Saw a few posts in the eureka moments thread about being ''too nice''.
As part of the process of coming to terms with recent events and my part in them I have come to see that my people pleasing behaviour towards my x (while often horrible I was still basically yielding) and indeed towards friends, relations, acquaintances and strangers was/is a form of control. This was a shock to me and I resisted it for a long time, but now I see that I was desperately trying to control the way people felt about me. Wanted to appear nice, agreeable, helpful, friendly etc. Wanted to avoid any disagreement, disapproval or upset and somehow lost myself in all this.
In addition to a lot of therapy and thinking and friends, I have found two books
in particular to be of great help.
Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie
The Curse of Lovely by Jacqui Marson
I am about to re read both of these and try some of the exercises in them. The Marson book in particular is a very accessible read. I recommend them both.
When I realised that it was all falling apart,I know that I tried too hard with him.God those walking on eggshell days,how I am so glad they have gone..
Looking back now,I feel gutted that I allowed him to treat me that way,now I see it was humiliating.
Twonk was having the affair,and I was the one being nice all the time WTF...
Hindsight is a wonderful thing,and if I had that time over,would I do it differantly? You betcha..
Although with this divorce malarky,we learn many things,and sometimes being too niceends up hurting us:dry:
We all have a desire to be liked. Thats normal. And thats why I think we tend to play nice. But we tend to add validation into that mix and that I feel is wrong. We shouldn''t worry what others think of us. We cant please everyone all the time. Just some of them. And that some has to be just one. Ourselves. Thats who we should always be nice to.
However there is no need to be nice to someone that does not reciprocate. If someone is mean to you avoid. Simples.
I know all too well about being too nice. I wanted to be the "cool" wife who "let" her husband go anywhere and do anything. In return, I got walked on, and I didn''t like it. But most of the time, I didn''t say much about it, and when I did, he blew up at me. He knew how to hurt me (not physically but emotionally). Just a few weeks ago I was nice again! He left in Oct and was having an affair. I filed in December. A few weeks ago, during a phone call, he showed some remorse. I took this as a "maybe he will come home and want to work on things and keep our family together." So, I cancelled our initial court hearing, and accepted his bare minimum financial offer for me and the kids. This was all temporary until the final divorce details are figured out. Well, as soon as he realized I agreed to this temporary order, the nice guy was gone, and back was the mean, manipulative, finger-pointing man that I have come to know. Sooo...I told him the game changed. I was not agreeing to this low offer, and we would go to court to get our temporary agreements decided by the lawyers. Well, isn''t he pissed now!! He is picking up our kids tonight, and told me to have them waiting in the driveway for him. He doesn''t even want to come in the house like he always does to get them! Immature in my book. It is all so sad-never in a million years did I think things would go down like this. I begged for counseling, and his answser was to leave and find a girlfriend. And blame it on me. It is still so hard, and I just wish I could get into his head. WHY is he behaving like this??? I can relate to you afonleas. Best of luck to you.
I too can relate to the curse of the "nice girl".
But for me it was not about control.
In counselling I have learned that for me, this is more about my crappy (understatement) childhood, which has left me with the deep-seeded belief that I am simply unworthy of love or acceptance.
My "nice girl" ways seem to be because I don''t really think I have the right to fulfil my own needs/wants/desires as I am simply not worthy of this kind of happiness and joy.
That the only way I can gain the love and acceptance of others is by being the peacekeeper and allowing bits of myself to be given or taken away until there is almost nothing left of the real "me". That the only thing I am really good for is to help, support and take care of others. In the vain hope that this will be seen by them as me being "good enough" so that they will respond by also taking care of me.
Luckily...it happens just that way.
It is therefore not really all that surprising that I would find myself in a marriage with a passive-aggressive, narcissist who knows just how to manipulate me with emotional abuse and controlling behaviours which I readily respond too due to my still-unchecked co-dependant responses.
(However, I would love to know how these types of people know which of us is the "weak" one of the herd so they can move in for the kill?!?!)
But at least I am now aware and I think that''s about half the battle to getting better.
The book that has been of invaluable help to me is:
The Nice Girl Syndrome (Stop Being Manipulated and Abused - and Start Standing Up for Yourself)
---by Beverly Engel.
There''s a list at the beginning to go through to see if the book is for you.
It was shocking to me how well this complete stranger knew me and my life decisions. But also empowering to know there is a way to change and be a stronger person.
I want that so much I can taste it.