative, that I wouldn't voice my opinions when I wasn't asked, and that I would be more "likable" overall.

My circumstances were even more pronounced because I moved to an area where I knew only one person - the guy I had gotten involved with. He happened to be an emotionally abusive narcissist, which meant that the only "reality checks" I got were from someone who never had my best interests in mind in the first place.

I became the female version of a nice guy. I found myself taken advantage of by numerous people, which only worsened the depression I felt. I knew I couldn't be the brash, insensitive person I had been because that had produced results I didn't like, but being the pushover wasn't working, either. Not by a long shot!

I eventually found better footing by deciding to base my level of cooperation and sensitivity on the amount of cooperation and sensitivity I received from others. In other words, I am loyal and cooperative only with people who show me the same, but with informal contacts and people who treat me badly, I am free to disengage or even be bluntly dismissive of them.

You know what? It works wonderfully well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's how I was many years ago. I've changed and for the most part it was good because I wasn't so insensitive and seemed to be in tune with the opposite sex, but it's put me in a place where I've lost myself. It's almost like I've embodied everything people have wanted me to be but forgot what I like to do. I know the things that make me happy but alot of them are predicated from what I use to do with others even friends who used me.

I guess now I want to change because I see my wife isn't going to and I desperately don't want to go through the divorce I had before. If things don't work out between us I want to have an established life, a social life, and do things I know that make me happy. She came back from being with her family all week yesterday and we barely even talked, no hugs, we watched TV together for about an hour and I just came up to my room and went to sleep. She was upset about me not coming to bed with her but at this point I just feel like anything I do isn't because I want to its because I'm giving her what she wants and she's just running me all over, which isn't attractive to her anymore. I want to be attractive to myself and have confidence. I know it will be along and dedicated road but I'm that "Nice Guy" inside of me keeps saying don't do it cause it's wrong. It's seems so cruel just to change but she's been doing a 180 on me for the past 6 months and it's killing me, which started me being this puddle of mud again. I just want to gain control of my life again without feeling bad...genuinely not feeling bad...not an act.

Is the beginning of a 180 faking it till it feels natural? Does the beginning feel like you're being selfish?
 

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You’re on the brink of losing your marriage?


The 180 is only one solution offered here, it’s like a withdrawal of all services, I love yous etc. as a form of protection and enabling you to regroup maybe some shattered emotions. It has a side effect of dropping a disloyal spouse into the deep end so she can see what life is likely to be like without you. But the 180 may be totally inappropriate for your situation.

It’s generally used when your wife is in an affair. If she is, ask the mods to move your post into Coping with Infidelity, there’s a lot of experience and help there.

The 180 may make your situation, depending what it is, worse than it already is.

take a look at http://talkaboutmarriage.com/mens-clubhouse/18181-man-up-nice-guy-reference.html if you haven’t already.


What are the core problems/issues in your marriage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Communication, selfishness and no love or intimacy. We haven't been married for a year yet.

My problem is I want to change for myself, there's all these good road maps, I just don't know where to start my journey at or where to begin. I'm lost on where to start...
 

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That's how I was many years ago. I've changed and for the most part it was good because I wasn't so insensitive and seemed to be in tune with the opposite sex, but it's put me in a place where I've lost myself. It's almost like I've embodied everything people have wanted me to be but forgot what I like to do. I know the things that make me happy but alot of them are predicated from what I use to do with others even friends who used me.


Is the beginning of a 180 faking it till it feels natural? Does the beginning feel like you're being selfish?
What you said is EXACTLY what I experienced: I lost myself.

You said you were "insensitive" and not as "in tune" previously. I'd encourage you to remember how you were before and become more like that.

I have been called a B..ch many times and finally realized that every time someone called me that, what they were really saying is that I wasn't doing things THEIR way. I realized that I have a right to MY way as much as they do to theirs. I can't expect them to adopt my ways, but I have no obligation to give mine up or to meet their expectations.

That's why I will only try to if they do the same. I'll adopt their ways to the same extent that they adopt mine - no more, no less. If there's not give AND take, then I don't participate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I found this reading what AFEH posting for "Manning Up" and this is exactly who I've become

Here is my dream list...i wonder how many women can relate to this:

be desired by someone who takes reasonable care of himself and is not significantly overweight (like my husband is)

be desired by someone who absolutely adores me

be desired by someone who is kind to me and others

be desired by someone who is not selfish, a narcissist

be desired by someone who is completely committed to our relationship

be desired by someone who thinks I'm just his type of woman. e.i., I would feel insecure knowing that he just can't get rid of this "thing" he has for long legged blondes and I am a petite asian girl.

be desired by someone who likes doing things together with me because he likes my company

be desired by someone who appreciates my cultural background

be desired by someone who values my opinion and wisdom

be desired by someone who isn't necessarily a saint, but has strong values/ethical standards

be desired by someone who communicates openly about how he feels and communicates fairly when we fight. who is willing to say sorry.

be desired by someone who is financial stable or has potential to be.

be desired by someone who doesn't have addictions, anger issues or serious baggage they have to work through.



