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Discussion Starter #1
In a quest to better understand the man I married, I ended up reading No More Mister Nice Guy. As it turns out, my husband ticks virtually all the boxes for that particular "syndrome". He's a yes to 8 of the 11 characteristics of nice guys (he has no problems putting his needs first or relating to men, and he doesn't make his SO his emotional center - well, apparently unless it's his OW) and a yes to all 15 on the list of "what's wrong with nice guys". Rather than being an enmeshed nice guy (makes his SO the center of his life & emotions) he seems to be an avoider nice guy (puts everything else before his SO).

My question relates to the Breaking Free Exercises. How does getting in touch with his masculinity, spending more time with other men, and putting himself first help an avoider? In my husband's case, he's already an avidly masculine, guy-connected, him-first sort of person. He has guys nights on the first Tuesday and third Wednesday of every month with one group of male friends, while he has a standing appointment for supper/cards with another group of male friends every other Thursday. He reserves every Saturday night as his night to go out and do whatever with his friends or alone - his thing now is a standing date for a $50 buy-in Texas-Hold'em game. He hunts avidly - every Saturday and each evening during deer season and most Saturdays and some Sundays during the various bird seasons. And he's engaged in tournament-level deep sea fishing that has him spending 6-12 "long weekends" (usually Wednesday night through Sunday evening, but also a couple of 10-12 day trips) per year away from home with his fishing buddies in some resort-type location. Basically, he's already living life with himself in first place, is masculine, has a lot of guy friends, spends plenty of hobby time and basically exists as if he were not burdened with any need at all to engage with, appease or impress a wife. I just don't see how telling him he needs to spend more time placing his own needs and wants first will do much for him that he's not already doing? What am I missing here?

Or is my husband actually not a Nice Guy, even though he checks nearly all the boxes?
 

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I've read some of your other posts regarding your husband.

Were you to ask me who the 'Nice Guy' is in your relationship ... I'd say it's you, most definitely not him.

Most Nice Guys usually tend to give far more than they get. Or if they were to cheat ... which for a NG is generally out of character, they would be consumed with guilt and confess.
 

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Rowan,

Don't think NMMNG is your answer. Typiclly NiceGuys subsume their own desires and defer to their spouse. NGs emotional mood is tied to the mood of the wife. "If Mama's happy, then everybody's happy." In short, an NG's emotional hose is firmly attached to wife.

Ultimately, wife recognizes she has lapdog pansy for a husband and (ether consciously or unconsciously) begin to lose their respect for husband. He's not alpha, so they don't think he's attractive anymore. As a result, wife treats husband worse because of lack of respect. NG then tries to be even nicer to win wife's approval, worsening the spiral further.

Without knowing back-story, your husband may share some NG characteristics but is nt afflicted with full-fledged NG syndrome.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I realize I was an over-giver for way too long. We got together when I was young enough to accept our relationship as normal and adapt accordingly, even though that turned out to be not very health.

I was just very startled at how well most of the NG book fit him. Interestingly enough, he's very Nice Guy with other women, just not with me. Or, at least not anymore. With new women he's very much knight in shining armor, devoted to them entirely, emotionally dependent on them, their needs first, etc. If you observed him solely in a new relationship - or just out in the world - you'd say he was a classic Nice Guy. Other people think he's the most generous, selfless, helpful guy imaginable, always doing for others, always doing the "right" thing, just a stand-up, super-nice, people-pleasing guy. It's only later, after people haven't done whatever he imagined they were supposed to do (but never told them about) that he starts lashing out and being a very not-nice guy. Only a scant handful of people have ever gotten close enough to him to see the not-nice aspect. Everyone else is held at such a distance that he maintains the nice guy image, which he believes is really him and seems interested in protecting.

Maybe he does have me as his emotional center, just not in any way that compells him to please me or meet my needs. It's more like he's moved me into the "controlling mother" slot in his mind and is rebelling against me in that way - even though I've never sought to either mother or contol him.

So, not a Nice Guy? Check.
 

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Sounds more like a Narcissist really.
He behaves in a particular manner to get what he wants ... which actually IS part of Nice Guy behavior, so is wanting to be liked, but in the case of your husband, it sounds very different.

Presuming that if he isn't getting what he wants, he turns on you pretty quickly.
 
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