For the longest it's felt like this doesn't work for women. This is what women want but it seems like when you give this to them (my wife) it's eventually a turn off because it's like they've conquered you do a degree. I'm no longer a challenge so that's why I feel like doing a 180 will bring back that "I can't figure him out anymore" and I'll not only gain that confidence back but I might save my marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It seems to me like there's a strong but subtle mix of both of these theories here. To not be the "Nice Guy" but to also assert some of the rules of "180" where need be. Only when necessary should you up the bar on one or the other.
 

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For referance, here is the 180 Plan....

Plan A vs. 180 Plan - Marriage Builders® Forums

180

180 is a list of behaviors from Michelle Wiener Davis, the author of Divorce Busting, that will help your spouse to see you moving forward as a healthy person. I would highly suggest that any new BS begin these behaviors as soon as possible. I am convinced that if I had implemented them, I would still be married. In retrospect, I did everything besides 180. I looked pathetic. No one wants to be perceived as pathetic. 180 makes you look strong. Strong is attractive. (Making it)

So here's the list:

Don't pursue reason, chase, beg, plead or implore.

No frequent phone calls.

Don't point out "good points" in marriage.

Don't follow her/him around the house.

Don't encourage or initiate discussion about the future.

Don't ask for help from the family members of your WS.

Don't ask for reassurances.

Don't buy or give gifts.

Don't schedule dates together.

Don't keep saying, "I Love You!" Because if you have a brain in
your head, he/she is at this particular moment, not very loveable.

Do more then act as if you are moving on with your life; begin moving on with your life!

Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and independent.

Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go out with friends, enjoy old hobbies, find new ones! But stay busy!

When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words. Don't push any issue?
No matter how much you want to!

If you're in the habit of asking your spouse his/her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING. Seem totally uninterested.
Your partner needs to believe that you have awakened to the fact that "they (the WS)" are serious concerning their assertions as to the future (or lack thee of) of your marriage. Thus, you are you are moving on with your life? with out them!

Don't be nasty, angry or even cold - Just pull yourself back.

Don't always be so available? for anything! Your spouse will notice. More important, he/she will notice that you're missing.
No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only show your spouse happiness and contentment? Make yourself be someone they would want to be around. Not a moody, needy, pathetic individual but a self assured individual secure in the knowledge that they have value.

All questions about the marriage should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may not be for quite a while). Initiate no such conversation!

Do not allow yourself to lose your temper. No yelling, screaming or name calling EVER. No show of temper! Be cool, act cool; be in control of the only thing you can control? YOURSELF!

Don't be overly enthusiastic.

Do not argue when they tell you how they feel (it only makes their feelings stronger). In fact, refuse to argue at all!
Be patient and learn to not only listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you? HEAR what it is that they are saying! Listen and then listen some more!

Learn to back off, keep your mouth shut and walk away when you want to speak out, no matter what the provocation. No one ever got themselves into trouble by just not saying anything.

Take care of you. Exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the other parts of your life that are not in turmoil.

Be strong, confident and learn to speak softly.
Know that if you can do this 180, your smallest CONSISTENT action will be noticed far more than any words you can say or write.

Do not be openly desperate or needy even when you are hurting
more than ever and are feeling totally desperate and needy.

Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse. It's not always about you! More to the point, at present they just don't care!

Do not believe any of what you hear them say and less than 50% of what you see. Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives and do so in the most strident tones imaginable. Try to remember that they are also hurting and afraid. Try to remember that they know what they are doing is wrong and so they will say anything they can to justify their behavior.

Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel. It "ain't over till it's over!"

Do not backslide from your hard earned changes. Remain consistent! It is the consistency of action and attitude that delivers the message.

When expressing your dissatisfaction with the actions of the wayward party, never be judgmental, critical or express moral outrage. Always explain that your dissatisfaction is due to the pain that the acts being committed are causing you as a person. This is the kind of behavior that will cause you to be a much more attractive and mysterious individual. Further it SHOWS that you are NOT afraid to move on with your life. Still more important, it will burst their positive little bubble; the one in which they believe that they can always come back to you in case things don't work out with the OM/OW."
 

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Goodness knows how you think you’ll solve the problems in your marriage if the two of you are doing a 180.



She was upset that you didn’t go to bed with her. Surely that’s a very strong indicator that she is still attracted to you?



You know some just don’t have a clue what the structure and dynamics of a happy and healthy marriage look like. They don’t have a road map. You can get your road map by attending The Marriage Course - Explore the Marriage Course | Alpha USA.

Just ask your wife if she wants to work on improving your marriage. If she does, book yourselves on the course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Awesome and thanks AFEH!

Also here's how it's going today. I've been in my room watching football like I do every Sunday. She's been gone all week with her family for Thanksgiving and now she's here once again with a headache laid up in her bed with the same clothes she slept in and hasn't even attempted to shower or clean herself. It's like this is how things have been over the last maybe 6 weeks. Then when I try to find out what's wrong or if there's anything I can do to make her feel better she lashes and tells me i'm bothering her and so on and it's pisses me off i get upset and become over emotional because i'm trying to cheer her up and nothing works.

today i guess more so because i'm use to it i'm not going to fall in that trap because it feels like she does that sometimes for some kind of attention and to see if i'll feel bad or sorry for her so i can be that "nice guy" and do all this stuff that she won't accept anyway. i just came from the store because 4 hours ago she wanted some sodas and now because "she's got a headache" i had to go...it's like i feel sorry for her so i do it but i see where it's causing me to be needy and its like i'm reaching for her love by doing all these "Nice Guy" things when she's sick when it seems as if i shoud be doing the "180".

i just don't see how all week she's all excited and happy and the the moment you get home her mood changes. it's like the goodness just won't last and she falls right back into this and drags me into it where i seem like i'm trying to much and being used. i'm just sick of it and don't know how to approach this or her anymore! because in her words "i'm smothering her and being needy" but i'm good enough to ask to go to the store and ask for money..etc? i just don't go it this is why i think i need to be doing the 180 but if she's depressed and stuff then just leaving her would be selfish too because i've done that before and it caused a huge fight wit her saying "if i was sick i wouldn't leave you at home by yourself" it's like i'm damned if i do and damned if i don't!
 

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Lawrence, you have to start with you. You're behaving in an unhealthy, codependent way that isn't helping you, her, or your relationship.

You posted that "dream list" which certainly are all things to strive for, but in the day-to-day reality of life, those things cannot all be met all the time. Moods change. Situations arise. Personalities conflict.

If I ask you "What's in the best interest for a marriage to achieve those dream traits?" I'd be seriously concerned if you said, "Giving up my own goals, priorities and values to keep her happy."

If you want those things to be present in your life, you have to do a couple of things:

1. Know what you want.
2. Recognize it when you see it.
3. Be true to yourself to ensure that the other person knows who you "really" are.
4. Don't settle for someone who doesn't do these things, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If I ask you "What's in the best interest for a marriage to achieve those dream traits?" I'd be seriously concerned if you said, "Giving up my own goals, priorities and values to keep her happy."

If you want those things to be present in your life, you have to do a couple of things:

1. Know what you want.
2. Recognize it when you see it.
3. Be true to yourself to ensure that the other person knows who you "really" are.
4. Don't settle for someone who doesn't do these things, too.
I can honestly say out of everything I've read these past few weeks this is the best advice I've gotten so far. I would have answered "I just want to see her happy" and I've been doing that and haven't been asking myself those critical questions you asked above. I really have a launch pad now to start from and I think someone said it best earlier I'm a rescuer. I'm always trying to help other and in the end I get burned because I'm never looking out for myself or my needs or wants and lay aside those things for fear of disappointing someone (mainly my wife) for fear of making her "unhappy". this by far has been the best advice i received in awhile and i thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just wanted to add one more thing too...

I think my being so helpful is hurting this marriage. Since day one I have been willing to overly help my wife when it came to so much. I shared with her from day one moving in and helping her to reach her goals and dreams. While I also have reached my goals and dreams, it seems as if the emphasis is on her life rather than mine. Whereas my role has been defined as this "helper" I can't really see what her role in this marriage is. i know the man is suppose to be the provider, the rock, and the emotionally controlled individual, which in our marriage i am the more laid back while she's high strung. but lately it seems like my role is asking for me to do more and is turning me into this "Nice Guy" while she sits back and reaps the benefits of her own "180". this is why i think what you said before is so much help Kathy and I see why you say what you've been saying the last two days.

i gotta start thinking of me especially when the one i'm with won't accept my role anymore and not turn into a wreck over it. she's almost 30 and i'm 25 so i think it's time i step back and stop helping her soothe and wait hand and foot when she has these pitty parties or mood swings. help out as much as i can but not be used and abused...like you said Kathy in a sense only give her and even others the samethng within reason and only reward the good behavior with good deeds and ignore the bad and help but only as long as i'm not doing something that's not going to allow me to be unhappy just to make her happy....am i on the right track with this plan?
 

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That's how I found peace and eventually tremendous joy.

You might have a conversation with her about what each of you believes is the "role" of a husband and wife in a marriage. All of us were raised with an idea of what those words mean, and we measure our success with how close we come to reaching those ideals. If we're unhappy, it often stems from a mismatch between what we think is "supposed" to be there and what actually "is" there. You may discover that both of you have different ideas, or you might learn that you both have gotten off track.

Even so, I still encourage upholding a standard of not investing more in another person than they're investing in you.
 
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